Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Missouri, United States
Posted Jun 06, 2013
I have had the pleasure of sharing my home with 3 Cockatiels over the years. They are bright, happy, curious little birds who can do much to enrich your life.
Like most parrots, Cockatiels can learn to talk, but I did not find they were as quick to pick up words as other species of parrots. They do, however, quickly learn to whistle. If you teach them to “wolf-whistle” they will serenade you all day with that one whistle. This can be a good thing, or a bad thing. They are extremely friendly and loveable, and I had two that would follow me about the house like small dogs. They love interaction with their human friends, and if they are out of their cages and allowed freedom to roam, you will most often find them in the middle of everything you are doing.
When purchasing a Cockatiel, try to find one that has been hand-raised. These birds have imprinted on humans, and thus have no fear of people, nor are they aggressive and anxious when handled. One of the Cockatiels I had was not hand-raised, and though he came to me at an early age, he was never very friendly and always apprehensive when interacting with me.
Although they can do well as a solo pet, they do love the companionship of other birds. I have seen some great friendships formed between Cockatiels and Parakeets.
I found that my Cockatiels, though allowed free roam of the house, also loved their cage and would return to it on their own when they wished to rest or eat. They should be confined to their cage at night for their own safety. They do love their time outside their cage, and should be let out daily to play. Cockatiels are extremely inquisitive and playful birds, and love to have lots of toys to satisfy their curiosity and playfulness.
I always kept my Cockatiels wings clipped to prevent flight. This is mostly for their safety. When able to fly, they can easily fly out an open door or window. Ceiling fans also become dangerous to a Cockatiel who can fly. Clipping their flight wings is something you can learn to do yourself, but please be sure to have someone who is experienced at clipping their wings teach you how to do so before attempting it yourself.
The Cockatiel is a wonderful companion and guaranteed to give you years of pleasure and laughter with their antics. Though not the best talkers in the parrot world, they more than make up for that with personality.