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Cockatiel Night Frights!

Don't let the dark spook your 'tiel

By Pauline James

Cockatiels are easily spooked at nightCockatiels seem to suffer from “night frights” more than any other species of bird. By “night fright,” I mean that they become easily spooked or unnerved in the darkness and quiet of the night. Any sort of disturbance, whether it is a shadow, a noise, a bright light or a sudden waft of cool air, can send a single bird or an entire aviary of birds off into a mad frenzy. This is not only distressing and potentially dangerous for the birds, but upsetting for the owner, too.

To help us understand the psychology of the cockatiel and why it suffers from this heightened unease and trauma, we have to look at the cockatiel in the wild. A wild cockatiel flock spends a good portion of the day on the ground foraging for food. Because of this potentially hazardous practice, nature has had to provide them with the perfect survival technique to enable them to get airborne fast. Cockatiels possess ultra-quick reactions and a super-efficient capability for rapid and powerful vertical flight. This makes them well equipped to react to and flee the clutches of predators stalking them on the ground.

**For the full article, pick up the 2009 issue of Birds USA or click here to buy the issue.**

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