Acquired: Pet store
Posted Jun 11, 2014
Some of the most vivid memories of my childhood were with my mother's cockatiel. I remember my father giving it to her for her birthday. I thought he was the coolest bird ever: smaller than a parrot and vibrantly colored, but not in a bold, coloring-book sort of way. He had an enormous cage, because these birds need lots of space. I remember believing that he was one of the smartest, most amazing creatures on earth: He could roam our house and play on his bird-sized playground as he pleased and supposedly, he could learn to talk.
I was a quiet and serious 8-year-old, not the type to frighten animals. I would watch them quietly, and when allowed, I would pet them. I was gentle and I loved animals. So it came as quite a shock on the first day with my mother's new pet when it spun it's head around and bit me- hard! But it was only it's first day. Maybe it was scared and I got too close.
The next two months though were marred with random bird attacks. If that bird had ever learned to mimic, I never heard it. The second I'd come in the room, the bird would begin to make a horrible screeching sound. And if I were walking through what was once our family room (now the bird's domain), that bird would flap it's wings and try to peck at me. It enjoyed my mother's company just fine.
We only had the bird a few months and it's the only cockatiel we ever owned, so I can't say if this is typical cockatiel behavior or if we just had an inordinately crazed one. Based on my limited experience though, my inclination is to believe that cockatiels are probably most well-suited for adults with very predicable, calm environments. I would not recommend cockatiels as a bird suitable for families with young children.