Why Is My Cockatiel Opening and Closing His Mouth? (13 Reasons You Should Know)

Why is my cockatiel opening and closing his mouth? Are you freaking out about your cockatiel opening and closing its mouth?

I bet you are.

It is natural to feel worried, especially if your feathered friends do something out of the ordinary. But do not worry.

I know many bird owners have been in your shoes. We have all wondered why our birds are doing this behavior.

I remember when I first saw my cockatiel opening and closing his mouth. I was so worried he was sick. I thought he had trouble breathing. And I checked if there was something wrong with his beak.

It was such a relief to know that my bird was not sick. My bird was just happy and comfortable in his environment.

So, I know how it feels to be worried about your bird’s health. I want to help you understand this behavior too. Your concern shows how much you care about the well-being of your birds.

Remember, cockatiels opening and closing their beaks is a common behavior. It is nothing to worry about.

So, let’s dive deeper into this behavior and learn more about what is going on with your feathered friend.

Why Is My Cockatiel Opening and Closing His Mouth?

A cockatiel can keep opening and closing his mouth to regulate his temperature, communicate, and eat something. In addition, a cockatiel can keep opening and closing his mouth when he feels anxious or he is thirsty,  excited, in pain, or sick.

Read on to learn the top 13 reasons why your cockatiel keeps opening and closing his mouth:

1. Your Cockatiel is Thirsty

It is very important to keep your birds hydrated. If your cockatiels are thirsty, they can open and close their beaks rapidly.

If it is very hot outside, you need to provide more fresh, clean water. In the weather is hot, a bird will drink more water.

You can add wet food to add water to the diet of your birds, especially during the hot summer months.

2. Your Cockatiel is Stressed

If your cockatiel keeps opening and closing his mouth, it can be a sign of stress. Identify potential sources of stress in the environment of your cockatiels.

You may need to provide a more comfortable cage and reduce activity levels and noise in your home.

Spend more time with your cockatiels to provide social interaction.

3. Your Cockatiel is Communicating

Cockatiels communicate in many ways. They can open and close their beaks as they try to communicate with you or other birds. So, they can open and close their beaks as they try to tell you something.

Want to understand what your bird is trying to say? Then, pay attention to the body language and vocalizations of your birds.

4. Your Cockatiel is Regulating Its Temperature

You probably know that birds do not have sweat glands.

So, how do they keep cool? They mostly pant. They can, therefore, open and close their beaks to cool down.

If your birds overheat, they may open their beaks wider than usual. So, your bird can open and close his mouth to regulate his body temperature.

5. Your Cockatiel is Eating Something

Your cockatiels can open and close their beaks when they are eating.

For instance, if you give your birds large pieces of food, you may see them opening and closing their breaks. They open and close their beaks to break apart the larger pieces of food.

It is normal for birds to open and close their beaks when they are eating.

6. Your Cockatiel is in Pain

Cockatiels are capable of talking. Unfortunately, they cannot tell us when they are in pain.

If your cockatiel opens and closes his beaks and exhibits signs of discomfort, your bird may be in pain. If you suspect that your cockatiel is in pain, take to your bird to the vet as soon as possible.

7. Your Cockatiel is Excited

You will not always spend time with your pet birds. If you have been away for the whole day, your birds will get excited when they finally see you.

They can, therefore, open and close their beaks rapidly when they see. It just means they are just happy to see you.

8. Your Cockatiel is Sick

Unfortunately, opening and closing its beak can be a sign of illness in birds.

If your cockatiel opens and closes his and also exhibits signs of illness, such as loss of appetite, lethargy, or a change in droppings, your cockatiel might be sick.

Want to know if your bird is sick? Take your bird to an avian vet as soon as possible.

9. Your Cockatiel is Sleepy

Birds need a lot of sleep. Cockatiels, for instance, need 10 to 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

However, you may want to spend more time with your birds. They will feel tired and sleepy after some time.

If your cockatiels do not get plenty of sleep, they may open and close their beaks throughout the day.

10. Your Cockatiel is Feeling Anxious

I know the excitement of buying a new pet. You may rush to bring your new pet bird home. And you are excited about spending more time with your pet.

However, birds tend to feel anxious in new environments. So, if you just bought a new pet bird, your pet may exhibit nervous behavior, such as pacing and panting.

If you have other pets in your home, do not let them play with your new pet bird.

It can take time for new pets to get used to a new environment. So, you have to ensure your new pet bird is comfortable in your home.

11. Your Cockatiel is Bored

It is not always possible to spend time with our feathered birds. Your job, children, and even hobbies need your attention.

If your cockatiels do not have plenty of toys and activities, they can easily get bored and sad. They can, therefore, keep opening and closing their beaks out of boredom.

Bought a new pet bird? Spend more time with your bird. Why? Pet birds can feel lonely in a new place.

12. Your Cockatiel Has Respiratory Issues

If your cockatiel keeps opening and closing his mouth, it can be a sign of respiratory issues, such as an upper respiration infection.

Also, if your cockatiel has a sore throat or mucus, it can keep opening and closing its mouth.

You may have to take your cockatiel to a vet as soon as possible.

13. Your Cockatiel is Tired

As bird owners, we love spending time with our birds.

In fact, if you are free the whole day, you are more likely to take your birds outside. If your birds are on a leash, they cannot fly away.

If your cockatiels are spending more time outside, they can get tired. They can keep opening and closing their beaks when they are tired.

These are some of the reasons why your cockatiel opens and closes his mouth. Some of these reasons are completely normal.

However, some of the other reasons can be cause for concern.

Not sure why your cockatiel opens and closes his mouth? I highly encourage you to take your pet bird to the vet for a checkup.

What to Do If Your Cockatiel Keeps Opening and Closing His Mouth?

Imagine spending more time with your feathered friends. They love your company.

How do you know they enjoy your company? They always eat the treats you give them. And they get excited when they see you.

You may, however, notice your cockatiels keep opening and closing their beaks. And you may not know what to do. Do not get worried. In some cases, it is a normal behavior in birds.

Here are the things you can do if your cockatiel keeps opening and closing his mouth:

Check for Signs of Illness

Check for any signs of illness. For example, cockatiels are prone to respiratory infections. So, if your cockatiel has a respiratory infection, it can open and close its beak frequently.

Check for other signs of illness, such as sneezing, lethargy, discharge from your bird’s nostrils or eyes, or changes in behavior or appetite.

If your suspect your cockatiel is sick, take it to an avian veterinarian as soon as possible.

Monitor the Temperature

Cockatiels, like most birds, are sensitive to temperature. If the weather is too hot or too dry, it can cause your cockatiels to open and close their beaks.

The ideal temperature for cockatiels is 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. So, make sure the temperature does not exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Provide Fresh Water and Food

Hunger and dehydration can cause your cockatiel to open and close its break frequently. Check the water and food wishes regularly.

You will need to regularly fill the water and food dishes with fresh water and food. This can help keep your cockatiels hydrated and healthy.

Keep the Cage Clean

Check the cage. Is it dirty? A dirty cage can lead to respiratory issues.

Your cockatiels can open and close their beaks due to respiratory issues. Use a bird-safe disinfectant to clean your bird’s cage and toys regularly.

Remove the food once your birds stop eating them.

Provide Toys

Cockatiels are intelligent birds. So, they need regular mental stimulation to remain happy and healthy. Providing various toys can help reduce stress.

By the way, your cockatiel can open and close his mouth due to stress and boredom. Change the toys regularly so your birds do not get boredom.

These are the things you can do to keep your cockatiels happy and healthy. If you are not spending more time with your birds, do not let them get bored.

However, if you continue to notice excessive opening and closing of the mouth, I highly recommend seeking the advice of a qualified avian veterinarian.

Why Does My Cockatiel Open and Close His Mouth?

I hope you now have a better understanding of why your cockatiel keeps opening and closing his mouth. And you now feel confident in caring for your cockatiels.

It is natural to feel concerned when our pet birds exhibit unusual behavior. It is easy to get worried that your cockatiel is in pain or sick. But there are some different reasons why cockatiels keep opening and closing their beaks.

Remember, learning about the behavior of your cockatiels can help you take an important step in providing your birds with the best possible care.

You will, therefore, need to take the time to understand your cockatiel’s behavior and deepen your bond with your bird to better understand its communication.