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Discussion Starter #1
Why would my cockatiel shake his head in response to certain sounds? Does it mean it hurts his ears? I posted a few weeks ago that I had gotten a recorder. He doesn't seem to mine it, pretty much ignores me when I am playing it. I guess I had hoped he might sing with me! But last night I came closer to his cage to play it and he kept shaking his head. Of course I stopped, because I didn't want to hurt his ears. I moved away to my usual spot and tried again, watching him closely and he didn't shake he head (I had never noticed him doing it before when I played) I guess as long as I am not too close it doesn't bother him. I certainly don't want to do anything to cause him discomfort.
 

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It can mean the sound is annoying or that he doesn't like it, especially that close.
 

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Unfortunately, sometimes Murray does this when I speak too close to her! I've heard lots of people asking what it means and comparing the kinds of sounds that make their tiels do it. The only consensus I've found is that while nobody knows why they do it, it sure looks like they don't like it!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
head shaking

yeah...that's what it looks like to me, too, like he doesn't like it. I had hoped he might enjoy the music and maybe even whistle, chirp along, like "Totoro" I got closer just to try to introduce him to the instrument itself, but it certainly seem like he doesn't like it.Thanks for confirming my suspicions: no cockatiel/recorder duets for Bennie and Jana! I'll keep mys distance!
 

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Sophie shakes her head when I talk to her in a really high-pitched voice. Very high-pitched whistling also makes her do it. I think it must be the pitch that she doesn't like, their hearing is definitely a lot more sensitive than ours.
 

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While I have never read anything 'scientific' to base this on, I have noticed that anything that has Francis shaking his head as for sounds, are the very same sounds he will imitate. He is very vocal and sings and speaks, and always shakes his head as he learns it. "Hi baby. Come here. Wee Woo. Whistles Andy Griffith tunes" and he shook his head listening to all these and still shakes his head if I initiate these words or tunes. Go figure!
 

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My tiels do that too, mainly when someone is on the piano. I just close the door. Sometimes Cider even scratches his ears. I figure to them it's like hearing a really high pitch whistle, or maybe fingernails-against-the-chalkboard. :p
 
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