Undoubtedly Cockatiels are wonderful pets. These birds have lovely personalities and each cockatiel has its own unique features, which makes these birds much more interesting.
Any owner of a cockatiel pet will tell you that your feathered friend can rival the anticks of other birds, including other species of parrots (cockatiels are a type of parrot) and their cousin, cockatoos.
The charm and playful characteristics of the Cockatiels make them one of the most popular companion birds in the world. These little heartbreakers are the second most popular pet bird in the world, second only to the parakeets.
With its adorable orange patches on the cheeks, its inquisitive and playful behavior, it’s easy to see why.
A well-managed bird can greet you with kisses, perch on your shoulders while watching television or doing your daily tasks, and even come when called. Many cockatiels can mimic human words. These birds will generally act excited when they see their owners, as a happy puppy would.
There is much to love about these birds. Having one will add joy and laughter to your home, provided your own lifestyle and personality coincide with those of a good owner of a cockatiel pet.
Making An Important Decision
But having a pet cockatiel is right for you? Just as no dog is the perfect combination for any type of dog lover (some are too energetic to live in an apartment, while other dogs do not have the right temperament for young children), not everyone has the lifestyle, time, preferences, and personality that matches that of a responsible cockatiel handler.
Here are several facts to know about Cockatiels to help you decide if you can provide the environment you need to lead a healthy and happy life:
High Energy Level
Cockatiels are undoubtedly active birds. They require a lot of stimulation and can begin to exhibit destructive behavior, such as plucking the feathers, when they get bored too much. You, the owner, must have time each day to spend with your cockatiel. Your activities together could be as simple as watching TV with the bird by your side or spending some time each day reading aloud to your pet.
Because cockatiels are high-energy pets, require a spacious birdcage. The minimum recommended size of the cage should have a dimension of 24 “x 24”. Your bird will need bird toys and pet perches to keep it busy and mentally stimulated.
Long Life spam
Having a pet cockatiel means making a commitment that spans more than a decade or even more. When held in captivity, these birds can live for an average period of 15 to 20 years. Sometimes it can be as short as 12 years, it is still a long time to commit to a pet! There are reports of Cockatiels that lived for 30 years and even more.
They Require Bonding And Training
Maybe you are thinking of acquiring a pet cockatiel because you saw a friend’s bird jump on a finger and kiss its owner. Maybe your young child saw a tamed bird on television and is now begging for one of his own.
Keep in mind that cockatiels are intelligent birds with unique personalities. Not all cockatiels behave the same. Also, don’t expect to bring home a new pet cockatiel and make it act as sweet as a purring kitten off the bat. Earning the bird’s trust will take time and patience. In most cases, you must spend hours and hours joining a cockatiel before it begins to behave affectionally.
Some birds even react violently at first, especially in cases of cockatiels older than those who were not taught to bond with humans at an early age.
They Can Bite
Although it is not difficult with time and patience to tame a cockatiel and it is not known that they are aggressive creatures, a cockatiel can bite and the bite can cause minor and even serious injuries. When these birds bite, they usually do it out of fear, not aggression. But since there is a danger of being bitten by a pet that has a sharp beak, it is not advisable for young children to own or handle cockatiels.
Even the sweetest bird can react negatively to the strong grip of a small child who can’t help squeezing the cute bird. ·
Like all birds, cockatiels will leave droppings in their cage at all hours of the day. This means that you, the pet owner, must have enough time each day cleaning your cage to keep your bird’s rooms free of germs. Cockatiels are also playful enough to toy with their food, spilling enough particles in the process. This means that you will have to clean the cage in the same way that a parent would do the feeding area of a small child. Make sure you have the time and patience to keep your pet’s cage clean every day since a dirty cage can make any animal get sick easily.
Sounds They Emit
It is not known that Cockatiels learn human words as fast as some species of parrots, there are exceptions, of course, since each bird is different, but they can still be small and noisy housemates.
These pets can scream, whistle or imitate our sounds. Only get a pet cockatiel if you’re fine with a pet that makes a little noise. Don’t worry, it’s not as loud and annoying as a howling puppy.
Unless you have a neighbor with ultrasensitive hearing, most Cockatiels that are kept indoors will not generate noise complaints.
Once you have considered these important points and are convinced that a cockatiel can be the right pet for you and your home, read on to discover more about these fascinating birds.
Appearance Of Cockatiels
Cockatiel breeders over the years have found ways to breed them in unique colors. Today, these birds come in many lovely color mutations and have more colorful feathers than their original counterparts decades and centuries ago.
Now you can choose cockatiels in a wide range of hues. Some have gray feathers, while others are yellow, soft brown, white, and silver. There are some breeders selected with green mutations.
In addition, the marks of these birds also vary. Some Cockatiels have marks on different parts of the body, while others come in solid colors, such as a totally white variety or with solid pearl hues. Many Cockatiels become more adorable thanks to the cheeks of orange, yellow, white, peach, or gray.
You can find Cockatiels with unique appearances, such as the cinnamon pearl pied whitefaces. These birds have mostly white feathers, in addition to a light brown shade of cocoa around their wings.
They may also have patches on their bodies. Some of these patches may appear in a lace-like pattern known as pearl marks. Female Cockatiels that appear in this way generally have light brown cheek patches, while their male counterparts generally have completely white faces and no cheek patches.
Cockatiels have an average length of approximately 14 inches and generally weigh between 75 and 120 grams, although it is not unusual for some well-fed pets to weigh up to 200 grams.
Interesting Facts About Cockatiels
Cockatiels are very sociable birds. This means that they not only enjoy the company of their owners and fellow cockatiels but also need company. A lonely cockatiel can act destructively, get depressed and even get physically sick.
As long as they have not been mistreated and handled by humans at an early age, Cockatiels are sweet, docile, and playful. These birds are not intended to be placed in a cage simply to be seen or admired from afar. They love being talked to, played, and touched.
The Cockatiels will try to attract attention by singing, climbing through the bars of the cage, running from side to side, singing, showing their feathers, and exhibiting other behaviors that attract attention. They can even start hitting their toys and screech if they don’t get the company they need.
Show affection for your pet Cockatiel by rubbing its head, singing or talking to it, and taking it out of the cage when ready. It is not unusual for these birds to correspond their touches when raising their eyebrows, for instance, or when giving soft pecks with their beak.
As they are sociable birds even in the wild, Cockatiels enjoy eating with the other members of the family, and this includes their human family. Try to include your cockatiel in so many activities at home, as long as it is safe to do so (never leave them alone without supervision with small children or other pets such as dogs and cats).
Keep your bird by your side while surfing the Internet, let it pose on your shoulders while watching your favorite TV show, or enjoy eating together.
Cockatiels are intelligent birds. While their intelligence is an attractive feature that makes them more fun and interesting, being smart also mean that Cockatiels need a lot of mental stimulation from their surroundings and from you, their handler. Unhappy birds may exhibit behaviors like nibbling and plucking their own feathers, even to the point of being stripped bare.
When Cockatiels are ignored for too long or too often, they are prone to loneliness and depression. And what happens when this bird gets too depressed? It can go as far as refusing to eat and starve. That is what the company and mental stimulation mean for a cockatoo.
As a responsible owner, it is important to keep bird toys in the cage of your Cockatiels. Choose colorful toys, as they attract the bird more than the simple ones. But experience since each bird is unique.
Tip: Be sure to leave a variety of toys, but allow your pet to play only with safe toys. Toys for other animals, such as cats, may be inappropriate and dangerous for your cockatiel. Often check your pet’s toys for signs of wear. Discard any broken toys to prevent your Cockatiels from being damaged. These birds usually enjoy toys that can destroy or chew. Other excellent options are bird toys that they can throw with their beaks or pull apart.
As long as you keep a cockatiel happy by providing a lot of mental stimulation and company, expect these birds to be entertaining. Even simple acts like watching your pet eat, wash, groom, and play with toys, it can be a lot of fun for you.
Many Cockatiels can be taught tricks such as ringing a bell on demand, pulling specific toys, and climbing stairs. Being a member of the parrot family, Cockatiels can be taught to imitate human words, although keep in mind that these birds are not the ones that learn the fastest, especially when compared to other types of parrots such as gray African.
Cockatiels can also learn to sing and imitate non-human sounds, such as the doorbell of their home phone. Expect the sound of a cockatoo to sound more muted and unclear than those emitted by larger parrots.
The ability to talk about Cockatiels is related to the male hormone testosterone. Due to this correlation between bird speech and testosterone, male cockatiels are more likely to speak and imitate sounds than their female counterparts.
While some females learn to speak, the chances of a male cockatiel talking are significantly greater. And how does a talking Cockatiels sound? These birds generally prefer to use feminine and sharp voices.
Expect your pet cockatiel to be quite vocal, especially as soon as they get up in the morning or when they are about to sleep at night. Being sociable creatures, they like to say “good morning” and “good night” to their flock, which means that you and anyone else living in the same house.
The Cockatiels will be very loud if you leave them alone for a while. As soon as you get home, your pet will most likely greet you out loud. It is their way of communicating: it is as if they were letting you know how happy they are to see you return.
Do not end up frustrated as a pet owner with a Cockatiel that misbehaves. For example, if your cockatiel screams and you come running to its cage to see what it wants, this tells your bird that the screams are effective and will continue to exhibit squeaky behavior to get you closer every time.
The bird will begin to think that the screams act as a “remote control.” To prevent this from happening, don’t give in to the demands of your bird when it screams or does other unattractive things like hitting its toys hard to get attention.
Potential For Fright
Cockatiels experience feelings of fear like any other pet. The things that most alarm these birds include loud noises and voices, and also sudden movements. When they are afraid, these birds can react aggressively. They tend to bite, hiss or scream. Some birds may turn away instead, such as turning their back towards you or any other source of their fear. It is also not uncommon to find a scared Cockatiel hidden in the bottom of a cage.
Because we cannot avoid certain things that scare these birds, such as loud noises, it is advisable to provide your pet with places where it can hide in its cage. One way to do this is to have a cage.
One way to do this is to have a cage with corners so that your Cockatiel can hide in one of the corners every time it feels threatened. Another thing you can do is put the cage in a place away from the noise. You can try to place your cockatiel’s cage against a wall, away from corridors, doors, windows, and television.
As mentioned earlier, Cockatiels are prone to experience what is called “night frights.” These scares usually occur when something wakes the bird while sleeping at night, which makes it feel extremely surprised.
A bird that goes through one of these episodes will usually begin to flap its wings quickly in an effort to fly away from whatever is causing fear. There is a possibility of danger when night scares occur because your pet Cockatiel can end up with a damaged wing.
It can hit anything, be it cage bars, toys, and other objects, while the bird vigorously waves its wings out of fear. One way to help avoid night frights is to leave a soft nightlight near your pet’s cage. Turn on this light every day as soon as it gets dark in the room.
Source Of Stress
In addition to loud noises, there are other sources of stress for Cockatiels. These are birds in a bad mood that generally do not like change. They love the routine, probably because the routine explains safety.
Even minor changes such as changing the color of the curtains in the room where your cockatiel lives can stress it. Many pet owners notice that their Cockatiels get stressed when the owner uses a new cologne. Some Cockatiels dislike strangers so much that they will scream when an unknown person visits them.
Birds can act aggressively even after the visitor leaves. These pets don’t like it when you change routines at home either. When Cockatiels are stressed, their immune system is compromised, which increases the risk of becoming physically ill through infections and other diseases.
In addition, unhealthy, malnourished, and stressed birds can get sick if their cage is in an area with drafts. Spots with moving air tend to provide these birds with an environment with constantly changing temperatures, in addition to varying temperatures in different areas of the cage.
Most birds cannot withstand a temperature drop of 10 or more degrees Fahrenheit in a 24-hour period. A Cockatiel that experiences rapid temperature drops can become seriously ill.
Keeping your pet bird well-nourished and without stress makes them less likely to get sick from drafts. But even a mostly healthy bird can experience stress without you noticing, so it is always better to keep bird cages away from places with drafts in your home.
Tip: How to know if a spot has a draft? Hold a candle and light it in the area. If you see the flame flickering, then it is probably a place with drafts, it is definitely not a good option for the location of your cockatiel cage.
Females V/s Male Cockatiels
Should you get a male or female pet? Is there a difference between the personalities of a typical male cockatiel and that of a female? In general, yes, although there are exceptions.
Remember, no two birds are completely equal in temperament, and this is especially true for intelligent and sociable birds like the Cockatiel.
Female Cockatiels tend to act more nervous than their male counterparts, but they are also more likely to be friendlier and more affectionate than men. It is more difficult to teach a female to speak, but they sing in a charming and friendly way.
Male Cockatiels have larger bodies than females and, like most bird species, they often have more bright and colorful feathers than female cockatiels.
Males can act more aggressively than females and the probability of being bitten is greater with a male cockatiel than with a female.
There is also greater exposure to the hormonal aggressive behavior typical of children, even when no woman is insightful. The good news about male cockatiels is that they sing and talk more. They are surprisingly better in parenting than females. While mummy Cockatiels are responsible for hatching the eggs and caring for their newborns, the males do not leave and abandon the babies.
When experiencing paternity, male cockatiels become very protective of their young, especially in the wild where predators abound. Males can be considered nutritious and warm towards their offspring.
In situations where the cockatiel mother is injured or killed, the father generally intervenes and fulfills his role as a father in a capable and voluntary manner.
An important thing to know if you choose female Cockatiels is that, even without a partner, they are likely to lay unfertilized eggs. These eggs do not house a baby cockatoo and will never hatch.
This may pose a risk to the health of your pet. If she ends up tied to the egg, your Cockatiel may need emergency medical attention from an avian veterinarian. If she lay eggs chronically, you should also take them to a veterinarian.
Costs Of Owning Cockatiel
The cost of having a small bird as a pet can add up quickly. The total price may be more than initially expected. Do not acquire a pet Cockatiel under the false assumption that it will cost less than a cat or dog. Don’t assume it will take less time than other pets.
A cockatiel will need a cage larger than a canary or other smaller companion birds. It will also require more handling and bonding time than many other pets such as a fish or a turtle. These birds will need a constant supply of food, durable toys, and some basic training. Listed below are some of the beginner items you will need for a pet Cockatiel:
- Bird food bag
- Various toys
- Food and water bowls
- Nail clipper
- Travel Carrier
- Cleaning Supplies
The cost that is expected to be spent as the owner of a beginner cockatiel ranges between $300 and $1,000.
Even a relatively cheap bird like a Cockatiel will need a financial commitment from you. Also, consider the additional expenses you will incur during the life of your bird. These will include checkups at the veterinarian’s office, such as psittacosis tests and vaccines, and maybe a microchip.
Other expenses that you must pay for throughout owning a pet Cockatiel are bird seeds and pellets, treats, fruits and vegetables, vitamin supplements, cage and bird cleaning supplies, toys, and routine exams at the veterinarian.
Your cockatiel will usually need vaccinations and wing clippings. Before deciding to bring a Cockatiel back to your home for you and the rest of your family, make a careful decision to determine if you can afford one, both financially and on time.
Do not make an impulse purchase, just to not be able to provide the kind of environment that will keep you and the bird happy and healthy. All types of pets need some time and money.