Do Cockatiels Recognize Their Owners? Yes, And They Can Even Fall In Love With You!

Are you wondering whether your bird can distinguish you from others that pet and feed it? Do cockatiels recognize their owners like dogs and other larger pets? Let’s find out.

Yes, cockatiels have the ability to recognize their owners and distinguish them from other people.

Despite their tiny size, they are amazingly perceptive, smart, and intelligent birds.

Cockatiels are social birds. Like their fellow avians, they sense the world largely through their eyes and ears.

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    Do Cockatiels Recognize Their Owners
    Do cockatiels know their owners?

    Through regular interactions, they will quickly be able to recognize your face and detect your voice, and over time even pick up behavioral cues.

    They can also learn to bond with you through daily interaction and shows of care and affection.

    And once they do, you’ll see it in their demeanor. They are expressive birds who love to show their affection in several ways.

    Let’s talk about some of this in more detail below.

    Do Cockatiels Bond With Their Owners?

    Yes, cockatiels do bond with their owners. They’re very affectionate and thrive on social interaction.

    Just like any other pet, it’s crucial that you establish trust with your cockatiel so it can trust you and be comfortable in your presence.

    Once bonded with you, Cockatiels will shower you with physical affection and leave no stone unturned to demonstrate their feelings.

    Can Cockatiels Fall in Love With Their Owners?

    Yes, cockatiels can fall in love with their owners.

    Out in the wild, cockatiels are monogamous mates. This behavior carries over into captivity as well. They might begin viewing their owner as their mate.

    One of the ultimate shows of this kind of love from a cockatiel is regurgitating the food you serve on you.

    They usually do this only for their mates or chicks. So this can indicate that your pet views you as its mate.

    Do Cockatiels Miss Their Owners?

    Yes, cockatiels do miss their owners. There are several videos available online that show the excitement with which cockatiel owners are greeted by their birds when they come back from a task.

    Watch this, for example:

    These pet parrots form deep and strong bonds with their owners.

    In your absence, your pet cockatiel will certainly miss you.

    And once you’re back, they will express their joy and excitement through various behaviors such as chirping, whistling, and flying around.

    Do Cockatiels Know When You’re Sad?

    Yes, cockatiels can sense if you’re sad. Once you’ve become friends with your pet, it will be able to see changes in your behaviors and pick up on some of your facial cues.

    If you’re sad, the cockatiel will notice a change in your demeanor, facial expressions, energy, and overall behavior.

    Will Your Cockatiel Remember You if You Are Gone for a Year?

    Yes! These lovely birds will remember you even if you are gone for long periods of time.

    Cockatiels have one of the best memories among the bird species and can remember people, sounds, and behavior patterns well.

    So even if you’re gone for a year, your cockatiel will recognize you. They might take a while to reacquaint with you, but they will remember.

    Do Cockatiels Recognize Their Owners
    Cockatiels can remember your sights and sounds!

    Why Do Cockatiels Get So Attached To Their Parents?

    There are several reasons cockatiels are like this.

    Firstly, these birds live in flocks in the wild. So it’s natural for them to seek out a flock in captivity as well.

    They thrive on the social interaction that a flock provides.

    As pets, they seek to get this interaction from their pet owners through various forms of physical affection and play.

    Secondly, wild cockatiels are monogamous birds by nature.

    When they bond with their humans in a home environment, they sometimes transfer this same dedication and love to them as well.

    They display their attachment through chirping, whistling, and perching on your arm or by nestling against your body.

    Do Cockatiels Recognize Their Owners
    Perching on your shoulder or arm is a great sign of affection

    Again, cockatiels have excellent sight, sound, and memory.

    They can recognize their owners by their looks, sounds, and behavior.

    Over time, they understand that a certain human pays special attention to them, feeds them, and looks

    This is another reason cockatiels start reciprocating the same attention back to their owners.

    Once you tame your cockatiel, it will shower you with affection and seek the same from you. It will repeat words and sounds you make, talk to you, and be happy in your proximity.

    Will A Rehomed Cockatiel Love Its New Human?

    A rehomed cockatiel can also learn to bond with and love its new owner.

    Cockatiels are friendly birds and seek companionship and interaction in all circumstances.

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      Once they’re given enough time to readjust to their new surroundings and owner, they will become close with them as well.

      Some signs that you have a happy cockatiel in your house include vocalization, regular chirping, interaction with its bird parent, playing with toys, and not becoming afraid or defensive when someone comes close to them.

      Do Cockatiels Recognize Their Owners
      Rehomed cockatiels can also become friendly over time

      Bonding with older cockatiels might be challenging, especially if it has been relocated from another owner.

      Still, through love and patience, they can build a strong relationship with their new friend as well.

      How Do Cockatiels Show That They Recognize You?

      Cockatiels develop personalized behaviors for you to show that they think of you as a special person in their lives. Some of these signs of affection include:

      Unique Calls

      One of the foremost ways several pet bird owners have noticed is their bird’s unique call upon seeing them.

      The birds reserve this sound or call specifically for their owners.

      Body Language

      A cockatiel’s body language can also tell you that it recognizes you.

      When you come back after a brief absence, the cockatiel will fly to you to show recognition.

      Sometimes they will also extend their wings at the back, creating a heart shape. This is referred to as “heart wings.”

      Cockatiel displaying heart wings

      Courtship Behavior

      A cockatiel often displays mating behavior once it becomes very close to its human.

      Preening their mate’s feathers in the wild is one such courtship ritual. In captivity, cockatiels will try to preen their human’s hair instead!

      We discussed regurgitating food on their owner earlier. This is another bonding behavior between cockatiel mates.

      How To Identify Recognition Behaviors?

      One of the easiest ways to cue into such behaviors is to observe your bird after being away for a few days.

      Notice the small things that they do specifically on seeing you.

      Now compare it with how your feathered friend behaves with other family members or when you have guests over.

      The patterns that repeat will help you nail down their recognition behaviors for you.

      Do Cockatiels Recognize Their Owners
      They become comfortable around you over time

      How Can You Love Your Cockatiel Back?

      Now that you know that your bird loves you and is displaying its affection in multiple ways, you should also be giving the love back!

      Here are a few special ways to show how much you care for these phenomenal birds.

      Petting & Scratching

      Cockatiels are big fans of petting and physical contact. They will often bob their heads in front of you, demanding to be petted and scratched (much like dogs like tummy rubs!)

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        So you can show them you love them by petting and scratching them on their heads or behind their crest feathers.


        They also enjoy companionship. So interact with them, talk and sing with them. Spending quality time with your pet cockatiel will surely show them that you love them.


        Cockatiels love treats. So make sure you treat them every once in a while with millet or any other food they like that you usually do not serve them.

        Get Them Toys, Perches, And Other Things They Love

        Other than this, get them a roomy cage, fill it with perches and toys and let them out every once in a while so that they can fly around.

        They will take this as a sign of affection from your end.

        Do Cockatiels Recognize Their Owners
        These birds love a good head scratch!

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          Frequently Asked Questions

          Do cockatiels recognize their name?

          Cockatiels are quick learners and can pick up on words and sounds that their humans teach them.
          So if you name your cockatiel and teach them the same, over a period of time, they will learn it.
          They can recognize when you call them by their name. Over time, they will probably start repeating it as well.

          What do cockatiels love the most?

          Cockatiels are social birds and love companionship.
          In a home environment, the cockatiels will love their owners the most and display their emotions through interaction and physical affection.
          They’ll chirp, whistle, stay in your proximity, talk to you and sometimes regurgitate the food you serve them to express their feelings.

          Do cockatiels talk back to you?

          Cockatiels can talk. They pick up on words and sounds you teach them and repeat them easily.
          You should talk to your birds and spend time with them.
          The exercise will also help you build a bond with them. Male cockatiels are more likely to talk than their female counterparts.

          Do cockatiels get jealous?

          Cockatiels can get jealous of other family members, other pets, or birds. This stems from their monogamous nature.
          They project their feelings in a closed home environment on their human owners. And so they can get jealous and territorial if they feel they are not getting enough attention.

          Wrap Up

          Cockatiels have great memory, vision, and hearing ability. They can easily recognize their owners through sight and sound.

          They will observe your behavior patterns and appearance to distinguish you from others and respond with unique behaviors specifically meant for you.

          This can include body language changes, vocalizations, special calls, flying toward you, asking for head scratches, and more.

          Thank you for reading, and we hope you get your new tiel to bond with you soon!

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's team of experts includes veterinarians, biologists, environmentalists and active bird watchers. All put together, we have over half a century of experience in the birding space.

          You can meet our team here.
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          3 thoughts on “Do Cockatiels Recognize Their Owners? Yes, And They Can Even Fall In Love With You!”

          1. My cockatiel will be 3 years old in March and he won’t let me get close to him. He will eat me up. He is in a large cage with all kinds of perches. I had to take toys away because he picked at them and chirped all the time like he hated his toys. He loves Broccoli but won’t eat other fruits or vegetables. I give him millet and sweet treats on sticks

          2. He is more than likely hormonal if this is an occasional bout of aggressive behavior. An avian vet can give him a medicine that can calm him down. You need to identify the signs and make some changes to his environment. Make sure he gets 10 to 12 hours of sleep in a quiet dark room. Read up on hormonal or aggressive behavior.

            • When im aw ay i leave the tv on for him he loves watching cockatiels on tv he has tv all day and i have it at night after hes been put to sleep for night he wakes me up in morning for his tv


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