Introducing A New Cockatiel To Your Home

When you buy a cockatiel, you will need to know how all about introducing a new cockatiel into your life and home, as well as integrate him slowly into your family.

Cockatiels are wonderful to keep as pets. They are both social and intelligent and love to interact with their humans.

Cockatiels also have really friendly and energetic temperaments, which makes them fun to interact with and play with. Exploring different ways of having fun with your new cockatiel will enhance your bond with him and help keep him happy, healthy, and busy.

Introducing A New Cockatiel To Your Environment

introducing a new cockatiel

Before bringing your new cockatiel home, make sure that you have the cage set up and ready for him.

Make sure the cage is not in a draft and the temperature is right for your new pet.

Click here to read about what sort of cages will suit a cockatiel.

Place food containers on the floor and some near perches so that your new bird can choose where it wants to eat. Make sure the food isn’t placed directly under a perch, or the cockatiel’s droppings will land up in its food.

Have perches of all different thicknesses as this is good for exercising their feet.

When you first your cockatiel home, consider sitting with him for about 20 minutes in the room where you have placed his cage and let him sit on top of the cage. By doing this, he will learn that the space outside of his cage is safe and this will make it easier for you to take him out of his cage later on.

When you first let the cockatiel out into his cage, he may fly around wildly at first, before settling on a perch.

Leave the cockatiel on its own for an hour or so to get accustomed to its new surroundings without having to deal with the distraction of having you watching it all the time. Do not overwhelm him on the first day, let him settle in first and get used to his new surroundings.

During the first week limit your interaction with him. Simply let him get used to his new surroundings first.

Turn on the light before it gets dark, as a young cockatiel will get a fright if a light suddenly comes on and it is used to darkness at night, especially if he has been living in an outdoor aviary.

new cockatiel

This fear will pass, but do try and avoid turning the lights on and off for the first few days.

Make sure he has a toy and mirror if he is an only bird. This is especially important if you are away from home for long periods during the day, otherwise, he will get very bored.

You can try offering your cockatiel some greens through the bars of the cage on the second or third day. Hold them still and keep it a slight distance away so you don’t overwhelm or frighten him. If he shows no interest at first just drop the food through the bars, and repeat this process every so often. With a bit of patience, the cockatiel will start to enjoy taking the food from you.

Once the cockatiel is settled, put the cage in a busy area of your house so that your cockatiel can interact with your family.

How long it takes to train your new cockatiel depends on how tame or wild he is when you acquire him. Hand-reared birds will generally be easier to tame, and if you have bought a young cockatiel, it will also be a faster process. The more time you spend in the company of your cockatiel each day, the shorter the training period will need to be.

It is recommended that you let your new cockatiel get used to his new surroundings for a week or so before starting to finger train him. You can offer him food in your hand for the first week so that he can start getting used to you and learn to trust you.

Next Steps To Train Your New Cockatiel

Next, you can open the door of the cage and offer him the food directly. Always move slowly so as not to upset or frighten your bird.

introducing new cockatiel

Once your cockatiel is used to you, you can slowly start tempting him to climb onto your finger. Coax him gently by offering your finger just above the perch that he is sitting on. Start by touching his toes and gently running your finger up his feet.

introducing a new cockatiel to your home

Once your new cockatiel steps onto your finger, half the battle is won and you can start by moving him short distances within his cage, and then eventually take him out of his cage.

Schedule time to spend with your new pet each day. The more time you spend with him, the more fun you will be able to have with him as he will get tamer and tamer.

See what your cockatiel likes to do. Mine, for instance, loves to have his head scratched. Some like to toss toys. For instance, you can roll a ball towards him and he can roll or toss it back to you.

Talking to your new cockatiel is a great way to interact with him and in this way, you can teach him to talk if he is a male.

When you talk to him, associate your words with something very specific. For example, say the name of a particular food (e.g., ‘banana’) as you are feeding it to him.

Speak enthusiastically as cockatiels like this and are more likely to copy you.

Try saying ‘hello’ as you come in the door and ‘bye-bye’ as you leave and your cockatiel will relate those words with gestures.

Eventually, with repetition, your cockatiel will start saying the words back to you.

Believe it or not, cockatiels are also quite rhythmical. Try putting on some music and with the bird on your finger, move it up and down in time to the beat. Watch as your bird starts to bop his head in time to the music. So now you have taught him how to dance.

These are the moments that build trusting relationships, so make them all count when introducing a new cockatiel to your world.

Please comment below with your own experiences when it comes to introducing a new cockatiel into your home.


  1. Thank you for the information… very useful. I have read elsewhere that mirrors are not a good idea, as: (1) the cockatiel may bond with his reflection and (2) they may perform mating behaviour and get frustrated by the lack of response from the reflection.

    I have a new 5-year old male named Charlie and I am busy trying to learn how to make him happy and healthy.

    1. Hi Matt,

      Yes cockatiels do get attached to their mirrors, but other than that I have never had any problems and I always have a mirror in their cage, no matter how many birds are in the cage. They all enjoy looking at themselves and if they are alone, it is almost like having some company. Other toys should also be offered to keep your birds stimulated.

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