Cockatiels are one of the most beautiful and intelligent bird species that sometimes tend to be quite noisy. If your cockatiel has been hissing a lot recently, you will indeed wonder: Why is my cockatiel hissing? This indicates that something is bothering your bird, and there are several reasons behind this behavior.
Why Is My Cockatiel Hissing?
Why Is My Cockatiel Hissing? Cockatiels are usually hissing when they are unhappy or dissatisfied with something, and because of this, they use “hissing” to express their dissatisfaction. This usually happens when your cockatiel is scared, upset, and irritated, and there are several reasons behind this.
Although cockatiels belong to a group of communicative birds, their constant hissing indicates that they are unhappy or that something is bothering them. You, as their owner, need to find out the reasons for their behavior if you want your cockatiel to be happy and healthy.
Reasons Why Your Cockatiel Has Been Hissing
Often many cockatiel owners are quick to evaluate their bird’s behavior and wonder why the cockatiel bites them in return.
Just as we humans express our dissatisfaction with anxiety and anger, so do cockatiels do hissing to show their resentment.
Here are some common reasons why your cockatiel may be hissing a lot lately.
1. They Feel Fear or Threat
Cockatiels are also often hissing when they will sense a stranger or intruder nearby. At that moment, they feel fear because a stranger steps closer to their cage, and in that way, they respond with hissing to keep the stranger away from them.
2. They Do Not Want You To Touch Or Pett Them
Cockatiels do not like you touching or petting them too often. So they signal to their owners to stop petting them by hissing. However, continuing this can result in a bite. Therefore, it is of great importance to find out why your cockatiel is constantly hissing to avoid an injury.
3. They Feel Fear Of Another Bird Or Animal Nearby
This may not be the best solution if you want to get a new pet to keep your cockatiel company. Maybe that’s why your cockatiel is hissing a lot lately. Cockatiels often feel afraid of other animals and therefore start hissing to keep them as far away as possible.
4. When You Place a Foreign Object in Their Cage
Cockatiels often know how to be picky about their surroundings and may or may not like something you put in their cage. So they start hissing to signal you to remove that item. This can be anything. It can be from a ball and some bells to a swing.
5. They Don’t Like The Food You Have Been Feeding Them
Cockatiels know how to be quite careful and picky when it comes to their food. They quickly express their dissatisfaction if they do not like the food you give them.
If they stop eating, this will hint to you if food is really the problem. Then, you can start giving them different foods to see which one is best for your cockatiel.
6. Cockatiels Are In The Mood
Yes, your cockatiel is likely to start hissing when they are in the mood. Cockatiels also know how to make different awkward sounds to feel their presence. As we have already said, they are pretty talkative birds, so you can expect them to make such noises as they play around.
7. When a Female Cockatiel Is Nesting
Female cockatiels can be pretty aggressive when they are nesting or laying eggs. Most of them will not let you near the nest if they give birth soon.
This is a normal protective instinct in female cockatiels, so many of them can become aggressive if you are near their cage or nest. However, once the eggs are hatched, they will stop their hostile behavior and return to their old friendly behavior.
If the hissing is persistent and the predator thinks it is a bluff, then the mother can become very aggressive and flap her wings.
8. Cockatiels are Naturally Anti-Social
Just like us humans, cockatiels know how to be antisocial. This can be pretty obvious in their behavior when they are around people or other pets.
If your cockatiel is constantly aggressive when they are around people, this may be a sign that your bird does not want much interaction and wants to be alone at that moment.
9. Cockatiels Want To Get Out of Their Cage for Some Playtime
Some cockatiels may be interactive and want to play, so they may be hissing to remind you to take them out of the cage.
10. Cockatiels Don’t Want to Go Back Into Their Cage
If your cockatiel starts hissing at you when you try to put them back in the cage, this indicates that they are not in the mood to go back to the cage and wants to play more.
11. Something is Close to Its Favourite Person
If the cockatiel has a favorite person, it may not like anyone else and may be very wary of them. In some cases, they can even jealously defend their loved one by hissing at other pets or people.
So, for example, if the cockatiel has connected with you, it can hiss to any family member or friends that approach. Also, cockatiels can be very jealous if you have a dog or kitten, and they try to snuggle with you, and they will hiss on them to ward them off.
12. Sometimes It’s Hormonal
At the end of the nesting season, you may notice that your cockatiel is only hormonal. This is most typical of growing cockatiels that go through puberty. However, all of this can result in mood swings where the cockatiel has abrupt temperament changes.
It may be more defensive of its cage, toys, and its personal space. If you get too close, it will hiss. The best way to deal with this situation is to respect her need for alone time and thus try to strengthen your bond with it.
Can Hissing Be a Good Sign For Your Cockatiel
Yes, most hissing can be a sign that your cockatiel is excited, especially in baby cockatiels. Baby cockatiels emit a sound similar to hiss and can be heard often when they are fed. This sound is a way of their communicating, and with that, they want to say that they are content.
Adult male cockatiels also know to hiss during their courtship, and this is interpreted as entirely normal and non-aggressive behavior. However, they make this sound before they start courting, and it is followed by their head bobbing and a lovely melody.
Male cockatiels sometimes even know how to incorporate this behavior into their courtship.
What Should I Do If My Cockatiel Start Hissing?
When your cockatiel is hissing, the first thing to do is to pull back and stay away from your bird until it calms down. Since hissing is the way they express anger, at that point, it is best to stay away to avoid injury because your cockatiel can attack you.
Give your cockatiel space and time to relax. Do not let them be bored or force them to any interactions as this may cause your cockatiel to become even more aggressive.
Your cockatiel will probably only need time and will not want more people hanging around its cage. The point here is to make your cockatiel feel happy in his home. Also, never feed your cocktail when it is hissing because it can attack you out of fear or frustration.
Once your cockatiel has calmed down after a while, try to touch it in its cage and give them a signal to jump on your hand. If they do, make your cockatiel enjoy it afterward.
This way, they will learn to trust you and rely on you, and so you will have a stronger and happier relationship with your cockatiel.
Cockatiel Making Weird Noises
Cockatiels can make several sounds as a way to communicate or have fun. Some of them may sound like hissing then they do not intend to be aggressive. For example, your cockatiel can also have:
- Raspy voice especially if the cockatiel is older or has had a previous respiratory infection.
- Trying to clear the throat especially if it is coughing or choking.
- Trying to mimic a cat that’s hissed in the past.
- They try to mimic what they hear on TV or radio.
See Also: Cockatiel Making Weird Noises: Possible Reasons & Solutions
Sounds From Unhappy Cockatiels
Except for the hissing, if the cockatiel feels uncomfortable or unhappy, they will scream. This sound will be loud, and you will often hear it, especially if they feel they are in danger.
This sound can be loud at an average of 120 decibels and can be heard for miles around. In the wild, cockatiels do this to warn other cockatiels or other birds of danger.
Growling and another sound that cockatiels sometimes use as a warning. Some cockatiels will alternate between hissing and growling as a way to let you know it is upset.
Cockatiels hiss out of discomfort, fear, and aggression. If your cockatiel makes this sound, investigate what is causing this disturbance. By removing the source that causes all this, your cockatiel will feel safe, and it will not need to hiss.