What’s The Deal With A Cockatiel Mirror Obsession?

A cockatiel mirror obsession is entertaining to watch.

These birds can easily get enchanted by a mirror – and it is delightful to see them show their obsession with it. But for us humans, we are particularly baffled by this behavior:

What’s with a mirror? What is it about it that causes cockatiels to get so hooked on it?

We will talk more about these birds’ mirror obsession and everything else you should know about this behavior. Let’s get started.

cockatiel mirror obsession

Cockatiel Mirror Obsession Explained

Perhaps you have been in the lookout for some toys to give to your cockatiel. While the old ones are still fine, your pet may not be responding particularly well with them. They may be starting to get a little bored with their old toys, so you want to get them new ones.

And it is fascinating because something as simple as a mirror can make for an excellent cockatiel toy! But the question is, why a mirror? What’s about it that makes cockatiels go crazy about it?

Well, these birds love to check out their reflection. Hence, a mirror is a perfect fit for that. But outside of this reason, cockatiels are also fond of shiny things – which is what a mirror is. They like anything that catches their eye – and this is why they can easily be entertained by a mirror.

Now, cockatiels are gregarious and complex creatures. They like to be stimulated a lot, which is why providing them with several toys works for them. 

So, if you have a toy mirror, you can be sure that it will be a hit for your pet. They love to look at their reflection and if the mirror has a shiny design, too, that’s all the better!

More About Cockatiels And Mirrors

Now, a mirror may give your pet the illusion that it is not alone. The reflection it sees may even make it think it is another bird looking back at it. 

So, considering how social cockatiels are – and you happen to be away from home for a few hours a day because of work – then having a mirror may provide your pet with some entertainment.

Yet, there are owners who would rather get another cockatiel. After all, a real live bird is always a better pal for your pet. But this does not dismiss the fact that with or without another feather friend, a mirror is still a good toy for your cockatiel.

Another curious question some people ask is whether a cockatiel actually recognizes itself when looking at its reflection.

Although for humans, it is an easy “yes”, it does not work the same way with cockatiels. In fact, they do not seem to realize it is their own reflection they are looking at. What they see is another bird, which is why it feels less alone when facing a mirror. 

This is why solitary birds are entranced by mirrors – they like the idea of having someone else in their cage with them. But when there is an actual bird with them, and you still have the mirror in the cage, the latter is more of an entertainment source – while the real bird is one they develop a bond with.

So, to these birds, their reflection in the mirror is more like an odd little bird that seems to mimic their actions and sounds. They do not understand the fact that it is actually themselves they are looking at.

The Downsides Of Mirrors To A Cockatiel

There is no doubt that a mirror is entertaining to your pet. Yet, we do not recommend getting your cockatiel obsessed with it by frequently exposing it to a mirror.

Sure, it can temporarily fill the void of being alone in the cage. However, a cockatiel mirror obsession can get in the way of bonding with you. Instead of interacting more with you, your pet may prefer to just stare at it in the mirror. 

Training may also get difficult since your pet may be so hooked on the mirror and keep looking at it instead of at you. So, if you are in the process of training your pet, yet it is more fascinated with the mirror, it will be difficult to get it to learn a trick or two.

Plus, you need to get your cockatiel socialized. This is all part of helping your pet to get more familiar with its surroundings – including the other people who live in your household. This is why a mirror can be very much distracting for your pet. 

Read More: Worst Things About Owning A Cockatiel – What Every Owner Should Know

Should You Get A Mirror For Your Cockatiel?

Cockatiels are known for their fondness for shiny, intriguing things. They are curious creatures that love to explore the world around them. This is why providing toys is very important – it feeds their curiosity while doubling as a means of entertainment for these birds.

Mirrors, in particular, are delightful toys for a cockatiel. But to them, these are not just toys – they give the illusion that there is another bird with them in the cage. The reflection they see may in actuality be their own, yet they do not understand this. To them, it is another cockatiel that’s simply trying to mimic their sounds and actions.

So, yes – there is nothing wrong with getting a mirror for your cockatiel. It can be a way to beat boredom or sadness when you have to leave home for work or other reasons. However, it may be best to get the mirror out when it is time for training and socializing your pet.

Mirrors may be distracting, which also hampers your bird’s ability to learn and obey you during training. However, once training sessions are over, there is nothing wrong with giving the mirror back to your pet. Although it may be worth considering giving your cockatiel another real bird pal, especially if the space and condition allow it. 

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