Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Ali Shahid
When we decide to adopt a pet bird, we often consider many factors. One of the common factors is loudness. Loud noises are especially important for apartment dwellers as their neighbors may be disturbed. If you want to adopt a cockatiel you must be wondering: Are cockatiels loud?
Are Cockatiels Loud?
As per wildlife biologist Kirk A. Janowiak, cockatiels are indeed considered loud. When measured objectively in decibels (dB), they fall within the middle to lower range of noise levels among parrots. Most cockatiels can reach up to around 80 decibels with their contact calls, which is near the threshold of ear-damaging levels.
It is important to note that cockatiels are not quiet pets. When compared to animals like hamsters or small reptiles, they can be categorized as quite noisy. Similar to other pet parrots, cockatiels communicate through a variety of sounds including chirps, whistles, and occasional chatter.
Cockatiels have a distinct high-pitched whistling call that might be bothersome to those sensitive to such sounds. However, they are not as noisy as some other parrot species like conures, Amazon parrots, or cockatoos, which are known for their even louder calls and noises.
Gender Differences in Cockatiel Noise Levels
Similar to other parrot species like budgies, male and female cockatiels exhibit notable variations in their noise levels and vocal behaviors. These distinctions are rooted in their natural behaviors and social roles within the flock.
Male cockatiels use their songs to attract potential mates and establish social connections. Their vocalizations are more diverse and extensive, often encompassing singing, tweeting, and chirping throughout the day. This tendency to vocalize is linked to their efforts to communicate with other birds, especially to maintain their social bonds.
In contrast, female cockatiels typically stick to flock calls. Their vocalizations are more focused on basic communication within the flock rather than intricate melodies. This generally results in fewer and less varied vocalizations compared to their male counterparts.
Choosing Based on Noise Levels:
If noise levels are a concern, opting for a female cockatiel might be a more suitable choice. Their reliance on simpler flock calls tends to result in a quieter overall soundscape in the household. However, exceptions do exist, and individual cockatiels can display varying behaviors.
Speech and Talking Ability:
While female cockatiels are generally quieter, they also have a lesser tendency to pick up speech or tunes. Male cockatiels are more musically inclined and often have a better aptitude for mimicking human speech and tunes.
Therefore, if you are interested in teaching your cockatiel to imitate your voice or learn melodies, a male cockatiel might be a more suitable option.
Understanding these gender-based differences in vocal behaviors can aid in selecting a cockatiel that aligns with your noise tolerance and interaction preferences. Whether you prioritize a quieter environment or potential speech capabilities, considering these factors can contribute to a harmonious relationship with your feathered companion.
Understanding the Causes of Loud Cockatiel Behavior
Cockatiels, known for their vocalizations, can become particularly loud due to various reasons that impact their emotions and environment. Here are three main factors that contribute to increased noise in these birds:
1. Scared Behavior:
Cockatiels, being lower in the food chain, are naturally vigilant against potential threats. In the wild, when a cockatiel feels scared, it emits loud calls to alert nearby birds and potentially deter predators. This instinct to sound the alarm translates to captive cockatiels, resulting in loud vocalizations.
Indications of fear-induced noise include weaving on their perch, rapid head bobbing, and vigorous wing flapping. These actions are mechanisms to ward off perceived danger.
A bustling environment filled with noise can lead to overstimulation in cockatiels. As these birds utilize vocalizations for communication, they might increase their noise level to ensure their calls stand out amidst the surrounding clamor.
When exposed to multiple noises like TV, music, loud conversations, and even barking dogs, a cockatiel may respond by becoming even louder to make its communication effective within the noisy context.
3. Boredom and Loneliness:
Boredom and loneliness are significant triggers for increased vocalization in cockatiels. With their intelligent and inquisitive nature, cockatiels require mental stimulation and companionship to remain content.
Loneliness prompts cockatiels to emit more calls in an attempt to locate companions or engage their owners. Additionally, a bored cockatiel might resort to vocalizing as a form of self-entertainment, leading to singing or squawking to combat monotony.
Three factors drive cockatiel vocalizations: fear, overstimulation, and boredom/loneliness. With appropriate care and companionship, both owner and bird can enjoy a more tranquil and harmonious environment.
How to Keep Your Cockatiel Quiet?
Dealing with constant, piercing vocalizations from your cockatiel can be incredibly frustrating. Cockatiels generally stay quiet for a significant part of the day unless you’re maintaining a larger flock. If your bird’s vocalization pattern is off, it is important to investigate and ensure your pet’s well-being and happiness.
Here is how you can keep your Cockatiel Quiet:
1. Prevent Loneliness: Cockatiels are highly social creatures. If your cockatiel is excessively vocalizing when you’re not around or not giving it enough attention, loneliness might be the cause. Introducing another cockatiel as a companion could be a solution.
2. Keep Your Cockatiel Engaged: Boredom can lead to increased noise. Place the cage in a bustling area, shower your bird with attention, and provide a variety of parrot toys to keep it mentally stimulated.
3. Minimize Scaring: Cockatiels can get easily spooked by seemingly ordinary things. Partially covering the cage might help create a more secure environment. Investigate potential triggers to identify and eliminate the cause of fear.
4. Ensure Adequate Sleep: Cockatiels need 12-14 hours of uninterrupted sleep each day. Try using a cage cover to block out all light and ensure a peaceful sleeping environment.
5. Dedicate Time to Your Pet: Rescue cockatiels might exhibit excessive vocalization due to unknown past experiences. Patience is key in such cases. Spend considerable time training and socializing with the bird to build trust and create a more serene environment.
Remember that understanding your cockatiel’s behavior and needs is essential to resolving excessive vocalization. By addressing potential triggers and ensuring a stimulating and comforting environment, you can help your cockatiel lead a happier and quieter life.
Are cockatiels loud at night?
One wonderful aspect of birds and their sounds is that you don’t need to worry about nighttime racket. When the lights go out, most cockatiels and other birds quickly fall asleep, usually within just a few minutes. Occasionally, you might catch a faint sleep murmur, but that’s about it.
However, if your cockatiel gets loud during the night, there might be an underlying issue. Birds can be easily frightened since they are prey animals.
It could be beneficial to cover their cage or using a night light might help. Even having some soft background noises could promote a good night’s sleep for your feathered friend.
Are Cockatiels Suitable Apartment Pets?
If your landlord permits pets, a cockatiel can be an ideal choice for apartment living due to its generally moderate noise levels compared to other pet birds. However, it is essential to recognize that each cockatiel has its distinct personality.
It is worth contemplating what might occur if you end up with a particularly chatty bird. Are your neighbors tolerant of noise? Also, consider the sound insulation in your building.
Remember that any caged bird can become excessively loud if confined for extended periods. Their well-being must allow them out of their cage daily, giving them a chance to fly around and spend quality time with you. This active engagement can help prevent excessive vocalizations.
Although cockatiels aren’t among the loudest pet bird species, they are not completely silent either. Their calls and screeches can be quite disruptive to some individuals. If you are sensitive to noise or share a living space with roommates, it is important to carefully think about whether a cockatiel is the appropriate pet choice for you.
Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.