Someone gave me two cockatiels and a cage the other day. I now see why they didn't want the poor birds. The birds are incredibly mean, and I believe someone at one time abused the poor things.
First, cockatiels mate for life. The love between to cockatiels is often called bonding. Two bonded birds are obvious to spot as they're like to lovers who are new to the scene. Unlike humans, the birds don't seem to tire of being around one another. They preen their partner's feathers, they sit very close together, they kiss and mate, and they even have cute little lover's quarrels without real pain.
My new birds? No way. When they fight, they hurt each other. When they sleep, they kind of sit close to one another, but just because they're friends and scared. When they eat, they eat alone. In fact, when she tries to eat while he's eating he snaps at her. These birds clearly never bonded. They should have never been left in the cage together.
I separated the birds for her sake. She was beaten up. He would just attack her her I tried to talk to either bird. I place the cages next to each other so they could have company at night. Two bonded birds would have screamed and yelled for each other even if the cages are so close together. These birds didn't. He did for a bit, but she has obviously had enough of his crap.
I believe that somewhere along the line someone had abused them. Why? Both birds have only one or two toe nails each. Sure, sometimes cockatiels lose their toenails or bite them off if there is an infection, but these two birds have too many missing. It might explain why they're so mean. I really feel bad for them.
It's going to take a long, long time to get these birds tame. I hope I have the patience. Cockatiels can be great friends and pets. I pity the person who hurt these guys because of all the goodness they missed out on. The only way to a cockatiel's heart is good friendship and patience.