How to Tame a Cockatiel?

As a pet owner, this is one of the first and foremost questions that would come to your mind. How to tame your bird is not a simple answer that could be given in a brief manner. In order to understand the complete procedure of how to tame your Cockatiel, you shall give this article a thorough reading.

Cockatiels are supposed to be tamed in a step-by-step manner. Like other birds, it also has a systematic pattern in which it learns and adapts.

Given below is a complete documentation of how to effectively tame your Cockatiel.

Taming a Cockatiel

Things to Know Before Taming

Before starting the taming process, you must know a few important things about Cockatiels. Cockatiels are very sweet and friendly birds. They are social and expressive in nature. Even though the birds have different personality traits but overall, the family is cheerful and jolly.

Given its extrovert nature, it can be said that Cockatiels can prove to be one of the best pet birds.

However, it still requires time to adjust to the new setting. Sooner or later the bird will definitely start socializing. 

How to Tame a Cockatiel?

As you know that shifting a bird to the home environment from a pet store alters its environment completely. The new atmosphere could be frightening for the bird. 

If you have brought home a new Cockatiel straight away from a different place, you would have to take extra care. The bird might be scared of the new home during this time period the bird would look for your affectionate and understanding company. 

1. Listening Phase

For an initial week or so you must sharpen up your listening skills. As the place is new for the bird it would be shy and introverted in the beginning. 

For this time period, you must keep your observation keen. Try to listen to the bird’s actions. Give it time and space still, it feels ok being with you.

 If you are able to understand the Cockatiels body language gestures and other nonverbal communication indicators, you will automatically become it’s favorite.

2. Open the Cage and Feed It

cockatiel outside cage

If your Cockatiel has already become accustomed to you and it does not feel shy or scared in your presence, it is a good sign.

Now you have to move on to the next step. You can open the cage of your bird. If it feels ok, it will come out itself. The cage is the Cockatiels safe zone but with your gentle care and affection, it has finally decided to step out. This is your success as the owner.

Now you can start feeding your pet. You can put the bird’s feed in your hands and move it closer to the Cockatiel. Do not force it you eat from you. The Cockatiel will do it on its very own. 

It might even disagree with eating from you at first. But don’t get disappointed. If you keep trying, it will gradually start doing what you seek from it. 

3. Teach It How to Live in the Cage

You have to make sure that the Cockatiel is comfortable in the cage. It should know how to live inside.

If there are any ladders power swings inside the cage you will have to make the Cockatiel learn the art of climbing the stairs and swinging on the bars.

You can also teach it to step on your finger. If it is successful in these tiny activities, you can upgrade the level for it.

4. Perch Training

Cockatiel Perch

A perch is a helpful tool that can be used for a bird’s physical activity training. Letting your Cockatiel exercise is a healthy thing, and you must encourage it.

For perch training of your bird, you should make the cockatiel comfortable with the toy. You should allow your bird to have some exposure to this new toy. The Cockatiel will gradually get accustomed to the perch. As it starts to you enjoy playing you can intrude and teach your bird some tricks.

5. Get the Cockatiel Inside and Outside the Cage

The most important step in taming your Cockatiel is to make it learn when and how to get inside and outside its cage.

You must train the Cockatiel to follow your instructions. Your bird should be so well trained that even if you have left the cage open but not signaled it to come out, the creature will obediently remain inside its cage. Likewise, it will wait for your indication to get back inside its cage.

6. Avoid Biting

Cockatiels are kind and friendly birds. They do not attack. But any outside circumstance in which they do not feel comfortable might compile them to behave violently.

It is common for an aggressive Cockatiel to bite the owner. If you want your bird to remain the main patient, you must make sure that it is not feeling uncomfortable or anxious.

When can your bird feel anxious?

If your Cockatiel is not finger trained, it will consider your hand inside the cage as a symbol of danger. Therefore, it will react impatiently and bite your finger.

Similarly, if you take your Cockatiel when you place or room with strangers around, it will feel uncomfortable.

Some male Cockatiels might also so get over-excited and energetic during their mating season. In such times if you restrain it from making any meeting attempts, it is very likely to bite you.

7. Sound Training

Sounds are an important part of communication. Be with human beings, pet animals, or pet birds. A Cockatiel is extremely vigilant and responsive towards sounds. Due to its responsiveness, sound training can be a crucial aspect of taming the bird.

You can learn to produce a particular set of sounds for particular indications. When you want your bird to get out of the cage you can produce a specific sound. Similarly, getting it back inside a different sound shall be produced.

8. Repetition of sounds

The Cockatiel will not learn the sound signals instantaneously. In order to make it accustomed to your sounds, you are supposed to repeat them often and frequently. This will help your bird to get used to the sounds and distinguish between them.

Keep in mind that you do not confuse the bird by producing the same sound for the command of two different behaviors or release a different sound every time to command one behavior. If you do this, your Cockatiel is probably going to get confused and annoyed.

9. Reward System

Cockatiel Eating

The most effective way to tame your bird is to reward it for its good behavior. You have to give your encouragement if it behaves the way you want it to. Otherwise, you can restrain from petting it.

If you signal your bird to get out of the cage and it does, you will have to produce sound in order to get its attention. Now that the bird is attentive you can give it a treat. Every time the bird does something that you have told it to do and displays good and obedient behavior, you will have to reduce the clicking sound and reward it.

This technique is called Positive Reinforcement. Through this, you can increase the confidence of your bird and motivate it to accept you as its owner.

10. Patience is Key

As an owner of the bird, you have to be extremely patient. Since your bird is a different species than yourself, it obviously behaves differently under various circumstances.

Your Cockatiel might do a lot of things that will trigger your patience. It can make you annoyed and angry at times. But you need to keep decorum for the sake of effective taming. No matter how difficult the Cockatiel gets you shall not let it bring out your impatience. The more you care about your self-control, the more disciplined your bird shall be.

Sometimes Cockatiel might even bite you out of anxiety or aggression. At such a moment, you need to keep your response minimal. Avoid making loud noise or jerking your hand violently. Even though the world has a painful bite but if you reacted aggressively the outcomes can be more painful in the longer run. 

11. Do Not Punish the Cockatiel

Punishing the bird is one of the worst practices to be made. The bird is likely to make numerous and countless mistakes each day. But the only way to deal with that is patience and affection.

Punishing the bird, even when if it commits mistakes or displays unadmirable behavior is wrong. This is because punishment will provoke rebellion and aggressive violence.


All in all, Cockatiels are good learners if dealt with love and patience. As a pet owner, you need to have very kind mannerism. You will have to be extremely e affectionate towards the bird and deal with it patiently. It will take more time to tame the bird than you expected but you have to survive it all happily and patiently.


1. Is it Easy to Tame a Cockatiel?

Taming any bird is not as easy as it looks. However, if you are willing to invest your time and energy in doing so, taming your Cockatiel will not only be easy but also a fun/enjoyable process.

2. Are Cockatiels Violent?

Cockatiels are not inherently violent in nature. But if you do not know the art of taming it, then you are likely to experience its violent side.

Last Updated on March 22, 2023 by Lily Aldrin

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.

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