Why Does My Cockatiel Close One Eye? (You Must Know)

Sometimes you may notice your cockatiel is closing one of its eyes often. Since you don’t know why you may become concerned about it. Depending on the reason, it could be minor or could be severe. I did some research about the same, and here is what I found out!

A cockatiel may close one eye due to various reasons such as eye infection, parasites, foreign objects, high temperature, swelling, lack of water intake, or fear. A veterinarian should be consulted to determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.

Cockatiels do close their eyes in normal conditions. However, when these birds close their one eye is a sign of health problems. This should cause you to worry as an owner, especially if you are a beginner.

Fortunately, there are ways or strategies you can implement to fix the health issues in cockatiels. Let’s talk about them in detail below.

Reasons Why Your Cockatiel Closes One Eye

Is your cockatiel closing its one eye something to worry about?

When a bird closes a single eye, there might be a problem. A cockatiel shutting both eyes is usual; however, if it often shuts one eye, it can be too much of an issue. 

So, why does a cockatiel closes one eye? Let’s find out. Everything you should know is right here. 

Eye Infection

An infection inside can make your cockatiel close the affected eye.

A cockatiel’s eye can get sick after catching a bacterial or viral infection. Another organism can also infect it.

You may know an eye is infected if you notice a swelling or discharge. A cockatiel will close the infected eye to secure the affected tissues.

You may not always see swelling, though. If this is the case, you may notice that your bird closes its eye at different durations throughout the day.


Mites and other parasites are common among cockatiels in the wild.

In the wild, these parasites usually stay on the birds to feed and for protection but leave once they feel complete and safe.

However, it’s not the same in captivity, as these pets tend to stay in the same place, so these parasites take longer to leave their skins.

Mites and ticks usually stay around a cockatiel’s eyes and appear tiny, red or black spots.

If these organisms remain around the eye, the cockatiels act unusual or close their eyes. It’ll close the most affected eye and leave the better one open.

Foreign Objects In The Eye

Decor items like branches and rocks in your cockatiel’s cage can injure your bird’s eyes.

It occurs if a branch from the tree breaks, exposing a sharp edge that can scratch the eyes and puncture the cornea.

Besides scratching and punctures, an object can get stuck in your cockatiel’s eyes. It can be anything from debris, dirt, or stray substrate.

Your cockatiel can close one eye to try to remove the stuck object. However, it may require a vet’s intervention if the foreign thing is too stubborn to come out.

High Temperature

A cockatiel may close one eye if its environment is too hot or cold for them to handle.

It is usual for cockatiels to shut one eye or even both when the light is too bright.

Also, if one eye is stuck shut, it could be a sign of infection. Take your cockatiel to a vet for a check-up and further advice.

Swelling Or Inflammation

If your cockatiel continuously shuts one eye, then there could be something wrong with its eye.

Some things to watch out for are swelling around the eyelid or face area and discharge from the nostrils (which typically implies some infection).

If you see your cockatiel closing one eye, try to examine the pet around the eye area to see if any swelling or inflammation is causing discomfort, forcing your bird to close one or both its eyes.

Remember that aggression or fights between cockatiels can cause injuries to the eye or any other part of the body.

So be sure to check the eye closing to see if there’s any sign of injury.

Lack Of Water Intake

Dehydration can take a toll on your cockatiel and may close an eye in response.

A dehydrated cockatiel will show signs of sunken eyes and lethargy due to fewer fluids in the eyes.

You shouldn’t take dehydration lightly because it can be fatal.

It Could Be Scared

Cockatiels close their eyes when something gets too close, just like humans.

Therefore, if you are petting your cockatiel close to the eyes and it closes, it means it’s scared that your fingers might poke its eyes.

In these cases, your bird might close one or both eyes as a natural defense to protect them from harm.

It’s just a natural response and nothing to worry about.

Recommended Reading:

How To Treat A Cockatiel’s Eye Infection

Eye problems in cockatiels can be life-taking if not treated timely.

Therefore, if your bird has been suffering from any eye issue, then the best option is to inform your vet immediately.

The eye problem might get harder to treat as the days pass, and the situation can worsen.

The treatment will depend on the condition of the infection. If you feel that a foreign particle has entered your cockatiel’s eye, contact a vet to get it removed as soon as possible.

In the case of parasites or infections, the vet is in an excellent position to know the exact culprit through a checkup.

If the vets confirm an infection, he can give your bird the required medication.

Never attempt to buy any drug for your cockatiel if you don’t know the root cause of the problem. This can be dangerous for your bird.

Besides this, I advise you to clean your cockatiel’s cage frequently.

You can control the parasites in your cockatiel’s cage by keeping the substrates clean. Remember, the substrates can attract parasites like mites into the tank and expose them to your bird.

Cleanliness will help to keep parasites away and will help your cockatiels to stay healthy.

Cockatiel Conjunctivitis

Cockatiel conjunctivitis, also known as avian conjunctivitis, is a condition characterized by inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva in cockatiels.

The conjunctiva is the thin membrane that covers the front of the eye and the inner eyelids.

Conjunctivitis in cockatiels can be caused by various factors, including bacterial, viral, or fungal infections.

It can also occur due to irritants or foreign objects that come into contact with the eye.

Common symptoms of cockatiel conjunctivitis include redness of the eyes, discharge or crust around the eye area, squinting, excessive tearing, and in severe cases, the bird may keep the affected eye closed.

The affected eye may appear swollen or inflamed.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your cockatiel, it is essential to seek veterinary attention promptly.

The veterinarian will perform a thorough examination of the bird’s eyes and may take samples for laboratory analysis to identify the specific cause of the conjunctivitis.

Treatment for cockatiel conjunctivitis depends on the underlying cause. It may involve the administration of antibiotics, antiviral medications, or antifungal agents.

In some cases, eye drops or ointments may be prescribed to alleviate inflammation and provide relief.

Proper hygiene and environmental cleanliness are essential to prevent the spread of conjunctivitis.

Ensure that the bird’s living area is kept clean, and any irritants or potential sources of infection are removed.

Regular check-ups with an avian veterinarian and providing a balanced diet can help boost the bird’s immune system and reduce the risk of conjunctivitis.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article has been helpful to you and you found this information to be valuable.

A cockatiel will close one eye and leave the other open if foreign objects fall in the eye or the lighting and humidity levels in its cage is not friendly.

Anything can cause this behavior, even some serious ones like eye infections.

If you notice the behavior, you can pay attention to its surroundings. If there’s anything you need to adjust, do it. But if it’s an eye issue, ask the vet to help. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will become. 


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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