Why are Cockatiels Attracted to Shiny Objects? A Guide to Their Fascination with Sparkly Things.

Cockatiels are known for their curious and playful nature. They love to explore their surroundings and interact with their environment. This is why they are naturally drawn to shiny objects. The reflection of light on these objects creates a fascinating visual display that appeals to their senses. Cockatiels are also naturally attracted to movement, and the way the light reflects off the shiny object as it moves adds to their fascination.

The Science Behind Cockatiels’ Fascination with Sparkly Things

Visual Perception of Cockatiels

Cockatiels have excellent visual perception. Their eyes are located on the sides of their head, which gives them a wide field of vision. They can see objects in great detail, and their ability to perceive color is similar to that of humans. This means that they can see the reflection of light on shiny objects more vividly than humans can.

Evolutionary Roots of Attraction to Shiny Objects

The fascination with shiny objects is not unique to cockatiels. Many other animals, including birds, have been observed showing similar behavior. Scientists believe that this fascination has evolutionary roots. In the wild, shiny objects like water or metallic surfaces can indicate the presence of food or water sources. Birds that were able to detect these shiny surfaces had a better chance of survival. This could explain why cockatiels have a natural attraction to shiny objects.

Common Shiny Objects Cockatiels Are Attracted to


Cockatiels are particularly attracted to mirrors. They love to look at themselves and interact with their reflection. The reflection in the mirror can provide them with a sense of companionship, which is important for these social birds. However, it is essential to ensure that the mirror is securely fastened to the cage, and the reflection is not too large. A large reflection can confuse the bird and cause stress.


Cockatiels are also attracted to jewelry. They can see the reflection of light on rings, watches, and necklaces, and this fascinates them. However, it is important to ensure that jewelry is kept away from cockatiels. They can easily ingest small pieces of jewelry, which can lead to serious health problems.

Metal Objects

Cockatiels are attracted to metal objects like keys, coins, and other small shiny items. They can spend hours playing with these items and exploring their surroundings. However, it is important to ensure that these objects are not within reach of the bird. Cockatiels have a habit of chewing on objects, and ingesting metal can be harmful to their health.

Cockatiels’ Obsession with Shiny Objects: Is it Harmful?

How Excessive Obsession with Shiny Objects Can Affect Cockatiels

While the fascination with shiny objects is natural, excessive obsession can be harmful to cockatiels. Cockatiels that are too focused on shiny objects can become stressed and agitated. This can lead to behavioral problems like biting, feather plucking, and aggression.

How to Prevent Cockatiels from Ingesting Shiny Objects

It is important to ensure that cockatiels do not ingest shiny objects. Ingesting jewelry, coins, or other metal objects can be harmful to their health. To prevent this from happening, keep shiny objects out of reach, and provide alternative forms of entertainment.

Curbing Cockatiels’ Attraction to Shiny Objects

Training Cockatiels to Distract Their Attention from Shiny Objects

One way to manage a cockatiel’s attraction to shiny objects is to train them to focus on other things. Providing toys and other forms of entertainment can help keep them occupied. A good way to distract them is to offer treats or food puzzles that require them to work for their food.

Providing Alternative Forms of Entertainment for Cockatiels

Cockatiels thrive on interactions with their environment. Providing branches, toys, and other forms of entertainment can help keep them occupied and happy. It is important to provide them with a variety of toys to prevent boredom and encourage exploration.


Cockatiels’ attraction to shiny objects is a natural behavior that is rooted in their evolutionary history. While it is fascinating to watch them interact with reflective surfaces, excessive obsession with shiny objects can be harmful to their health. Providing alternative forms of entertainment and training them to focus on other things can help manage this behavior. By understanding their fascination with shiny objects, we can provide a safe and stimulating environment for these beautiful and intelligent birds.

ThePetFaq Team