Do Cockatiels Like To Climb?

Cockatiels Like To Climb

Cockatiels are very playful and active, and climbing is one of their favorite activities. Not only do cockatiels climb during the day, but you may also notice them climbing at night as well. As a bird owner, you may have observed your cockatiel climbing the cage and wondered why they do it.

Birds are naturally designed to fly, making it surprising that many birds, including cockatiels, enjoy climbing. Your cockatiel will likely use the walls of its cage as a climbing frame.

Cockatiels have an instinctive desire to perch at higher points, as it allows them to observe their surroundings and locate food, water, and potential threats.

It’s perfectly okay and even recommended for cockatiels to climb for fun, recreation, and exercise. However, you can make climbing simple and safe by getting them some climbing toys like ladders, nets, and climbing frames.

When climbing, cockatiels use their feet and grip the surface with their four toes.

Also, good balance is important for safe climbing, but accidents are rare as cockatiels only climb when they feel confident.

Do Cockatiels Like To Be High Up?

Cockatiels are naturally attracted to high places, like treetops, due to their instinctive behavior.

Despite being in an elevated position, cockatiels are still vulnerable to attacks from larger birds of prey, such as eagles, kestrels, and falcons.

However, while some of the common enemies of cockatiels are ground-based, they are unlikely to climb trees and reach the highest branches where cockatiels perch.

By being high up, cockatiels can easily scan their surroundings for safe food and water sources.

They are intelligent and curious birds who enjoy observing the world around them.

Why Does My Cockatiel Climb The Cage?

Cockatiels have a natural inclination to climb, despite their ability to fly. So your pet bird will likely climb to the top of its cage. It’s not advisable to relocate the cage to a higher spot, as it won’t deter the bird from climbing.

Restricting a cockatiel from climbing can go against its instincts, even if its wings are clippedOpens in a new tab.. Hence, it’s recommended to allow the bird to climb as it wishes.

Here are the top reasons why cockatiels enjoy climbing:


Cockatiels need exercise to maintain their physical and mental health due to their high metabolism.

As active birds, they require regular exercise and climbing is an essential form of exercise that helps them stay fit and burn off energy.

You can provide a larger cage to encourage them to climb more or even fly in it.

Climbing can also provide mental stimulation and prevent boredom.

While climbing, they may even perform some gymnastic-like moves. So, don’t deter them from doing this, and allow them to embrace their instinct.


Climbing can also be a way for your cockatiel to satisfy its natural curiosity and desire for exploration. As intelligent and curious birds, cockatiels need mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. This activity provides an opportunity for them to investigate and interact with their environment, which can help keep them mentally stimulated and engaged.


Some cockatiels will climb the walls of a cage in sheer excitement. This usually happens after they have paced around or hopped on one foot.

However, if your cockatiel starts climbing when you enter the room, there may be other signs of joy, such as:

Chirping and chattering

Shaking their tail feathersOpens in a new tab.

Puffing their wings and crestOpens in a new tab.

Flying toward you

These actions are a way for your bird to get your attention and express excitement at seeing you.

Stress and boredom

Your cockatiel’s climbing behavior may not always be harmless. When stressed or bored, it may pace its cage, increasing its intensity of climbing.

This could lead to slipping and falling, especially when it’s feeling stressed or afraid of something.

However, it’s important to consider why your bird is feeling anxious, such as exposure to loud noises or the presence of another pet.

Also, if your bird feels compelled to keep climbing the walls of its cage, it’ll likely eventually start seeking an escape. If a cockatiel loosens the gate of its cage, it could escape.

Cockatiel Climbing All Over The Cage

It is a common situation for the cockatiel to climb all over its cage. However, some owners may become concerned when their cockatiel seems to be climbing excessively, fallingOpens in a new tab., or exhibiting other signs of hyperactivity.

If your cockatiel is climbing excessively and falling, it could be a sign of boredom or a lack of stimulation. Therefore, you need to provide them with various climbing opportunities outside of their cage, such as play gyms with ladders and perches, to keep them engaged and active.

In that way, your cockatiel will also exercise, explore and play, outside of the cage. This can help you prevent excessive climbing and falling and reduce hyperactivity in the cage.

Regularly rotates its toysOpens in a new tab. to keep them more interested and engaged.

Why Does My Cockatiel Climb At Night?

Cockatiel Climb At Night

You may find that your cockatiel climbs the cage more at night when you expect it to be sleeping. This behavior may be due to its skittish nature, particularly when it feels alone and scared in the dark.

Cockatiels rely on their sense of smell and hearing to detect the presence of their owners or other animals nearby since they can’t see them. As a result, they may become scared and climb as high as possible for protection.

In contrast, climbing at night can also be a way for cockatiels to find a secure place to roost.

Wild cockatiels naturally seek out the highest spot they can find, which enables them to sleep hanging upside downOpens in a new tab., ready to flee at a moment’s notice if they sense danger. When a cockatiel feels safe in its environment, it will hang from the highest point of its cage and sleep peacefully in an upside-down position.

If you’re concerned about your cockatiel’s safety while roosting, you can place a soft surface on the bottom of the cage to prevent injuries from potential falls. They have a natural tendency to sleep upside down, which is why accidents are unlikely to occur.

Should I Offer My Cockatiel Climbing Toys?

Climbing toys should always be a part of a cockatiel’s cage. To keep it entertained and satisfy its climbing instinct, it is essential to provide climbing toys in its cage.

Ladders are the most common climbing toys, available in different materials such as woodOpens in a new tab., ropeOpens in a new tab., net, or wooden climbing frames.

When choosing the climbing items, consider the cage’s size and shape, using ladders for tall and narrow cages and small climbing frames for shorter and wider ones.

Ladders also encourage balance development in young birds, but they may need to be replaced periodically if chewed on.

By providing this type of toy, you can help your bird prevent boredom and frustration and feel more relaxed in its cage.


Cockatiels are highly active and playful birds that enjoy climbing and exploring their environment. As natural climbers, they require various opportunities to exercise and engage in physical activities. This will help them to maintain their physical and mental well-being.

Providing them with ladders, perches, and toys inside their cage can keep them entertained and active. It’s also important to give them plenty of time outside their cage to exercise, socialize, and explore.

By creating a stimulating and safe environment, your cockatiel can thrive and enjoy its natural climbing behavior.

Cockatiel Enthusiast

My name is Bojan. I have been around Cockatiels for the past 7 years. I love writing about Cockatiels and helping people understand how these beautiful birds live, what they like, and how to provide them the best possible care.

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