Can You Tell Me Why My Elder Cockatiel Screams Continuously?

Can You Tell Me Why My Elder Cockatiel Screams Continuously?

Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing

Rebecca asks,

I have a question about my cockatiel. It is a male grey cockatiel. He is almost 13 years old. I take him to the Avian vet for his checkups.

Since October he has been screaming pretty much all day and biting and acting out.

He gets several different kinds of seeds and veggies.

Has toys but prefers to play with paper or cardboard. He has had hormone shots in the past.

However, he doesn’t like my 2 parakeets.

He is allowed out of his cage pretty much all day. Then is put back in his cage at night.

He chews up the baseboards, anything wood or he will chew on the tile. Frankly, I am tired of it.

What can I do other than give him away? (That is a problem as well as No one wants him)

He doesn’t like other animals, cats/dogs or kids.

I am at my wit’s end.

Can you please suggest something?

He has an appointment with the vet on December 15th the earliest I could get.

Thank you for your help

Catherine replied,

Dear Rebecca

We understand your pain. We also have a cockatiel that is less than enjoyable and if he had not come to us the way he did, we would not have him either.

In March 2020 we received a call from a woman who was cleaning out the home of a recently deceased hoarder and she found a small filthy cage with a cockatiel in it in the dark along with a couple of dogs.

Catherine in back of Ford Escape holding the "transfer to cage after the deed was done on the momentarily sealed vehical

She asked if we could take him in. We had just, a week before taken in a Quaker so it was not the plan but we said yes and Mitch took a small cage to go pick up the bird.

Once there, he was not allowed in the house as it was too dirty and he brought home Barney. Before he could come in I had to get him into the clean cage as the cage he was in was infested.

So I climbed into the back of the car and transferred this very unhappy and dirty bird into the clean cage.

We had a nice big cage for him once he was settled and over time he went from a quiet whispering bird to one who won’t shut up.

Starting at dawn and continuing through the day until he gets corraled back into his cage for the night.

Then he has commentary about any lamps that are still on until they get turned off.

Now he is cute and all but his personality is very grumpy. He has been both clipped and unclipped.

For a while, he was not allowing us to get him back in his cage at all and after resorting to netting him to catch him, we clipped his wings for a bit to get him to accept our involvement in his life.

It helped as by the time his wings regrew, he accepted us more and realized that we were not evil and yes, we still have to deal with a bit of involvement in bedtime caging, he does accept the plan and goes back in for the night after one or two loops around the house.

He is not cuddly but is needy. When let out of his cage in the morning he flies out to a perch and starts chattering, saying everything he knows over and over until he is satisfied. Then finds a roost by the window to sit most of the day.

We cannot pick him up as he flies off. He will bite if cornered. He is not a good buddy to anyone.

But he is a lonely little bird and if we don’t love him, who will? If you can accept your tiel as he is, great. You still may have some good times with him.

Get his wings clipped and start him on a schedule with you.

In the morning, let him, out and have him step up on your finger and put him on a stand with a dish of chopped veggies and a bit of apple.

Let him watch you work around the house. At the same time daily, drop a treat or a couple of sunflower seeds in front of him.

Birds can’t tell the day of the week but they can tell time.

Over time he will start to look forward to you doing things with him. 30 minutes before the bird’s lights go off, we corral them into their cages and give them a nummy.

Barney gets a 2″ chunk of millet and looks forward to it. The birds settle in for the night and all is good.

So save your baseboards, get him clipped, and start handling him more. He may turn out to be nice company.

Happy to help,

Let me know if you need further information.

Kindest regards,


Leave a Reply

Close Menu