Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder),
Posted Aug 08, 2014
Cockatiels are sweet and engaging little creatures, when trained and handled properly, of course. We had a male and a female. The males are showier - both in appearance and personality - but the female was more affectionate, and more inclined to snuggle happily on the couch with me and watch t.v. We got her when she was very young, so she wasn't hand-shy and enjoyed contact with people, but that doesn't mean she didn't still bite sometimes! Cockatiels will nip if they are startled, or even if they're just having a bad day. They can draw blood, but generally they'll only do that if they REALLY mean to and if they're afraid of humans.
The male came to live with us when he was older and he just never liked to be held the way the female did. But that doesn't mean he didn't love attention. He would whistle and flirt with any ladies who entered the house, and if you turned music on or danced around in front of him, he would bob his head and tap his toes and dance back and forth along his perch.
They both liked to whistle and chirp and mutter to themselves (and occasionally shriek), and they required a healthy supply of toys to keep them busy. They were fascinated by mirrors and shiny objects. Cockatiels are relatively easy to care for but their cages MUST be cleaned regularly and you should monitor the air quality in your home. Birds, especially small ones, can fade quickly and even die when exposed to chemical fumes or cigarette smoke (even non-stick frying pans can be harmful). They enjoy a regular bathing session in a shallow bowl of water, more for the fun of it than for getting clean, I suspect.
Be aware that every bird has a unique personality and although MOST will respond well when handled at an early age, some will just always want their space. Just treat them with respect, patience, and kindness, and I'm sure their happy little presence will be a great addition to your home.