According to the Humane Society of the United States, to tame a cockatiel, establish a safe home and provide proper nutrition. Carefully observe your pet's behavior to help you develop a relationship with your cockatiel.
- Provide a safe, non-threatening environment
Parrots who are nervous have a harder time concentrating on bonding with you. A cockatiel is an animal who needs to practice natural behaviors in order to remain in a healthy mindset. Provide a variety of toys that allow your pet to preen, pick and chew. Providing a cage that allows your pet to fly and exercise also increases your chance of successfully developing a healthy relationship.
- Realize the importance of food
Everyone loves a treat, and your cockatiel is no exception. In addition to providing your pet with a diet formulated for cockatiels, offer a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains to entice your new friend. When you notice that your cockatiel really enjoys a particular snack, try offering it by hand, or sit nearby and talk quietly and encouragingly while he enjoys his treat. Over time, the bird comes to associate you with this delightful experience.
- Be observant and positive
Bird body language includes sitting very upright when scared, showing dilated eyes when feeling aggressive and fluffing the feathers when not feeling well. The parrot rescue organization Phoenix Landing recommends watching your bird carefully for these and other behaviors so that you know when to approach your new pet, and when to back off to avoid damaging your developing relationship. Sing, play peek-a-boo and share a snack to help keep things moving in a positive direction. Ignore undesirable behaviors to avoid reinforcing them.