Avian panic attacks that usually happen in the middle of the night.
Some species, especially cockatiels, are famous for night frights, though they can happen with any species. Experts are not sure why cockatiels are so prone to such behaviors. Night frights are also triggered by such things as mice moving around the environment at night. They can be physically dangerous if a bird flails badly and breaks a large number of blood feathers, or is caged in a large enough space that it can build up sufficient speed to hurt itself as it slams against the side of a flight.
Some situations are alleviated with night lights, and others are helped with the judicious use of an exterminator if you suspect that rodents might be startling your bird during the night. Note that birds should be removed from the space prior to having an exterminator treat the environment.
Disclaimer: BirdChannel.com’s Bird Behavior Index is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.