why does my bird put one leg up

Listed below are common behavior problems reported in pet cockatiels. Simply click the question below for more information. If your questions cannot be found here, please visit or main cockatiel section or stop by our parrot forum and post your questions.

Listed below are common behavior problems reported in pet cockatiels. Simply click the question below for more information. If you are unable to find the answers you need here, please visit our main section dedicated to cockatiels or visit our parrot forum to ask your questions.

A cockatiel that is standing on one leg is typically in a healthy and tranquil state. When in this condition, most cockatiels will use one leg to balance on their perch while tucking the other leg into their feathers close to their chest. The cockatiel typically exhibits this behavior along with slightly ruffled feathers and slightly open eyes. Some cockatiels will also chirp a little bit; they seem to find this soothing. The cocktail is trapping air between its feathers and warming the air trapped within them when the feathers are slightly puffed up. Some cockatiels will tuck their heads beneath their wings to keep warm if they are extremely exhausted.

This behavior can be seen during noontime and during bedtime. Usually, a cockatiel will choose to perch and stand on one leg when it is in a quiet room with no activity. This is a normal behavior for all healthy cockatiels. Since these birds are on them all day, this activity helps the bird rest its legs. To guarantee that both legs have time to rest, cockatiels will all rotate their legs and tuck each side in for a short period of time. In the wild, a cockatiel can perch on a variety of branches with varying diameters and textures. Because of this, the cage should have a variety of sized perches so the bird can use its feet for exercise. The proprietor’s neighborhood pet store is where most purchases can be made. Should perches be unavailable, they could be removed from a tree in your backyard. Before putting any branches or twigs inside the bird’s cage, the owner should make sure they are safe for the parrot by doing some research. Every branch needs to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected using bleach or heated. While standing on one leg is thought to be typical cockatiel behavior, there are times when the bird is truly hurt. When walking, a cockatiel with an injury will typically favor the affected leg. The cockatiel will actually constantly tuck its limb away to prevent injury or further damage. This is evident when the owner gets close to the bird, which keeps favoring the injured leg. The owner should take the bird to the veterinarian right away for a more thorough examination if the owner thinks that the leg is injured for any reason.


Why does my bird lift one leg?

Birds will often stand on one foot to minimize heat loss. Some birds with fleshy feet, such as doves, have relatively short legs and can hunker down so their warm belly is pressed against their feet while perched, but accipiters, such as this young Cooper’s Hawk, have longer legs that make this far more difficult.

Why does my bird keep putting his foot up?

They often use a foot to fend off unwanted intrusions (by you or other birds). They can raise a foot because it hurts. This is less common than the first three, but you should watch for it because it may require a trip to the vet.

Why do birds sit with one leg up?

The stance is actually quite common in birds, and the reason for it is quite simple. In many cases, birds stand on one leg because they are cold and keeping one leg tucked up underneath their body helps prevent the loss of body heat, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology(Opens in a new window).

Do all birds sleep with one leg up?

Long-legged herons—as well as short-legged ducks, geese, hawks, and gulls—often roost in a peg-legged stance while keeping the other leg tucked up into their body feathers for warmth. On the beach, look for shorebirds balanced on one leg.