First cockatiel!


New member
Jul 31, 2023
Hi everyone!

My partner and I just got our little cockatiel (female) yesterday, she is 6 months old!
I grew up with finches as a kid and babysat a couple cockatiels, but it's the first one that I am adopting myself.

Even though she is supposedly hand-fed, I'm assuming she will need some time before I can try to manipulate her. She still kind of quietly "hisses" at me when I change her water and food.
She's been making these loud "calls" when we turn our backs or leave the room: this morning I have been practicing leaving the room for a bit, responding to her quietly, and only returning when she stops calling.
Even when I'm on the couch next to her, she will sometimes have these sudden "bursts" of screaming, batting her wings quickly, as if she was startled with something...

Just posting this because I don't have any bird-expert friends, and feel a little bit lost, even though I haven't even had her for a full day yet... that's just my anxiety :)

Any tips or encouragement will help!


Staff member
Super Moderator
Apr 24, 2018
Maine, USA
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Welcome to the Forums! :)

Okay, things to consider. If you look at it from her perspective, things make perfect sense. Your baby is terrified. Think of her like a human child. Her entire world as she knows it was taken from her. Everything is new, unfamiliar, and potentially scary. She doesn't know you yet, it takes time, she doesn't know where she is, all of her flock mates/family and people are gone. Start from there. Give her a few days, or more if that's what she needs to settle in and get acclimated to her new surroundings. Set up a chair near her cage, just far enough away that she doesn't look scared or upset by your presence, and sit and talk to her in a soft calm voice. Read aloud to her. Doesn't really matter what it is, it's just to get her familiar with you and your voice. Work up to getting the chair closer to her. If she backs off from you, move the chair back a little. For reading material, I recommend the stickies at the top of the amazons sub forum. Yes, intended towards amazons, but a ton of great info applicable to all parrots. :)

You might also try putting a treat bowl in the cage for her. Somewhere in the front of the cage, so you can drop a small treat in through the bars whenever you walk by. No forced interaction, just the treat and move on. It's a way to help her associate you with good things. That's super important. As one of our good friends here so often says, "only good things come from humans." They're much more likely to respond positively to you if they know this. There's no way to "punish" a parrot for unwanted behaviors. It never works, and destroys any trust you may have built with them.

Speaking of which, here's a helpful thread on the subject:

Hope this helps!

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