Well, my new cockatiel is already injured.

Not bad, but I feel terrible. This night frights thing is no joke. Last night, the neighbor made a loud sound which freaked out the poor little guy. I got him calmed down and opened the blinds to let in light from the driveway. He did great. Tonight I made sure the blinds were open, but I guess it was still too dark for him. He freaked, and now has a little dried blood spot on his wing. :frowning: So now I have a lamp on in the kitchen- on the other side of a cupboard so that there’s just enough light in there but not shining directly on him. I’m kind of worried about the safety of leaving a lamp on all night long, but I don’t know what to do. Little night lights just don’t seem to be bright enough (I tried the ones that we have in the house).

I just feel terrible. :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:

I always keep a lamp on at night for my budgies.

A radio left on low will also help to keep him from spooking so easily. If you hear him starting to have a night fright get the light on as soon as possible. Do you cover him at night?

I read this as “…cocktail is already injured”

Maybe I should stop posting with alcohol on my desk. :smiley:

Is he your first one? I got my first one about three years ago and enjoy him very much.

Have you clipped his wings? That and talon trimming are a couple of things that aren’t a lot of fun, but need to be done. I find it’s easiest to cover his head with a towel so he doesn’t fight as much.

The funniest thing I’ve taught him to say is “Bird of death!” I’ve also gotten him to say “ARR” after he hears me say “I’m a pirate!”. He also says “What are you doing?” when he hears movement in the next room along with a few other things.

I wondered about the radio thing- I wasn’t sure if it would keep him from getting good rest, but I’ll give it a go.

I talked to a local bird shop owner (who hand raises/feeds chicks and knows all about this stuff) and he recommended that I not cover the bird (whose name I haven’t quite decided on yet- I want to get to know him a little better!) because of the darkness/night frights thing. Instead he recommended a warming lamp (one of those lamps they use for reptiles) and no cover. It gets a little chilly in the kitchen at night, so I think the lamp idea is a great one.

Yes, he is my first one! I actually started a thread 2 years ago asking cockatiel owners a bunch of questions (I’d forgotten until I was searching around last night) so it’s definitely been on my mind for a while. I owned a lovebird years ago and had to give him away due to a housing situation (I was much younger & less settled), so I’ve always longed to have another bird.

His wings are clipped, but he’s due for another clipping soon- he has 1 1/2 feathers coming out on each side. I wanted to let him get settled in & more comfortable before I put him through the transport again.

He’s very wary of me so far. Hisses when I get too close. But he mouthed my fingers and sat on my shoulder and chirped at me and checked me out when I got him, so I know he’s capable of handling. He’s just not ready yet.

This morning he’s quiet (we were up late last night because of this issue so he’s probably tired) but he was stretching out his wing and preening on that side, so I think he’s going to be OK.

I cover my cockatiel cages about 1/2 to 2/3. That way they can hide if they want to, but they can also see out and (I think) don’t feel quite so trapped. That and a night light seems to help a lot.

Part of it, I’m sure, is that he is in a new place he’s not accustomed to yet.

My elderly neighbor calls his cat in at night by clapping his hands really loudly (and calling the cat “asshole” haha). That was Birdie’s first freak-out.

Don’t cover the cage completely, perhaps leave a 20w nite light on near the cage.

Night thrashing is actually a very common problem for cockatiels in particular. Bird Talk recommends leaving a night light on and not covering the cage completely.

One of the major hazards of thrashing is that the cockatiel will break a blood feather (a new feather that is still growing out and has its own blood supply). That’s probably what happened with the spot of blood you saw on its wing.

If you ever see a blood feather bleeding a lot, you should treat it as a medical emergency-- since parrots are small, they can bleed to death quite rapidly. Not every broken blood feather is that bad, though, and it sounds like your cockatiel is probably doing just fine.

Cockatiels and budgies are easily prone to night-frights. Amazons and Pionus parrots are not.

I have read one of those instantly-illuminating explanations for this: it’s an evolutionary advantage for each species, because they originate in different environments.

Cockatiels and budgies are open-grassland birds from semi-arid areas. Their environment is mostly tall grass and scrub brush. Predators at night are almost entirely ground animals. An unidentified noise at night is best responded to by leaving the dangerous ground for the safe, open air. There’s nothing to blunder into.

Amazons and Pionus parrots live in dense rainforest. Nocturnal predators can be above, below, or on the same level in the canopy. More importantly, everything around the roosting place is a potentially wing-breaking stick, vine, or tree trunk, in every direction. Taking wing in the dark is almost certain to result in immediate injury, leaving the bird at the mercy of every predator; it’s better to freeze and remain silent and hope for the best.

Cockatiels don’t thrash at night because they’re cowards; they do so because in their open environment they are statistically better off flying when they hear noise. It’s only because we artificially enclose them in a metal “jungle” (cage) that this instinct becomes dangerous to them.

I am gonna agree with what everyone has said so far, don’t or only partialy cover the cage, use a small night light or heat lamp in the room with them and leave a radio or tv on with the sound turned low and your fids will be ok. That what I do with mine and I have 6 tiels, 2 quakers and 2 budgies all of which are prone to night terrors.
Best Wishes

I picked up a timer to plug the lamp into so that it comes on before dark and turns off at dawn. So my little peeper should be well on his way to a good night’s sleep.

He just took food from me for the first time and then immediately started eating from his food dish and drinking. I’m sure he was hungry/thirsty!

You should eat with him if you can - sharing food/mealtime is very important to social bird. Even if he’s eating birdfood and you’re eating people food it’s still bonding as far as he’s concerned. Even better if he can have a few nibbles of what you’re having (served in his dish, before you take a bite) but you have to be sure it’s food safe for him.

We did that this very night!