Welcome to the wonderful world of cockatiels! For many people, cockatiels are their introduction
to the fascinating hobby of birdkeeping. Some people move on to larger parrots after they become comfortable with caring for a cockatiel, while others specialize in raising cockatiels in pairs or small flocks. Still others show their cockatiels and achieve recognition for their birds’ abilities to perform well in front of bird show judges.
My first encounter with cockatiels was a bird named Stanley. Stanley eyed me curiously with one bright black eye from inside the small pet carrier. He was a young cockatiel on his way to Texas with a friend of mine. I had agreed to help socialize him to strangers before he made his big trip from the breeder’s house to his new home.
I bent down by the carrier and talked to him softly, and he chirped a reply. My friend asked if I wanted to take him out of the carrier, which I did. I carefully opened the lid and Stanley hopped right out. I offered Stanley my hand as a perch. Again, he gave a careful look with one eye, then the other. After deciding it looked like a safe, sturdy place to sit, he climbed onto my finger. Stanley soon made his way up my arm and was nuzzling my neck. My appreciation for curious, affectionate cockatiels had begun.