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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 3 year old cockatiel that's been with us for a little over a year. He's very friendly with hands and affection and he'll stay on your hand or shoulder/somewhere else you put him if you leave his room with him, if he is placed anywhere other than his cage or his playground in his room (or worse yet, on the floor) he'll immediately fly back to on top of his cage / the same thing if you pick him up and don't immediately go to another room. It's not that he's scared of us, because if we approach him while he's sitting somewhere he wants to be he'll walk towards us and start putting his head down for scratches or do a little friendly chirp - and we've made sure there are no potentially scary things around the other spots we've tried to place him. He has a few other spots that he likes to sit in other rooms (a hanging swing, on top of a bookshelf, on top of some stacked cookbooks and on the back of an armchair), but if he's placed on the floor in any room he'll immediately jump on one of us or on one of the things he likes to sit on. The only way he'd stay somewhere else in his room that's not his cage or playground is if there are some crackers or tortilla chips there for him; and then he'll eat them and immediately leave. Does anyone know why he does this or how to get him more comfortable with being in other spots/being on the floor?
 

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I think yours is perfectly normal. Mine is seldom will land on the floor, and I prefer mine stay on the perch or the top of a cage. Why do you want your cockatiel on the floor? If cockatiels have choice, they prefer high above ground, just their nature instincts, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's not necessarily that I want him on the floor, per se, but I thought that it was their natural instinct to enjoy being on the ground and foraging (as I thought they were naturally ground-dwelling birds) or exploring other places.
 

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Wild cockatiels have to forage on the ground because that's where the food is, but they're also more vulnerable to predators there. They instinctively feel safer in a high place, so they don't want to be on the ground unless there's a good reason for it.
 

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I have a 3 year old cockatiel that's been with us for a little over a year. He's very friendly with hands and affection and he'll stay on your hand or shoulder/somewhere else you put him if you leave his room with him, if he is placed anywhere other than his cage or his playground in his room (or worse yet, on the floor) he'll immediately fly back to on top of his cage / the same thing if you pick him up and don't immediately go to another room. It's not that he's scared of us, because if we approach him while he's sitting somewhere he wants to be he'll walk towards us and start putting his head down for scratches or do a little friendly chirp - and we've made sure there are no potentially scary things around the other spots we've tried to place him. He has a few other spots that he likes to sit in other rooms (a hanging swing, on top of a bookshelf, on top of some stacked cookbooks and on the back of an armchair), but if he's placed on the floor in any room he'll immediately jump on one of us or on one of the things he likes to sit on. The only way he'd stay somewhere else in his room that's not his cage or playground is if there are some crackers or tortilla chips there for him; and then he'll eat them and immediately leave. Does anyone know why he does this or how to get him more comfortable with being in other spots/being on the floor?
Depends on the birds themselves. I have birds that go on the floor, hide under my bed. Walk around and if I have a bag on the floor, they go in the bag and play. Depends on their personality. Two of mine do this and one is like yours but will stay with me if I move around.
 

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Hiding under the bed and in a bag is breeding behavior - dark, enclosed spaces have a similar vibe to a nestbox. Cockatiels are eager breeders who happily seek out places like this. It can lead to unwanted egg laying if you've got any hens.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Depends on the birds themselves. I have birds that go on the floor, hide under my bed. Walk around and if I have a bag on the floor, they go in the bag and play. Depends on their personality. Two of mine do this and one is like yours but will stay with me if I move around.
To make a follow-up to my original post, he's just stopped flying back to his cage as of a couple of days ago! He still hates to be on the floor, and he'll go back if he wants some food or water or something but otherwise he decides to keep sitting on me even if I'm in the same room or next to the cage if he wants to. I didn't do anything in particular, just kept interacting with him as I normally would and I guess he just decided that he wanted to sit with me. I'm very happy about this, and he'll sit on my shoulder or head grinding his beak - but is there any reason for his very sudden change in behavior?
 

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Cockatiels instinctively want to belong to a flock, because a bird in a flock is safer from predators than a bird that is alone. When there are no other birds in the house, a cockatiel will form a flock bond with the humans in the house. Your bird has decided that you are trustworthy enough to be his flockmate!
 

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Depends on the birds themselves. I have birds that go on the floor, hide under my bed. Walk around and if I have a bag on the floor, they go in the bag and play. Depends on their personality. Two of mine do this and one is like yours but will stay with me if I move around.
Exactly (y)(y)
 

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I got a 15 week old boy that was totally untame. He was able to fly around my home freely, but often chose to hit the floor and run around down there instead of being up high. My girl never went to the floor until he started doing it in front of her. There was no food or anything other than wooden flooring and skirting boards, where he flew down to each time, so it wasn't because of foraging either. Maybe he just likes the flooring & running around :)
 
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