Rescue / shelter organization,
Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Posted May 05, 2015
Cockatiels are one of the most charming parrots I've ever known. They are the same lively personality of a Cockatoo, in a comfortably smaller, and relatively quieter package. Shrill screeching calls are still a concern for the sound-sensitive person, and as much as I adore these birds, I would not recommend them for an apartment dweller unless you are home for most of the day. When excited, these birds will also happily sing their hearts out - adorable, but deafening when they cuddle up to your ear and belt it out.
As with their larger cousin, the Cockatoo, dust is also a concern. If you have sensitive sinuses, be prepared to dust furniture daily and/or invest in a HEPA filter. Of all the things I wish I'd been told about before owning my first one, this one tops them all. My nose has never run the same way with an indoor aviary full of finches as it did with Cockatiels.
As far as their diet, they are easy to care for, and every aspect of a complete diet is readily available (both seeds, and pellets). Weaning young birds should be done carefully, presenting a wide variety of foods from a young age, as every rescue I've owned and fostered between 2-10 years of age has proven stubborn when I've tried to introduce new foods.
All of them were easy to teach small phrases and whistles to, each listening intently and almost instantly trying to copy the sounds. It's best to try when they're already excited and chattering!
I would suggest these as a first-time bird for people who are ready to take the plunge into the world of parrots, but with much less of the emotional, financial, and lifespan length commitment that most larger parrots require.