Posted Sep 25, 2014
My family looked after a friend's cockatiel for nearly two years while they were overseas. This bird was so. annoying.
I have experience with budgies, and by comparison a cockatiel is kind of a nightmare unless you are a shut in who is happy to spend all their free time entertaining their bird. They are very intelligent and therefore require constant attention. This bird would get bored of it's toys and choose instead to try and destroy furniture.
It was extremely loud, and had a near perfect imitation of the ringing phone, which cause extreme annoyance in our household when people would run for the phone - that wasn't ringing! I am certain this bird knew it provoked that reaction and did it on purpose just to annoy us and see us run. They're also very messy, both in their cage and when you let them out, and have a tendency to bite fingers.
I think if you were lucky to get a nicer one, and prepared to be a dedicated bird trainer you'd be fine with a cockatiel, but they don't make good family pets in my experience.