How To Tame An Aggressive Cockatiel

Although cockatiels are known as very friendly, highly social and intelligent birds, they can also be very aggressive and enraged sometimes. It is not unlikely for any species to get enraged or aggressive. There are various reasons and explanations behind the aggressive behavior of pets. Cockatiels are no different. Your pet cockatiel may also be angry, bite you or be aggressive. The question is, why would your pet bird get aggressive or enraged out of the blue? And we will also discuss how to tame an aggressive cockatiel.

Whatever the reason may be behind the aggression, the question is, how to tame an aggressive cockatiel? The basics are to talk to your pet in a soothing voice, offer treats, give time to your pet bird and try playing with them. It will take some time for the aggression to fade, but it will pass surely. Be patient with your pet bird and provide care till then. Cockatiels crave attention as they are very friendly and social, so give your pet bird your attention. Assure your bird that you are nearby. You can also get your bird some toys to play with, which will keep it occupied and help out with the aggression.

The most common cause of bird aggression is fear or previous traumatic experience. They can bite & attack while communicating with people. Nevertheless, birds are complex and anything can lead to aggressive behavior. There can be a few reasons or explanations why you have an angry cockatiel or why your cockatiel is aggressive.

Reasons For Aggressive Behaviour

  • Fear
  • Lack of proper socialization
  • Lack of attention
  • Past trauma or unpleasant experience
  • Being misused or neglected previously
  • Hitting puberty
  • A female bird will show aggression if provoked during egg incubation
  • Defending their claimed territory if breached
  • Stress/ lack of emotional stimulation may also lead to a behavioral change
  • Environment


Fear is often created in domesticated birds that have not been fed by hand in childhood. However it may be, once this fear is grown in the bird, it will take time for the bird to recover, that too, with proper care and attention. This fear may drive the bird towards aggression or behavioral changes that might not be healthy for the bird.

aggressive cockatiel

Lack Of Socialization

Birds may fear people or new experiences due to a lack of proper socialization. Some birds get excited when their owner communicates with other people. It plays on the natural “pairing” instincts that many bird species have and you can be seen as your bird companion in captivity. Putting your pet bird in a cage is for its own safety but you will also need to teach it to socialize and spend time with it in order to build a relationship with the bird. If socialization isn’t taught correctly, it may result in an angry cockatiel or depressed cockatiel.

Lack Of Attention

Angry Cockatiel - CockatielCity

Cockatiels are highly social birds. The better they may be as pets, the drawback is that they require a lot of your attention and time. If you fail to provide those, you may notice aggression or anger in your pet cockatiel’s behavior.

Past Traumatic Experience

Cockatiels may show aggression or strange behavior towards certain objects or activities. This can be explained as past trauma or fear from past experiences.

Misused Or Neglected Previously

Some birds are neglected since it was babies and that can cause aggression. If you adopt or buy a bird, make sure the owner is connected to the bird from the time it was born.

Puberty/ Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes cause some birds to become aggressive during puberty. If the bird goes through this stage, it will usually pass.

Protecting The Eggs

Both the male and the female bird will get aggressive and attack if provoked during the egg incubation period. They are very protective of their eggs and babies, like any other species. So if anyone tries to reach them or the eggs, cockatiels will show aggressive behavior.

Also Read: How To Tell If A Cockatiel Egg Is Fertile?

Defending Claimed Territory

Defending their claimed territory like a birdcage or feeder can lead to aggression. Cockatiels are highly intelligent birds. They are aware of their personal spaces. Provoking their space or territory might result in aggression.


Birds that are stressed or lack emotional stimulation can also show aggressive or disturbing behavior.


The surrounding environment also plays a role in the psychology of your pet bird. If the environment is not suitable for your pet bird, you may see behavioral changes in your bird.

How To Stop Aggressive Behavior

Observe your pet bird to see if it’s biting you every time you are around or if it is just biting you casually. If it’s biting you always, then you should spend time with it and give it some time to connect with you. It doesn’t have to be something specific; You can incorporate your efforts into normal handling to reduce your bird’s aggression. For example, you may need to work with a bird or train it to enjoy painting. You can even learn fun techniques for birds. The more you spend time with it, the more it will connect with you and that will lead to less aggressive behavior.

While playing with your pet, these tricks will help you to handle your angry cockatiel. Go to a neutral position if you can. Keep your birdcage in a neutral place while teaching. Moving a bird from its “territory” can sometimes help its owner. It can make anyone more willing to resist regional aggression.

In short, give your pet bird enough time and care. This will slowly tame its aggression. Most of the time, the aggression comes from a lack of attention because cockatiels crave that. Give time and work it out with your pet bird. Slowly it will be normal.

bird training treats

Getting them toys to enjoy might work as well. They will get busy playing with toys and they’ll start enjoying it. The anger will eventually fade away.

If you see your pet bird showing aggression toward a specific object or activity, that can be because of its past trauma. Try to avoid that specific activity or object and keep it out of sight. The anger will eventually fade away.

Do not provoke female birds during egg incubation. If your bird is protective about its territory, do not invade its personal space. Try to be friendly and make a bond with your bird first. It will slowly allow your presence in its own territory as well.

If the environment is what’s stressing your bird out, find out the exact reason and remove it. It may be a certain noise or object. Whatever it may be, remove it and hopefully, your bird will become normal with time.

How To Tame An Aggressive Cockatiel

Taming Angry Cockatiel

Those who are getting a bird for the first time may face difficulties befriending their pet bird or taking care of them. As I said, with patience, effort and proper time, they will get there. Cockatiels are very friendly, so it won’t take much time to get easy with the bird. Remember, everyone was a newbie on their first attempt.

All in all, your pet bird is not just a plaything or entertainment. It has its own likes and dislikes and feelings of its own. You have to respect its boundaries and likes-dislikes. If anything is going south and you find your bird not behaving the way it should, you have to be understanding, consistent and friendly towards your bird and find out the reason.

Being a pet owner means taking proper care of your pet, too. Give importance to your pet bird. Most people who get a pet for the first time don’t know how to handle their pets. So it is necessary to learn a few things about your pet before you get an actual one. Hopefully, you and your pet bird will start enjoying each other’s company!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Cockatiel So Angry? 

Most of the time, the reason for being angry or aggressive for a cockatiel is a lack of attention. Cockatiels crave attention and company. They can not stay alone for long. They will either need their owner or their mate to survive. If that person or mate is out of reach or out of sight, it will make them irritated and they will start agitating behavior if this goes on for a long time. So make sure to spend time with your pet bird every day.

Are Cockatiels Aggressive Toward Each Other?

If you put them together in the same cage, they will naturally see each other as a competition. Even if they need company and a mate, they will not engage in a friendly manner in the beginning. In general, they’ll show aggressive behavior toward each other and the basic pattern is screaming, biting and attacking. They will not kill each other, of course. But they will take time to get friendly.

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