Acquired: Pet store
Posted May 23, 2013
Where do I even begin on reviewing the Cockatiel?
These birds are ANNOYING! I am an animal lover, no doubt about it, but truthfully it takes the patience of a saint to withstand this chatty-kathy of the avian world. It's difficult to focus on anything going on around you, especially when our little winged friends are practicing a new tune to mimic or just plain squawking for the heck of it! I would not recommend placing them in an area where it is necessary to be quiet or concentrate (such as a bedroom or an office) but somewhere with heavy traffic flow is still ideal for this extremely sociable bird.
Among other problems, they also have a tendency of puffing out and creating a cloud of feathers all over your floor when they're molting. Bathing can be an all out battle (not all the time, some do love water) that can end up making more of a mess than the one you were trying to clean. Cockatiels also bite, it doesn't matter who you are (even the owner sometimes) if you catch them in a bad mood you're losing blood (watching the position of their head crest and body language before attempting to pick them up is a good idea).
Alright enough bad about our feathered companions --while Cockatiels do have quite a few frustrating characteristics, there are certainly good things about them as well. Their ability to mimic is both fascinating and humorous, definitely a "Winger" with the kids! My personal Cockatiel, Bella, learned how to whistle her name in the sing-songy voice I always used, as well as the wolf whistle and some other fun diddies I taught her. Very little beats that feeling of accomplishment when your Cockatiel randomly breaks out with a new mimic, believe me it had me on the floor a few times; I almost lost my soda all over my desk when she suddenly did the wolf whistle.
When they aren't being temperamental, Cockatiels are actually very friendly and total cuties. Mine would hop on my shoulder and snuggle right up into the nape of my neck or nibble playfully at my earlobes. She showed a ton of personality and intelligence all the time --from anger to depression to excited (in a good way) to playful, I almost always knew what sort of mood she was in.
If you have a lot of patience and don't mind a continuous cleaning schedule (yes, they are VERY mess animals) Cockatiels are really great birds. I definitely recommend them if you're thinking of possibly getting a parrot in the future but aren't really sure about what it would entail or the commitment you're getting yourself into. These birds live about as long as a human does, so if you get one you're basically buying a lifetime companion! Good Luck!