Cockatiels are very uncomplicated and fun birds that are incredibly friendly. They love to sit on your shoulder or pluck at your hair with their beaks. This avian laddie or lady sings or whistles beautifully if they feel comfortable and know their best pal, namely you, is near.
They stretch out their heads towards you and scratch and peck at your cheeks, nibble on your hair and earlobes and loudly sing love songs. Some cockatiels are so friendly that they feel and show great familiarity and affection for people. This feathery fellow will warble in a unique way and make jerky movements, and if you still don’t pay them any attention, they can get really loud too.
After having read this article, it wouldn’t be surprising if you find yourself in your car or on the bus to the next pet store. These birds are so astoundingly friendly that it is almost impossible not to fall in love with them. Having said that, like with people, each bird is different.
For the loving between owner and bird to work, your cockatiel must be tame
Before we look into the seven facts that show how affectionate a cockatiel can be, it must be noted that this bird needs to be tamed first in order to be friendly.
Furthermore, you, as the owner, must gain your new housemate’s trust. It’s the same as with a new lover; you can’t just stride in there and expect the world to be laid at your feet.
Cockatiels need you to work for their affection. However, once you have done that, they will genuinely love you.
Whether a bird becomes tame depends above all on its character and the experiences it had. Some birds eat out of their owner’s hand after only a few days, but also some prefer to stay among themselves. Birds that live in a stable group are usually quick to trust.
So, to get closer to your birdie, clicker training is a very effective method. You can achieve success with this method even with very reserved and shy birds. You will see that even with small progress you will feel incredibly proud. Birds that do not eat out of hand also enjoy clicker training.
But what makes them so unbelievably friendly. Let’s take a look at seven facts that demonstrate the cockatiel’s outgoing nature.
Fact Number 1 – The cockatiel picks you and not the other way around
Cockatiels really do show their owners how much they love them. To do this, they will put on their hood while singing, lift their wings and straighten their upper body.
The affection can go so far that the bird seeks the proximity of his or her human counterpart all of the time.
One of the most interesting facts about this bird is that some cockatiels have clear preferences when it comes to people. Some birds prefer people with long blond hair, while others will go for brunettes.
Certain birdies dig men rather than women and vice versa, while others feel much closer to children.
The way they bond with a human is very individual and does not apply to all cockatiels. The most important thing is that you take your time. Never rush your bird.
You wouldn’t do that if you were going out on a date with the woman or man of your dreams.
Once the cockatiel feels comfortable with you and the other family members, they will truly start to demonstrate their warmer side. In no time, you feel the love grow for your feathery chum.
Fact number 2 – Some cockatiels stick to their human buddies like glue
The expressions of love demonstrated by these birds toward their owners go as far as the courtship ritual. The feathers in the head and jaw area spring up, the upper body is raised slightly, the pupils dilate, so much so that the yellow eye ring can be seen.
This little birdie will do everything to impress his or her friend, so you better be prepared for some loving.
As the title of this section suggests, some birds and their owners are inseparable. It goes so far that they take showers together – we kid you not.
Also, if you are somebody who likes to hoard the bag of crisps and your cockatiel at one point learned to associate packets with tasty crackers – beware! In moments, your sweet and adorable ‘tiel will turn into a crisp pirate and want to share your food with you.
This being a part of the swarm or group, depending on your familiarity with the bird, can go so far that your cockatiel will fly to the dinner table and pinch your spaghetti when outside of the cage.
- If you want to learn more about the relationship between cockatiels and their owners, we highly recommend reading this article: Do Cockatiels Recognize Their Owners? It will tell you about the signs that your bird likes you and more!
Fact number 3 – TLC is essential for the cockatiel
Most cockatiels really like to be touched. Again, this very much depends on your bird, so do not force the issue if your ‘tiel backs away from your hand when it enters the cage. He or she may just not like to be touched.
However, if you have a real cuddle monster, then expect to be kept busy. Your pet will literally ask you to stroke it.
You might hear tentative cheeps or if your pet birdie is more forceful, then expect a more aggressive demand like a series of raucous squawks and energetic wing flapping.
So, when you finally give in and give your feathery buddy its hard-fought TLC, aim for the spot behind the feathery crest on the top of the bird’s head.
Move your fingers against the grain of the feathers for the ultimate effect and enjoyment for your pal with the plumage.
Some cockatiels love to have their chest rubbed, and others might prefer to have their cheeks stroked. Again, it depends on your bird.
The most important thing for the cockatiel is that it feels like a part of the family. Many birds are more than happy to leave you alone to read while they fly about the living room doing their own thing.
Your pet birdie will soon let you know when some cuddling is on the menu again.
- If your cockatiel is not that cuddly and you´d love to cuddle more with him/her, we show you in this article how you can make your cockatiel more cuddly 🙂
Fact number 4 – Veritable excitement the moment you walk through the door
Like with your dog when the animal bounces about after you have been away the entire day, so will your cockatiel sing or sometimes cry out with pleasure or complaint.
Yes, ‘tiels have an extremely strong personality, so you best beware of their wrath if you ignore them. No, don’t worry; you will not have some mad bird flying after you if you disregard it.
However, they will let you know that they want to be greeted as well when you return home after a long day at work or out and about.
And to be frank, we all love a warm greeting when we come home. It certainly beats a blunt grunt from a pubescent teenager with his or her eyes glued to the screen of their mobile. Your birdie will make quite a show upon seeing you again.
Don’t be surprised by squawks and shrieks that almost sound like screaming.
It is just the bird calling out to you, “Hey, welcome home. I am so glad you are back. How about you let me out, and you tell me about your day?” That’s how friendly and family-oriented cockatiels are.
- Cockatiels can even get quite loud at times. What that means in detail, and what you can do to teach your cockatiel not to be too loud, is described in our article here!
- Also, greeting, chirping, and whistling is okay. However, if your cockatiel is screaming all the time something is wrong. If that´s the case, you should read about the 7 reasons why cockatiels scream here. It will help you and your bird!
Fact number 5 – Your cockatiel loves to play
Be sure to spoil your cockatiel with lots of toys. Also, make sure that they are colorful because your avian chum can distinguish between colors readily enough. Bells are another great love for this particular bird.
In some cases, your pet bird might fall asleep wearing a bell around its neck.
Always make sure that your ‘tiel has a piece of wood to peck and chew on. A ladder can add extra spice to the proceedings because they love to climb up and down.
However, we have left the best to last. If your birdie loves and trusts you, you can play a game like fetch as you would with your dog. Cockatiels love to do things together, that’s how sociable and friendly they are.
So don’t be surprised if your mate with the plumage, when outside of the cage, turns up on your shoulder carrying his or her little ball with bells.
- If you want to get some toys for your cockatiel, you should read this article. We compiled 15 awesome toys for budgies in that article. However, those can be used for cockatiels, too!
Fact number 6 – This bird is always in the middle things
When your cockatiel truly feels a part of the family, don’t be surprised when discussions with your partner or kids are mimicked from the plumed resident in the cage.
Yes, the cockatiel knows how to stick its beak into everything. Even a sneeze on your part is enough incentive for the ‘tiel to hurl a comment your way with a light or maybe not so light barrage of shrieks and chirrups.
It’s just the bird’s way of saying we are all a part of the same gang, group or swarm, whichever you wish to call your family unit.
This behavior is instinctive because cockatiels live in groups, sometimes numbering in the hundreds of birds.
As a result, if you and your bird have truly bonded, your cockatiel will see you as their friend and want to show affection and also protect you.
Regarding protecting you, there have been cases when a cockatiel had attacked another human when it thought that his or her owner was in danger. That’s how far this birdie will go to show his or her friendship towards you.
Fact number 7 – The ultimate sign of love – it’s where friendship ends
We have left the best for last.
The highlight of affection and friendliness is when your cockatiel approaches and tries to feed you with the food you provided.
This behavior demonstrates that your avian buddy wants to and can look after and care for you like it would its mate or chicks.
However, at this particular moment, you are no longer merely an appreciated friend or companion but a sexual partner.
Even if this behavior surprises, intrigues and pleases you, you should make sure to stop it as soon as it happens. The reason for this is that first, you are not a bird and wholly unable to fulfill the role of the sexual mate, and second, you must put an immediate end to the bird’s expectations.
Don’t worry; it will not damage your relationship, just be gentle with the rejection like you would with a person, and all will be fine.
We’ve seen how cool and friendly cockatiels are. Now, how do they compared to the budgie?
Cockatiels and budgies: so similar and yet so different!
Both species are originally from Australia and live as nomads in large swarms, always on the lookout for food, water, and breeding grounds. They mainly feed on grains and seeds, are cave-breeders, and preferably need at least one partner of the same species if kept as pets.
At first glance, you may be misled to think that budgies and cockatiels are almost the same. However, if you look closer, you will discover quite a few differences.
For one, cockatiels belong to the family of cockatoos. They differ in size, weight, and appearance. Also, they are different from their Australian compatriots because the ‘tiel has a distinctive feathery plumage on the top of its head, which they use to show how they feel.
Cockatiels are far more active in terms of communication compared to the budgie and always on a mission to show you how beautiful they are. Having said that, the ‘tiel is more relaxed as opposed to the more energetic budgie.
Also, cockatiel’s love to be cuddled, while the budgie may sit on your finger, most of them do not like to be touched.
All in all, it is a matter of taste. Some people simply love budgies and would never go for another type of bird. However, if we would have to narrow it down, it can be safely said that the cockatiel is slightly friendlier than the budgie.
It’s just because once they know you, the ‘tiel will become extremely attached and show his or her affection in the ways we have seen in this article.
If you are thinking about getting a budgie or a cockatiel, we recommend that you read these article as well:
Now it’s your turn! Do you have a cockatiel? Is he/she friendly? Tell us about it in the comment section below!
Also, if you liked this article, we would be very happy if you would share it with others on social media. It would help us a lot! 🙂