Posted Jul 11, 2014
I was given a little Cockatiel by my grandfather one summer and was instantly turned into a bird person. It was the first parrot I had ever taken care of and learning how to care for him wasn't difficult. We did everything together, from watching television to riding my bicycle around the neighborhood. One time we even took a shower at the same time, him in the sink and me in the tub. We were inseparable. Sadly, one day he realized he could fly because we hadn't gotten his feathers cut, and he took off once the door opened.
I don't blame him. I feel now parrots are animals that should be in the wild. However, if you're still interested in keeping one as a pet, I would definitely recommend having a Cockatiel. Pico was very low maintenance. The biggest issue was cleaning the cage every weekend and that I could do in an hour. These birds are not very messy. In comparison, I had love birds and they were little piglets! Every time they ate, they'd drop half of the food to the floor. Pico didn't dirty the house half as much as them.
There were a few questionable things. He loved to eat boogers and pick people's pimples, and he'd poop on your shoulder if he stayed there long enough, but he was a real buddy. He'd be with me from sunrise to sunset, as long as I'd have him on me.
Having a bird might gross some people out, but I say just throw on a shirt you don't mind throwing away later and hang out with that cheeky little thing as long as you like.
Note: Photo is "Cockateil" by Jim Bendon - Flickr: cockateil. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cockateil.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Cockateil.jpg.