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Flit the Cockatiel

Updated on October 17, 2013

Flit the Cockatiel

Meet Flit! He's our pet cockatiel, and he's a big part of our family. Flit has been with us now for ten years. He came to live with us when he was just a baby. Flit was named after the hummingbird in Disney's "Pocahontas". That just happens to be one of my favorite Disney animated movies.

However, over the years, he's acquired a couple of new names. First, he was "Flit", and then that turned into "Flitterbon". Don't even ask! *smile* Then his name just got shortened to "Bon"!

Flit also has several aliases, as he has quite a few moods! My favorite alias would have to be "Bon Pooter"; that's what we call him when he's "in a mood". We got it from Johnny Depp's "Secret Window", where his alias was "John Shooter" - his "bad side". Yep! You guessed it, that's Flit's "bad mood" name!

Oh! And yes, he is moody! Anytime we take him to be groomed, he pouts! Yes, he literally pouts! He doesn't like it when he can't fly upon my bathroom counter and talk to himself in the mirror. He's a real mess!

He doesn't talk, but he does have his whistles. It makes you feel pretty good when you walk by, and he whistles at you like you're pretty! I usually reply with a, "Well thank you!". He gets pretty loud at times, and he can drive me absolutely crazy. But...he has his moments when he has his soft chirps that are sweet and peaceful. And he loves lullabies. I play soft music for him at night when we're going to sleep, and he'll start his soft chirps. His favorite song, probably because it's the first one we sang to him when he came to live with us, is "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes". Sing that to him, and he'll chirp every time!

So what can I tell you about cockatiels and why they're a good pet...well, let's find out!

Where Do Cockatiels Come From?

Cockatiels are a part of the cockatoo family, and they are native to Australia. In fact, they are now considered the smallest of the cockatoo family. They typically like the wetlands, scrublands, and bush lands of Australia. They can always be found near sources of water and food. And they can usually be found in pairs or flocks.

(Courtesy of

The Cockatiel Handbook

What Do Cockatiels Eat?

As with any bird, Cockatiels eat seeds. The most common seed mixes can be found at your local pet store. Some of the seeds included in the mix are safflower seeds, sunflowers seeds, milllet, zupreem, and more. However, cockatiels should be fed more natural foods, as well. Foods such as: broccoli, kale, lettuce, mangos, and apples are very healthy for your cockatiel. The healthier your cockatiel, the healthier his feathers will look.

Cockatiels Behavior

As you get to know your cockatiel, you'll learn that he has certain mannerisms. Just like us, you can usually tell how a cockatiel is feeling. How? By the long crest feathers on top of his head. As our facial expressions might tell one how we're feeling, the same goes for the cockatiel by the look of his crest feathers.

If his crest feathers are laying down, then your cockatiel will be quiet and content. Another sign of his contentment are small chirps, grinding his beak, fluffing his feathers, or standing on one foot. Bon is often contented when he sits on our shoulder, or when we play soft music (his lullabies) for him.

If his crest feathers are upright, he's most likely in his curious mode. Cockatiels are very curious, so you will likely see this quite often in your bird.

If his crest feathers are straight up and slightly forward, then your bird may be frightened or alarmed about something. He will often shriek at you and look around anxiously. And the slightest thing can frightren your bird from loud noises to sudden movement. Bon, for instance, is scared of his own small feathers if one becomes detached from his body when he's preening or grooming. Needless to say, this is when he's called "Chicken Bon". *smile*

If his crest feathers are laid straight back against his head, then your cockatiel is agitated or mad. In this mode, he will usually try to bite, attack, or hiss at you. At this stage, he will usually do one of two things - either take flight or fight you.

These are just a few of the ways a cockatiel will conduct himself.

Best Buddies

Many people have told us that cockatiels are afraid of children and don't like being around them. And that may be true of children who are just visiting our home; however, as you can see here, Bon loves my grand-daughter, Bree. They are best buddies! When she leaves the room, he starts shrieking. That's another trait of cockatiels, as they don't want to be abandoned. So it's best to call out to him from another room in the house to let him know that we're still around. He also loves my other grand-daughter, Carlie. I'll try to get a pic of her with Bon the next time she comes over. When Carlie and her mother, Jessie call, they often want to talk to Bon on the phone. He just listens, and then he usually starts chirping to talk back to them. Bon is a very big part of our family, and we look forward to many more years with our precious pet!

Cockatiel Beanies

Ty Beanie Babies - Kuku the White Cockatiel
Ty Beanie Babies - Kuku the White Cockatiel

Delight your "bird lover" friends with this adorable little beanie!


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    • CharMarie profile image

      CharMarie 4 years ago

      @IreneL11: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for visiting me!

    • CharMarie profile image

      CharMarie 4 years ago

      @LauraHofman: Thank you! It's really amazing sometimes when you're holding him or he's on your shoulder, and you have to stop and think, "He's a bird!". :)

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Bon is one handsome boy! I've never had a bird as a pet. Thanks for sharing Bon's story!

    • profile image

      IreneL11 4 years ago

      Beautiful lens.

    • Old Navy Guy profile image

      Old Navy Guy 4 years ago

      I always enjoy hearing of someone's passion for a pet. Thanks for a fun and interesting read

    • CharMarie profile image

      CharMarie 4 years ago

      @Zdiddle: Oh, you'd do just fine! I actually hold Bon up against my chest and stroke his back! He lets me do it for a bit before he gives me a little nibble to let me know that's enough! *smile* Thanks so much for visiting my lens! Hugs!

    • Zdiddle profile image

      Zdiddle 4 years ago

      I considered getting a cockatiel, but it seemed like such a larger commitment than my cats. I guess I'm not worried about crushing them or forgetting to let them out of their cages.

    • CharMarie profile image

      CharMarie 4 years ago

      @steadytracker lm: Thank you for visiting my lens! I appreicate it!

    • steadytracker lm profile image

      steadytracker lm 4 years ago

      Thank you for entering this lens in the 2013 Squidoo County Fair.

    • CharMarie profile image

      CharMarie 4 years ago

      @JJNW: Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for visiting! Hugs!

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 4 years ago from USA

      I love your adorable photos!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      My sister has birds and says they need a lot of interaction or they can get nasty. She has even taken them to work with her. It takes special people to care for these lovely creatures.

    • CharMarie profile image

      CharMarie 4 years ago

      @Nightcat: Oh! And thank you so much for voting in my poll! It's much appreciated! Hugs!

    • CharMarie profile image

      CharMarie 4 years ago

      @Nightcat: Thank you so much for reading my lens, Nightcat! I really appreciate your feedback! And yes, we learned early on that it's best to let them interact with us humans! :)

    • CharMarie profile image

      CharMarie 4 years ago

      @SusanDeppner: Thank you, Susan! I thought it was cute, too!

    • Nightcat profile image

      Nightcat 4 years ago

      What a wonderful lens, Bon sounds like an awesome guy and I'm glad you showed him being able to leave his cage and interact with people. So many people don't realize a bird needs interaction. I'm also glad you gave such a good profile of these birds so people can know if they will be good companions for the bird.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I really like the cockatiel Beanie. Cute!