I was sitting in the living room whistling away quietly to myself the other day, when I was very surprised to hear my cockatiel apparently whistling back to me from all the way upstairs.
I’d never had this before, and even though all the doors were open, I was really surprised that it was able to hear me at all.
I got wondering how good a cockatiel’s hearing must be, so I decided to do some research and look into it.
So, do cockatiels have good hearing?
By most standards, cockatiels have pretty good hearing. They are sensitive to sounds in the range of 250-8,000hz, although they can also register sounds of higher or lower frequencies. They can be sensitive to loud noises at home, too, so it’s important that you’re able to be somewhat quiet if you want a cockatiel.
Hearing is by no means a cockatiel’s main means of sensory processing—most birds tend to use their eyes most commonly.
Cockatiels do nonetheless have sensitive hearing, so you should be aware of that when keeping them.
Loud noises can startle them.
Let’s look further into this question.
Do loud noises hurt cockatiels?
Insofar as sufficiently loud noises will hurt any ear on which they register, yes.
Cockatiels are small creatures, so loud noises are not going to be good for them.
Loud enough and they could cause serious damage to the ears.
However, they are reasonably noisy themselves, as most parrots are.
They will spend a lot of their time chattering away, squawking and singing—so it’s not as if noise is alien to them.
As I said, they are sensitive to a reasonably large range of noises on the frequency spectrum
From creatures of their own size that make noises on those frequencies, they won’t really hurt your cockatiel. Indeed, they make more noise than most animals of comparable size.
So, just exercise common sense.
If there are lots of noises going on in or around your home that are annoying or barely bearable to you, they could well be uncomfortable, even painful, for a cockatiel.
How sensitive are cockatiels’ ears?
Reasonably sensitive, for an animal of their size.
As I said, they are generally thought to be sensitive to sounds within the frequency range of 250-8,000hz.
This might sound like a very wide spectrum, but our own auditory field goes all the way up to 20,000hz.
The far end of the spectrum is things such as dolphins, which must be highly sensitive to sonar underwater.
Birds, in general, use sight as their primary sensory apparatus, so their hearing is not exceptionally sensitive.
That said, they are sensitive to noise insofar as they are able to communicate complex messages and emotions via elaborate systems of chirps and squeaks.
So, in some ways, it depends on how you look at it.
They aren’t as sensitive, or at least sensitive of as wide a range of sounds, as we are.
For a creature their size, though, the relative sensitivity is quite high.
Are cockatiels scared of loud noises?
Yes, they are.
Again, they are as scared of loud noises as virtually any animal is.
Indeed, if you hear a sudden, loud noise, you will likely feel a moment of fleeting fear and apprehension.
It’s one of the most basic and natural survival instincts, to react in this way to loud noises.
Cockatiels, being small, are naturally concerned about large predators.
Loud noises make this instinct kick in, and the fear will linger for much longer in them than it would in us.
So, yes, cockatiels are scared of loud noises, and you need to take this into account when bringing them into your home.
They will not do well in environments with lots of loud, sudden noises.
So, what about the cockatiels themselves?
How much noise do they make?
Are cockatiels noisy?
The simple answer is that pretty much all parrots are noisy to some degree.
Cockatiels are no exception, and they make plenty of noise throughout the day.
They will chatter, sing, squeak and squawk and generally be very vocal.
This is the primary way that birds communicate both emotion and signals with one another, and indeed with you.
In the wild, singing marks territory and attracts mates, two things they are very frequently doing.
They will make a lot of noise throughout all hours of the day, so be prepared for that if you’re wanting to welcome one into your home.
So, cockatiels don’t have the most sensitive ears in the animal kingdom by any stretch, but they are still sensitive creatures that don’t do well with loud noises.
If you think this could be a problem for your cockatiel in your house, you’ll either have to find a way to lower the noise levels or think about a different pet.
You’re much bigger than your cockatiel, so any loud, sudden noise that you make near it is going to startle it.
Keep that in mind—be quiet for your cockatiel!