Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Feb 02, 2014
Runt was the first Cockatiel in a line of many in my family. He was tiny as a baby, which is where he got his name. I don't think I've ever met a bird with more personality in my life. He was extremely friendly, but that bird could also be sassy and give you attitude! He was a tease, if it's possible for a bird to be a tease. When I was a kid, he would ride around on my head while I played in the house. He never bit me or scratched me, he was a very well behaved bird.
Runt was also extremely easy to train. He knew several words and phrases beyond 'pretty bird', and at one point in time he even learned how to yell at the dog to get out (we had a dog that liked to go roll in cow fields, ew!) and also he would yell for my brother to come get the phone because he was a teenager at the time and most of the phone calls to the house were for him.
All of the other Cockatiels we have had over the years have also been really well mannered and friendly, because they have always gotten a lot of handling from the time they were young. You do have to socialize them a lot or they can be a bit aggressive. However, if you are looking for a pet to spend time with and interact with, this is a great bird! I have a friend who has a cockatiel that tries to eat her breakfast every morning! They are very curious animals and they learn very fast! Unfortunately, Runt passed away when I was in high school but he will always be a shining example to me of how wonderful cockatiels can be as pets. They are loyal companions who will become attached to you just like a dog or cat would! A great animal!