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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a cinnamon pearl pied cockatiel. I bought him before he was fully weaned. I have been feeding him the formula, per recommendation by the person I bought him from, for the last 2-3 weeks. He is about 7-8 weeks old now. Every time I walk up to the cage, he follows me and makes this shrill whining screeching sound and he carries on for the longest time and won't stop. I don't know what's wrong.

He won't make the sound with my wife who also talks to him, just me. When I open the cage he jumps to me, mainly my shoulder or the top of my head. When I go to put him back he continues on with his shrill noise and it is so hard to close the cage because he wants to be with me. However, even when he is with me on my shoulder or I have him on my finger and talking to him he continues making the shrill noise. He has been doing this for the 2-3 weeks since I bought him and even after I fed him the formula, which was about 10ml from a syringe in the morning and in the evening. I gave him one 10ml feeding yesterday and then stopped, per advice from the breeder and from multiple websites.

He has toys, a larger cage now, he has been eating his seeds and I even bought some nutritional seeds that give him all the vitamins, I give him fresh water daily, I gave him a cuttle bone and a fruit calcium block but he just continues the shrill noise. I don't know what to do as I have gotten varying opinions as to why he is doing this. First, he is hungry, but that cannot be as I feed him and his crop is soft and balloon size when I fed him the formula. Not tight or uncomfortable for him. I also heard that he wants to be cuddled, but he only accepts cuddling from my wife who hugs him ever so lightly to her chest and he stops the shrill whining but when I do it he won't stop.

I have added a link to a short video clip as to what he is doing. Hopefully someone can shed some light on this once and for all and I can finally make him happy to where he will stop making this sound and continue to grow and flourish. This is not my first cockatiel. I have a gray and white cockatiel back in the States who is still thriving and I bought after weaning. He never made these noises.

LINK: My cockatiel
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your response. I definitely understand this, but when he is with me he continues to do this and will not stop. Even though I am talking to him, holding him, cuddling him, etc. How do I get him to stop making this sound even when he is outside? I love to open his cage and let him explore, but I am afraid that he will fly and bump into things and hurt himself. I don't have a very large room here and it's not the best conditions for him to fly around in, but I do let him come out to stretch his wings periodically. Will he continue to do this weeks from now or will he get accustomed to his surroundings and finally stop flock calling? I noticed he was very quiet when I bought him, which drew me to him. He was around other cockatiels and yet he was off by himself in a corner and not really engaging, even though the others were screaming and wanting food, this one didn't act like that. That is one reason I bought him. That and he had all his feathers. He is so precious to me, but I can't seem to get him to realize that I have him, that I love him and that I love cuddling him. He won't stop with his screeching.
 

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I don't think they ever stop. It is a natural vocalisation for them. Mine is about 5 months old if I go for a shower or something he calls for me. I answer back to tell him I am safe even though I am out of sight.

I do not allow him to come out of the cage while he is making that noise. I wait until he is quiet and calm. They are like human babies they will scream to manipulate you. Essentially they will train YOU.

His calling is perhaps because he probably should still be with his feathered family until weaned. When creatures are removed from their "people" too young they develop a neediness and seperation anxiety. It happens a lot when puppies are removed too soon as well.

I would suggest to not pay attention to him when he is displaying this behaviour, you are just reinforcing it. You are risking it becoming an engrained norm for him as he grows up.

Try to give him attention when he is relaxed and allow him to self soothe which will allow good mental health moving forward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
But how do I do that? When he is calm, I walk up to him and he then starts his shrieking again. If I stay away too long and NOT pay attention to him every time he does this, don't I risk him becoming wild and ending up resenting or hating me or worse, dying from loneliness?
 

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Have you tried approaching him and sitting by his cage calmly? Maybe read a book out loud to him, turn on some gentle music or white noise like ocean waves or rain?

Noise is very important to birds, silence means there is danger nearby.

You can try covering the top and sides of his cage so he doesn't feel like he needs to be hyper alert but can still see out and see you.

He sounds insecure so these methods may help.

Very important that you are relaxed and not worried as well. He will read your body language and tone of voice and respond to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have walked up and calmly talked with him. He gets very anxious and moves a lot and even climbs in his food. He will follow me as I move my face from left to right still making that noise. I did notice he was quiet when I put on some cockatiel videos earlier, but I had him out of sight and he usually becomes quiet when he can't see anyone. When I added toys and a mirror recently, he calmed a bit and explored his cage and was engaging in some "playtime" as he chewed and moved his wicker ball with bell inside. He seems to favor that toy above all his others. When I am not paying attention to him he calms and stops shrieking and he will just sit on the bottom of his cage and puff out his feathers like he's sleepy, but he has his eyes on me at all times it seems. If I move, he cocks his head further in my direction. If I cough or speak, he will whistle and shriek softly. I was thinking about getting him a brother or sister, as I have only had him three weeks now and it shouldn't be unhealthy to introduce another cockatiel in the cage, I don't think, but I am not sure if he will enjoy like that or if he will think he is being replaced and die of rejection. So many thoughts going through my head that I am out of options.
 

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Three weeks is a very tiny amount of time! He doesn't even know what 3 weeks is or when he arrived in your home.

I would counsel against another bird at this stage as it may result in more stress.

When you leave him alone do you leave a radio or something similar on?

My birds come alive when there is background noise. Covering with a towel when they are new is very helpful as they don't have to watch all around for danger.

When you approach his cage and sit by him don't make eye contact. Just read a book at a gentle tone, be with him without interacting. He knows when you are looking at him and that's an invitation to demand more attention rather than settle down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That is absolutely the sweetest thing I've heard about cockatiels :) Don't make eye contact and just sit by them and read to them. I truly want him to be comfortable and know he is safe and know he is loved and has nothing to worry about. His cage sits up rather high but I can sit in a chair just below him and read or leave some music on for him. As for leaving something on for him while we are away, no, we don't do that. We don't really have anything that we can leave on except the TV, and we don't leave anything on while we are away due to high electricity bills. I have some calming music playing for him now near his cage. Hopefully he will stop shrieking long enough to listen and be calmed.
 

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You sound so stressed! And you just can't be as your bird knows you are upset!

Encourage his independence. My strategy is to put the cage next to my couch. I flick on the tv at a gentle volume. And I just watch without looking at the bird even if there is screeching and climbing. I might chuckle softly to myself if something is funny. He knows I am relaxed so eventually he relaxes himself.

At that stage I slowly open the cage, then I return to watching the tv. If the bird feels confident he will exit and either stand on the top (this is where perches attached externally may help) or he goes for a fly to extend his wings. Either way I just watch without looking directly at the bird.

I let him do his thing, if he is untamed he will instinctively return to his house when he is hungry then I lock him back up. If he is tame he will eventually land on me so I tell him he is a good bird but keep my focus on the screen.

He feels calm and curious so he may peck at my shirt or preen my hair. Then I reward him with my attention and scritches if he feels open to it.

Encourage your bird to feel chill and interested rather than anxious to get attention.

:D
 

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In terms of the high electricity bill have you considered a Google home mini? I bought one for less than $40 It uses very little electricity and yet I can use it to play various radio stations while I am at work or if my birds are unsettled at night I use it to play the aforementioned rain sounds. It is very versatile and noise is essential to making a bird feel secure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you for your encouragement and tips. I will definitely adopt them into my routine. I suppose I am stressed because I fear for his well being and my other cockatiel never behaved like this. Here is to hoping all will become well. He definitely stopped screeching as soon as I ignore him, which I know is working. However, when I move or stand up he will start in again. Hopefully he will grow out of it and become more relaxed in time :)
 

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Don't fear for his well being you know he is safe.

He will get used to your normal movements and routine and stop reacting to them.

Promote a calm bird by being calm yourself. My budgies are not tamed but they come out of their cage and fly around while I watch a movie or listen to some music. They just know me and what I do so they feel safe without me needing to do anything in particular.

I am trying to teach my tiel to be more independent. So he has a perch with a ladder, a couple of sticks, a water bowl and a spray millet. He is more into it by the day and he flies there on his own accord now.

I also encourage him to play with a toy when he is with me so he doesn't need to be quite so In my face.
Kitchen appliance Wood Gas Machine Home appliance
Beak Wood Bird Tool Easel
Bird Dress Cockatoo Parrot Beak
Material property Gas Wood Machine Shipping box
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Awww he's such a cutie. I am hoping one day for mine to be like that. Calm and just playing and independent like that. I miss my cockatiel back home because he is so calm but he's hilarious at the same time and he's a loved bird. I miss him terribly.
 

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He will be, but every bird is different and some take more work than others.

Mine is a screecher too my photos are a testament to the strategies I use and dedication I have.

Here is a few real time pics of my calm little Velcro bird.
Bird Cockatoo Television Parrot Beak
Food Ingredient Cotton candy Frozen dessert Television
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
He definitely looks very calm and sweet and trusting. I know mine will be that way one day. I actually got up and made my dinner and got really close to his cage while he was eating and he didn't make a noise. I made sure not to make eye contact. I also had the calming music playing near his cage so I think it may be working. I know it is still early but I have high hopes :)
 

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Hi. I really like what I'm reading from people and like the fact that the author of the post is so engaged and writing back and forth too. That shows a lot of caring and love. I remember those noises from when I first saw my little guy when he was 3 weeks old. He was fully weened by the time I brought him home and I haven't heard noises like that. I am very noise sensitive though in general and when he started making what I felt was a lot of noise for me I attended some free workshops through Phoenix Landing and then others through CPR - Companion Parrots Rehomed. They have had experts who provide amazing information that has helped me SOOOO much. I also began working with a behaviorist whose cost is incredibly cheap. She has helped me to figure out the what to's and when's and how to's. I can provide you her info if you would like. We do sessions via Face Time or Zoom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi. I really like what I'm reading from people and like the fact that the author of the post is so engaged and writing back and forth too. That shows a lot of caring and love. I remember those noises from when I first saw my little guy when he was 3 weeks old. He was fully weened by the time I brought him home and I haven't heard noises like that. I am very noise sensitive though in general and when he started making what I felt was a lot of noise for me I attended some free workshops through Phoenix Landing and then others through CPR - Companion Parrots Rehomed. They have had experts who provide amazing information that has helped me SOOOO much. I also began working with a behaviorist whose cost is incredibly cheap. She has helped me to figure out the what to's and when's and how to's. I can provide you her info if you would like. We do sessions via Face Time or Zoom.
Thank you. My cockatiel is flourishing now and hardly doing the whining that he used to do. Now he does it softly and only when I stay at the cage and start talking to him or when I take him out and have him on my finger.
 

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Glad to hear that things are better. As behaviorist has taught me if I am ever bitten it is my own doing. It's tough some times to make sure he doesn't but I have learned so much. As I always say I'm not selling someone or something. I just share from my experiences. Keep working at it.
 
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