How to Know if Your Cockatiel Likes You

Cockatiels are a common type of pet bird that originated in Australia. They normally grow to be about a foot long and can potentially live up to 25 years. Females tend to be quieter and more aggressive than males and both genders usually prefer whistling noises for their vocalizations. While cockatiels can talk, they are not as typically vocal as parrots. Cockatiels are usually friendly and social birds, and you should be able to tell if your cockatiel likes you.


Step 1

Listen to your cockatiel. Lots of whistles, singing and chirping are normal and often mean a content or a curious bird. A grinding sound from the beak is also indicative of contentment. Hissing, however, indicates fear or aggravation. If your cockatiel regularly hisses at you, there is something about you it doesn't like. Screaming is common when the bird is trying to get attention or wants to alert you of something. However, screaming whenever you are nearby indicates the cockatiel has a problem with you.

Step 2

Feel the cockatiel's feet. If the feet are warm, the bird is healthy and in a happy state of mind, indicating that it is comfortable around you. Cold feet indicate a health problem or that the bird is stressed and unhappy.

Step 3

Watch your cockatiel's body language. If it backs away from you when you approach, it doesn't like you or feels threatened. Likewise, lifting one foot into the air is a sign of aggressiveness, and the cockatiel may try to bite. If the cockatiel comes closer to you as you approach or stays on its perch, it is a sign the bird likes you. If your cockatiel is hanging upside down by the perch, it also means the bird is in a playful mood and that it is comfortable with you. Tail-wagging and spreading of the wings in your presence also are signs of affection.

Step 4

Observe the crest feathers. The front of the crest should be relaxed and laying naturally back if the bird is comfortable. If the crest is halfway up, it could mean something has captured the cockatiel's interest. If the full crest is flat on the bird's head, it is angry or threatened. Likewise, a crest that is straight up indicates fear or agitation, either towards you or something else in its environment.