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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, my wife and I have had our cockatiel for about 3 months now, and just when we think we're making progress, he does something to totally confuse us.
We were given him by some folks who just didn't have time to work with him. He is about 11 months old. We've had him to the vet to get his wings clipped and nails/beak trimmed, and they're "pretty sure" it's a male. We're handling him all we can to get him used to us. I guess that our greatest accomplishment thus far is removing his fear of hands, in fact he loves for my wife to rub his head and beak ( A far cry from drawing blood initially - hee hee ). We have a lot of questions, but one thing at a time, so we'll start with our main concern.
The past two days he insists on sitting on his food or water dish. We had to put
others where he can't sit on them. He ignores his favorite perches and the yarn "pom-poms" my wife made that he always sleeps between. We put cardboard over his main food and water dishes so he can't XXXX in them, but he still insists on sitting there. If we approach him, he hisses and pecks at us.
Ok.... I hope I've given enough info to start out, and look forward to hearing from you,

Keith and Paula
 

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Hi and welcome. It's not uncommon for them to sit in their food bowl but he shouldn't sit there all the time. (one of mine is sitting there now)...Also, I'm not sure that you have a male since you mentioned the hisses and attempts to peck when you get near which is typical for a female and rare from a male. Does he sing alot, chatter, etc?
 

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I also think that the bird may be a female. By sitting in a food or water bowl it thinks that is its nest. That also may be why it pecks at you when you put your hands near its "nest".
 

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Hmmm, I agree he could actually be a she. Do you have any pictures of him? Maybe we could help you determine the sex of him. :)
 

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I don't necessarily think sitting with his butt over his food and water means he's female, Bailee and Cookie have both gone through phases like this. Eventually they just stopped and decided to let me have a break from changing their water constantly. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We'll get a picture in this weekend. Not knowing the different ones by name yet, ours is gray with alot of yellow on the face ( for lack of better description )
"It" does kind of straddle the food dish ( which is about 2" x 3" ) even covered with cardboard. It doesn't do the water dish anynore since it got a wet rearend!

"It's" been on the dish for the past 3 hours, getting defensive with the hissing and pecking even if we get close outside the cage. It does appear to me to be like a female defending her nest. The vet said they could only be sure of the sex with a blood test. If indeed it is a female, will she do this all the time - or just at certain times?

Our "rascal" wont even come out of the cage ( we leave the door open when we're home ) and climb on top like normal. Oh well, the name we selected "Meekah" can be used for either anyhow.

Keith and Paula
 

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Both of mine male and female have done it as well and it wasn't anything hormonal with them they weren't actually sitting in the bowl they were just sitting on it or leaning right over it resting.
Hissing is typically known as a female thing but not always I have 3 females Georgie came to me hissing...lol and still does it 8 mths later Minnie I have had for 3 1/2 mths and she has never hissed or pecked yet Hollie I have only had for 6 wks but she doesn't do it either and if Ollie doesn't want to do something or you touch something that is his when he is in one of his moods will hiss and peck and tell you right off :p
 

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We'll get a picture in this weekend. Not knowing the different ones by name yet, ours is gray with alot of yellow on the face ( for lack of better description )
Sounds like a boy. :) Meekah is a really cute name. :D
 

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When I said it might be a female I was refering to the hissing...my Ziggy's a boy and he likes to sit on his food dish..>We'll know better when we see a pic though. I've only heard my boy hiss twice but I guess other do it more...
 

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Keith you said Meekah was about 11 mths old is there any barring on the tail or is it a solid dark colour
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank You for all the replies. I have another question!! Could this unusual behavior be from recently moving him to another location? The one he was in was a bit drafty so we moved him to a corner in the main living room. It seems that was when the nesting reactions occured. Thanks- Paula
 

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I think it'd help if we know if it's a boy or a girl since they do things for different reasons. Could you maybe post a pic or find a pic online of what he/she looks like?
 

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does he/she do the wolf whistle at all and peck at tables like a wood pecker that would be a sign of a male
 

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all my birds sit on their food/water dishes

when i got the tiels from the "rescue"place they all hissed, and bit males and females

but now we've had them for almost 2 months and they're all doing so much better, the one we call Goldie, will preen my hair when i bend down to get dishes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, we tried to get a picture of him, but our digital camera messed up. So I looked around a bit and found this picture - which looks identical to him.

Oh well, the picture wouldn't copy in here, so looking around here, he looks similar to a pic by - birdiness- titled Slush and Hugs. He looks exactly like Hugs, except the coloring around the orange on his face is totally yellow.

Gotta figure out how to put pictures here.

Anyhow, some more info. We put him in front of a window by the birdfeeders during the day, and he whistles non-stop for the longest time when he sees his "buddies" Seems like he can imitate dozens of birds. And we can tell when there is a "girlie" bird at the feeder, because he does the wolf whistle non-stop - hee hee.

We are persistant, but he still wont repeat words. Oh, and when he gets in the mood to bob his head up and down, he does act like a woodpecker on his cage or the table, as was asked about.

And, he did come out of his cage today and socialize for most of the day, so he's getting back to normal ( we think ). We know he has a great personality "in there" somewhere.... but we just haven't quite found the key to unlock it yet. We'll just keep working at it.

Keith
 

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Well, we tried to get a picture of him, but our digital camera messed up. So I looked around a bit and found this picture - which looks identical to him.

Oh well, the picture wouldn't copy in here, so looking around here, he looks similar to a pic by - birdiness- titled Slush and Hugs. He looks exactly like Hugs, except the coloring around the orange on his face is totally yellow.

Gotta figure out how to put pictures here.

Anyhow, some more info. We put him in front of a window by the birdfeeders during the day, and he whistles non-stop for the longest time when he sees his "buddies" Seems like he can imitate dozens of birds. And we can tell when there is a "girlie" bird at the feeder, because he does the wolf whistle non-stop - hee hee.

We are persistant, but he still wont repeat words. Oh, and when he gets in the mood to bob his head up and down, he does act like a woodpecker on his cage or the table, as was asked about.

And, he did come out of his cage today and socialize for most of the day, so he's getting back to normal ( we think ). We know he has a great personality "in there" somewhere.... but we just haven't quite found the key to unlock it yet. We'll just keep working at it.

Keith
Sounds like you have a male ;) acting like a woodpecker is a sure sign of a male wolf whistling and bobbbing the head are more associated with the male but I have a female that does these things but the wood pecking she has not done yet. Not all males will talk but keep perisiting one day he just might suprise you :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Our old camera held together long enough, and Meekah sat still long enough, so hopefully this will give a decent image of what he looks like. I don't know how the size will be, I don't know how to edit photos yet for posting - but here goes --

meekah012.jpg

I don't know if this did anything or not.

Keith

Well, it did work - woo-hoo!!!! I'll know the next time not to shrink it down so much before posting.
 
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