Cockatiel Body Language – Attitude, Sounds & Vocalization

The Cockatiel’s body language indicates distinctive feelings, intentions, and senses,  essentially happiness, anger, grabbing attention, expectation, hunger, excitement, stress, tiredness, confusion, injury, and illness. The particular gestures, like raising or lower crest, head bowing, tail wiggling, wings spreading, closing eyes, fluffing feathers, craning neck, and beak grinding, convey the hopes and aspirations of the bird.

So, what does cockatiel body language mean? Usually, a relaxed cockatiel with bright eyes and shiny feathers stands up straight and happily assumes it is healthy. Raising the crest implies that it is in a good mood for enjoying fun. If it sees any new or strange things, it will be curious, exciting, and confusing. But lowering the crest and craning neck indicates fear, sadness, and

anger. Further, it shows beauty and consistency by stretching the wings. Also, it spreads the wings and whistles sweetly while preparing for flying. If it feels hungry, slightly motion the eyes, heads, and tail and search for me to grab my attention. When the bird feels cold and sluggish, it fluffs its feathers. If it continuously fluffs up the feathers for a long time with closed eyes, it will be a sign of nausea and illness. Finally, if the bird keeps one wing lower than the other while spreading its wings, it will be a sign of injury.

Now, I present how a cockatiel illustrates its needs, shifting mood and emotions through various postures, behaviors, vocalization, and sounds. So, let’s go with this comprehensive guide to learning cockatiel body language.

Cockatiel Body Language

The Cockatiel is an intelligent and speedy learner with various adorable ways to interact and communicate with the owner through physical affection. So let’s learn cockatiel body language, gestures, and vocalization:

Head Bowing

Cockatiel Body Language Head Bowing

Head bowing means the bird desires stitches crop cleaning when it feels sleepy and a sign of tiredness. So when the pet parent comes near its cage, it starts bobbing its head in front of him, getting concentration.


Wings Stretching

The Cockatiel uses its wings for several purposes. For example, if it spreads the wings out and keeps them slightly away from the body, it could be a sign of communication, ready for flying, happiness, relaxation, sleep, or excitement.

Cockatiel Body Language Wings Stretching


But if it holds one wing lower than the other and vibrates the wings with pale faces, it could indicate a disability of flying or getting hurt

Feather Fluffing

Cockatiel Body Language Feather Fluffing

If the bird feels cold or relaxed, it may fluff its feathers. It also fluffs the feathers to assume proper air into the body while getting intolerable heat. But fluffing up the feathers for a long with closing eyes is a sign of affecting diseases.


Mating is a sign of intelligence and maturity when the Cockatiel possesses a few common ways through body language. During courtship, the male Cockatiel displays fascinating behaviors like raising crests, skin sacks, fluffing wings, singing, dancing, and showing a healthy body shape to attract the desirable mate. On the other hand, the female Cockatiel is busy building a nest with the mate for laying eggs in the hormonal season.

Cockatiel Body Language mating

Beak Grinding

Beak grinding is a sign of being in a good mood, excitement, and happiness. But a wide-open beak is the symptom of stress and disorderliness in health conditions.

Feathers Condition

Shiny and smooth feathers with dark and bright colors indicate the bird is healthy and happy. But the ruff and pale feathers signify illness, distress, or aggressiveness. It may also hunch over and appear lethargic.


Crest is the charming feathers on the top of the head. It indicates the different moods of the bird. For example, the Cockatiel raises the crest while feeling unlimited happiness, excitement, and curiosity, whereas the lower range means puzzles, anger, and fear.

Twinkling Eyes

If the bird opens and closes its eyes swiftly, the witness sees new things or strangers. But closing eyes indomitably and staying in the cage for a long means the bird is in trouble.

Wiggling Tail

The bird will wiggle its tail and search for the owner when hungry. Also, if it wants the companion of the pet parent, it frequently wiggles its tail and indicates the desire to come out of the cage and spend particular time with the owner by making fun.

Others Postures

The bird explains the necessary or unnecessary needs, desires, and intentions through specific postures. It raises the head high while getting confident and angry. Bowing head means scared and confused. The painting is a sign of throwing away the extra heat from the body and regulating the right temperature.

Neck craning is a sign of suspecting the impending danger. If the bird crans its neck, it may search for food and get a clear view of the surroundings.

Cockatiel Sounds And Vocalization

The Cockatiel is a social bird and communicates through body language and vocalizations. Appropriate learning of its different postures, behaviors, sounds, and vocalization builds a positive relationship which may help the owner to understand the pet’s needs, desires, feelings, and emotions. The most common Cockatiel sounds, and vocalizations are:

Mimic Sound

Cockatiel Body Language Sounds and Vocalization

The most adorable vocal language in cockatiels characteristics is the ability to imitate human sounds and language. The bird can pronounce many easy words like a human without proper training. Mimicking human speech and other environmental sounds makes the bird a pleasant pet friend.

By learning different inspiring words, the birds explain its desire and need to the owner, which is a fantastic achievement for the keeper.


Hissing is a sign of aggressiveness and fear. For example, if the birds feel bored for a long time and fail to communicate with the owner, or someone irritates them or feels discomfort in the present surrounding, the bird may start hissing. Try to lose the birds hissing and help to calm down to avoid biting.


The cockatiels occasionally chirp to communicate with the owner, another favorite person in the house, or other pet birds. Usually, a soft, melodic chirp is a sign of contentment, happiness, and pleasure, while a louder, more insistent chirp is a sign of hunger or a desire to pay attention.


The Cockatiel is a skilled whistler and whistles pleasantly to communicate with its owners and impress its partner during the breeding season. It may also whistle in response to music or other sounds in its environment, such as human beings, other things, and animals.


The Cockatiel occasionally sneezes due to seasonal changes or germs and waste. It is normal. But sneezing for an extended period shows lethargy and respiratory problems.


Sometimes, the Cockatiel screams. Screaming is the reason for anger, scare, or upset. Crying means it may scare off something and make it feel uncomfortable in its environment.

How To Reply The Body Language

Better understanding, responding, and interacting with the pet cockatiel are pleasurable and rewarding experiences. Exploring endless adventures through conceiving cockatiel body language makes my leisure time precious. Here I share my impression how to response the gestures and behavior of the Cockatiel: 

Create an Agreeable Conversation Moment

A new coming Cockatiel may startle to get any support from me. So, it’s essential to approach it slowly and calmly to know the bird’s current needs and different body language. Of course, I must have patience and avoid sudden movements or loud noises that increase the bird’s mistrust, uncertainty, and fear.

Present Chooseable Snacks

The Cockatiel loves treats and gets inspiration to acquire any new thing if I regularly offer my favorite treats. While enjoying pleasures, it expresses happiness through creating mimic sounds and clapping the wings, bobbing heads, and closing eyes.

Cockatiel Body Language Snacks

Also, showing the bird a favorite snack may help build trust and strengthen my bond. Make sure to provide treats with should have moderation to avoid overfeeding.

Delightful Toys And Perches

The Cockatiel is a fun-loving bird. As a pet cockatiel spends time in the cage, it needs toys and other forms of enrichment to make the time exclusive. Arranging fabulous toys, like swings, bells, and mirrors, may help the bird get entertained and engaged. Also, the Cockatiel loves to perch on different surfaces. So, providing a variety of perches in its cage helps to keep it festive.

Talk With a Soft Voice

The Cockatiel possesses some good qualities as it is smart enough to imitate any character and is a much more pleasant pet. Talking to it with a calm, soothing, and soft voice makes the bird happy, and it raises its head and grinding beak out of enjoyment.

Observe Closely The Postures Cues

Cockatiel Body Language Postures

Indeed, I must be attentive to my Cockatiel’s body language cues to measure its comfort level and understand the mood. And the level of comfort. Give it space and provide adequate support if it seems weak or uncomfortable.

Fresh Water And Balance Diet

The Cockatiel is fonding of bathing. During bathing, it spreads the wings and feathers, enjoying unlimited happiness. Also, It is necessary to keep the drinking water fresh. So, change the water regularly and clean the water pot and bathing pond to keep it fresh and bacteria-free. Again, A balanced diet helps the bird to stay healthy and develop mental encourage how to explain the intentions through different gestures.


By Learning the Cockatiel’s body language and vocalizations, the owner can easily understand its shifting moods, needs, feelings, and emotions. The prime advantage of apprehension of the Cockatiel’s body language is that the keeper can provide the best possible care for the pet bird and treatment when it gets any signs of illness.


How do you read a cockatiel’s body language?

Close observation of various postures may help to read it. For example, cross-eyes with a raising crest mean the bird eagerly focuses on something. On the other hand, the Downing crest is a sign of sadness.

Why is my Cockatiel chirping non-stop?

When the Cockatiel feels lonely and expects its owner’s companion, it constantly chirps to grab attention. It may cause panic and worry if the pet parent doesn’t reply. This may increase the stress and make the bird aggressive. So, give proper value to its desires and spend time to make it quiet.

What should a healthy cockatiel look like?

A healthy cockatiel looks very energetic and active. The physical appearance of a healthy cockatiel is bright, sparkling eyes, a broad chest, smooth, shiny, clean feathers, and dark color with a creamy body shape. Overall, it always stays with a lot of enthusiasm.

Which cockatiel talks more?

The male cockatiel screams, creates mimic sounds, and tries to learn how to talk and sing. But the female cockatiel is decent and quiet.

What color cockatiel is rare?

Among the cockatiel color mutations, blue is the rare color, and usual gray is the standard color. Naturally, the wild cockatiel has a gray color body, white wings, and a yellow crest. But the blue cockatiel is not originally blue; instead a pale blue and has no yellow range on the head.

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