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What Do Cockatiels Hate?

1. Being made to perform any action

With parrots, and cockatiels are no exception, this just doesn’t work. If you don’t train them to want to accomplish things on their own, your bond may suffer. These kinds of prey animals are very likely to see something as a danger because, if forced, they will not grasp your objective.

Avoid chasing your cockatiel, pushing it in one direction or another, shoving an unknown object in its face, forcing it into a water spray to give it a bath, or doing anything else that it makes obvious it doesn’t want to do.

2. Getting seized

This is something you do only in crises unless you and your cockatiel have a strong bond of trust and it allows you to pick it up for fun. An illustration would be if the bird experienced a medical emergency and needed to be transported right away to the veterinarian’s office in a carrier.

Before attempting to grab your bird, you must know how to do so correctly to avoid breaking or damaging its wings. They are quite delicate. Leave your cockatiel alone if it doesn’t want to come. Let it go if it wants to. Train it to enter its cage if it refuses. Otherwise, the following time it won’t be as likely to go in the direction you want it to.

3. Being disciplined

It’s extremely clear: you cannot discipline a cockatiel for misbehavior, including biting, yelling, or any other undesirable behavior. Simply put, yelling, prodding, shaking the cage, slapping, taking food away, and other such acts are ineffective. The cause is that parrots are incapable of comprehending punishment. They assume you are assaulting or inciting them instead of connecting your punishment to their behavior.

Only positive behavior can earn a parrot a prize. This is known as positive reinforcement, and it is a widely used idea in training pets. Sounds difficult, but you can teach your cockatiel to do practically anything you desire by just rewarding it. Of course, the best reward is food!

4. The bird’s wings being clipped

I am aware that this is a contentious issue, but I stand by my position. Training can take care of just about any problem that you could wish to tackle by clipping, excluding any form of medical need, such as in a blind bird.

A cockatiel, for example, that has had its wings clipped may feel unable to flee and may become combative as a result. I once had a cockatiel that had its flight feathers trimmed by a previous owner, and I had to wait patiently for them to regrow. It’s wonderful to observe the difference in self-assurance and movement.

More information on this subject is available in my guest post on the advantages and disadvantages of wing clipping over at Parrot Essentials.

5. Being overlooked

Due to their high social needs, these parrots require hours each day of engagement with you or a partner. The psychological and even physical ramifications are terrible if you ignore yours and it has no friend. Cockatiels are prey animals, thus they continually feel vulnerable. It won’t receive the necessary stimulus for its intelligent brain. Unsurprisingly, the stress that results can shorten its lifespan by several years.

A cockatiel’s stress from being alone might cause it to act aggressively, vocalize excessively, pluck its own feathers, and other behaviors.

6. Receiving body affection

Okay, they don’t mind it, but it feels a bit like a sexual ad to them. Basically, it’s something that makes people think of the act of mating. If you find that amusing, reconsider; it may trigger aggressive hormonal behavior.

In extreme situations, particularly as spring approaches, your cockatiel might develop an obsession with you. Because you don’t respond as a cockatiel mate would, it may lash out in irritation and confusion at the same time. It might start hunting for a site to nest and grow ferociously protective of its selected location. Females can even begin to develop eggs, which puts a tremendous amount of stress on their bodies. So sure, please only touch your head and neck!

7. Being surrounded by onlookers

It will resemble a swooping raptor to your cockatiel unless you have a strong bond. Keep your hand at or below its eye level!

By the way, this is also the reason why if a bird flies past the window, your cockatiel may become distressed. Or perhaps when a shadow is created by a low-flying object like a helicopter. They simply have an internal flight mechanism.


To wrap up this brief list of pet peeves, I’d like to encourage you to read the whole cockatiel care guide if you haven’t already. After all, this article is by no means a comprehensive how-to manual. Being a competent cockatiel owner requires understanding topics like where cockatiels come from, what they eat, what kind of housing and enrichment they require, and what to do in an emergency.

Don’t give up hope just yet if you or the previous owner frequently did one or more of the aforementioned actions and as a result your cockatiel is hostile. Through patient training, the bond can frequently be repaired, or at the very least greatly improved.

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