Cockatiels and mirrors – Should you give them?

Cockatiels are attractive to eye-catching and shiny objects around them and they act as great stimulators for them. Some birds become quite obsessed with mirrors; others do much well. Mirrors act as a toy for some birds and it keeps them entertained and stimulated.

Cockatiels like mirrors and adding them to their cage can be fun. Cockatiels like to look at their reflection and a mirror can function as a good toy for them. It helps to reduce their stress level and they can feel enchanted in the presence of a mirror.

Cockatiels need a lot of stimulation because they are considered highly complex and social birds. They need multiple toys inside their cage to maintain their interest. The mirror is one such toy that can be used to excite them. However, they should have a diversity of toys to reduce the psychological impact of seeing themselves in a mirror. Continue reading the article to find useful information about mirrors for cockatiels.

Should Cockatiels Have Mirrors in their Cage?

It is good to place a mirror in the cockatiel’s cage if you find your bird singing or playing with it. The mirror is a source of stimulation for the bird and cockatiels to enjoy their reflection. Therefore, some experts recommend placing a mirror in the bird’s cage so that it engages itself in playful activities rather than sitting idle.  However, some say that it is not good to place a mirror if there is only one cockatiel in the cage. This is because placing a mirror in such a case will interfere with the bird’s training and can impede its performance.

Some are of the view that if there are two cockatiels in the cage; they can play with each other and won’t require the mirror. A general rule to decide whether to place a mirror in the cage is by analyzing the bird’s response to it. If the bird sings or plays with the mirror; it means placing the mirror is good to go. However, if the bird shows signs like fear, aggression, or agitation; then, there is no need to place the mirror. These signs reflect that the bird is not comfortable with the mirror and is better without it.

Is Mirror Bad for Cockatiels?

Mirrors are generally not bad for cockatiels. They in fact like playing with them. Mirrors act as stress relievers for these birds. It also entertains them and prevents loneliness.  However, sometimes it’s not a good choice, especially for a single cockatiel. This is because it might interfere with the bird’s training or bonding and can affect its performance. Moreover, the bird might become obsessed with the mirror and it can screech at the mirror because of aggression.

The best way to add a mirror in the bird’s cage is to see how the bird reacts to it. If the bird feels happy in the presence of the mirror; it is good to place it inside the cage. However, if the bird becomes overly aggressive or obsessive with the mirror and has reflection attachment; then, it is better to remove it.

Can Cockatiels Recognize Themselves in a Mirror?

It is hard to say whether cockatiels recognize themselves in a mirror or not. Many scientific studies have been carried out in this respect to understand the bird’s realization. These studies mostly state that cockatiels are unable to recognize themselves in a mirror. These studies further narrate that the bird feels like there is another bird that is being shown in the mirror rather than themselves.

However, it is still difficult to determine this fact fully. But many people place the mirror in the cage due to this understanding that the bird does not recognize itself in the mirror. That is why a mirror becomes a necessity for the solitary cockatiel where the bird feels that it has a companion whenever it sees itself in the mirror. This might become problematic for the bird if it is obsessed with the mirror bird.

Therefore, it is better to use multiple toys inside the bird’s cage to keep it psychologically healthy and energetic. These include colorful toys like disco balls or flying bird toys. Avoid using metal toys as they are not safe for these birds and might prove toxic for them.  

Do Cockatiels Like Looking in a Mirror?

Yes, cockatiels enjoy looking in mirrors due to a couple of reasons. First, the mirror is a source of great fascination for them. It helps to keep them engaged and avoid loneliness. Second, cockatiels like to see their reflection, and looking at the mirror readily uplifts their mood. They like to sing and play while looking at it and feel enchanted. Third, cockatiels like reflective surfaces and shiny objects in their surroundings. Looking at the mirror gives them higher satisfaction.

Fourth, they are highly complex birds and need constant stimulation and arousal. The mirror is a source of stimulation for the cockatiels which is good for them in the long run. Most cockatiels like to look at the mirror; however, if they become aggressive or fearful; it is a sign that they do not like to see themselves in the mirror. In such a case; you need to remove the mirror from the bird’s cage to calm it.


Cockatiels like seeing themselves in a mirror. It gives them instant satisfaction and helps to relieve their stress. Mirror-like other toys is a great source of the bird’s arousal and stimulation. However, it should only be used inside the cage if the bird responds to it positively. For this purpose, it is better to see how cockatiels react to mirrors before placing them into their cage. The best way to use a mirror with cockatiels is to place it for some time rather than making it available for 24 hours.






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