Montana, United States
Posted Feb 02, 2009
I adopted my first cockatiel almost 3 years ago. At the time I didn't know he had only just been weaned and he was only 8 weeks old. He didn't know how to eat and me, being an inexperienced bird owner had no idea. He died in 2 weeks. I then returned to the store and my mom was furious with the people there. They ended up giving us another cockatiel that was the opposite extreme. He had been in the store for 2 years. Although he had been handfed, he forgot about people. I kept him for a little while, but he was very agressive and I had no idea how to train him. I had also got a free budgie from the store and my mom said we were taking them both back and getting a NICE cockatiel. By that time I wasn't sure I wanted a bird anymore. There were only 5 cockatiels left. Most of them were skittish, but pretty. A worker came up and pointed out the friendliest one. It was the smallest, scruffiest, saddest little bird there. He was the only one that would step-up. And he crawled right up my arm. I didn't decide to take him home, he made me. I wasn't too sure still about having a bird. After owning him for a week, we began to get to know each other. He began to grow in his beautiful yellow and orange face feathers and he began to fill out. He is now to this day the most adorable cockatiel I have ever met. He also has so much personality!! He is charming and sweet and totally devoted to me. Phelix, along with many cockatiels learned the wolf whistle and he used to know lots more, but my mom stopped working on the whistling, so he forgot. He did learn the sound my mom would make to call my dog. Once she ran off and we were all calling for her and all of a sudden he piped up and started whistling for her! I was so proud I forgot the dog! I attempted to teach him to say "pretty boy". I would practice with him and he turned it into a whistle! Finally, one day my mom was mowing the lawn and he liked the noise so much, he got excited and began whistling and actually said pretty boy, clear as a bell. He forgot that too. So, cockatiels aren't the best talkers in general. I did teach Phelix to bow for head rubs and to go over a tiny jumping course that I had originally built for model horses :) As far as a great companion goes, cockatiels can not be beat! I love cockatiels and they are not expensive to care for at all! Much less than a larger parrot without the massive size, but all the personality! Last, these make good family birds because cockatiels for the most part don't bite hard. It can pinch, but thats beter than getting your finger bit off by a macaw! Although, I don't reccomend any bird for young birds because they live a very long time and my sister teases Phelix and he HATES her. Overall, you can't go wrong with a cockatiel!