9 Devasting Reasons Why Some Cockatiels Die Suddenly

One of the worst experiences as a cockatiel owner is the sudden death of their bird. The worst part about sudden death is that it happens without warning, making people wonder: Why do cockatiels die suddenly?

A few main reasons generally cause sudden death in cockatiels. These include heart attacks, extreme weather conditions, stress, genetic disorder, and old age. Some other unusual causes include dehydration, injury, unsanitary conditions, and parasites.

The best way to prevent your cockatiel from becoming ill is to practice good sanitary habits and make routine veterinarian visits.

There is still a chance of something going wrong, so it’s a good idea to be aware of common causes of death for a cockatiel. Let’s discuss some of the most common causes of death for cockatiels.

What Causes Cockatiels To Die Suddenly?

Cockatiels will never die without reason. Sometimes the cause may not be apparent, but there is always a reason behind the death of a bird.

I will help you prevent your cockatiel’s sudden death, or at least understand why cockatiels sometimes die so quickly.

Genetic Disorder

Hybrid cockatiels are more genetically disposed to die prematurely. Born in pet mills, from unselected parents and probably suffering from diseases, hybrid birds have a low birth immunity and a predisposition to diseases and infections that are usually fatal.

On the other hand, cockatiles bought from passionate breeders live longer and may never see a vet in their entire life. This is because they are born from selected and healthy parents, without hereditary diseases.


Cockatiels do not like changes. They can get stressed pretty quickly.

Stress can look like an illness with low activity, lethargy, and extra stinky excrement and can arise for a number of reasons.

The most common is poor habitat, but it could be something as simple as too many loud noises or being handled more than they’d like.

If you feel your cockatiel is stressed, do not ignore it.

In some cases, stress might even lead to loss of appetite and other serious health complications that can take away your cockatiel’s life.

Therefore, you must provide your cockatiel with the life they deserve.

Heart Attack

One of the main causes of sudden death in cockatiels is a heart attack. They can die suddenly from the shock of fear.

This happens when a bird is afraid. Cockatiels are prey animals, and they have instincts that alert them when there is danger nearby.

If your cockatiel hears a frightening sound, it raises the heart rate, leading to heart failure. This sound could be a dog barking, fireworks, or any other sound that triggers their fear.


Water is an essential component for all living beings, and cockatiels are no less.

Although cockatiels will not die from dehydration if their diet includes adequate fruits and veggies, it is crucial to provide them access to fresh and clean water at all times.

Although cockatiels drink a limited amount of water, they still need water for survival.

If your cockatiel has not sipped any water for a long time, then observe them closely and closely look for signs of any negative reactions.

However, if you are still suspicious about your cockatiel’s health, the best idea would be to take it to a vet.

Bad Reaction To Antibiotics

Antibiotics may hurt your cockatiels. This can happen if the antibiotic makes the sensitive bacteria in your pet’s stomach grow too much or if it causes a dangerous imbalance.

As a rule, you should not give your cockatiel any antibiotics unless a veterinarian says it’s okay. Otherwise, it can make your bird very sick and cause sudden death.

If your bird gets diarrhea or stop eating food, tell the vet right away – and stop the antibiotics.

Hazardous Ingestion

Cockatiels are pretty curious. This curiosity can be especially dangerous as they often ingest poisonous objects or sharp objects.

Sharp objects can be splintered pieces of wood or even cardboard or plastic from their cage.

Even if it does not appear sharp, something with an unusual shape or texture could prove very sharp against your bird’s throat and stomach and may get lodged during a swallowing attempt or create a blockage after being swallowed.

To prevent this from happening, make sure that your bird’s cage does not have any such item.


Your cockatiel can die suddenly because an accident occurred. After all, accidents happen.

Your cockatiel can die by accident because they hit their head, got their head caught in the cage’s wire, choke to death, be eaten by another animal, or fall from a great height. Although accidents are preventable, they are often unanticipated.

Unsanitary Conditions

Unhygienic living conditions can lead to serious health complications in our birds.

Unsanitary conditions often breed parasites. Also, the ammonia build-up can be dangerous for our birds.

It is essential to clean your bird’s cage once in a while. Ensure you wash out all the water containers, pick up the leftover food, and empty any waste.

Plan a routine to deep clean your bird’s cage with a bird-safe cleaner once every 15 days. While this may seem like extra work, it will save you money in vet bills and likely save the lives of your cockatiels.


Some cockatiels have health issues that you may not know about. They could have been born with it, or they could develop it over time.

If you notice yourbird acting lethargic or uninterested in food and water, you will need to go to the vet. If something is wrong, your cockatiel may die suddenly because they don’t stay sick for long.

Some cockatiels illnesses are very contagious, so it is even more important to notice it and remove the sick bird from the others.

How To Prevent Sudden Death In Cockatiels?

There are several reasons why cockatiels face sudden death.

Before we discuss how to prevent sudden death in cockatiels, there are three essential things you must know:

  • Cockatiels often act perfectly normal even if it is not.
  • If cockatiels do not eat for a long time, they might die.
  • Watch for signs if your bird is sick, and take care of it the situation worsens.

Now, let us understand these principles on a deeper level.

Cockatiels Tend To Hide Everything

You must understand that your bird will do everything possible to hide any signs of illness.

Being prey animals, cockatiels do not want to seem vulnerable in front of their predators.

Therefore, look for signs of injury or pain if you feel something is wrong with your bird.

Make Sure Your Cockatiel Eats

It might be a problem if your cockatiel has stopped eating and has not consumed any food or water in the past few days.

A cockatiel’s digestive system needs to move constantly. If they do not consume any food for a long time, it can prove to be life-threatening for them.

You must try to set a feeding schedule for your birds. Also, keep an eye on them and ensure it eats their daily dose of food.

Watch Out For These Signs

The best way to ensure that your cockatiel is not at risk for sudden death is by observing the subtle changes in their behavior and eating habits.

Listed below are some of the significant signs you must look out for:

  • Nose or eye discharge
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Change in their droppings
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unusual noises
  • Sudden weight loss

If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, take your bird to the vet as soon as possible.


All the nine of these common causes of sudden death in cockatiels mentioned above are closely linked to one another.

While some of the above mentioned causes of sudden death in cockatiels are unavoidable, others can be prevented by making certain changes to our bird’s environment.

Cockatiels wil frequently hide their pain until there is no hope of recovery. Therefore, we must try our best to provide them with the life they deserve.

Regardless of your situation, familiarizing yourself with these issues can help save your cockatiel’s life.

It is essential to know the signs of sudden death because some causes can be prevented if caught early enough.


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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