Avian Behavior Guide

Written by Karine, TaffyWduck, and Pho, phoenixk

Avian behavior can be very complex but with knowledge of some general ones and what they mean, you will be able to learn more about your bird. We'll start with the language of the cockatiel crest. Cockatiels are unique in that, unlike other small parrots, they have a crest that can give us clear insight into what's going on inside the bird's head. The positions of the crest vary from laying flat on the head to sticking straight up in the air.

  1. A flat, angry crest. When a cockatiel's crest lays flat on the head, it is usually a sign of hostility. Of course, even sweet, tame cockatiels like Ebo have moments where the crest will flatten and the inner demon will emerge -- it's totally natural!
  2. A relaxed crest at "half mast." This is a regular crest position for the usual content cockatiel.
  3. A relaxed, yet alert crest position. This is a common position for an inquisitive cockatiel.
  4. A completely raised crest. Red alert! This is a common position for when a cockatiel is startled or otherwise on guard. This often happens when a cockatiel hears a "bump in the night," or when he hears the voice of another cockatiel that he can't see. It's an all-purpose "alert" crest. 
Much more on avian behavior via TailFeathersNetwork...

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