Ask Lafeber


June 2, 2021

Cockatiel behaviour

Hello, this is A. I have a question to ask about my cockatiels.
We have one lutino and one whiteface cockatiel.
My lutino cockatiel is a male. We brought him home about a year ago. While the whiteface cockatiel is a female. We brought her home about a month back.
When we introduced the two, the male cockatiel was very friendly, he’d preen the female’s feathers occasionally. However, he had an eye injury and became a bit dull but he is recovering. I’ve noticed that after the injury he began to ignore the female bird. She’d make a low growling noise which I believe she does to gain the male bird’s attention (?) but he doesn’t respond. He’s not as friendly to her as he used to be. I’m worried that they may not get along with each other. Could you explain the meaning of this behavior?


Hi A,

If you want these birds to remain tame, it is best that they do not share a cage. If they get bonded with each other, they will not remain tame with you. Both birds are too young to be introduced to each other, since they are opposite sex. And they are much too young to breed. A male & female should not be together until both birds are at least two years old. They mature at different rates, so you want both birds to have time to get fully mature before introducing them to each other. Right now, the female may be interested in breeding, even though she is too young, and the male is not interested because he is too young and he may still feel bad form the eye troubles. I would keep these birds apart until they are 2 years or older. Otherwise the interactions are going to be unpredictable, and you don’t want her to lay eggs when she is too young. She is at a higher risk of becoming egg bound and dying because she is still maturing physically and isn’t ready for the physical strain of forming and laying eggs.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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