Acquired: Pet store
Posted Jun 15, 2015
When I was a young girl and finishing the fifth grade, my parents through that it would be a good idea to buy me a feathery friend. And they were right. During that time, everything in my life was about to change: my family had just recently moved fourteen hours away from our longtime hometown, I was about to enter middle school, and I would be forced to make new friends.
Charlie the Cockatiel was the stability that I truly needed at that point in my life. He was sweet, affectionate, and loved to be pet. Oftentimes after school, I would watch TV with him perched on my shoulder, and if he was particularly good, I would let him run around on the carpet as he played with his toys.
He also was an extremely fast learner. Within three months, we trained him how to say simple phrases such as "Pretty Birdy," "Who's a good birdy?," and how to whistle the Andy Griffith theme song. Sometimes, when I would play the piano, he try to sing along and harmonize with me. He was an adorable bird who thrived under attention.
However, Charlie's love of attention also came with an inherent neediness. When I returned to school, because I was out of the house for at least eight hours a day, it was difficult to give him the same level of attention that he had grown accustomed to. He became very clingy, and would frequently screech at the top of his lungs whenever I or other family members would leave the room. If guests visited and they appeared to detract our attention from him, he would hiss at them. It broke my heart to see my "Pretty Birdy" in such a state of distress, but it was impossible to constantly satisfy his emotional needs.
When Charlie passed away in 2008, although a small part of me was relieved to no longer deal with his more volatile side, I also felt that I had lost a dear friend. Despite his flaws, Charlie was a funny and friendly bird. I would recommend a cockatiel for any bird-lover looking for companionship, but would also caution you to consider where this bird would fit into your lifestyle. If you have a full-time job or other commitments that will limit the amount of attention you can share with your cockatiel, you may want to look for a different pet.