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How To Calm A Cockatiel That Is Scared!

Keeping birds as pets is steadily increasing in popularity with more and more people adding a parrot, budgie or cockatiel to their family.

This has resulted in a spike in the number of people reaching out and asking various questions about taking care of their cockatiel as well as the various behaviors of cockatiels in general.

With there being so many people new to keeping cockatiels out there right now, we have noticed a surge in the people reaching out and asking why their cockatiel is scared and how to stop night frights in cockatiels.

Although there is already some great advice online, it is spread over a number of different resources so we wanted to publish our own article sharing our advice for calming a scared cockatiel and put the information into a single article.

This should help as many of our readers as possible by putting all of the tips and tricks into a single place rather than you having to spend hours researching helping a scared cockatiel over a number of resources.

If you are new to keeping cockatiels then we would highly recommend you get the The Cockatiel Handbook though as it offers some excellent information covering a wide range of topics about keeping pet cockatiels and only costs around $10.

We have added our table of contents below to make it as easy as possible to skip to specific sections of the article to helping to save our readers time by making it easy to skip to the information you may require.

What Causes Cockatiels To Be Scared?

Cockatiels are a naturally skittish bird species and they are easily scared when compared to parrots and other popular pet bird species.

They can be scared by sudden movement, random sounds, rapid changes in temperature, and even though own shadow so it is common for cockatiels to be scared, especially in a new location until they start to get used to their new home.

Night frights can be very common in cockatiels too and take many people new to keeping cockatiels by surprise.

A night fright is essentially when your cockatiel goes into a mad frenzy due to something scaring it at night and these are very common for cockatiels who are new to the location but will usually start to become less common as the bird gets used to its surroundings.

Thankfully, the skittish behavior of cockatiels does usually start to calm down within a few months of the cockatiel being added to a new home but you may have to implement some things to help keep your cockatiel as calm as possible.

We will cover the more common ones below to try and help our readers better understand the various things that they are able to try when keeping their cockatiel as calm as possible.

How Do You Calm A Scared Cockatiel?

The easiest way to calm a scared cockatiel is usually to try and leave it to calm itself down as a scared cockatiel in a frenzy may end up becoming scared by you trying to calm it down.

Some people will cover their cockatiels cage with a cage cover that can sometimes help to calm the bird down quicker but most people will try to leave their bird to calm down naturally.

If you are planning to leave your cockatiel to calm down naturally then try to remember that other pets in the house may be triggering your cockatiel’s frenzied outburst.

Although some cockatiels can be fine with cats and dogs in the home, others will end up having issues with them so if you are trying to leave your cockatiel to calm down, try to make sure none of your other pets are close to it.

When it comes to dealing with a scared cockatiel, prevention is definitely better than cure though and we would always recommend that you try to identify the cause of the scare and prevent it from happening.

This can be as easy as a cold breeze coming through a window and closing the window to prevent it but sometimes the cause of the scare can be very difficult to find and prevent.

How To Stop Cockatiel Night Frights!

The easiest way to prevent cockatiel night frights is to get a cheap nightlight for your cockatiel or to cover their cage with a cage cover during the night.

Both can work well with some cockatiels preferring one over the other so some people may have to try both.

Although most people usually recommend that you try your cockatiel with a cheap nightlight to try and prevent it from having problems with night frights, we actually recommend that you start with a cage cover as the cage cover can be used at other times to help calm a scared cockatiel too offering you multiple solutions in a single product that can work night or day.

Some cockatiels will respond well to a cage cover as it offers some comfort and privacy by blocking out light changes and noise while also making it harder for a random breeze of air to spook your cockatiel too.

Still, nightlights can work with many people successfully having implemented them to prevent night frights in their pet cockatiels and to stop them from being scared when its dark.


That brings our article going over how to help a cockatiel who is scared to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand what you should be doing to try and keep your cockatiel calm. We have seen a number of methods recommended from people on social media about preventing a cockatiel from getting scared but the majority of them are a waste of time and do little to nothing due to the naturally skittish nature of cockatiels and how easy it is for them to get scared.