If you are training your bird to start singing and are getting exasperated because you don’t see any progress, don’t be. Cockatiels start singing anywhere between four to eight months. Read on to know more.
Cockatiels belong to the order Psittaciformes, i.e., parrots. All parrots have the anatomical ability to vocalize, talk and sing.
Hence, cockatiels are characterized as talking birds. If trained well, these common pet birds can sing, talk, whistle, and vocalize.
In fact, male cockatiels use this ability as a way to connect and establish a strong bond with their mates in the wild and with their human friends as pets.
On average, a cockatiel should start vocalizing by eight months of age, provided they have been training for at least four months before that.
In this article, I will cover the when, where how of cockatiel singing.
At What Age Do Cockatiels Start To Sing?
It’s tough to pinpoint an exact age or timeline when a cockatiel will start to sing. Different people have had different experiences with their pet cockatiels.
While someone’s bird started singing and talking at four months, some cockatiel owners say that their pet hasn’t vocalized even at eight months.
In my experience, most birds start to vocalize and sing by the time they reach eight months. However, you should start training them when they’re four months old.
If you are wondering why it takes four months for cockatiels to learn singing, you need to experience it firsthand – a lot of patience is required.
Starting early has another advantage: it’s easier for younger cockatiels to pick up on words and sounds. The younger you start training them, the sooner they are likely to learn.
Lastly, female cockatiels are less likely to talk and sing than males. If you have a female cockatiel, she might never learn to talk or sing. So be prepared for this eventuality as well.
Do They Only Learn To Either Sing or Talk?
Cockatiels are intelligent birds. They can learn to both sing and talk, but it still depends from bird to bird.
However, some birds might not learn to talk and only sing or whistle. Others may do the reverse.
If you have female birds, they might not talk at all. They simply don’t find it interesting! It differs from bird to bird, but by and large, most cockatiels can sing and talk if trained properly.
Do Female Cockatiels Sing or Talk?
Yes, female cockatiels can both sing and talk. They just don’t see the point in doing it.
In the wild, male cockatiels do it as courtship behavior, and females just watch the males put on a show. So they have no reason to learn to sing.
So even though the females can make sounds like whistling, hissing, and screaming, they are quieter than their male counterparts.
Because of their mellow personality, it is often assumed those female cockatiels cannot sing or talk, but that’s just a misconception.
They can very well do it if trained to, but it takes that much more perseverance because it’s something that does not come naturally to them.
Also, a female cockatiel’s ability to pick up on words and repeat them is poorer than that of a male cockatiel. Their talking abilities are limited.
Why Do Cockatiels Sing?
Cockatiels are expressive birds and natural communicators in the wild. They often use different types of sounds to signal different things.
This can range from a warning contact call to chirps calling for attention.
A cockatiel uses sounds and singing to communicate and interact with its owner. Whistling and singing could appear to be similar sounds indicating your ‘tiel is happy.
A cockatiel usually sings to attract a mate in the wild. So if your cockatiel is singing in captivity, it might be happy, trying to communicate its feelings of love with you.
Training Your Cockatiel To Talk or Sing
You can start training your cockatiels to talk and sing when they are four months old.
Younger cockatiels are far more impressionable and quickly pick up what you teach them, unlike the older mature birds.
Start by humming sounds near them, playing music and sounds you want them to repeat.
Next, start using basic words like hello and bye around them. When you repeat this several times in a day regularly, they will slowly learn to mimic you.
Since cockatiels are already born with vocal talents, all you have to do is hone and train them.
You can also devote some time training your cockatiel every day. This will also help you bond with it better as well.
Treat your bird or praise them when they talk or sing to create positive reinforcement. This will make them want to continue the behavior.
Just keep in mind that if you have a female cockatiel, she may not be inclined to talk or sing. If she doesn’t like doing it, do not force her unnecessarily.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why isn’t my cockatiel singing?
Cockatiels usually start singing regularly only after they are eight months old. However, when your bird starts singing might differ.
Some start singing young at four months old, while other birds start as late as nine months old.
Your bird might be taking longer; or it might just be a female cockatiel, as explained earlier.
Do cockatiels like being stroked?
Cockatiels are affectionate birds, and they adore physical intimacy with the humans they are bonded to. They like being petted and touched.
They will often seek you to stroke their feathers and cheeks, scratch their crest feathers, etc.
So make sure you’re showering them with loads of it from time to time and when they ask!
How can you tell if a cockatiel is happy?
You can tell from their demeanor how a cockatiel is feeling. A happy cockatiel will sing, chirp and whistle constantly.
If your bird talks, it will also talk to you in addition to chirping. They will also fly around if they’re let out of their cage to express their happiness.
At what age do birds start singing?
Cockatiels will usually start to sing at eight months of age. Their training should usually start by four months of age.
But this is simply an average number. Nobody can pinpoint an exact time, which will differ from bird to bird. Some might start singing early, and some might start late.
Cockatiels are born with a natural ability to sing and talk. On average, most birds start singing when they turn eight months old.
But no one can point to an exact time since it differs from bird to bird. Some might not learn to sing, some might start singing as early as three months, or some might do it later at nine months.
Thank you for reading!