Cockatiels are friendly parrots that are an excellent choice for a first bird.
They are fun and affectionate, easy to train and many can be taught a few words. Their curiousity and intelligence will delight you everyday. You will soon find yourself with a new best friend!
I purchased my first cockatiel, DeeJay, in 1984. I thought he was lonely, so I bought him a mate in 1985. Her name is Crystal. She is lutino (yellow) and DeeJay is gray, which is the color of the birds in the wild. They originate in Australia and you can actually see large flocks of wild gray cockatiels flying free there. Any birds purchased in the United States would have been bred here, since we no longer import birds. Mine were hand-fed, but parent raised cockatiels make equally wonderful pets. They are relatively easy to breed, with my Crystal still laying eggs in her twenties. The average lifespan is 15 to 25 years, so mine are definitely seniors, but you would never know by looking at them.
I believe their longevity is the result of providing them with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. They are allowed free flight out of their cage daily and if this is not an option for you, try to provide a cage large enough for them to move around and flap their wings, even if they are trimmed. Many cockatiels enjoy spending time on a playstand. Supply them with a variety of toys to keep these inquisitive birds happy.
A healthy diet consists of a high quality seed mix, pellets, fresh vegetables and fruits. My birds enjoy nutri-berries and millet sprays and these are nutritious, so I provide them daily. Seed treats, such as honey seed stick treats can be offered occasionally. Provide them with a cuttlebone for calcium. Always have fresh water available.
Cockatiels are the second most popular pet birds, after budgies. However, if you own one, I am I sure you will think they are #1.