Taming a Biting Cockatiel

Cockatiels are members of the parrot family.
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Any animal can bite. Cockatiels, which have strong, sharp beaks, can bite for a wide range of reasons, including fear, affection and even just trying to get your attention. Fortunately, it is relatively simple to train a cockatiel to keep his beak to himself.

Step 1

Observe the conditions when your cockatiel decides to bite. Is it late in the day when the bird could be tired? Is it a young male cockatiel? Are other animals around? (In the latter case, cockatiels sometimes bite to "warn" you of perceived danger.)

Step 2

Handle your cockatiel frequently. This will get him used to being around you.

Step 3

Keep your cockatiel off your shoulder until he learns not to bite. This is a form of negative reinforcement, withholding something your bird wants until he behaves.

Step 4

Pull your hand away whenever your cockatiel bites. Do not scold him, as cockatiels cannot distinguish between positive and negative attention.

Step 5

Ignore the bird whenever he bites. Almost any attention could be viewed as positive, which reinforces biting as a negative behavior.

Step 6

Clip your bird's wing feathers if he is a young male. This seems to calm young males down and make them less nippy.

the nest