Acquired: Pet store
CP 76000, Mexico
Posted Mar 24, 2015
I've been lucky to live with two cockatiels, and as far as I am concerned, they are the royalty of bird pets. I would have a third right this minute if I didn't have three cats, and even with the difficulties that poses, I still think about the possibility. (In point of fact, I had single cats on both earlier occasions when I owned cockatiels, but they were very mellow felines.)
Both my cockatiels were boys, the first named Piper, the second Wordsworth (after the poet). Neither mimicked human speech (which didn't concern me), but both chattered quite pleasantly. Both birds had been hand-reared, which makes all the difference with cockatiels, because when they came to me, they were already exceptionally tame and perfectly used to perching on a human hand.
Cockatiels are the most affectionate and playful little birds you can easily imagine. A well-reared cockatiel will bond with its human companion(s) swiftly. There is nothing my birds liked better than to ride my shoulder, or give me love pecks, or hop around on the table where I was working. I can't think of any kind of pet that has a more cheerful character. Someone who can remain depressed around a cockatiel must be down in the dumps indeed.
I was never bitten by a cockatiel, not once, not even close. Few parrots can match that record. An aggressive or grumpy cockatiel is a pretty rare specimen.
Cockatiels can easily be trained to perform little tricks. In a safe environment, they can be trusted outside their cage a good deal of the time, and they certainly enjoy flight time. They are very curious about other pets, although necessary precautions should be taken in that area.
Like any good pet, a cockatiel needs your time and attention. All parrots thrive on interaction and wither in its absence. In return for your attention, cockatiels reward you tenfold with an extraordinarily high level of companionship and devotion. I don't think there is anything negative to say about them generally (although of course an occasional bird might have a more challenging personality). They are champs.