Cockatiels are great household pets- they’re fun, easy to take care of, and cute, too. However, you may notice some strange behavior in your cockatiel that may cause you to worry. One such example of strange behavior is shaking but shaking is not usually a cause for alarm.
If you see your cockatiel shaking, it could be a number of things, but it is usually just normal bird behavior. A shaking cockatiel is usually a sign of it being excited, trying to relax, or it being too cold. Check for symptoms and signs of illness or stress, too, before you get too worried.
If you have continue to have worries, your best bet is to see a veterinarian so that you can get a better scope of what is going on. Having a healthy and happy bird is in your best interest.
Now, let’s get into four possible reasons as to why your cockatiel might be shaking.
1. Your cockatiel is cold
Along with all the other things you do to make sure your cockatiel is comfortable, make sure that you also check the temperature of the room you are keeping the cockatiel in.
Your best bet is to keep your pet cockatiel in a room that is anywhere around 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and make sure that there are no sudden drops in the temperature of the room which cockatiels aren’t really accustomed to.
It is possible that you also saw your cockatiel shaking right after you gave it a bath, just as some people have claimed they did. This is, once again, completely normal and expected.
If you want to prevent your cockatiel from being too cold after a bath, wash it during the day instead of at night before it goes to sleep. This way, it will be able to dry in the warmer air instead of colder air.
In a worst-case scenario, you can always buy a space heater for the room you intend to keep the cockatiel in and monitor the temperature.
Avoid keeping the cage in a place where there are drafts, and only allow for very gradual changes in temperature, if any at all, since cockatiels can’t really stand sudden changes.
If it becomes clear that your cockatiel is cold, make sure that you only gradually increase the temperature. You want to avoid having the cockatiel go into shock or having it get sick.
This is also important to note if you live someplace where the weather gets cold. If you keep your cockatiel’s cage near a window, make sure that no drafts come from the window.
And, even though cockatiels do like being in places where there is a lot of sunlight, consider moving the cage to another warmer room of the house until the weather gets warm again.
Solution: Get a heated perch!
We know that most people refrain from getting a heated perch and we totally understand why. The first thing that comes to our mind is “Is that really okay for my bird?”, “Do those things even work?”, “Could it set my bird (and house) on fire?” – we totally get that.
And while you surely should switch off the heated perch when you are away, these perches have proven to be useful and reliable.
Birds absolutely love heated perches because they keep them warm and comfy.
You can get heated perches on Amazon and some customers even uploaded some pictures of their birds snuggling to the heater. You can see those cute birds here, just scroll down a bit to the customer images.
Still, you should make sure that you get a high-quality heated perch. We recommend the following two perches:
- We highly recommend the K&H Pet Products Snuggle -Up Bird Warmer (click here). Birds love snuggling up to the heater and this product. has an incredibly positive rating amongst all users.
- You can also get the K&H Pet Bird Thermo-Perch Gray (click here). This model is a little different from our first recommendation as the perch itself is warm – it is not just a heater that you can attach to the side of your birdcage.
2. Your cockatiel is sick
In order to determine whether or not your cockatiel is sick, you will need to study it for a while. If its wings are a bit droopy, if it does not respond to you, if its feathers are ruffled, or it is exhibiting other unusual behaviors, then it is most likely sick.
You need to take your cockatiel to the veterinarian.
Cockatiels like to hide their problems, so when your bird is healthy, make sure that you examine its behaviors well in order to be able to notice better when something isn’t right.
While many cockatiels behave differently, there are some easy ways to know whether or not your cockatiel is sick.
Some cockatiels also are not as energetic, and they may not eat or drink as they usually do. Finally, your cockatiel may cough or make similar wheezing noises that you should pay attention to.
Contact your avian veterinarian right away so your cockatiel can be treated. Until you’re able to take your cockatiel to the vet, there are some ways for you to care for it on your own.
- If you have other cockatiels, make sure to separate them so that the illness doesn’t pass on.
- Keep a heat lamp in your cockatiel’s cage with a temperature of about 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Cockatiels need to be kept warm when they are sick. As we said above, you can also use a heated perch. We explain more about heated perches here.
- Also be sure to keep it hydrated by having plenty of water nearby.
- Check out our guide on Cockatiel Droppings here! By looking at a Cockatiel’s droppings you can easily tell if it is healthy!
3. Your bird might be excessively stressed or irritated
This will be especially difficult to notice in your cockatiel. This is because cockatiels like to keep such behaviors hidden. So be sure, once again, to examine your cockatiel’s normal behaviors in order to understand what its abnormal behaviors will be.
If your cockatiel is under stress, is bored, or is irritated, it is normal for it to shake or shiver and to pace around in order to keep itself occupied.
You also may want to consider some changes that could have taken place in its environment in order to determine whether or not your cockatiel is stressed. Cockatiels are social animals that like lots of attention.
- So, if it has not been getting the attention that it wants and needs, your cockatiel is bound to get bored and stressed, which could be a reason why it is shaking.
- It also could be behaving strangely if you recently purchased it, if it sees something that scares it outside the window
- Or if you’ve changed the location of its cage.
- If you are still stumped about what could be making your cockatiel stressed or irritated, a trip to the vet might do you good.
4. Your cockatiel is just trying to relax
Again, just because your bird is shaking does not always indicate that something is wrong with it. Shaking is generally normal bird behavior. If you see your cockatiel shaking, it may just be doing so to relax.
Before going to sleep, many cockatiels like to give themselves a shake in order to relieve any stress and to calm their nerves for the night. This helps them to relax.
If you see your cockatiel do this, and then it falls asleep shortly afterward, you have nothing to be worried about.
And, just the opposite, if your cockatiel is very excited, you may notice that it is shaking, too. This is especially normal if you’re playing a fun game with it. Again, this is not something to be concerned about.
5. Additional Things to Know
When you purchase your cockatiel, it is important for you to get to know it and its usual behaviors. Follow forums to see what’s normal for a cockatiel if you aren’t experienced.
If you see your cockatiel doing something unusual, follow it for a few days. Try to remember if you have changed anything in its routine as well.
If you have friends who also have cockatiels, perhaps ask them to take a look at your cockatiel, too, to get a second opinion on if your shaking cockatiel is just exerting normal bird behavior.
Be sure to read up carefully on the best methods for taking care of a cockatiel, what it needs, and how you can treat it.
Also, ask around for a reputable veterinarian that specializes in birds- called an avian vet- so that if something is not quite right, you’ll be able to put your cockatiel in good hands.
Is it necessary for a cockatiel to have a companion?
One of the reasons why your cockatiel could be shaking is due to boredom or stress. This could be caused by a lack of attention. If you cannot give your cockatiel the attention it needs, consider getting it a companion. They either need to interact with you or another cockatiel in order to be healthy.
Can cockatiels end up dying from being too cold?
The answer is yes. Keep your cockatiel in an environment that is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Sudden changes in temperature and being too cold can cause a cockatiel to get sick, go into shock, or even die. It is important to moderate the temperature in the room your cockatiel is in.
Most of the time, if you notice that your cockatiel is shaking, the good news is that there is not much for you to worry about.
Cockatiels have many ticks that might seem unusual to you, especially if you’ve never had one before.
Be sure to keep an eye out for other behaviors to help you decide if something is wrong.
If all else fails and you just want to be safe- make sure you give your avian vet a call. Even if it turns out that nothing is wrong with your cockatiel, it’s always best to make sure. Having professional advice will ensure the best health and long life for your cockatiel.