How to Bond with Your Cockatiel? 7 Proven tips

Cockatiels are wonderful pets and being of their sociable nature; they are likely to bond with their owners within a short time. However, cockatiels get nervous when they enter a new environment. So, their owners need to be patient while they form a bond with them. Gaining your cockatiel’s trust is the key thing in forming a bond. If your cockatiel trusts you and feels comfortable when you are around; it means your cockatiel has accepted you as his caregiver.

Are you a cockatiel owner and looking for some tips and tricks so that your cockatiel forms a bond with you? Then, this article will surely guide you to gain your bird’s trust. Let’s begin with the best tips in this regard.  

Grab the first opportunity

The day your cockatiel enters your home is the first opportunity to form an association with your bird. During this time; it is common for the bird to feel nervous or stressed. This is because the bird will need time to adjust to the new environment where everything is unfamiliar for him. You should grab this first opportunity to form a link with your bird. However, you need to be patient and adopt a gradual approach in reaching your bird. Give your bird time to familiarize itself with the cage before reaching him. Be gentle, kind, and speak in a soft voice when you approach the bird’s cage.

At this initial step, the goal should only be to keep the bird calm as much as possible so that it does not become stressful in your presence. Increase your level of interaction with the bird gradually so that the cockatiel feels good vibes when you are around.

Be gentle and let your bird settle in

It is important for you as an owner to be gentle and kind with your bird. Let your bird settle in the new environment and give him some space. Mostly, it takes around 2 weeks for your cockatiel to settle. Prepare your cockatiel’s cage in a way that it has plenty of space to spread its wings. Make him feel as comfortable as you can. It is good to consider a rectangular cage as compared to the round one.

A rectangular cage will make your bird feel comfortable as it has evenly spaced bars around it which will facilitate your bird. The round cage mostly creates small crevices in which the bird’s beak, tail, or legs can easily get caught. This will irritate your bird and as a result, it will make it difficult to adjust. So, choose your bird’s cage wisely and arrange the best things for your bird so that it can live happily. 

Approach him slowly

After your bird feels comfortable and has adjusted to the new environment, approach the bird’s cage slowly. Talk to your bird with a sweet voice and make sure that he feels calm when you are around. Grab this opportunity when there is no noise around so that you can interact with your cockatiel. At first, you need to keep your interactions minimal which can be increased with time. The following actions might help you at this stage to gain your bird’s trust.

  • Sit by your cockatiel’s cage for a few minutes every day so that he starts trusting you.
  • Talk softly or use a whistle to entertain him.
  • Let him watch you and become closer to you afterward.
  • Offer some treats by using his name so that he starts liking you.
  • Do these activities for at least a week and you will be surprised.  

Set time for daily interactions

Cockatiels are sociable birds and they like to interact with their owners. However, it is equally important to deal with kindness to maintain their interest. Cockatiels are intelligent birds and they like to form an association with their human companions provided they are cared for appropriately. These birds have friendly and energetic temperaments and you can gain their trust by spending some valuable time daily. Set a specific time for daily interactions with your bird to make him feel special. The following activities will surely help you at this stage:

  • Talking: Talk with your cockatiel and make him engaged with you. It doesn’t matter what you talk about or whether he understands. The point is to entertain your bird so that it starts liking your voice. Your bird might also imitate the words or phrases that you speak, especially if you speak them more often. Spend some quality time with your bird in this way to make him happy and energetic.
  • Perching: See if your cockatiel finds it good to perch on your finger. If it does then offer him your index or first finger and he will enjoy it. This activity can also be used to train your bird which will soothe him in the long run.
  • Whistling: Cockatiels enjoy listening to whistles. Sing a happy song for your bird or use whistles instead. There is a high probability that cockatiels start dancing when they listen to whistles or songs. Your bird will start enjoying it with you when you do it. This will also make it easy to bond with your cockatiel.
  • Offering treats: Treats also work for cockatiels especially if they are shy. Shy cockatiels might not dance or react when you talk with them. So, you can offer treats to such cockatiels and they’ll surely feel happy and start enjoying your company.
  • Playing: Just like dogs and cats, cockatiels also like to play. Engage them in some form of play to form an association with them.

Handle your bird with care

Your cockatiel will likely form a strong bond if you handle him well. Treat him with kindness and use a gentle touch while holding your bird. The bird will feel more comfortable when it climbs onto your hand willingly rather than if you grab him. You can train your bird accordingly so that it can normalize interaction with you.

Take special care when removing the bird from the cage. The bird’s wings might get injured if you do not handle it properly. Make sure that the bird fits through the cage door easily. If the bird gets an injury while coming out of the cage; it can create fear of the future. As a result, you might lose the opportunity to gain your bird’s trust. Therefore, you need to ensure that the bird feels good in your presence.

Feed him appropriately to gain his trust

Your cockatiel will trust you if you feed him properly. Feeding the bird at a stick schedule is another great way to gain your bird’s confidence in you. This will make it easy for your bird to form a bond with you. Apart from feeding him the right amount of food; you can also use the hand feeding option to strengthen his trust.

However, it is also essential to train him to eat from his food bowl so that he doesn’t become dependent on hand feeding. You can use hand feeding on some days to cherish your cockatiel. Hand feeding should only be used occasionally to bond with your cockatiel.

Engage your cockatiel in interactive play

Cockatiels love to play and learn new tricks; so, engage your cockatiel in an interactive play to comfort him. Playing not only helps in forming a bond with the bird but will also soothe your bird’s mind. You can purchase different toys for your bird, for instance, wooden chew toys. It will feel enchanted.

Bird games also cherish the cockatiels and you can choose the one accordingly. Cockatiels also like occasional challenges. You can reinforce your bird whenever it completes the bird’s maze as a challenge. For this activity, you can create a bird maze on study material. Keep the initial areas easy to reach and make them difficult at the exit point. When the cockatiel completes the maze, offer him treats to encourage your bird. You can also play hide and seek with your pet to keep it active and energetic. Daily investment in these forms of play can help in forming a close bond with your bird.

Look for these cockatiel’s bonding Signs

Cockatiels like to form bonds with their owners. However, this bonding takes some time in forming a close association with you. Like many other animals; some signs show your cockatiel has already bonded with you. Though many signs indicate your cockatiel’s bonding with you, here we will discuss the 4 main signs only. These are discussed below.

He wants to be near you.

When you invest quality time with your cockatiel, he starts liking you and wants to be near you. When the cockatiel feels comfortable in your presence; it will like to approach you especially when you play or use whistles for him. When your cockatiel watches you and sits till that is an indication that it wants to be friends with you. A frustrating cockatiel would not like to be with you and it goes away when you reach him in the cage or otherwise. If your cockatiel feels confident with you; it will like to strain its head towards you. It may also beg to sit on your shoulder or hand. So, a cockatiel who wants to be near you has probably bonded with you.

He starts copying you.

Another sign is that the bird starts copying you. It mirrors some of your actions which you do in front of your bird. For instance, if you are napping or about to take one; the bird starts feeling sleepy. Another example would be eating. If your cockatiel sees you eating; it might also approach his food bowl to show an association with you.

He feels good in your company.

A cockatiel who feels good and enchanted in your presence is also a sign of bonding. When you sing a song or use a whistle and the cockatiel starts dancing; it means he likes to be in your company. Similarly, if you see your cockatiel talking to you when you talk or being in a good mood; it means he wants to be with you.

He responds to you.

If your cockatiel recognizes you and wants to respond to your voice; it is a sign that it has already bonded with you.  Also, you can gauge this sign by seeing if your cockatiel chirps at your approach or trots with its head held high.

Cockatiels like to play with their owners and be friends with them. They become excited to see their owners if they form a close bond with them.

Do Cockatiels Bond with Only One Person?

Yes, cockatiels are more likely to bond with only one person. They like to be dependent on their owners. However, they also like to be friends with everyone else around. However, cockatiels feel comfortable in a quiet environment. So, you need a noiseless place to be a friend with your cockatiel or to form a bond with him.

How Much Time is Required for Bonding with Your Cockatiel?

Generally, it takes up to two weeks to bond with a cockatiel. If the cockatiel adjusts to the new environment easily and the owner looks after it; the cockatiel takes less time to form a close bond with its owner. Give him some space at first so that he can form a close bond with you.


Forming a bond with your cockatiel might seem a little arduous at the start. However, if you follow the right way, you will instantly form a bond with your cockatiel. Always remember that you need to approach your bird with care and patience so that it feels happy in your presence. We hope that you have benefitted from the given information and it will help you in reaching your bird with good results. We wish you good luck in forming a bond with your cockatiel.






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