How Do Cockatiels Behave During Nesting? Expert Insights & Tips.

Cockatiels are cavity nesters, which means they prefer to nest in enclosed spaces. In the wild, they may choose a tree hollow or a crevice in a rock. In captivity, cockatiels will often use a nesting box that is provided by their owner. When choosing a nesting site, cockatiels prefer a location that is quiet, dark, and secure. They may also prefer a site that is elevated, as this provides a better vantage point for keeping an eye on potential threats.

Building the Nest

Once a nesting site has been chosen, the female cockatiel will begin to build the nest. She will use materials such as twigs, leaves, and grass to create a comfortable and secure space for her eggs. The male may assist with the building process by gathering materials or providing food and water for the female.

Egg Laying and Incubation

After the nest has been built, the female will lay her eggs. Cockatiels typically lay 4-6 eggs per clutch, with each egg being laid approximately 2 days apart. The female will incubate the eggs for around 18-21 days, while the male will provide food and water for the female during this time.

Hatching and Chick Rearing

Once the eggs hatch, the chicks will be covered in down feathers and completely dependent on their parents for food and care. The chicks will be fed regurgitated food by both parents, and will grow rapidly over the course of several weeks. The parents will also spend time cleaning the nest and removing any waste or debris.

Changes in Cockatiel Behavior During Nesting

Bonding and Protective Instincts

During nesting, cockatiels may become more bonded to their mate and more protective of their nesting site. They may become more vocal and may display behaviors such as hissing or biting if they feel their nest is threatened. It is important to give nesting cockatiels plenty of space and to avoid disturbing them unnecessarily.

Territorial Defense and Aggression

Cockatiels may also become more territorial during nesting, and may become aggressive towards other birds or even humans who come too close to their nesting site. It is important to respect the cockatiel’s space and to avoid any behavior that could be seen as a threat.

Changes in Diet and Nutrition

Nesting cockatiels may require a different diet than they do at other times of the year. They may need additional protein and calcium to support egg production and chick rearing. It is important to provide a well-balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a high-quality pelleted diet.

Nesting Preparation and Tips

Choosing the Right Nesting Box

When choosing a nesting box for your cockatiels, it is important to select one that is the appropriate size for your birds. The box should be large enough for the birds to move around comfortably, but not so large that they feel exposed. The nesting box should also be made of a safe and durable material, such as wood or plastic.

Providing Adequate Space and Privacy

Nesting cockatiels require plenty of space and privacy to feel secure. It is important to provide a quiet and secluded location for the nesting box, away from other birds and pets. The nesting box should also be positioned at a height that is comfortable for the birds.

Ensuring Proper Nutrition and Hydration

During nesting, it is important to provide your cockatiels with a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a high-quality pelleted diet. You should also provide plenty of fresh water, as nesting birds require adequate hydration to produce healthy eggs and chicks.

Maintaining Proper Temperature and Humidity

Cockatiels require a warm and humid environment to successfully breed. The temperature in the nesting area should be between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity should be around 60%. You may need to use a heat lamp or humidifier to maintain the proper conditions.


Cockatiels are fascinating birds that display unique behaviors during nesting. By understanding their nesting behavior and providing the right conditions, you can help your birds successfully breed and raise healthy chicks. Remember to give your nesting cockatiels plenty of space and privacy, and to provide a well-balanced diet and proper environmental conditions. With the right care and preparation, your cockatiels can thrive during nesting season.

ThePetFaq Team