Good Songs to Teach Cockatiels

Whistle and sing with your cockatiel to help train him to learn songs.
Whistle and sing with your cockatiel to help train him to learn songs. (Image: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

Cockatiels can talk, but most don’t. What they lack in language skills, they make up for in whistling and humming. Cockatiels are fantastic songbirds, capable of learning entire songs. Instead of singing the words, they will whistle and chirp through the talking parts. Expose your cockatiel to a song often and soon he’ll know it by heart.

"The Fishin’ Hole" by Fred Lowry

The Andy Griffith Show theme song, "The Fishin’ Hole," is a terrific song to teach your cockatiel. The song is predominantly whistling, with some finger snapping and drumming thrown in for measure. Because your cockatiel is an excellent whistler, he’ll catch on quickly. Play the song twice daily, or more, because frequent exposure is the easiest way for a cockatiel to learn a song. Expect your cockatiel to try to sing along from the first playing.

The "William Tell Overture" by Gioachino Rossini

The fast-paced drama of the "William Tell Overture" is catchy to cockatiels. This song should elicit some new sounds from your bird. He will add in some whistling and humming, to create the beat of the overture. If you play an instrument, you could create your own duet.

"Whistle Baby" by Florida

If you’re raising modern cockatiels, you could introduce them to the cool rap stylings of Florida. “Whistle Baby” topped the charts last year and features a chorus and backtrack chock full of catchy rhythms and whistling. Because cockatiels love to sing, you could have your cockatiel humming the rhythm and whistling the chorus by week's end.

"Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" by Monty Python

Upbeat, fun and chock full of whistling, Monty Python’s "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" is a great song to teach your cockatiel. Because there’s a lot of different lyrics, break down the song and teach it to your cockatiel in parts. Focus on the beginning of the song one week and then the middle and end in the following weeks.

"Don’t Worry Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin

"Don’t Worry Be Happy" is a great song to teach your cockatiel, because it’s entirely a cappella. All “instruments” and backtracks are noises created by the song’s singer, Bobby McFerrin. If you have two cockatiels, you may be able to train them to work in harmony, to recreate the song entirely. They will mimic the words in the song by humming noises. Because the song is so popular, guests to your home may instantly recognize it, reminding them to check their worries at the door and enjoy the harmony of life.

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