5 Ways To Get Your Cockatiel To Trust You

  • Time to read: 6 min.

How do you get a cockatiel to trust you? These birds are sociable and expressive, so you will quickly see what it feels about you. However, building trust with your pet can take time, so you need to be patient. 

Making your cockatiel feel comfortable is one way to gain its trust. It needs to get used to your presence to remove any fear or discomfort. Giving treats is also a way to make your cockatiel trust you. 

How Do You Get A Cockatiel To Trust You?

Cockatiels are extraordinary birds of grace. Yet, it takes them some time to adjust to their new surroundings. It does not matter if your bird is a baby or an untamed adult. Both require a certain amount of patience when it comes to adapting to their new environment.

Do Cockatiels Trust Easily?

Similar to other parrots, cockatiels are friendly and sociable. They like bonding with their human companion, making them excellent pets. However, it is essential to note that these birds may be nervous when you first bring them to their new home. 

But once they feel at ease, cockatiels tend to bond very closely with their owners. In fact, they trust people very easily, especially if you make them feel safe. 

Building Trust Between You And Your Cockatiel

You can get a cockatiel to trust you with time and effort. That said, here are the steps to help your cockatiel build a bond with you:

1. Allow Your Pet To Feel Comfortable

Your cockatiel will take time adjusting to a new environment after you bring it home. So, you need to give it space once you bring it home. This way, your pet can observe its new home. 

A cockatiel’s cage needs to be wide enough for it to spread wings. Provide your pet with plenty of perches along with food and water. 

2. Let Your Pet Get Used To Your Presence

Once your cockatiel has settled in, you can get acquainted with it slowly. Sit beside its cage for several minutes a few times a day and talk to it softly. Allow your cockatiel to observe you. This way, you can get a cockatiel to trust you and be at ease with your presence. 

3. Give Treats

Now that the bird is comfortable with you beside its cage, offer treats through the cage bars. You can offer the fruits and vegetables it likes, or some dry cereal and unsalted popcorn. 

Make sure to talk slowly while feeding your pet while using its name. Cockatiels are good with words, so your bird will learn its name quickly.  

According to the book Your Dream Pet Bird: Everything You Need to Know to Start Right With Lovebirds by Darla Birdie, “most breeders hand-feed their babies to create the best possible pets.” So, offering treats using your palm is an effective way to gain a cockatiel’s trust.

4. Bring Your Cockatiel Out And Play

After observing that your cockatiel is comfortable taking treats from your hand, try opening its cage and putting treats on your palm. If your pet comes to the cage door and eats treats from your palm, it is a sign that it’s ready to go out. 

Raise your finger slowly and steadily and gently rub your cockatiel’s abdomen. Once your pet steps onto your finger, give it a treat and praise it. Repeat the process daily until your pet is comfortable perching on your finger without a treat. 

5. Play With Your Cockatiel

Once you get a cockatiel to trust you completely, you can play with it and teach it tricks. Constant interaction with your cockatiel will strengthen your bond and provide it with the needed mental stimulation. (source)

Where Do Cockatiels Like To Be Petted?

Where Do Cockatiels Like To Be Petted?
Where Do Cockatiels Like To Be Petted?

Cockatiels love to be touched. They genuinely like having their feathers behind their crest rubbed. But if your cockatiel is new and is not yet used to your presence, do not try petting it yet. The reason is that you might scare it, which will make the process of taming it difficult. That said, make sure to create a bond with your bird first before touching it.

Moreover, cockatiels like their cheeks rubbed by their human companion. You can also touch their:

  • head
  • under the beak
  • under the nares
  • over the ears
  • at the nape of its neck (source)

How Do You Know If Your Cockatiel Likes You?

It is excellent to get a cockatiel for a pet because they are expressive and easy-going. You will quickly know what it says based on how it moves with its cheerful personality. So, once you get a cockatiel to trust you, it will show you signs that it likes you. 

Chirps When It Sees You

If your cockatiel begins to sing, chatter, or chirp when it sees you, it signifies that it likes you. For this reason, it is essential to pay attention to the sounds your pet makes. 

Relaxed Body Language

A cockatiel that tries to escape when its owner approaches is feeling threatened. On the other hand, if it sits relaxed while perched on your finger, then your cockatiel likes your presence. 

Another sign that your cockatiel likes you is when it has its crest feathers in a normal position while you touch it. 

Tail Wagging And Blinking Eyes

If you get a cockatiel to trust you, it will show signs of liking your presence. When your pet wags its tails or blinks its eyes when it sees you, then it is excited by your presence. (source)

How Do You Play With A Cockatiel?

Bird games help cockatiels become active. For this reason, it is vital to schedule playtime for your bird regularly. And since these birds are brilliant, you can train them to play various games. 

Cockatiels like to play fetch with a lightweight toy. So, teach your pet to pick up the toy with its beak until it masters the skill. Once it does, motivate your bird to bring the toy back to you by offering a treat. 

You can also create a small maze using cardboards. When training your bird, start with an easy maze. Then, create a more difficult one once you see your bird finding the exit quickly. Apart from letting your pet enjoy games, these activities are also another way to get a cockatiel to trust you. (source)

What Are The Signs That A Cockatiel Is Mad?

Cockatiels have a huge personality. Meaning they will show their emotions to their human companion at all times. These parrots are also funny, vibrant, charming, and friendly, making them great pets. 

However, your cockatiel can also feel stressed and mad. That said, here are three signs that your cockatiel is mad.

BitingIf your pet bites you for no reason, it can be a sign of discomfort or pain. In this case, the best thing to do is get your bird examined by a vet. 
ScreamingIf your bird screams more and louder than usual, it indicates that it is unhappy or stressed.
Feather-PickingOne common sign of stress, boredom, or anger on parrots is feather-picking. If your bird does this, you need to get it examined by a veterinarian to know whether there are concerning health conditions. (source)

In Summary

How do you get a cockatiel to trust you? If you are a new cockatiel owner, you most likely want it to be at ease with your presence. Fortunately, these birds are sociable creatures, making it easy to bond with them. 

Your cockatiel will learn to trust you if you interact with it gently and patiently. Always speak softly when talking to it to avoid making it feel scared. Giving treats is also a great way to get your cockatiel to trust you.