It would be wonderful to be able to get into the minds of our pets to know what they are thinking. Well, with cockatiels, you can. And, you see, cockatiels do tell us what they are thinking by their behavior, and if we train ourselves to be aware of it, we can understand what they are trying to convey to us.

The crest feathers at the top of a cockatiel’s head express what they are feeling. They move them up and down depending on what they are feeling. If your cockatiel has the crest feathers down toward the back with just the tips pointing upward, he is content and happy with his world. This will be accompanied by singing, whistling, warbling or beak grinding.

If, however, his crest feathers are all laid back, he is frightened or angry. This will be accompanied by hissing, swaying back and forth or lunging. When cockatiels are frightened, their defense at times will be to bite. So if you see the accompanying behavior, back away and don’t press a confrontation with your bird.

When the crest feathers are straight up, your cockatiel is alert and interesting in what is going on around him. This is the position you will see most of the time because cockatiels are always interested in their world. This is a happy and content bird as well.

If, however, the crest feathers are straight up with the tips leaning forward, your cockatiel is agitated or frightened. This will be accompanied by pacing, jumping around, high-pitched, alarming screech and bug eyes. Calm your bird to assure him that what is frightening him is ok.

These are just a few of the behavior characteristics of cockatiels. There are other body language give-aways to their feelings. As you get to know your cockatiel more as you spend time with him, you will soon learn everything he is trying to say to you.

Shari Hickman is a bird lover with over 25 years experience raising cockatiels, finches and parakeets.

Discover more secrets here for Cockatiel Care []. If you are just learning about cockatiels or are a veteran cockatiel owner, her website is full of info about taming, training, Cockatiel Behavior [] and more.

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