Cockatiels are not very noisy by nature, but if you have a noisy or loud cockatiel on your hands, you should read this guide.
Cockatiels are social birds. Hence there is always communication and chatter in a flock.
But they are not particularly noisy birds. In fact, you might find their whistling to be more like background noise throughout the day.
Compared to many other parrot species, they are on the quieter side.
Stressed or unhappy birds are often quiet and lethargic. It’s important to distinguish between a quiet and a sick cockatiel.
However, if you have a noisy or loud bird on your hand, this article will detail how you can find the cause and absolve it.
Are Cockatiels Loud Usually?
Pet cockatiels are generally considered to be relatively quiet birds compared to other bird species.
They can make some loud noises, such as whistling and chirping, but they are not known for being incessantly noisy.
They are particularly chatty early morning and towards the evening.
However, it is important to note that every bird is unique, and some individual cockatiels may be louder or quieter than others.
The noise level also depends on the environment and how the bird is trained and socialized. A stressed cockatiel constantly screams and tries to draw its owner’s attention.
Are The Males Noisy?
Male cockatiels are generally noisier and have a larger vocal palette than females.
They mimic better due to better vocal muscles and are more accomplished at whistling than female cockatiels.
Hence, they’re the chirpier one in a pair – but aren’t particularly noisy like other pet parrots like lovebirds or cockatoos.
Are Cockatiels Loud at Night?
Cockatiels will calm down and sleep throughout the night. On average, these birds sleep for 10 to 12 hours per day.
However, cockatiels are prone to night terrors if kept in total darkness.
During these situations, they might start flapping inside the cage, scream, and even hurt themselves.
To prevent night terrors, you can leave a low light in their room.
Are Cockatiels Louder Than Budgies?
If you compare them with budgies based on the decibel noise levels, cockatiel noises are certainly louder.
However, cockatiels make specific chirps and whistles in a day.
Your bird might actively whistle only a few times and, at other times, only let out a chirp or scream intermittently.
Whereas budgies indulge in a constant stream of chatter throughout the day – hence they certainly produce more chatter, even if it’s not as loud.
Why Is My Cockatiel Being Loud?
To identify exactly what your cockatiel’s vocals mean, you have to familiarise yourself with the sounds they can make.
Chirps, screams, screeches, and whistles all mean different things.
Sometimes, individual birds can be more talkative. If your bird is constantly being loud in a way that sounds dissatisfied, it could be one of the following reasons:
An Imbalanced Diet
A balanced diet for a cockatiel should consist of more pellets and seeds than greens and fruits.
You should reserve their favorite treats like nuts and millet only for training purposes.
Certain health issues, such as an infection or injury, can cause a cockatiel to become more vocal.
Sometimes, perfectly healthy young birds will also yell a lot if they’re being weaned and want to be hand-fed.
Another example could be if you had a bird that was previously fed a lot of high-fat food, and you’re slowly trying to bring them back to a leaner diet.
In such cases, your cockatiel will complain about the food and stop eating, starving itself.
You should consult a vet about developing a proper plan to shift them onto a better diet slowly.
If you have a single bird or a pair that is not bonded, they could be looking for a mate.
During the breeding season, mature cockatiels will undergo hormonal changes and want to find a partner, displaying aggressive behaviors.
If you do not want your birds to breed, you should discourage this bad behavior by placing them in time-out.
Fear or stress
A loud, screaming cockatiel is a stressed cockatiel. Firstly, check their environment to find any signs of changes.
Some examples might be new objects, prey animals hovering nearby, or less food and water. Try to address their concerns by spending more time and giving them a feeling of security.
Common signs of stress include a straight crest, puffed feathers, and screaming.
Boredom can often plague pet birds that don’t have enough friends, toys, or mental stimulation.
A bored cockatiel can resort to feather picking or self-mutilation. To avoid this, devote some time to your bird every day.
It’s best to get them foraging toys or things to destroy, keeping them engaged for a long time. Try to distribute their food to make it hard for them to find it.
Your bird could also be constantly calling to draw your attention. You can try establishing a flock call.
Every time your bird calls for you (using a contact call), reply back with a specific whistle to let them know you’re there!
Your cockatiel can easily get stressed if they’re kept in a high-traffic place with lots of people moving around and general noise.
Keep your bird’s cage in a relatively safe and calm space.
While talking to your birds, use calm tones and whispers. A noisy environment can activate their stress levels and cause the bird to be loud as well.
How To Quiet a Cockatiel
Before we move on to quietening tactics, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian or a bird behaviorist to rule out any medical issues causing noisy cockatiels.
If you think the problem is not medical, here’s what you can try doing:
Keep them engaged
To prevent boredom, get your cockatiel a companion and different toys. But simply getting them toys is not enough. You have to teach them to engage with the toys.
You can start by playing with the toys yourself during play sessions to encourage them to interact with them.
Model your own behavior
Like all pets, cockatiels learn by mirroring their owner’s behavior. Do not yell at your bird. Try to keep them in a calm space with less noise.
Talk to them in a bright, happy voice. If your bird does something wrong, discourage the behavior through positive reinforcement rather than punishing it.
If you find that your cockatiel is frequently letting out contact calls, it means he’s trying to locate more of its kind – or you, since you’re their primary keeper.
Try to keep them where they can always see you.
Or you can try developing a reply call every time they ask for you. A single cockatiel can easily get lonely and depressed.
Ignoring the sound
There are some cases where you might have to simply ignore your cockatiel’s noises to get them quiet.
A good example can be – if you are trying to wean your bird and they are constantly yelling, demanding to be hand-fed.
Another possibility can be if you have bathed your cockatiel. Some can be upset by this and express discontent.
However, as owners, you will have to make some tough decisions in this case for your pet’s better health.
You can try reinforcing quieter behavior by rewarding them with treats when they calm down. Clicker training is a great way to start them on this.
The hours of light also affect their activeness. Make sure you put on a low light and cover your birds after sunset so that they eventually calm down and go to sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make my bird less noisy?
You can try to engage your bird with new toys, spend more time with it, and allow it some out-of-cage time.
Try to keep your bird’s cage in a calm place, free of traffic and noise. Alternatively, you can start rewarding your bird with treats when she makes less noise.
What stresses a cockatiel?
Cockatiels can get stressed due to anything that is a change from their regular routine.
This can be a change of owners, more unfamiliar faces in the house, a shift in feeding or training times, and more.
They can also be stressed due to an underlying illness.
How do I stop my cockatiel from screaming?
Try to identify the type of scream it is. If it is a contact call, they’re probably trying to find more of their own kind.
If it sounds anxious, try to find the cause for this. If they’re screaming because their environment is loud, try to tone it down.
Why is my bird so talkative?
If your bird lets out chirps and whistles – then it’s a sign that you have a bird that is content, satisfied and talkative.
Some birds will naturally be more talkative than others – as they have individual personalities like humans. However, if your bird is constantly screeching, you should consult a vet.
The more time you spend with your cockatiel, the more you will be able to identify their various calls.
Long-term owners can easily gauge how their cockatiel is feeling by listening to their screams.
But do remember – birds will always whistle and call other feathered friends. It’s only natural.
Sometimes, a talkative cockatiel simply means a happy and active one. And a quiet bird can be a sign of concern. Thank you for reading.