Parrot Trick – How To Teach Your Cockatiel To Wave

In this video, you can see an African Grey Parrot and a Cockatoo waving. If you want to learn how to teach this parrot trick to your cockatiel, read on.

How To Teach Your Cockatiel To Wave

This is actually a very popular parrot trick, but did you know that you can also teach it to your cockatiel. parrot trick

First, your cockatiel must be tame enough to sit on a T-stand outside of its cage.

The one here is ideal and you can order it from Amazon for about 20 bucks by clicking on the picture.

Let your cockatiel (or parrot for that matter) sit on the T-Stand.

Wiggle your fingers of your right hand as if creating a small wave.

While you are doing this, say the word “wave” or whatever word you want to use to convey the message.

Now offer your hand or finger for your bird to step on.

Each time the cockatiel tries to step onto your hand pull it away.

Soon it will learn that all it has to do to win the reward is to raise its left foot only.

So ideally you should be able to just wave your fingers back and forth and it should gradually raise its foot.

Reward your bird immediately when it lifts the foot as high as possible as it starts to drop. This is the beginning of the wave.

Repeat this process over and over, until the bird imitates you by waving its foot from side to side.

Parrot Trick Tip:

To help your bird to focus, make sure you remove any distractions, like toys or a radio playing in the background.

To learn how to teach your bird some more parrot tricks, you can click here.



  1. I really enjoyed reading about how to make your cockatoo wave!!!!!! I don’t have any birds so I had no idea that they could learn any tricks except for to talk really. This just goes to show how smart animals are, especially birds. I just wish there was a way to train them not to be so messy. If there was a way to do that, I might be able to convince my husband to let me have one.

    1. You are missing out. They are not as messy as you think. You can potty train them too – read this!

      If you are worried about the mess that they make around the cage the solution is simple. You do get cages with lips to catch all the seed, but I simply take mine outside under my thatch roof during the day and bring them in at night. Most of the mess gets eaten by the wild birds, and they love it outside.

      Just make sure the birds are protected from the sun and drafts.

  2. This is very cool!

    It is actually very simple to teach them how to wave, it seems! Is it hard to get them calm enough?

    Thank you for sharing!

    P.s. You say to click the picture, but for some reason I am not seeing a picture, just a really small icon and the words “parrot trick”.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Sam. I will check into that.

      The trick is to only start to teach them tricks once they are already tame and calm. They must be used to you and be finger tame before you can start to teach parrot tricks.

  3. I found the article to be quite interesting. Although I don’t own a cockatiel, bu I know someone that does. When it comes to a cockatiel, I could only come up with them talking and saying a few words or two. This undoubtedly change my mind on how you can teach an old bird a new tricks. Very simple techniques just to do. How long does it take you to see the actual trick being present in the bird?

    1. Not too long if you train every day. Also depends on the relationship that you have with your bird. The bigger the parrot, the easier it is to train.

  4. I actually didn’t notice the waving the first time I watched the video. Had to watch it again.

    The cockatiel looked like he or she was shaking a leg.

    It seems to be a perfect example of classical conditioning. The cockatiel gets rewarded with a treat whenever “waving.”

    I don’t have any birds of my own, but like to look at them from afar.

    1. Yes I think it is like teaching a bird to dance, they have to practice to get the action just right.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment.

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