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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

My 18 year old cockatiel has always been super well behaved if left to roam and fly around the room freely, but recently he has started going into areas he normally wouldn't and I am always afraid he is going to get into something he shouldn't that could hurt him. I have had to start keeping him in the cage more often, which he obviously doesnt like after being used to generally fly free.

The big problem is that when I try to keep him away from the objects/locations he is trying to go to he gets very angry and attacks me, which is extremely out of character for him. He will actually fly at me biting me multiple times to the point i have no other option but to duck down and try to swat him away gently, he gets pretty vicious. This is coming from a bird that is usually willing to sit on my shoulder and nuzzle my cheek for hours at a time, i have no clue what is going on.

One thing i am thinking is with the weather changing and the days getting longer it could be hormones and im fairly certain he thinks im his mate, but he is pretty old and has never done anything even remotely like this before. Regardless I am trying to cycle him to think the days are shorter to get the hormones down if that's the case, still hasnt been long enough to know if it is working though. My biggest fear is that with how often he is making me push him away that he may get really scared of me and I'll never get my feathery buddy back, i dont want to make him afraid of me!

Does anyone have a good method of teaching your bird to stay away of certain objects/places?
 

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Hi All,

My 18 year old cockatiel has always been super well behaved if left to roam and fly around the room freely, but recently he has started going into areas he normally wouldn't and I am always afraid he is going to get into something he shouldn't that could hurt him. I have had to start keeping him in the cage more often, which he obviously doesnt like after being used to generally fly free.

The big problem is that when I try to keep him away from the objects/locations he is trying to go to he gets very angry and attacks me, which is extremely out of character for him. He will actually fly at me biting me multiple times to the point i have no other option but to duck down and try to swat him away gently, he gets pretty vicious. This is coming from a bird that is usually willing to sit on my shoulder and nuzzle my cheek for hours at a time, i have no clue what is going on.

One thing i am thinking is with the weather changing and the days getting longer it could be hormones and im fairly certain he thinks im his mate, but he is pretty old and has never done anything even remotely like this before. Regardless I am trying to cycle him to think the days are shorter to get the hormones down if that's the case, still hasnt been long enough to know if it is working though. My biggest fear is that with how often he is making me push him away that he may get really scared of me and I'll never get my feathery buddy back, i dont want to make him afraid of me!

Does anyone have a good method of teaching your bird to stay away of certain objects/places?
Is it possible for you to remove the objects? Cockatiels are very stubborn birds and trust me, when they want something, they’re gonna get it. It seems that he is becoming protective and sees the objects as his “property”.
 

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Is it possible for you to remove the objects? Cockatiels are very stubborn birds and trust me, when they want something, they’re gonna get it. It seems that he is becoming protective and sees the objects as his “property”.
Also, are you SURE he’s a male?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm pretty positive its a male at this point, 18 years, zero eggs, but by far the most convincing thing was seeing him attempt to mate with some soft objects, so yea, fairly certain it is male haha.

As for removing the objects, its just so many random things. if i am going to have any drink he goes after whatever im drinking out of, he has never taken drinks from my cups in the past, so i have no clue where this behavior came from. but id basically need to take everything out, he picks different things at different times. He now also tries to always go places he was afraid to before; my computer desk, coffee table, and book shelf in particular, and starts biting stuff, then attacks me if i try to take him out of that area. even when sitting in places i have no issue with him sitting at, like the headrest of my computer chair, he has become aggressive, he'll sit up there while I'm on the computer and then suddenly start chopping on my ear. it's a huge personality shift that's been going on at least a week or 2 now, makes me sad :(
 

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I'm pretty positive its a male at this point, 18 years, zero eggs, but by far the most convincing thing was seeing him attempt to mate with some soft objects, so yea, fairly certain it is male haha.

As for removing the objects, its just so many random things. if i am going to have any drink he goes after whatever im drinking out of, he has never taken drinks from my cups in the past, so i have no clue where this behavior came from. but id basically need to take everything out, he picks different things at different times. He now also tries to always go places he was afraid to before; my computer desk, coffee table, and book shelf in particular, and starts biting stuff, then attacks me if i try to take him out of that area. even when sitting in places i have no issue with him sitting at, like the headrest of my computer chair, he has become aggressive, he'll sit up there while I'm on the computer and then suddenly start chopping on my ear. it's a huge personality shift that's been going on at least a week or 2 now, makes me sad :(
Well I know it’s surprising but even females try to mate with objects just the way a male would. One of My females has literally mated with another one of my females. And i know she’s a female because she has spots on her wings. Can you send a picture of your cockatiel?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
He doesnt have the bars under his tail that the females usually have and he is brighter color, i know that's not anything concrete, but the abundance of the evidence is pointing toward male. Is there something in particular that is making you feel like it could be female?

also, he plucks the feathers around his neck because of an injury he had as a baby that made him uncomfortable and he got into a plucking habit, nothing to be worried about though

Vertebrate Mesh Electrical wiring Fence Building Bird Parrot Wood Finger Beak Bird Eye Vertebrate Beak Parrot Purple Violet Beak Feather Bird Bird Cockatiel Cockatoo Vertebrate Parrot african grey Computer Bird Personal computer Parrot
 

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He doesnt have the bars under his tail that the females usually have and he is brighter color, i know that's not anything concrete, but the abundance of the evidence is pointing toward male. Is there something in particular that is making you feel like it could be female?

also, he plucks the feathers around his neck because of an injury he had as a baby that made him uncomfortable and he got into a plucking habit, nothing to be worried about though

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Well since he’s very protective of certain objects, I thought it was a female that was probably looking for a nest, but he does indeed look like a boy. I’m not sure, that’s very weird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
he's not really doing anything resembling nesting, while he is biting things, it is just normal biting, not shredding, so he is not leaving anything in a state that he could build a nest with it if he tried. Closest thing to nesting that this would be is him trying to clear out a hole in a tree, but considering it is usually paper or thin things like that it still doesn't really fit :( I'm hoping the light cycling will do it, but hear it usually takes at least a week before it really takes effect at all. Sad needing to leave him in the cage when he usually has free reign!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So it was almost definitely hormones, kept him in the cage for a few days straight doing all i could to make it seem like it was only light for about 10 hours or so a day, after about a week i tried getting a little closer to normal and he did good with it, hes been free for a couple days now and is acting his old self again, maybe even a little nicer!
 
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