The cockatiel is a highly social and intelligent bird that will want to spend as much time with its human flockmates as possible. It is important that all members of the family contribute to its care to keep it willing to interact with everyone.
A properly socialized bird is one that is exposed to as many different events and people as is appropriate and safe for a bird. This will make the occasional vet visit less stressful and boarding necessities tolerable for everyone involved.
An improperly socialized bird is the one that bites you when you reach into the cage to take it out, and the one who flies through the house, determined not to be caught, when it’s time to go back in. It is an unfortunate situation and one that is completely unnecessary given how easily a cockatiel can be trained.
Out-of-cage time, in the best of situations, is not always spent in the most productive ways. Often a bird will sit on a perch or shoulder while the humans go about their daily chores. While your bird will enjoy being in your presence, and free from its cage, one could hardly call that “interaction”.
The most intensive interaction happens during training when your bird has complete focus and attention. It allows your bird to use its remarkable brain and provides a bonding and trust-building experience like no other activity can.
The most certain way to ensure that life with your cockatiel is everything you’d hoped it would be is to begin training your bird with positive reinforcement from day one.