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Mating Dances and Pants Plucking

cricketiel

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
5/14/20
Messages
15
Real Name
Dana
Hello all,

My 2 year old female cockatiel just started doing what I presume to be a female mating call/dance (as I watched videos of female mating calls on youtube and it sounds exactly like she does). She sits in her food bowl while she does this, which makes me concerned that she might be viewing the bowl as a nest. I know nest boxes make birds hormonal so I don't have anything like that in the cage, but obviously I can't remove the bowl so I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on how to help her.

On a bit of a side note (albiet I believe still related to hormones), she has been plucking herself for the past year. It is the worst on the inside of her legs (like her "inner thigh"), which is the only place that she is actually bald. I took her to the vet last spring and he told me it was hormonal and should stop with the end of hormone season, but it persisted throughout the entirety of fall and still continues now. She has more toys than she knows what to do with (non-rope preening toys included) and I switch them around regularly. Has anyone else had this problem with inner-thigh pants plucking? It just seems like such an odd place to focus plucking behavior.

Thank you!
 

Tiel Feathers

Joyriding the Neighborhood
Avenue Veteran
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Joined
9/15/14
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Location
Quincy,CA
Real Name
Deanna
The plucking of her legs might be from an infection, or it could be hormonal. I would call the vet back and tell them that she is still plucking. How big is her cage?
As far as the food bowls go, you can try moving them around or get another type of bowl. You will never be able to stop your female from making those little mating sounds, but you can limit hormonal behavior by making sure you rearrange her cage frequently, make sure she gets at least 12 hours of darkness, don’t pet her back, etc. I have a bird who will start to get nesty even if there is a dark nest cavity next to her cage. Just seeing it gives her ideas lol.
 

cricketiel

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
5/14/20
Messages
15
Real Name
Dana
Thank you for your response! I will take her back to the vet next week and have her checked out again. Her cage is very large (but with cockatiel-appropriate bar spacing), and her cage door is always open.
I always try to ensure she gets 12 hours of darkness and never pet her back, but I will try moving the food bowls around! I don't mind those little mating sounds (they are actually quite precious), I'm just hyper-paranoid about eggs because I have had a very bad experience with egg binding in a reptile that I had as a teenager... so when I was looking for a bird I very specifically looked for a DNA tested male to avoid this fear, but the person I got her from lied to me and gave me what turned out to be a female anyways haha. Thank you again for your reply, I will try your advice to mix the cage setup around! :D
 
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