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Hello.
My male cockatiel appears to respond--positively, I believe--to singing, speaking and whistling at all registers. He clacks his beak and clucks as I sing or speak in a low register. He responds to high-register whistling by whistling in turn from a very small repertoire of whistles.

I recently played a toy piano next to his cage. He appeared to respond favorably to the sound. However, I noticed that he very distinctly shuttered (shivered?) at the sounding of Eb above middle C, about 311 Hz. (The piano is out of tune, so this is an approximate pitch). He did not shutter when I played the Eb one octave higher. He was very consistent in his shuttering response. He did not appear to shutter at any other pitch, except when I played the neighboring D (natural) or E (natural) in fast succession. (The D is a little sharp on the piano, the E, a little flat.)

The bird did not display any other signs, verbal or otherwise, at the sound of this one note, except the distinct "shuttering." He did not shriek his "disapproval," for instance. To be on the safe side, I have stopped using the toy piano around him for now. (By the way, he did not shutter if I played the note in question while his head was buried as he preened himself).

I will certainly look more closely into bird hearing. But in the meantime, I am curious to know if anyone else has observed a similar response to certain pitches in their cockatiels or other domestic perching birds. Does anyone know what the "shuttering" response might mean with respect to pitches?

Does anyone have any useful observations of know of any research that explain this behavior? Does he "enjoy" the tone? Could it injure him?

Thanks for your time!
-Trevor
Chandler, Arizona USA
 

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Excuse me, but you think a musical tone could injur a cockatiel? That shuttering is when he puffs himself all up and shakes loose his old feathers. I am sorry that I could not help you that much....does your cockatiel have a name???:confused:
 

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Hi! Thanks for the response. The cockatiel's name is Sunshine. I can't believe I left it out! Sorry about that. :( He does puff himself up and shake his feathers, but does so very rapidly. What is interesting to me is that he always does this when I hit this particular note. I am interested to know whether this response indicates something like pleasure or pain. If it is pleasurable to him, I would like to play the toy piano regularly. If not, I would stop.
 

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When birds puff up and shake their feathers all about it means they are excited or happy.
Angel and Benito do this when they get happy and excited , But Ziggy when hes content.

It just means your tiel is in the perfect mood ! And in your case loves the musical notes.
Nothings hurting him dont you worry!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@Simbah: Hey, thanks for the reply. By the way, I will try to post a short video of Sunshine's response to the toy piano.
 

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@Simbah: Hey, thanks for the reply. By the way, I will try to post a short video of Sunshine's response to the toy piano.
Sure thing , I bet we'de all love to see your tiel!
I reassure you its all in happyness. You have nothing to wory about :)
 

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When I bird shakes his head this usually means he thinks a sound is unpleasant, or that he has just tasted something unexpected. I'm not sure if this is the shuddering you're talking about..but it is what came to mind when I read your post.

Budgiegirl14--Could you please refrain from being so rude? Your comments to the original poster were very short and came across as a bit ugly to me. If this was not the case, then in the future please remember that people can not hear the tone of your voice or see your facial expressions to judge how a comment is meant to be taken. Excessive use of punctuation (like the ??? you put) often mean that someone is being very expressive about the subject..which can be mistaken through a computer screen. Please note that excessive punctuation is against forum rules for reasons like this.
 

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When I bird shakes his head this usually means he thinks a sound is unpleasant, or that he has just tasted something unexpected. I'm not sure if this is the shuddering you're talking about..but it is what came to mind when I read your post.
What do you thinks going on? Im not sure if he means the Cockatiel is puffing up in excitement or trembeling..

I think a video will help , im sorry but im slighlty confused at the moment :confused:
 

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Well if it is just a head shake (and not the whole body) then the frequency of the pitch may be irritating him. If he is shaking his whole body then that could mean contentment or it could just be a coincidence since cockatiels do this about 1000 times a day, lol.

And it is possible to injure the bird with noises...but the only way this could injure the bird is if it is constantly exposed to a high frequency or to loud noises--this would not "hurt" it, but could cause hearing loss just like in people.
 

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Head shaking can also mean that they are concentrating on something. 'tiels will sometimes shake their heads when they are being taught a new word, or how to sing a new song.
 

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When I bird shakes his head this usually means he thinks a sound is unpleasant, or that he has just tasted something unexpected. I'm not sure if this is the shuddering you're talking about..but it is what came to mind when I read your post.

Budgiegirl14--Could you please refrain from being so rude? Your comments to the original poster were very short and came across as a bit ugly to me. If this was not the case, then in the future please remember that people can not hear the tone of your voice or see your facial expressions to judge how a comment is meant to be taken. Excessive use of punctuation (like the ??? you put) often mean that someone is being very expressive about the subject..which can be mistaken through a computer screen. Please note that excessive punctuation is against forum rules for reasons like this.
I am sorry! I did not think it in a mean way but now when I read it I do have to admit that I was rude! I am sorry Thelmin!:(

As for the punctuation it is a habit of mine that I try to keep in when posting. But I use it all the time when texting, emailing, ect. And I don't use it in a bad way. Sorry about that too! :(
 
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