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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Here I am asking for advice from the community.

As some of you know, hubby and I don't live with a tiel, yet. I came here in preparation to getting one in future.

We are both in love with parrots and they seem to like us (at least going from the reactions of pet-shop ones), but the bird we get will be our first one (I've kept budgies but that was about 40 years ago and they were aviary birds, not hand-raised like our next fid).

We have been researching a lot and narrowing down our options according to species needs, our situation (house, space, lack of specific experience), up to a few days ago we both thought the cockatiel was our bird, then, by chance, I discovered the parrotlet, and now I'm torn (just to be clear 'get both' would be the wrong answer for us at this stage).

So, I'd love if any of you with experience with both species would be so kind as stepping in and explaining a bit about breed-specific points (temperament, messines, specific needs).

A thing that worries me a lot about tiels are night frights: I'm really afraid to wake up one day and find the fid dead or dying from blood loss by breaking a blood feather because we didn't hear, am I paranoid?

From what I read, parrotlets do better as only birds, is that true? Would a tiel suffer in the same situation? (We both work outside the home, although I have flexible hours).

Is there a strong difference in their talking/whistling ability? (yes, we know not every bird will be a talker regardless, but we are thinking of averages).

Thank you so much!

:blue plet: vs :lutino:
 

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I want to offer what I can just based on personal experience. It's really great that you guys are doing the research ahead of time. I have never had a parrotlet but have heard a lot of positive things about them from Talk Parrots, basically a sister site to this one. I can however offer an insight to cockatiels, to the best of my ability.

Cockatiels are weird. Straight up. And I mean that in the best possible way. They have such amazing personalities for such small birds, and can express themselves in the most incredible ways. I, absolutely, would recommend them as an introduction towards the parrot-type world. All in all, it truly depends on the bird you guys get. I would sincerely recommend either a hand fed baby or a really tame adult rehome. Don't get yourself in over your heads trying to tame down a flighty bird even if it's advertised as 'totally calm once you get to know him'.

You guys want a bird that takes to you immediately. Where, even around you as a stranger to their home, the bird is curious and interested, not flighty and weirded out just because you're 'someone new'. For a first time owner, I would fully recommend seeking out a bird that seems interested in you, not just a bird that 'could' be comfortable around you with time.

For night frights, I can say this. They suck. They really do. But at the same time, they are nothing you should be fearful over as an owner. They are pretty rare across bird owners overall, and it's nothing you should assume will happen. If a night fright does occur, there are a lot of ways to go about preventing future ones, a lot of forums owners have their own personal cures to offer as well.

I will swear by the fact that night frights scare us more than they do the birds, long term. Blood feathers are freaky, weird stupid things. As far as I have read into it, blood feathers don't seem to hurt the birds themselves, like a momentary irritation of the skin and just as ignorable. The bleeding is from the feather itself, not from the skin or an injury to the bird, so we often visualize it as far worse than it is. I've experienced some pretty extreme ones with Nyx, broken blood feathers out the ying yang, and never once have I come across a situation where her life was even remotely in danger.


For talkers, as far as cockatiels go, your best bet would be a male. Females can learn to whistle and mimic, but it's a far more inherently male trait overall and comes far more easily to them. And with messiness, cockatiels are pretty easy to clean up after overall, mostly just any seed husks that get scattered from food, they really are pretty well maintained otherwise with a clean cage.

I apologize for getting long winded, I talk far too much when it comes to terms of even a simple explanation. But I wanted to try to give a full insight, hopefully someone here can give you more information about parrotlets as I'm fully useless on that front. Good luck though :) whichever bird you decide on, I'm absolutely sure it will be a great addition to your home! Good luck on your search.
 

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I say you should get a cockatiel. It won't have night frights as long you leave a light open for it. A night light is more better. My cockatiel whistles beautifully even though it is not fully mature. And cockatiels can talk too. But if you want it to talk at a small age, it takes a lot of practice. Whistling may not be a problem. Ever since cookie arrived the whole family whistled to him. And now its been almost 3 months we have owned him and he whistle and screams. If you want a cockatiel too talk then you will have to tame the bird first. P.S don't worry about the screaming. It stops when you come near it. Or if it screams when you are around try to keep it busy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both, SoCalTiels and Nimra. :)

I definitely feel better about night frights and blood feathers, manuals in general stress both things quite a lot (and well they should, considering a public of unesperienced readers), so knowing that both issues aren't such a big risk (although they do happen) helps a lot. :)
 

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I've never had a parrotlet and I'm hugely biased, my cockatiel means everything to me.. He's not a pet, he's a friend. Most of the night frights he's had have been caused by me dropping something in the middle of the night. Whichever bird you decide, don't forget to share some pictures :)
 

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We haven't had any experience with parrotlets, but we've had Mo, our cockatiel for 2 months now. He was handfed/handraised by the pet shop owner. We visited the pet a couple different times to see how tame he was, and although he was only about 8 weeks old we were convinced he was the bird for us. Honestly, the hardest part , for us, was finding the right bird cage. After returning 5 different cages we ended up with a Kaytee Cockatiel Bird Cage. It's a bit smaller than we wanted, but Mo seems to love it. As far as night frights, it's not something you should base your decision on, although it is a little stressful probably more for humans than the birds. If you keep a nightlight on with at least a corner of uncovered cage you should be fine. It's only happened 2 times since we've had our bird. (No injuries).

Here are some general tips before choosing a bird:

1) Find an experienced and reputable breeder
2) Make sure the bird has been handfed, but no younger than 8 weeks old
3) Do some research on cockatiel mutations so you'll be prepared to decipher which bird is male or female ( if you want a male,that is)
4) Make sure the bird has been blood tested for bird diseases (this is usually done around 4 weeks from hatching)
5) Visit the store or breeders home a few times to interact with the bird
6) Find your bird cage ( make sure it has at least 2 walls with horizontal bars for climbing
7) Have your bird cage already set up at home , away from drafts or the kitchen.
8) The bird will be nervous for the first couple of days or maybe weeks, but it's normal.
9) Keep the food and water cups clean. ( research toxic foods for birds)
10) ENJOY YOUR BIRD!! :)
 

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All I've had is a budgie and 3 tiels... I love them and I'm extremely biased that they are the best birdies ever! :D Although I would love to dabble into other birds, tiels are my #1

They're such big personalities for such little creatures!

None of the animals in this house are pets, they're all family, even more so than most of our blood relatives.
 

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I happen to have BOTH...lol my parrotlet is tiny, cute, can do tricks and can talk a little, he says "thank you" when given a treat. He is a loud, opinionated little monster at times and is very nippy. He bites HARD!! Parrotlets are very spunky and even tho tiny are not thought of as beginner birds. They are not very messy (at least mine isn't) quiet in comparison to other birds, easy to feed and house.
Tiels are awesome birds, mine is sweet and sassy, she is a real cuddly bug and loves to chill on me. She loves to be petted and cuddled. She is louder than my parrotlet and will flock call when I am not in sight. She is much messier than my parrotlet, easy to feed and house.
Have you looked into green cheek conures? My GCC is my favorite bird, she does not talk or sing she is very quiet with a contact call sometimes and rubber ducky like noises. Very tame and cuddly, loves to be held and petted. Can be a bit nippy but very easily corrected. Loves to dance and can do some simple tricks. Easy to house and feed.
 

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Like the others, I don't have experience with parrotlets but I know a couple of members on this forum have both, so hopefully they will see this thread.

Re cockatiels, I love ours and think they are the best pet. I am late to realize this as Taco is our first bird and I can't believe how we didn't discover how great tiels are until now. We had a gc conure for a short time but due to Taco and her not getting alone, we rehomed her so she could be happier.

Our taco is a little nut. She is constantly curious about everything. She is almost one year old and recently she discovered drinking from the tap. She is almost always on my shoulder and when I wash my hands or dishes, she loves to walk down my arm and take a drink. It is so cute to watch. She loves every toy we put in her cage and is not shy at all. I think she is like this because we tried to introduce her to everything when she was young.

Taco has had 2 mild night frights and we know exactly what caused it. Both times it was my book light shinning into her covered cage at night. I think flashlights freak her out. We have a small night light by her cage and she does very well with this.

In our experience, taco was very docile for a good 6 months when we got her as a baby. But now she climbs everything and is very agile and quite an acrobat in her cage.

Have fun deciding and tell us what you get.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Parrotlets are very spunky and even tho tiny are not thought of as beginner birds.
Thanks a lot for weighting in! Honestly I loved the 'spunky' vibe I got from reading about parrotlets and I'm glad that you confirm it, this sentence of yours, though, clinches the deal for the 'tiel for us.

I wouldn't like to introduce a bird in the family just to realize it really would have needed more experienced owners; few things are as sad to us as a depressed / aggressive / joyless animal because of owner's mistakes, one of our cats (now passed on the Rainbow bridge) came to us with that sort of luggage and it took a very long time to get his true personality to surface again.

As to the Green Checked Conure, actually we've never seen a conure around here, they seem rather rare in our whereabouts, even though they sound great (honestly I'm trying not to fall in love with yet another species though)

Thank you also to Tequilagirl, Eyezik, Tisena and Tacotielca, it's wonderful to hear such passion for your birds from everybody.
 

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Cockatiels have such amazing personalities and parrotlets do too... until mine reached sexual maturity, then they turned into brutal beasts! They went from being sweet babies, to total terrors! So mean that if I changed their food and water dishes, I would walk away bleeding! Cockatiels are my fave!
 

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Cockatiels have such amazing personalities and parrotlets do too... until mine reached sexual maturity, then they turned into brutal beasts! They went from being sweet babies, to total terrors! So mean that if I changed their food and water dishes, I would walk away bleeding! Cockatiels are my fave!
Who are brutal beasts, your cockatiels or your parrotlets, lol?
 

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Bahaha, but they look soooo cute :excited: So little and so innocent:innocent:
 

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Don't forget to research lifespans too! I believe the average lifespan for the cockatiel and parrotlet differs.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Don't forget to research lifespans too! I believe the average lifespan for the cockatiel and parrotlet differs.
Good point! I've found 10-15 years for the parrotlet and 15-20 for the cockatiel, would you say that's correct?

Of course the longer the better, in my opinion. :)

Zirra'sHuman, talk about a Napoleon's complex! I had no idea they could be that fierce...
 

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Good point! I've found 10-15 years for the parrotlet and 15-20 for the cockatiel, would you say that's correct?

Of course the longer the better, in my opinion. :)
I'd say for a cockatiel anywhere from 15-30 years, actually! ;) That's just from my experience, though. Usually 30 years is a long time for a tiel. :)
 

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My bird already knows he has to live to 100, been telling him that for a year and a half.
Haha I'll have to tell that to my bird, since he's turned 16 I've become an overly anxious bird-mother haha.

And on topic I'd say cockatiel all the way ! I'm biased though as I've never encountered a parrotlet :O
 
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