Why Do Cockatiels Stand On One Leg? (You Must Know)

If you are a new cockatiel owner, it might have concerned you when you first saw your little bird standing only on one leg.

Cockatiels are often found standing on one leg when they feel comfortable in their atmosphere, some even tend to sleep on one leg. Somtimes, they also do so to get some rest and relax muscle fatigue. Your cockatiel may even stand in this position if they are cold, in order to preserve heat.

In some cases, it is also seen that cockatiels tend to stand on one leg in order to prepare themselves in case of any danger.

Now, let us learn more about this behavior in cockatiels.

Why Does My Cockatiel Keep Standing On One Leg?

Just like most other birds, it is natural to find your cockatiel standing on one feet. Most cockatiels are often seen standing only on one leg.

This behavior in cockatiels is intuitive. A new born will learn it form their parents or other birds in the cage.

You must know about the two primary benefits associated with your cockatiel standing on one leg:

To Conserve The Warmth

Studies suggests that, in most cases, cockatiels tend to stand on one leg in order to conserve warmth.

If your cockatiel is lifting one of its foot up and hiding it up in their feathers, then it is surely doing so to conserve some heat.

Cockatiels are dependent on their feathers to insulate their body temperature in the cold weather.

The weather and climate in which a cockatiel is housed is of great importance. In extreme cold temperatures, they tend to stand on one leg often.

To Conserve Their Energy

Standing on one leg helps the cockatiels to conserve some energy.

Cockatiels do not need both their legs in order to balance their body weight. A lifted leg surely gives them some rest.

If your cockatiel is resting for a long period of time, you will notice that it will probably switch between its two legs. This helps to relax one leg, while other leg does the work.

What Does It Mean When Cockatiels Stand On One Leg?

Sometimes cockatiels are seen standing on one leg, which is not a result of their instinct.

If you regularly see your bird standing on one foot, then it implies more of the following:

Your Cockatiel Is Comfortable

If your cockatiel is in a relaxed state of mind, then it will probably stand on one leg.

Although it might seem like a minor adjustment, a cockatiel uses more energy to support its body weight on two legs.

Cockatiels can conserve the required energy by lifting one of their legs.

Therefore, it is probably just relaxing if you find your cockatiel in any such position.

It will surely put its legs down when excited, playing, or interacting when required.

Your Cockatiel Feels Sleepy

If your cockatiel is tired or preparing to sleep, it will probably stand on one leg to get into the relaxed mode.

You might even see your bird pulling its legs up and putting them down again irregularly when falling asleep. This behavior often shows that the bird cannot quite decide if it should sleep yet.

During this time, I would advise you to give your cockatiel some privacy. Turn off any nearby sounds, such as TV, radio, etc.

Your Cockatiel Is Asleep

It is pretty natural for most birds to stand on one leg. Like most other birds, cockatiels tend to fall asleep with one leg up.

Also, it would be pretty strange if you found both your bird’s feet during the nighttime.

If your bird has fallen asleep in this position, then you must not disturb them. Do not try to feed, play, or talk to them during this time.

Furthermore, a sleeping cockatiel has both of its eyes closed, or only one of the eyes closed, which likely means they are sleeping.

Your Cockatiel Feels Safe

If your cockatiel feels safe around you and its environment, it might stand on one leg.

It is clear that if your bird is scared or afraid of something, it will surely not stand on one leg because it will need to be primed and ready for any dangers.

If your bird is standing on both legs, it gives him an upper hand to take a flight or retreat.

If you find your cockatiel often relaxing in this behavior, then it probably means that you have created a safe and comfortable environment for your bird.

Your Cockatiel If Favoring One Leg

There are chances that your bird standing on one leg is not positive news. You may be right if your instinct tells you that your cockatiel has injured its leg.

If it is evident to you that your bird’s leg is not able to support its body weight, it may be due to the following reasons:

Your Cockatiel Is Injured

Cockatiels are very playful. You will see that they do not sit in a place for long and tend to flicker from one place to another.

Therefore, there are chances that your bird might have hurt itself. If your cockatiel has a damaged leg, you must check if there are any other signs of swelling, injury, or inflammation.

Furthermore, it is essential to trim your bird’s nails regularly. If your cockatiel has long nails, they will eventually tend to curl up.

The curled-up nail in no time punctures the skin, causing significant pain. The pain will often be why your bird stands on one leg.

Your Cockatiel Is Sick

If your cockatiel is sick or suffering from some kind of illness, then there are high chances that your bird is not standing on both legs.

Furthermore, you must know that your bird’s diet is also responsible for its inability to move or stand on its legs.

It is vital to ensure that our cockatiels get all the essential nutrients required to live a healthy life.

If you are serving your cockatiel a diet deficient in Vitamin D, it might weaken their bones. Also, if your birds get no sunlight at all, it might be a problem.


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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