Why Does My Cockatiel Hate Me?- What Should I Do?

As a new cockatiel parent, you may find that your cockatiel is acting aggressively in the first few days after you adopt it. Like humans, cockatiels need time so that they can get used to you. You must show the cockatiel it can trust so it can like you.

So, why does my cockatiel hate me? Your cockatiel does not hate you; it is just scared because it is not yet used to you. Also, a cockatiel with past traumatic experiences tends to shun new faces away. You just have to identify the problem and try to correct it.

You might observe behavior such as hissing, flapping of wings, or biting- these are all signs of aggression, discomfort, or distress. This article will examine why your cockatiel hates you, how to know it hates you and what you should do.

Why Does My Cockatiel Hate Me?

Just to make it clear, your cockatiel does not hate you. Cockatiels are one of the friendliest birds. So, if your bird is acting aggressively towards you, it could be because of fear or lack of mental stimulation.

You must identify the issue and devise new ways of approaching your bird. Let’s dive deeper into the reasons why your cockatiel hates you.


When a cockatiel is afraid of you, it will act aggressively only because it wants to seem more intimidating. Fear can be due to being in a new environment, post-traumatic stress, or the threat of being near a predator. Other causes of anxiety are;

● When you are aggressive towards the cockatiel

Birds can see a person’s aura, so they will know when you are in a bad mood. Ensure you calmly approach your cockatiel to help it form a bond with you.

● Past traumatic stress

As we previously stated, the cockatiel might have been mistreated in its previous home. Which will make them fear any other owner, not just you. In this case, ensure you provide your cockatiel with a quiet and comfortable place to live.

● Force the cockatiel to do something

Cockatiels, like all birds, view anyone or anything as a threat. So, if you force it to do something it does not want to do, it may not understand your intention. The cockatiel will become scared and avoid further interactions with you.

● In case you hurt the cockatiel

For example, wing clipping might be necessary for some cockatiels, but in the cockatiel’s eyes, you are hurting it. The cockatiel doesn’t understand why you are clipping its wings.

Being neglected

If you neglect your cockatiel or fail to show it attention, it might act as if it hates you. The cockatiel will feel ignored if;

  • if you do not feed it
  • if you do not allow it to bask in the sun
  • If you do not spend time with it
  • If you forget to clean its cage
  • If there are no toys to play with in its cage
  • If you start petting a new pet

Being Pet On Erogenous Areas

If you did not know, petting a cockatiel in some areas might make it sexually attracted to you. The cockatiel will start seeing you as a mate and expect you to fulfill its needs.

Some erogenous parts you should not touch include; a cockatiel’s back, under its flight feathers, and near its tail. Stick to petting only the cockatiel’s head.

Being Punished

Sometimes, cockatiels will not do what you want them to do, and you might feel the need to use force for them to learn. However, punishments only make things worse.

Cockatiels do not understand that you are punishing them due to their bad behavior. Instead, they associate punishment with a predator attacking them.

Why Does My Cockatiel Suddenly Hate Me?

Why Does My Cockatiel Suddenly Hate Me?

A cockatiel may suddenly hate you due to some of the following reasons;

● Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes mainly occur during the breeding season. You might notice the female bird starting to get territorial over its nesting area. A hormonal cockatiel will become overly aggressive, but it will pass with time.

Avoid petting the cockatiel in areas such as under its tail, so it does not get sexually frustrating.

● Illnesses

A sick cockatiel will suddenly have mood changes because it tries to hide that it is unhealthy. You may notice the cockatiel hiding behind its food bowl or avoiding your hands when you try to pet it.

Other signs of illness include; weight loss, loss of appetite, sluggishness, e.t.c. If you notice such symptoms, take the bird to a veterinarian.

● Unsuitable environment

If the cockatiel’s environment becomes suddenly unsuitable for it to live in, it will become hateful towards you.

Changes in the environment include;

  • Putting another pet’s resting bed near a cockatiel’s cage
  • Changing the color of the room the cockatiels live in
  • The room suddenly becomes noisy
  • Turning the lights on and off randomly

How Do I Tell That My Cockatiel Hates Me?

How Do I Tell That My Cockatiel Hates Me?

A hateful cockatiel will display signs like;

● Aggression

This is the most common sign that your cockatiel dislikes you. The cockatiel will bite you or lush at you. According to research, bites from birds can result to infections, so get the bite checked by a doctor.

● Self-mutilation

A cockatiel will mutilate its body mainly because it is afraid or stressed out. You might notice that the cockatiel plucks out its feathers or keeps knocking its head on the cage’s bars.

● Fluffing its wings

When a cockatiel fluffs his wings, it signifies that it does not want you to come near it. The cockatiel will stay with its wings held away from its body so that it can scare you off.

● Hissing

Hissing implies aggression. You will see the cockatiel hissing or biting you whenever you come near the cage.

How Do I Get My Cockatiel To Like Me?

How Do I Get My Cockatiel To Like Me

Cockatiels are friendly birds. To have a good solid relationship with a cockatiel, you must give it time to adjust on its terms. Here is what you can do to make a cockatiel like you.

● Positive reprimanding

Instead of punishing or shouting at the cockatiel, you can employ positive reprimanding. This is where you use treats as rewards every time your cockatiel follows a command. Food treats are the fastest way of getting your cockatiel to bond with you.

● Provide a gentle and calm environment

A peaceful and calm environment goes a long way. If your cockatiel has a traumatic past, it will need to trust you so that it can bond with you. Ensure you feed the cockatiel and do not linger around its cage.

Talk to it calmly and ensure the environment is quiet and away from other pets such as dogs and cats.

● Spend time with your cockatiel

To hasten the bonding process, spend time with your cockatiel. However, this should be only if the cockatiel does not mind you being around. When feeding it, you can use your hand so that it gets used to your scent.

● Give the cockatiel space and time

If you notice your cockatiel getting aggressive due to hormonal changes, give it time and space. Do not approach it; instead, let it come to you on its own accord. As time passes, the cockatiel will stop seeing you as a threat.

● Take away any triggers

It is essential to remove any triggers that might cause aggression or fear. For example;

  • Petting the cockatiel on its head rather than on its back
  • Removing other pets such as cats in the same vicinity as cockatiels
  • Removing nesting boxes
  • Ensuring your cockatiel gets 12 hours of sleep

Video Showing Signs That Your Cockatiel Hates Me

This video shows signs that indicate cockatiel hates you.

Related Questions

Here are other related questions.

Why does my cockatiel hate everyone else except me?

Cockatiels will view everyone as a threat except those they have bonded with. You might notice that it will not want to associate with strangers. It is usual for a cockatiel to act aggressively towards new faces because it does not trust them.

How do I tame a cockatiel that hates me?

Give the cockatiel time to get used to your presence. Let it come to you on its terms. Food treats are also a great way of taming your cockatiel. After establishing trust, it will be easy for you to tame it.


I hope this article has helped you answer the question -why does my cockatiel hate me? Remember, your cockatiel does not hate; it is just afraid or stressed. Ensure you understand your cockatiel’s needs to help you move forward with the bonding steps.

Let the cockatiel warm up to you at its own pace. Do not get aggressive or start punishing the cockatiel. Feed it treats and provide a calm environment for it—all the best with your cockatiel.

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