When considering Cockatiels, you are probably wondering if they are a good first bird to have. Considering all the options when having a pet bird is important, and you want to make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.
Are Cockatiels Good For Beginners? Cockatiels are not hard to take care of making them a good option for beginners. They like all other birds, need the basics, a properly sized cage, a well-balanced diet, water, and lots of attention. They are easy to tame and they are relatively quiet compared to other birds.
The real question is, are you the right owner for a cockatiel? We are going to spend the next few paragraphs breaking that down for you so you can make an educated decision.
Are Cockatiels Easy to Keep?
When deciding to get a pet of any kind it is always important to know what you are getting yourself into. You don’t want to get the bird and then find out you don’t like animals flying around your home because birds, if they have two good wings, will be healthier when they are given space to fly.
What To Expect When You Get A Cockatiel
In general, keeping birds as pets requires special equipment and supplies like a cage, specific toys, etc. But like any other species of animal, the cockatiel is a unique bird and has its instinctual habits. In this section, we put together a list of broad predictions about your cockatiel’s behavior.
They Live a Long Time
When comparing to the life span of another household pet cockatiels can live quite some time. In the wild, they can live up to 14 years but a captive cockatiel can live to be 36 years old. This isn’t as much of a commitment as the Macaw, which have been known to live as long as sixty years or more, but it is something to consider.
Are you getting this cockatiel as a gift for your teenager who will be likely off to college in a few years?
If so then you need to consider whether or not you want to take care of it for the next 36 years. If you love birds like me then you won’t give it a second thought but, if you plan on traveling a lot when you become an empty nester or making any big lifestyle changes consider that.
What about older pet owners? Will someone be willing and able to care for your bird if something happens to you? These are questions you have to ask yourself when you get a bird. Unlike a goldfish, cockatiels stick around for a while.
They Are Loud
Some of us can tune out loud noises while others are not. Owning a cockatiel, at times, can be similar to owning a beagle. Both of these animals are loud when they want to get your attention and can be rather persistent if their needs are not met as quickly as they like.
I have owned both and cockatiels are unique in the way that they like to become a part of the conversation. So, if you are on the phone or an online meeting your bird will hear the discussion and jump in. When he thinks he’s not being noticed his chatter will become loud pitched chirps that will make the person on the other end ask, “Do you have a bird?”
That has happened to me on many occasions and, it wasn’t until it was brought to my attention that I noticed how loud he was being, because I have learned to tune it out. It is important to mention that you should never ignore those loud chirps because sometimes they require more food, not feeling well, or just wants some cuddles.
They Poop in the House
Indoor cats use a litter box. Some dogs use pee pads when they can’t get outside. Typically birds will poop in their cage and it will land on the liner that you put in there. If you have a bird that can’t fly then that will be the extent of the poop, for the most part.
If you plan on giving your cockatiel room to fly around your home then you should expect some poop around your home. Our bird was a rescue with two broken wings so the only pooping he does outside of his cage is when we take him out to sit on our knee. But birds that fly to the top of paintings or rafters will likely poop while out of the cage.
This means you will need to continually check these areas and be aware of where you are walking and putting your food when they are flying around. It’s not an issue if you keep up with it like any other duty like cleaning a litter box or replacing some pee pads, but you need to consider the extra work before purchasing.
They Are Individuals
While the other expectations might seem like they were put there to scare you out of getting a cockatiel that couldn’t be further from the truth. We are just making sure you know what you are getting involved with, and this also goes for their personalities.
Just as no two humans are the same, no two cockatiels are identical, neither physically or where their personality is concerned. Our cockatiel can’t fly but he will jump off my shoulder without hesitation if he wants to get down. I don’t know if he is trying to fly instinctually but at times he seems fearless.
Our niece has two cockatiels who can fly and they have their little personalities too. Be prepared that this bird is going to have wants, needs, feelings, and emotions. Once you are, you’ll make a great bird parent.
They Take Time To Bond
Bringing a cockatiel home isn’t the same as a new puppy or kitten. It’s not even the same as bringing home a rescue dog or cat of adult age. A dog, unless completely frightened, will take to humans quickly and form a bond. This behavior became instinctual over time as dogs became domesticated and less wild in our society.
Cat’s might take longer than dogs but they typically cozy up pretty quickly. Cockatiels are not as easy to trust as their furry counterparts.
For example, I met my cockatiel when I met my partner. He had already bonded with his bird and, when we lived apart, his cockatiel would not let me hold him. It wasn’t until after a year of living together that our little guy finally let me take him out of his cage.
You may feel anxious to get close right away, and some birds that don’t already have a strong bond with another person or cockatiel will be open to a new connection. If it takes time though, don’t get disappointed. After time your cockatiel will bond with you and you’ll live happily ever after.
Is It Better to Have 1 or 2 cockatiels?
Cockatiels like to bond and crave companionship, so it’s always better to have someone to keep your friend company. The upside is you’ll have two new friends.
Is It Okay to Just Have One Cockatiel?
But, two are twice the work so they can live alone. Just be prepared to keep them company more often since a solitary bird has more opportunity to feel lonely. Mirrors are great alternatives if two is too many.
Cockatiels require a bit more responsibility than some other pets but they are less expensive in the long run and they teach us a lot that people who favor furry friends will never understand. In the bird world, they are one of the simplest and easiest avian pets you can find.