As a cockatiel owner, you may be wondering if the stereotype about them liking to look at their reflection in the mirror is true, well we’re here to find out just that.
Cockatiels love to be mentally stimulated by a lot of different toys, that’s why having a variety of them is important, because the last thing you would ever want is a bored cockatiel. If they are bored, they can get pretty destructive too. So, maybe investing in a good cockatiel mirror might do the trick when dealing with a bored cockatiel.
Do cockatiels like mirrors ?
Cockatiels like mirrors, that’s the short answer. They like looking at their own reflection for a couple of reasons, and as with many birds, they are attracted to the shiniest and most eye catching object that is around them. Mirrors can be a great toy and an excellent way to keep your cockatiel mentally stimulated and entertained.
This bird is very complex and social, and with that comes the great need to be stimulated, and one of the best ways is by giving it a lot of toys to choose from. Mirrors are a very popular toy option, since cockatiels love to look at their own reflection and they would appreciate having them installed in their cage.
However, should they have a mirror in their cage?
So, even if they will naturally be okay without one, keeping a cockatiel means that you should constantly be attempting to keep them entertained in as many different ways as you possibly can.
And just a mirror alone won’t be enough to keep your cockatiel stimulated. But they would certainly benefit from it by adding it to the repertoire of toys.
It is not advised to have a mirror in the cage if you have only one cockatiel though, as it can interfere with their training, some may suggest otherwise. However, it can also be seen as a substitute for another cockatiel.
It is recommended that you do not keep only one cockatiel, however, if you already have two cockatiels, then there is no need for a mirror as they already have one another to play with.
Even though they have each other to keep them entertained, it is still better to have as many forms of mental stimulation as you can. To be more precise, they need all the forms that they can choose from. So, even if they don’t necessarily need a mirror, it won’t hurt to get one.
Can cockatiels even recognize themselves in the mirror?
There have been a lot of scientific studies done on this, not only with cockatiels but with other animals as well. And when it comes to cockatiels, the answer is no, they cannot.
But, even if they can’t recognize the reflection as themselves, they can certainly identify another bird staring back at them. It’s proven quite difficult to determine what exactly the cockatiel recognizes the reflection as but it does not seem to recognize it as itself at the very least.
Many people that have one single cockatiel use the mirror as a way to substitute for a companion, however, this can pose a problem. The problem being that the cockatiel can actually bond with the mirror’s reflection which can lead to other difficulties in the long run. So, think your options through first.
Do they enjoy looking at mirrors?
The answer is yes, they most certainly do for many reasons. First off, they see the reflection as another bird, so it can, sometimes, get emotionally attached to it on the same level as it can with another bird, because it sees it as the same bird every time.
If they have already bonded with another cockatiel, then the mirror will just be an endless source of fascination, as they still do not recognize it as themselves in the reflection, but they won’t quite form the same bond with the bird staring back at them either. It ends up just being a stranger bird that is mimicking their actions.
Even though they can’t quite grasp the concept, they are still mentally stimulated because their reflection simply baffles them.
Can they be dangerous for cockatiels?
Some people say they are, especially for a single cockatiel. Not dangerous in the sense that it can cause some kind of physical harm to the bird, but it can make training difficult and can bond with it instead of another actual bird.
Cockatiel owners thinking that a mirror is a good replacement for actual socialization is the problem, because even if your cockatiel has a mirror, it still requires a lot of socialization, either with another bird or with you, just not a mirror causing problems in the long run.
Mirrors are universally recognized as a toy that cockatiels love and enjoy playing with as it can keep them mentally stimulated. They prove to be a great addition to a cockatiel’s cage, and to all of the existing simulation methods, you already have for them.
It is crucial that you remember – mirrors are not, and will never be a substitute for another cockatiel, but it is a great addition to the repertoire of toys nevertheless.
Some cockatiels can even entertain themselves for hours on end admiring several mirrors plastered with their own reflection, so yes, cockatiels love mirrors! So, consider buying one for your own cockatiel.
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