Q: I have a male and female cockatiel – Ausie and Stella. Before they decided to breed, they were very tame and people friendly. Now that they are breeding, they want nothing to do with me. I miss having them on my shoulder and singing to me. Will they become tame again once breeding season is over?
Linda S. Rubin explains:
It is so disheartening when a pet cockatiel that was once so tame and loving becomes aggressive and unfriendly during the breeding cycle. However, don’t take it personally; it is only biology at work, as breeding hormone levels rise and prompt your pair to defend and protect their mates, nesting site, eggs and young. This is a temporary condition that will soon right itself once the babies have grown and the season has reached its conclusion.
In fact, it is because your cockatiels were so tame to begin with that they are so unfriendly to you now, and that is because they have no actual fear of you. Cockatiels that were never tame are more timid and afraid of their keepers who go to check the nests during nest inspection. However, tame cockatiels only appear unfriendly, disinterested or even aggressive, because they are actually quite comfortable with and unafraid of their owners.
There is no need to worry. Once the breeding cycle ends and hormone levels return to normal, your cockatiels should be back to their tame and friendly natures. It is not a bad trade off for a little time, because in the end, you will have some wonderful, tame cockatiel babies. And their parents will soon return to their lovable selves. Enjoy!