Chirpy the cheeky cockatiel lives with his loving owner Liz in Perth, Western Australia. The adorable little bird enjoys cuddles, head rubs and hanging out with his “hoomans” the most. While these birds require more care than some pets, cockatiels are known for being loving and affectionate. Liz waited a while to adopt one, but once she saw Chirpy, she had to have him.
“I’ve wanted a cockatiel for as long as I think I can remember, but for whatever reason, the time was never right. It was one day during lockdown and we went to a local pet shop, and there was Chirpy all by himself,” Liz recalls. “That’s when I kind of knew that yep, he was the one, and I wanted to take him home. That was it, and the rest was history.”
She adopted Chirpy when he was about 2.5 months old, and they’ve been together nearly two years now. He’s a grey male cockatiel with the classic red-orange cheeks and yellow head and neck. He’s a beautiful, handsome bird, and he and Liz have become best friends.
In the beginning, though, Chirpy seemed a bit frightened in his new environment and needed time to adjust. Like most animals, he responded well to food and let his guard down a little.
“I don’t think he was quite hand tamed at that point, so when I brought him home, I had to take it really slowly with him,” Liz said. “I bribed him with a lot of seeds, and then before we knew it, we were best friends.”
What it’s like owning the adorable cockatiel Chirpy
Chirpy hangs out with Liz all day, and only goes to his cage at night to sleep. Chirpy’s favorite activity is hanging out on Liz’s shoulder. He can say a few things like “hello”, “Little birdy”, and “Hello little birdy.” Liz thinks his little “hello” is the cutest of them all, though!
When he’s not talking up a storm, he enjoys cuddling with Liz. She says that’s her favorite thing to do with him since he’s such a great cuddler. Who knew birds could cuddle just like dogs and cats do? If you get a cockatiel, expect lots of affection and cuddles, because that’s what they do best!
However, getting a bird comes with a lot of responsibility, as they need specialized care. Liz has the following advice for anyone wanting a pet bird:
“Being a bird owner, I think you really do have to take some things into consideration. If you’re considering getting a bird, always make sure that you’ve actually got an avian vet close to you. If you really can’t provide the appropriate vet care, then maybe owning a bird isn’t the right pet for you – maybe you should consider a different kind of pet.”
Despite the challenges of being a bird mom, Liz wouldn’t change a thing. Chirpy definitely brightens up her life with his cute little voice and affectionate cuddles.
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“I really couldn’t imagine my life now without Chirpy. It’s been so rewarding having him and watching our relationship grow from when he was a really frightened little bird to the friendship we have now.”
Interesting facts about cockatiels
- The cockatiel was first discovered in Australia in 1770. However, it didn’t become popular as a pet until the Australian gold rush in the 1900s.
- You should never cook with Teflon or any other non-stick cookware if you have birds in your home. Fumes emitted during the cooking process can lead to injury and even death, as birds are very sensitive to these chemicals.
- If you spot cockatiels in the wild, you’ll see huge flocks of them searching for bodies of water to find reprieve from the Australian heat.
- Cockatiels are known as very sociable birds who need lots of interaction. They will become depressed if you leave them alone for long periods of time. If you know you’ll be gone most of the day, make sure to get another cockatiel for it to play with.
- Male cockatiels talk and whistle more loudly and often than females. This is because in the wild, males use their voices to attract females.
- Cockatiels are the most popular bird in the parrot family other than parakeets or budgies.
- Cockatiels can live up to 25 years on average, though most live to around 15 years. However, some can live up to 32 years old. In fact, the oldest cockatiel on record lived to an age of 36! Their life span depends on proper care, nutrition, and environment.
- Cockatiels enjoy whistling more than talking, unlike some parrots. Some cockatiels can even whistle whole songs!
- Cockatiels need about 14 hours of sleep each day.
- Male cockatiels are no deadbeat fathers. Even though the mothers hatch the eggs and care for newborns, the males don’t fly away and abandon their newborns. They’re very protective of their family. They will even fight off much larger predators in the wild who threaten their family. Like the mothers, the fathers nurture their young and behave quite affectionately toward them.
- Cockatiels are prone to “night frights,” where they become spooked or distressed at night. This happens when they can’t understand the source of a sudden noise or movement during the night. So, in an attempt to escape possible harm, they thrash around in their cage as they try to fly away. To prevent or at least reduce occurrences of night frights, place a small night light near their cage. Also, avoid covering the cage fully so some light can still get in.
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Final thoughts on the male cockatiel who loves to cuddle
Most people don’t think of birds as being very cuddly, but Chirpy the cockatiel may surprise you! His mom says he’s very affectionate, spending most of his day hanging out on her shoulder. The friendly bird loves hanging out with his humans, as most cockatiels do.
It’s easy to see why these birds make wonderful pets. Some cockatiels even love to go on adventures with their owners! If you have the time and resources for a pet bird, definitely consider a cockatiel!