Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Feb 26, 2014
Skully is a mature adult cockatiel that was fortunate enough to spend his first two years in a very large home with cathedral ceilings. He was extremely gentle, friendly and spoke and sang with clarity and enthusiasm. Skully was the first bird that I'd known in captivity, and the massive amount of love that would pour from that tiny bird was humbling to everyone.
Although I'm writing in past tense, Skully is still alive, yet he's an entirely different bird. My parents were forced to downsize their home and around the same time, they adopted a stray cat. Skully was then put into a small cage above the refrigerator, (where the cat couldn't reach), and virtually forgotten about.
Unfortunately the lack of constant attention has turned this beautiful cockatiel into a frightened and aloof bird. He will only allow my mother to change his food dish and simply refuses to come out of his cage at all. Attempting to touch Skully is likely to end in bandaids and wounded pride, as he no longer desires any kind of affection and will draw blood in perceived self defense.
Having a cockatiel that was properly cared for and allowed the space to fly was an absolute joy. Although he still talks and sings, keeping him in a cage 24/7 destroyed his spirit and made all of us miserable.
These birds require love, affection and the company of other birds or humans in order to be at their best. Unfortunately, I don't feel that this beautiful breed is suitable for cage life.