why does my cockatiel hiss

Owning a pet can be both fun and problematic sometimes. Owning a cockatiel as a pet is a great experience as they provide great company and are friendly. They usually are not aggressive and tend to mix up with people. But if there is any aggressive or abnormal behavior you have seen lately in your pet bird, that should concern you. One of the most common abnormal behaviors that cockatiels tend to do is hissing. In these moments, you cannot help but ask- ‘why does my cockatiel hiss?’ We will try to provide an answer to that and how to stop that as well.

So, ‘why does my cockatiel hiss at me?’ The answer is simple- cockatiels hiss to express their discomfort or negative feedback towards certain things and this is something they often do. Cockatiels are highly expressive and intelligent birds. They tend to express their likes and dislikes very strongly. So if your cockatiel is hissing at you or at something else, you can be sure it is because the bird is irritated, uncomfortable, scared or distressed. There can be various reasons behind the discomfort or stress.

Why Does My Cockatiel Hiss At Me?

Keeping in mind the fact that cockatiels are amazing as pets and how they manage to create a bond so quickly with their owners, it is not very unusual for them to adapt or express aggressive or abnormal behavior, just like any other pet.

This behavior may include hissing, biting and other abnormal patterns. Although this should be your concern, it is also not that very alarming. It only means your pet bird is scared or stressed and it needs some room.

why does my cockatiel hiss at me

So, when you find your favorite pet bird hissing at you and the question lingers in your mind – ‘what does it mean when a cockatiel hiss?’. It means it is distressed, angry and scared. 

When this happens, you have to break down the problem to solve this situation and fix it. 

  1. First, you gotta know what it means when a cockatiel is hissing.
  2. Second, you have to find out why your cockatiel is hissing at you.
  3. Third, once you find out the reason, you have to take care of it so your pet bird starts behaving normally again.

How To Stop Cockatiel From Hissing?

Meaning of Hissing

So, let’s start by explaining the first step. You have to know the meaning of your pet cockatiel hissing at you. Cockatiels are very expressive birds and it is a living creature having their own likes and dislikes. Cockatiels tend to be expressive about their likes and dislikes. When a cockatiel is seen hissing, it means – ‘I don’t like this!’ Meaning it is getting irritated, uncomfortable or scared. Sometimes it also can mean – ‘Leave me alone.’

When this happens, you should know what the ‘hissing’ means and that takes us to figure out the next step. It won’t happen overnight. If anyone is having their first pet and that’s a cockatiel, they have a lot to learn. So, you will have to learn a lot more about your pet bird and its behaviors to find out abnormalities. 

Reason of Hissing

The second step is to find out the reason behind the hissing. Why does my cockatiel hiss at me? It is because something is out of place and your bird is concerned about it. So you will have to find out the reason behind your pet bird’s fear or discomfort

There are a few reasons why your pet bird may feel that way and we have done some research and gathered some of the information here: 

why is my cockatiel hissing at me
  • Protecting Their Territory: Although it is highly unlikely that cockatiels of getting protective about their territories, it is not unusual. A cockatiel can be protective about its territory, female cockatiels especially during the egg incubation period. In these cases, the ‘hiss’ only means ‘leave me alone.’ Although if taken further, the bird might attack and bite. During this period, it is strongly prohibited to try to enter your hands or fingers inside the cage because that might provoke them to be violent.
  • Feel Threatened: Cockatiels are human-friendly birds and easily get adapt. But they can always feel threatened by new activities or people or the environment. Being a new member of the family, it is not easy to adapt overnight or be a part of that environment. So, in these cases, your bird may hiss as a sign that they are afraid or uncomfortable. 
  • Unwished Company or Petting: I mean, what’s the fun if you cannot pet your bird? Cockatiels do love that too, but not always. Their moods can swing sometimes and if you get caught up in the moment of petting them when they don’t want to be, you might get a hiss from them, even a bite. Just to let you know that they don’t want your affection right now.

These three are the prime reasons behind your bird hissing at you. If you have figured out the root of the problem, then you will have to proceed to the next step. 

That is, getting out of that situation. 

Stop Them Hissing

Your bird can hiss at you for various different reasons. Whatever that may be and if they fall into the categories mentioned previously, you will have to do something to stop the hissing of your pet bird at you and the reason behind it too.

The third step is all about solving problems. How to stop cockatiel from hissing? To do that, find out the reason why your bird feels uncomfortable, threatened or angry and fix it. Whether it is the surrounding environment, the bird cage or simply boredom, fix that issues if you wanna have a healthy, cheerful pet.

how to stop cockatiel from hissing

To do that, first, give your bird a little space. It will take up some time to be normal again and to stop the hissing and other behaviors. Once that is done, try communicating with your pet bird, and see if the hissing is lessened or not.

Try playing with your bird, and offer it some treats. This way, you will establish communication and a bond with your pet bird and hopefully be able to stop your bird from hissing in the future. 

A small piece of information to be provided is that hissing sometimes can be a good sign too. Baby cockatiels often make a similar hiss sound, especially hand-fed babies, to express that they are full and do not need to eat more. Hissing can also be a part of courtship behavior. Male cockatiels may hiss at their females during mating. 

Cockatiels are expressive. So if it’s hissing or showing abnormal behavior, find out immediately the reason behind it and act according to this article. Hopefully, the information will help out just in time and need. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if a cockatiel is mad?

You will get to know by monitoring unusual or aggressive behavior. Your pet cockatiel will let you know itself. If you notice unusual aggressive behavior, continuous hissing and biting, you can be sure that your cockatiel is mad at something. There can be a lot of reasons behind your cockatiel being mad.

It can be territorial breach which they don’t like, or the new environment or probably just the human company, which they haven’t gotten used to yet if it is a cockatiel you just brought home. A cockatiel can be mad when it is bored, too. So, by keeping an eye on behavioral patterns and abnormalities, you can easily tell if a cockatiel is mad or not.

How do you calm an angry cockatiel?

Cockatiels are easy to handle but at the same time, can seem impossible to manage while they are angry. It is not that hard once you get to know what to do actually instead of beating the bush. Simply providing your attention will get you a better result and a better-behaved parrot. To calm an angry cockatiel, talk to it.

Talk to it and cool down its temper. If lack of attention is the reason for anger, take it with you while you walk around the house, attention and affection will help you calm down the cockatiel. Another way is to provide them with entertainment. Boredom can also result in anger, so to kick out boredom, play with your bird. Provide your bird with toys to play with, so it doesn’t get bored.

How do I find out if my cockatiel is happy?

If your cockatiel is happy, it will move its tail or spread its wings. It will always try to get closer to you when you’re nearby or sing for you, even inside a cage. Excessive talking is also another sign which indicates that your cockatiel is happy in its new home with you.

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