How Does A Cockatiel Show Affection? (5 Evident Signs)

Cockatiels are adorable pets, but do they show affection like other pets, such as dogs or cats? A cockatiel’s affection can sometimes feel like a one-sided affair. If you question whether your bird loves you, here’s what you need to know.

Cockatiels can be very affectionate pets if they are given a chance. Sometimes cockatiels even shake their tails to show their feeling of love to humans. They also tend to sleep on you or your arms. Rubbing their faces against you is a way of sharing their scent profile and showing that you are friends.

Cockatiels are often very shy and can take a while to warm up to new people and trust them. It might seem like they are aloof or skittish animals by nature.

However, if you give them time and teach them to trust you, you’ll start to notice your cockatiel choosing to stay with you and become more affectionate.

Are Cockatiels Affectionate?

Cockatiels are affectionate when they are sure they are in a safe environment.

Being prey animals, they are prime targets in the wild, naturally making them scared of everything.

The survival trait is in the cockatiel’s DNA. However, it does not take long for them to feel safe in their new home if they are loved dearly.

In general, cockatiels are social birds. Most cockatiels love to bond with their owners well.

How Do You Tell If Your Cockatiel Loves You?

Although cockatiels are not as expressive as any pet dog or cat, there are several ways a cockatiel conveys its love to its owner.

Cockatiels exhibit a wide range of behavior, and if you have proper knowledge about interpreting them, you can tell how your bird feels.

Let us understand more about a cockatiel’s affectionate behavior in detail.

They Do Not Try To Fly Away

Cockatiels stay cautious all the time. They are always on alert.

If your cockatiel is new to its environment, it might try to fly away from you and hide in the corner of its cage.

You must not be saddened if your bird does not want you near him. It is possible that your cockatiel is looking at you as a possible threat.

They Let You Touch Them

Cockatiels are timid birds. If your bird allows you to touch it, it is because they trust you and consider you to be a safe and productive figure.

However, even if your bird allows you to touch you, you must not forcefully try to get hold of them.

Unlike dogs and cats, most cockatiels do not enjoy cuddling. If you forcefully hold your bird, it might try to fly away or even bite you.

They Do Not Bite You

If your bird is comfortable around you, they are less likely to bite you.

In general, cockatiels are docile birds. However, they might bite their beloved owners if they feel they are in danger or nervous.

Once your bird feels safe around you, the biting behavior of your bird will turn into playful nibbling and tickling.

For these little birds, this is a sign of affection. Therefore, it is a good sign if your cockatiel is nibbling at you.

They Eat From Your Hand

Cockatiels are incredibly flickering in nature. They might even freeze from sudden actions. This means that your bird allowing you to hand feed them shows trust.

Although it might take time before you get your bird to eat from your hand, this simple action shows that your cockatiel completely trusts you.

You can start by leaving small treats for them to lure your bird in and get them used to eating near you, and eventually, they will make it to your hand.

They Recognize You

Another sign that your cockatiel trusts you is that they get excited whenever you arrive.

If your cockatiel loves and trusts you, you might notice that you get excited every time you come home or walk into the room.

Besides this, they might even make high-pitched chirping noises when they see you because they are so excited.

How To Get Your Cockatiel To Love You?

It will take your hard work and patience to get your cockatiel to love you. Below are a few things you can try to build love among you and your birds eventually.

Hand Feed Your Bird

Treats are a fantastic way to entice your cockatiel to bond with your little pet. You can use your bird’s favorite treat to get to them.

Cockatiels love to munch on certain fruits and veggies. However, do not serve them too much at a time. Excessive consumption of treats could easily upset their sensitive stomachs.

When you reward your cockatiel, they will likely come to you again and gain.

Maintain Boundaries

While trying to tame your cockatiel, it is essential to make sure that you respect your bird’s boundaries.

If your cockatiel seems fussy during the interaction, then leave them alone for the moment. Please do not force them to interact.

Also, you must leave your cockatiels alone while they are eating, pooping, or grooming themself. In such cases, wait till they are finished with their activity. If they prefer to be left alone, respect that and give your bird their space.

On the other hand, if your cockatiel is unwell, you will need to handle your bird even if they don’t want you to.

In no case, should you force your cockatiel into an interaction for your entertainment.

Minimize Any Kind Of Scary Noises

Cockatiels can get scared pretty easily.

You must understand that these birds are tiny creatures and might easily get scared by loud noises.

Therefore, you mustn’t scream or shout around your cockatiel. If you are making a lot of noise, then there are rare chances that your bird will approach you.

Furthermore, I would advise you to stay silent around your bird. You must try to keep the sound to a bare minimum.

You must speak in a soft and gentle voice around your birds. Just like most birds, cockatiels do not enjoy loud noises.

Comfortable Living Environment

Having birds as a pet can be great fun but along with it also comes significant responsibilities. We must have many essential things to take care of a cockatiel.

Have a look at the list of some of the basic things for your cockatiels:

  • A suitable enclosure
  • Correct diet for your bird
  • Hideouts to make your birds feel at home
  • Health essentials
  • Grooming essentials
  • Toys to keep your birds entertained.

Taking care of a cockatiel is not an easy job. Mostly all bird owners struggle to find suitable supplies for their little ones.

Set A Bound Routine

To make your cockatiel feel safe around you, I advise you to adopt a daily routine or a schedule.

If your cockatiel starts to feel safe around its surroundings, it will be braver and more likely to spend time with you and other household members.

You must set a proper feeding routine and daily interaction routine with your cockatiel.

Keeping a consistent daily routine is the easiest way to help your cockatiel settle into a routine.

Also, instead of randomly choosing times to interact with your cockatiel, they will usually be happier with the interaction if they expect it.

Choose a few times a day to sit with your cockatiel consistently, so they’ll learn to be ready for you. This way, you can bond with your little bird much more quickly.

Be Patient

Gaining a cockatiel’s trust is not an overnight process. You must have the patience to get the best out of your birds.

If you notice that your bird is reluctant to interact with you, give them time to get used to you.

This does not suggest that you stop being affectionate towards them; on the contrary, you must keep meeting their needs until they warm up to you.

My Cockatiel Hates Me

Most cockatiels will eventually learn to enjoy, or at least tolerate, being touched and petted. They get used to the presence of their owners.

However, the same is not valid for holding cockatiels. In my experience, nine out of ten birds will be terrified of being picked up.

The problem is that a cockatiel’s first line of defense is its ability to fly away. When they are being held, there is no way they can escape if something scary happens. Because of this, they end up feeling trapped and scared when they are held.

I recommend avoiding picking up your cockatiel forcefully. This will increase your trust in your bird, making them more likely to allow you to touch and pet them in the future.


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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