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Why Does My Cockatiel Bang his Beak?


Listed below are common behavior problems reported in pet cockatiels. Simply click the question below for more information. If your questions cannot be found here, please visit or main cockatiel section or stop by our parrot forum and post your questions.

cockatiel Beak Banging

 When a cockatiel looks as if he has become a woodpecker and starts hitting his beak on a hard surface, such as a table or his cage bars, many owners are often left confused. Probably the number one question going through their owner’s head is if the cockatiel is harming itself. This is normal behavior for male cockatiels in particular and some females also exhibit this behavior.

The reason these birds tap their beak on hard surfaces is still not clear. There are a few theories as to why these birds to this. The first one is based on the notion that the cockatiel is trying to show that this is its territory. Because males must safeguard their territory from other birds, hitting their beak could be a form of bluffing, kind of like a bull scratching his hoof in the dirt before it charges.

Another theory is based around the idea the cockatiel is using this gesture as part of their courtship dance. Every birds has their own style of impressing the females, many bow, some open their wings, others open their tails, and still others whistle a song. Tapping their beaks might just be a move that is part of a dancing ritual.

It’s important to note that these are just theories. If the bird seems like it is showing signs of neurotic behavior, such a pulling its feathers or self mutilating, it must immediately be taken to a veterinarian to ensure a clean bill of health. If the behavior is believed to have stemmed from some sort of

neurotic disorder, it is important the bird be seen by an avian behaviorist to help find out what may be causing this strange behavior.

A journal can be used to record this neurotic behavior and the owner can then give this information to a behaviorist for further interpretation.

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