Sudden Cockatiel Aggression

by Amanda

I've had my cockatiel for nearly 10 months now, she's never been a particularly friendly bird. She would sit on my finger, as long her cage was not in sight, but would fly to her cage when she had had enough. If she didn't want attention she would nip at my hand, but never very hard.

I moved house about 4 weeks ago and it's like she was a completely different bird. She really took to the place - she became very friendly, she would fly to me, wherever I was in the house, and would stay by my side all day, making "talking" noises, and was quite happy to sit on my hand.

I started back at work 4 days ago and she has become very aggressive since. When I go to her she flies at my face, beak open, very aggressive. When I put my hand out she bites really hard. When I am home, she stays on the other side of the room, and doesn't come near me anymore.

Does anyone know if there's anything I can do to reverse this behavioral change? I'm assuming the change has to do with her loneliness when I'm at work, or maybe something hormonal, and I'm just wondering what I can do about it now.

Comments for Sudden Cockatiel Aggression

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Aug 09, 2017
Cockatiel flying at friends in the face and biting
by: Anonymous

Me and my family went away on holiday and left my cockatiel smokey with my nan when I got back he was very pleased to see me but when I got him out the cage he with hissing bitting flying round the room flying on high places he never did that then when my mum walks in her will lean forward and squeak then fly at her in the face or if he is in the cage he hisses like crazy please help I don't know why this is happening

Editor's note: I have heard that birds can get angry when left for long periods of time. Hopefully the bird will get over it and return to normal. We have training articles at also that might help you.

May 27, 2012
aggressive cockatiel
by: stephen

I have a 1 yr old cockatiel who bonded with me straight away when we got him aged about 2 months,hes always loved a lot of attention and is a very good talker,saying lots of different phrases. But the past week he has been been quite quiet + has been displaying odd behaviour,like constantly rubbing his tail against a rock in his cage, and also has become a bit aggressive towards me and anyone who approaches him,he also seems to get very agitated when playing with his toys which never really happened before...can anyone explain why this is all happening?

Editor's note: If you want people to see and answer, you need to post a question, not an answer here to another question, at Parrot Questions

Jan 04, 2010
Sudden Cockatiel Aggression
by: Linda

Your going back to work has set off this behavior, and it'll take a while for your bird to work through it. If you have room for another cage, you may consider getting another Cockatiel as a friend for him while you are gone to work. You can then work with them one at a time when you come home. If you try and put them together, it may not work, and so I recommend separate cages. The new bird does not necesarily need to be a Cockie, just a bird of similar size. Cockies are usually quite docile birds but can become aggressive with strange birds, so whichever way you go, make sure they are not allowed out together unless you are there to constantly supervise.

The ladies' advice about the recording is also good, though I've found that another bird helps the most as they have someone to really communicate with during the long days while we work. Birds are flock animals and a recording just won't take the place of another birdy to talk with during the day.

Thanks for writing and keep us posted,

Jan 04, 2010
lonely bird
by: Anonymous

Hi There, I also have a cockatiel, and I made a recording of myself talking to my bird. I say things I want him to learn, plus include lots of whistling (he loves to whistle) and lovey talk. I leave 5 min pauses in between sessions. This way he hears my voice while I'm at work. I'm only gone 4 hours a day, but I think 4 hours of silence would make anyone feel lonely. Hope this helps.

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