When Do Cockatiels Go Into Heat? A Comprehensive Guide for Pet Owners

Cockatiel heat is the period when the birds are sexually active and ready to mate. During this period, both male and female cockatiels display mating behavior, which includes regurgitation, feeding, vocalizing, and nesting. The reproductive cycle of cockatiels is affected by environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and light cycles.

Why is it important to understand cockatiel heat?

Understanding cockatiel heat is essential for pet owners to provide proper care for their birds. During this period, the birds require a specific diet, environment, and attention to ensure their reproductive health. Additionally, cockatiels may display unwanted mating behavior, such as aggression and territorial behavior towards their owners and other birds, which can be minimized by understanding the bird’s reproductive cycle.

What triggers cockatiel heat?

Natural light cycles

Cockatiels are sensitive to light cycles, and their reproductive cycle is often triggered by changes in natural light. In the wild, cockatiels’ reproductive cycle is affected by seasonal changes in the amount of daylight they receive. For pet cockatiels, mimicking natural light cycles can trigger their reproductive cycle. A regular cycle of 12-14 hours of daylight and 10-12 hours of darkness can help regulate their reproductive cycle.

Temperature and humidity changes

Cockatiels are also sensitive to temperature and humidity changes, which can trigger their reproductive cycle. In the wild, cockatiels breed during the warm and humid months. Pet cockatiels can be triggered to breed by maintaining a warm and humid environment, such as providing access to warm water baths and misting their feathers.

Cockatiel Heat Signs and Symptoms

Physical signs

During the reproductive cycle, both male and female cockatiels display physical signs of sexual maturity. Male cockatiels develop bright yellow faces and orange cheeks, while female cockatiels’ faces remain duller in color. Additionally, female cockatiels develop a brown spot on their cere, which is the area above their beak. Both male and female cockatiels may also display an increase in appetite during their reproductive cycle.

Behavioral changes

Cockatiels also display behavioral changes during their reproductive cycle. Male cockatiels may become more vocal and display courtship behavior, including singing and dancing, to attract a mate. Female cockatiels may become more territorial and protective of their nesting area. Additionally, both male and female cockatiels may display regurgitation and feeding behavior as part of their courtship behavior.

Mating Behavior in Cockatiels

Mating dance

Male cockatiels display a unique mating dance to attract a mate. The dance includes bobbing their head, fluffing their feathers, and whistling. Female cockatiels display interest in a male by responding to their dance and vocalizations.

Regurgitation and feeding

Regurgitation and feeding are a part of cockatiel mating behavior. During their reproductive cycle, both male and female cockatiels may regurgitate food to each other as a sign of affection. Additionally, female cockatiels may beg for food from their mate, which the male will provide.

Aggressive behavior

Cockatiels may also display aggressive behavior during their reproductive cycle. Male cockatiels may become territorial and aggressive towards other birds and humans, especially if they feel their mate or nesting area is threatened. Female cockatiels may also become aggressive towards their mate if they feel their nesting area is being disturbed.

How to Care for a Cockatiel in Heat

Providing optimal living conditions

Providing a warm and humid environment with access to fresh water and a varied diet can help maintain the reproductive health of your cockatiel. Additionally, providing an appropriate nesting area can prevent territorial behavior and aggression.

Feeding and nutrition

During their reproductive cycle, cockatiels require a diet rich in protein and calcium to support the development of eggs and chicks. Providing a varied diet that includes pellets, seeds, fruits, and vegetables can help meet their nutritional needs.

Minimizing stress

Cockatiels can become stressed during their reproductive cycle, leading to unwanted behavior. Minimizing stress by providing a quiet and calm environment can help prevent unwanted behavior such as aggression and territorial behavior.

Dealing with Unwanted Mating Behavior


If your cockatiel is displaying unwanted mating behavior, such as aggression towards you or other birds, it’s essential to separate them from the trigger. Providing a separate cage or area can prevent unwanted behavior.

Providing nesting materials

If your female cockatiel is displaying nesting behavior, providing appropriate nesting materials can prevent her from becoming territorial and aggressive. Providing a nesting box and materials such as shredded paper can satisfy her nesting instincts.

Consulting a veterinarian

If your cockatiel is displaying unwanted behavior during their reproductive cycle, consulting a veterinarian can help determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.


Understanding when cockatiels go into heat and their mating behavior is essential for providing proper care and preventing unwanted behavior. By providing optimal living conditions, feeding and nutrition, and minimizing stress, pet owners can maintain the reproductive health of their cockatiels. Additionally, dealing with unwanted behavior by providing nesting materials, separating birds, and consulting a veterinarian can help prevent aggression and territorial behavior.

ThePetFaq Team