Except for the Budgerigar, the Cockatiel is rated as the most popular and widely kept of the approximately 340 species of the order of psittacine birds. They are a hardier bird than their rival, the Budgie, and have a life span of 15 to 20 years versus the Budgie's 7 to 8. They are gentle and sociable by nature and have pert, bright personalities. They quickly pick up words and phrases and especially love to whistle. Their speech may not be as clear as that of the larger birds, but they are by comparison much less expensive. There is no more ideal pet for the novice than a young, hand fed Cockatiel. Advice from a breeder.
I am planning on getting a pair of cockatiels once my aviary is setup, they certainly are a favourite of mine.