Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder),
Bred bird myself,
Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Posted Aug 16, 2013
Cockatiels are one of my favorite pet birds, mainly because of their strong personalities and funny antics. They are a great beginner bird and wonderful for children to learn proper pet responsibility with. When looking for a cockatiel, always make sure it is hand raised, especially if it will be around children, since ones that are not hand raised have to be taught not to be afraid of human contact. Many birds tend to be drawn to one specific person in the family more than the others, but don't worry, these little guys have enough love to share! To top it all off, they can be taught to do several tricks like fetching a toothpick, freeflight, and whistling...yes whistling. Cockatiels are wonderful whistlers and can mimic musical pieces of your favorite songs (one of mine just learned the whistle the theme song of the Adams Family). However, their vocal cords are not as strong as other parrots, which makes mimiking voices and words difficult, and they often come out raspy. Many cockatiels love attention, and I have beared witness to an occasional squabble between two of them in persuit of a few head scratches, but individual personalities really set this bird apart from other parrots. My eldest cockatiel is the one who uses his mirror as a security blanket, always checking on it if he's been away from it. His son is the troublemaker, who will eat through a perch in less than a week, but loves to dance whenever music is heard and is a beautiful free-flight flyer. Another one will always be the first one out of the cage in hopes of some head scratches and a free ride to the fish bowl so that he could watch the guppies. Another great thing I've come to learn is that cockatiels are generally very good with dogs (provided that the dogs are mild-mannered), and often accept them as another member of the family.
Just remember: birds are a vocal species, and noises are to be expected, but the sheer volume of their "outbursts" are much lower than that of other parrots. These outbursts are also easily managed by proper stimulation and activities both inside and outside the cage. Lastly, birds are social creatures and thrive off of interacting with others, so a home where they will obtain the proper attention is ideal for these wonderful personalities.