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I've had Gem for almost 4 months now. Very hard to describe the development of our relationship to anyone who doesn't have a bird of their own.
I got Gem from a previous owner who had hand raised him from birth. I was very nervous around Gem. It was easy to get him out of his cage, but he would not allow us to touch him and if we made any movements while he was on our shoulders, he'd bite. Never hard. He has never bit to break skin.
For the first week, all he'd do would make this continuous screech sound. Very annoying and disconcerting after hearing it for a full week. I didn't know anything about cockatiels asides from what I'd read on the internet ( when you have a bird, you don't have any choice but to learn!) and knew I was probably in for a hard time for at least a couple of months.
Whenever I was home, I made sure Gem was with me. He didn't always seem to appreciate my company. I could put him on my shoulder, but there was constant ( and I mean CONSTANT) squawking. Whenever I spoke, he'd squawk louder; almost as if he couldn't stand the sound of my voice. He'd be with me all the time, but I can guarantee you he didn't like me.
After three weeks of having him, he started to let me touch his head, but not without paying a price. He'd bow his head, I'd go in for the pet and he'd go in for the kill. I couldn't pet him for more than 5 seconds without him turning his head as quick as lightning and biting. I didn't know who was more nervous. Him or I.
Anyways, what I found the most rewarding about my experience as a bird owner is the development of our relationship. It was really in steps. After I was allowed to touch him, then it progressed to being able to touch him without him biting.Then it was the bird wanting to be pet all on his own. He'd come up to my hand and bow his head. He moved from his permanent spot on my shoulder to down on my leg, or just perching on my chest underneath my chin.
Instead of bird screeching whenever I left the room and waiting for me to pick him up, he flies around and follows me ( I don't want to clip his wings again..he seems so much more independant when he can get around)
He likes it when I nuzzle him everywhere with my nose and lets me pet under his wings which is my favorite place because he is so soft. I can cuddle him and he'll just go on preening.
I say, ' let's go Gem' and he stops whatever he's doing ( unless it's eating) and skidaddles towards me. He knows when I'm leaving in the morning for work because he doesn't screech anymore when I put him back in his cage. Whenever I leave him to go bed, he always does this cute little bird garble, which I take for 'goodnight'.
I know getting a bird to trust you can take so much more work in some cases, but I am so happy that my bird has taken to me so quickly. It's only been four months and I can't wait to see what we'll be like in a year.
Even when Gem isn't on my shoulder or leg, I find myself turning my head to see if he's there. When I walk home from work, i'm actually excited to see him.
These creatures are not stupid. I am regularly amazed at how intelligent they can be. I remind myself very often that this is not a dog, there is a way to go about to communicate with your bird and have his needs understood as well.
Anyways, I'm glad I found this site with ppl who love their animals as much as I do. :)
 

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Welcome!

You will find with cockatiels there very sensitive to your emotions, Mine know my moods like the back of my hand! Its hard to fool them sometimes!!

Youll find that poop and loud chirping just become part of your daily life!
 

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Thank you for sharing your story...it is very encouraging to hear what you had to say. It sounds like you have a wonderful relationship with Gem and I am sure it is going to last for many, many years.:)
 

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That was so good to read. I've had my new tiel for about 2 months and he still acts like he doesn't like me so that gives me hope. I'm so happy for both of you.
 

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I've got a new cockatiel that I adopted from pretty poor conditions. This gives me hope she'll come to trust me and maybe one day enjoy being near me. I'm so happy your baby trusts you so much. My other cockatiel is sweet like yours and I love being around her too.
 

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this gives me hope to. the smallest breakthrough with my tiel and budgie lifts my heart so much. i want them to have the best life
 

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Of course these creatures are not stupid,generally all parrots from the smallest to the biggest are very clever,i would say as clever as dogs are.
Post some pics of your dear Gem for us to see him....what mutation is he?
 
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