Cockatiel – A Beautiful Pet

A cockatiel is, to me, one of the best types of pets a person could have.  I have owned or had a cockatiel or cockatiels in my home since the age of 8. Our first cockatiel literally flew out of the sky, landed on my Dad’s head and never left us.

Once we had our first one, the addiction was there for our family.


Strangely the first cockatiel that we ever owned happened one weekend when we were on our family farm.  

A grey cockatiel flew out of the heavens and landed on my fathers head.  He of course got such a fright and then tried to chase it away, thinking at first it was a pigeon that was making a nuisance of itself.

Well, that first cockatiel that we named Zanadu decided that my Dads shoulder was the place to be and they developed a seriously good relationship over the years.  

I remember Zanadu was not a very friendly cockatiel, and he would try to bite and hiss at any of the other members of the family that tried to come near, but he absolutely adored my father. He must have come from a home where he only had one owner.

Once we established nobody was advertising a missing cockatiel, we got him a cage and he moved in as a permanent member of our family.  He would get sooooo excited each time my dad came back from work.  He would jump up and down in his cage, start whistling and say "hello pretty boy."  He would never react the same to anybody else in the family, much as we tried.

We then decided to get him a mate.  Her name was Zooander and although they bickered from time to time, they both got along fine.  Later when Zooander also started saying “hello pretty boy,” we realized the that she was actually, a he, as female cockatiels don’t talk.

Zooander was tamed and turned out to be the perfect family cockatiel.  He let everybody in the house carry him around, and never bit or hissed at us.  I still have many childhood photographs where there is a cockatiel sitting on one of our shoulders.

Cockatiels make wonderful pets, even for children, although the little ones will need supervision.

“Imagine if you will the most creative, energetic, and affectionate kitten or puppy you’ve ever experienced. Then add wings. – Love and Feathers” 

Shannon Cutts, Love & Feathers: what a palm-sized parrot has taught me about life, love, and healthy self-esteem

So, Why A Cockatiel

  • They have wonderful personalities once you get to know them, and each one is different.
  • They love to socialize with humans and other birds, and you can normally put them in a aviary together with other birds as they are not aggressive by nature.
  • They are easy to care for.  All they need is a cage, fresh seed, food and water each day, and every few days you need to clean out the bottom of the cage, which is easy if you layer with grouting paper or layers of newspaper.
  • They are inexpensive pets in comparison to dogs or cats, and if well cared for and kept out of drafts, they never get sick.  Vet bills are minimal.
  • They can be trained to do tricks and talk if you have about 20 minutes a day to spare.  They have the brain capacity of a two year old child, so are pretty clever.
  • If you go away it is easy to give the cage to a friend to care for them, or you can take them with you.
  • They are not as noisy as other parrot varieties.  Their noisiest times are mornings before they are fed, and early evenings.
  • They are clean, as they constantly preen their feathers.  Most of them enjoy a bath, or being sprayed lightly with a spray bottle.

So who knows, if that first cockatiel had never flown out of the skies, I probably would have never known about the joys of owning a owning a cockatiel.


  1. My four year old boy had been asking for a pet and cockatiels seem like one of the ideal choices. Since I am very busy and trying to save money, cockatiels seem more convenient than pets that need aquariums or constant care. I love how your article is easy to read as well!

  2. I remember when I was a kid I wanted a cockatiel. The fact that they can kind of talk and the way they look i dont know what it was. This is a great website that actually got me nostalgic for a while there. In the end my parents weren’t having it, but I’m going to look through your site some more ha!

    1. Surprised your parents wouldn’t let you have your cockatiel. After all, it is easier to care for than a dog.

  3. I’ve always thought birds were beautiful pets. But my cousins had birds when I was little and they were SO noisy it drove me crazy! You say that cockatiels aren’t as noisy as other birds. But what sort of sounds do they make and how loud and consistent are they? I don’t mind the few birds outdoors I hear in the mornings that are calm and have chirps that aren’t constant.

    1. Well most of the ones I have had only call in the mornings once they are uncovered, until they get their food, and in the evenings at around five, but it is not as loud as a parrot. They also get excited if they hear other birds.

  4. That’s an amazing story about the cockatiel that adopted your dad, You have to wonder where he came from. Clearly he was used to humans and probably a man human at that. When I lived in Mill Valley California, my neighbor fostered rescued cockatiels. She had one that was very noisy and issues with abandonment.

  5. All I can say is do not under estimate the level of noise cockatiels’ make. Their whistle is considerably louder than the majority of native garden birds (European) and it is of a nature & frequency unfamiliar with our ears hence it stands out more as an alarm call. In my opinion the noise is really unpleasant.

    If you like the noise then fair enough, perhaps you grew up with it, but just make sure that absolutely none of your neighbours can hear it – i.e. don’t leave them in a cage outside like our neighbours and refuse to move them. It is so selfish to keep any sort of noisy pet and expect your neighbours to have to put up with it. Just because they haven’t complained doesn’t mean they don’t like it – some people just aren’t the complaining type because they don’t want to fall out with people.

    Please, before you buy a cockatiel or any noisy bird for that matter, consider if your neighbours can hear it, if they can and they will mind, then you shouldn’t buy that animal. Think about other people as well as your own desire for a pet bird.

    1. Thanks for pointing this out Tori. I have never been particularly bothered by the noise as they only really make a noise in the morning and sometimes early evening in my experience, and I have had much louder birds in the past.

      But you have a point, and it can be irritating to people who aren’t used to it.

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