Cockatiel Screaming Problems?

Stop Your Cockatiel Screaming

A screaming cockatiel can be a problem at one point or another for its owner.

Cockatiels scream because of boredom and frustration. Sometimes the screaming is negatively reinforced by the cockatiel’s owner by paying attention to the screaming. This is actually a reward that reinforces the cockatiel’s behavior.

Cockatiel screaming is a learned behavior, and there is no magic cure for it. This is a behavior that only the proper discipline and altering the owner’s behavior patterns will fix, but just as it took time to create this behavior, it will take time to correct it.

The first thing that you want to make sure of is that your cockatiel knows the “step up” command. Be sure that your cockatiel knows the “step up” command and “walking up the ladder” exercise.

These are very important lessons that are very helpful in training as they show your bird that you are the leader of the flock. Keep in mind that status is everything in the world of a bird, and once you have established that you are the leader of the flock, getting your cockatiel to do what you want it to do will be much easier.

You need to have an established routine with your bird. Birds do not like spontaneity. They like their lives to be predictable and they like a set routine. If there is a lot of activity in your house, this will make your bird insecure and nervous and your cockatiel will start screaming.

Some people will throw a cover over the cage of a screaming cockatiel, but this should be done quickly and quietly as possible. Do not make a big fuss while you are doing this. If you yell at the bird while doing this, the bird takes this as a reward, and it will reinforce the cockatiel screaming. As soon as the bird is quiet, take the cover off. If you leave it on, the birds will not associate the cage being covered to its screaming.

If your bird sees you as its mate, it may scream when you are out of the room. It is trying to keep track of you and make sure that nothing has gotten you. If you have a cockatiel screaming for this reason, be sure to call back to the cockatiel to let him/her know that nothing has gotten you.

Many times, cockatiels get loud, but they are not screaming, although it may seem like the cockatiel is screaming. A cockatiel will greet the sunrise and sunset with quite a bit of energy. This is just showing the world that life is great and the cockatiel is happy.

A cockatiel will also make noise if you walk in from going to work or running errands. This is not necessarily screaming, it is just sounds of happiness. This is especially true if your cockatiel thinks of you as its mate.

Some people that have a screaming cockatiel think that it helps to get a second cockatiel, however, if you have inadvertently taught your first cockatiel to scream, then the new one will learn this unacceptable behavior. The best thing to do is to get the problem of screaming from you first bird under control before bringing another bird into your home to avoid having two cockatiels screaming.

I hope this article was useful to you. I recommend you to check the following site for parrot training and taming tips:

The Parrot Training and Taming Blog

Also, right now, there are free copies of the 3-day parrot training and taming course being given away at the above site so make sure to check it out.

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29 comments

bob 8 years ago

what is a better pet male or female cockatiels


Optimus Prime  8 years ago

Can you prevent egg binding?


ella 8 years ago

THANK YOU.


sunishthasnja14 8 years ago

my cockateil likes sits on my hand every time i take it out and it wont sit anywhere elese what should i do? i tried the perch but he doesn't sit


Robin Layne profile image

Robin Layne 8 years ago from Oregon

Thank you for this helpful article. I didn't realize that I need to remove the cover off the cage after my bird has quieted down in order to teach him not to scream. I do find it natural to answer back when he calls to me from across the room. When we had two cockatiels, the noise and lack of control was worse. They were both male, but they each screamed the whole time the other was out of the room.

Bob, since parrotexpert hasn't responded, I'll put in my two cents worth. It depends on what you want. If you want him to sing and talk more, it's said that males are better. However, females are said to be more affectionate. I've only had males, so I can't vouch for the truth of that. The individual bird makes a big difference, as some are more able to learn things and some more affectionate than others.


ritha K. 7 years ago

Thanks . This is a very useful article.


Laurna Hislop 7 years ago

Ive tried everything so far and nothing seems to work. When i put the civer ove the cage he just gets louder!! And he cannot do the step up command as he only has one leg so has to be lifted from his perch but will hapily sit on my head or shoulder. Also in the morning to stop the screaming i take him into bed with me which gives his leg a rest and he thouroughly enjoys! What can i do!???


tree 7 years ago

So how can you tell if your bird is screaming because he thinks you are his mate or because he just wants to scream?


liliana 7 years ago

my cockatiel is acting strange she is scraching her arm then she just screama little because her arm herts i'm trying to figer out why and what to do and her name is sidey.


Wendy 7 years ago

My cockatiel hollers whenever I walk out of the room. I tried the suggestion of calling back to him so he knows where I am, but it didn't help at all. I tried that for about a month. It made him get louder. Another suggestion would be great, if anyone has one.


CHARLENE 7 years ago

MY COCKATIEL WILL NOT STOP SCREAMING i have tried a few things i cover his cage he shuts up for a bit but then something starts him off again then i put him in the window he stops and seems happy then there he goes again i try calm him in a nice soft voice he just gets louder i dont think he likes me he also bits a bit not hard but he still does it can anyone help my ears cant handle it anymore


Susan 6 years ago

My new cockatiel covers its head with her wing and screams can any one tell me why she does this?


Stormy 6 years ago

I have read a lot today and have owned three birds in the past. They were parakeets but did the same thing as most of yours. I find that if you cover the cage when they are making noise and there is a REASON for their screaming (bordem, frustration, they are sick or hungry) it makes it worse. Try and find a solution first. And about the bird hiding under its wings...idk...try asking around and watch out for signs of blood or pain.


Rore Peasant 6 years ago

Our cockateil was noisy and screeaming constantly. Our solution was a hand mirror placed on the out side of the cage facing in. Tweety now believes he has a friend. Now he talks to himself in a coversational tone but no screetcing,

What a relief. Problem solved !!!


Cyndi 6 years ago

Our almost 19-year-old male cockatiel has just recently started screaming steadily except after dark. Before he was usually very quiet and complacent. We haven't changed cages, toys, food or amount of attention. He's still eating, drinking, preening & moving around as much as ever. We just can't seem to figure out his problem.


chris 6 years ago

hi, i have just been reading about cockerteils behavourial problems. i have smokey a grey and yellow cockerteil most of the time he screams very loud especially when i walk out of the room when i eat my dinner. when i un cover him in the morning he starts to scream so i let him out with my other budgie sparkie which is blue and white and loves smokey but smokey is not the least bit interested. he loves a small amount of dry rice crispies in the morning and a small piece of toast which he loves to nibble on. but the screaming is driving me nuts! i talk to him too and tame him but to no avail. help! tweet tweet chris


KoKoNut2 6 years ago

About mirrors, not all birds like them. My cockatiel is is absolutely terrified of mirrors. As strange as it sounds, the round mirrors are more frightening than the large wall mirrors. Anything reflective seems to make her very uncomfortable. She's also afraid of one of my towels. When she's in her cage, if someone brings something too close to her that she's afraid of, she screams at me to do something about it.


Chris Castillejo 5 years ago

I have a cockatiel problem that is when they first get out of the cage (I have 3 males) they all scream and jut around like they are trying to intimidate me or something. They are twitchy and easily provoked to fly as if frightened but I don't think they are. Once in flight they scream louder until they gather after they scattered from flying either on my bed or back on their cage. And then they are fine and calm. What does this mean and how can I stop this?

Usually they keep screaming until I make them fly off their cage and recollect, and because I am seemingly reinforcing the bad behavior I don't know why this works or if I should keep doing it. I also don't know how to stop them from being so agitated or whatever their mood is when the are all screaming together when first let out of the cage.

They all know step-up and ladder commands and generally like me.


Kayla  5 years ago

My Cockatiel Didgerdoo won't stop screaming, and I'm to the point where I feel like I must get rid of him.

He used to only do it when I left the room, but now I can be right beside him and all he does is SCREAM, and I mean SCREAM. I'm afraid that my neighbors in my apartment will be able to hear him because I can hear him outside my apartment at my car.

I love him, but I feel like I can't take it any longer. It makes me really angry with him and it's hard not to yell back. I can hear him in my bedroom even w/the door closed and he is starting to do it even when he is covered w/ a blanket. HELP!


bek 5 years ago

same here kayla, exactly the same circumstances!!!!!


brenda  5 years ago

mine is doing the same thing , screaming, but i believe it is mating time and they will do that until the mating season is done, i put a blanket over mine then when he quiets, i take it off and i sit and talk to him a bit before i go about my daily routine, seems to work.


carol 4 years ago

News flash, if you have a screaming, that's exactly what you have. I have tried all of these nice little things, he is 17 and louder than ever. It's bull, if he's a screamer he will alsways scream.


Benfumaster 4 years ago

Have any of you guys tried to go out of the room but right away your tiel starts screaming? Well try this. When you are out of the room and it screams, don't rush over to it because that's what it wants. After it stops its screaming, then go in and reward it for not screaming. If you yell at it, you are giving it what it wants and that is your attention. I hope that this works as well as it did for me!


BirdsSuck 4 years ago

Solution...let them free and get a cat or dog. More fun, easier to train and less messy than a loudmouth disgusting bird.


killroy 4 years ago

squirt it with water ...they like to keep clean...it distracts them into cleaning themselves..a wide spray..say wow..your such a pretty bird in a positive soft tone..


carol 4 years ago

i need help with mine it is annoying my roommate and don't what to do i already lost two birds and now i keep telling my bird to be quiet i got him cover up too keeps whistling and every thing i feel i have to bearagen in my all the time too keep quiet for my roomate:( :( :(


Joy 4 years ago

i recently got my cockatail and he's screaming. he doesn't have any physical problem, i checked. he started to eat but why does he scream? he's NEW. what should i do?


Darla_2000 2 years ago

I recently went through my female Cockatiel screeching for hours at a time. I was told to give her Chamomile tea.1/2 cup of the tea to 1/2 Cup of water. It is amazing at how much better she is behaving. From a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the worst, I would say we're at about a 2. She has only been drinking it for a couple of days, so I'm very pleased it is working. I wanted to pass this information along because I was about to go crazy & feel sorry for anyone that is dealing with this. Hope this helps someone else.


Bob 17 months ago

My cockatiel screams and won't stop but she does when it is dark outside and I turn off the light.

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