Although you will probably want to start playing with your new cockatiel the minute you bring him home, please resist this temptation. Your pet will need some time to adjust to his new environment, so be patient. Give your cockatiel a chance to gradually get used to your family. After you set your cockatiel up in his cage for the first time, spend a few minutes talking quietly to your new pet, and use his name frequently while you’re talking. Describe the room he’s living in, or tell him about your family. Move slowly around your cockatiel for the first few days to avoid startling him.
You will be able to tell when your new pet has settled into his routine. By observation, you will soon recognize your cockatiel’s routine and know what is normal. You may also notice that your bird fluffs or shakes his feathers to greet you, or that he chirps a greeting when you uncover his cage in the morning. If your cockatiel learns to talk, he may eventually greet you with a cheery “hello” or “good morning” as you uncover his cage.
Don’t become alarmed the first time you see your cockatiel asleep. Although it seems that your bird has lost his head or a leg, he’s fine. Sleeping on one foot with his head tucked under his wing (actually, with his head turned about 180 degrees and his beak tucked into the feathers on the back of his neck) is normal for many parrots, although it looks a bit unusual or uncomfortable to bird owners. Be aware, too, that your bird will occasionally perch on one leg while
resting the other.
It is very important to have a radio or television on for your cockatiel if you leave him home alone for long periods of time. Although cockatiels have been kept as pets for many years, they still retain many of their wild instincts. In the grasslands of Australia, silence usually indicates a predator is in the area, which can raise a bird’s stress level and may make him more susceptible to illness.
If you have other birds in your home, you will want to quarantine your cockatiel for at least thirty days to ensure he doesn’t have any diseases that your other birds could catch. To do this, you will need to keep your cockatiel as far away from your other birds as possible, preferably in a separate room. Feed your newly arrived cockatiel after you feed your other birds, and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling or playing with your new pet.