11 Facts On Cockatiel Hissing: Why, When, Solution


11 Facts On Cockatiel Hissing: Why, When, Solution

The ability to produce a range of sounds makes cockatiels excellent family pets. However, it is not a good thing when it comes to their hissing.

Cockatiels frequently hiss, which is a sibilant sound, along with making other sounds. Cockatiels may hiss at their owners or other pets, while nesting, etc. The birds use it to express their discomfort or anger, most of the time.

Hissing is different from other sounds that these birds make. It frequently has an odd tone. Understanding cockatiels’ hissing and the conditions around it is the focus of this article. The emphasis will also be on how to stop cockatiels from hissing.

Why do cockatiels hiss?

Cockatiels are gregarious and amiable birds communicating through various sounds, including hissing. But if they hiss, it is not a good sign. 

The following list includes several frequent causes of hissing in male and female cockatiels.

1. Being territorial

If the owner try to access cockatiels’ personal space (their cage or nest), they might hiss at them to let them know they’re annoyed.

Additionally, cockatiels like to be in pairs. However, they occasionally hiss angrily at one another. It might be a form of protection. In such cases, the owners must let one of the birds spend some time outside the cage.

2. Express anger

If a cockatiel is angry or aggressive, it will hiss. Adult cockatiels can be aggressive on occasion. Due to their strong emotional bonds with their owners, pet cockatiels may grow temperaments.

Facts On Cockatiel Hissing
Image Credit: Cockatiel by Richard Taylor is licensed under CC BY 2.0

3. Untamed 

Until cockatiels are tamed, the owner might anticipate their new cockatiels hissing at new humans and animals.

Untamed cockatiels experience terror when outsiders approach their cage, and they hiss to express this concern. The birds use it to warn the intruder to keep a distance from their nest or cage.

4. In love

Cockatiels also produce hissing sound when ready for mating. Usually, this is the case with male cockatiels. Their ritual of courting is hissing.

Males are more likely than females to hiss and make suggestions that they are looking for a mate. But if the cockatiels are not given a mate, their annoyance may cause them to hiss more loudly.

5. While nesting

Female cockatiels hiss when incubating the eggs or rearing their young. They act like this when someone approaches their nest while they are nesting.

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6. At bedtime

Cockatiels sometimes hiss while their owners get them ready for bed, which may sound unusual. So, they frequently hiss when they see that the lights are dimmed, or their cage is covered.

Cockatiels’ hissing before bed typically has two meanings.

  1. They experience night terrors and are afraid of the dark.
  2. They want to remain awake rather than go to bed.

7. To stay alone

When a cockatiel wants to be left alone and unbothered, it may frequently hiss. 

The bird might do this if it does not want to talk to or play with its owner.

How do cockatiels hiss?

Cockatiels are intelligent birds that can communicate effectively by creating various sounds. So, how exactly do these birds hiss?

Cockatiels hiss by pulling back their crest completely, opening their beak gently, and then making the sound. In most cases, the sound only stretches for 1-2 seconds. However, if the birds are very agitated, they may produce the sound 5–8 times in a minute.

Do cockatiels hiss at night?

Under normal conditions, we observe birds being entirely silent at night. Is it possible that cockatiels hiss at night instead of being quiet?

Cockatiels hiss at night and it is a common occurrence in their case. These birds are afraid of the dark and have “night frights,” which causes them to hiss to show their fear.

Do baby cockatiel hiss?

Newborn baby cockatiels will mostly hiss whenever they are disturbed. Hissing is how they communicate their annoyance. The baby bird must be at least 9-10 days old to create such noises. Baby cockatiels also hiss after being fed to indicate their delight and pleasure.

It is important to note that hissing is not always a negative sign in baby cockatiels. As a result, when dealing with these babies, the owner should be aware of their surroundings.

When does a male cockatiel hiss?

Image Credit: Female pied-pearl cockatiel by Meepdasheep licensed under CC BY 3.0

A male cockatiel often hisses when they are in love and ready to mate. Therefore, it is not necessarily a negative sign if a female cockatiel is present. However, it could be a sign of frustration if the male is not getting any female to mate. 

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Do cockatiels hiss at each other?

For cockatiels, hissing essentially represents a ritual of courtship. It is frequently accompanied by head bobbing and singing and is not an aggressive gesture.

Image Credit: Cockatiel Pair by Geoff McKay licensed under CC BY 2.0

Cockatiels can hiss at one another. This happens when there are multiple cockatiels in the same area. These birds are known to be territorial. As a result, they may hiss at each other viciously to protect their domain at times.

Why do adult cockatiels hiss while they eat?

Adult cockatiels may hiss as they eat. Although this may look weird, there are specific reasons behind their hissing.

When adult cockatiels are bothered while they are eating, they frequently hiss. This is because these birds would rather eat in privacy. Any interruptions, while they are eating, won’t be tolerated. Therefore, hissing while eating indicates that cockatiels are annoyed and should be left alone.

Why may cockatiels hiss at their owners?

Despite being accustomed to their owners, cockatiels have frequently been known to hiss at them. But there are usually some underlying causes for the hissings.

Here are a few typical causes of cockatiels hissing at their owners.

  • Cockatiels will hiss if they feel insecure or uneasy.
  • If cockatiels do not like to be stroked or petted too much, they hiss at their owners.
  • If cockatiels do not receive their preferred food, they will hiss.
  • Cockatiels will hiss at their owners if they are prodded to return to its cage.
  • If cockatiels does not like to be disturbed, they will hiss.
  • If an item is put in cockatiels cage that they do not like and want to be taken out, they will hiss.

Is hissing always a negative sign among cockatiels?

Hissing among cockatiels may sound weird and is mostly associated with negativity. But is it true that hissing always has something to do with negative behavior? 

Among cockatiels, hissing is not always a negative sign. Hissing can occasionally indicate enthusiasm, especially in young cockatiels after a meal. They use mild hissing to express their fullness and satisfaction. Hissing is also a natural and beneficial indication of courtship among cockatiels.

How to calm cockatiels from hissing?

Cockatiel hissings can be good as well as bad. But there are ways to calm cockatiels from hissing.

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Here are some steps the owners may take to control the hissing of their pet cockatiels.

1. Recognize the reason

Removing the trigger is the best way to calm the bird. 

The possible reasons behind cockatiel hissing has already been discussed in this article. The owners can refer to those reasons and check the situation of their birds to point out what is bothering the bird.

2. Leave the bird alone.

Following the desire of cockatiels should be the top priority. 

Sometimes, it may happen that the cockatiel is hissing to express its desire to be left alone, undisturbed.

3. Tame the bird

Untamed birds are more prone to hiss at humans and other animals.

If the bird is new, training cockatiels to socialize and taming it is essential to control its hissing behavior. 

4. Cover the cage 

If the cage is not properly covered, cockatiels will hiss.

The owner can cover the cage with a cloth until the bird settles down if it hisses unceasingly for no obvious cause. Most of the time, one can silence a parrot or cockatiel in less than 20 minutes through this process.

5. Let them mate

If the hissing is that of lovemaking, it is a good idea to let the birds mate and breed. 

6. No multiple cockatiels in a single cage

Putting multiple cockatiels in a cage is a bad idea as they are highly territorial. Doing so will only egg their territorial tendency and aggression and increase their hissing behavior at each other. 


So, this was all about facts on cockatiel hissing. Hissing is a natural tendency among cockatiels and other parrots. However, the owner needs to be aware of the causes to stop this behavior or at least control it. The hissing sound is just one of the many sounds cockatiels use to communicate their feelings. 

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