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Why Do Cockatiels Grind Their Beaks?

By Nikki Moustaki

Why Do Cockatiels Grind Their Beaks?

cockatiel humorDo you ever hear a tiny gritch, gritch, gritch sound coming from your cockatiel’s cage? Some novice cockatiel owners are alarmed by the sound of grinding beaks, but actually this is a normal, healthy behavior. No one is certain why parrots grind their beaks, but it is known that the behavior is not similar to teeth grinding in people, which indicates stress. Beak grinding reflects contentedness and a relaxed state. Most cockatiels grind their beaks just before falling asleep or when they are resting deeply.

Some people believe that the grinding has something to do with keeping the beak trim, but there’s no evidence to prove or disprove that hypothesis. So, if you hear the little gritch, gritch, gritch of your bird grinding her beak before a nap or just before bedtime, you can be assured that your bird is comfortable and feeling well. Ill birds generally drop the beak-grinding activity until they’re feeling better.

For more on cockatiel quirks, check out "Why Do Cockatiels Do That?" from Bowtie Press, Inc.

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Why Do Cockatiels Grind Their Beaks?

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Reader Comments
Great article. I am owned by a parrotlet that grinds his beak often. Thanks for informing us.
Cindy, York, ME
Posted: 5/22/2008 5:37:48 PM
I think it's a great way to know they are happy.
Theresa, port washington, WI
Posted: 5/6/2008 7:06:59 AM
kate, mullica hill, NJ
Posted: 4/24/2008 2:27:34 PM
Reading this clearly made it easier to sleep at night, knowing my little Shama is HAPPY and not STRESSED or his beak is too long.
Maggie, Hamilton, ON
Posted: 4/1/2008 1:27:19 PM
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