Why Do Cockatiels Get Night Frights and How to Prevent Them?

Cockatiels are intelligent and social birds that are popularly kept as pets around the world. They are known for their playful and affectionate nature, which makes them a favorite among pet owners. However, some cockatiel owners have reported their birds experiencing sudden fright and panic attacks at night, which is commonly referred to as night frights. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, prevention measures, and treatments for night frights in cockatiels.

Causes of Night Frights in Cockatiels

Lack of Light

Cockatiels are diurnal birds, which means they are most active during the day and sleep at night. They require a certain amount of light to feel secure, and a lack of light can cause them to feel disoriented and scared. Cockatiels may experience night frights if they are in a dark environment or if their sleeping area is not adequately lit.

Noise and Disturbance

Cockatiels are sensitive to noise and disturbance, especially during their sleep cycle. Loud noises such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or even a passing car can startle and scare them. Cockatiels may also experience night frights if they are disturbed during their sleep by other pets, people, or sudden movements.

Inadequate Sleep

Cockatiels require a certain amount of uninterrupted sleep to maintain their health and well-being. Lack of sleep can lead to stress and anxiety, which can cause night frights. Cockatiels may also experience night frights if their sleeping environment is uncomfortable or if they are sleeping in an unfamiliar location.

Injury or Illness

Injury or illness can also cause night frights in cockatiels. If a bird is in pain or discomfort, they may experience sudden fright and panic attacks. It is essential to ensure that your cockatiel is healthy and free of any underlying medical conditions, which can contribute to night frights.

Symptoms of Night Frights in Cockatiels


Cockatiels may scream or vocalize loudly during a night fright. They may also make repetitive noises or sounds that are not typical for their behavior.

Flapping and Erratic Behavior

Cockatiels may flap their wings and exhibit erratic behavior during night frights. They may fly around their cage, bump into walls, or fall off perches.

Physical Injury

Cockatiels may injure themselves during a night fright. They may break feathers, injure their wings, or even break bones.

Prevention Measures for Night Frights in Cockatiels


To prevent night frights, it is essential to provide adequate lighting in your cockatiel’s sleeping area. You can use a night light or leave a small light on to provide a sense of security. It is also important to ensure that your cockatiel is not sleeping in complete darkness.


You can soundproof your cockatiel’s sleeping area to reduce noise and disturbance. You can use sound-absorbing materials such as carpets, curtains, or acoustic foam to create a quieter environment.

Improved Sleep Environment

Make sure that your cockatiel’s sleeping area is comfortable and spacious. Provide a comfortable perch and enough space for them to move around. It is also essential to maintain a consistent sleep schedule and ensure that your cockatiel is not disturbed during their sleep cycle.

Stress Management

Stress and anxiety can contribute to night frights in cockatiels. It is essential to provide your bird with a stress-free environment and reduce any factors that may cause anxiety. You can also provide your cockatiel with toys or activities to keep them mentally stimulated, which can reduce stress.

Treatments and Remedies for Night Frights in Cockatiels

Comforting the Cockatiel

If your cockatiel experiences a night fright, it is essential to comfort and reassure them. Speak to them in a soothing tone and provide them with a sense of security.

Administering Medication

In some cases, medication may be necessary to manage night frights in cockatiels. Consult with a veterinarian who specializes in avian medicine to discuss medication options.

Consulting a Veterinary Professional

If your cockatiel experiences recurrent night frights, it is essential to consult with a veterinary professional who can evaluate their health and provide advice on how to manage and prevent night frights.


Summary of Night Frights in Cockatiels

Night frights can be a scary and stressful experience for cockatiels and their owners. However, with proper prevention measures and treatment options, you can minimize the risk of night frights and provide your bird with a safe and comfortable sleeping environment. It is essential to pay attention to your cockatiel’s behavior and seek veterinary care if necessary to ensure their overall health and well-being.

ThePetFaq Team