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Old 11-24-2020, 01:48 PM
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I have a little cockatiel named Wallnut! (Finally an official name :D) he is very cute, we are learning together
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Is my cockatiel afraid of the dark?

When he is relaxed, he usually puffs up and starts preening himself, however once the lights go out when i check up on him his feathers are sticking close to his body and his neck is high up. I am wondering if this is because i suddenly turn the lights on or is he afraid of the dark? I have also tried looking at him with the flashlight of my phone but he is still sitting with his feather close to his body. I really do want him to get a good sleep but i am never sure if he actually sleeps or not. He seems sleepy in noon so i have my doubts. Might be because he is new and he is afraid of me so he doesnt want to sleep? I am really not sure on what to do. Should i cover his cage? I will try letting him sleep with dim lights on tonight, lets hope he will be fine. (By the way when the lights turn off he doesnt make any sound he just looks tense, i dont know what to do )
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Old 11-24-2020, 03:00 PM
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Re: Is my cockatiel afraid of the dark?

I cover both Amy and BB cage and they settle down within minutes. Be aware that cockatiel's are prone to "night frights". Something spooks them and they freak out and start thrashing around in their cage So shining a light in on your new buddy,or sudden noises/movements could set him off ( I know I get freaked out when someone is spying on me while I try to sleep )




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Old 11-24-2020, 04:40 PM
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Re: Is my cockatiel afraid of the dark?

Jim is quite correct, for some reason cockatiels have more of a tendency towards the night frights than other species. Not all of them or all the time, individual results may vary, but they do seem to be more prone to it, certainly my cockatiel Fang is. I cover about two thirds of his cage and leave a dim light on at night and it has lessened his episodes from one or two per month down to one maybe every six months or so.

He also has a couple of bells like this one in his cage.....



They are made of stainless steel so very safe, and the clapper is unreachable so no issue with Fang dislodging and swallowing it. They're also a handy little alarm system in case he gets the night frights while I am asleep it makes just enough noise to wake me up so I can go and make sure he's ok
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Old 11-24-2020, 04:47 PM
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Re: Is my cockatiel afraid of the dark?

Cockatiels don't respond well to darkness.
What is dim light to us might as well be pitch black.
And they do spook easily. My birds can have "night frights" any time of day.

It's a good idea to leave some light on for them at night.
Partially covering the cage can help reduce night frights by keeping drafts off of them.
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Old 11-24-2020, 05:01 PM
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Re: Is my cockatiel afraid of the dark?

Stop checking on him at night. You are waking him up and making him fearful. My birds would freak if I turned the lights or a flashlight to check on them.
He will and I'm sure is sleeping fine. O don't bother my birds after bedtime.
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Old 11-24-2020, 05:37 PM
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Re: Is my cockatiel afraid of the dark?

When Alex was a young bird he had horrible night frights. I used a night light and covered his cage and still he got them, but less. Nowadays he doesn't spook as much. Boomer and Rin I have not noticed night frights in, but where they sleep we have lights on 24/7 for the plants, so we just cover them. Nice and dim, but a very far cry from total dark.



Maybe bird children are scared of the boogeymen just like human children are, and they settle down a bit with maturity?



Anyway, humerous speculation aside, I agree with the above posters. Cover the cage, use a nightlight, and for goodness' sake stop shining a flashlight at the poor baby! Maybe try playing soft classical music or a white noise machine in the room to sorta "even out" the nighttime noises in the house and make them less scary.



Birds also nap a decent amount normally, as do baby animals in general. Are you sure he is napping too much? I would start giving him a solid 12 or so hours of "night" with no flashlights or weird noises or peeking or anything like that, per night. And he is still settling in, he is likely more scared and nervous than you are. If you try to stay calm and think "would I like someone to do this to me?" Before doing it to him, things will start to get easier. He can pick up on how nervous you are also. Relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy your new friend.



Thank you for reaching out.
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Old 11-24-2020, 06:02 PM
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Re: Is my cockatiel afraid of the dark?

A couple of good articles
https://lafeber.com/pet-birds/bird-behavior/

https://lafeber.com/pet-birds/stress...ot-companions/
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Old 11-24-2020, 07:55 PM
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Re: Is my cockatiel afraid of the dark?

Yes I think that the younger Tiels scare more and more easily than a mature bird.

It’s always my youngest (hatched Aug 2016) that panic.
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Old 11-24-2020, 11:25 PM
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I have a little cockatiel named Wallnut! (Finally an official name :D) he is very cute, we are learning together
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Re: Is my cockatiel afraid of the dark?

Hello everyone, thanks so much for all the advice! He started to sleep after i put the dim lights on, i finally got to see him rest his little head in his feathers. I am still not really sure if he is really scared of the dark or he was sleeping just fine i just couldnt see it, because, y'know, the dark. But just in case i will be keeping the dim lights on till he gets used to us a bit more. Also noted: dont use the flashlight. Thanks again!
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