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I'm not very sure of all the ins and outs, but I knew I wanted a bird. We live in an apartment and are not allowed dogs or cats. We had rodents and their limited life span turned out heart wrenching the day after my birthday this year in late March. I didn't begin looking for another family pet until months later. I did what it would seem many have done - CRAIGSLIST. I searched for several weeks over several ads looking for the right bird for us. I went to pet stores and played with Cockatiels and Parrotlets and Cockatoos and Lovebirds. It seemed all roads pointed to a Cockatiel. They were always more friendly than any of the other birds, less skiddish -but at the Pet Store, also too expensive. I found this grand little ad on Craigslist:

"I have a young (around 16 weeks) cockatiel that I need to rehome. He is the sweetest bird ever and loves attention. He whistles and is trying to learn to say pretty bird. He is friendly with everyone, my 3 year old can hold him with no problem. I hate to rehome him but I feel its unfair to him as he doesnt get the attention he deserves. I am asking a rehoming fee of $75. He comes with his cage, toys, and food."

The Cockatiel itself seemed quite friendly meaning they must've loved it, worked with it, etc... but the cage, while large, was dirty and lined in newspaper. There was a broken feeding dish hanging inside with leftover seed and a rodent water bottle attached to the side. The 'toys' were two wooden perches and a swing that looked like they'd only recently been purchased. No cuttle bone, no treats, no actual toys of any kind. I took him.

I had to go to the grocery store for dinner immediately after I got it home and while at the store I perused the pet aisle. They only sold Hartz foods and I'd heard never to feed birds Hartz brand. They did have a cuttle bone and some cat toys. I bought him a pack of cat toys and the cuttle bone, came home and went through my vast drawers of junk and was able to make the bird some toys out of leather, keyrings, and cat toys. You'd think the poor thing had never had a toy in it's life. I switched it over to the smaller cage that I had intended for my future bird to clean the larger one, but it seems to like the smaller cage better.

I don't make it stay in the cage unless we're gone or if it misbehaves and while I had some qualms about the latter this bird seems to understand that its done something undesirable if I put it in its cage and walk away. The first day it literally followed me all about the house as I cleaned and cooked and when I wouldn't pick it up it sat on my feet. It understands the word "up" and will willingly step-up and at times even 'beg' to be picked up by staring up at me and shifting from foot to foot- an almost human gesture.

It kept pulling on my earrings if it sat on my shoulder so I decided every time it pulled on my earrings I got to touch its wing. It didn't like this and got really upset nipping and hissing and flapping so I put it in its cage and walked away. I came across the room and sat at the computer desk. It came down out of its cage walked across the living room, climbed up the other cage and onto the ottoman near the computer chair and sat at the very corner staring at me. When I held my hand up it laid down its head and bumped my finger. I thought I was going to get bit, but I reached out to scratch its neck and it turned out that must've been what it wanted because it wouldn't let me stop scratching it for 20 minutes. I almost cried and I'm not exactly sure why.

It was also trying to chew on some electrical cords and I said "No" loudly and it stopped. I'm not sure how you're actually supposed to 'correct' a bird, but if there is a better way I'd love to know it because if they can talk I wouldn't care for a bird that shouts "No" all the time.

It is a pale gray with a very pale yellowish face & crest and faded orange cheeks. It's tail is spotted/striped on top and striped on bottom and it's beak and nose are a pale pink/flesh color. I'm not so sure it's a boy- it's very quiet only peeping or whistling every now and then, but it loves to be around people. It always wants to be near me. I'm quite amazed at the affection capable in a bird. I'd always been told that you could not touch a bird because the oils in your skin could harm it or kill it. This bird loves to be touched, but only on it's own terms.

I'd love any comments or tips about anything I've said, how you can tell if it's a boy or a girl or ways to train birds not to do certain things, potty training tips, tips on how to get your bird to not mind being touched or any advice Cockatiel patrons may have for a newbie like me. I want to be a good new 'tiel' mom.
 

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If the bird is actually four months old then it's too soon to tell what sex it is. If it's female, she'll keep the tail markings for life. If male, he'll lose the tail markings when he matures and replace them with a solid grey color.

From your description, it sounds like your bird might be cinnamon colored. If you can post photos we can help identify the mutation.

Birds don't understand the concept of obedience and authority very well because that's not part of their social structure in the wild. So the word "no" isn't very effective with them. A loud "no" might startle them into temporarily stopping what they're doing, but in the long run they'll probably get used to hearing it and will start ignoring it. You're better off to cover up the electrical cords so the bird can't get them.

Cockatiels LOVE jewelry, especially if it's shiny, and the best way to keep them away from it is to not wear it around them. I'm glad you stopped doing the wing-touching move. Your bird probably doesn't understand the connection between the earrings and the wing touch, and just thinks you're being nasty. There's more on bird psychology at http://www.littlefeatheredbuddies.org/info/gen-psychology.html

I'd always been told that you could not touch a bird because the oils in your skin could harm it or kill it.
Good news - this is absolutely 100% WRONG. If a bird wants to be petted then by all means go ahead and pet it! The type of touching that birds like is generally something similar to the way they touch each other in the wild. Cockatiels preen each other's heads and necks, but don't usually touch in other places unless they're mating or fighting. So they love to have humans scratch them on the head and neck but don't appreciate being touched anywhere else. Some will tolerate back-stroking but they don't really enjoy it. Back-stroking isn't recommended for hens because it's sexually stimulating (like a male bird on their back) and can result in egg laying.
 

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I'm glad he/she is in a home where it will be loved and taken care of, seems like the other owner worked with it but it is a shame that it had no toys or a cuttlebone and seemed to not be in the best conditions. I guess someone just didn't know how to care for him/her, which is unfortunate!
 

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Welcome to the madhouse Yoe :lol:
I hope you find this forum as interesting and helpful as I do (and I only found it a few weeks ago).

Sarah (from the FB group, *waves*)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for all the comments! I have now posted pictures of Bohran! If you can tell what he/she is I'd be much obliged. For now we will go with the unisex name meaning 'boomerang' until it has it's first molt. I'm not sure what breed/coloring it is classified, but it sure is a cutie. :)
 

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I can't wait to see them, although I don't seem to see the post? :confused:
 
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