Posted Apr 09, 2015
Mr Nibbles is a female, she has coloring that is very similar to a male. Because of this, she had been wrongly sexed. When her previous owner discovered the error, the first phrase he taught Mr. Nibbles was "I am a girl" Female cockatiels do not speak as readily as males, so he worked very hard to teach her. When I bought her, she only knew about 10 phrases.
The key to teaching a bird anything is repetition, and I was very careful to repeat the words that I wanted her to learn many times a day. I didn't want her to learn the telephone sounds, so I put my phone on silent. She did pick up sounds that I made unintentionally, when I was mad at my computer, I would make a groaning noise and she copied it!
She loved to swing in her cage, and would climb to the top of her cage and swing back and forth upside down while chanting all the words she knew. When I would speak sharply to her for some reason, she would be silent and slide down the side of her cage upside down. Here she would stay on her head, facing away, until I scratched her or sang to her!
She is the best lock pick I know. Right now, on her cage is a locking d ring. I fully expect her to figure that one out in the near future. She is very polite when I go inside to clean her cage. She waits patiently while I pile everything into a bag and then she rides on my head for the trip to the trash can outside.
"Mango please" is her favorite phrase. I will place a whole, unpeeled mango in her cage and she will unpeel it slowly, cooing softly. When she is done she will say "seed" loudly and I will take the pit away. Generally well mannered, she does throw the occasional temper tantrum. When I open her cage, and she does not want to come out, she slams the door closed and yells at me. It's hilarious! After 11 years, I don't want her any other way!