Why Is My Cockatiel Shivering? (You Must Know)

Seeing your cockatiel shivering for the first time can be scary for you as a cockatiel owner. The first time I saw my cockatiel shivering, I was freaked out. This incident got me wondering why cockatiels shiver, so I did some research, and here is what I found out!

Most cockatiels shiver when feeling strong emotions such as the desire to mate or aggression. It is also possible that your bird is either physically cold or ill. Being a pet parent, you must find out if or not the reason for your bird’s shivering is positive or negative so that you can judge how to respond.

Now, let us understand more closely why your cockatiels are shivering.

This article will also discuss how you can accurately identify the specific situations that cause your little bird to shiver.

What Causes My Cockatiel To Shiver?

You might have noticed that your bird displays several emotions and behavior depending on the situation; shivering is one of them.

Listed below are a few things due to which your cockatiel might be shivering:


When you sit by your cockatiel just admiring them, you see it starts to shiver.

Your bird may be shivering from some underlying health condition.

If your cockatiel starts to behave violently while shivering, the best option is to take your bird to a vet.

If a cockatiel gets sick, its situation can worsen quickly if they do not get adequate medical attention.


Cockatiels often shiver when they are experiencing a joyful moment. If your bird is comfortable around you, it will be pretty evident from its behavior.

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.


If you are trying to get hold of your bird, who does not want to be held, there is a high possibility that it will begin to shiver.

After a while, the shivering may also be accompanied by weird chirping noises. This basically means that you have pushed your bird to its limit.

Overall, cockatiels are gentle creatures. However, to defend itself, it might even bite you.

Many a times, cockatiels also shiver to show its dominance.

For an angry cockatiel, it is best to leave them alone. If you had them out of their cage and were holding them, then return them to the cage.

Give it a few minutes, and if they are still thumping, you can partially cover the cage with a towel.

Courtship Behavior

Shivering can be considered as a kind of mating dance in cockatiels.

It is their way of asking their partners to mate. In such cases, the runs will be accompanied by soft squeaking chirps.

However, if your birds turn aggressive, I would advise you to separate them. There are chances that they might engage in a fight and end up hurting themselves.

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 you are letting your bird out in the open, then I would advise you to make sure that the temperature around them is stable.

Besides this, 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.


Shivering can be a sign that your bird is scared. Being a prey animal, cockatiels are naturally anxious and hyperalert.

Listed below are a few things that can easily scare your birds:

  • Loud noises
  • Uncomfortable location
  • Improper handling
  • Predators

Sudden noises, loud bangs, flashing lights, and fast movement can all trigger your cockatiels prey instinct, and they will become frightened.

You must do your best to provide your bird with an environment that is best for your cockatiel’s happiness.

You should never make your cockatiels do something that will scare them or make them nervous.

With patience and persistence, your cockatiel will not be so easily frightened.

The best way to soothe your cockatiel is to leave them in their cage so they can calm down. Trying to hold them and rub them will likely only worsen the situation and increase their fear.

How Can I Find Out The Reason Why My Cockatiel Shivered?

If you feel that your cockatiel is shivering for a negative reason, then it is important to find out the cause.

You surely don’t want your cockatiel stressing out without any reason.

To understand why your cockatiels shivers, see how they reacts to different situations.

What did you cockatiel do? Was it just shivering? Was the shivering accompanied by a sound? After a period of time, did the sound change?

You also need to observe the activity that causes a reaction from your bird. Stary with thinking about what happened before the shiver (or shaking). What was going on? Think new sounds, smells. Try to put yourself in your cockatiel’s shoes.

On the basis of your analysis and your cockatiel’s responses now you can come to a solution. This is when you decide if adjustments need to be made.

Is Cockatiel Shivering A Sign Of Death?

As cockatiels approach death, some will shiver and convulse. These convulsions are automatic muscle contractions.

Your bird probably has very little awareness of these convulsions. Some cockatiels are also known to scream just before death.

If death is approaching, the convulsions should not last long.

Nothing can be done at this stage to revive your bird. But, to reiterate, cockatiels shiver for all sorts of reasons. Some are serious, but others are perfectly normal.

Final Thoughts

Although there are a number of instances where shivering is completely normal in cockatiles.

If it is just as an emotional response, you might not need to do much at all.

However, anything more than shivering might need immediate medial attention. When in doubt, you must call your vet for confirmation of the anything that looks worrying to you.


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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