Do Cockatiels Like Music? (Find Out)

Last Updated on August 27, 2023 by Ali Shahid

In recent years, cockatiels have gained a reputation as one of the most popular pets. It has been reported that these intelligent creatures are capable of speaking and even singing songs and melodies. However, this raises the question

Do cockatiels like music? 

Yes, cockatiels like music. Cockatiels, like many other parrots, enjoy music. Studies have shown that they react to music by moving their heads, dancing, and even trying to sing along. It might take a bit of time to figure out what kind of music they like but once you do, they will have a blast mimicking the words and bobbing their heads to the beat.

If you play the wrong type of music, your cockatiel will show you it’s unhappy through its behavior. Music can either make them feel happy or sometimes even make them act a bit aggressively.

It is cool how music can bring out their talents and make them smarter. Plus, if you can’t spend a lot of time with them, playing music is like having someone play with them and making them feel nice. So, music is like a mood lifter for cockatiels. Just make sure to pick the right tune.

Do Cockatiels Like Music

What Kind of Music Do Cockatiels Like?

Most cockatiel owners tend to recommend mellower sounds for their birds and advise against playing heavy stuff like rock or metal. Keep reading to discover the genres that they tend to prefer.


In my opinion, feel free to play classical music for your cockatiel. This genre is typically gentle and melodious, offering a soothing experience.

Similar to humans, cockatiels also enjoy such tunes. You can confidently expect your cockatiel to react positively to classical music.

Nature Sounds

Cockatiels absolutely love the sounds of nature. The best choice is a blend of various sounds, such as crickets chirping, other birds singing, and the gentle flow of water. These natural sounds create a sense of familiarity for cockatiels, making them feel right at home, just like they would in the wild.


Your cockatiel could potentially find enjoyment in country music. Yet, this preference hinges on the bird’s taste and the specific tunes being played. Typically, cockatiels tend to favor calming and melodious country melodies.


You might find it a bit surprising, but pop music is actually a favorite genre for cockatiels, even though it doesn’t have the calmness they usually enjoy.

Upon digging deeper, I discovered the reason behind this. The melodies and patterns in pop music are repetitive and straightforward, much like classical music.


Cockatiels might surprisingly take a liking to rap music, particularly if it’s on the slower side. Because these birds are quite vocal and adept at mimicking human speech, they can easily pick up the words in rap songs.

However, it’s worth noting that a rap song with a fast tempo could potentially agitate or unsettle your cockatiel, as it might struggle to keep pace.

Remember, cockatiels strongly dislike loud noises, including music. Their ears are especially sensitive to high volumes, which could lead to temporary hearing issues.

Even when playing music your cockatiel enjoys, it’s wise to keep the volume at a low level to ensure their comfort and well-being.

How to Choose Music for Your Cockatiel

Your cockatiel could very well enjoy listening to the music you prefer while you are together at home. They might even have a preference for live music as opposed to recorded tunes, or the other way around. 

Exposing them to a wide range of genres is a good strategy for determining their musical tastes. Some types of music might prompt them to screech or display signs of unease, while others could motivate them to “dance” and join in with their own “singing.”

Before selecting a musical choice, take notice of your bird’s current mood. If they appear anxious, opt for gentle and calming melodies. On the other hand, if they seem lively and energetic, consider something more spirited and upbeat.

When you leave music on for your cockatiel during times they are alone at home, it is advisable to opt for something mellow. This will help prevent any stress they might experience while you are away

Signs Of Cockatiels Liking The Music


The initial indication of happiness and delight to observe in cockatiels is their chirping. These birds tend to chirp in the morning after a restful night’s sleep, and it’s common for them to chirp shortly after they have had their meal. Therefore, if they are chirping along with the music you have played for them, that’s a positive sign.

Head Bobbing

Cockatiels often display a characteristic head-bobbing motion when they’re requesting food. However, if you notice them bobbing their heads in rhythm with the music, it signifies their excitement and underscores their enjoyment of the experience.

Mimicking the song’s lyrics

Cockatiels, like other parrots, can learn speech, which often leads them to mimic song lyrics they find appealing. 

Nonetheless, if you happen to have a female cockatiel, don’t be disheartened if you don’t witness her mimicking behavior. Typically, male cockatiels excel in this skill of learning to talk, whereas females usually don’t.

Fluffed feathers

Cockatiels have a habit of puffing up their feathers when they feel excited. If you observe them doing this while music is playing, it is a positive indicator. Occasionally, you might also notice them puffing out the feathers around their cheeks and beak area. 

This behavior signals their satisfaction with the music you have chosen and shows their strong approval of your selection.

Tongue Clicking and Beak Grinding

Many pet owners commonly believe that grinding and tongue-clicking in cockatiels signify irritation. However, this perception isn’t accurate. 

Unlike humans, cockatiels engage in these actions with a neutral intent. Furthermore, if they exhibit these behaviors while music is playing, it indicates their profound enjoyment of the musical experience.

Signs of Cockatiel Disliking The Music


Cockatiels emit sharp, high-pitched cries as a way to seek attention when they experience emotions like anger, distress, sadness, or loneliness.

This behavior might manifest itself if they are not enjoying the music you’re playing for them.


This behavior is another example of negativity often exhibited by cockatiels, often in the form of aggression.

When you play music that triggers anger or distress, they might respond by hissing while their crest lies flat.

As many bird owners are aware, a cockatiel with a lowered crest is a clear indicator of the bird experiencing stress.


Similar to hissing, howling is another sign of distress in cockatiels. When they start howling, it suggests their desire for something to be removed from their surroundings. If you observe them howling in response to your music, it is advisable to immediately cease playing it.


Trembling is a natural behavior for cockatiels, but it can also indicate stress. With experience, you’ll likely become skilled at discerning between normal and concerning trembles in your birds. If you notice them trembling unusually while a song is playing, it’s a signal that you might want to consider changing the music.

No Reaction

If your cockatiel remains seated without any noticeable response, it’s probably not enjoying the music.

Cockatiels typically display noticeable reactions to music they appreciate, showing their responsiveness in various ways.

Benefits Of Music For Cockatiels

It is true that discovering the songs and music your pet birds enjoy might take some time. However, once you have navigated that phase and identified their favorites, you’ll witness the positive impact of music on their demeanor:

Music has the remarkable ability to instantly uplift these birds’ spirits. If they appear downcast, playing their preferred song can quickly brighten their mood.

In instances when you’re occupied and unable to dedicate time to your feathered companions, music provides a remedy against boredom and solitude. It offers them a source of amusement until you are ready to shower them with affection once again.

As cockatiels become accustomed to listening to music, you may observe a slight reduction in their demand for attention.

Humming along to the tunes your cockatiels love forges a special connection between you and them, drawing you closer together.

As your cockatiels are exposed to a variety of songs, they are more inclined to pick up words and eventually learn to sing along. This process aids in their learning of speech as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Cockatiels Dance When Listening to Music?

Yes, Cockatiels dance while listening to music. Cockatiel owners often notice their birds dancing to music, a behavior that’s uniquely their own. Unlike many other animals, cockatiels can groove to tunes, showcasing their intelligence.

In a study, cockatiels displayed the ability to react to music like humans, synchronizing their movements with the beat. This further demonstrated their impressive intelligence.

Common dance moves include head-bobbing, leg movements, and even wing flapping for attention.

Dancing with your cockatiel can strengthen your bond and encourage more dancing from them.

Do cockatiels like watching TV?

Surprisingly, allowing your cockatiel to watch TV is a fantastic source of entertainment. The vibrant visuals and motion on the screen attract these curious birds.

TV programs featuring birds or musical content are particularly attractive to cockatiels. In my experience, they have a strong affinity for scenes depicting flying birds.

Do Cockatiels like human songs?

Cockatiels typically take pleasure in human songs, although they possess individual preferences similar to humans. Not every type of human music appeals to them.

They are particularly charmed by gentle and melodic tunes, and they appear to enjoy vocals that they can mimic.


Cockatiels have a fondness for music, but their preferences can be quite diverse. Some favor classical melodies, while others groove to rock tunes, and some even explore various genres. 

The secret to discovering your cockatiel’s musical taste is to experiment with different genres and observe their reactions. In the event that they exhibit signs of discomfort, you should refrain from playing that particular music. 

Conversely, if they engage by bobbing their heads or singing along, consider adding that song to your cherished playlist for shared enjoyment later on.

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