Are mirrors good or bad for cockatiels? Well that’s a debatable question.
Many bird owners have different beliefs behind their reasons for and against having mirrors in cages for cockatiels or birds in general.
What can be the positives and negatives about mirrors?
It really depends on how many cockatiels you have and how you want to interact with them. Like most creatures that roam the earth, all react different to things. The cockatiel is no different, and no two cockatiels will be the same. Saying that, you may find lots having similar traits, yet they are still very individual.
Some positives to having a mirror are;
If your bird is on its own, he or she can interact with the bird in the mirror. This is especially good if your cockatiel is alone for long periods.
It adds to the interaction for your cockatiel and stops them being bored.
The bird in the mirror becomes the partner, buddy, mate and will be there for them when ever they care to look.
Some negatives to having a mirror are;
Your single bird will become very attached to the reflection and not want to accept you as his or her buddy.
The male will become quite frustrated as the mirror will not react to his calls or gestures in the way he would like or expect.
If you are trying to mate a couple, then the male generally will be aggressive toward the reflection and react to it in that way.
Generally the male cockatiel will be more reactive to the mirror. He will scream at it if he gets no response from it more and more. Which can have a detrimental affect on the attitude and mental state of your cockatiel.
We have mirrors in our cages and have different reactions…the cage with a couple, the male will scream into the mirror as if warning the other male off. He also sings into it as a sign of territorial dominance. In the other cage we have hardly any reaction, maybe because there are more cockatiels in it. And in the third cage we have the three young ones, two male one female. The female has buddied up with one male and the other is often singing into the mirror and tapping at it with his beak. Sometimes he has a screaming match at it as well.
After writing this post I think that the best time and place for a mirror to be in a cage is possibly only for a single bird, for interaction purposes. However, if you are home 24/7 with your pet cockatiel then maybe there is no need at all for a mirror at all.
You can read some more interesting comments on the about cockatiels Facebook page Cockatiels A-Z