Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
South Bend, Indiana, United States
Posted Dec 16, 2018
The way I ended up with a cockatiel is a bit of a funny story: a friend of mine in school asked me if I wanted one or knew someone who might-out of the blue! Turns out that a cockatiel had randomly flown into their backyard, landed on her dad's head, and refused to leave. They searched all over the neighborhood but were never able to find her owner. I wasn't seeking out a cockatiel for a pet by any means, but as what seems to happen with many pets, she chose me.
I kept her solo in a rather large cage. She loved to sing along to the TV, the radio, or even the phone when it rang (okay maybe more like shriek along to the phone). I tried to teach her words, but she never caught on, probably because she wasn't exactly juvenile.
Cockatiels are a really nice pet, and it would be nice to have another one some day. They are pretty easy for regular care: food, water, enrichment (just buy toys from the pet store). They are a good pet for someone that wants something a little more involved than a parakeet but isn't ready to commit to a larger bird, such as an African gray, macaw, or Amazon parrot.
As always it's good to have an exotics veterinarian in the rolodex because they can have some potential complications: for example, when I worked at an emergency clinic we would see birds come in that were "egg-bound"-meaning an egg is trapped within the poor bird.
Overall a cockatiel is a great pet and a neat little bird. Like companion animals, these birds do live a decade or more so be prepared to take care of one for the long-term.