Their charming personalities, colors and little quirks make cockatiels a favored species of pet bird. Males can also learn to talk, and the well-known wolf whistle is something nearly all the boys are able to pick up. Some might call them loud, but others might find their noises endearing.
Ear of the Beholder
Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, loudness is in the ear of the beholder. What you consider quiet, especially for a bird, your neighbor might consider loud enough to bang his broomstick against the ceiling to let you know to tune your bird down. All cockatiels will make some noise, but the boys tend to make it clear to the world that they have something to say.
The sweet, affectionate females often will call to you, letting you know they already miss your presence. They'll also interact with you on a vocal level and make a few characteristic cockatiel noises. They also may talk to other birds in the neighborhood with distinctive cockatiel whistles and calls. Males tend to mimic words or the way you talk, whistle loudly and all-around make a ruckus.
Time for Love
During the mating season, you're probably going to notice a male cockatiel making a little bit more noise than normal. He will start to sound like a woodpecker as he furiously taps his beak against anything he can, especially his perches. He'll do this even more if a female is around. Although he's already vocal, he'll start hopping around, strutting his stuff and stopping periodically to make a few love calls to a potential mate, whether or not there's one around. Females will coo when they want some love, and the first time you hear this sound you'll be hard-pressed to believe it came from your 'tiel, as it's different than her other vocalizations.
Sure, some may consider cockatiels a little noisy, but they're not particularly loud when compared to other birds, especially larger parrots. If you desire some quiet time, or you live in an apartment building with thin walls, consider adopting a female cockatiel as opposed to a male. If you're looking forward to a bird you can teach to talk, whistle and who's in your face seeking attention, choose a male.
With a professional background in gardening, landscapes, pests and natural ecosystems, Jasey Kelly has been sharing her knowledge through writing since 2009 and has served as an expert writer in these fields. Kelly's background also includes childcare, and animal rescue and care.