“The needs and companionship of a bird provide a reason to get up in the morning. The value of this cannot be overestimated for older bird owners and single people who are on their own. Birds provide all the benefits of the human animal bond, including lower blood pressure and reduced levels of stress”- Julie Rach Machini
Cockatiels are beautiful multicolored birds that are sometimes also known as the quarrion and weiro. They are also companion parrots and belong to the cockatoo family endemic to Australia. They make lovely pets and can be easily trained.
Males have great vocal abilities and are less likely to hiss and bite whereas females are quiet but aggressive.
Males are good at parenting. It is true that it is the female cockatiel’s job to hatch the eggs and care for the new born chicks but the males don’t just fly away instead they are protective of their family and in cases where the mother is killed the males assume all parental duties.
Cockatiels are highly social birds and love to interact with each other. Bringing one bird will cause it to get attached to its owner so if you don’t spend a lot of time at home make sure to get two birds so that they will be able to socialize with each other.
Males whistle and call whereas females mostly screech.
Males have orange cheek patches and have brighter colourings on the face whereas females have markings and spots on the underside of their tail feathers and wings.
The easiest way to know if your cockatiel is male or female is to place a mirror in front of it. Males are fascinated and will look at the mirror for quite some time whereas a female loses interest quickly.
Males love sticking their chest out and parading and strutting around.
Cockatiels decide what they want to eat and what they don’t. Never force your birdie to eat what it doesn’t want to. Cockatiels mostly eat seeds, fruits and vegetables. Make sure to dice or chop the fruits and vegetables before you serve it to your pet so that it is easier for your birdie to eat it.
The main thing to remember here is that give your pet the kind of water you can imagine yourself drinking. The water container must be cleaned regularly with hot soapy water in order to avoid fungal growth.
There is nothing wrong with feeding a cockatiel seeds as long as there is variety. Always make sure the seed tray is clean and make sure to replace the seeds regularly as your bird will remove the seeds from the husk and then consume it. The bag of seeds must be kept in a freezer or in resealable plastic bags to avoid growth of fungus.
Fruits and veggies
Sprouts, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, corn on the cob, yams, apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, mangoes, apricots and bananas can be given to your cockatiel. Make sure to remove the seeds from the fruits because the seeds of some fruits are poisonous.
It’s alright to feed your pet chicken and fish in small amounts. Your cockatiel can also get protein from peanuts, eggs and cottage cheese.
Cheerios that are low in sugar make great treats for your birdie.
Training a cockatiel takes a lot of time and patience. It can take months and months to learn. If you think you can train your bird in a few weeks think again. It takes your cockatiel a few weeks to get used to its new home and environment so make sure to train your birdie with love and patience. They have a lifespan for 20 to 22 years and they are your companions for life so treat them likewise. Always buy a bird that has been hand raised. If your bird is willing to sit on your finger then by all means buy it. Don’t just listen to the salesperson on this matter; go to a few shops and see for yourself.
While training your cockatiel make sure to train it in the vicinity of the cage and make sure to turn off all noisy devices like the television, washing machine and dryer. The windows must also be closed. Keep the training sessions short to suit the attention span of your birdie. Don’t forget to reward your bird with treats and if your bird likes a head scratch more than the reward make sure to do that too. If your cockatiel starts acting aggressively don’t get intimidated, stand near it until it calms down and then leave. This will make your cockatiel realize that aggressive behaviour gets it nowhere.
The most important thing to remember here is that you are training a bird not a dog or a cat so have lots of patience and be dedicated to the task.
PET LOSS AND GRIEVING
When a pet dies, an important bond of love is broken. This may leave the human with feelings of loneliness, anger, guilt and emptiness. Most people don’t mourn the loss of a bird for the fear that they might be ridiculed by other people. No one understands your grief and at times it becomes difficult to grieve properly. Most people might suggest you to get another pet immediately but I would strongly suggest you not to do so. Your new pet will not be like your old one because like humans each animal has a different personality. Pet shelters are full of pets that were abandoned because they were not what their owners expected them to be. So take your time, grieve for the loss of your bird and don’t worry about what anybody says.