Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Sep 03, 2013
If you are in the market for a bird, you may want to consider a cockatiel. They are less demanding than larger birds with most of the same traits that make large birds so appealing. Cockatiels are wonderful imitators, and can learn to sing or talk (though it’s best to focus on one or the other). We chose to teach our Pedro how to sing. He could sing several tunes from classical music to theme of Andy Griffith.
Cockatiels have wonderful personalities. They don’t typically exhibit the diva-like qualities that some larger birds do. Additionally, they don’t destroy their owners’ belongings and also make much less mess. We were very lucky with Pedro; he was cautious not to poop on us. He saved that for the cage. We LOVED our Pedro like a family member. I really can't think of any cons with a Cockatiel, except their dander makes it necessary to clean your furniture a little more often.
Pointers: I would suggest finding a breeder within your community. Pet stores have cockatiels readily available, but you should keep in mind that many birds are captured in other countries and brought here, and/or are bred in deplorable conditions. Because of this, many birds die in captivity or on the way to the pet store.
Also, if you are going on vacation, make sure to get a bird-sitter you can trust. We went away on vacation for a week and left our Pedro in the care of a “friend”. She didn’t follow our instructions and our poor Pedro had passed when we got back. The “friend” didn’t fill his seed cup up as we told her to, and he starved. I grieved for months. Please, please don’t leave your beloved pet with a “fair-feathered friend” like we did.