HELP cockatiel consistently freaking out

sasquatchsauce

New member
Jul 31, 2021
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South Florida
Parrots
2 cockatiels
Chigi, female, 3 years old
Baby, male, 2 years old
This is my first time using this website so sorry if anything is wrong.

My cockatiel, for nearly all her life, has thrown these random fits of freaking out, flailing her wings, bouncing around the cage, etc. I?ve read about night frights but I?m truly concerned that something else might be going on here. For starters, it isn?t always at night. I would say 35 percent of the time, it happens during the day. Whether it?s in the day or night, they are truly for no reason. I live in my parents house, my birds are in my room, I?m always here to witness these things happen. I know that there is no reason for it. To make matters worse, she frequently harms herself in these fits. I can?t even count the amount of blood feathers that have been broken. Not too long ago, she had a really bad fit where she lodged her wing between cage bars and snapped it in 3 places. I?m sure you see now why I want this to end. The doctor that worked on her wing insists that something must be spooking her but I genuinely swear on everything that I can?t find one thing that might be spooking her. I don?t cover her at night. I have some nightlight for her. It?s very quiet where I live, no weird noises outside. In my opinion, I don?t think it makes sense for it to be shadows or sounds at night because of how often it also happens in broad daylight. On more selfish matters, I?m honestly just tired of losing sleep over this. Being woken up in the middle of the night and immediately jumping up in fight or flight does not make you feel good. In conclusion, if anyone has any idea what the problem could be or how I could get her to stop doing this all the time, I would really appreciate the help.
 

Flboy

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2014
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Greater Orlando area, Florida
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I am so sorry for what the both of you are going through!
Just brainstorming, try switching up her sleep routine? If you have a travel cage, give that a try, next to your bed?
 
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SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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DYH Amazon
Welcome to Parrot Forum!!

Night Flights are more common with some Parrots than with others. Cockatiels being more common.

If both Parrots are in the same cage that can be the source as a movement by the other can spook this one.

Generally, this is common with smaller cages and they tend to crowd each other.

Shadows are a real issues as is very slight noises, vibrations, etc. the more peaceful the home, the less it takes to spook a Parrot that has a tendency to spook.

Have your Parrots out and about can help reduce such as they have the ability to see the source of the thing causing it.

It is very important to remember that Parrots are commonly attacked in the wild and a Parrot that spooks with ease, will likely live longer.
 
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Scott

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San Diego, California USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
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Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Welcome aboard, excellent post and intro to a vexing problem! As others stated, some birds highly susceptible to "night frights" and other similar behaviors. Is your vet avian certified or equivalent, and have baseline lab tests been accomplished to identify potential underlying illnesses or deficiencies?
 

Kitekeeper

Well-known member
Jun 19, 2021
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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Parrots
Budgerigar (Bud), Pacific Parrotlet (Sam), Roseicollis lovebird (BJ and Turq), Linneolated parakeet (Charlie and Emma)
Hi sasquatchsauce, welcome!

You received a lot of good advices here! I would like to add regarding the changing of cage when it is time to go to sleep. I loved that idea! Keeping them in more reduced spaces during the night can calm them down and protect them against hurting themselves.

You could also consider to put the bird in a plastic box (with top cover full of holes to allow air to enter). This would keep the bird safe and eliminate the risk to to get entangled in the cage bars.
 
OP
S

sasquatchsauce

New member
Jul 31, 2021
5
0
South Florida
Parrots
2 cockatiels
Chigi, female, 3 years old
Baby, male, 2 years old
  • Thread Starter
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  • #6
Welcome aboard, excellent post and intro to a vexing problem! As others stated, some birds highly susceptible to "night frights" and other similar behaviors. Is your vet avian certified or equivalent, and have baseline lab tests been accomplished to identify potential underlying illnesses or deficiencies?

I believe she is because unlike most vets in my area, she specifically works with birds. When we were dealing with my birds broken wing, I asked about the night frights and she would just say stuff like "Something must be spooking her at night." and left it at that. I might contact her and ask about testing because I have also considered that there might be some underlying issue.
 
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sasquatchsauce

New member
Jul 31, 2021
5
0
South Florida
Parrots
2 cockatiels
Chigi, female, 3 years old
Baby, male, 2 years old
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
Hi sasquatchsauce, welcome!

You received a lot of good advices here! I would like to add regarding the changing of cage when it is time to go to sleep. I loved that idea! Keeping them in more reduced spaces during the night can calm them down and protect them against hurting themselves.

You could also consider to put the bird in a plastic box (with top cover full of holes to allow air to enter). This would keep the bird safe and eliminate the risk to to get entangled in the cage bars.

My bird broke her wing at some point in the beginning of May and I put her in a plastic container/tub with a dowel. Its fairly large so I don't have a cover on it, I don't think she can get out. I have been way too scared to put her back in a cage so she still is in there. I also have the container pretty much next to my bed.
 
OP
S

sasquatchsauce

New member
Jul 31, 2021
5
0
South Florida
Parrots
2 cockatiels
Chigi, female, 3 years old
Baby, male, 2 years old
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
Welcome to Parrot Forum!!

Night Flights are more common with some Parrots than with others. Cockatiels being more common.

If both Parrots are in the same cage that can be the source as a movement by the other can spook this one.

Generally, this is common with smaller cages and they tend to crowd each other.

Shadows are a real issues as is very slight noises, vibrations, etc. the more peaceful the home, the less it takes to spook a Parrot that has a tendency to spook.

Have your Parrots out and about can help reduce such as they have the ability to see the source of the thing causing it.

It is very important to remember that Parrots are commonly attacked in the wild and a Parrot that spooks with ease, will likely live longer.

When she broke her wing I put her in a plastic container/tub with a dowel attached to the inside. That was back in the beginning of May and I have since been way too scared to put her back in a normal cage, so she is still in there. Back before she broke her wing, I actually had separate cages for my birds. The only times they were in the cages together was during the day when I'd open everything up and let them do what ever they wanted.

I will admit, since she broke her wing, I haven't given either of my birds sufficient free time/play time outside of their cages and container. I was scared to put them together in case my other bird decided he wanted to mess with her cast or something. She is healed now so its basically just my own irrational fear. The lack of stimulation probably is not helping the situation.

You mentioned a more peaceful house, the less it takes to scare birds so do you think playing something like white noise, rain sounds, etc. would help?
 
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sasquatchsauce

New member
Jul 31, 2021
5
0
South Florida
Parrots
2 cockatiels
Chigi, female, 3 years old
Baby, male, 2 years old
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #9
I am so sorry for what the both of you are going through!
Just brainstorming, try switching up her sleep routine? If you have a travel cage, give that a try, next to your bed?

Since she broke her wing back in the beginning of May, I have had her in a plastic container/tub with a dowel inside. Her container is next to my bed.
 

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