Pikachu the cockatiel will not relieve himself in his cage

White face Pearl Grey cockatiel on mans shoulder
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However, ever since his bath, he has been very aggressive and has broken skin in four places on my hands.

I do not jerk or yell but rather put him back in his cage. I do say “no” in a firm voice.

I also have a blue and gold macaw which I have had for 11 years so I am not a novice bird owner.

However, I have not experienced this type of aggressiveness before.

Can you tell me what steps I can take to gain his full trust and stop the biting behavior?

Did the bath cause this to start? 

As I said, he was gentle until he got his bath yesterday.


Greg D.

Hi Greg

I feel your pain.

We too rescued a beautiful albino cockatiel several years ago was with us for about three and half years until she passed of cancer.

It’s hard to say with the biting trigger is I doubt it was the bath.

It may be that other big blue bird in the room.

It could be he or she is reacting to the loss of the other human.

You do say you have only had the bird a little over a week and it could very well be that the reason you were able to get the bird on your finger in the beginning is that the bird was tired, hungry and weak.

But after a week of a warm home and good food it was now well enough to show its true nature of not being quite as tame as it seemed a week earlier.

We had that happen with a parakeet, thought to be tame, but was not. We still have her, Bacon, and gave her friends Eggs, Toast and Jam to live with.

I would start with clicker training using a millet spray which will keep 5 inches between your hand and the birds beak.

Also try introducing a perch for the bird to step up on so as to avoid the bite in any ill will between the two of you.

Hope that helps



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He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.