Total Cockatiel personality change after death of cage mate – what can be done?

Total Cockatiel personality change after death of cage mate – what can be done?


Hi Mitch–
I read about Popcorn’s ordeal while you were away and am hoping you have some suggestions. Until about a month ago, I had two cockatiels, Elm and Cal who were inseparable best friends. Elm passed away about a month ago and Cal is still freaking out. 
He squawks ALL THE TIME. He used to have pretty little songs and melodies. But this is loud and obnoxious and constant. I have to leave the security alarm off during the day while I am at work now because his squawking is so loud it will set off the glass-break sensor. His other cage mate, a Quaker parrot is still with him but he has not gravitated to her for company.
Woman scrtiching head of cockatiel
He has proper lighting, both day and night, set on timers so there is a good routine with that. I feed them avi-cakes and mixture of legumes, nuts and fruits with a small percentage of seeds and some table foods.
Any thoughts on how to help him get through his loss? Many thanks!
Hi Krysta – Catherine here:
I am so sorry for your birds loss of his pal.
We need to ask some questions (simply reply in comments below)
Were all three birds in the same cage?
In general Quakers can be aggressive to other birds so if you just put them together I would separate them into their own cages again.
How old is the remaining cockatiel?
How long were they together?
All males? 
Did they look similar?
If your remaining bird is elderly and you do not want to consider getting another cockatiel then I would recommend getting it a mirror.
Birds that lose their cage mates can often find comfort in seeing a similar bird in the mirror.
I wish I had any other way of offering your bird comfort but time will help.
Another option is to remove the birds from the cage and put them aside (in another cage for now), then rearrange the cage completely, move all the toys, perches, add some new toys too. Make sure there are places for the two birds to be able to retreat as desired. Then put the birds back inside and shut the door. This may help your bird become distracted by something else and it will take some time to get re-situated in the cage. 
We have Popcorn too who is a female tiel but she is as vocal as any male and loud so I do understand the problem with the calling. They are small birds but their call carries quite well.
Is your tiel tame? If so, try to offer it some comfort with scritches and a bit of millet. 
You can also offer comfort by trying to create a schedule for your bird.
Wake at the same time, radio goes on at the same time and off at the same time, lights on timers, fed at the same time, you come to greet your birds at the same time. The birds like a schedule and if your birds can begin to look forward to these things it may help too.
I hope some of this will help other than time.
catherine tobsing

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