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Hi,

I have a year old cockatiel, lutino/yellow pied mutation :yellow pied: ! His name is Rokko, but everyone calls him birdie... lol. I was wondering if I could get some advice/tips on training.

I had to leave the bird with the family due to sudden changes to living rules at the place I was living. Now that I am back for a bit, theres a few developments. Rokko has made a habit of screaming until someone comes to him. I tried to avoid this by instructing everyone to not feed his attention seeking behaviour (following the Cockatiels For Dummies book), however they didn't and continue not to.
The only noise he knows to make is a high pitch scream, like a flock call, but non stop. He even does this when hes out and not where he wants to be (like below, on the finger or not on his favourite person).
Ironically his favourite person is my dad, who doesn't particularly like having the bird on him because he's a little allergic. Very moody, runs away from hands/fingers, bites (okay not hard, but enough to merit some kind of disciplinary action like putting him in his cage for time out).

Next he is very afraid and uncomfortable being anywhere but your shoulder, play gym perch or the back part of the couch. So if hes on your finger, he will start trying for your shoulder, and/or start the screaming.

Last, he is pickier than I am. I know they are picky eaters to begin with, but I can't give him veggies or fruit because he's too scared to eat it or if he tries to go near it, he shakes his head then wants to leave.

It's a shame because he started out great. So accepting and adapting of where he was. His first visit to the vet for his checkup after I bought him, he was preening on the counter while the vet asked the details - first time the vet ever saw a bird behave like that in a foreign area (preening, allowing to be petted, stepping up). He also made little squeaks while he was out, clearly happy noises. Now that is all changed. Theres a 0% chance anyone in the family traumatized him, they are all animal lovers. Also the bird doesn't mind the other pets we have at all. Rokko even stole a baby spinach leaf from the skinny pig one day heh (I have a video of that somewhere). He did have to go through a move though, but from what I heard, he didn't have a problem with it.

I see all these videos of cockatiels, youngins like mine to 20 year olds, and they all make that common cockatiel vocal noise. I saddens me that he doesn't make this common noise, or behavior. Did he just grow into his teens or something what happened? :(
Being a little over dramatic, but some advice and tips will go a long way!

Thanks,
Josh
 

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I'm not very experienced so I don't really want to give training advice, but I can help with the eating veggies issue! I think it just takes time. Give him veggies when he is out with you, and make a big deal out of it when he tries something, even if he shakes his head and doesn't seem to want it. Finley took a while to start trying things, but he does really well if he sees me eating it. Today I was eating pear slices and gave him a bit to try. He just barely touched it then shook his head in disgust. I continued eating it, and within maybe 10-15 minutes he was working his way towards my plate, then started eating and LOVED it! I had to take it away so he didn't over do it. So that's all the advice I can give, but I'm sure others will be a long shortly :)
 

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Rokko has grown. He is not a submissive baby tiel any more. It's not uncommon, and they do become like that when they reach their sexual maturity, especially around one year of age. I remember my two were like that. However, any time cockatiels become hormonal, especially males in my experience, they will act up, tend to bite and scream. You can try giving Rokko longer nights. Cover him and keep him in a quiet room for 12 to 14 hours each night. See if that helps.
Also, Rokko, being an only bird (I assume an only tiel), will flock call for his human flock. It is not uncommon either. That was one of the big reasons I got my second tiel. Her incessant flock calling did diminish when I got Tony. However, two cockatiels may not be a solution to you, I don't know. You will have to be the judge of that.
 
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