jus85411- Hahaha I understand the stress about losing the bird outside. We have to constantly be on the alert because we are in a small apartment, and whenever Tony goes outside Hannibal hunkers down and puts his wings out because he wants to go to. More than once Tony has been half trapped outside because Hannibal will get down on the floor and walk right up smack against the door and screech. Wing-trimming is a must. I never owned cockatiels, but I used to have parakeets when I was younger and we had a family lovebird and I did all the bird care. The real stresser is doing their nails though. Between getting bitten, and stressing them out, and them moving too much and nearly clipping them too short... augh. Best left to professionals. Fortunately if we cant do it the people at Animal Jungle can, they handle all their animals and have people who specialize in certain things. Poor Hannibal was so afraid though, the way he screeched was like we were abandoning him... Birds have an astonishing amount of personality, and cockatiels are particularly personable with humans. Hannibal was born July 17, 2009. So his second birthday is coming up! Hes still a big baby though. Although hes mostly grown out of napping with us and getting cuddles, he still wants to sometimes. He likes to have his neck scratched and he loves to take warm showers.
I can tell you why your bird wasnt really talkative that much, or much of a singer... its because it was a female. The males are very vocal, especially if you own them young like how we got Hannibal, he was 2 1/2 months old when we brought him home. You can talk to them and whistle to them and they will pick up just about everything, and also when you have them that young you can get them really used to being handled. Even though he is more Tonys bird, he is very friendly to other people and has times where he is cuddly with me as well. We believe that he has chosen Tony as his "parent" or possibly his "mate" and he lends particular attention to Tony at all times. Such as learning the sound the screen door makes when Tony comes home, and Tony always says "hey buddy" when he comes in the door, so now Hannibal does both those sounds in order. Sometimes the real problem is trying to get Hannibal to STOP singing. He can be very loud at times, and he gets moody. But when hes out of control he gets a 'time out' in the closet. Hannibal was the offspring of a cinnamon pied female (WooWoo) and a plain grey male (GusGus). Haha. Tony used to have a latino, her name was Napol. They can be very mean, latino cockatiels are naturally mean even when brought up handfed from a very young age. But it helps that you had them young because it definitely benefitted your bird to have a well-grounded nature. Oh, Im very impressed about that petstore, or vet, because hardly any bird handlers will sex birds. Generally you tell by their feathers when they get a little bit older. We werent entirely sure about Hannibal when we took him home, other than he had the yellow markings we were looking for. Females are generally solid grey, except for pied and latinos where it gets tricky. You have to look at the underside of their feathers at a certain age. Females will still have banded wing feathers (on the underside) and males will not. But Im not an expert on it, Tony used to breed and hes knowledgeable about it. Apparently his breeding pair (that he gave to the petstore) are siitting on two new eggs
Remember that breeding pairs become aggressive. Once you establish a male and female as a pair for breeding, they will 99% of the time lose interest in humans and become aggressive and protective of their mate and nest. So if you have a loveable, singing bird that you are attached to, like ours, I dont recommend getting them a female companion. They consider you to be their flock or family, and arent necessarily lonely. Even though they may have been hand-raised and very well trained, they will become completely attached to their mate and wont let you near their cage or nest, and will bite or attack to defend it. They may also cease to sing and pay attention to you. Its a trade-off.
allycat- Im sorry to say you cant keep snakes and birds together. Theres something in snake feces that will kill birds. Its possible, but theyd have to have seperate rooms and youd have to be very careful, very sanitary... but I dont know, I dont recommend it. Thats why even though Id like a python, we will never get one. Maybe a small reptile though
Garter snake... geckos...
"It is never easy, sweet child, to have a real gift: something else is withheld to compensate."