Wondering about a cockatiel as a pet? Here are the top reasons to own a ‘tiel.
Most of the qualities you’d really like in a parrot are found in the gentle, amenable cockatiel. This is truly a bird that can perch on your shoulder safely and meet friends without biting. A cockatiel stays nice into maturity and is a really good size for your abode, even if that’s a studio apartment. Your bird can get plenty of exercise in your home and his cage will fit, too.
Of course there are exceptions, but most young cockatiels are tamable. Even parent-reared birds only need some gentle handling to become your loving pet. Cockatiels generally remain tame once they are. To maintain that sunny disposition, limit adult birds’ exposure to daylight to 10 to 12 hours. Longer days can stimulate hormonal activity, nipping and territoriality.
Cockatiels can usually be kept in apartments without disturbing the neighbors. You may even meet a few more of the neighbors if they’re curious about your bird. A single cockatiel may be noisier than two cockatiels, which will chatter with each other. Females are quieter than males, making only cockatiel calls, whereas males whistle, chortle, drum on their perches and just generally show off. Only male cockatiels have the potential to learn to talk, and that is often not many words or phrases.
Active Social Networks
Cockatiels often charm their owners, who want to share about their birds. There are large circles of cockatiel lovers on the internet and in bird clubs. There are specialty clubs which raise and show cockatiels such as the National and the American Cockatiel Societies, there are Facebook pages for cockatiel lovers, and even one for cockatiel and guinea pig lovers.
Cockatiels often genuinely like to be touched. They will beg you to rub the feathers behind their crest, against the grain of the feathers. They might like their cheeks rubbed, especially on their bright red cheek patch. They like you to scratch and help them unfurl pin feathers on their heads when those come in.
While loving and affectionate, cockatiels appreciate ambient attention, too. They are happy when they’re out of their cage while you pursue a quiet activity like reading, watching TV or studying.
Out & About
Cockatiels make good parrot ambassadors. They are often gentle and personable enough to share with young people in classrooms, story hour at the library or in senior homes. The birds can learn to perch quietly on strangers, and youngsters delight in learning how soft their feathers are — when they know to pet a bird gently. You can easily show others how to care for a bird well by pointing out that your bird eats a good diet, including leafy greens, gets misted occasionally and spends social time with you.
Cockatiels learn to love a varied diet if it is introduced to them when they are weaning and are very young. Offer them seasonal treats like yam, squash and sweet potato, in addition to a nutritionally balanced base diet. Offer them greens daily, and seasonal vegetables. Cockatiels don’t generally like much fruit in their diet. You and your cockatiels can explore the range of veggies at a farmer’s market together, though.
Spoil Your Cockatiel With Toys
Cockatiels appreciate and play with their toys. They have unusual uses for bells, having a penchant for sleeping while wearing them. Cockatiels like to play with movable parts on toys, and appreciate having wood to chew. Like other parrots, cockatiels see color and enjoy multi colored toys. They love to climb ladders and most also appreciate a swing. Be sure to get cockatiel-sized toys for your bird. Toys for budgies are too small and fragile, and toys for larger parrots are either dangerous or frightening.
Cockatiels are gentle, affectionate pets. They fit in small homes and are usually welcome in apartments. You and your cockatiel can have lots of fun interacting with each other; they like to be touched but will also just hang out with you happily. There are many people who appreciate cockatiels, giving you lots of ways to make new friends.