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Old 08-08-2019, 09:23 AM
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Unhappy Cockatiel randomly lunging?

Hi! I'm new here so sorry if i get this in the wrong section but i am in need of bird help!



I've had a male Cockatiel for around 6 months now (he was nearly 2 years old when we got him)and we were both making incredible progress in the first few months. I got him on my finger after around 2 months and it seem to be progressing extremely well. I could hand feed him seed extremely easily and he'd come on my hand too. Until a weeks ago, as i was hand feeding him, he suddenly lunged at my hand and attempted to bite it. When this originally happened, i played it off as it may have just been an accident, however it is a recurring problem now. Every single time i try to hand feed him, he eats a bit of seed and then lunges again and refuses to even go near me after that. I have absolutely no idea how this has started and his random lunging doesn't seem to decreasing anytime soon.

So i tried going back to the beginning, putting my hand on the outside of the cage and the whole taming process again but to no avail whatsoever. He still lunges every single time and makes a high pitched scream. Not to mention, there is NO warning signs at all that this happens. His body language is completely comfortable and then suddenly just SNAPS. I really need help! I hope i'm not ruining our relationship every time i try to feed him again but it's so difficult now! I very recently bought a budgie to keep him company and he was tamed in the first two weeks. All i can think of is that the Cockatiel may have had a bad history? But that doesn't explain why i was able to hand feed him a couple months ago with no issues. If any of you can suggest anything i would really appreciate it. I've looked everywhere on the internet but none of the methods work. I've tried leaving my hand there but he just lunges at it even more. Thanks!
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:49 AM
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Re: Cockatiel randomly lunging?

If you cant think of anything that caused it, is it possible somebody else is messing with him when you're not there?
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:08 AM
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Re: Cockatiel randomly lunging?

No i don't believe so. Usually everyone stays away from him and just comes in to say hi sometimes. I'm starting to think its due to territory or something like that. He's getting a new cage soon so i'm hoping the problem might be fixed after that but i'm so unsure.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:31 AM
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Re: Cockatiel randomly lunging?

It sounds like it's potentially hormones?
If he's a DNA'd male and singing to you, doing heart wings, and getting particularly territorial over his cage, sounds like it's hormones.


Have you made sure to eliminate any hormonal triggers?
  • Only pet on the head. Anywhere else signals that you think of him as your mate.
  • Restrict access to places that are dark and/or quiet as it can be perceived as a nesting location.
  • No warm mushy foods.
  • Don't provide an excess of food.
  • 12 to 14 hrs of sleep every night for at least a few weeks. Ideally uninterrupted.
  • Your tiel may have certain toys or unique triggers that you make sure you look for hormonal behavior. If there's a mirror, remove it.
  • No cozy huts or anything of the like.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:42 AM
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Re: Cockatiel randomly lunging?

Thanks for the response. He does all of those so i will try some of the methods. I appreciate it!
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:08 AM
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Re: Cockatiel randomly lunging?

Am I reading right that you introduced a new budgie to keep the tiel company, and then your relationship with him went downhill?
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