If you want to own a pet cockatiel, then some of the first questions you may have are about the climate they need to live in. What about the cold; do cockatiels fare well when the temperatures drop? Do you need to consider their environment during the winter and are any things to be aware of regarding temperature? I’ve decided to conduct some thorough research on the topic. I would be delighted to share this with you here today.
You may be wondering do cockatiels get cold? Cockatiels do get cold. They are biologically primed for hot weather and become unconformable in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In extreme cases, cockatiels can die from cold, where hypothermia sets in if they are not cared for properly.
Let’s now expand on this topic in more detail, and look at ways to prevent your cockatiels from suffering in the cold, becoming sick, and how you can best avoid those extreme cases of death from the cold.
Cockatiels In Cold Weather
Birds with bright colorful feathers, as is the case with all types of parrot, tend to originate from hot/ tropical climates.
Cockatiels are native to Australia, found primarily in areas such as the Australian wetlands, scrublands, and bushlands.
The cockatiel is one of the most popular birds to have as a pet, in America and Europe.
You may be wondering how cockatiels fair in colder climes, especially when they are such warm-weathered birds.
Honestly, cockatiels don’t take the cold very well, and as the owner, you must make sure that your bird is warm throughout the winter.
Cockatiels don’t handle extremes of cold or hot very well, they thrive and are most comfortable in moderate temperatures.
When it’s cold, cockatiels are able to adapt and generate some tolerance. They are able to handle night-time temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit but will become very uncomfortable in temperatures below that.
Anything significantly below this can be fatal.
As the owner, you can help your cockatiel to withstand colder temperatures by proactively improving their living conditions and ensuring that they are kept warm at all times.
Another strategy is by taking them outside to spend some time in cooler conditions.
You can start by taking them (inside their cage of course) outside for a few hours a day in the early fall, to help build their resistance gradually to the cold weather.
Never leave them there, and be sure to monitor them at all times.
Watch out for any adverse reactions and be sure to take them inside if you suspect they are in discomfort or something is wrong.
It’s also important to not leave them outside for too long; especially in the beginning. Ease them into this new environment and give them time to adapt.
Also be sure that it is not raining, or there are any strong winds that could injure them and cause them harm.
However, if you continue to allow them to spend some time outdoors throughout the fall, by the time winter comes, they will be more hardened to the cold.
As much as you want to acclimatize your cockatiel for the winter, make sure you monitor him when he’s outdoors, and if he shows any signs of discomfort bring him back indoors immediately.
Can Cockatiels Get Cold?
Cockatiels can get cold, they are not designed to cope with harsh winter temperatures, and can get very sick even developing hypothermia.
Birds tend to not express themselves when humans are present, so you must be vigilant and look out for subtle signs such as:
Birds, including cockatiels and parakeets, fluff and puff up their feathers for both positive and negative reasons.
They can do so if they are cold, relaxing, or sleeping so it is always hard to tell what it means.
However, if they keep their feathers fluffed up continuously throughout the day, or for extended periods, this is a sign that they are cold and/or unwell.
A healthy cockatiel will have wide-open eyes, but if their eyes are only half open when awake, it means that they are cold/ill.
They will close their eyes when petted which means that they are relaxed, otherwise, it’s not a good sign.
Like us human beings, sleeping too much is a sign of poor health or an inability to acclimatize to the environment around them.
A cold cockatiel may experience discharge and wetness around the nose – followed by constantly regurgitating their food.
This can also be a sign of courtship, so again look for any excess in this behavior. If you are not sure, play it safe and check with a vet.
Ragged & Poorly Preened Feathers
This is a bird that is too unwell that it begins to neglect its own self-grooming.
As they love to look their best, its a clear sign that something is wrong. Furthermore, feathers are vital to a bird’s survival in the wild so they are often prioritized by birds.
This is a good sign something is up.
Excessive sneezing should be a very obvious warning sign to an owner of a cockatiel’s illness, and/or poor health.
Most bird owners, don’t check the weight of their birds.
This is unfortunate, especially for smaller birds like cockatiels, who don’t have the fat reserves of bigger birds, to keep them going.
Rapid weight loss is a very bad sign and if it can be fatal.
Its always a good idea to get a pair of scales for your pet bird, and thankfully there are great scales for birds that include perches on Amazon
To prevent sicknesses from the cold weather, keep your cockatiels warm, well-fed, and watered. If you do notice any of the above signs, take your bird to the vet immediately.
Can Cockatiels Live In The Cold?
Yes, cockatiels can live in the cold, as long as they are not exposed to temperatures below 40 degrees.
As mentioned above, it’s good to allow cockatiels to acclimatize to chilly weather, in a gentle, gradual manner, starting from the beginning of autumn.
If you happen to live in a part of the world that gets very cold in the winter, keep them indoors and make sure that your cockatiel’s environment is warm at all times.
They will need more calories in the cold weather to keep their energy levels up, however, do avoid overfeeding them.
You must make sure that your cockatiel is well-hydrated, sometimes birds struggle to drink water in the colder temperatures, but you can help them, by providing fresh and clean water daily.
How To Keep Your Cockatiels Warm
You don’t need to run up massive heating bills to keep your cockatiel warm, there are some simple solutions that you can apply to ensure your cockatiel is comfortable.
Draft Free Location
Be sure to place your cockatiel’s cage in a draft-free room but not close to any radiators.
You can seal windows with plastic window covers, or a heavy curtain will work just as well in keeping drafts at bay.
You can suspend a warming nest in your bird’s cage.
These nests are fluffy and insulated, so act as a small room where your cockatiel can retreat to be warm and relaxed.
Cover The Cage
You can cover your cockatiel’s cage at night.
You can purchase a specially designed cage cover, or simply drape a heavy blanket over the cage.
The cover not only keeps the air inside the cage warm and draft-free, but it also works well as a sleeping aid for birds that have trouble getting to sleep.
Specially designed covers are generally better because they are used with 100% non-toxic, breathable materials.
You need to be careful with blankets, as you can suffocate your birds if they are too thick or block off oxygen from getting to the cage.
Installing an air humidifier in the room where your cockatiel’s cage is kept is another practical and effective approach.
The winter air can be quite dry, which is bad for your cockatiel. The air humidifier keeps the air moist and comfortable.
Alternatively, you can always place a heater in the room.
There are many different types of heaters, designed for birds like cockatiels. You can buy a heated perch – which can be used in the cage for when your bird needs to warm up.
There are space heaters and heat lamps, designed especially for birds, and are best to use in your cockatiel’s environment.
Monitor Your Tiel
Monitor your bird’s behavior.
If they’re uncomfortably cold, they will display many of the signs as mentioned above, such as fluffing up his feathers, keeping his eyes half-closed, sneezing, and so forth.
The best thing you can do for your cockatiel is to pay close and careful attention to his health, this will dictate any action that you undertake to ensure good health throughout the cold season.
- PROTECTION: Protect exotic birds from the harmful effects of air conditioning and cold drafts; energy efficient and safer than a bird cage heaters
- PERFECT TEMPERATURE: Thermostatically controlled to an optimum body temperature for birds to snuggle up to; will feel warm to the touch, not hot
- LOW VOLTAGE: Uses harmless 12-volt, low voltage electricity to heat the bird warmer and is easy to clean; Birds must snuggle up to receive heat, it will not radiate heat into the cage
- SAFETY: Safe, consistent source of warmth for your exotic bird to snuggle up to, helping to stabilize your bird's environment; for use with 110/120V electrical current only
- HEALTH: Can reduce avian stress contributing to good health - Small size recommended for small to medium sized birds like parakeets, cockatiels, etc
Cockatiels can and do get cold.
They originate from warm and mild climates in the Australian outback so unless you live in a warm environment year-round, they are likely to suffer when the cold weather comes around.
Generally, you should be safe if the temperature hovers around 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit. If it drops to 40 degrees Fahrenheit and below you could be in trouble.
That’s why it is best to be proactive about your bird’s environment ahead of time and set it up to be warm when the temperature does drop.
Thankfully there are a number of options and products available on the market that can help your pet bird from becoming ill, sick, and in danger from extremely cold weather.
If you do suspect something is up, then it is always advised to visit a vet.
Otherwise, be sure to keep your home warm, drafts reduced, and acclimatize your cockatiel to the cold safely every so often and you and your cockatiel should be just fine.
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.