Cockatiel Signs of Affection: 10 Ways Your Bird Shows Love

Last Updated on October 6, 2023 by Ali Shahid

We all know that our pet birds love us. They show their love through different types of behavior and actions. For most owners, they are unaware of it. I have heard many cockatiel owners asking: What are the cockatiel signs of affection?

There are many ways in which cockatiels show affection to their owners, including perching on your shoulder, grooming you, dancing around you, calling your name, cuddling, and following you.

In this article, I will explain 10 signs that show your cockatiel is showing affection to you. So, continue reading.

Cockatiel Signs of Affection

10 Cockatiel Signs of Affection

Cockatiels are friendly birds known for their loving and playful nature. They really enjoy being with their human friends and show it in many ways. If you have one as a pet, you might wonder how much they care about you. Here are ten signs that will make your heart warm:

1.   Grooming You: Cockatiels are like little groomers. When they gently tidy your hair or clothes, it is their way of saying they feel safe and happy around you. Sometimes, they might even give your ear or neck a little friendly nibble, which is their version of a sweet hug.

2.   Self-Care on Your Shoulder: Another lovely sign of affection is when your cockatiel starts preening itself while sitting on your shoulder or hand. It is like they are saying, “I trust you and feel cozy with you.”

3.   Looking Right at You: Cockatiels are curious souls. If your bird looks up at your face while hanging out with you, it is their way of saying they are curious about you and enjoy your company. It is like they are giving you a warm, appreciative smile.

4.   Chirping, Singing, or Talking: These birds love to chat! When your cockatiel chirps, sings, or talks to you, it is a sign they’re feeling happy and content in your presence. It is their way of sharing their joy.

5.   Happy Noises: They have special sounds just for you. When your cockatiel makes joyful noises when they see you, it is a way of saying, “Hey, I know you! I am so glad you are here!”

6.   Friendly Clicks: Cockatiels also click their tongues sometimes, which is like their way of saying, “You are a friend, and I won’t harm you.” It is a sign of trust and comfort.

7.   Cuddling Up: Cockatiels are big fans of cuddles. When your bird snuggles close to you or gently nuzzles their head against your neck, it’s their way of showing affection.

8.   Staying Close: These birds like to stick around. If your cockatiel follows you around the house or perches on your shoulder while you move, it is because they enjoy your company. It is like they are saying, “I want to be with you.”

9.   Sharing Food: Sharing food is a sweet way cockatiels show they care. If your bird offers you a tasty morsel or tries to feed you, it is a sign they trust you and feel comfortable around you.

10.   Special Calls: Cockatiels have unique calls just for you. When your bird uses a special call only when they are with you, it is a sign that they recognize you and feel a strong connection with you.

In summary, cockatiels are emotionally rich birds that express their love in many heartwarming ways. When they do these things, it is like they are telling you, “You mean the world to me!”

Signs that Your Cockatiel Does Not Like You

Here are some signs that your cockatiel may not be feeling happy or comfortable around you, based on information from various sources:

1.   Flattened Posture: If your cockatiel appears flattened, with its head sticking out, beak open, and wings possibly spread, it could be a sign of unhappiness or stress.

2.   Lunging and Biting: If your cockatiel frequently lunges at you or tries to bite you, it may be signaling discomfort or a lack of trust in your presence.

3.   Flying Away: When your cockatiel flies away from you as you approach, it might be expressing fear or unease in your company.

4.   Crouching: Crouching is an extreme sign of anger or unhappiness in cockatiels and is usually seen when they feel upset with their owners.

5.   Decreased Vocalization: If your cockatiel has become quieter than usual, it could be an indicator of unhappiness or stress.

6.   Feather Picking: Feather picking is a concerning behavior that often signifies stress and unhappiness in birds. It might suggest that your cockatiel is not comfortable around you.

7.   Self-Mutilation: Self-mutilation, such as biting or plucking feathers excessively, is another distressing sign in birds and could indicate that your cockatiel is unhappy or stressed.

It is essential to remember that these behaviors can also be caused by factors other than your relationship with your cockatiel, like health issues or a lack of stimulation.

If you are worried about your cockatiel’s behavior, seeking advice from a veterinarian or avian behavior specialist is a good idea. They can help you understand and address the underlying causes and work toward creating a more positive and comfortable environment for your feathered friend.


Cockatiels are sweet and affectionate birds that bond well with their humans. As you get to know your bird better, you will come to understand its behaviors instinctively and know when it is trying to tell you that it loves you. 

This is important because when you know that your bird is displaying affection toward you, you’ll be able to reciprocate that affection and bond more thoroughly with your pet.

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