Cockatiel getting more and more angry every day..


New member
Aug 4, 2020
A white, young cockatiel lady
Hey there!
I've had my cockatiel lady (Navi) for a good four months now (she's about a few months older than that) , and have been enjoying my time with her as much as i can!

I am home almost all the time right now, due to COVID and whatnot, and am spending a lot of time with her throughout the day.
However, over the past few weeks (actually, right after her first molt) she started acting.. off. She started getting nippy towards fingers, even though she never had a bad experience, atleast to my knowledge, and didn't do that before. She would actively bite and hiss in situations where she used to come and want to step up on her own. She still hangs out around me, plays with me, and lets me pick her up on my hand, but ONLY when she sees fit. She has never let me touch her per-se, so no scritches, pets or cuddles, which i always assumed was her personality, which is totally fine. Everyone is different. :D

She has also started, what I can only assume from looking it up, is masturbating on one of her favorite toys..?

I'm pretty frustrated, and sad, to see the bird i thought I had bonded with over these past few months turn aggressive and angry, maybe even territorial?
Am I doing something inherently wrong? Is there something I'm missing, like maybe her being in heat? :confused:
She is my first bird, and we're still making mistakes and learning from them as we go. But the more time i spend with her right now, the more i get bitten and sad. :(

I would really appreciate any and all advice on how to start working with her to counteract all of this, I really do love her after all, and don't want her turning into an angry, frustrated parrot herself.

Thanks for your time!
Your baby bird is reaching sexual maturity and is experiencing puberty!! It's all hormones and is not personal!!

It happens to ALL parrots, and some parrots bite fingers off when they don't want humans nearby! Luckily, cockatiels are pretty easy to handle during these episodes -- I have 4 cockatiels, 2 females, so I know exactly what you're going through.

The best thing you can do for her are to give her as much personal space as she wants. No touching or petting, and leave her be if she tries to bite. Offer treats as a distraction to step up if she refuses. Neither of my 2 females allows petting, so it's definitely a hit or miss thing -- my other 2 males will allow it sometimes but again birds can be quite picky about being handled, especially during these hormonal times.

Take a deep breath, understand that your bird is going through some changes, and be sure to take that 'favorite toy' of hers out of the cage and replace it with a toy she can't rub up against. Any 'rubbing' you see her do on your hand or on objects should be discouraged and she should be given alternative toys to distract her. Rearranging the cage with more toys or swings can give her an ative area to play in while also taking the toy away will help ease that frustration she feels from seeing her favorite toy be taken. Avoid any huts, bedding material, boxes of any kind, and decreasing her daylight hour is a good way to sort of 'trick' their bodies into thinking its winter, and not a time to reproduce. There's a possibility she could lay eggs (no male needed), and if that happens there are a few things you can do, too.

Best of luck with your girl! We all have birds who get like this, angry and feisty at certain times of the year and we all have to try our best to manage it the best we can. It is completely normal and you are not experiencing this alone!
hi, it is frustrating.
But you can build trust back. From time to time I've had a fear of hands develop with my GCC Ta-dah, and my rescue quaker Penny. And my quaker Orbit came to me from the pet store were forced interactions and a fear of hands.

Target training helps. As does feeding treats by hand. Never pushing them or invading their space and cause them to bite. You've got to read body language well enough to avoid a bite most times. But use treats to motivate and shape them to move towards you. Praise every small step. Work in multiple very short sessions
BB is very bonded to me. If he is on my hand for more than a few minutes he starts doing what I call the "two-step". He'll lift on leg then the other a few times then start to rub his butt back and forth on my hand :mad: trying to "pleasure" himself! I just say NO in a firm voice and shoo him away. He'll be 5y.o. soon and I've had him since he was 4.5 months.

He has an odd relationship with my brother though. He'll readily go to David and sing songs and whistle to him but if David tries to love on him..skritch his head,BB growls like a mad dog and nips at his fingers,then on occasion lower his head to accept skritching then go back to growling then chirping at him..not sure if BB thinks its a game or not but it makes David sad lol.

NetLive, remember - this too shall pass. Parrot is another word for patience.

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