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Hello,

I recently got male cockatiel from the pet shop nearby.He is almost a month home and so far I bonded with him very well from the 3rd day. Until this moment he let me pet him,give him food in hand and so on. Unfortunately for the past week he is squaking really loud for like 3-4 hours in the morning and flying non stop while doing that.

There is no other behavior problem - I mean, he even come to me on it's own (landing on my shoulder and so on). Before he was flying around too ,but without those noisy sounds. Oh, and he is biting his cage while doing that.

Health seems good - skin on feet normal, he fluffs only when sleeping while grinding with beak,poop normal in color and consistency.Haven't noticed anything. When sleeping he usually shivers a bit, but as far as I know that for temperature regulation.

Maybe the problem is in me don't know.Usually for the past month I'm home most of the time and I spend a lot of time with him, but I don't see any problem with that.He eats mainly seeds (bought him pellets, but he doesn't want them), I give him apple and some vitamins for now, because it's too picky and I can't make him eat other things even boiled eggs.

At 3 o'clock pm he was usually going to his cage for some naps until 8 pm. at the moment he stays with me until that time just sitting on the bed or else.

I saw on the net that he may be hormonal, but the problem is that the bird have no interest in toys or other things ,not to mention that singing is not the best thing he can do :D . I whistle to him and sometime he tries to whistle back, but with sounds that barely get close to a melody. I still love him, but last time he screamed so hard on my ear that I had to get pills for myself. He is my first bird so I try my best. That's why I write here, because despite the all things I did and how fast we managed to each other I still lack of knowledge.
 

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Don't despair---it's springtime and your bird is...

...full of male birdie attitude. First, a story for you, some background.

My boyfriend and I have two male cockatiels, rescue birds we acquired from answering an ad on the Internet locally. We have had these boys since December of 2017. They are healthy and great fun. But there's stuff that comes with birdie keeping, and it's not just poop cleanup. These boys are different ages, and we don't know a lot about their pasts, although we got them from the same person. She was a young girl heading off to college, and aside from showing us they were healthy, could not tell us much except that "they could be noisy"; I know now that Jerry, the white-faced cockatiel, is the "noisy" one. I believe he was only a couple of years old at that time. The other, Stanley, a regular pied cockatiel, was closer to 4 or 5. The girl's mother worked long hours and didn't want be keeping birds by herself.

Stanley and Jerry have very different personalities. Jerry acts like an "alpha" bird and wants to be in charge of his space, which is wherever he decides to sit. Stanley, the older one, is fairly mellow, and yet confident enough not to let Jerry intimidate him. They don't fight but they are not really close. Neither bird is very hand-tamed, although Stanley is a little better with it. They do like to land on us a lot and sometimes Stanley nuzzles my face or neck with his head. (Nice until he tries to remove a hair from my upper lip or my cheek which makes me yelp, and then he leaves.) Although they are not liking to be touched, they expect us to assist them if they end up somewhere they are not happy to be---like up on a high kitchen cabinet when no human is in the kitchen or on the rug behind the entertainment center, where they feel vulnerable on the floor (they sometimes tumble off the record sleeves and end up down there). Then a friendly hand is welcome and they climb on it gratefully. So they do trust us, as far as that goes with them.

So, to specifically address YOUR problem: Jerry, our white-faced cockatiel, over the last month, has gotten extremely active, flying intensely and frequently. He can't seem to stay still. He isn't sick---he's always seemed very healthy---but he's, um, looking for something. He also is very noisy, with the yelling and so forth. He wants a mate. He is hormonal. This happened last year, too, in the spring and the fall, and it's not always easy to deal with. Sometimes he literally shrieks with frustration, but then it passes. When he's really annoyed, if I walk by him, he flies at me. Doesn't hurt me---just wants me to know he's in a mood and I'm not giving him what he wants (a mate). My boyfriend does not get so much guff from him, for whatever reason; he just seems less impressed with crummy "teen" bird behavior, and doesn't react as much and shrugs it off. (I have a strong startle response, which probably entertains the bird.)

I love these boys and they delight me, but they can be devilish and I've had to learn who and how they are, because up until a couple of years ago, I never was around birds. I had to learn them. I want you to know that if you are doing what you should be doing, with good food, hygienic and roomy cage conditions, letting your cockatiel out every day for healthy exercise, and frequently interacting with him, you are doing the right things. It's not you. It's his birdie boy nature this time of year. You need to understand this behavior, and know it's not your inadequacy or neglect.

I think it must get easier as they get older---the other bird, Stanley, does not go crazy like this. And he's very healthy and still pretty young. We think he's about 5 or 6 years old. He just takes it all in stride. We are hoping Jerry will settle down as he ages.

I was trying to give Jerry longer artificial nighttimes with a covered cage for longer times per day. This is supposed to help. But my boyfriend is a former musician and he likes to stay up late at night, so it's hard not to have a lot of artificial light from lamps around, and so we're not winning this battle yet. (Boyfriend is not trying to oppose me---he's just living his life and it's not a big apartment, and he loves the companionship of the birds when he watches TV late at night. And late night tv viewing does not calm hormonal birds.)

You mentioned screaming---in the ear. Well, that is awful, and you have my total sympathy. Bird means no harm, but he is trying to get your attention---he's uncomfortable! I am very noise-triggered and that would have me going for headache pills too. In practical terms, though, you have to find out how to calm him down. You are not there to be abused by his moods. Let him know his behavior is unacceptable. For example, if he is rough or excessively noisy, shake him off your hand and don't interact for an hour or so. Basically, try to ignore him for a bit. Leave him alone in the room for a little while if he doesn't get the hint. Return and talk to him nicely as if nothing bad has happened and try to set the calm tone. If he is good, give him a treat. Leave again if he gets nasty. BE CONSISTENT. He needs to realize somehow he has to be calmer and gentler with you. Model this good behavior for him. THIS WILL TAKE TIME. Birds are very smart but also very, very willful. They want to do what THEY want to do. It's only when they consistently realize you won't react favorably to negative behaviors but only the good ones, that they will change. My boyfriend, who has had small parrots for years, told me birds can take months to learn what you want them to learn. It's just how they are. And your birdie boy has to learn not to abuse your good nature. It is very hard for him right now, with the hormonal thing and his young age, but it is more important than ever that he realizes he is not allowed to bully you. It has to be reinforced and become a habit, so that when he's hormonal, he still has a memory of how to act with you, and what you expect from him.

Read on the internet about hormonal birds, as much as you can absorb, and try things that make sense to you out of that. For one thing, NO MIRRORS for toys. Jerry was in love with a mirror he had, and we finally took it away from him. That was last year. He's crazy again this year, though, and no mirrors are involved...it's not an instant cure, but it's supposed to keep him from getting worse, if you don't allow your male bird mirrors. Hopefully it will shorten the hormonal season for him if you a) don't encourage mating behavior with mirror toys (or other shiny fascinations) or having any nests in the cage and too much bright light time each day and b) by keeping yourself calm and enforcing good habits with him. (If you get upset, he will be overstimulated by it.)

Just do your best. I wish there was a calming spray for birds, but there isn't one.

Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to share as much and as meaningfully as I could, hoping you could get something out of it. :wf pied::pied:
 

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Could be hormones, not easy to deal with. Try giving romaine lettuce or broccoli, it will not help with the hormones but some fresh greens are highly recommended. Good luck.
 

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Wow, Pinkys mom. I am very impressed with your insight, patience, knowledge and caring enough to post all that wonderful advice. I always like to ask how old the tiel is, though. If they are too young to be off of handfeeding formula then the vocalization is the classic baby static sound that means that they are hungry. If the tiel is 3-4 months old and up then it's not an issue.

Diet: I give my Shiloh Kaytee Exact natural pellets. They are small, resemble Post Grape Nuts cereal and she loves them. She gets a blend of them and good quality seed. She also gets broccoli, kale, collard greens, bok choy, parsley, mustard greens, etc. Hard boiled egg once or twice a week. Cooked brown rice, cooked millet, plain cooked chicken. Millet sprays are a grain and very nutritional. They aren't a junk food at all. She loves cucumber and corn, carrot strips. Peas not so much. Apples. But ordinarily tiels are not fruit eaters. You get the idea.

Hormones: My very first tiel was a male and I was an inexperienced owner so when he turned a year old and suddenly got aggressive with me I didn't know what was going on. He would try to attack my face, flying right at me when he was on my shoulder as I was in front of the bathroom mirror. Many many years later thanks to boards like this I am more experienced and knowledgeable and my birds, past and present, benefit from it. Pinkys mom has great advice about all of the hormonal behavior.

Cathy and Shiloh
 
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