how do cockatiel birds sleep

New bird owners often find cockatiel sleep to be a big mystery – they show unique behaviors like sleeping on one leg and with an eye open. I will explore the reasons behind this in the article below.

To answer you upfront: cockatiels sleep upright, alternating on their legs through the night. They are naturally social birds and prefer spending time with their flock in the wild.

This also includes sleeping. They usually search for a tree with several branches to rest on during the night.

In captivity, cockatiels will sleep on the perch or branch their owner kept for them in the cage.

In the following article, I’ll tell you more about the cockatiel’s sleeping habits, sleep positions, their infamous night frights, and more.

How Do Cockatiels Sleep in The Wild?

Cockatiels typically sleep on open trees with multiple branches when they are in the wild. They pick and choose which branch on a tree to sleep on and remain in that location.

They will seek cover in the tree’s leafy sections when the weather is severe and unfavorable. These leafy parts of trees also protect them from predators.

Wild cockatiels exhibit a strong preference for companionship due to their social nature. Therefore, they will also favor sleeping in pairs or with their flock.

In the winter, this accomplishes a double duty by keeping them warmer at night.

1. Head Tucked Between Shoulders and on One Leg

When parrots fall into deep sleep, they almost always assume this position (also known as REM, which stands for rapid eye movement sleep). A cockatiel will tuck its head between its wings, at the point where its shoulders meet, in this posture. It will turn its head over either shoulder. They will also raise one leg off of their perch and fall asleep. The elevated limb is held tightly against their body, all toes “clenched.” The lifted leg frequently vanishes into their feathers, making it impossible to notice at all.

Like other parrots, cockatiels can alternate between their “perching” and “resting” legs while they sleep in this manner. This is akin to turning in our sleep without waking up, except it doesn’t require waking up.

how do cockatiel birds sleep

Cockatiel Sleeping on Bottom of Cage: What Could It Indicate?

Adult cockatiels typically sleep upright, with one leg elevated on their perch.

But if your cockatiel exhibits this behavior too frequently, it may be a sign that something is wrong with your pet.

Your cockatiel may not be able to maintain its weight on the perch if it is not feeling well.

Speak with a veterinarian right away if you observe your pet bird continuing this behavior.

Additionally, see if you can identify any other symptoms, such as a decrease in energy and an appetite, that point to illnesses.


Do cockatiels need to be covered at night?

It is not necessary to cover bird cages at night. Sometimes a bird prefers it, sometimes it is needed to limit daylight when you have a bird who won’t stop laying eggs. But for now, there is no need to cover their cage at night. Cockatiels do better with a nightlight, too, because some can be prone to night frights.

Do cockatiels close their eyes when they sleep?

Originally Answered: Do cockatiels sleep with their eyes open? They close their eyes (both of them), and often tuck their heads under a wing. Pulling up one foot is also typical of a sleeping ‘tiel.

Do cockatiels sleep with their head down?

Cockatiels typically do not sleep on the bottom of their cage with their head hanging outside the bars. They prefer sleeping on a perch at an elevated position, tucking their head under their wing.

How many hours does a cockatiel need to sleep?

Birds need 10-12 hours of solid, uninterrupted sleep, which might be more than he is getting if you cover him up when you go to bed and wake him up when you get up. He needs to be in the dark and in a place where he feels safe and able to snooze.