Posted Sep 13, 2014
Coco, our first cockatiel, was given to me a few years ago (back in 2008) by a friend. I was supposed to take care of the colorful bird for only a few days, which turned into a few weeks and, eventually, my friend decided he really doesn't want Coco anymore.
Unfortunately for this cockatiel, nobody really wanted it. He has had many owners, who kept giving it away until it ended up in our home.
Coco had about 2 or 3 years when I got it. He was quite a wild parrot at first, used to fly away whenever a family member approached it, used to attack or even bite whoever had the guts to try and touch it, he was seriously affected by the fact the previous owners didn't show love and affection.
Coco still has quite a wild personality, but over the years he got used to living in our home and I think he understood the fact he's never changing owners again. He's actually a pleasant presence in my sister's home (she took full responsibility since we grew up and live on our own), which goes to show that cockatiels are quite alright, if you interact with them and show them affection. Also, if they know you well enough and like you, they'll probably enjoy sitting on your shoulder sometimes.
Coco doesn't enjoy sitting in a cage, so most of the time he's free to fly around the house. He isn't much trouble at all, although most birds can be messy if you let them free, Coco has picked out a few favorite spots he usually sits in, so cleaning up after him is no big deal.
The only downside is, if you enjoy your quiet time or if you need to sleep in the morning, then cockatiels are not your ideal pet. They tend to get up early in the morning and start singing. They will also sing loudly and, from what I picked up, tend to communicate with other birds or even dogs if they hear them barking, no caring if it's 6 a.m. on a Sunday.
If you don't mind the noise, then a cockatiel is a great bird to own as a pet. They're easy and not expensive at all to take care of, they don't make a lot of mess (they can even be trained) and they make really good companions.