Why Does My Cockatiel Hiss? (Reasons+What To Do)

Cockatiels are normally pretty calm, but it’s normal to be concerned when they start showing aggressive behaviors like hissing. If you notice this aggressive behavior in your birds, don’t worry. We’ll look at exactly what it means and what to do about it.

A cockatiel may hiss if they feel nervous or threatened and are most likely to hiss at someone they do not recognize. These behaviors are easy to remedy as birds will be much more friendly once they trust you.

Cockatiels tend to express themselves in a variety of ways. If your bird hisses frequently, it’s time for a change.

Knowing the reasons is the best way to prevent them from hissing. There are many factors that cause your bird to hiss. Continue reading the article, to understand the situation better.

Is It Normal For Cockatiels To Hiss?

A cockatiel’s hiss is pretty common. Most cockatiels have the ability to hiss. However, only a few choose to display this behavior.

The hissing behavior of your bird largely depends on how stressed your bird is and how threatened it feels.

It is essential to provide your bird with an environment that makes it comfortable all the time.

If you do so, there is a good chance that you will never see or hear your cockatiel hiss.

Of course, there is no guarantee of this and sometimes it’s important to hear your cockatiel hiss. It will tell you that there is something wrong and needs to be taken care of.

What Does A Cockatiel Hiss Sound Like?

A cockatiel’s hissing is a common behavior that sounds like the soft hiss of a cat. The hiss of the cockatiel lasts only for 2-3 seconds.

When your cockatiel hisses, they release a sudden burst of air through its mouth, which causes the hissing noise.

A hiss can also change based on the given situation. A hiss can range from a silent, open-mouth hiss that is more a visual sign of unhappiness, to an aggressive hiss.

Why Does My Cockatiel Hiss All The Time?

There are a number of reasons why your cocatiel might be hissing. Let us discuss these reasons in detail:

New Home

If you have got yourself a new cockatiel, then you must understand that it is not easy for your pet.

Everything will be new for your pet. It will see a lots of strange people that could be perceived as predators can be scary.

Cockatiels instinctively becomes defensive and this can often lead them to hiss in order to try and defend themselves in their new environment.

This is usually accompanied by other tell-tale signs such as hiding, and so on.

It is important to provide your bird with a lot of hiding places and time on their own to begin with as this will allow your new cockatiel the time to adjust that they need.

Change Of Environment

A change in your cockatiel’s living behavior is very similar to bringing them to a home for the first time.

Any bird will not like a number of changes all at ones. Therefore, if you even just move them to another room or even decorate the room they are living in then this can cause them to feel uneasy for a while.

All the uncertainty can be accompanied by a lot more hiding and sometimes by some hissing.

The bird’s hissing can be aimed at you, your pets or even new objects in their environment in extreme circumstances if your cockatiel is really uncomfortable.

Insufficient Hiding Spots

Cockatiels will need sufficient hiding spaces in their cage. They love to feel safe and have a place to hide if they feel threatened or uncomfortable.

Having multiple places to hide in their cage can give your bird time to assess what is going on and to see if there is any danger around them.

Without these simple hides, your cockatiel can quickly become stressed and they can resort to hissing as their next line of defence.

Building a habitat with great hides really can be the difference between having a cockatiel that is calm and feels safe and one that seems skittish, stressed and even aggressive.

You Surprised Your Bird

Even if you have a great bond with your bird, it’s still possible to startle them.

Make sure to handle your cockatiel carefully and not sneak up behind them.

There are other things that can surprise your bird as well. If there’s a loud sound outside or a sudden sound like a shout or sneeze, it might startle your little pet bird.


Cockatiels often shiver when they are experiencing a joyful moment. If your bird is comfortable around you, it might start to make hissing sound.

However, you must never try to hold your bird forcefully. Always go with your cockatiel’s comfort level.

In any cases, being a cockatiel parent, you would not want to slide your bird’s happiness to annoyance.

Your cockatiel will tremble slightly, but there will be no other signs of being in pain or worried.

Cockatiels will have a relaxed body posture and their wings and feathers will be relaxed too, unless they are listening for the sound of your footsteps announcing food.

Attenion Seeking Behavior

Sometimes, your cockatiel might hiss for your attention as well. This usually happens when they see you around, or it’s their veggie time, and they know you are about to serve them veggies.

They will start making hissing noises to grab your attention. All they want from you is their cup of fresh vegetables or their favorite treat.

Make sure you get them what they need, and they will stop making those noises.


Hissing from a female cockatiel is rare, but during pregnancy, you’ll notice they will hiss often. This hissing is to ward off male birds from getting closer.

Besides male cockatiels, the pregnant cockatiels will hiss at other female cockatiels and other animals in the house too if they get too close.

As for humans, if they recognize you, they may or may not hiss. If you are trying to feed your bird or clean the cage and it hisses at you, it’s best to step away and leave your bird alone.

Low Temperature

The optimal temperature for a cockatiel is 60°F to 80 °F. Anything below 40°F can be fatal and cause distress among cockatiels.

If your cockatiels are hissing because of the low temperature, then I would advise you to make sure that the temperature around them is stable.

Also, even though cold is not goof for cockatiles, too much heat is just as bad for them.

It is important for you to make sure that your bird is not in direct sunlight, or anywhere else that radiated directs heat.

Other Birds

If you have housed more than one cockatiel in a cage, then there is a strong chance that you will experience them hissing at each other at some point.

If you suspect one of your bird is becoming territorial and displaying behaviours such as hissing then it’s a good idea to separate them to different rooms or at least to areas of the room where they can’t see each other.

Some times cockatiels can become extremely territorial and this can cause them a lot of stress.

In the short term, it’s not something to worry about but this stress over a long period really isn’t good for their health.

Watch Out For Illness

Many a time, birds show increased aggression or defensiveness when they aren’t feeling well.

If you assess your cockatiel’s environment and don’t see any problems, you may want to schedule a trip to the vet.

Your bird might just be attempting to communicate by hissing, if it does not feel too well and need some help.

Why Does My Cockatiel Hiss And Bite Me?

There are a number of reasons why your cockatiel might be hissing at you.

The first and the most important reason being, cockatiels tend to get irritated if they are being constantly handled and this can cause them to hiss at you to let you know they want to be left alone.

This can be a problem if a cockatiel is new to your home and is experiencing a lot of extra attention.

Over-handling can also occur when friends and family visit and mishandling can sometimes be a problem too.

Even though it’s great to give your cockatiel lots of love and attention, it’s important to realize that there needs to be a balance and they need their own space too.

Your bird might bite you if forcefully try to get hold of your bird. Therefore, be careful about the same.

How Do I Get My Cockatiels To Stop Hissing?

If your cockatiel is hissing due to some environmental issues, then the best option is to eliminate that object or the source of the problem to stop the hissing.

You must also provide a hiding space in your cockatiel’s cage. It will make them feel safe.

Besides this, go through the reasons that we have discussed above to quickly eliminate most of the reasons and also help you identify the possible reason why your cockatiel is hissing.

Many a time, talking to your bird in a soft tone will also help to stop the hissing and make them feel comfortable.

On the other hand, if you have a feeling that your cockatiel is hissing at you, then you need to immediately back off.

In such cases, never try to get hold of your bird forcefully. Give your bird space to calm down and see how they react and take it from there.

Again, the easiest and fastest way to stop your cockatiel hissing is to go through the reasons we have talked about and eliminate these reasons one by one until you feel you have a good idea of what can be causing the issue.


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.

Recent Posts