Posted Sep 25, 2013
A loving bird with a dark past. I acquired Harriet from my 3rd grade teacher because I was the only kid in class who could handle her - meaning, I was the only one who could put up with her biting. Our teacher had inherited her from a family of 6 with 3 huge dogs who probably gave her PTSD, so she had a short temper and did not trust anyone. I seemed to be the only person she would love on, so my teacher gave her to me at the end of the year.
After bringing her home, Harriet became a WONDERFUL bird, though she still had a tendency for biting strangers and other family members. When she bit people, they would get mad, and she sensed their anger. It's all reciprocal. After some years, she became more loving and less temperamental. She loved to cuddle under your chin and give a good teeth cleaning. She also did pretty well with our cat who wouldn't dare mess with her lest she get bitten.
I know a lot of cockatiels have a screeching voice, but Harriet had a very beautiful, clean voice so we got lucky. I never trained her to say any words, but we would whistle back and forth at each other constantly. She also knew when I was all the way down the road because I could hear her frantically singing in anticipation of my arrival. If you said her name, she would respond with a whistle.
Besides my cockatiel, I've been around many others who were quite chilled out and friendly. I would gladly get another one, so long as I can provide a safe environment. Our Harriet was with us for 9 years!