Say hello to Cinnamon Bun, the cutest little cinnamon cockatiel in Texas, chairbird of the board at Birdwear, and the muse for many of my cockatiel designs.
She was hatched in 2017 and came to live with us from a local bird store in the area that specialized in small birds. I had been working from home for a few years at that point and felt ready to bring a bird into the house, but I wasn’t sure how my kids or the bird would react to each other. The specialized store was a good first experience because we were able to meet a bunch of young cockatiels as a family and see how they reacted and ask lots of questions.
Well she had a big personality from the beginning, hopping right up and socializing with everyone and being tolerable of little hands and fast movements. However, don’t let her small size fool you…she is the boss. She will let you know how and where to scritch her and will make sure to supervise all human activity in the area, from once of her walking perches.
What's it like to live with a cockatiel?
To be honest, It’s actually pretty easy. Cockatiels are known for their curious personalities, so they are a lot of fun to have around and watch explore. She loves to hop up on someone and go with them as they do whatever it is they are doing. She always hangs with me while I do my household chores, work, or even playing guitar.
She definitely sings loud and often, but doesn’t talk, and it’s definitely not enough to cause serious disruption, unlike other birds that will remain nameless… She has been able to pick up a few distinct whistles, but isn’t consistent yet in a full song.
Also little birds need little everything else, from smaller toys, smaller portions of food, and a smaller sleeping quarters so it requires less space and usually less expense. We actually have her in a slightly larger sized cage just to ensure she has plenty of room to move around when we are not around.
She is a bit feisty, if she doesn’t like something you are doing she will make sure you know it, but only small nibbles that do not hurt or break skin.
With small birds, I think the only main difference is that they move fast, bouncing from perch to perch, and poop very often compared to larger birds.
How about training?
Cinnamon is definitely more of a challenge to train. Target training went pretty easy, but moving beyond that has been a bit harder because she moves so much.
What are her favorite foods?
She will eat pretty much anything we offer-veggies, fruit, nuts, treats, you name it, but her absolute favorite is…you probably guessed it, Millet. She will do just about anything for a spray of millet, which makes it really fun to train her.
Currently, we have all the birds on the same diet Harrison’s pellets mixed with a fresh veggie and fruit chop.
What about favorite toys?
She likes wood based toys the most, anything with popsicle sticks or a nice bird kabob keep her pretty entertained.
Who does she like the most?
She definitely bonded with me (Michael) the most. I think this is due to me working from home and being her favorite perch.
What about medical care?
We have been fortunate that she has not had any issues, but we have her on an annual wellness plan with our local avian vet.
Does she have a favorite cockatiel shirt?
While she has definitely left her mark on most of my shirts, I think my favorite one and shows her personality is the millet made me do it.
She is constantly finding boxes, shirts, nooks, and crannies to burrow in and is always foraging for that next delicious treat.
Cinnamon has lived with us the longest and has a special place in our family that couldn’t be replaced. While I enjoy working with larger birds, a cockatiel is such a great companion that they are hard to be beat!
What about you? Do you have a cockatiel at home? Let us know in the comments.