How many hours of darkness does she get at night? You could increase these hours a bit, to around 12 - 14 hours a night, to reduce the nesty hormones. Also, you could "nest-proof" the area -- by making sure dark corners and any crevices/small spaces she could crawl into are blocked off/out of her reach. Don't stroke her back either, this could make her very hormonal. Any toys/perches that you suspect she could be stimulating herself with should be removed or shifted, or you could completely rearrange the cage to distract her somewhat.
Apart from that, there's not much else you can do. I don't think you should need to worry about eggs yet -- she's probably just going through "puberty".
Murray is 1 now. She gets 12 hours of sleep per night and has no access to boxes and the like. She will still get nesty if she finds a high shelf or a cubby somewhere (sometimes she gets in my handbag!) but I distract her and she doesn't obsess about it. I wouldn't lose sleep over egg laying at the moment, even though I did when murray started! Some mating/nesting behaviour is only natural and will occur periodically. It's keeping it to a minimum and not indulging it that counts, in my humble opinion!
Peppy is about 1 yr old and has been sat on four eggs for about 10 days. Today, she stayed out for over an hour so I cleaned and re-arranged her cage and removed the eggs. She seems to have not missed them and is back to her normal behaviour. I was prepared to replace them if necessary but am glad to have my little girl back.
Ok no I was wrong, she's doing it literally right now. And now she's added the wing quivering and she's slowly spinning in a circle. She only does it when I put her on my knee like I did in the pic I posted. I'm ignoring her. I don't really know what to do, I'll try to increase her nights more, they're like 11 or more hours at the moment. She doesn't get to go into any dark corners, never has been able to because I like to keep her with me so I can always see her. I cover her cage on three sides a lot, is that considered a dark area then?
I was picking the sheath off of a pin feather before she started doing her mating stance again just now, it was at the base of her neck, could that have done it?
Probably. Murray also does it when I've been cuddling her, but sometimes she doesn't need any stimulus at all! Just don't encourage the mating dance by continuing to pet her. Stop for a few minutes and she'll calm down Personally I always cover three sides of Murray's cage, and I've never had an issue so far. She just goes to sleep.
Do take sensible steps to prevent nesty-ness, but don't let it freak you out! I was way too worried when Murray started, thinking that this meant she was definitely going to lay eggs and get egg bound and all sorts. One thing I've discovered over the past year is that natural behaviour will always manifest, and so long as that doesn't progress in an unhealthy way it's fine
That's exactly what I've been worried about. I even asked how common egg binding was on here because I was so worried lol. I'm a big over reactor, I don't know what I'll do the first time she lays an egg. Call an ambulance crying or something probably haha.
I'm putting her to bed now (7pm) and I won't get her up til about 9. Is this bad for my other cockatiel? She's younger and moulting heavily, can long nights be harmful to birds that aren't hormonal or anything?
Not that I've ever heard - Murray gets 12-12 and 1/2 hours every night all year round. I think the only detrimental side to very long nights is losing out on time! If all your little one is doing is displaying now and again, she may not even be that hormonal. She might just be discovering herself, so to speak. She's only 7 months after all!
I'm a massive over-reactor too! As she grows up you'll get to know what's normal and when it's getting out of hand, I'm sure. I do wonder what I'd be like if Murray laid an egg...
I saw Maxi doing that position just once, and very briefly when she was in her cage years ago. It was one of the many things that made me think hmmm I think this bird is female not male as the breeder told me! (I had not gone online and read about behaviours/cockatiel colouring by then!).
So yes just to reiterate what others have said.. make sure she has enough dark time, don't overstimulate her, and i'm sure it's just a passing phase at the moment since she's so young.
Don't worry about eggs, and even if it happens there's plenty of advice on this forum. Or your birds might be like my Maxi who has never laid an egg *touch wood* aha.