If you are raising baby cockatiels for the first time, one thing you need to be prepared for is a certain amount of chirping. Baby cockatiels chirp to let their parents and their owners know that they are hungry, stressed or wanting attention. However, as baby cockatiels mature they will chirp less frequently and instead communicate using common adult vocalizations, such as whistling or mimicking sounds.
The primary reason that most baby birds chirp is to signal to their parents that they’re hungry and need to be fed. Hatchlings, or babies less than 5 days old, are particularly voracious and need frequent feeding. Cockatiel owners should leave the babies with their parents at this age, as the parents will feed them fresh foods made available to them during the day and regurgitate food for them at night.
How Long Does Chirping Last?
Baby cockatiels may continue issuing their begging cries to alert that they want food for several weeks after they are weaned from their parents. While doing this, they may also lower their heads slightly and retract their heads back toward the neck. This is normal behavior. Sometimes baby cockatiels will discover that chirping can lead to additional attention, so they may emit their begging chirps to inform their owner they want to socialize.
When baby cockatiels are moved from their nesting boxes to brooders or other warm environments to be hand-fed, they may become stressed out by the sudden change in environment and separation from their parents. In the wild, cockatiels will call out to locate others of their species; a baby cockatiel may chirp more than normal at this point because he is trying to call out to his parents. However, as you continue to hand-feed your baby cockatiels, they will bond with you and begin to associate you as their primary provider.
Adult Cockatiel Vocalizations
Although they do not speak as clearly as some other parrots, adult cockatiels can be taught to mimic words frequently spoken by their owners. They also whistle or call out when they want to determine if owners or other cockatiels are nearby. Sometimes an upset cockatiel will make a screaming noise to get attention. Some screaming is normal, although excessive screaming may indicate a real problem and should be discussed with your vet.