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8 Signs that Your Cockatiel Likes You

Genevieve Dugal

There are many good reasons for adopting a cockatiel. Indeed, this expressive and easy-going bird has many strengths. Lovers of pet birds greatly appreciate it. By its cheerfulness and its sociability, it represents a suitable pet for the whole family. To understand her and interact with her, it is helpful to know the meaning of these attitudes, and above all, to know the eight signs that she loves you!divider-birds

Top 8 Signs That Your Cockatiel Likes You:

1. She Chirps at Your Approach

Cinnamon cockatiel_Shutterstock_rainyclub
Image Credit: rainyclub, Shutterstock

If your cockatiel starts to chatter, sing, or chirp every time you approach her, it is a sign that she is happy to see you. It is therefore important to pay attention to the cries of your cockatiel.

However, if she tends to hiss a lot, it may signify that she is scared or agitated. So, if your cockatiel hisses regularly around you, there may be something wrong.


2. She Has Warm Feet

cockatiel_jggrz, Pixabay
Image Credit: jggrz, Pixabay

If your cockatiels’ feet are warm, it is a sign that your pet bird is healthy and thriving. It also indicates that she is happy having you near her. On the other hand, cold feet may indicate a health issue or that your cockatiel is feeling stressed.


3. Her Body Language Is Relaxed

grey cockatiel close up_Pixabay
Image Credit: Pixabay

Observe your cockatiel’s body language carefully. For example, if she constantly tries to escape when you approach her, she might be feeling threatened. Likewise, if she raises a foot in the air, it is also a sign of aggression, and your cockatiel may try to bite you.


4. The Feathers of Her Crest Are in a Normal Position

Blue Cockatiel_Birute Vijeikiene, Shutterstock
Image Credit: Birute Vijeikiene, Shutterstock

Watch your cockatiel’s crest feathers. The front of the crest should be relaxed, showing that your bird is comfortable in your presence. If the crest is flat on the bird’s head, it could indicate that your cockatiel is angry. Likewise, a straight crest shows fear or restlessness, whether towards you or something else in its surroundings.


5. She Smooths Her Feathers

Female albino cockatiel_Gary_Ellis_Photography_shutterstock
Image Credit: Gary_Ellis_Photography, Shutterstock

Cockatiels groom each other as a sign of affection. If she’s doing it in your presence, or better yet, if she’s trying to straighten your own hair, that’s a great sign of affection!


6. Her Tail Wags and Her Eyes Blink Incessantly

Lutino cockatiel_Nicky Jacobs_shutterstock
Image Credit: Nicky Jacobs, Shutterstock

This is another sign that your cockatiel is excited by your presence; she even tries to flirt with you!


7. She Trots Towards You with Her Head Held High

cockatiel bird_Jenifer Kramer, Pixabay
Image Credit: Jenifer Kramer, Pixabay

This corresponds to an invitation to play with her, to stroke her: she is clearly delighted to be in your company!


8. She Regurgitates Her Last Meal in Your Hands

a blue cockatiel eating from a girl's hand
Image Credit: Ines Porada, Shutterstock

This ultimate sign of affection, although a little repulsive, shows that your bird wants to feed you because she has chosen you as her mate. This display of affection could hardly be more evident!

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4 Signs That Your Cockatiel Is Not Doing So Well

Learning to spot the signs of affection and love your cockatiel has for you is very helpful in improving your relationship with your pet bird. But, on the other hand, there are also other signs, more negative, showing that there is a problem:

Blue Cockatiel_Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH, Shutterstock
  • The feathers of her body are flattened, the crest is bristling, the eyes are wide open: your cockatiel experiences a feeling of fear, or she has been frightened or surprised (by a sudden noise, for example).
  • She spreads her wings while blowing with the beak open; the crest lowered backward: your cockatiel feels in danger. She is trying to impress you by puffing up her feathers. In this case, move your hand away as it could bite you, although this is rare.
  • Certain unusual behaviors can be a sign of suffering, ill-being, or illness. For example, your cockatiel may compulsively pluck its feathers. You may also see her listless, stay in the back of her cage and not move.
  • It can also be characterized by loss of appetite. Constantly swollen plumage, along with other symptoms, should alert you. In all cases, you will need to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

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Final Thoughts

In short, the cockatiel has a joyful and affectionate character. Tame cockatiels love contacts with their humans and will happily land on the shoulder of their owner for cuddles! When in their cage, they will spend their time feeding, grooming, playing, and calling you.

Her personality will suit adults and children alike, as she is both sweet and fun. It’s also a little show on its own. No doubt, the cockatiel is an adorable little pet bird, and when you know how to spot the signs that she loves you, your relationship only gets better!


Featured Image Credit: ONGUSHI, Shutterstock

Genevieve Dugal

Genevieve is a biologist and science writer. Her deep love for capuchin monkeys, pumas, and kangaroos has taken her worldwide to work and volunteer for several wildlife rehabilitation centers in Bolivia, Guatemala, Canada, and Australia. As a Canadian expat, Genevieve now lives in Argentina, where she wakes up every morning to horses and cows saying hello from the vast plain next to her home office window. She is the proud mom of three rescued dogs, Lemmy, Nala, and Pochi, and a frisky kitten, Furiosa. Having the privilege of sharing her knowledge and passion for animals of all kinds is what makes her fulfilled and happy.