How About a Cockatiel Companion?
When one thinks about getting a pet the top two thoughts that come to mind are either a dog or a cat. I love dogs, but I live with my Mom and she did not want another dog after our dog passed away. One day at a neighbor’s house my Mom spotted a cockatiel and she marveled at his beauty and personality. On my birthday I received a cockatiel and he became an instant companion.
All my life we have had parakeets they were always so shy it took a very long time to gain their trust. Cockatiels seem to trust easier. I must admit when I first got him home in his little cardboard box I was afraid to let him out. To me he looked like a big bird, and when they are afraid they spread their wings and hiss. Don’t be intimidated. The cockatiel is just adjusting to his new surroundings and wondering where he is.
If you are considering getting a bird here are some Pros and Cons of having a bird companion
The Cons of Having a Bird Companion
Cockatiels can be a bit messy. They eat over their dish, but for some reason the hulls don’t always land in the dish or in the bottom of the cage. Be prepared to pull out the vacuum a little more often. They sometimes are a bit powdery they leave a powder on the furniture, but if you spray them with a water bottle a little shower for them helps to remedy that.
Cockatiels can be possessive. The pet books said to introduce the bird to more than one member of the family, so they don’t get too attached to one person. My cockatiel Pancho is attached to me. He likes to sit behind my head and he sometimes pulls my hair which is his way of showing his affection, but has me saying “Hey don’t do that you are going to make me bald.”
Cockatiels need to have their cage cleaned regularly. You change their bottom which has bird litter on the bottom a few times a week. Once a month I give the cage a soap and water cleaning as well as the dishes. Scrap the poles as needed. It isn’t that hard to do. You have to walk a dog, and if you have a cat you have to change the litter box, so the cage cleaning is almost equal in comparison.
Cockatiels can be loud at times. Their chirps can be loud especially when they get excited. If I have a conversation on the phone he will sometimes pipe in. If Pancho gets too wound up I will give him a little time out by either closing the door to the room he is in, or I wrap his cage with his towel for a little while. This does the trick and soon he will settle down.
The Pros of Having a Bird Companion
The pros of having a bird companion outweigh the cons. Cockatiels are amazing. They are so smart and learn very quickly. I taught my bird Pancho how to get on my finger and to sit on my shoulder. He knows when I say uppy I want him to get on my finger and he will do it.
Another pro of having a bird companion is a cockatiels ability to talk. They say both the male and female have that ability, but the male is more likely to do it. I taught my bird Pancho how to say “How are you?”, “Hey I’m Pancho”, “Pretty bird”, “What you doing?’, and “What’s that?”, and “Hey Bobo.” The amazing thing is he seems to know just when to say each phrase. If you pull the bottom of his tray out Pancho will say “What you doing?” When he gets out of his cage and flies to see me he will say “How are you?” The trick to getting them to speak is each day repeat a sentence you want him to say for about fifteen minutes or until the bird looks bored. Don’t try and say too many things at once. Wait until he or she can say the one sentence before moving on to another.
Cockatiels have a life span of fifteen years or more. That was great news to hear. The longer the lifespan the better is my feeling.
Cockatiels are entertaining and will bring a smile to your face with their antics. A bird companion will make you marvel at their intelligence, their bigger than life personality, and the love they can have for you. I wouldn’t trade my bird companion for anything. He is my buddy Pancho.