Cockatiels are social birds who can quickly get lonely if left alone for most of the day. Unfortunately, loneliness is a familiar feeling among cockatiels who are alone in a cage with limited time to spend with people.
Cockatiels are social animals, so a single cockatiel is likely to feel lonely and depressed. Cockatiels can live alone, but you’ll need to provide your pet with the attention (company, petting, exercise, playing, and enrichment) that any other cockatiel partner would provide.
Even if your cockatiel shows signs of being lonely right now, you can still do a lot to improve your bird’s living conditions.
You can make a huge difference in their quality of life simply by socializing with them. You may even consider bringing a second cockatiel into your home to keep your first cockatiel company.
Do Cockatiels Get Lonely?
Cockatiels are considered to be social birds. They can quickly fall into depression if their needs are not met.
The best way to help our cockatiel and meet their needs is to get a second cockatiel. However, this is not always possible.
Since cockatiels will often fight when they first meet, bonding is a complex process that requires a lot of time and dedication.
On the other hand, cockatiels as single pets can still gain a lot from human companionship.
The problem is that many people don’t realize how social cockatiels are.
Even well-meaning bird caretakers don’t always realize how much attention cockatiels need and leave their birds alone for most of the day.
Unfortunately, this means that many pet cockatiels are very lonely.
Can You Have Just One Cockatiel?
A single cockatiel is likely to become lonely without the company of other cockatiels.
Cockatiels are hardwired to be social. In the wild, they live in flocks, so their species instinctively seeks company.
Cockatiels also tend to seek company due to their survival instincts. Wild cockatiels understand that there is safety in numbers.
Unless your bird is a rare antisocial, it will desire company. Keeping your cockatiel alone will likely make it lonely.
How Can You Tell If Your Cockatiel Is Lonely?
Not all single cockatiels are lonely.
It can be delightful if you or your family members spend a considerable amount of the day with your bird.
If your cockatiel is happy, it will be evident in their behavior.
However, suppose you notice any of the following behaviors. In that case, you may want to look into ways to spend more time with your cockatiel or introduce a second cockatiel into your household.
Persistent Destructive Behavior
If your cockatiel is bored, it will show signs of destructive behavior. It will scream, tumble its food containers, or other similar behaviors may be trying to keep themselves stimulated with their environment since they cannot interact with anyone.
It’s important to mention that all cockatiels will show some level of destructive behavior. If your cockatiel is frustrated and lonely, it will take it out on its belongings.
A lonely cockatiel tends to become depressed.
You will notice that the bird’s personality will become more withdrawn and stop showing their natural curiosity about the environment.
If the case is severe, your cockatiel might even stop reacting when you do interact with them.
However, it’s normal for cockatiels to relax and slow down as they age. If your elderly cockatiel seems to be less curious and playful than they were as young, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are depressed or lonely.
However, you should still see signs of social desire in your cockatiel. They’ll still enjoy relaxing next to you, being petted, and sniffing out a new treat. They just won’t be quite as excited as their younger selves.
Sometimes cockatiels also show signs of aggression when they get lonely and depressed.
The cockatiel might suddenly start to lash out at anyone who comes near out of frustration and boredom. This aggressive behavior will seem to occur out of nowhere, with no instigation from you.
In some cases, unexplained aggressive behavior can also signify an undiagnosed illness. If your cockatiel is suddenly showing aggression when they previously were very friendly, you may want to get them checked out by a veterinarian.
Attention Seeking Behavior
If your cockatiels are lonely, the first step they’ll take is to find ways to get the attention they crave.
They will exhibit several different attention-seeking behaviors to force you to come and pay attention to them.
Many of these behaviors are disruptive or even destructive, so you may get upset at your cockatiel for their bad behavior when they are just trying to get your attention.
Lack Of Appetite
You must have noticed your cockatiel getting super excited when it sees its food. They love to munch on their favorite treats.
For my cockatiels, the highlight of their day is breakfast time when I give them their daily fruits. If your cockatiel has been losing interest in eating (they don’t get excited or eat less), this may stem from depression and overall loneliness.
It might be a problem if your cockatiel is not eating at all. If you notice a change in your cockatiel’s eating behavior, it’s essential to get them checked out by a qualified veterinarian.
How To Help Your Cockatiel Be Less Lonely
There are specific ways by which you can help your cockatiel recover from loneliness.
A slight change in your cockatiel’s lifestyle to give it more time with you or other family members, they can become happier in no time.
- Socialize with your cockatiel: You must spend a considerable time each day with your cockatiel. In your daily life, schedule a time every day to interact with your bird.
- Providing a healthy living space: It is essential to provide your cockatiel with a healthy living space.
- Let your cockatiel free-roam: Once in a while, it is essential to let your cockatiel free in a safe area. It will allow your bird to passively spend time with you and come to you for attention whenever they need it.
- Get yourself a second cockatiel: If you do not have much time to spend with your bird, the best idea would be to get a second cockatiel. This will surely help your lonely cockatiel.
Can Cockatiels Die Of Loneliness?
Loneliness can indeed lead to the death of a cockatiel indirectly. It might pass away if your bird is isolated with no or very little mental or physical stimulation.
Cockatiels love to play and interact. Your bird will do this with you. Otherwise, it would prefer it to be with a fellow cockatiel.
If your cockatiel is under stress, its health will deteriorate. A cockatiel’s heart is as frail as her delicate skeleton. Stress can cause cardiac arrest or accelerate other health problems.
Stress and loneliness can be linked to a bereavement in your cockatiel. If your bird had a bonded partner that suddenly disappears, it’s stressful. Your pet misses her friend and wonders if she is next.