Wish I had a more exciting reaction for you all, but this is all he does when I show him!
Check out the hilarious video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-5gAUF5inQ
*** Why does Alex honk? ***
When I got Alex as a baby, he would bob his head and squeak. I would bob my head and squeak back at him and say “hello Alex!” Eventually, he started to mimic me mimicking him, and over time it just got more and more exaggerated until it became the honk you see today.
*** What is he saying before the honk? ***
Technically, he’s saying “hello Alex.” But it’s also a bit of “hello Dommi” for his son Dominic, and a bunch of other names of other birds I’ve owned. Because Alex has spent most of his life with lots of other birds, they would tend to teach each other to talk rather than listen to me, so he’s never been very good at speaking clearly.
*** Is Alex Lonely? ***
I often get comments from people who feel sorry for Alex because they think he only has plush toys for company. He actually lives with another real bird, Dominic, who is also his son! I used to have a whole aviary of cockatiels but had to say goodbye to most of them when I moved into an apartment. Dominic had been living with a friend for a while but came back to keep his dad company when Alex’s mate, Tina, sadly passed away in 2016.
*** Thinking of getting your own cockatiel? ***
I know Alex is cute and we all love to see him honk, but keep in mind that parrots are a big responsibility and require special care. Alex himself is almost 20 years old. That’s a lot of time, money, noise and poop! It’s important to do your research and think very carefully about whether a pet bird is right for you, and whether it’s right for the bird!