Posted Oct 03, 2014
I received my Cockatiel as a young bird from an aviary which had a few too many birds and was trying to find them good homes. After taking him home, I found him very friendly and sociable, and he soon became a fixture on my shoulder as I walked around the house. He would ride along (and occasionally leave little droppings on my shirt) as I did chores, and was a good companion with only the occasional bit of ear-nipping to complain about. He would also love to tear apart any paper he could get his beak on, so I had to be careful to make sure he didn't get access to anything important. Unfortunately, after I'd had him a year I left to teach English in Asia and had to leave him with my family for a year. While I was gone, he would fly to high places and refuse to go back in his cage, so my family were forced to leave him in his cage most of the time and he wasn't out much. As a result, when I returned he'd become unsociable and despite being happy to see me, he would bite and become aggressive very easily, so I couldn't play with him very much anymore. He is still alive today, 14 years after getting him, and a very active and sociable bird that wants to know about everything that's going on and will interact with people, but will nip if fingers go in the cage. If you get a cockatiel, be aware that they require regular socialization if you want them to be part of the family, and may need their wings clipped if you have lots of high places for them to perch. He never did learn to speak, either. But some do, and some don't.