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Are cockatiels cuddly?

BirbBrains

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Heya there!
It's been a while. Well, I've finally gathered all I need (that meaning a large cage, a safe spot to put the cage, toys, and I'm going to be buying food so its fresh when I buy the birds) to own a couple of birds. After some deliberation, I decided I want little tiel or two!

I am wondering, though, how affectionate are cockatiels? I really want a bird that will play and cuddle and really feel like a companion. Would a tiel fit that?
 

hrafn

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What do you mean by playful and cuddly? Cockatiels can be some of the sweetest birds around, but they're not often clownish in the way that, say, caiques are. They like to serenade you and can love scritches, but I don't think they're particularly snuggly.

Of course, those are also generalisations. My 'tiel despises hands and does not accept any form of physical contact. He's still a very charming and loving little bird and I adore him to death, but he's neither cuddly nor playful. Individual personality is the key.
 

Shezbug

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There is no way to guarantee that any type of bird will be affectionate. I have seen some lovely friendly cockatiels and I have seen the complete opposite, much the same as every other bird I have seen.
Every bird is a total individual, I do not think you can generalize with birds they same way people tend to with dogs.
 

BirbBrains

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I briefly thought of getting a conure, but Idk.

I just love tiels, though I heard conures (green-cheeked, specifically) are more like companions who like humans.
 

Feather

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If you want a truly cuddly animal, birds generally aren't the best option. You really shouldn't touch them anywhere other than their head, and some don't even like that. :shrug: They make great companions for the right person, but they're more the sit on/beside you type of friend.

I have two cockatiels. One likes head scritches once in a while and the other doesn't like to be touched at all but loves to get up in your face and whistle. I wouldn't describe either as very playful.
 

JLcribber

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Puppies and kittens are cuddly. Most birds are not.
 

Lady Jane

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I really want a bird that will play and cuddle and really feel like a companion.

John took the words out of my mouth. Birds are wild critters their entire life, even the ones that are hand fed and headed to be a companion bird. This you will understand after you spend more time in researching them and asking questions like this. Cockatiels are wonderful birds with great personalities. Please take a few minutes to write down your expectations of having a bird in your life. Then perhaps share them with us. There are many myths out there about companion birds.
 

Mizzely

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I adore cockatiels :) honestly the main reason I don't have one is because I won't mix them with most species due to the dust.

The few that I've met have always been very friendly, flying over to me and asking for scritches. To me that is cuddly. They can be great companions.
 
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sunnysmom

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I love cockatiels. They are very sweet birds. It depends though what you mean by cuddly. My cockatiel wanted to be touching me at all times. And loved heard scratches. But it's not like a dog or cat where they actually "cuddle". And tiels are pretty laid back birds not active little clowns like some other types are. Female tiels tend to be more cuddly than males but each bird is different so you never know.
 

Tiel Feathers

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It’s better not to have any expectations for your bird. As mentioned, every single bird is different. I had a male who hated to be touched and would only sit on my covered arm. He understood everything I said and would watch my every move. We had a great bond and I loved him so much. Right now I have three females. Niko likes scratches, but mostly from my husband. She’s rather a loner except when it comes to him. My other female, Sunset, doesn’t really care for scratches much at all. She’s such a wonderful little bird though, and loves to hang out on me. I love her curious, independent, sweet nature. Cappuccino wants me to scratch her constantly, and while that might sound great, it really makes it hard to do anything. Don’t get me wrong, she cuddles right up against my nose and will let me scratch her forever, but it’s impossible to get anything done, and when I stop she pecks at me. When she’s not getting scratches she gets into trouble, which I actually find endearing because it’s only tiel trouble after all. She’s the most playful of my birds, as was my male, but only compared to my other two, which are not really that playful. My tiels generally like to sit and watch what’s happening around them. They do occasionally like to chew stuff. The most important thing is to love your bird for who he or she is, whatever that may be. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment because you have a certain ideal in mind. You might be surprised to find the things you love most about your bird.
 

Sylvester

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Birds are unique individuals, there is no guarantee that the one you get will be cuddly. But as a whole, I do find that Cockatiels like to cuddle. They are often like their big cousin, the Cockatoo, when it comes to affection.
 

karen256

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They can be pretty cuddly in their own way... as in wanting to be close to their people and usually neck/head scritches. They aren't likely to enjoy full body cuddles like a conure; but not all conures like that, and those who do can be obnoxious about it (for example, my GCC believes I should always cuddle her to sleep and when she feels like a nap, will fly over and tug on my sleeve or poke at me over and over until I give in.
Also, a bird is unlikely to want to cuddle with a stranger.

This makes me think of one time when I visited a local rescue, which also boards birds. They had a boarding tiel and GCC from the same household. The tiel was hanging off the front of the cage, whistling songs, trying to get people to scratch his neck through the cage. The GCC was just hiding in its hut in the back of the cage. This was despite GCCs usually being more outgoing. Every bird is an individual.

Also, despite what some people say, dogs are not cuddly pets. I've never had a dog that enjoyed being cuddled any more than the odd belly rub or pat on the back. They've done studies, where they had behaviorists observe dogs - even dogs whose owners claimed they 'liked' to be held or cuddled, exhibited signs of stress when cuddled. Dogs simply are much more tolerant of interactions they don't like. I would consider my GCC much more cuddly than any dog I've had; even one of my budgies was more cuddly than a dog. Cats, on the other hand, can be super cuddly.
 
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iamwhoiam

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Depends on the 'tiel. In fact depends on the bird. Some of my birds are super friendly and like being scratched and cuddled but others are nippy and I wouldn't attempt cuddling them. My first 'tiel was very friendly and cuddly but I can't say the same thing about the two I have now although Callisto is very sweet. Kuiper, on the other hand, is nippy and standoffish.
 

BirbBrains

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to be clear to everyone commenting: I'm aware birds won't literally be cuddly like a kitten, for instance. My cat (who, before you ask, is to be kept in a seperate room from the birds at all times) is always willing to hop onto my lap and purr and stay there for hours. I don't expect birds will neccessarily do that. It's not their nature.
 

SquawksNibbles

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Regardless of what you meant by ‘cuddly,’ it seriously will depend on the bird.

I have never had a Cockatiel before, only Budgies. My first Budgie, Bella, was very sweet and happy to be hanging out on you. Bella passed away years ago. Now I have my two Budgies, Skittles and Nico. Skittles will quickly step up for you. He’s not a big fan of hanging out on your shoulder, and in fact doesn’t spend much time on you at all. He hardly sits still, to be honest. :lol: He’s not playful with me in the slightest, but he does enjoy toys. Nico is more timid around people. He steps up for a treat but other than that he doesn’t like being on you or having any human contact. They all have their own unique personalities and all of them I love. :heart: It makes me so happy when Skittles will fly over to me, even just for a quick visit. As for Nico, he may not enjoy being on you or letting you touch him, but he is still wonderful. :xflove: He’s still a great friend and company and I love seeing him interact with his brother, Skittles.

My point is that all birds are different, even ones of the same species who may be known to be a certain way. I think it’s best not to have any expectations as to the personality of your bird. No matter how ‘cuddly’ and/or playful your bird may be, you will find that you will love him/her so much and that he/she brings you lots of joy. :)
 
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