What you should know about cockatiels....

  1. Cockatiels are birds. Birds make noise. Male tiels, in particular, like to sing and whistle. If you are in a situation where you cannot live with a noisy bird, consider a female bird, or a goldfish.
  2. Most male cockatiels talk. Some do not. Are you going to love the bird less if it doesn't talk? Consider getting an African Grey, which is said to be the most talkative parrot.
  3. Cockatiels live twenty years or more when cared for correctly. Are you prepared for a long time committment?
  4. Birds are messy.
    • When they bite into a pellet, half the pellet goes into their mouth, the other half whizzes down to the floor. There are things you can buy (such as deep food dishes, seed guards) that will help, but you will still have some mess you need to clean up regularly.
    • Cockatiels produce a fine white dander, which can be helped by a daily or every other day misting. This dust settles on nearby furniture making it look dusty.
    • When cockatiels molt, it makes a mess. Feathers often find their way to the floor. This can help be controlled with a seed guard around the cage.
  5. Cockatiels need fresh water every day.
  6. Handfed cockatiels need to be handled to stay tame. If you lose interest in your bird and don't handle it for weeks or even months, it's not going to be the sweet little bird it was when it was purchased. Cockatiels need attention. If you are unwilling or unable to give it the attention it deserves, you shouldn't own one.
  7. Birds don't like sudden, swift movements. It makes them nervous. This is one reason why small children must be supervised when handling them.
  8. Vets cost money. Medical bills, should the bird become ill or injured, can run into hundreds of dollars. If you can't afford to care for the bird, you shouldn't own one.
  9. NEVER hit your bird. They are delicate creatures, and don't understand this type of punishment. They are, however, adept at understanding facial expressions, so just give them a dirty look.
  10. Birds can bite if threatened, just like any other animal. In the case of handfed birds, it rarely, if ever, causes any pain. Birds that are not tamed and have not been handled can draw blood.
  11. Birds need a varied diet. This means giving it fresh veggies and fruits every few days.
  12. Cockatiels must have a cuttlebone and a mineral block. You can get them at a pet store for $3, combined.