Complete Cockatiel Bird Language And Behavior Guide

Cockatiel language and behavior can be very complex but with knowledge of some general cockatiel traits and what they mean, you will be able to learn more about your pet birds. We’ll start with the language of the cockatiel crest.

Cockatiels are unique in that, unlike other small birds, they have a crest that can give us clear insight into what’s going on inside their head. The positions of the crest vary from laying flat on the head to sticking straight up in the air.

1. A flat, angry crest. When your cockatiel crest lays flat on the head, it is usually a sign of hostility and often most often when you get to close to your birds cockatiel cage while eating. Of course, even sweet, tame cockatiels like my baby cockatiel Toby (male cockatiel, a little over 6 months old) has moments where the crest will flatten and the inner demon will emerge | it’s totally natural for babies and adults!
2. A relaxed crest at “half mast.” This is a regular crest position for the usual content cockatiel.
3. A relaxed, yet alert crest position. This is a common position for an inquisitive cockatiel.
4. A completely raised crest. Bright red alert! This is a common position for when a cockatiel is startled or otherwise on guard. This often happens when a cockatiel hears a “bump in the night,” or when he hears the voice of another cockatiel that he can’t see. It’s an all-purpose “alert” crest.

The “Rapidfire Bite” Technique:
If your your cockatiel gets little bunchy eyebrows or a flat crest and then starts quickly biting your finger (or as I like to say, playing your finger like a harmonica), he might be a tad miffed at you. Don’t take it personally. It happens with even the best cockatiels.

Skinny Cockatiel:
If your cockatiel suddenly gets very small and “skinny,” it could mean that he has been startled or is scared. It often looks like the cockatiel crops sucked in, and all the feathers lie flat on the body. This is often accompanied by a “red alert” crest.

The Head Bob:
A cockatiel who is bobbing his head often while in it’s bird cage might be trying to tell you a variety of things. In a young or unweaned bird… it is often a sign of hunger. Your cockatiel may be begging for food. In an older cockatiel, it could be a way of showing off or trying to get some attention.

Heart-Shaped Wings:
Also known as “the big chest.” This is when a cockatiel holds his wings slightly away from his sides with his chest sticking out. From the back, the shape of the wings resembles a heart. This is a male cockatiel behavior 90% of the time and is just your cockatiels body language showing off because he likes you. A big chest is a great tool when flirting with cockatiels as a big ripped chest is a great tool with humans and ladies. You should understand how smart your bird is and how much they pick up daily from you, their owner so do not neglect these signs.

The Bowed Head:
If your cockatiel lowers his head and leaves it there, it is most likely an invitation for you to pet his head. This is very cute! A more demanding cockatiel might beak bang a few times before leaving his head stationary if you don’t respond to his demands in a timely fashion.

Ready for Take-Off:

Often, a cockatiel will stoop down low and hold his wings out, still folded, at his sides while fidgeting or moving back and forth. It may look like he is about to take off flying. If your cockatiel’s wings are clipped, then it may mean that he would like to fly somewhere (often toward you) but isn’t confident enough to take off. A flighted cockatiel may also choose to do this if he thinks that you will come and pick him up; it saves him the trouble of actually flying over to you if possible.

Bat Cockatiel:
When given a new cockatiel cage or play gym, when sitting on a tall object, or when near a nesting site, a cockatiel may hold his wings out all the way, often swishing slightly backward and forward. Sometimes, a cockatiel may adopt the same wing position while leaning far forward, sometimes even upside down. This is a sign of “property ownership.” Your cockatiel is saying “This is mine!”

Beak-Banging:
A cockatiel and most birds may often hammer his beak on a hard object, or on you. It almost looks like a pecking motion. This is beak-banging, and it’s a common behavior for male cockatiels. Like other make cockatiel body language, it is a gesture of property ownership. Your cockatiel may be saying “Whatever I’m hammering on is mine!” However, while the Bat Cockatiel is seen in both male and female cockatiel birds, beak banging on your own birds cockatiel cages is a predominantly male behavior once again but females can do it also. There is no known traits that only a male or female can do or shows besides females laying eggs. A male bird or cockatiel can lay eggs but that’s a whole other story and topic lol.

The “Back and Forth” Cockatiel:
Also known as “pacing.” Sometimes, especially when in bird cages, you may see him or her eagerly walking back and forth very quickly, taking only one or two steps to each side while always facing forward. Sometimes he may chirp repeatedly while doing this. Your cockatiels behavior is begging (rather, nagging, begging – whatever you would like to call it) to be let out of his bird cage. The speed of back-and-forth motion often increases exponentially when people are eating in his field of vision.

Beak-Assisted Climbing:
When your cockatiel is climbing onto your finger, he may first grab on with his beak before stepping all the way on. This is normal. He is testing the stability of your finger. This is also often used by cockatiels as a balancing aid.

Beak Grinding:
Usually it is the sound of this motion and not the visual that first attracts our attention. Your cockatiel may grind his upper and lower mandible together, producing a scratchy or “zippy” noise. Your cockatiel is probably content and relaxed, and he might be getting ready for a nap.

In Your Face:
If your cockatiel jumps onto your chest, runs up to your face, and maybe even sticks his beak against your face, he is inviting you to join him in a cuddling session! Take advantage of the opportunity! This move is demonstrated in the video “In Your Face.”

The Head Tilt:
If your cockatiel turns his head sideways and then tilts it up or down, he may be looking at something either above or below him. Because of the positioning of a cockatiel’s eyes, this is the easiest way for them to view certain areas. If you can’t tell what your cockatiel is looking at, it’s possible that he’s staring at his own fluff floating in the air. This head motion may also be done when your cockatiel is listening intently to a sound.

Tail Wagging:
Ever petted your female cockatiel on the back or by the tail and had her “wag her tail” in response? Well, stop it, because you’re turning her on, and she might start to lay eggs!

The Happy Cockatiel Dance:
If your cockatiel gets on top of an object (or backs into an object) and starts rubbing his/her butt back and forth on it, often chirping at the same time, be polite and avert your eyes. Congratulations! Your cockatiel is masturbating hehe. Many cockatiels chirp while doing this.

Backward Head:
If your cockatiel turns his head backward, closes his eyes, and buries his beak in between his feathers, he is all ready to go to sleep. You can also expect him to stand balanced on one foot while doing this.

One Eye Closed, One Eye Opened:
Sometimes, when cuddling with your feathery friend, you might find that he has one eye closed and one eye opened. Most often, it will be the eye facing you that is closed, and the eye facing the rest of the room that is opened. Your cockatiel is relaxed and content, but still alert enough to want to keep a look out.

Puffy!:
Your cockatiel may occasionally puff out all his feathers, often accompanied by a brief dog-like shake. Your cockatiel is just fixing up his feathers. This is often done during preening. However, if your cockatiel remains puffed for long periods of time (and might also sit at the bottom of the cage), he might very well be sick, and he should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Repeated Yawning:
Often after preening, a cockatiel may yawn over and over again. It could be that he’s readjusting his crop or that he’s gotten a bit of down stuck in his throat. Either way, it’s normal. They also yawn when they are tired or after waking up from a nap.

The Head Shake:
You may occasionally see your cockatiel rapidly shaking his head for a moment. if done while eating, it could mean that the food has a surprising taste, temperature, or moisture level. If done when listening to a sound, it could mean that it’s a tad too loud or sharp or high-pitched, or just that it’s an interesting sound.

The “Roll Head Magic Trick”:
While preening, you may see your cockatiel wiping or rolling his head on his lower back, or occasionally inside his wing. If you own or owned a cockatiel, I’m sure you even saw the 180-degree head twist which looks like a trick right out of the old magic book. You’ll If you feel the lower back area, you will find that it is very powdery. A cockatiel performing the “Roll Head” is simply distributing all these oils and powders to the feathers on his head… almost like human hair conditioner.

THE FAMOUS COCKATIEL Bathroom Time Stance:
If your cockatiel stoops down low and gets slightly puffy, it could mean that he is about to go to the bathroom. Hurry and get a napkin because BOMBS AWAY! Once you recognize this famous poop stance, it will become much easier to prevent accidents on yourself, the floor and even train your cockatiel to go to the bathroom on command or in certain areas only (such as his cage or playstand only).

Bath Time Puffiness:
While taking a shower or bath, or while getting misted, a cockatiel might become extremely puffy, raise both his wings up away from his side, lean forward, and sway all around. This means that he is enjoying his bath!

Shower Time Trance:
When in the shower, your cockatiel might close his eyes and zone out for awhile, as if he is sleeping. Again, this is a sign that he is enjoying his shower.

Nose Picker:
Occasionally, your cockatiel might stick his toenail up his nose and then sneeze. What an undignified cockatiel! Nah, he’s just attempting to clear out his nasal passages. It’s perfectly normal so don’t be alarmed.

Puffy Face:
While listening to a sound, your cockatiel’s face and/or cheek patches may become slightly puffy. This is often a sign that he likes what he’s hearing, or that he is interested in the sound. Toby often gets puffy cheeks while listening to sounds that he later ends up repeating.

Strrreeeetcchhh (haha I like to emphasize the term stretch):
If your cockatiel raises both his wings above his back, usually leaving them folded, he is stretching.

Superman Ice Skater:
Your cockatiel may extend one foot and one wing behind him, often while fanning his tail. This is another way for your cockatiel to stretch.

Mating:
If you have multiple cockatiels, it is possible that you will observe mating. If you have a male and female, this could of course lead to breeding which is not appropriate for everyone. It is also possible to observe mounting if you have a same sex pair since it is far from uncommon for cockatiels to bond to one another regardless of sex. Mating will not always lead to eggs (young females, older females might have a harder time to conceive an egg and obviously a same sex male pair won’t have eggs – ever!).

Crushes:
It is quite frequent for cockatiels to develop crushes on other animals (i.e another cockatiel) or even on other people. Usually, you’ll notice that your cockatiel is acting hormonal around that person (ie protective, displaying, singing etc.). The cockatiel might even try to mate with the chosen object of desire. The male will rub his vent on the object whereas the female will lift her tail and kind of arch her head back and make faint whistling sounds. Crushes might go away or persist, it usually won’t persist if the object of desire is removed. If your cockatiel develops a crush on someone else than you, even if you are the primary care taker, don’t take it as a sign that your cockatiel doesn’t love you… he just doesn’t love you “that” way!

Flock Calling:
In the wild, most cockatiels live in large groups called a flock. In captivity, you and your family are your cockatiels flock, which is why it is important to frequently interact with your cockatiels as you are his social group. In the wild, cockatiels of a same group are not always within sight of each other so they will call to each other to keep track of each others positions. Think of it as a way to verify that all your family is safe and sound. The bird calling usually consist in a high pitched whistle repeated until the caller is satisfied that all of his flock has answered. You can answer your cockatiel by whistling back so he knows that you are there, safe and by extension so is he. If you have multiple cockatiels, they will call to each other in the morning to verify that everyone got through the night alright, they will also call to each other if they are in separated rooms. Be careful, however, as there is a difference between flock bird calling and a behavioral screaming for attention problem. A cockatiel whose flock answers will stop calling after a few whistles, faster if you answer the cockatiel | An attention screamer will just go on screaming for ever until you show up in the room and care for them.

Hissing:
Think of a cat hiss when it’s scared or unhappy, the same applies to cockatiels. If your cockatiel doesn’t want to come out of the cage, doesn’t want to be petted, doesn’t want anything to do with that new $15 toy you put in his cage chances are he’ll let you know by either hissing at you or at the object that is causing him to be scared or mad. If you have multiple cockatiels, they can also keep each other at bay by hissing at one another – this is a simple “don’t get in my personal space!” message to other birds. It’s a mean of intimidation for the cockatiels and they usually fluff up their feathers, open their wings in order to pretend to be bigger and stronger than they really are to scare the potential threat away.

Regurgitating:
This is not to be confused with vomiting which is actually a sign of illness. Regurgitating is the act where the cockatiel empties the food from his crop onto someone, another cockatiel or a toy which they are bonded with. Parents also regurgitate food into their babies crop in order to feed them. If your cockatiel regurgitate on you it is a sign that he is very much bonded to you and he’s trying to feed you. Sadly, cockatiels do not comprehend that we might not want to eat their gift.

Acting out Fear and Aggressions:
Cockatiels who have been abused in the past, either by a mate or an owner can act out fear and aggressions on their toys or new feathery friends. This rarely happens in baby cockatiels gotten from breeders or reputable stores, but if you got your cockatiel from a rescue or from someone out of the classifieds it’s possible to observe this behavior. Keep in mind that not all rescue and classified cockatiels were abused, but there’s more chances of a shady past. If you notice that your cockatiel is aggressive toward other cockatiels it will be important to cage him/her alone, it will help reduce the stress for all your cockatiels and yourself. Time, patience and love will be required to work through this and eventually your cockatiel will feel more confident and safe around you and will settle down.

Congratulations on making it to the end and you can now say you’ve completed the cockatiel bird crash course on body language and behavior, hehe. I hope you all enjoyed it and that it was able to answer any questions you may of had about your loving pet! Please comment or send me any stories or information on your cockatiel if you have anything else to add. I enjoy pictures and am always interested in story’s that are bird related.

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306 Comments:

  1. captain ben   April 18th, 2014

    @vicenta, i am sorry to hear that your bird is pulling on its feathers….the single most explaination for this act could be boredom….try to change his sorroundings, provide him with toys to play with and spend more time talking to him. If his feathers are clipped take him out of the cage and interact with him…i hope this will help…good luck.

  2. Anonymous   April 13th, 2014

    I love my cockatiel, Ozzie. He is so spoiled – eats out food, likes to be petted, but lately he bites on my husband’s fingernail, and then gets on his finger, and rubs on his finger, and moves his tail back and forth, back and forth. Any suggestions on why he does that? It’s almost sexual.

  3. hiilani   April 13th, 2014

    thanks this nformation was very helpfull. I got my cockatiel from some one and he has never been out of the cage. I notice some of the things you have written will help me make his life happy.

  4. Anonymous   April 11th, 2014

    My male cokatiel, is pulling one of his finger, always the same finger, and them he regurgitate over that finger, and eats it right away. He always pull the same finger, its accuattly a diferent color now, because he always pull the same finger.. what tha possibly be? please help!

  5. vicenta   April 11th, 2014

    May some one tell me what is wrong with my cokatiel that is loosing the feathers every months, and became almost naked, he is 10 ye.ars old, and is it a albino cakatiel, but he was fine before, until last years tha he started having that condition. But he is eating well, singing and hes digestion is normal
    Please help me, I appreciate all suggestions

  6. Ari   April 10th, 2014

    This was a great starting place-thank you for the information!
    I do have a question, maybe you can help: I bought a male cockatiel from a pet store (bird and fish). His tail had been cut off. I saw it immediately, of course, but I still got him. I have a feeling that this bird has some trauma from it, because he displays a fear of fingers. He wants to come out of his cage so much, but he swooped out the three times he has ventured out. (This is in 2 and a half months.)
    He does like me and the other family members. He also does the “head bow” from time to time when I am near him, but won’t accept touch. We hand-feed him and he gives me “kisses.” He’s never bitten me hard, and mainly just nibbles on my fingers from time to time.
    Short version: what can I do from here to at least get him to trust me enough to “step up?” Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks again! :)

  7. Keli   April 10th, 2014

    I have 2 cockatiels, 1 female (Bonnie) and 1 male (Clyde). They had a clutch of 3 eggs in January but none made it. I hear it is quite normal for the first clutch to not survive. It was very sad for us, as 1 was fully developed and even had its yellow fuzz when we did an “eggtopsy”. Well, they are little rascals and despite taking precautions such as shorter daylight hours, moving perches and toys, removing nest box, etc…they have already bred again! Bonnie has the signature “egg-butt” and I expect the 1st egg any time now! I am super excited, but last time Bonnie scared me between egg #2 & #3. She began vomiting and flinging it everywhere, and looked pretty rough. Do birds get morning sickness? Was it too much on her body? Could she have a nutrition deficiency? Love my “little chickens”, and want to make sure they are healthy! Thanks!

  8. John   April 8th, 2014

    Hello Amie… I am sorry to hear what happened with Sweatpea… I have gone through this loss a few times and I can assure you it’s never easy. Take all the time you need to grieve… When you feel the time is right you can consider adopting a new little friend. There is nothing wrong with getting another little angel to care for .. Always remember , you are not replacing Sweatpea, you are adopting a new friend, and will share many new adventures with him/her. Always think of your lost friend and enjoy creating fun memories with your new friend… Good luck and take care

  9. AMIE   April 5th, 2014

    HELLO I AM 22 AND WHEN I WAS 4 I WAS GIVEIN THE MOST PERFECT GIFT FROM GOD A COCKATAIL … HER NAME WAS SWEETPEA!!!! I TALKED TO HER IN A WAY ONLY ME AND HER WOULD GET SHE WAS MY SUNSHINE AND ALWAYS MADE MY RAINY DAYS GROWING UP WITH HER WAS AMZING. SHE WAS THERE FOR EVERY KIND OF TEAR AND HEARTBREAK LIFE THREW AT ME. WEN I WAS 20 ON APRIL 1ST (NO JOKE) I WAS VACUMMIN THE SEEDS AROUND HER CAGE I BUMPED THE CAGE JUST A LIL I HERD THE LOUDEST SILENCE THAT MADE MY HEART STOP. I KNOW EVERY THING SWEETPEA DOES BEFOR SHE DOSE IT. SHE HAD A BLANKET OVER HER CAGE SO SHE DONT GET NIGHT FRIGHTS AND I KNOW IF I WERE TO BUMP THE CAGE SHE USALLY FLAPPS HER WINGS WELL I TURNED THE VACUUM OFF AND KNEW SOMETHING WASNT RIGHT … I WAS SO SCARD TO LOOK AND WEN I DID I FOUND HER LAYING ON HER BACK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CAGE AND SHE COVERD HERSELF LIKE A BLANKET WITH THE SAND PAPER AT THE BOTTOM OF HER CAGE…MY SOUL RIPED INTO MY BABY THAT I HAD SINCE I WAS FOUR … I COULDNT EVEN TAKE HER OUT OF HER CAGE IT BOTHERD ME SO BAD TO GROW UP SEEIN HER FULL OF LIFE AND ALL OF A SUDDEN SEEN HER LIFELESS AFTER THAT I SWEAR I COULD STILL HEAR HER CHERP….I MISS MY SWEETPEA SOOO MUCH EVEN TODAY TWO YEARS LATER I WISH I HAD MY BABY TO KISS AND SING TO ME … I FEEL LIK IF I GET ANOTHER BIRD IT COULD EITHER HELP WITH THAT LONLYNESS OF LOSING SWEETPEA OR EITHER MAKE ME SAD THAT ITS NOT HER IDK WAT TO DO IM STILL HEARTBROKEN OVER SWEETPEA

  10. Brittany Lu   April 5th, 2014

    Thank you so much!! :) I have a 12 week old (predicted to be) male Lutino. He is beautiful and he is my baby. I’ve only had him 5 day’s and we are already so much closer than I could have ever imagined us being, in such a short amount of time. I bought him from a breeder and have already taught him several tricks. He is a snuggle bug as well as as delight! I feel blessed to have him.
    I am so happy that I found your page and the listed info! It helps so much. I bookmarked it to my phone so that I can reference back to it. Thanks a ton!
    ♥Britt from Birmingham
    ~Namaste ~

  11. hezekiahsanchez@gmail.com   April 4th, 2014

    Thank you so much for sharing my sister has 5 cockatiel 2 are male father and son and 3 of those are females .we had to separate 2 of the birds from the breeding pair because the father was being very aaggressive with the other 2 bird that shared the cage one namely being his first baby who now big , he is also being very aaggressive with his mate should we still separate them to I was told that males can and will sometimes kill or hurt other birds but I don’t know if that apply to mating birds to please send me your response on this matter Ooh in passing he the older male was let out of the cage he got into one of the other cage that was left open by my niece and he attack one of the female bird hurting her wing I told them to keep all cage closed when letting him out so he will be the only one out she was hurt but is making a good recovery is eating and doing what she normally do please send me you thought about this topic also did I tell them right or not thank you from Mr worry bird lover

  12. irene cornell   April 2nd, 2014

    this was very informative and really helped to explain quite alot thank you no really thank you

  13. JL   April 1st, 2014

    I have a mature male cockatiel that has year round mating behavior, hisses a lot, and bites. What can I do? We have had him for about 20 years and don’t want to give him away, but if he needs something we can’t provide we will put him in a breeding environment permanently. Please help!

  14. Jennifer   March 31st, 2014

    I have a Cockatiel female and she is about 7 months old and this morning I found her flapping her wings and rolling on the floor of her cage with her head tilted backwards. What could be wrong?

  15. brittany   March 29th, 2014

    My cockatiel had just developed a brown spot on her break what could this be?

  16. peppered ollie   March 26th, 2014

    Not sure if its too late. Anyways, a rescued cockatiel is usually stressed out and will not be comfortable until he gets adjusted and may not eat food or come out of the cage for some time. You can try giving the tiel Millet’s or Zupreem Fruit blend or Feista Brand seeds or veggies (no avacado atall) – usually available in petsmart or petco. One of the key things that a tiel needs is water. Make sure that the water is available 24×7. This is crucial for tiels survival. Wont hurt taking him to vet, just in case, to check if he is all right.

  17. Ribbit   March 22nd, 2014

    Yesterday as I was coming home from work, I found a cockatiel all of a sudden. He had tried to land on a branch, but he landed right next to the car, so I quickly picked it up, and of course, he bit me. I think the reason why he didn’t get away is because he was very exhausted. I brought him inside and put him in a cage I already had, and bought him food. So, right now he’s in the cage, with food and water. I haven’t seen him eating, and he’s constantly pacing around the cage and chirping a lot, but he is obviously rather scared of me. Should I take him to a vet just in case? Should I give him time to adjust? I’m just mostly worried about him not eating.

  18. Rowley   March 19th, 2014

    I have a tiel and it has a ring on its leg,does thhis mean its come from a rescue place??

  19. brittany   March 17th, 2014

    thanks for the advice its really helpful with my first cockateil and is making it a much easier course

  20. Tammie   March 16th, 2014

    I have a almost 3 week old Cockatiel baby, I’ve been feeding. I noticed today it’s one wing tip hangs out not in. Any help

  21. jeannie squire   March 13th, 2014

    I have two males. Thanks, it helped a lot.

  22. Kylie   March 11th, 2014

    About once a day my cockatiel acts strangely. He is only young (about 4 months old) and he goes thin, lowers his head, raises his rear, and makes a strange noise. It is almost like he is scared, or has anxiety; and he only does it to me. I am his main carer, and the one he wants to be with the most, as I am home with him more than anyone else. However, I am not sure what he is trying to communicate to me. The behaviour lasts anywhere from 2 mins to 5 mins and then he goes back to his normal self.

  23. katrina   March 9th, 2014

    i have 2 cocktail male n female bt male is so naughty n female is lazy how to intact betwwen them plz help me

  24. Anonymous   March 7th, 2014

    What do I do if my cockatiel has a foot stuck in a tangle of my hair???

  25. anonymous   March 7th, 2014

    I have a 4 month old Indian Righneck bird. A very caring and loving baby bird who is at ease with human beings. I spent 2 weeks at my fiancee’s place and brought my bird along with me. I left his big cage at my own place and took a smaller one over there.my bird seemed happy being there and was at ease with all members of his house. I just came back yesterday and my bird was normal once back he was even happy to see his big cage and rushed to it. This morning when i woke up she seemed to be quite aggressif. I placed my hands next to him for some cuddles like we usually do have ( he likes it a lot) and he attacked my hands like 2 times. and also when i tried to kiss him (which he also likes a lot) he bite my nose. he is quite aggressif and agitated since this morning and nothing happened in between his happy mood of yesterday and sudden aggressif mood of today..im a bit tensed.please any explanation and what can i do to resolve this? thanks in advance

  26. Anonymous   March 6th, 2014

    I got my bird wing clip a day before and the next day he just stop whistling and stop talking what does that mean? Please help please

  27. Hawk Bergeron   March 3rd, 2014

    one of my birds recently took to biting my bare feet,,hard,,and he persists in doing it,,ive had him and 3 others for over 2 yrs and he has never done this befor,,hes been doing it for more than two weeks now,,im puzzled,,and now i have to wear shoes,,anything i can do to break him of this painful habit

  28. Anonymous   March 1st, 2014

    My bird is calling softly, why?!?!?

  29. Anita Cymet   March 1st, 2014

    My cockatiel boys have been together for 3 tears and have always gotten along. All if a sudden the last 3 days they have become aggressive towards each other when out if the cage? Why would that be? Please help.

  30. Freddyy   February 28th, 2014

    What a beautiful poem, Kristin! And I’m loivng the other poems people are posting, too — especially the ones by Richard Wright. What a feast this blog is!As for me, I’m having a very hard time picking a poem. But I think I’ll post one I just heard quoted this Easter. Because I have fond memories of it — I come from a family where recitations are common, and people also burst into song at the drop of a hat. It’s actually a very nice way to live (as long as people can carry a tune)!One time, when I was little, I was sitting in the car with my dad on the way to the bank, when we saw a belted kingfisher flashing through the air beside (of all things!) a water treatment plant. And my dad recited this:As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;As tumbled over rim in roundy wellsStones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’sBow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;Selves — goes itself; _myself_ it speaks and spells,Crying _What I do is me: for that I came_.I say more: the just man justices;Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is –Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places,Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not hisTo the Father through the features of men’s faces.–Gerard Manley HopkinsIt’s a very Catholic poem, but I hope you don’t have to be Catholic to like it — Hopkins was someone who saw god in the beauty of the natural world, and I hope that’s universal.And now, to make up for the religiosity, I’m going to cheat! I have about a thousand favorite poems, so here’s another one. (Actually,I just set this one to music, and it’ll be coming out in a compilation to benefit children’s literacy!) THE MICROBEThe Microbe is so very smallYou cannot make him out at all,But many sanguine people hopeTo see him through a microscope.His jointed tongue that lies beneathA hundred curious rows of teeth;His seven tufted tails with lotsOf lovely pink and purple spots,On each of which a pattern stands,Composed of forty separate bands;His eyebrows of a tender green;All these have never yet been seen -But Scientists, who ought to know,Assure us that they must be so….Oh! let us never, never doubtWhat nobody is sure about!-Hilaire BellocEnjoy!~Deirdre

  31. Kelly   February 22nd, 2014

    I have had a cockatiel for a couple years no that talks. He is hilarious. I decided I wanted to try and get another one. The pet store I went to advised me it was a male. After doing some research, I believe it’s a female. Not sure if they will let me return her. My question is, if I get a male and put it in with the female, will the male possibly learn to talk? I have heard (not sure how true) but with other birds like parakeets, if you put a male and female together, they only will bird talk and won’t learn to talk. Is this true for cockatiels also?

  32. Cheryl   February 21st, 2014

    You were very helpful with a few of the behaviors I have questioned that my cockatiel has exhibited and you confirmed my thoughts.

  33. Emma   February 19th, 2014

    Hi,
    I have a brand new cockatiel, he’s 8 weeks old, a normal grey. He’s so lovely already, I’ve only had him for 3 days but he started eating from my hand even on the first night, which I feel is a good step. He loves his bath and food and treats but just hisses everytime I put the blanket on him to go to bed, should I still cover him? or just leave him? Also he seems like he’s not very interested in anything to be honest! Doesn’t care if musics on or off or the television he knows how to make kissing sounds already but other than that doesn’t really like anything in particular, do you think this is as he is so young?

  34. ned   February 11th, 2014

    Hey, my cocktail is about 8weeks old… its my first pet bird and I still hand feed him… im trying to get him to eat his seeds and fresh food but im not totally sure how to wean him…they told me to just stop feeding him he wil learn how to eat on his own… but I cant just leace him with out food… im lookingfor advice on how to wean him without starving him???? Please help!

  35. sandii   February 4th, 2014

    Hi, so much information couple questions i have a male cockatiel named reggie bird he would be about 11mths old and he flys around the house only goes to his cage to sleep (sometimes) and eat but thats the way we have it he rules the house. But even tho he is lovey and lands on us talks, you name it reggie birds is into it lol but we can not pat him we can give hom cuddles and kisses he will eat out of our hands but wont let us touch him with our hands, also what is there average life span and one more thing his diet consists of what we eat for breakfast lunch and dinner and just snacks on seed is this bad for him he is spoilt rotten we know but he is the most amazing bird he talks, whistles, barks he just makes a bad day good and we want to do everything to make sure he has a good life.

  36. allen   February 2nd, 2014

    very informative. im getting a cockatiel pretty soon and i wanted to study something on them. this has incredible insights. i appreciate it greatly. thanks

  37. Gary   February 1st, 2014

    Sometimes when i give my cockatiel kisses she wraps her wings around me. Whats with that?

  38. Miriana   February 1st, 2014

    Hi, I also have enjoyed reading all about the cockatiels behaviour! We have always had 2 of them in the one cage and after the passing of one a few months ago, we brought in another one straight away. Only just yesterday we have noticed they sit very close together for long periods of time with just their heads touching! We have had the older one for about 8 years and this behaviour has only ever occured with the new cockatiel! Is this mating behaviour or do they just simply enjoy one another’s company? :)

  39. Vanessa   January 31st, 2014

    I just got a 2 month old at the beginning of this week I was told its hand tame, I found out very quickly thats far from the case. I been spending time talking to it everyday but all it does is hiss and move to the other side of the cage. I need some advice on how I can hand tame it. And how long will it be till I can see if its male or female?

  40. Dr. Cockatiel   January 31st, 2014

    Cindy,

    Amazing to hear how long a cockatiel can live which many people don’t take into account when bringing one into their home. Your cockatiel sounds happy but sometimes when a cockatiel starts doing too much at once where it’s not usual to his behavior, he might be doing all of this thinking his flock he grew up with for so long will come back. Those sound like traits the birds used to have between them and he is enjoying the mirror so much I’d assume since he thinks another bird is with him (they don’t realize they are looking at themselves).

    Getting him another mate is a 50/50 with your situation. Besides not knowing if he will get along with the new one as he grew to love the prior birds he was with, his age worries me. You also don’t want to bring in a new bird that could stress your current one out more which wouldn’t be good for his health and you might possibly be setting up the new bird for the same situation. I know it’s sad to talk about but after 25 years old, it’s anyone’s guess on how much older he will live for and the new cockatiel you get might start missing Moe and develop bad behavior at a early age which I am sure you don’t want to happen.

    I cannot tell you to get one or not to get one as it’s such a hard situation to predict and be in. Best of luck to you.

  41. Cindy   January 31st, 2014

    I got my cockatiel Moe 23 years ago from a friend who already had him for a couple of years. He’s outlived all of his cage mates. His last mate passed away 2 weeks ago and Moe seems to be happier than ever. Moe does not want to be touched and never has nor does he want to come out of his cage. As for his diet, he only wants brown seed with sunflower seeds, he will not eat fresh fruits, vegetables or fancy foods. His favorite sound is sirens that make him screech and he sings Figaro when he paces. He doesn’t care about toys but loves mirrors. Lately he’s been doing the happy dance in one of his food cups, knocking on the cup and rattling his door. He also does the hop on a perch that has a cuddler his cage mate occupied like he’s looking for her. He’s a healthy grey bird with bright orange and yellow coloring, large clear eyes and he still looks young. He could be over 25 years old! Should I get him another cage mate or just let him live alone?

  42. Dr. Cockatiel   January 30th, 2014

    Cookie,

    Glad you learned some information about the cockatiel. The cage is their home as they spend most of the time inside it so to them it’s like as if someone broke into your home and tried to invade your space. Keep the door open while staying in the room with him (watch TV or do anything but make sure you can keep your eye on him at times)… he will start to explore and I’m sure next thing you know he’ll be on top of the cage running around lol. One of mine used to keep coming out of the cage, walk around it and go back in – multiple times over and over it was cute/funny. Now I open the door to offer him the chance to come out and within 5 minutes he climbs to the top, chirps a few “songs” (I am not sure what he is singing or trying to mimic but it’s adorable) than fly’s right over to me for his usual poop on daddy’s leg :) – Remember when a bird poops on you they are telling you they love you hehe. Take care.

  43. Dr. Cockatiel   January 30th, 2014

    Bailey,

    That is what you signed up for when you got a bird. They all are not the perfect pet TV and some people make them out to sound. Yes a cockatiel is one of the more calm & sweet birds but they are not programmed so you never know. I would look into clicker training as you can change his behavior… you just have to put some time aside to dedicate yourself to it.

  44. Stacey Wheelahan   January 27th, 2014

    The happy cockatiel dance and tail wagging was absolutely hilarious!!! I didnt know they did that! Lol, other than that, i found this information to be very educational, because ive only had one cockatiel in the past but not for very long as my dad took her outside thinking that her wings were clipped when they werent, so that was quite sad. Recently my sister bought me a 12 week old cockatiel for my birthday so i will defiantly be using this information a lot!

    Thanks!!

  45. james   January 27th, 2014

    We just got a cocktail .about two weeks now. Still want hold him .you go in cage be try to get away. How long does it take and how can i speed this up .or what am i doing wrong .what and how do i get him to let me hold him .help please

  46. Donna   January 24th, 2014

    I have an older cockatiel who now is going under the paper towels on the bottom of the cage what is he or she doing? also is rubbing vent area on perch where it stands

  47. williamsbobbie62@yahoo.com   January 23rd, 2014

    Can anyone help me. I have a breeding pair of cockatiels , they are bout 5 years old, they have been together for 3 years. My husband brings home a new male he is bout 2 years old, he wants me to breed the new male with my female.. Can i do that, or should i even mess with my breeding pair.

  48. jeannerobinson83@yahoo.com   January 23rd, 2014

    My bird is about seven years old – he canot be out og the cage as his wings are not clipped – he talks a lot still learning new words – my only problem is his water bowl – when I try to emove it to refill – he pecks(bites?) – I have to wear a mitt – also prior to this action he used to stand guard on the rim of his water bowl and peck a little when I returned it – he seems to think someone might mess with his stuff – I have countered this with lots of attention and he is better – the pacing goes on at night mostly and I have turned out his light so he can go to sleep as it is dark by then – any ideas?

  49. linda   January 22nd, 2014

    I have a cockatiel and cage for sale, I work nights now and have no time for Ozzie, and the noise sometimes keeps me up in the daytime, so finding it really hard to sleep, he’s a hand reared cockatiel and I’ve had him since April, so he’s not that old, if you are interested please email me bristol area, want it to go with someone who really can look after it.

  50. Britney   January 21st, 2014

    I have a 6 year old male cockatiel that is usually quiet and likes to be held. We previously got him from a breeder and he was their breeder bird. But a few days ago I purchased a female cockatiel and he now is refusing to be picked up and bites myself and my grandmother(who he used to love!) every time we try and hold him or pick the female up. Without one of their cages covered he also will pace back and forth along the bottom of the cage and will not eat or drink water. We are just worried that this isn’t going to stop.

  51. Cookie   January 21st, 2014

    I really enjoyed reading…My cockatiels are very vocal and i learned alot.I am trying to train them as far as hand feeding,being able to handle them and have them feel comfortable.I do talk to them all the time,i am the main care giver and they know my voice but they aren’t really very friendly when i put my hand in the cage.I’ll keep working with them,i know it doesn’t happen over night.

  52. Bailey   January 20th, 2014

    My cocktail HATES to be alone. I can leave the room without her flipping out. She HATES her cage,she never wants in it. Its a struggle putting her to bed she just paces a half an hour. I feel so bad

  53. Dr. Cockatiel   January 20th, 2014

    It doesn’t sound like he angry the way you describe his biting, but be aware pecking at you and trying to bite you are different. All animals get upset as we humans get upset at things in life. It sounds like he really likes you and enjoys your company so it’s not that he is banging his head as a act of aggression or pure anger but just jealous that your touching the mouse and not him lol.

    At 4 months old they can bite but usually it’s too young to really cause any hurt or damage but stopping the behavior ASAP would be to both you and your birds benefit. Once he get’s a little older and wants to bite… people don’t think due to their size but they can really bite hard if it’s a anger bite.

    Cutting a cockatiels wings is all based on the owner and living conditions. If you do have him flying all over you need to make sure nothing could cause harm to him like a ceiling fan, getting into the kitchen when cooking or anything that may be a dangerous spot. The 1 area you think they will never ever get to or fly to cause a problem – they always end up finding it.

    Personally for my birds, clipping wings is done based on each bird individually and doing what’s best for everyone. When they are young like your 4 month old, I usually only do a nice trim (like how a person would get a nice clean trim at the barber) only because you don’t want the bird at such a young age to always try to fly and crash into the wall or anything that can harm them. Once there wings are full, nice and long it is up to you whether to have them clipped, trimmed based on how well they fly and just putting your birds safety as first priority.

    Cockatiels are known for and it’s common when they land on the floor, they act all nice and cute only cause they know they need you to get back up to the cage otherwise they would fly back themselves :) Best of luck to you and your bird.

    Thanks for writing.

  54. Dr. Cockatiel   January 20th, 2014

    I am very sorry to hear that. It was only 2 hours since your original, my advice would be if you do decide to get another bird – find a avian vet near you. For your bird to pass away that quick the problems must have been present for quite awhile and need to be checked on by a vet at the first sign of the problem. I wish you the best of luck in the future.

  55. Dr. Cockatiel   January 20th, 2014

    Hey Robin, thank you for the compliment.

  56. destiny   January 19th, 2014

    nakisha I would get another cage and take ringo and put him in cage as soon as possible because he is maybe under stress

  57. destiny   January 19th, 2014

    hello I’m getting a bird that’s need some refreshing do you have any tips?

  58. nakisha   January 19th, 2014

    i have two problems, one my bird stud muffin keeps attacking my other bird Ringo (both are cockatiels), two Ringo is shaking a lot and is puff but his feathers are not growing back what should i do?

  59. Anonymous   January 15th, 2014

    My bird literally masturbated on top of my head…

  60. abby   January 14th, 2014

    Hi
    I have a cockatiel that has been walking in circle on the bottom of the cage and she been rolling and flipping it’s head. I noticed that same behavior in a different female i had. What is going on? She is breeding bird.

  61. emma   January 8th, 2014

    i got a new cockatiel which had been in the pet shop for about 3 months. they said he/she is hand reared. i have opened his cadge a few times in which he flew/glided about (clipped wings) where i had to help him as he could have gotten caught. i am aware he would have been scared, however, he bite me hard each time. the last time, he bite and wouldnt let go for a split second (it felt long at the time).
    this confuses me as the last few times i opened the cadge, he seems to have flown towards me (ive been at a distance, and up close at these times). im confused as he seems to want to come to me, however, when i put my hands near him, he hisses and bites.
    i have had a hand reared cockatiel before that was so sweet (with its off moments), which i would love to have the same with my new bird.
    has anyone got advice on how i can gain the birds trust?
    i have heard of just giving it time, however, i have also heard this will allow it to become more wild, where i should get thick gloves and make the bird get used to being handled.
    again, any advise would be great! thanks

  62. Terrified....   January 8th, 2014

    I have two, (male and female). The female isn’t acting herself, all she does is lay at the bottom of the cage and sleep. about every two to three hours she’ll go up and eat and maybe get a drink. Its really starting to scare me, I haven’t been home lately so I don’t know if shes just depressed, I’ve asked my mom what she thought and she said she might be ready to have eggs. I don’t know whats the matter but my males acting his regular old self. If she needs to go to the vet than so be it. I just want my feathery friend back. Also I don’t know if you answer questions but I have nothing or no one else, I’ve googled but nothing came up besides this. (and no her tail isn’t puffy.) Please help! anyone!

  63. cristina saso   January 6th, 2014

    this info is helpful. I found a cockatiel that was abandoned in a box with food and water in the foothills near my home. I think by reading this, it was displaying aggressive tendencies, fearful/scared, nervous and hissing behaviors. I was talking to it to try and calm it down, which helped alil but for now i’m getting it checked out by a fellow bird lover who will tell me more about its health. thanks for the education about the breed.

  64. Animal freak   January 6th, 2014

    This helped a lot I have 2 cockatiels. I had them since they were 2 months old now they are 9 months old and they do done of these stuff and now I know it’s all normal. Lol! Thx

  65. Michael   January 5th, 2014

    I jst bought a 3months old cockatiel and he’s been with me for 2 days.He doesn’t eat much.when I let him out of his cage he flies to a particular corner of d room nd stay .I’v bin tryin d step up wit him bt now when I come close to him,he backs away. What do I do?

  66. Liz   December 30th, 2013

    We absolutely love our cockatiel!! He is our birdchild, and looking over this list cracks me up. Superman Ice Skater is the best term on here!

    Our little buddy got really into one of his toys and became a completely different bird for a while. We changed his diet to pellets, give sunflower seeds as a treat instead of millet, and clipped his wings. He is back to his happy little self.

    Now, he has a crush on a particular blanket and a pillow, but he doesn’t get angry and protective. He sings to them and does the heart shape, but here is what I don’t understand: when we bring him near the blanket, he looks like he is smacking his lips quickly, opening and closing his beak rapidly without making any sound. Does anyone know why he does this? I thought it is just him warming up for singing, but he does it when he is really happy to see me too. It’s freaking adorable, but I am so curious about why exactly he does it.

  67. Dave   December 30th, 2013

    Our cockatiel is 22 months old and has just started masturbating (rubbing his butt on his perch while moving his tail side to side). He also sits on the floor of his cage, in the same corner, butt against the side, tearing his paper with his tail in the air. Is this normal?

  68. Beny the bird   December 30th, 2013

    This is so helpful thanks a lot

  69. Sumayya   December 23rd, 2013

    Thank you so much for giving us these very useful information, I am so happy to read your article! :)

  70. Valerie   December 20th, 2013

    My cockatiel always masturbating 3-5 times a day. Do I need to get him a female?

  71. Lynn   December 18th, 2013

    I have a male cockatiel that acts like he is laying an egg. I’m confused with his behavior, he will sit on the bottom of his cage with his butt in the air against the side of the cage. If you walk towards the cage he charges at you. He is normally very sweet .He also chews his paper into small pieces.
    Has anyone seen this behavior from a male bird..

  72. Donna   December 15th, 2013

    Great stuff. You should get a Pinterest link also.

  73. Anonymous   December 11th, 2013

    Robert I think your bird likes your wife. Boys tend to like ladies!! Chelsea give your bird at least a week to settle in. Just sit next to him and talk quietly to so that he can get used to you and his new surroundings. My tiel is now 16 months old, is talking very well, Hello, What you doing?, where you going, etc and can whistle the whole of the Adams Family song. We adopted a Kakariki last Christmas who was terrified to come out of his cage at first. Now he is out like a shot!! He will never demand kisses and cuddles like the tiel but he is a happy wee chap and just loves stealing our dinner. x

  74. robert   December 10th, 2013

    I adopted a cockatiel last night. today it got on my wifes head. while on her head it expanded its wings all the way and repeated pretty bird to her many times. I am fine with it of course but wondering what he/she was doing exactly!

  75. Chelsea   December 9th, 2013

    Hi my husband just purchased me a male cockatiel. i am unsure how old he is and I’m worried that he will never be tame. This is the 3rd day I’ve spent with him. The other 2 I had to work so he had a bit of alone time to get settled in. He is very frightened of me and he won’t eat anything or drink anything!! I am a little worried about this. But anyway I still keep bringing him new healthy treats and fresh water. Right now he is sitting on the bottom of his cage watching me and gritting his beak listening to bob marley music. His cheeks are puffed and he’s more calm than before. After the music stops he makes a little sound. I think he likes it? any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated

  76. Colin Wragg   December 3rd, 2013

    I have a pair that were sitting on 3 eggs, but when another pair in the aviary started feeding their 4 new born chicks, the male from the other nest deserted his own eggs to help feed the others young and have not gone back to breeding. they just act as an alternative food supply to another’s chicks until they are weaned. Should I put them in a cage of their own to try to get them breeding again?

  77. Andrea   November 26th, 2013

    Thanks it was helpful but my question is- why is my cockatiel always putting his head down to otch it might he have mights or something??

  78. Courtney Anne   November 25th, 2013

    Hello.
    My cockatiel is weird. For one, she refuses to eat fruits and vegetables. She goes nuts for Doritos and Ramen noodles, though. She also doesn’t care for taking baths. The behavior that really concerns me, though, is that Luna is super sweet to my friends. She cuddles, gives kisses, and sings to everyone but me. Whenever I get near her, she hisses, bites, and tries to fly away. She has been this way since May. I’ve tried clipping her wings to keep her from perching above me, and I’m always nice to her. I don’t understand what the problem is. Help!

  79. Debrah   November 20th, 2013

    I have a female cockatiel that doesn’t come to me. I am home most of the time, I clean her out everyday,try to play with her and she always goes to my son. It seems she doesn’t want to be with me. What should I do? If I exercise on the bike she won’t come near me ;when my son exercises on the bike she stays on his shoulder. What can I do?

  80. Bonnie   November 19th, 2013

    I thought this was very helpful. I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you for the infomation..

  81. sarah   November 14th, 2013

    i was wondering can a female cockatiel talk? and how do i train her to talk? i have a 6 month old female and was wondering how old is the best to start training them to talk. please email me at sarahknott16@gmail.com

  82. Miss Inquisitive   November 14th, 2013

    I have a science class and I have to fill out two observation sheets about birds I made a bird feeder but I would sorta like to know how to attract them. How would I do this?

  83. Nathan D.   November 9th, 2013

    my cockateil parrot open its beak and scream when i touch his cage what does it mean

  84. Sally   November 8th, 2013

    Really useful info, thank you. My cockatiel Rocky is a shy and rather antisocial youngster. I’m hoping he will mellow but if he doesn’t we will love him anyway. He hangs out all day with his friends Tango the Red Factor Canary and Tweet the budgie so he’s happy and that’s all that matters.

  85. Farah   November 8th, 2013

    my one month old baby cockatiel fell from his back and blood came out from his beak I’m so worry about him this happened last night right now he is ok but not like befor mostly his eyes are close plssss help.

  86. Joe Montana   November 2nd, 2013

    ANONYMOUS (10/30/13) CHIRPING!? Your Solution is to Take your bird down to the corner (In the Cage!) then put a hand drawn sign that says. “ANONYMOUSLY FREE BIRD! OWNER MUST KNOW HOW TO BREATH OXYGEN-IN AND THEN EXHALE! No Really, I’m sure any 5 y.o. kid would be glad to give this Wonderful animal a warm, safe, and Unobtrusive Home!!!Mike Brownie; Stop Confusing your Bird. Turn the Entire cage around 180 degrees, Then the bird will walk forward! Sally!!! Like Mike. Turn Your Cage upside down. Then the Bird will look up! if that doesn’t work Get a New Face or stop wearing that Hillary Clinton Mask!!! Your scaring your Bird

  87. Joe Montana   November 2nd, 2013

    MY BIRD HAS NEVER DONE ANY OF THESE STUPID THINGS!!! IF IT DID, THATS WHY WE HAVE EUTHANASIA AS A PRACTICE FOR VETS!!! BYE BYE …BIRDIE

  88. Anonymous   October 30th, 2013

    whats wrong with my bird when he stops cherping

  89. Mike Bowles   October 28th, 2013

    can someone email me with a comment? mbow100@gmail.com

  90. Mike Bowles   October 28th, 2013

    My little cocky, lifts himself upright and walks backwards or side to side and hops a little bit. What does this behavior indicate ?
    thanks

  91. sally   October 26th, 2013

    what does it mean when a cockatiel keeps looking down at the floor from his cage before going in

  92. Melissa   October 24th, 2013

    Awesome website!!! This page has answered so many of my questions! Thank you very much for making this website.

  93. kathy   October 15th, 2013

    I have two birds, 1 older and 1 younger. Usually they do well together, but on occasion the older Cockatiel has periods of aggression. He chases and fights the other, cracking the beak in the past. Pushed to the limits of tolerance and not knowing what else to do, I made a ‘bird jail’ out of a double cereal box. I put him in it for a couple hours, until I feel bad for him. They call to each other and he pleads to come out. They are not wanting for anything. Anyone have any ideas?

  94. chammel7@yahoo.com   October 5th, 2013

    why would my cockatiel be chewing his sticks what do I do

    why is my cockatiel chewing his sticks

  95. Esme   September 20th, 2013

    Help my bird seems to have gone blind all of a sudden .. He wabbles when he walks and he seems to run into the wall and doesn’t follow my finger or voice! He’s acting totally strange any ideas of what can be wrong with him???

  96. Christine   September 13th, 2013

    Hi my 4 year old male cockatiel, who thinks he is human, is currently making me crazy. If I am home he will squawk his little head off until I sit near him. This is a new behavior for him and I have a feeling it is because I am about 10 weeks into my first pregnancy. Does any one know what I can do to help him calm down. I have tried talking to him and whistling to him from across the house but it isn’t working. Thanks for your help!

  97. Luna Nightshade   September 9th, 2013

    I just got a wonderful female cockatiel from the vets (I went to the clinic to help the vets) she’s a six year old who is very tame but dislikes my hands and is very quiet aside from the occasional chirp

  98. Diana   September 8th, 2013

    Why does my female cockatiel roll her head and chest in her poop?

  99. tashreen   September 2nd, 2013

    hi
    so true these comments…but i still need HELP!
    My 4yrs old hand fed female cockatiel is displaying hormonal behaviour, I want to buy a new cockatiel for her but am afraid that she might not accept him or she can fall sick due to jealousy or frustration! for me and my hubby she is the centre of attention at home, she is our baby………….PLEASE ADVISE..SHOULD I BUY A FRIEND FOR HER.??????????????
    has anyone have ever come across such as situation???

  100. Luther   September 1st, 2013

    I am witnessing a new trend in my 2 cockatiels where they lock beaks and jerk back and forth chirping, all day long it seems

  101. Skyy   August 11th, 2013

    I love this site. Everything I have read so far my male cockateil does alot of..especially cuddling. He loves attention..kisses..cuddling…he also tries to eat our food but I wont let him. Lol Sometimes I think hes human! :-) He also loves his birdie baths. Cockatiels are amazing family members.

  102. arlene   August 11th, 2013

    Helped me to try understand a little about my little boy he is only about four months but very quite

  103. Janine   August 10th, 2013

    I enjoyed your comments. I hand fed my male cockatiel he is 18 1/2 years old or young that is:-) My bird is always with me as I don’t work much & never had children. He is very spoiled. I can’t leave the room without him screaming calls he preferrs me to take him even though he can fly. His favorite things are eating together dogs in their place & me in mine. His mate is 18yrs old too. Its a animal print velvet scrunchy that belonged to my friend. He never tires of it. He nests only in ktchen junk drawers. His cage is very large with nesting options but Cookie decides what he wants and he gets it. I hope all of you enjoy your cockatiel and know he/she will always be that Elephant in the room. Very spirited birds & 4-ever bonded don’t ever give them away it kills apart of them I’v seen it. But things happen I guess? Even the shy ones have something special to give you

  104. Phyllis   August 10th, 2013

    This site ROCKS! It’s very informative & written well, minus some spelling & grammatical errors but still comprehensible. :)

  105. leah   August 6th, 2013

    My male cockatiel doesnt seen to knowfff how to climb on my female he tried once an fell off. what do i do

  106. Annimated   August 2nd, 2013

    SO TRUE ABOUT HOW COCKTAILS DISPLAY AGRESSION OF FEAR AND GETTING THEY’RE WAY DOSE OF COCTAIL BACK IS REALITY CHECK

  107. Bianca   August 1st, 2013

    it was fantastic and learnt alot from it. My 3 month old weiro wont let me pat him at all why is that

  108. cathy   July 26th, 2013

    Love the site.i have 13 tiels alf my oldest likes to circle and lightly peck my hand then fly onto my head displaying his wings why? I call it his aeroplane he recognizes the word too.

  109. Haleigh   July 24th, 2013

    I appreciated the read. It answered some questions especially about one of my cockatiels. I have two that I cage together and I have never had any issues with one of the Xotchitl. Xotchitl’s always been friendly and inquisitive. Where as my other one Chocobo has always been moody and anti social. I got Xotchitl in hope that Chocobo would become more friendly. It worked. He did become friendlier and liked to be handled when he saw Xotchitl liked to be handled. But now Xotchitl is becoming very anti social and fearful of hands for some reason. I went ahead and separated Xotchitl from him but I wanted to know if you or anyone may have any further insights into why she is acting this way. Any help is appreciated? She is a little over a year and he is coming up to a year. Any suggestions can be emailed to me at leighbugg71@gmail.com

  110. robert   July 4th, 2013

    I have acquired a cockatiel that his body language sands on his perch in a diagonal fashion and lowers his head? all other reaction his is displaying is a fear response but, the diagonal positioning I do not get I am taking my time with him.
    Thanks Robert

  111. Gail   July 3rd, 2013

    Hi there,

    Loved reading your page- it’s been very informative. We have recently purchased a cockatiel who is around 1 year of age. He’s been with us about five days. I would love to tame him and teach him to talk. However, people tell me it’s hopeless trying to tame a bird of this age and it will never learn to talk. Is this true, or should I persist in trying to gain the bird’s trust?

  112. Kyle   June 28th, 2013

    I always used to think that whenever I would “shower” my bird and she spread her wings and puffed up that she didn’t like it, now I know otherwise :)

  113. Cynthia   June 27th, 2013

    So just last week I was given a hand fed cockateil. According to the lady I got him from he was born May 5 and still needs to be fed formula. I have been successful in doing so however he won’t stop making a noise when he sees me. I feed him enough formula, give him a variety of seeds and have already introduced him to papaya, strawberries and lettuce. HE WONT TAKE ANYTHING BUT FORMULA. I don’t know what to do!! I don’t want him to starve…. and I don’t know if I should reward him because that bloody noise is so overwhelming

  114. Cynthia   June 27th, 2013

    So just last week I was given a hand fed cockateil. According to the lady I got him from he was born May 5 and still needs to be fed formula. I have been successful in doing so however he won’t stop making a noise when he sees me. I feed him enough formula, give him a variety of seeds and have already introduced him to papaya, strawberries and lettuce. HE WONT TAKE ANYTHING BUT FORMULA. I don’t know what to do!! This is the first bird I ever have

  115. Janice   June 17th, 2013

    We’ve only had this bird for a few weeks and he/she loves to sit on my shoulder and nestle up to my face and makes a singing sound. He seems very content as he does this so I assume that is normal behavior.

  116. Sharon   June 4th, 2013

    Thank you so much for all your information, it is a great help!

  117. kyle   June 3rd, 2013

    my cockatiel isnt very friendly, I back off when he seems frightened but he never seems to like anybody coming near him. But he asks for attention, but once you come near him he bites.

  118. Chelsea   May 30th, 2013

    My cockatiel is the biggest bitch ever. He’s completely tame but screams for attention 90% of the time even though we never reward the behavior. Also he will want to come out, we take him out and put him down somewhere and he will usually climb onto our shoulders. If we try to touch him while he is on our shoulders, he hisses and bites. He also bows his head to be petted and if we stop petting him, he screeches and bites. He really just wants to sit on someone’s shoulder all day and not be bothered except to pet him perpetually. Asshole cockatiel.

  119. misha   May 23rd, 2013

    My cockatiels name is sheldon i brought him for my mum for her 50th birthday we brought him from an averie when he was 6 months old he loves to bé near you and talk to you but only in his cage but he wont actually let you near him ever he hisses like mad we can get him out the cage on a stick and onto your hand and he will stay there but he still wont let you touch him either in or out the cage what can i do to show him we love him and aint gonna hurt him we give him treats and he refuses to eat them out your hand but hel eat them if i hold them thro the bars of the cage can anybody help?

  120. Stefanie   May 20th, 2013

    hey there my cockatiel has recently started a rather unusual thing but after reading this page I am rather amused to discover that he or she unsure on its sex as we are of the Lutino mutation ;) is masturbating as this is my first pet cockatiel I was a bit worried so thanks a bunch hehe

  121. tiffany   May 8th, 2013

    Today we found pippin’s first egg at the bottom of the cage :) we now know that she…is a she :) could this have been why she was acting so weird?

  122. tiffany   May 7th, 2013

    I forgot to add that once he is out and were holding him he is fine. He puts his head down for us to rub and loves sitting on our shoulder and cuddling into our face. He still has a few grumpy moments when hesbout but its usually quick and nothing like when hes in his cage.

  123. tiffany   May 7th, 2013

    We bought a young cockatiel about 3 months ago (we dont know sex or age. We say hes a boy but were not sure) and in the last week he has been very aggressive. He use to come out of his cage as soon as we would open it in the morning. Now he sits at the bottom of of the cage with his butt against the side of the cage…all day long and only comes out for a little bit during the day. His cage is open almost all day and he has a play gym that he use to love going on. He use to let us take him out of the cage but now when ever I put my hand in the cage he lunges at it and bites me really hard. He use to just rub his beak on your hand like he was biting but now he really bites and it hurts. I dont know whats going on with him and I feel bad that he gets so upset. What could it be?

  124. Lewis   April 29th, 2013

    Hi… My Cockateil always bangs at the bottom of his cage. Making a “Tap Tap Tap” Sound? What does this mean? I am worried!

  125. laura   April 28th, 2013

    his eating and drinking well

  126. laura   April 28th, 2013

    HELP bought a 1year cockatiel from pet shop
    a week ago im worried about him he perfers
    to stand at bottom of cage than climb around
    his cage and he woudnt use his perch until
    it gets dark whats the matter with him

  127. brigid   March 30th, 2013

    well my cockitel is named is sunny he is cute

  128. Jenny   March 24th, 2013

    To Martha with the bird that falls off his perch in his sleep — have you considered removing the ladder from his cage all together? It would be a horrible tragedy if this happened when you weren’t around to help him. There are many types of toys out there and I’m sure you could find ones that your bird likes that won’t cause him possible harm with his irregular sleep issue. If your pal particularly likes to climb you can purchase or make alternate climbing implements that don’t have the possibly fatal openings. For instance a natural branch perch is a good alternative. Try finding one that has multiple twists and turns and maybe even branches that split off. These can be attached to the cage at an angle to help mimic the effects of a ladder. Another alternative is a solid wood ramp what has “rungs” (higher pieces of wood) running up it, these give the bird something to get a grip on as it climbs. I suggest walking up and down ALL the isles in the pet store — I have found items for my birds in the hampster isle, items for my reptiles in the fish isle, and items for my cats in the bird isle, lol

  129. Jenny   March 23rd, 2013

    This is in response to Sarah about your bird rubbings it’s cheeks between the bars and the runny droppings — As for the droppings, since they were runny only once, and I assume returned to normal, there is probably nothing to worry about. It could have been caused by something new he ate. Did you feed him anything different from usual? Often times greens such as spinich or kale can cause runny droppings. On the other hand, your pet may simply have had a mild upset which his body cleared out and all is now well. If the consistancy continues for more than a day, the color of the stool is particularly off (remember this is caused by what they eat; ie, dark green vegetables will cause it to be on the greener side, many berries will cause it to be on the purplish side, etc.), if the droppings become frothy or mucusy, or if your pets behavior changes drastically be sure to visit or at least call a vet right away.

    Now as for the cheek rubbing, more than likely your buddy has new feathers coming in. This tends to make them quite itchy. Rubbing on the bars is his version of trying to scratch his itch. This is a great time to bond with your bird; you can gently scratch at his neck, cheecks, and head by using your thumb and forefinger to gently crack the budding feather sheaths (these are white and a bit prickly — they turn to dandruff looking stuff once loosened). This can be done when your bird is on your shoulder, being held in your hand, or even sitting on top of it’s cage. Be sure NOT to try this technique on their wings as, where as powerful, they are quite delicate and your pet can clean it’s wings just fine on it’s own :) Also, while pet/scratching your bird, he may recipricate by gently nibbling on your finger, ear, or hair – Congratulations!! your bird is comfortable with you, you are a member of his flock, and you are preening eachother!!! :D

  130. Jenny   March 23rd, 2013

    This is in response to Kate about your bird being especially noisy in the morning — This is actually completely normal behavior and it shows that your pet is happy; happy to have made it through the night perhapse :)

    You probably have noticed this behavior in wild birds as well as most are more vocal in the mornings. This is another reason that your pet is probably noisier at that time as they love to communicate with others. David, my 4year old cockatiel, will sing to the birds outside. Occasionally, he becomes very quiet and tilts his head to the side…(you can hear birds singing in the distance)…he then becomes very excited and starts chirping away :)

    I have found that the best way to get him to quiet during his morning operetta is simply talk to him, getting him more focused on me than on what is happening outside. You said that you do that already — just keep with it, it took David a few months to respond positively to it.

    Oh and, where as I have also, on occasion, moved him to an isolated location when he “acts up”, this is not a good habit to get into as cockatiels are very social animals and this can cause them to scream louder to get your attention or simply to try to figure out where you went, it can also cause them to become depressed when used too often. Word of advice, only use this technique when you are at your wits end.

    Good Luck :)

  131. Jenny   March 23rd, 2013

    My cockatiel often sits on his perch and bends over till his head is almost parallel with or below the perch, he then looks at the bottom of his cage and sings to it, Loudly! He will do this for hours at a time! There are no toys at the bottom of his cage and there have been no changes in his environment — he has been doing this for about 9months. Any suggestions on what this behavior is about? And what might be done to get him to either stop or at least quiet the singing?

  132. Adam   March 4th, 2013

    Wow! Thanks for the tremendous work you put into your blog.. I used some suggestions for my cockatiel and actually really started to see progress. Please keep posting, the information you offer is very well written and easy to understand. Please never charge for content :)

  133. Martha   February 22nd, 2013

    To the person who has the baby cockatiel – All new ones [babies] take a while to pick up words or phrases. Males are more colorful and talk more; females may pick up a word or two, but they are excellent “wolf whistlers” and are plainer than their male counterparts.

    To the lady who has the parakeet who now also owns a cockatiel – My family has had both at the same time. There’s no reason why you can’t have both. But cockatiels are “people birds” – they like to bond with humans over anything else. The cockatiel is jealous when you interact with the parakeet – he’s trying to tell the parakeet you are HIS human and HIS territory and to leave you ALONE. Could you be less demonstrative in the cockatiel’s presence to the parakeet – go to another room, maybe? Once the cockatiel has been tamed, you can let the parakeet watch and roam while you interact with the other bird.

  134. Martha   February 22nd, 2013

    Remember me? I’m the one who complained about getting”back” a cockatiel which wasn’t really mine. But we’ve grown to love each other; so much that I nearly lost him a few weeks ago. He fell asleep on his top perch after I had covered him up one night; he was so relaxed he slipped off his perch in his sleep and fell into the rungs of a ladder, catching a wing and almost strangling himself with his head pushed back by a top rung. When I heard him scream, I pulled off the cover, grabbed a large plastic ruler off the desk, and managed to pry the ladder up to let him get out alone. He seems none the worse for wear [he had done this once before in his sleep, just catching a wing that time and managed on his own].

  135. Shehan   February 1st, 2013

    Hi I have a 7weeks old baby cockateil named Rio . He is very silent. Can any one please tell me whether he is a male or a female.

  136. Bina   January 25th, 2013

    Hi, I have a female cockatiel for the last 1.5 yrs. For the last couple of weeks She is constantly pecking at 1 spot on her back. I had a look, can’t seem to see any injury. IS there any one who knows what i should do. thanks

  137. Amanda   January 23rd, 2013

    I have a 22 year old male cockatiel named Rocky. He’s such a spoiled bird. He gets to come in and out of his cage as he pleases. He’s trained to poop in his cage but very seldomly will have an accident outside his cage. He’s my morning alarm clock. Once there is daylight he’s starting to scream uncontrollably until I pay him some attention. If he hears the crinkle of a bag of chips he flies to us because he always thinks they are tortilla chips. We give him a little nibble every now and again. If he wants to be petted he lets us know by rubbing his head on our face or fingers. If he is sleepy or if the TV is too loud he has no problem letting us know by screaming and pacing back and forth uncontrollably. He’s too adorable. I don’t see my life without him. I just hope he has another 10 Years in him. My boyfriend has had him since he was 6 yrs old and is now 28 going on 29!
    Thanks for the article! Found it very informative! :-)

  138. Michelle   January 23rd, 2013

    Thanks for the good read I just had very informitive. I always had parakeets have one now and she is so smart. But my son got me a 6 Month Old Cockatiel for my birthday today, and I know nothing about these birds. I do know it’s a he and he never been out his cage and was with 5 other birds including his mother and father. Now he has own cage here with me but i after 1 hour of having him I said ya I will open the door and see what happens, well he loves it wants out now. i had him for litterly 5 hours he already goes on my finger, comes close to me and my son, when I talk to him he whistles back, I was popping my head to see if he would copy me and he did. I am so confused how I could have him for only a few hours and he acts like this. Im still nervous because I dont want him to fly seeing he never flew, and off he goes and wow he is sloppy flyer. Not sure if I should have his wings clipped or not. His 1st vet appt will be this Friday. I do have a question now people laugh at me when I say how people friendly my parakeet is but she is and so smart for a female she is only in her cage for bed time and out all day playing and flying to me, she was curious of the new bird but he started hissing at her, so I took her away from the new bird. Will they ever get along? Or was it a mistake getting a cockatiel while I have parakeet?

  139. kate   January 22nd, 2013

    bailey we think he is male has started to be really noisy in a morning.. we all talk yo him but its that anoying now we have to put him in another room till he quitens down. He always has fresh food and water and his cage and toys are cleaned regulary. He loves my dad and will sit on head, hand shoulder ect. Hes not overly keen on me and mum although it mum who physically cares for him. please tell me why and how we can stop this horrid morning habbit

  140. Kim   January 14th, 2013

    Good information! Helps me understand my angel more, hes turning 9 yrs old this year. Lately i was a bit confused with his dancing, crushes and aggressions, now i know why. Thank you!

  141. Selah   January 6th, 2013

    Bella, my 1 yr of cockatiel just started rubbing her bachend back and forth n the towel on top of her cage. Is she stimulating? If I call her a me and talk it will distract her. Also
    the like broccali buds and egg shells

  142. Sarah   December 3rd, 2012

    My cockatiel started to rub his cheeks between the bars of his cage. What’s this about?

    His poop was black and runny 1 time. What’s up with that?

  143. Nikki   November 30th, 2012

    Hello ive had my cockatiel for a just under a year, my grandad went into a retirement home and i took george(my cockatiel) on, we are not sure how old he is, but scince ive had him ive tried to gain his trust, he always hisses whenever my or anyones hands go near him even when hes in the cage, but he comes and sits on my legs, at the side of me perched on my bed, and always comes to me when he sees me eating, and seems relaxed at these times, its just whenever my hands get close he hisses,
    how can i gain his trust? so he will let me stroke him?
    thank you.

  144. felicia   November 9th, 2012

    I got my cockatiel (Daddy) almost a month ago. Daddy
    Is a sweet bird. He is now learning to step up on my
    Fingers, but I have to take him out of the cage first. Is it
    Inappropriate for me to do that daily so he gets use to being
    held?

    Bird lover

  145. felicia   November 9th, 2012

    I got my cockatiel (Daddy) almost a month ago. Daddy
    Is a sweet bird. He is now learning to step up on my
    Fingers, but I have to take him out of the cage first. Is it
    InAppropriate for me to

  146. Mike   October 24th, 2012

    I recently gave away 3 baby chicks to friends to raise hand fed.
    1. What are the parents thought or mood not seeing the nest box.
    2. How soon will it take for them to mate again.
    Today they seem to be screaming louder and flying more around the livingroom. Anything I can do to calm them down.

  147. Christy   September 29th, 2012

    My cockateil has a really good temperment. I want to train him to whistle certain songs but when i start whistling, he starts hissing and trying to bite me. I know that I am not a good singer, is that his way of telling me?

  148. Susie   July 26th, 2012

    information on the baby, born 4th of July, mother died the 7th, daddy fed till 13th when one of the others died, (there were 3) friend came to get the one dad wasnt feeding and left others, when she checked on them few days later plain seeds could be seen in crop, started hand feeding on day10, hers has feathers starting all over, mine looks like week younger, very few feathers at all. and so tiny, growing very slowy, feeding till crop full every 4 hours around the clock, will it be like a premy and just be behind in growth?

  149. Susie   July 26th, 2012

    I have a 3 week old baby that had to be hand fed when momma passed away, hes active now but almost died from daddy feeding plain seeds, at two weeks old, the problem is its not getting feathers, its 22 days old and is bald over its body and head, will it just be behind in growth from near death at 13 days old

  150. Katia   July 22nd, 2012

    Hi, today my mother in law gave me a cockatiel as gift and I am very excited. He is about 6 months, but I really don’t know what do. He does not want to step up on my finger, neither my husband’s. I tried to give him lettuce and pineapple to gain his trust but didn’t take. After 3 hrs in the house he started to makes sounds after I leave the room and walking all over the cage, but still don’t want to step up. Also I notice that he have been dping this thing… Like puff all his body and then shake. Ehat that means? Please let me know what can I do!Thank you!

  151. JENNIFER   July 12th, 2012

    WELL WRITTEN THANK YOU

  152. Dr. Cockatiel   July 9th, 2012

    Elise,

    When you got your cockatiel how old was the bird and do you know if it’s a make or female? Depending on both of those, the answer will vary. I have a idea on the problem but want to give you correct information so help you fix the problem asap.

    Hormones could be kicking in causing the bird to bite and the biting when petting the head could be due to various reasons as well. Never grab your cockatiel either in the cage or against his own free will if he start’s to spaz out and you can clearly tell he doesn’t want to be grabbed… sometimes cockatiels feel insecure when overpowered and depending the age and sex, this would vary.

    There is also something called accidental punishment which you might of done without even noticing and it could be as simple as one little thing or change. Get back to me with your birds info so I could provide more detailed help towards your specific issue. Thanks.

  153. susan   July 2nd, 2012

    My cockatiel likes to get right up in my face when I am on my computer. He pushes his head into my hands and makes a funny noise. I thought he was upset. But he seems to want me to pet him then when i stop he chirps and bangs his head on my hand then tries to bite several times without hurting me. Is he upset or just wanting attention, I’m confused by his actions?

    Also do u have to cut their wings? Mine is 4 months old and flys all over living room. But at any time he will let me get him.

  154. Dr. Cockatiel   May 29th, 2012

    People say cockatiels are a one of a kind species of bird. You have to have a very open imagination when it comes to anything with most all birds. Thanks for writing and visiting my help site.

  155. Dr. Cockatiel   May 29th, 2012

    Hello Charles, I am sorry to hear about your cockatiel. Questions like yours in which so many factors could be involved, cannot be answered 100% correctly and honestly by any person or website.

    The best thing you could do and I highly suggest you make it a priority is to find a local avian veterinarian which you could bring the bird to and for a inexpensive price will do a complete checkup on your bird. If it is sick, has any problems going on that aren’t noticeable from the outside can be answered by whichever bird vet you choose.

    They now even draw a little blood (takes the smallest amount with a special tool) and run it through lab tests which like humans, you get results the next day. Between them checking your bird on the outside for any potential problems, the blood work will give a full report of how healthy your bird is and if she is sick or not.

    If your cockatiel is a female they aren’t very noisy in the first place so it’s common for them to be quiet. The 2 birds might have been together since babies which would cause the other bird to be upset since cockatiels get very attached to their own flock.

    Find a vet ASAP – I promise you will feel better when you know exactly whats going on from a trained professional.

    I wish you and your birds the best of luck and keep me updated if you can. Thanks.

  156. robin   May 20th, 2012

    great information for new bird owners. thanks

  157. Charles   May 20th, 2012

    Dear Dr. Cockatiel,

    I just bought two cockatiels one week ago.
    Since I got them home, they didn’t seem to be showing normal signs of behavior from what I’d read.
    They were both very quiet and never moved.
    One in particular was sleeping constantly with its head tucked under the wing which I know can be a sign of sickness.
    I had read online that sometimes they do sleep a lot when new to an environment, plus she wasn’t showing any other signs of sickness.

    She was still sitting on the top perch and her eyes and nostrils were fine. She fell a couple of times and then wouldn’t climb back up – sadly she died during the night after only having her for 5 days…we were shocked and very sad.
    Now I’m not sure what to do about the other one.

    She looks very healthy, but she doesn’t sing or chirp. Since the other bird has gone, this one has started going mad running up and down the cage and biting at the cage bars, then she’ll calm down and sit on the bottom of the cage (which she never did before)
    So, it’s spells of craziness followed by spells of silence on the bottom of the cage.

    I know it might be confused because the other one is gone, but I’m worried it may have caught or be carrying what killed the first bird. The pet shop owner has been very good and understanding and said we can take this bird back to her if we’re not sure.
    I really do not know what to do.
    Can you help please?

    Thanks a million
    Charles

  158. Rachel Muck   May 20th, 2012

    Hi I have a cockatiel as well. He is a two year old white faced male named Trooper born on 3-1-10. He and I bond great. I know everything about cockatiels,I just came on this site and thought “it won’t hurt to look.”
    What caught my eye was MALE COCKATIELS CAN LAY EGGS. I don’t know but i have 2 cockatiels,brother & sister,and they mate. I’ve always assumed they were her eggs.
    :) Thanks,
    Rachel Muck

  159. Rob   May 17th, 2012

    Nevermind Pedro just passed away. :*(

  160. Rob   May 17th, 2012

    Hi, I need help pretty much ASAP. My cockatiel was flying about my house yesterday when I found it half hour later wedged between a cupboard in the living room and the wall. I let my cockatiel out daily since I have had it for the last year and it has never been wedged in any way before.

    I managed to take it out but all it does now is sit at the bottom of the cage, makes no noise, does not fly, looks scared and only this morning seems to have it’s eyes closed.

    What to do? Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

  161. Dr. Cockatiel   May 16th, 2012

    Shelly,

    It’s the question people have been asking since cockatiels became household pets. The answer to me is just that cockatiels love millet… and that is perfectly fine. You should learn to use millet as a treat/training tool only and not as a main source of a cockatiel’s diet. Millet to cockatiels is what extra butter is to humans on popcorn.

    Just make sure your giving your cockatiel good nutritional food, fruit and veggies on the side, try to see if he will take to any type of pellet food which is so much healthier for them in short term and long term health and happiness for the future.

  162. Dr. Cockatiel   May 16th, 2012

    Maryann,

    There could be over 100 answers to your question due to the fact that without living with your birds, it’s hard to know where to begin. I would start if I had to pick an area with cockatiel hormonal temperaments since a male will attack a female due to an increase in hormones.

    We have to keep 2 of ours in separate cages next to each other for the same reasons. Everybird isn’t 100% trainable or perfect which most people do not want to accept.

  163. Angela Koutsodontis   May 6th, 2012

    I have a pair of breeding cockatiel the female lay egg but she do not seat on them this is the second time that happen she lay 3 eggs but she do not seat on it please any one cn tell why this happening

  164. Jessica   May 5th, 2012

    Hello, thank you for this information. I have a 5 year old Cocketiel named jack. I love home to bits however sometimes he just drives me crazy with screaming for attention. I read one of the other comments about breaking their trust when reacting negatively but sometimes we get sooo annoyed because its constant. Is it bad to cover him when it gets out of control? He quiets right down most of time. I try sooo hard to ignore it sometimes but it seems that he is so uptight and paces like crazy. Other times though he loves to whistle and talk and I take him out almost every day. Can you help me get his screaming under control?

  165. Chris   April 28th, 2012

    Yep … this covers my Buddy! She’s a little love for sure. At the moment, she’s sitting on my desk with her head tucked into her feathers sleeping. My chihuahua is on my other side, sleeping in his bed, and the cat … well … she’s somewhere. She’ll let me know when *she* wants something! :-)

  166. Chrissy   April 18th, 2012

    I found your article looking for the reason Seth was rubbing his butt on his fav toy……oooooo! lol. Now I know, lol! i loved reading why he does what he does and I must say….I read my baby pretty good. :)

  167. krista   April 16th, 2012

    so very helpful! loved this information. I love to know I have a healthy happy bird!

  168. true dat   April 10th, 2012

    I read this and was just amazed that my bird does pretty much all of these things exactly except his flock call is a wolf whistle which can sometimes be odd. Although it’s nice to walk in to a room and have a wolf whistle for you every time!

  169. Zelda   April 10th, 2012

    Dear Dr Cockatiel,

    Is it possible a male cockatiel doesn’t know how to mate? When our female lowers herself for mating, he sniffs around her rear, whistles loudly, sometimes in his excitment he pushes her off the perch – then he goes away. What is going on?
    Please help with an answer.

  170. Star   April 3rd, 2012

    About a few months ago, My brother had found a beautiful tame dark grey cockatiel at the local highschool. We took her in our care and left signs up about a missing cockatiel, which no one had came for.
    So we decided to keep her and eventually Sammy was her name.
    For some reason she is extremely timid around EVERYONE but my brother. she’d be happy to sit on him but sees everyone else as a monster (Especially girls). I’ve tried many ways to gain her trust, but every attempt i knew.. failed, and I’ve been living and taming birds all my life.
    It might have been something in the past that might make her feel this way, she was behaving better when we first got her but now she’s definitely closed herself on us (apart from bro).

    If anyone has info about this, I’d love to hear about it.
    Because i find it upsetting to keep seeing her this way..

    While I’m at it, my friend, Allie, also has a question..

    She also has a tame female cockatiel named Splice.
    Splice has this habit she’s gathered recently of ‘chewing’ your hand/skin, often ripping up tiny bits of skin /and we are to believe/ she is eating it.
    Is this normal behavior among cockatiels? and how can we stop it?

  171. Neo   April 3rd, 2012

    Our Cockatiel is 11 years old. She’s adventurous, curious, somewhat stubborn yet she’s very close and loving toward the family, and being tame, she believes to be one of us humans and avoids other cockatiels altogether (she had been attacked once upon introducing her to her own kind and a possible mate, she received a split eyelid as a result..).
    She loves attention and being petted, and always wants to be on one a shoulder for company – no matter what youre doing or where youre going, she wants to be with you. She even greets anyone when she knows there would be something coming through the front door of the house, screaming a rather high-pitched note and/or flying to them.
    Our other cockatiels are pretty much like her, but theyre younger, untame and live in the aviary outside.

    Reading this was like a review on what i already knew~
    Thankyou for the insightful information, it couldnt have been said better =’D

  172. lisa thomas   March 22nd, 2012

    its the most amazing feeling to recive the love from a cockatiel. the softer your voice is when chatting to your bird the more responce u get. fact.

  173. michelle thomas   March 22nd, 2012

    we got 4 cockatiels 3 males snappy kizzy and charlie, and 1 female called sunshine, they drive us mad but there lyk our babys lol wev decided 2 breed snappy and sunshine this spring, none of the others get on so wev had 2 seperate them 4 there own safty and our sanity as they bully and aggrivate eachother constanly

  174. Michelle S.   February 6th, 2012

    Hello there! Our cockatiel Koko has been with us for about 4-5 months now, and he is over two years old. He belonged to my mom’s co-worker until she had to go into surgery and couldn’t care for him anymore. Koko seems happy here, yet he has strange quirks. He doesn’t like to be touched ever, unless it’s my mom. He sits on her shoulder and rubs his face quickly across her ear or cheek, or he nibbles on her. Sometimes, however, he bites her ears hard and chirps and whistles loudly in her ear. Does he have a crush on her, or is there something else going on in the birdie brain of his?
    His also stands on top of a corner in his cage and flaps hard like he’s trying to take off. And sometimes he just seems to fall off.

  175. Chris   October 22nd, 2011

    This is an update on Baby Girl. She is the sweetest bird ever. We have had her a week today. When I wrote to you last week I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to help her. Just in the very short time she is acting so much better. We are giving her lots of love, a clean cage, and a very strict bedtime so she is getting 13 hours of sleep. I’m still looking for what kind of diet I can put her on. She no longer paces or hiss at us. She gives us kisses and loves to be held and talked to. She is growing feathers back, that I’m praying she won’t pluck. Are we on the right track?

  176. Chantelle   October 18th, 2011

    My fiance’s cockatiel hates me…he tries to bite me every chance he gets. I have never been mean to him. I give him treats, clean out his cage, and give him fresh food and water. I also take off his blanket just about every morning. What can I do to get him to like me or at least not want to bite me?

  177. Chris   October 16th, 2011

    Just rescued a female cockatiel and her brother. The female has a plucking problem, It is so bad she only has feathers on her head and wings. There is nothing medically wrong with her, she was traumatized at one point in her young life. She is almost two. She seems like a very sweet bird and just needs lots of love. I noticed she does this really strange pacing and moving of her head and she does it all the time. When I am close by her and giving her lots of attention she seems to love it and gets really close to the bars. Her crest is completely laid flat, which means aggression but she is not hissing. My questions are, is there hope that we can get her over the plucking obsession? Do you think she is being aggressive towards us? How do we help this poor little girl?

  178. tammy   October 15th, 2011

    This is a lot of new information for me. I’ve had my “Pretty Boy” for at least 6 years. I do talk to him and he repeats certain things back to me but not everything, I do talk to him repeating words over and over again but I feel some letters he can not repeat. Is this true? As well I looked on this web site to try and understand why my bird is going down to the bottom of his cage, pecking at it for about 3 to 4 minutes or so. He doesn’t act any different than that. Can you please help me understand why he is doing that and as well I would like to learn how to interact with my bird so that I can enjoy him more. Do I need to clip the birds wings and if so how?

  179. Theresa_clair   October 14th, 2011

    Hi, I have a 11 year old Cockatiel.I got her when I was 10. I found your article to be very interesting and insightful. I was just wondering if it’s okay that she seems to get jealous when I’m around others especially my husband. Is she just wanting my attention or does she really not like him? Besides that she’s a wonderful bird, she’s never bitten and drawn blood and she always wants pets and kisses and is a serious cuddle monster ;)

  180. Cara   October 14th, 2011

    My male cockatiel, whistles a lot and often does a mating call, the female sits under his perch where he sits and “courts him” as if shes asking to mate, he doesn’t seem to be interested though. This surprises me since he does mating calls every day. i also noticed lately, she will lower her head next to him while hes grooming as if to capture his attention, but all he does when he notices her is nibble at her head aggressively then if she doesn’t move bite her foot. They haven’t been in the breeding cage to long however i just wanted to see if this was normal at first. id say they been in there only a week and a half.

  181. reem   October 13th, 2011

    and should i seprate my male cockatiel coas since i got my male cockatiel he is my second cockatiel my first bird learnt from him he dont like to touch him coas he is wild when ever i get close to him he make a hiss noise and my first bird is starting to do that she was a very tame cockatiel?

  182. reem   October 13th, 2011

    hi thanx for ur information
    i have a question for you?
    i got my first cockatiel when she was 2 month old and know she is 6 month old she was a very tame cockatiel and loving she start biting me on 12 octomber like no hard biting but like when i try to put her on my finger she is like dont touch me and she always tell me to give her a scruch on her head plz help i know it is normal for them to bow there head and tell u to give them a scrutch but her when i ever tell her to come on my finger she tells me to give her a scrutch?

  183. Deb   October 9th, 2011

    I just purchases a pair of cockatiels from a lady that has had them a year! She got them from her daughter who said that they are about two yrs. old. They seem to be a loving pair! He is so sweet and i am sure that he was a hand fed baby! She is not so willing to be trained! She paces and runs to the corner when I put my hand in the cage! He wants to get on my shoulder! I have had them for a couple of weeks now, she is still not friendly!
    Yesterday they did a little lusty dance! If she lays eggs will she let me hand feed the babies? I am concerned that she just might be a crazy lady that won’t let me get near her or the babies! I have had cockatiels in the past but never a mating pair!
    These guys won’t eat any fruit or veggies. They just eat seed and millet! I am concerned and wondering what to do!

  184. Diane C.   October 8th, 2011

    Hey Doc, This site is very helpful….my question is we just brought our baby zazu of 3months old home yesterday. don’t know if it’s a boy or girl yet but he hasn’t chirped much at all yet. Is he just nervous & getting used to his new home? Also how soon should we take him for a wellness visit to the vet? Thankyou! by the way we bought him from a birdhouse not a regular pet store.

  185. Lisa (WildCelticRose)   October 3rd, 2011

    What a great resource!

    I just rescued a Cockatiel from a home with a grabby four year old.

    I haven’t had one for years and years so this is a great reminder about body language, bonding, etc…

    Merlin (renamed as the kids called him “Commando”) is settling into his new home nicely (in his cage he’s familiar with) but I’m giving it a day or two before I try to physically interact with him (he did hop on my finger in his old home, so he is tame), right now I’m just “talking pretty” to him and praising him when he verbally greets me.

    He’s set up in the living room next to where I sit, so we will interact often :)

  186. Taminah   September 28th, 2011

    What about what to do when you get a new bird and do not know what to do Like me right now. I got a male and he is very scared!

  187. SAYEED   September 26th, 2011

    I PURCHASED A TAMED TIEL FROM MY FRIEND.AFTER GETTING IT TO MY HOME I NOTICED THAT IT IS EATING VERY SLOWLY AND HER LEFT WING IS SLIGHTLY DROPPED DOWN AND THE COLOR OF HER DROPPING IS PARROT GREEN COLOR AND SHES NOT EVEN MINGLING UP WITH MY OLD TIELS AND A BIT PUFFED.IS IT BECAUSE SHE’S SHIFTED TO NEW PLACE OR IS SHE ILL?PLEASE HELP ME

  188. Michelle Mott   September 24th, 2011

    Really enjoyed reading this thank you =]
    I have a question if thats ok?
    I had two male cockatiels who I rescued from a friend. They were about 12 month old when I got them, my friend had had them for 6 months and they were bought from a pet shop that is all I know of the history. Sadly a few weeks ago one of them died after it was injured when flying and had to be put to sleep. They have never been tame, the one left has started to become a lot more vocal with lots of nice singing, but I was just wondering if there is any chance he will ever trust me enough to let me pet him or have him on my finger? How can I go about achieving this?

  189. BIRD LOVER   September 20th, 2011

    great post!

  190. kaitlin faye   September 20th, 2011

    this just helped me understand my very sweet bird 10x better!!!my bird’s name is pretty bird we cam to find out he is a male.but this just helped out ALOT!!!thanks so very much!

  191. Shelly   September 16th, 2011

    Why does my cockatiel love millet seeds so much? Even the moment I go grab the bag to get a millet spray out, both my cockatiels start going crazy!

  192. Maryann   September 12th, 2011

    I need to know why my male is aggressive towards the female? he’s always pecking at her & they have eggs its occasionally at night someone HELP! i dont know what to do….. Should i remove him??

  193. Monica   September 7th, 2011

    hi! i just recently got a 3-4 year old untamed cockatiel from a friend. He is in the same cage with my tamed budgie and has been for 8 months or so. (my friend was keeping the budgie for me while i was away)anyway as i said he is not tame and i was just wondering, he used to hiss when i came near but now he dosnt he just opens his beak and leans forward but then sits back and pretends he was just cleaning it. Is that still a threat? i cant find info about that anywhere. Thanks!

  194. aaron   September 6th, 2011

    also they wont have eggs and they have together for 4 months

  195. aaron   September 6th, 2011

    i have a male and a female in a big cage but they dont want to get out ileave the door wide opean inside the house but they dont get out is this normal?

  196. Uni   September 2nd, 2011

    My cockatiel ate broccoli, what do I do? HELP!

  197. vasumathi srinath   September 2nd, 2011

    i have a pet cockatiel which is around 10 months old.He follows me around the house like a dog and recently has started making all kinds of sounds along with nodding of his head.Why does he do this?He loves to sit on our lap or shoulder.

  198. Kevin   September 1st, 2011

    I just got a 3 year old cockatiel a few days ago that had a previous owner who did not want him anymore and gave him to a pet store. He always has his crest in the alert position and never wants to come out of his cage. When I do manage to get him out of his cage, he seems fine. He already knows the step-up technique, but I just don’t know how to get him out of his cage without his consent. What should I do?

  199. Elise   August 31st, 2011

    I think it’s really great that you’ve established a thread of “forum” full of information for new “parents” of cockatiels! And I would really like to thank you for all that great information!

    I have 2 questions which I hope you could help us with thou.
    We got our lil Percy about a month ago and now he’a bonded very much with us. He won’t let is walk away when he’s eating and he won’t let us walk away when he’s playing outside his cage. Most of the time when we’re home we’ll let him out and he’ll stay on our shoulder or plays with his rubber bands (his favorite toy!)

    However, since this week, he’s been extremely clingy and won’t let us have a peaceful dinner if we left him in the cage. And because my partner and I works during the day, some other days we left him at home with the radio playing instead of bringing him to work. And I’ve noticed since this week, he’s been chirping a lot, not lout but noticeable from one room to the other. And even when I’ve fed him with enough food, water, toys, and on my shoulder, he’s still chirping with an interval of about half a min! Why?! Should I be worried?

    Next, he’s been bought back from a breeder and we think he’s been hand-reared. The breeder told us he wasn’t. But he’s been so tamed since we got him so we just assumed he was hand reared. Problem is, he loves it when we put our face against his face or beak, but he will bite us when we attempt to pet him on the head or anywhere near his head. And he most definitely hates it when somebody grabs him. Is there any ways to fix that?!

    Thanks so much dr. Cockatiel!

  200. Dr. Cockatiel   August 22nd, 2011

    Dogus,

    I keep my new year old cockatiel in the same room as me as everybody is different. If you clean often and the dust feathers do not bother you, then it’s fine to keep him in the same bedroom as long as your not up all night with lights, tv and sounds which will prevent your bird from sleeping. I keep a HEPA filter unit in the room to cut down on the dandruff and overall feather dust given off by him and it helps alot.

  201. Dr. Cockatiel   August 22nd, 2011

    Hello Li,

    We have a cockatiel who lays eggs alot and protects them even though she is alone in a cage. The singing of male cockatiels from any room in the house could cause hormones and make the bird lay eggs. I don’t think there is a way to train her not to lay eggs as you have no control over that. A avian pet would be better for your specific situation I believe.

  202. Dr. Cockatiel   August 22nd, 2011

    You won’t know until you try it. If they are good next to each other in different cages and act fine while out together… you could open both cages and see if one comes out on it’s own and if one goes into the others cage and see how they respond. Sometimes 1 will stop the other from eating and bully him with you don’t want but I am sure they will be fine once they know there both not out to hurt each other.

  203. dogus   August 22nd, 2011

    Hello! i have a cockatiel male bird too. I was wondering is it bad to keep a cockatiel in the same bedroom as i sleep in? I heard from other people that they can realise feathers or something into the air and that’ll get into my airway system and cause lung problems?

  204. Sam   August 17th, 2011

    Dr. Cockatiel Thank u so much …..
    Now I have cut thier wings .Trust which i build is gone ….now i force them to come out of the cage . but they run to a corner and stay there for long time .I go near and try to train them but both are trying to bite me like any thing …..always trying to bite …i dont know what to do ??!!??

    Waiting for your reply ….

  205. sharon   August 12th, 2011

    thanx a vet saw her nut he doesnot secify on birds he told me frpm tha little tha he knew it was that but scince i live in another country far fron the us is very dificult to find an avian vet and the dogs and cats vets know but they are not and yes i would like to kno what kind of vitamins she could have

  206. zee   August 11th, 2011

    I have bought two cockatiels male( kuku ) and female (mango)they are both 12 months old. mango is ery scared of me and runs away from me when i try to get her out of the cage although she does not bite me. kuku nibbles my fingers but come sto me and sits on my hand but being a male he does not sing at all , I have never heard him sing since i got him. and now he is always puffed up and hides his face in his feathers, this is going on for a day now and im ver worried. plz advice.

  207. Vanessa   August 10th, 2011

    Loved this article.

    My cockatiel, Tweety, is about 12 or 13 years old. We had him since he was a 3 month old little baby. He’s a sweet bird but very territorial since we let him out of the cage for the whole day. (He’s out from 6 am to about 9:30 pm) While he’s out of the cage, he likes to explore the livingroom and go under the wall unit, behind or under a chair, and even behind the curtain. He’ll stay there for about half an hour then come running out. When we call for him, he comes running out and when he don’t look he goes back into his little hiding space. Is this normal?

    Our other cockatiel Jessie used to do the same thing. Could he have learned it from Jessie?

  208. Li   August 9th, 2011

    Have a female cockatiel that I have had for over a year now. She was given to my family bbecause she would not lay eggs so the breeder didn’t want her anymore. She used to be sweet and playful, but now she is always. On one perch, eating, drinking, or sleeping. She also lays empty. Eggs all the time, and I want to know if there is anyway to make her playful and trusting again. And if you can train a cockatiel to not lay eggs? She “rubs” on her toys and I took the ones that she could out, but she has maneuvered herself so that she can rub on the side of the cage.

    I also have two other cockatiels, males, and they are kept in a seperate room. I don’t think they have anything to do with it because she is not allowed any contact with them at all.

    Thanks Dr. Cockatiel!

  209. zalmer   August 8th, 2011

    We brought two young cockatiels about a week ago and lost one the other become very unhappy and was rapidly climbing round his cage so I have borrowed me mothers cockatiel which has been on his own for a while because his friend die. which has done the trick with the young bird sweetie and my mothers bird charlie has started singing and whistling which he has not done for a long time at the moment I am keeping them in separate cages but am allowing them to fly together. my question is when will I know that they will be all right in the same cage over night? hope you can help me with this as I think they are getting on well.

  210. Dr. Cockatiel   August 7th, 2011

    Boli,

    As long as they don’t fight, you can put 10 in a cage as long as it’s a huge cage. Make sure the cage for 3 is large enough where they each have there own area and not on top of each other.

  211. Dr. Cockatiel   August 7th, 2011

    Sam,

    I am not on vacation, just very busy lately with work and bird baby sitting. I always try to find time to get on and answer questions though the best I can. Thanks visiting the again once again.

  212. Dr. Cockatiel   August 7th, 2011

    Sam,

    Bring the limping one to a vet to make sure there is no infection and he is not seriously injured and I think you should take away the one who bites for now and move him to a separate cage for the time being, even if in the same room. Just in the time being until the other cockatiel doesn’t limp and has a clean bill of health.

  213. Dr. Cockatiel   August 7th, 2011

    Sam,

    The earlier you build trust and train them the better. When they are young is when they learn most of their lifelong traits and habits. Training a bird is also building trust at the same time as that is interaction between you and your birds which they don’t forget.

    Cockatiels are picky so there will be times where you will want to play and they don’t want to be bothered and other times when they want to play and you don’t want to be bothered. Setup 15-30min a day around the same time and bring them to a playstand and just see what they can do and were they are willing to start training with you. They will quickly get accustomed to that time being play and training time and it will be easier and more likely for them to come out and play.

    Trick: Use a millet spray when training and when they do a good thing, let them have a bite. It works.

  214. Dr. Cockatiel   August 7th, 2011

    Meranda,

    If your cockatiel is not mean and does not try to bite – as well as be played with out of the cage then your in good shape. He is just trying to get your attention as he feels you’ve been lacking playtime lately (hehe). I’ve seen many cockatiels do this, it’s very normal even for parrots and alot of birds.

    Our senagal parrot does this all the time and the moment we open the cage, he runs out to us like we’re covered in peanuts. If he is not able to be touched and acting aggressive towards you and your mother, then he might be sick and I would get a checkup for him.

  215. Dr. Cockatiel   August 7th, 2011

    Sharon,

    Your welcome and I am glad to hear that your cockatiel is doing better. An outside cockatiels life is much much different than inside – most of the problems are do to so many animals trying to attack them… bringing one inside they still hear the birds outside so yours might still be getting jitters over that.

    Anything you can do in the cage to make it easier for your birdie, they will love you for it. Did the vet suggest vitamins or any supplement for your bird due to the lack of nutrients. I assume any licensed vet should have told you to buy some items.

    Good luck with everything and let me know if you need help picking out vitamins.

  216. Dr. Cockatiel   August 7th, 2011

    Christian,

    If your able to play with him and he is a non aggressive bird… he is just singing/talking to himself. A few of mine will do it after they eat a fresh bowl of food, I think it’s such a cute whistle. Your cockatiel sounds are nothing more than your bird being happy.

    He may do it while your in the room with him which means he is just singing to you or wants to chat lol.

  217. boli   August 7th, 2011

    Can you put 3 cockateils in a cage together????

  218. gerard   August 5th, 2011

    Recently got a cockatiel that not very social wont come out of its cage it chirps when it needs food becomes agressive when i try and let it out its cage how do i build its trust

  219. Kenty   August 4th, 2011

    My Tiel has an open top cage, always and it keeps leaning forward lifting its tail and pacing back and forth all at the same time, but it cant be the “let me out” pace cause it can get out whenever.

    not sure if its a boy or girl but my girlfriend hasnt seen it do this at all, i think i have a horny female bird maybe?, also, it wont copy my whistles like my last tiel, ive been whistling at it for months.

  220. Sam   August 4th, 2011

    Dr. Cockatiel are you on vacation ???

  221. Sam   August 1st, 2011

    One of my cockatiels bit the others foot. This time he started to limp. And now im afraid that its hurting him badly. What should i do to prevent them from biting at eachother

  222. ema   July 30th, 2011

    hi i have a 4 month old cockatiel unsure of the sex i got him 3 days aqgo from a petshop he seems healthy but and makes some noise i had him sitting on my finger yesterday but today he just bites and flaps to get away i really want to let him out of the xage in the day but i dont want to have to chase him to get him back in the cage as he may see me as a predator can you suggest anyways to solve this thanks

  223. Sam   July 29th, 2011

    Guys thanks for all your comments and details shared …I have two birds one nemo (male)and kutty(Female) ,dont know what age they are …5 days before i bought them from pet store .One gray and one pearl colour.They call me once i am in home and play like move forward and backward …climbing …some time kutty hangs like a bat .they whistle when i do some time …some time they play .When i call “come here” they come some time, some time they never mind .can i open the cage and leave them free and train them from today ? asap they ate from my hand like i was out side holding the food they ate from the cage .can i start training them or i should build more trust ???reply me soon because am more interested more than my birds . I love them so much …….

  224. Meranda   July 28th, 2011

    Hi, My family and I have owned our cockatiel for a few years now. We bought him from a local pet store when he was only a few weeks old. He didn’t have any feathers and we still had to feed him formula. He was bought for my little sister but became and still is very attached to my mom. She was the one that always fed him. Anyways, he has been a completely normal, happy bird. These last couple days while he is on his perch in his cage he has been bobbing slightly up and down while kind of pacing back and forth. At the same time he is making a faint cherping noise. I’ve heard him make this noise before but I’ve never seen him pace and bob like he his. Also, usually when he does this it is only for a couple minutes and he is done. He has been doing this continuously for the last two days. Neither my mom nor I know what this means. I was hoping you could help. Thank you.

  225. sharon   July 28th, 2011

    thanx doc i took her to a vet the vet told me that it is a deformity because her mom lack of nutrients so she would of develop completley now she is calm and she does not trimbles anymore the vet said that she is just scare and feom beeing an outside bird and now inside it will take her time to adjust to her new life inside and vet said too tjat her cage what i did is very convenient for her since she has that problem
    i have been taking very well care of her now she is more friendly like to be around me even like to take baths now since water is like the lotin for the cockatiel thanx for your advice love your page

  226. Christian   July 28th, 2011

    Hi my cockatiel does this little soft whistling thing can you tellbme what is it trying to do or what the behavior is? Thanks email me at y2jh8er@aol.com

  227. Dr. Cockatiel   July 25th, 2011

    Cher,

    There are some scraps that are always good for your birds. Veggies are #1. For example, non-dressing salad scraps are excellent. They love pasta, and I think it’s a good treat to give a noodle here and there but remember pasta is loaded with carbs and turns straight to fat in birds, so you need to be careful on how much table scraps (food) your offering your bird.

    The scraps are basically treats for your bird. So the key with treats is, give your bird treats as treats. Treats are not a meal nor a healthy diet for your bird. Use them as you would with buying a toy treat from the pet store.

  228. Dr. Cockatiel   July 25th, 2011

    Robert,

    Cockatiels love seed and can tolerate more than other birds but seed is fatty and if you only have him on a seed only diet, he will be deprived of vitamins and get fat eventually.

    You should try to ween your bird onto pellets by mixing pellets and seed slowly until he is eating pellets only which contain the same healthy parts of seed with essentials your bird needs. Also try fresh fruits and veggies because they are a great source of vitamins and minerals… and it adds some fun to your birds diet. Offer your bird fruits n` veggies every day, try whole, chopped, grated, chunked, cooked and sliced (you don’t have to get fancy with it).

    Give your bird a lot of options. Choose dark green or orange fruits and vegetables for some vitamin A. Excellent starter foods would be kale, carrots, cooked squash, cooked sweet potatoes, spinach, apples, some peppers, soybeans, green beans, oranges, peaches, pears, plums and others if you really want to get down to detail. Remove any fresh foods after a few hours each time so that your bird doesn’t end up eating anything that has spoiled. You will find a good combination shortly after seeing what your bird likes and don’t like.

  229. Dr. Cockatiel   July 25th, 2011

    Kate,

    Love to hear about the adoption of cockatiels as that is a huge sacrifice your making by taking in a bird. If he is just nibbling on your hand and not biting or trying to break skin… it really sounds like he is just having fun and love being with you. The back and forth moving/walking circles on your hand is his way of getting your attention and “dancing” for you. The nibbling might be to get your attention… does he nibble if your looking at him and talking to him?

    As long as he doesn’t bite you or start acting aggressive then you got yourself one happy bird and have nothing to worry about. You can take him to a avain vet to get checked out for overall health since he was adopted but every bird regardless should get a checkup twice a year.

  230. Dr. Cockatiel   July 25th, 2011

    Sharon,

    For something like this I would bring your bird to a avian vet for the health of your cockatiel. You do not have time to try different things or wait for trust. If you have to, get a glove and as best as you can, get her into a travel cage so they could check the bird out to find out what the problem is. Your bird might be acting like this due to the foot hurting her regardless of how it was obtained. Once you know the foot problem, you could start working on having her trust you and want to come out of the cage. That is my opinion as I don’t want your bird to get hurt at any stage of training her.

  231. Dr. Cockatiel   July 25th, 2011

    cockatiels no feathers,

    I think you should take away the young ones that the parents are picking on and move them to a separate cage for the time being. Sometimes parents want to breed again and with all the babies there, it’s not possible for them so they find this as a way to breed again. I know it sounds weird but cockatiels are so incredibly unique that anything could happen. Leaving them in there longer could result in the parent killing the young baby.

    I’m not a licensed expert on this subject but from experience and stories I heard, that is my best advice.

  232. Cher   July 24th, 2011

    is it okay to be feeding your bird table scraps from your meals?

  233. Robert   July 22nd, 2011

    Am I feeding my cockatiel to much seed? How much is too much and how much is good to give. I was told too much is not healthy for him. Thank you.

  234. Andrea   July 19th, 2011

    My male Tiel is over preening the head of my female Tiel and she is bald. As soon as her head feathers start growing back, he over preens them and pulls them out. They are in different cages when I’m not home and out of their cages when I am home so they are supervised, but she constantly lowers her head to him so that he will preen her.

    Other than being unsightly (I’d like to stop this behavior), any suggestions or just let it go since she is asking for it?

    Thanks!

    Andrea

  235. Kate   July 18th, 2011

    I just adopted a male, 11/2 year old cockateil. He was hand raised and smart, sweet, verbal and melodic. My question is what does it when he walks back and forth or circles on the top of my hand and nibbles.

    Thank you,
    Love your website

  236. sharon   July 18th, 2011

    my cockatiel dont have her too feet one looks like if something or someone yanked it off and the other,is not normal she only walks alittle but she manuvers her self on the cage with her pick she os only 3 month and ahalf old she is very growshy and dosent want to bee taken out of the cage for me to cleane it she likes to be all the time warm why is that??
    did she suffer from her parents or an abuse??
    then she always trimbles like if im going to hurt her why??
    on her cage since she like to be high I made some steps for her so she can clim thats all she can do but she is learning to fly can you or someone help me???

  237. amie   July 18th, 2011

    hi i have just a few questions and dont want to take up to much of your time so ill just put the basic down,ive had my cockatiel for about 3 years now and he is aggressive most of the time like when i go to cover him up at night he will fan tail and hiss at me and lunge at me i dont act on it i just say good night and cover him up,the only thing he seems to be ok with is when i give him a shower and food lol he will not come out of his cage ive opend his door and sat way from him to let him come out in his own time if he wishes to as i dont want to force him to do anything he dont want to ,but his aggression is abit to much ive tryed puttin my hand in his cage just resting it at the bottom and slowly moveing it a little closer to him bit by bit but he moves away the hisses and lunges, i really dont know what to do as i dont want to be stressing him out but id really like him to be less aggressive (if possible) and id hate to think that he is scared of me and dont feel safe with me …please help

  238. cockatiels no feathers   July 15th, 2011

    question;why the parents cockatielskeeps on pulling the feathers oftheyre youngones.the babys dont have any feathers left.

  239. Dr. Cockatiel   July 12th, 2011

    Hi Barbara, great to hear from you and a excellent question. YES YES YES… spinach is great for cockatiels and all birds, just not everyday or all the time. In moderation, it is 100% non-toxic and very healthy for him to eat. It will also give him energy overall which will help him stay healthy (unfortunately it wont make him run around the cage all day playing but you will be doing him a great favor).

    The reason I say not to feed it all the time is because spinach is made up of one ingredient that can effect your cockatiels absorption which you don’t want being he is 14. Add a little to a separate dish which you only put non seed or regular cockatiel food in and first see how he even takes to eating it lol. Some cockatiels like it, some don’t.

    Years ago when all the research was being done on cockatiel food and health, I switched my cockatiels diet and added in fresh foods – WOW what a big change that made. Till this day, I always feed them healthy food, well all my birds – cockatiels or not, get fresh health food. They ended up looking so much better, cleaner and I was easily able to see a change in attitude as they were happier.

    Just because its a green vegetable, doesn’t mean it is healthy. For example do not let them eat broccoli because it will make them sick and could easily kill them. I have a list of good and bad foods for birds which I am going to send you if you can tell me your e-mail. Thanks for writing.

  240. Luis   July 10th, 2011

    How can I tell if my parrot cockatiel is male or female?

  241. Patrica   July 10th, 2011

    Hi, I had my cockatiel for over 2 weeks and I have not seen my baby cockatiel eating or drinking water. How can I tell if it is?

  242. Betty   July 9th, 2011

    Is spinach bad for birds? I also would like to ad that my first cockatiel has been having health problems when I had him on a seed diet recommended by the pet shop oh about 14 years ago. At age seven I started to change his diet recommended by my avian vet who also advised me that I should “update” his cage since back when I got him, the cages metal was toxic for him if he chewed on it. So I also picked up a nice new cockatiel cage for him which made him happy (I was able to see a difference in attitude almost right away)

    He eats very well now but also needs to take supplements due to his age. He does not do as well without the supplements. Is spinach good or bad for cockatiels, I have been told both and cannot don’t want to risk it. I want him to keep up with his younger friends as they are more active and as playful as he is… his age keeps him from doing that. I give him Sunseed sundrops which I was told are good, do you have any advice for my bird or products that I should be using. Thanks Dr.

    Betty

  243. Zoë   July 8th, 2011

    Hello Dr. Cockatiel:
    I have gotten two 5 year old cockatiels from a lady and her family. When I brought the tiels home, they seemed to not like it or me very much, and display signs that they do not like me very much. Should I be worried? Will they come to like me eventually?

  244. Maggie   July 6th, 2011

    I have 2 cockatiels at least 15 years old that I inherited from my Mom.
    We thought they were both males. They both are around the same age, but one is a grey with a white face/head and Pretty is yellow with orange cheeks.

    Just a few days ago they were both maturating simultaneously. When they get a bos it always gets destroyed, not this time. Coto is in it everyday, gets glassy black ey and rocks skwiky side to side. Large poops and funky looking above his/her crest. Pretty stays out of the box which is unusual, just Coto goes in.

    No egg yet..are they too old, is he a she? I am so perplexed. I am not really worried but they have me so confused right now I am lost. Help!

  245. Mike   July 5th, 2011

    Hello. Have had Burt for 22 years and with the exception of a poor diet induced bout of feather pulling last year which a vet has helped to resolve, he has been heathy. Recently though in the past 4 weeks he has begun really chewing up his newspaper (like all of it) whereas in the past maybe just a little bit and only once in a while. He has also begun chewing on the cuttle bones which have always been there for him, but normally ignored over the years. What gives. I noticed one question above about newspapers so will check back soon to learn what you think is going on. Thanks.

  246. Lisa on June 26, 2011 12:30   June 26th, 2011

    Hello Dr. Cockatiel:

    We have four cockatiels: mom, dad and two 9 mo. old females. The baby girls started to drop eggs about a month ago with no physical contact. I think I may have started this by petting them too much; however, I’ve decreased that to a minimum when needed. What should I do with the eggs at this point? Thank you in advance for you response.

  247. Larry   June 19th, 2011

    Doctor cockatie, do cockatiels have the same ability as a homing pigeon, to find its way back home, or is this unusual ? I take the bird out occasionally and let it fly around, it flies around for a few minutes then lands on my shoulder but it has taken off for a day or so but has managed to find its way back, is this common, I would appreciate your expertise
    My e-mail is lja351@AOL.com

  248. valerie kindle   June 16th, 2011

    my cockatiel never use to shred his newspaper that
    I use at the bottom of the cage. Now he does it
    all the time shredding paper like he’s making a nest or something.

  249. Oriana   June 9th, 2011

    Hello,

    I have a two year old male cockatiel called pumpkin. He is tame and friendly to me, but doesn’t like my boyfriend at all. He chases him around trying to bite his feet and toes all the time. Is there any chance that I would be able to get my bird to like my boyfriend or is it too late for him to stop being so protective of me? I think he thinks that I am his girlfriend lol He tries to rub himself on my feet and talks to my toes and fingers a lot rather than my face. (Is it normal for cockatiels to have foot fetishes?)

    I was also wondering if there is a good way to discipline a cockatiel? As I found another male one called hopper 2 months ago and he is rather shy, won’t let me pet him or pick him up etc but loves sitting on my shoulder all the time. Sometimes he bites me, flys and jumps into my food seemingly on purpose (pumpkin doesn’t do this, only hopper) I have to chase him around the house with a towel to put him back in his cage which I don’t like doing but I don’t know a better way. Do you know how I can stop him from biting, and make him more friendly to me?

    Thank you :)

  250. Dr. Cockatiel   June 5th, 2011

    There are too many factors to pin-point the problem at this time. You will save alot of time and possibly your birds health by getting your cockatiel checked out by a vet ASAP. If he is sick or there is a problem inside which you cannot see, you can treat it before it’s too late.

    If he comes back with a clean bill of health then it’s just behavior and training lessons you will have to work on with your bird. Cockatiels puff up alot but should be shaking off all the loose little white features which this bird is notorious for. The fact that he get’s out of his cage means his comfortable enough to leave his home and needs more personal training… if you got your bird from a reputable dealer then they would of trimmed it’s wings before you bringing it hoe and might not realize he can fly.

    I had a similar problem where my newest baby cockatiel would come out of the cage but not leave the bars and had to get him to use a ladder for him to fully come out but he slowly climbed down to the floor. His first 4-5 months I never saw him even attempt to fly or jump or do anything but chase me around on the floor and follow me room to room would but just run fast which was pretty funny/cute.

    All of a sudden, the next day I walked out of the room waiting for him to speed burst to me and he must of been excitied and next thing I know is he jumped off the ground and flew the best he can towards me (this being his first time in flight). Since then, he likes to abuse his flying power because now I put him on the floor and he just flys right up to my shoulder and now that his wings grew in full, he could soar throughout the house so I always trim when they get too long for his safety and then he can still jump and take off but doesn’t go very far and will jump onto my foot and climb up my leg, shirt to my shoulder.

    Sleeping at the bottom of the cage would only be if your bird layed eggs and was protecting them but your male isn’t capable of that, and at his age in general it doesn’t happen. What cage do you have him in now and is it on on a level where you have eye level with your bird? Do you have a rolling playpen and gym for him to use outside the cage – you just need to get him used to climbing and exploring. If you don’t do the step up command with your bird yet or he won’t climb on your finger, you need to learn that first before anything. Let me know how it goes. Thanks.

  251. Susanna   June 5th, 2011

    Hello Dr. Cockatiel,

    We bought a cockatiel 3 weeks ago from a pet store. They told us he was 3 to 6 months old. Since we have him, Chompers had not been very sociable and does not like being around us, although he does love to be outside his cage (2 to 4h per day). We whistle and talk to him all the time. He eats well and sleeps with his beck in his back feathers. Now, he is always puffy and sleeps at the bottom of his cage. Also, when he gets out of his cage, he always go to the carpet and nap there, not a very active bird. We read on your website that if a bird is puffy all the time and sleeps at the bottom of his cage, that may mean he is sick… Is there any chance that he may still be puffy because he is young?? Thank you for your answer and website!

  252. Dr. Cockatiel   June 3rd, 2011

    Each cockatiel is different and some may never talk or say words. They are known for singing and mimicking sounds. There is no time limit or age that they just start but males have more of a tendency to speak while females chirp and sing more. Paper towel rolls are fine, just make sure there is no glue stuck on it which could harm him.

  253. Dr. Cockatiel   June 3rd, 2011

    Your very welcome. I love hearing stories like that and it even shows me how unique cockatiels still can be. You will be amazed at what else your bird can pull off overtime and what he will mimic. It does sound like he is happy so you are doing a great job.

    Whenever my cockatiel potties outside his cage I look at him and go Uh Oh, did someone poop and he makes me funny gesture and chirps/talks and says “yeah” followed by a pretty girl whistle then clicks his break as if he’s laughing. (cockatiels aren’t the best talkers but you do get alot of 1 word answers from them)

  254. Dr. Cockatiel   June 3rd, 2011

    A cockatiel isn’t ready to be bought or moved for at least 5-6 weeks after born so look at factors surrounding his cage. Do you have other birds, animals, is it near a drafty window? Is sunlight getting to him… where is the cage located? Around center of action in the house or is he/she isolated in a room by itself. All this plays a factor.

  255. Dr. Cockatiel   June 3rd, 2011

    Sounds like the cage is intimidating for him at the moment. Just do not grab him to come out as you do not want him to turn into a biter.

  256. Dr. Cockatiel   June 3rd, 2011

    He is still getting used to his new home. Remember he went from one complete different area to another. He is very young still so just make sure fresh food is available and he will eat it. Alot of times they eat when alone so you may not even see him eating while your at work or etc…

    He runs back to his cage because he is scared. Stay in the room with him and watch tv or do whatever you normally one but keep his door open. Let him come out and explore on his own will, you will soon be asking how do you get him back into his cage LOL. You can try parakeet seed at first since he may not be big enough to eat normal cockatiel food.

  257. Dr. Cockatiel   June 3rd, 2011

    Your welcome and I write these hoping to help people with questions that most places don’t bring up or answer.

  258. Vanessa   May 23rd, 2011

    Thanks for posting this, it was also funny to read with your sense of humour :)

  259. Sarah   May 18th, 2011

    What does it meanwhen my bird wil lean forward and spread his wings and stick his but up at you.

  260. pont1977   April 17th, 2011

    I have a female Cockatiel and when she sits on my shoulder she rubs her head on my ear and behind my ear. Why is that? Also, She crouches down and leans forward and chirps? why does she do that?

  261. Daniel   April 7th, 2011

    Hi lately my cockatiel has been eating heaps more than often What does that mean?

  262. diamyn   March 29th, 2011

    i have a very interesting question what should you do if your cockatiels head turns backwards and it leans forward and its head turns in circles

  263. Gwen   March 14th, 2011

    I have an eight month little girl. Very recently she has started ‘tail wagging’ from side to side but also brings her tail forward and backwards, whistling softly. She does it with her ball only and opens her wings in the ‘heart shape’ stance while she is busy. Her ball is in front of her. Is she maturbating???? Do I take the ball away????

  264. Diana   March 2nd, 2011

    Hi, I have a almost 4 months old Cockatiel and I would like to know if is ok for him to play with the paper towel roll? He loves to play with it and bites on it and It destroys the all thing.So I dont know if is good for him because I don’t know if he is eating parts of it… then I would like to know what age is when they star talking or saying any words?.

    Thank you:-)

  265. tina   February 12th, 2011

    my female Bonnie died 2 weeks ago – very sad time , i bought a young female as my male Jovi seemed to be pining forr her . we kept them side by side in seperate cages and things seemed all ok , tried to intraduce them to same cage after a week n Jovi just kept on trying to attack her !!!! seperated them straight away – any ideas how to stop him ??

  266. Jolene   January 29th, 2011

    This was a great read! A lot of this I knew from observing my 16 month old cockatiel, Cacaface. There were a few things that were new to me and I found it very insightgul! Thank you Dr. Cockatiel. I love my bird. He’s my baby. I’m 22 years old and work part time so I can spend time with him to talk with him and show him my love. He’s my perfect pet. He’s so smart and he even sings Lady GaGa’s song, Bad Romance! I love it when he greets me in the morning and blows me kisses and asks me “what are you doing?” I’m very lucky to be a proud owner of this fantastic bird :)

    Thanks for the helpful information!

    Jolene

  267. kevin   January 25th, 2011

    *16-20 weeks old*

  268. kevin   January 25th, 2011

    sorry left out his cage is very big its a flight cage 31/21/35

  269. kevin   January 25th, 2011

    i got a cockatiel about five days ago and he only stays on his food bowl he dont play with his toys or move around much he’s pretty friendly hes about 24-34 weeks old is this ok?i take him out daily and he just trys to run to his cage unless i have his food dish with him

  270. Dr. Cockatiel   December 18th, 2010

    Rebecca,

    Lu is most likely bobbing his head often while in it’s bird cage might be trying to tell you a variety of things. In a young or unweaned bird… it is often a sign of hunger. Your cockatiel Lu may be begging for food. If he is an older cockatiel, it could be a way of showing off or trying to get some attention. Some will even bop when you play music they like, lol it’s so cute.

  271. Dr. Cockatiel   December 18th, 2010

    Trent,

    It will damage his trust, make him aggressive towards you and others and when they scream and you come in screaming they got your attention and what they wanted. when repeated, they learn they could just scream and you will come in. Ignore it as hard as that is for a week and I am sure he will calm down.

  272. Dr. Cockatiel   December 18th, 2010

    Lauren,

    He is still a baby so that change of behavior and attachment to items doesn’t usually happen until years 1-2 of age… at least the biting you that hard. The main question you have to ask yourself is “do you spend at least 30 minutes a day with your cockatiel? Being in the same room doesn’t count, I’m talking about holding him and dedicating birdie time everyday. Cockatiels need attention and if alone alot because of work, they make friends with something around them such as that mirror. It will go away once he knows that playtime is coming soon since they keep track of hours pretty good. Maybe a bird cage mirror will take away from attacking your mirror but it is trial and error since each bird is unique… make sure his wings are clipped as they will realize they can’t fly and make him come to you if he wants to get picked up. Make sure he gets at least 8 hours of sleep each night, move the cage location if you want to see if he takes different to a different area. Let me know which way your going to go or a little more information and I could be more precise in a answer.

  273. Lauren   December 18th, 2010

    Hi,
    I have a 6 month old male Tiel who has recently become very aggressive. He used to love hopping onto my hand to get out of his cage and I could easily get him to step up and sit with me for long periods of time. In the last few weeks, he has become reluctant to leave his cage, bites me so hard that my fingers bleed and will sometimes chase my hand along the floor trying to bite it when I try to pick him up. He has also developed an obsession with a mirror in my room which I don’t let him look at anymore but he always tries to get to it and attacks me if I stop him. What can do to stop this behaviour?

  274. Trent   October 24th, 2010

    People tell me that yelling, punishing, responding with anger, banging on the cage bars or any other negative responses will damage the trust your bird has in you. Also that it teaches your bird that screaming gets desirable results. Is this correct in any way?

  275. Rebecca   September 3rd, 2010

    Recently lu has started adding the head bob right after this behavior. Also to clarify, when I said it sounds like a hiss but is not- it sounds more like a quick inhale/exhale breath. He is doing this action even more now, almost as if to get my attention.

    He is now 9 1/2 months and though I do not know the sex for sure, he is beginning to show some male behaviors. He is still sweet, easy to train, and friendly to strangers (besides this weird habit that startles people). He is fully flighted, is out with me about 6-8 hours a day and is trained to fly to me when my arm is out, as well as to fly to his cage to poop (mostly :). He has lots of chew toys, exercise, and loves his veggies.

    He has done the weird behavior to me 3 times since I began writing this. One thought I have is it is a left over baby behavior, demanding food or something?

  276. Rebecca   August 20th, 2010

    I have owned several cockatiels, but have one right now who has an odd behavior that I do not understand. It is like a hiss, but not. It usually occurs when Lu is sitting in my finger or shoulder and will suddenly shake his head, make a really quick hiss, open his wings out a bit and keep his beak wide open for a second. He does this all the time if you move the hand he is on too fast, or move too quickly around him, but sometimes he will do it when sitting completely still and quiet. People often pull back because it looks like he is lunging to attack and bite. But he is not a biter and after watching it many, many times it doesn’t seem to be anything more consequential than a sneeze, but it is startling and odd. Have you seen this behavior or know what it is?

  277. Nuna   August 3rd, 2010

    It took a while, but I’m back.
    Her age… when I got her she was 7 weeks old, and I’ve almost had her for about a year (in november/october)
    She has fairly large cage, good for smallish/medium sized birds.
    We keep her near the windowsill, she enoys climbing on it and gazing outside :)
    She doesn’t play a lot with toys, but when she does, she’ll ring her toy-bell.
    My sister got a male cockatiel recently, but that really made a change in her behavior. Maybe, besides being less lonely.
    I spend as much time with her as I can, talking, whistling replies and “chirps”. Her sitting on my shoulder, snuggling, taking her outside.
    When I do approach her, he opens her beak as a warning then nibbles my finger, and allows me to pet her. Slower actions help too, but she will always nibble my finger before anything.
    She spends time with her older birdy friend playing and climbing on her fake tree branch (count that as a toy if you want)

    She hasn’t molted yet, and the other cockatiel she plays with has softer feathers, which I’m curious about. She also wont really eat a lot of fresh fruits of veggies, mostly dried things.
    :3

  278. George Vergerstan   June 29th, 2010

    Found the answers to many question’s I had about my cockatiel and now my wife has been reading every article on your site and is enjoying the learning process. Any tips for keeping a cockatiel from screaming so early in the morning? I know it’s normal but ours starts at 5:30am and does it all day whether we are in the room or not. When we try to play with her, she will not come out of the cage but just sit there and scream. She was never like this and it started a few month’s ago. Nothing I can think of has changed to cause this and the only thing we changed was a toy here and there but the play’s with them. She will not bite but seems afraid to come out and we were getting worried.

  279. Sandy   June 24th, 2010

    Good information and this site helped me alot in my college assignment. Thanks you for your information.

  280. Dr. Cockatiel   May 31st, 2010

    If you got it from someone who you know did not neglect the cockatiel or abuse the bird, then it is just a case of being in a new environment and naturally will hiss, lunge and go into a protective state which is why you get that reaction when approaching the cockatiels bird cage. There is a bunch of changes you could do which will allow your cockatiel to gain your trust and with a little more detailed information, i would be more than glad to walk you through it since I’m positive every bird can be trained to be nice.

  281. Dr. Cockatiel   May 31st, 2010

    The location of the bird cage could be a major role in the attitude… high traffic area or alone in a room and your other cockatiel would make your new one nervous at first.

    how old is the female approx?
    what cage and size is the bird currently in?
    has the bird ever actually bit you or does it seem to just put on a act (females are alot less aggressive than males so it is already easier on your part)?
    what toys, activities do you have in the bird cage and do you notice any trend in like or dislikes?
    did you try moving the cage to different area’s, away from direct sunlight but not in a dark room alone all day?

    talking is good and you have to show her that you mean well and don’t want to harm her (pull up a chair close to the cage and just sit there for 2 minutes ignoring any hissing or lunging and see if she naturally stops at the time and note how her reaction is). After talk in a nice soft tone and just say good girl and anything to praise the bird, have a millet stick in hand and you’ll be amazed on how friendly they turn lol. Your goal is to first be by the cage talking without your bird trying to attack you, then you could keep the door open and let her come out and explore at her own pace and reward her with a treat when she acts good.

  282. Nuna   May 8th, 2010

    Hello! I have a beautiful little cockatiel named Ginko. She is almost 7 months old, and this guide has helped me understand her. I feel like we’re bonding more now ^^ I am trying to teach her to whistle little tunes. The person who I got her from says, “Its a myth only males can whistle songs. The vocal ability is waht you teach them.” Do you have any tips on how I can teach her to whistle? Another thing, she does little chirps once in a while. Like when I pick her up to play, or when she hears a bird outside, or just randomly when we’re on the couch. What does this mean?

  283. Linda   May 6th, 2010

    Our family just purchased a 14 week old Lutino Cockatiel. We named him or her Snuggles. Snuggles has adjusted to the family quite well. When everyone is home Snuggles chirps and paces her cage and once I open the cage Snuggles imediately comes out and wants our attention. However, Snuggles has a nasty biting habit, so we bought gloves and it has basically elminated that problem (or at least we thought). If Snuggles sees any visible flesh she goes right for it and bites. It is not like an aggressive bite like shes angry, but a constant action. Why is Snuggles doing this? Have we done something wrong? Is it the way she may have been hand fed? Or could it be she was neglected at the pet store we purchased her from? I have looked at several web sites, read two books and have not been able to pin point the problem. Her crest is either at half-mast or simply relaxed when we interact with her. She also seems to like it when we watch her eat because when we greet her in the morning or throughout the day she will head staright to her food dish and eat and once we leave she chirps. I am confused and I hope I will be able to find a solution to her biting. I know it will take time and patience and I am willing to try everythting. I eagerly await your response. Thank you for your time.

  284. Linda   May 6th, 2010

    I just purchased a Lutino Cockatiel that is about 14 weeks old. Snuggles seems like he enjoys his new home and really likes to be out with the family, but when being held he constantly nips at our fingers or any flesh that he can get his beak into. However he stops if we wear gloves and long sleeved shirts on. How do we stop our precious baby from nipping and why is he acting this way?

  285. Dr. Cockatiel   April 24th, 2010

    Naturally birds will pick at strings, fabrics, carpet, anything that looks fun. Preening is when he starts biting himself to clean out the white dust there about to shake in your face lol. You just have to say no when he picks at anything hes not suppose to. Him attacking you might be just a leave me alone fake intimidation because mine will do that but will nibble on my finger and not bite. If it is a big problem you might need to get some new forging toys and shredding ones he could tear apart in his cage.

  286. Dr. Cockatiel   April 24th, 2010

    Your first question I answered in the previous comment and I hope you can use part of it to accomplish your goal.

  287. Dr. Cockatiel   April 24th, 2010

    Hello and that is a excellent question. It was kind of you to take in another cockatiel and believe it or not, this act/gesture is very common in male and female cockatiels. This occurs more often when a bird is moved into a completely new home with all new people but the good news is that the problem can be fixed and if you read my about me page, you can see how that happened to me only with a very very abused and nasty cockatiel who would bite and go crazy even when trying to replace his food and water dish.

    If you got it from someone who you know did not neglect the cockatiel or abuse the bird, then it is just a case of being in a new environment and naturally will hiss, lunge and go into a protective state which is why you get that reaction when approaching the cockatiels bird cage. There is a bunch of changes you could do which will allow your cockatiel to gain your trust and with a little more detailed information, i would be more than glad to walk you through it since I’m positive every bird can be trained to be nice. Getting your cockatiel to eat pellets is a task on it’s own which you said you were able to do so that is excellent since most birds take months to accept pellets without throwing them onto the floor. The body head shake is a defensive move they use in the wild to appear more strong and avoid attacks by animals in the wild but that goes hand and hand with the hissing. Spooky who we named due to him being how he was and he still hisses and chirps but it’s all an act and I just put my finger out and he puts on his show then hops on, so each bird needs trial and error to find what works best. The location of the bird cage could be a major role in the attitude… high traffic area or alone in a room and your other cockatiel would make your new one nervous at first.

    how old is the female approx?
    what cage and size is the bird currently in?
    has the bird ever actually bit you or does it seem to just put on a act (females are alot less aggressive than males so it is already easier on your part)?
    what toys, activities do you have in the bird cage and do you notice any trend in like or dislikes?
    did you try moving the cage to different area’s, away from direct sunlight but not in a dark room alone all day?

    talking is good and you have to show her that you mean well and don’t want to harm her (pull up a chair close to the cage and just sit there for 2 minutes ignoring any hissing or lunging and see if she naturally stops at the time and note how her reaction is). After talk in a nice soft tone and just say good girl and anything to praise the bird, have a millet stick in hand and you’ll be amazed on how friendly they turn lol. Your goal is to first be by the cage talking without your bird trying to attack you, then you could keep the door open and let her come out and explore at her own pace and reward her with a treat when she acts good.

    If you get back to me, I promise to do my best and get you through this. I have and can take video’s of mine who acts similar and show you tricks and things I’ve done in the past which I found to work for me but I am not a professional… just grew up and between now and growing up, owned 20+ cockatiels as well as other bird species. Good luck and I can’t wait to hear back from you.

    Best Regards.

  288. Li   April 22nd, 2010

    Sorry, I meant to say we changed her diet from seed-only to pellets.

  289. Li   April 22nd, 2010

    We got a female cockatiel from a coworker who could not keep her. She is our second cockatiel and she is very frightened and aggressive. She hisses and lunges and does this sort of head and body shake that almost looks like a seizure but I think it is a warning gesture. She won’t sit on her perch but insists on sitting on the indention where her cage curves. We have successfully changed her diet from seed-only to peelets but I am at a loss of how to put her at ease with us. She does this lunge-shake behavior any time I talk to her or move nearer than 2 feet from her cage. Any ideas?

  290. SB   March 15th, 2010

    My cockatiel always picks at the fabric on my chair, and when I pick him up, he starts attacking me… is this him “preening” the chair? Or is it something else?

  291. Dr. Cockatiel   February 24th, 2010

    Hello Lila… from my experience – all my cockatiels I have and owned did that funny back and forth rocking lol. They do it for a few reasons but mostly it is your bird way of trying to get attention and almost like a little dance. Sometimes if they hear a unique noise and get curious they could do that trying to figure out what it was and where it came from. If yours does it often, even if no one is by the cage or while your birds alone (peak in the room if you need to check) – it could mean he is getting sick which they do if something isn’t right with them but that is more rare and you would be able to see other problems first but it is always good to get them a checkup. Thanks for writing.

  292. Lila   February 21st, 2010

    Do you know what it means when a cockatiel rocks back in forth?

  293. Dr. Cockatiel   November 16th, 2009

    Hey John, congrats on bringing home your new cockatiel and at 12 weeks old he/she is still learning and adapting to it’s new home. The only sound I’ve heard from a cockatiel from your description is that as long as your bird isn’t biting or biting hard and not getting aggressive, then it’s purring… yes just like a cat. You could take him/her out, put them to your chest and pet them from neck up, almost backwards and you will prob hear that purring noise again. I don’t think your bird is feeling upset and it will take a little bit more before they become fully comfortable with the food and toys in the cage. Millet you can’t go wrong with as the most stubborn bird can’t turn it down lol. Hope this helps.

  294. John   November 16th, 2009

    What an interesting site! very informative.
    I have a 12 week old cockatiel that we have just brought home (2 days ago)from a pet shop. It is making a sound like a constant electric motor running, but its beak is shut tight. I know that it is getting used to us, but it gives me the feeling that the poor bird is upset, almost as if it is pining for something. it took a while for it to get used to where its food is, but doesn’t mind being handled gently.
    Any suggestions?

  295. Dr. Cockatiel   November 12th, 2009

    Since your cockatiel is only 3 weeks old, it is still weaning and developing. A store isn’t allowed to sell (well in New York at least) a bird until it is fully weaned and ready to be brought home which is usually 5-6 weeks after a cockatiel is born. Yours may just be getting excited because it thinks it’s feeding time since they are still “not ready to be on it’s own. He may be flapping because it’s natural for birds to wonder what their so called wings are lol. As long as he is healthy, is eating and not showing any signs of illness, the flapping thing is nothing bad or nothing to be worried about. He may be very happy to see you since they develop bonds early on and my youngest male cockatiel is 9 months old and still flaps for attention, food, to play and so on. It is cute though, hope this gets to you. Take care.

  296. Dr. Cockatiel   November 12th, 2009

    you are very welcome. please visit anytime. thanks again

  297. nicole   November 10th, 2009

    thak u very much u answerd alot of my questions

  298. GG   November 10th, 2009

    When I take my 3 week old cockatiel chick out of its nest box to handle it will repeatedly shake his wings is this the ‘rearranging its feathers or is this something else?

  299. social question   October 25th, 2009

    Complete Cockatiel Bird Language And Behavior Guide with Videos….

  300. Carl Anthropian   October 18th, 2009

    Thanks for the tips and help.

  301. Dr. Cockatiel   October 7th, 2009

    Thank you, I’ve always felt bad for abused animals and since cockatiels and birds are my specialty and love… I knew they needed my help and I am happy to say today they are fully different birds who chirp, happy and love to play out of the cage instead of the biting, hissing and attacks when first getting them.

  302. Dr. Cockatiel   September 25th, 2009

    Thank you very much. Yes, you could also call it a cheat sheet :). Hope it was a help.

  303. Rogie   September 23rd, 2009

    Thanks for posting this, a very good article. A cheat sheet on tiels behaviors.

  304. Dr. Cockatiel   September 4th, 2009

    Cockatiels like most birds will hold food with one hand and eat with the other when it’s something they have to work to get to, for example a sunflower seed for cockatiels and a parrot usually will hold fruit to nibble on or a peanut. There is nothing wrong with a bird which does this and it’s common with all birds while eating. If you did not know, when cockatiels go to sleep, they will climb to the highest perch and sleep with 1 foot up in the air… why, I do not know but it does cause them to get scarred sometimes at night and fall and that’s why I always leave a nightlight next to all my cockatiel cages.

  305. Patricia   September 3rd, 2009

    How about the claws? do they use one of them to hold an object or piece of food like bigger parrots? allways?

  306. Cari   September 3rd, 2009

    I love the story about your cockatiels and find it so heart warming that you took the abused cockatiels in to bring them back to health. I would reallly like if you could post pictures up of your cockatiels as they sound so cute. Thank you for your kind heart.