Why Is My Cockatiel At The Bottom Of The Cage?

Cockatiels prefer to perch high in their cages; they don’t naturally gravitate to the bottom of their cage. You will often find them seeking out the highest points, sitting on the loftiest branches or bars they can reach. So, it’s odd when this isn’t the case. But why is my cockatiel at the bottom of the cage?

Why Is My Cockatiel At The Bottom Of The Cage? The main reason why cockatiels spend most of their time at the bottom of the cage may be sickness, being stuck in the cage, being injured, or being scared of an object or another cockatiel at the top of the cage. Also, temperature extremes and overcrowding can drive a cockatiel to the base of a cage, as exhaustion.

Cockatiel At The Bottom Of The Cage

Read further to learn more about the reasons why there is a cockatiel at the bottom of the cage.

Why Does My Cockatiel Stay On The Bottom Of The Cage?

If your cockatiel is staying at the bottom of the cage for many hours at a time or permanently, this could have the following explanation:


If the cockatiel is sick, it might not be able to climb upOpens in a new tab. higher in the cage. Also, it may be exhausted and unable to fly higher than a few inches. So, it’ll minimize activity to preserve energy.

Physical trauma

Even in places they are used to, cockatiels can bump into things or the cage bars and hurt their wings or get a head injury. This could mean that a cockatiel can’t ascend to the higher parts of the cage.


It’s possible your cockatiel landed on the bottom of the cage floor and got its foot caught. Since cockatiels have delicate legs, they might not be able to move enough to get away.

Some cockatiels will flap their wingsOpens in a new tab. wildly to get free and injure themselves. Others will give up or stay put so they don’t hurt their legs anymore.


Have you put something new on top of the cage, like a toy, a mirrorOpens in a new tab., or another object?

If your cockatiel appears to avoid this toy or item, fluffs its feathers, screamsOpens in a new tab., or flaps its wings, it may be afraid of it, so it goes to the bottom of the cage to stay away from it.

Escape bullying

If you have two or more cockatiels, they may not get along. In this situation, they may fight all the timeOpens in a new tab., whether it’s over food, water, or space.

At some point, the more powerful cockatiel will take control of the top of the cage. Because of fear, the weaker one will have to live almost entirely on the ground.

If you have multiple cockatiels in the same cage and some appear to live on the ground level, consider moving them to their cage.


According to the Earth Observatory NasaOpens in a new tab. cockatiels are sensitive to extreme temperature changes. Pet cockatiels may become distressed when the weather gets too hotOpens in a new tab. or cold.

If the temperature in the cage goes above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, your cockatiel may move to the lower, cooler parts of the cage.

Also, a cockatiel may feel too cold to perch properly and fall offOpens in a new tab.. Once at the bottom of the cage, it will seek to conserve energy and warmth by staying there.


A cockatiel may be at the bottom of the cage because it’s hiding. Ask yourself if you have done anything to make the cockatiel afraid of you, like touch it too much or yell at it.

There may have also been things outside the house that scared the cockatiel, such as loud noises. If so, seek to reassure and calm the cockatiel.

It’s also possible that a cockatiel is playing with you. Cockatiels love to play games with their human owners, with hide-and-seek or peek-a-boo among the reaction activities cockatiels enjoy. If the cockatiel rises when you acknowledge it, it is likely having fun.

Why Is My Cockatiel Sleeping At The Bottom Of The Cage?

Cockatiel Sleeping At The Bottom Of The Cage

Most cockatiels sleep on their perches, which is an instinctual behavior that keeps them safe from ground-based predators in the wild.

When they are in captivity, they will feel safe and secure if they sleep high up. If your cockatiel foregoes this instinct and sleeps on the bottom of the cage, it’s a sign of a problem.

Sick and weak

A cockatiel may feel too unwell, disoriented, or in pain to fly back to its perch. If the cockatiel is prepared to sleep on the floor of its cage, it could be very weak and sick.

Even sick cockatiels will try their hardest to find a perch during the night. They understand how vulnerable they are to nocturnal predators when they sleep on the floor.

Lack of space

If you have several cockatiels in the same cage, there may be insufficient space to accommodate them. So, one or more of them might not be able to sleep on their favorite perch.

In rare cases, a cockatiel that is forced to stay on the floor may find it more comfortable than other places to sit, like perches. Even if you add more places for it to sleep, it will still sleep there.

You will need to provide your cockatiel with a larger, more spacious cage.


When a cockatiel plays or flies, it can get so tired that it doesn’t have the energy to climb its cage. Instead of sleeping on its favorite perch, it stays on the floor of its cage.

By sleeping on the ground, it can rest its tired legs and body, giving it more energy overnight. However, this shouldn’t continue for more than one night, or it’s likely to become injured.

Why Do Cockatiels Lay Eggs On The Ground?

Some new parent cockatiels lay their first eggs on the ground as they are still learning and developing their skills. Female cockatiels eventually realize that they should lay their eggs in loftier, safer spots.

Also, unsuitability and a lack of suitable nesting materialOpens in a new tab. may force cockatiels to go to the bottom of their cage.

Give the cockatiels a safe place to nest that is up high and filled with warm, comfortable nesting materials.

New Cockatiel Sitting On The Bottom of The Cage

Cockatiels feel more stressed and afraid in unfamiliar living environments.

It’s normal for a new cockatiel to settle in one spot, such as the corner of one perch, on the side of a cage, or at the bottom of the cage.

As the cockatiel gets used to its new home, it will start to feel less scaredOpens in a new tab. and worried. Do your utmost to get the cockatiel used to a routine, as this will speed up the orientation process. For example, always providing a source of fresh food and water will give the cockatiel security.

Talk to your cockatiel calmly, but avoid hovering over the cage, as it can make them more fearful. Then, add different perches and toys, like swings and bells, gradually.

If it feels comfortable, let your cockatiel out of its cageOpens in a new tab. to explore and play games.

If your cockatiel is at the bottom of the cage, it may be ill, injured, scared, stuck, or exhausted. There are, however, harmless explanations, such as temporary discomfort in a new situation.

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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