Cockatiel Sound 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Know Your Cockatiel Articles














 Cockatiel Sound

I would like to highlight here that I prepared this topic only based to my experience with my Cockatiel. There were no back up data information from any reference book.

     Refer to my Cockatiel that I keep, I found that the Cockatiel’s whistle have different type which is very distinctive and base on the whistle I will know what he is doing. .



        One of the whistle type that I would like to highlight here is “breeding whistle”. This type of whistle is only by male Cockatiel. It mean they invite the female to be with him. This whistle is very distinctive compared to other whistle where it is only two tone repeated for a very long time. If there is nest box around, the male will whistle the tone in front of the box (the hole) and also inside the box. After hearing this type of whistle, I can expect the eggs within one week.


        For cockatiel, when copulation happen (in process) the male cockatiel will create some noise. It is a soft noise, but easily recognize by expert. It is similiar with 'breeding' sound but it is softer and the male will repeatly create this sound until the copulation process finish.


Calling Whistle

       This type of whistle is one short (one separate call one after another) but very loud and can be heard from far. This call whistle can be heard when I bring or take one bird out of the café. Normally when one Cockatiel make this calling whistle, the rest of the flock will give their attention. The other bird also will reply this whistle. However, this type of whistle only occurred to the non-tame Cockatiel only. This type of call is like a warning call to other bird. They want to express their “concern” of their young member or to ask him or her “where are you? Are you okay?”


Happy whistle

       Normally my Cockatiel will have “happy whistle” during morning and late afternoon. It is a mix whistle with many tone and the obvious is they are having “a good time” this normally occurred because in the morning, Cockatiel will be very hungry after fasting in the night. Therefore, after they enjoy their morning meal, they will have this type of whistle to greet each other. This also apply for the afternoon, but only this time they may exhausted because of their busy day instead of their “fasting night”.


Boring/Tension sound

       I haven't had this problem because I keep my Cockatiel in pairs and in group. I don't like to keep bird on their own without proper attention, actually I oppose this type of keeping birds or any other animals. However, from many books that I read, I found that some Cockatiel owner encounter this problem. I only can conclude that this problem is occurred because the cockatiel didn't have the proper attention as they should get. This is a behaviour problem, just like plucking feather problem. Basically, the pet cockatiel have this problem because they need to attract our attention. If your pet cockatiel has this problem, one of the option that you could try is by change the "environment", by changing the place for the cage (say the other rooms in the house with lots of activities going on) and also to give some friend for her/ him.


        Well, here I  elaborate 4 type of very distinctive Cockatiel whistle and the reason that I believe why Cockatiel do that. If you are a Cockatiel lover and enjoy your time observing Cockatiel, you will realize that there are so many type of whistle and it can tell us about their exiting life. The whistle also a good indicate of a healthy Cockatiel (except tension screech!)  because only healthy Cockatiel will whistle, a sick Cockatiel will rarely whistle. 


       I hope this section can help or assist you in some way to understand you Cockatiel better. There are lot of Books that elaborate Cockatiel behavior in detail. Check out some great book about Pet Cockatiel here or at



Cockatiel Books and Video Tapes from Avian Publications

The Complete Pet Bird Owner's Handbook (Revised Edition) by Dr. Gary A. Gallerstein

Avian Medicine: Principles and Application (Abridged Edition) by Dr. Branson Ritchie, Dr. Greg Harrison, Linda Harrison & Dr. Donald W. Zantop


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22 December 2003

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November 2003