Why Does My Cockatiel Bite Me? (+Ways To Stop Them)

Although cockatiels seem cute, gentle, and docile creatures, they may bite sometimes like most other pets. However, they do not bite without a cause.

Your cockatiel may bite you when they are stressed or frightened. There are some other causes too. Cockatiels bites do not cause any severe health complications as the case is with other pets; their bite may be painful.

Cockatiels rarely bite their owners, and even if they do, nothing critical will happen. However, if your bird is annoyed, it can bite you hard, causing pain and bleeding. You may need some antibiotics and a tetanus shot after a bite. Tetanus shots should be taken compulsively if it has not been taken in the past five years.

There are several reasons why your cockatiel might bite you, which are discussed in the latter part of this article.

Do Cockatiels Bites Hurt?

When your cockatiel nips you, it’s different, you enjoy it, but the same is not the case when it bites you.

People often argue whether cockatiel bites are painful or not. However, it entirely depends on your tolerance for pain. Still, most cockatiel owners find it painful.

Sometimes, a bite from a cockatiel can even cut through your skin. These cuts are mostly deep enough to allow bleeding. In such bites, it may take a few days for the would to heal.

The level of injury also depends on the cause of the bite. You will notice that your cockatiel mainly bites hard when furious or afraid. On the other hand, the bites may be soft in other cases.

Are Cockatiel Bites Dangerous?

Cockatiel bites are pretty painful. Sometimes, it can even be a potential threat to our health.

In most cases, the bites can cause severe bleeding, which should be immediately stopped by applying pressure.

If the cut is in a sensitive area or near to any significant artery, then make a visit to the doctor, or else it can lead to severe damage. In some cases, the bite can even lead to some skin conditions.

It is advised to get some antibiotics and tetanus shots or tetanus boosters if you have been bitten hard by your cockatiels. However, the best idea would be to consult a doctor before deciding.

Are Cockatiel Bites Infectious?

A severe wound is a gateway for germs to enter your body; it doesn’t matter how the injury occurred.

If the bacteria enters our body, it can be infectious. Our body is exposed to various bacteria and is highly susceptible to diseases.

The germs present in the mouth, teeth and saliva of your cockatiels enter your body when they bite you.

If these bites are left untreated, it can be infectious.

Treatment for these bites is normal and can be done at home. However, if you see any significant sign of illness, you can call your doctor.

Why Is My Cockatiel Biting Me?

You must know that your cockatiel will not start attacking you anywhere.

In most cases, there will always be a reason for their weird behavior.

Sometimes it will be obvious (when they feel cornered and want to escape), but other times you’ll need to do some detective work to figure out what’s triggering your cockatiel to bite you.

Below are some of the common reasons your bird might be biting you.

They See You As A Threat

Sometimes your cockatiel will lash out because they are think of you as a potential threat. They might be scared and trying to defend themselves.

Also, some birds are afraid of being touched. They might react this way toward people who try to touch them up every time.

They also may bite and act aggressively after something very scary happens, such as when the vacuum cleaner is running.

Stress Or In Pain

In most cases, your cockatiel will appear aggressive when they are actually stresses out or in pain.

If you can’t figure out what is causing your cockatiel to bite, you should consider bringing them in to the vet for a health check. This is especially important if you notice other behaviors that could indicate your bird is sick, such as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Decreased energy

Also look around their environment to see if anything has changed recently. There could be something loud or scary in the environment that’s stressing your bird out, so see what you can do to make your pet bird feel safe and comfortable again.

Mistaking You For Food

If your bird comes near you to snatch a treat from your hand but instead bites down on their finger, it might not be their fault.

In the event of just enthusiastically taking the treat, he mistakingly has snapped your finger. It might just be a lousy aim.

To teach your cockatiel on how to have a better aim when taking treats, try giving the treats on tiny spoons or sticks for a while instead of from your hand.

As your little bird gets better at taking treats, you can switch back to giving them food from your hand.

Past Trauma

If you have got yourself an adopted cockatiel, they will probably come to you with some baggage.

Any abandoned cockatiel will have to deal to some scary new environments. There might be a possibility that your cockatiel has come from situations where they have been neglected or had to put up with very scary environments.

If your cockatiel attacks you, but there doesn’t seem to be any obvious trigger, it might be caused by something from their past.

These are the most difficult situations to figure out because you don’t know where they came from.

To figure out what is causing your cockatiel to lash out, you’ll need to watch them closely and look for the pattern.

Something is causing your bird to feel threatened. It’s your job to figure out what it is, so you can help your cockatiel feel safe again.

Bored Cockatiel

Sometimes, your cockatiels may even lash at you when they are bored. This behavior will be pretty standard in birds if they live in an enclosure that is too small.

Your cockatiel may also get bored if it does not get enough space to play. Sometimes, they can also get frustrate if they do not have any stimulation.

Your cockatiels could also get bored because they aren’t getting enough socialization. They are lashing out to seek attention.

If you cannot spend enough time with your bird to keep them happy, you should consider getting your bird a friend. This could relieve some of that bored, anxious energy and help keep your cockatiel from biting you in frustration.

How Do I Get My Cockatiel To Stop Biting Me?

Although biting is not an expected behavior among cockatiel, sometimes they make it a regular habit in some circumstances.

The first thing we must do if your bird nibble or bite us is to understand why it did so.

Cockatiels are very docile animals, and they will not bite you unless and until they have a reason to do so.

Now the reason for biting may be they have mistaken your hand with food while hand-feeding them. Another reason can be not handling them properly.

Another reason can be due to fear or stress due to something. In any of the above circumstances, we must first understand the reason for biting and fix the issue immediately.

There may be some situations where your cockatiel has developed a biting habit.

For example, say your bird is afraid of your hand and starts biting your finger as soon as you get it near him.

Such practices are commonly seen if you get a new bird and try to start handling it from the very first day, and they develop a fear of your hand.

In such cases, we must take a different approach so that your cockatiel does not bite you again. We must develop a good bond with our little pet and win its trust.

To stop your cockatiel from biting, first of all, try to place their cage where there is not much noise, and the temperature is stable in that area.

Cockatiels often get stressed out in noisy situations where the temperature is unstable.

Secondly, we must let our cockatiel get comfortable with their new environment. After you get your bird to leave them alone for a few days, do the daily maintenance, and let them acclimate to their cage and environment.

The third step would be to introduce yourself after a few days to your cockatiel. This step is very critical.

If you go too fast, you may not develop a good bond with your little birds.

In this step, you need to slowly sit around near your cockatiel’s cage and talk to them. You are trying to converse with them so they get used to your presence and your sound.

Now that you have bonded with your bird, you must try to hold them and keep them on hold for short intervals. This shall ensure they get used to your hand.

You can also give them treat to encourage good behavior. By rewarding on every excellent response and not rewarding bad ones will make them understand what’s right and what’s wrong.

You will be surprised to know how fast they catch things up. Never even shout at your bird or try to hit them. Doing so will make the fear in them grow bigger and lead to more biting.

If you work your way slowly and make a good bond with your cockatiels, then you might help them overcome their biting habit and make an excellent companion.

Treating A Cockatiel Bite

If your cockatiel ends up biting you hard and breaks the skin and drew blood, then you might need to treat it differently.

If the bite is just like a tiny cut, then you can manage it yourself by following the steps below:

  • First, wash your hand with soap and water.
  • The second step is to use some alcohol and clean the wound and prevent infection.
  • The third step would be to use some Neosporin to help recover fast
  • The fourth step would be to slap a bandage for a day or two, and you must be good to go.
  • If the bleeding doesn’t stop even after few hours of biting, then it would be best to visit a doctor.

However, there might be certain situations where we might need to visit the doctor.

There have been some cases of the infection being reported after cockatiel broke the skin and drew blood.

If you feel some burning sensation in the skin, or if you feel severe pain or the affected area feels stiff even after a few hours of bandaging the wound, then it would be best to visit the doctor in those cases.


Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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