Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Jan 27, 2015
Nanners, my Cockatiel, has been my personal sidekick for over a year now. I absolutely adore this little bird and he makes it very clear that he loves me just as much as I love him.
Having trained multiple species of birds, I can say that cockatiels, while not the easiest birds to train, are very smart and will pick up what you teach them if given the proper attention. Cockatiels love to mimic their surroundings and require constant stimulation to be happy, healthy and lovable.
As with many birds, the first command taught should be the "step-up!" command. (more information found here - https://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=15+1795&aid=2580 )
Teaching your 'tiel to step up will immediately help to create and solidify a bonding relationship between you and your bird. From that point on training a juvenile 'tiel can be a breeze, whereas untrained adults can be a bit more stubborn.
Nanners came to me at the age of three months old, I got him from a friend of mine who breeds birds as a hobby. Nanners received no prior training, but once acclimated to his new environment was very eager to learn. I whistled to him constantly and he started mimicking me after only a week, I was stunned at how fast he picked up. Now, being over a year old, he knows over 20 phrases and whistles over ten different songs, not including ones that he makes up on his own!
Cockatiels are generally very friendly if caged alone and given proper stimulation. Nanners gets along with all my other animals and family members with relative ease, including my other Cockatiel, Crystal (A four year old female albino). His favorite toy is a simple, small mirror. When I place a mirror in front of him he will immediately begin to talk to and whistle to the 'other bird' in the mirror. His songs are very pleasant to hear and when he talks he says phrases as clear as a small bird can.
Overall I am very pleased with my 'tiel and would recommend one to both new and experienced bird owners. Cockatiels can prove to be very fun birds if taken proper care of. Cleaning the cage is the hardest part of taking care of a cockatiel, as they can be pretty messy at times and require a clean environment.
If anybody has questions about my experience with 'tiels, please leave a comment or message me and I will respond as quickly as possible.