When cockatiels bite, it is generally done out of fear. Frightened birds may also flap their wings, turn or move away from you, run around the bottom of their cage, hide, or tremble. If your bird does any of these things as you approach, he is probably scared. Before you can truly tame your pet, you’ll need to soothe his fears and let him know that you aren’t going to hurt him. Start by simply getting him used to your presence. Sit near his cage to read or watch TV, and speak to him in calm, quiet tones. If he still acts agitated, move further away, until you can see him relax a bit. Move closer gradually, until he accepts you sitting beside his cage.
Cockatiels that are not entirely tame should have their wings clipped. Clipping your pet’s wings will make him more dependent on you, and will also minimize the chance of your bird possibly hurting himself flying around your home. Unless you have experience with clipping birds’ wings, you should have this done by your vet.
Only time and patience will allow you to truly gain your bird’s trust. Food and toys are very helpful with this. Start by offering your bird some treats in the palm of your hand. Look away while your hand is extended, so your pet doesn’t mistake your staring for aggression. Talk to your bird in soothing tones, so he gets used to interacting with you. If you are consistently gentle, kind, and patient, your bird will eventually begin to trust you.
Consistency is key to training any animal, and birds are no exception. Always reward your bird’s good behavior with treats, toys, and/or praise, and use a firm but calm tone to reprimand him. Never chase your pet or grab him forcefully to take him out of his cage, as this may cause your bird to think of you as a predator. Shouting at your bird is also a no-no, as you may only frighten him more.
If you have any questions about caring for your pet cockatiel, please feel free to contact us at any time. As your local vet clinic Scottsdale, we are happy to help with all of your pet care needs.