Are Cockatiels Attention Seeking?

Cockatiels are beautiful affectionate birds.

They love your company as much as you enjoy theirs.

A cockatiel will hop on your shoulders any chance it gets.

(Check out my article – Should I let my cockatiel sit on my shoulder?)

It enjoys the head rubs and scratches. 

When it needs your attention, it will display a series of behaviors.

Question is – Are Cockatiels attention seeking? 

Read on to understand how a cockatiel demands attention.

How Do You Know If a Cockatiel Wants Attention? (5 Signs To Look Out For)

When your cockatiel is calling for your attention, it will display any of the following behaviors:

  • Banging Its Beak

This behavior is usually displayed by the male cockatiels.

The bird will start banging its beak against the cage or any objects.

It is trying to get your attention or that of another bird around it.

  • Hopping Incessantly

Another way of knowing if your cockatiel is seeking your attention is it starts hopping.

Usually, it is the next step after beak banging.

In this case, it needs you to pay attention.

  • Head Snaking

This behavior involves the bird moving its head from side to side.

It is another method of requesting your attention.

  • Squawking And Screaming

Screaming and being noisy is one of the biggest behavior that a cockatiel uses to demand attention. 

  • Watch Its Feathers

When the cockatiel is cresting the head feathers and fanning its feathers, it is trying to catch your attention.

Alongside this behavior, it may whistle or strut around. 

Here’s an interesting question..

Do Cockatiels Require Attention?

Cockatiels are generally social and so will require your attention.

This means, if you plan on having a cockatiel, ensure that you are up to the challenge. 

Cockatiels are social animals, and they require to socialize a lot.

Lack of attention from you or other pets can make them aggressive and moody.

If you do not have much time to spend with your birdie, another good idea would be to get another cockatiel to keep it company. 

If you’re unsure about getting another cockatiel, check out my article by clicking below where I go into detail about the pros and cons of either one cockatiel or having two

One cockatiel or two? your questions answered

Do Cockatiels Scream For Attention? (4 Ways To Stop This Behavior)

Yes, cockatiels will scream and squawk to gain your attention.

It would be best if you discouraged this behavior as soon as possible.

Whenever your cockatiel starts screaming for attention, and you comply, you are simply encouraging the behavior.

If it starts to scream, don’t rush to play with it, feed it, or pay attention to it.

Rewarding it will only silence it at that time.

But the behavior will become repetitive and hard to control in the future.

The best thing to do is walk out of the room and come back when it calms down, then you can give your birdie your full attention. 

Here are tips to help you reduce your cockatiels screams;

  1. Only Encourage Acceptable Noises Or Behavior

There are pleasant bird noises that we all love to hear.

For instance, whistling or simply whispering.

You can reward it for these kinds of noises. 

Alternatively, you can whistle back at it.

Usually, when a cockatiel is whistling, it is trying to locate you.

So whistle back to let it know you are around and close by

  1. Ignore The Screams

Discourage the screams by ignoring them.

It is difficult to watch your bird become this desperate, but it is an important step to controlling the habit. 

If you react to the screams by rewarding them or yelling back at them, the behavior will only get worse.

Just ignore it and leave the room and come back to it when its settled.

  1. Create a Routine For Your Cockatiel

To control the screams and other unacceptable behavior, create a routine for your bird and stick with it.

For instance, have a definite time for feeding it, interacting, and playing.

It will get accustomed to the routine and minimize the desire for screaming.

  1. Keep Your Cockatiel Entertained

If your bird is busy playing with toys, it will not need to scream and do other unacceptable behaviors.

Keep toys on rotation to prevent boredom

Do Cockatiels Get Attached To Their Owners? 

Once your cockatiel gets used to you, it will form a beautiful deep bond with you.

Usually, it will start to perceive you as its mate.

They will know your face and even your clothes. Pretty cool right!

It will take time for your cockatiel to recognize your face and bond with you.

But, when it eventually happens, your cockatiel will certainly adore you.

Your cockatiel will always be excited to see you or spend some time with you.

You can know how much your cockatiel loves you by how different it reacts towards the strangers.

Another way to know that your cockatiel loves you is when it feels the need to groom you.

It will rest on your body and nip your hair and ears.

It will start to preen as it rests on you or close you.

It is a behavior they display when they are close to their mates.

Once your cockatiel forms this bond with you, it is hard for it to forget you.

So, if you are away for long, they can become sad and depressed

The bond explains why they don’t cope well when given to a new owner. 

Can this attachment be a good thing?

I go into more detail in my article – My cockatiel is too attached to me

Here’s another interesting article I wrote up which I think you would love to read about

Are male or female cockatiels more affectionate?

Wrapping Up

Cockatiels love getting attention and interacting with its owner or their mates.

If you are not giving your cockatiel attention, it might slip into depression which is something you don’t want happening

Also, lack of attention encourages undesirable behaviors such as screaming or flapping wings.

An hour of your time a day for your cockatiel is enough.

However, discourage the bad habits displayed when it needs your attention.

Also, you can get another cockatiel to reduce its need for attention.



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