I’ve been raising a cockatiel over the last few months as my new companion.
I’ve always wanted one, but this is my first time with one, and we’ve been getting along quite well so far.
When I was chatting with a friend the other day who also owns a cockatiel, he was amazed at just how calm mine was.
His, he said, always seemed to be nervous and on edge, uncomfortable and like something was constantly frightening it.
He had tried so many things to help and nothing had worked—so I looked into what could be causing it.
So, why is my cockatiel scared of everything?
Generally, the most common reason for this kind of skittishness is being poorly raised and trained. Cockatiels are quite skittish in general, but they should get used to you over time. They are also highly social birds, and poor socialization can also lead to problem behavior.
So, there can be a variety of reasons for your cockatiels being overly fearful.
Usually, though, it comes down to some matter of training or socialization.
You need to be sure that they are getting enough company and that they are properly raised when you first get them.
Let’s look further into this.
Why is my new cockatiel scared?
The time when your cockatiel is most likely to be very afraid of everything is when you first get it.
The brand-new environment will be confusing and frightening for them, to say the least.
It will always take them some time to get used to, so you need to be prepared to spend a lot more time with it at first to keep it happy.
It’s also a question of where you sourced the cockatiel.
Breeders, naturally, have varying levels of responsibility.
Most are good and will take the proper measures to ensure newborn birds are properly trained and socialized from the moment they are born.
If not, though, this can lead to more problems in a new cockatiel.
Again, though, even if the cockatiel was as well trained as possible, you still have a strict duty to train and prepare the cockatiel yourself once it gets home.
Make sure it has everything it needs, and that you take the requisite time to help it get comfortable by being with it.
Otherwise, moving to a new home will be very stressful for it, with a potentially lasting impact.
Now let’s look at why a cockatiel you’ve had for a long time could be scared.
Why is my cockatiel always scared?
It all starts, really, with how they are raised to begin with.
Again, if none of the things I’ve mentioned above are observed, then the effects on the cockatiel will be long-lasting.
So, again, look to whether you need to go back to some of the basics with training.
Often, the other big question is about whether a cockatiel can comfortably live alone.
This is, without doubt, one of the leading reasons that cockatiels become overly scared and skittish.
They are highly social birds and live in large flocks in the wild.
They also frequently mate for life.
It is best practice, then, generally, to have a pair of cockatiels, rather than just one.
Otherwise, someone will need to be home in its direct company virtually at all times of the day, or it is probably going to get lonely.
That loneliness will manifest as frustration and fear.
There might be a simpler answer, too.
It might simply be that there is an object in the room that they are afraid of, for whatever reason. try and see if they are fixating on anything, or trying to attack it. If they are, remove that thing from their sight.
Why is my cockatiel scared of me?
If your cockatiel appears to be scared of you in particular, then this may be a more difficult situation.
This, most often, is to do with how the bird has been socialized.
Special measures need to be taken, as early as possible, to get cockatiels used to interacting with people.
If they don’t have this, then people are understandably quite frightening to them.
If you think this is the problem, you’re going to have to go back to the drawing board in terms of training.
Be prepared though, as it is much, much harder to tame a bird once they reach a certain age.
So, how do you calm a cockatiel down?
How do you calm a scared cockatiel?
It’s going to depend on what is scaring it.
As I said, if there appears to be something specific and physical causing the fear, start by removing whatever that is.
Carry treats on you so that you can offer the cockatiel food, this will go a long way to helping it calm down.
They are also often rather afraid of darkness, so try to keep a light on to prevent this.
Beyond that, though, the issues may go deeper than you can really correct with something simple.
Go back to the breeder and discuss training options.
Cockatiels are highly complex animals, then, with equally complex needs.
Getting a cockatiel, or indeed any parrot, is a big commitment that you need to be certain you are ready for.
They can be a real handful, and when not raised properly, they can exhibit all sorts of problem behavior.
As long as they are raised, trained and socialized properly, you shouldn’t really have these issues.
Take what we’ve said into account, and you shouldn’t have these issues.