Why Does My Cockatiel Face The Wall?

If your cockatiel is facing the wall most of the time when you are around, it’s got to be quite disconcerting. Why is it doing this? I will try to address this strange behavior in the article below.

Cockatiels are birds that engage in a wide range of behaviors in several different situations.

Every action could have several meanings, from pacing to shaking to whistling and screaming.

One of the most curious behaviors on this list is facing the wall. You might find your pet cockatiel facing the wall and wonder why.

There could be a number of reasons for this, from fear and sickness to curiosity and simple attention-seeking behavior.

In the following article, I will discuss the various reasons and tell you when you should and should not be concerned.

Why Does My Cockatiel Face The Wall

Why Does My Cockatiel Stare at the Wall?

As bird owners, you must learn to read your pet’s behavioral patterns.

Birds use several gestures and peculiar behaviors to communicate, and knowing how to read your bird will help you tend to its needs.

Observing its behavior will also give you an idea about which behavior is concerning and which is not.

And this way, you will be able to spot anything that’s not normal or odd for your bird.

Staring at the wall is one such behavior that could be concerning. But do not worry. Your cockatiel could be staring at the wall for several reasons.

Let’s take a look at them in detail.

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    The most obvious reason why your pet cockatiel could be exhibiting this behavior is fear.

    Cockatiels tend to get frightened very easily, and if you’ve newly got your pet, it might be scared of you and the new environment.

    Once your pet gets used to the new environment and you as its owner, it will stop staring at the wall.

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      If your cockatiel is afraid of something, it might face the wall

      Sometimes if it feels threatened, it will turn to the wall as a way of disconnecting from the surroundings.

      In this case, try talking to your bird and gaining its trust to make it feel safe and secure again.


      Facing the wall could also be a sign of illness in your cockatiel. They do this to disconnect from the world and their surroundings.

      If you see your cockatiel do this along with other symptoms like loss of appetite, low energy, aggressive behavior, and unusual movements, it could indicate sickness.

      Health Issues

      It could be concerning if your pet bird has been staring at the wall without any possible reason for long periods of time.

      It could be an indication of an undiagnosed health condition.

      If your pet cockatiel has trouble with its eyesight, it might think it’s staring at something on the wall when it’s just looking at the empty wall.

      Another health issue could be seizures. If you see it just looking blankly at an empty wall, your bird could be having a seizure.

      But there will be other symptoms if it is a seizure, such as shaking.

      Also, observe other behavioral patterns to arrive at a confident conclusion about your cockatiel’s health.

      If you feel something isn’t right, seek medical attention for your pet immediately.

      Your bird might be sick

      Compulsive Behavior

      Cockatiels can sometimes fall into compulsive behavioral patterns. And cluelessly staring at the wall could be one of those behaviors.

      Since compulsion is a neurological disorder, it can worsen in your bird over time.

      You might also see it manifest in other behaviors like excessive chewing or chirping.


      If your cockatiel is under undue stress or depression, it could spend hours staring at the wall.

      This could be due to the lack of enough mental stimulation or the loss of a fellow companion.

      Your pet cockatiel might also fall into depression if it is unable to settle into its new home environment. It could lose interest in its surroundings and avoid interactions.

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        If you don’t note any other signs indicating physical illness, take steps to get your bird out of the slump.

        Attention Seeking

        A simple reason why your bird might be facing the wall is that it’s simply trying to seek attention.

        If you’ve not been interacting with your bird or giving it attention, your bird might engage in peculiar behavior to get you to notice.

        It will stop staring at the wall and turn around as soon as you start petting or playing with it.

        Facing the wall might be attention seeking behavior as well


        Cockatiels have very curious personalities. It is a behavioral trait they carry over from their forest life.

        Cockatiels depend a lot on their hearing and keep an eye on their surroundings for potential threats and predators in the wild.

        In captivity, too, they will often stare at their surroundings for long periods of time to scan their environment and become familiar with it.

        A sub-reason for this could be that your pet cockatiel is staring at a potential threat in its surroundings.

        So if you happen to have another pet or it spots a lizard somewhere, the cockatiel will keep staring at it till the threat passes.

        This can also happen with people who are strangers to them.

        Avoid introducing your pet bird to someone new till you’re sure your cockatiel is fully comfortable with you. They will get scared and stressed.

        Why Does My Cockatiel Turn His Back to Me?

        You might sometimes find your cockatiel turning its back to you, and you may wonder why.

        This is typical bird behavior when they want to avoid interaction.

        If your bird is angry or annoyed at you, it will turn its back when you attempt to talk to it.

        It might also do this when it’s not interested in an activity such as eating or playing.

        If it does not like what you’re feeding it, then too it will turn its back to indicate that it does not want to eat what you are serving.

        If your bird is tired or sleepy, it might turn its back toward you

        Why Does My Cockatiel Stare At Me?

        Staring at you is your pet cockatiel’s way of expressing affection.

        Since these are companion birds who live in flocks, they have a tendency to keep looking at their flock, which in captivity is you.

        In my experience, when your cockatiel wants food or to be let out of the cage, it’ll keep staring at you until you notice it.

        This is its way of asking for your attention and conveying its needs.

        Other times if there’s someone new in its surroundings, like a new human or another pet, it’ll keep staring to make sure they are not a threat to it.

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          Why Does My Cockatiel Look Down When It Sees Me?

          In other birds, looking down may signify some form of distress. But if your cockatiel is looking down on seeing you, it’s simply asking for you to pet it.

          Cockatiels love physical affection and are always up for petting and scratching. This is also one way they establish deeper bonds with their humans.

          While your pet may not demonstrate this instantly after you bring it home, it will seek petting and preening from you once they’re comfortable with you.

          So if you see your pet cockatiel do this, know that this is a good sign and they want physical affection from you.

          Why Do Cockatiels Look At Lights?

          Cockatiels are curious birds who stare and examine their surroundings as they check them out.

          Lights are objects that hold your cockatiel’s attention which is why it might be looking at them.

          Your cockatiel might be looking at the shadows the light creates or the particles floating near the light.

          Cockatiels love to look at bright lights

          Since cockatiels are very observant, even minor movements can catch their eye and hold their attention.

          Switching the light on and off can also be fascinating to your bird.

          If you’ve set up a UV light for your bird, it might not be staring at the light but simply enjoying it.

          UV lamps provide birds with the much-needed vitamin D essential to their health.

          Frequently Asked Questions

          What does a stressed cockatiel look like?

          A stressed cockatiel can appear lethargic and despondent, with feathers puffed up and flattened. 
          It may also show physical signs of stress, such as feather plucking, over-preening, or even aggression. 
          Behavioral changes can include constant vocalization, wildly bobbing its head, night frights, and frantic flying around the cage.

          Why does my cockatiel hide in the corner?

          Your cockatiel may be feeling scared or threatened. Another reason could be that the bird is ill. 
          Cockatiels hide their sickness, a behavior they have picked up in the wild because being sick is inviting predators there. 
          One more reason could be that your cockatiel might feel neglected, lonely, or deprived of social interactions.

          How do I know if my cockatiel is depressed?

          The signs of depression in cockatiels can be subtle, but you can tell if your bird has become withdrawn, is sleeping more than usual, or is uninterested in activities that used to interest it. 
          If your cockatiel spends time perched in a corner and no longer grooming itself for long periods of time, these may be signs that it’s feeling depressed. 
          Additionally, if it starts plucking its feathers or facing the wall when you go near it, these are also signs of depression. 

          How do you calm a stressed cockatiel?

          Cockatiels can easily become stressed. Provide your bird with a quiet, distraction-free space. 
          Make sure you give it plenty of toys or perches to explore. Talk quietly near the cage in a soothing voice and spend time with it. 
          Make sure that it is not getting stressed due to something in its environment, such as a new pet.

          Wrap Up

          Cockatiels display a range of curious behavioral patterns, some concerning and some routine. Your pet cockatiel facing the wall can be one such behavior.

          But as mentioned above, this could be for several reasons which may not necessarily be concerning or serious.

          Observing your bird’s body language on normal days will help you notice any odd or unusual behavior that could cause worry.

          Thank you for reading!

          Photo of author

          Team Beauty of Birds

          Beautyofbirds.com'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.

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