Tips for my new Cockatiel?

So, I just got a Cockatiel today ! I work with a woman who owns two Cockatoos and an African Grey, and she helped my mom buy me this Cockatiel (I'm fifteen, by the way, and Piper [my Cockatiel] is a Christmas gift). She's two years old, from a rescue, and just as sweet as can be ! I know not to give her chocolate, and that birds can't sense heat in food, so I can't give her anything hot (temperature wise), or she might burn herself. I have tons of toys in her cage, and she's set to go for tonight.. I have her in an area where she can get lots of sunlight in the morning (I am going to make a little cardboard hide-out so she can get into the shade if she gets too hot), and is in an area with medium traffic. She's in the room where I normally spend most of my time (den), and I will have her out whenever I'm doing homework (99% of the time). Anyhow, what I want to know is..

1. What are some other things I should avoid giving her ?

2. I want to shower with her eventually; how long should I wait until she feels comfortable enough in her environment that this is okay ?

3. Piper “twitters” sometimes, and can squawk.. can female Cockatiels do anything other than that ?

4. Any other suggestions/tips on how to make Piper as happy as possible ?

Everything is appreciated. Thank you !

Also, how often should I “mist” her with a spray bottle ? I know Cockatiels have a powder they give off when healthy, and I don't want to over-spray her, if that's possible.

It sounds like Piper has come into a very loving home!

Though I am no cockatiel expert, I think I can answer your questions:

1) Food-wise, don't feed onion, avocado, rhubarb, or lettuce. There have been reports of birds getting sick from the onion, avocado, and rhubarb and lettuce ahs no nutritional value. It isn't good to feed your bird anything with sugar, salt, or caffiene in it.

Other-things-wise, don't give your bird sandpaper perch covers. They can cause foot problems. Plastic perches are also a no-no. Don;t give your bird toys with yarn or string in it. The string can ball up in their crop and kill them if they eat it. Mirrors also aren't good- your 'tiel might pay more attention to his reflection than you.

2) Once she's comfortable in your home and knows you and all the rooms she's allowed in well, start introducing her to the bathroom. Just put her on a perch and play with her in there. When she's comfortable with that, keep her in the room when you shower so she;s comfortable with the running water. You might want to keep her in her cage for this. If she's fine with that, great, it's also wonderful for her respiratory system. Humidity is good. Then start bringing her into the shower with the water off. Turn the shower on a tiny bit if she likes bathing. Let her explore. If she's ok with the water, turn it up a bit. Etc. This will take you months. But get her used to bathing under water too. Just drip a bit of water over her and see if she likes it. Put her in the sink with the water on a bit. Be creative.

3) Females usually don't imitate, but it all depends on the individual bird. She might whistle and there's a slight chance she'll pick up a word or two.

4) Lots of toys, a playstand, good perches, and plenty of time with you are the best things you can ever give your 'tiel!

Good luck!