Bird Behavior


Our feathered buddies exhibit two forms of behavior: inherent and taught. Innate behavior refers to inborn conduct, which is genetically transferred from an adult to its offspring. In today’s computer jargon, this is referred to as “hard-wired.” Learned behavior, also known as acquired behavior, refers to all of the complex behaviors, noises, and interactions that a baby bird learns after hatching (often even before it is hatched, as parents and young communicate during the piping period). The bird learns about its environment and the major characters in it when its parents feed it and during the hand-feeding stage when humans take over parenting it: its parents and then its hand-feeder (perhaps also its clutch-mates, unless it is a single youngster).

Continuous Learning

Birds continue to learn during their earliest years of life. In a juvenile bird, both inherent and taught behaviour may be seen. For instance, one intrinsic tendency common to most flying birds, whose typical home is the trees, is to avoid descending to the ground, or for captive birds, going to the bottom of the cage.

Safety Lies In Heights

When young weaned birds are introduced to a new habitat, they will seek the tallest feasible perch. Tempting food bowls put on the cage floor will go unused or very slightly touched. The bird may fly down, take a bite, and return to the safety of the top perches. This bird does not believe the surroundings is safe enough for it to safely descend to the cage bottom and feed from the dish. Instead, the bird is guided by a strong survival instinct that takes precedence over the desire for food. In the wild, this instinct protects the bird away from ground dwelling predators such as snakes, lizards and other flesh-eating animals. Similarly, this impulse often prevents partner birds from remaining on the cage floor (even though predators do not reside in your family room).

Eating Known Foods

In the wild, young birds learn what to eat from their parents who fly to the fruiting trees or nut-bearing trees or shrubs. The children accompany and mimic their parents. If the parents do not consume specific berries or fruits, the offspring also avoid them. This is how they learn not to consume something risky or deadly. Young companion birds in the house will consume what they learnt to eat during the weaning period and shortly thereafter. They will consume what they observe their clutch mates or other birds eat, or what the person who cares for them has given them.

Provide A Variety Of Foods

It is critical to supply a wide range of feeds to young weaning birds. If they are solely given seeds, pellets, and a few fresh things, they will be hesitant to try many new foods in the future. The hand-feeder and the new owner must offer the young bird with a broad range of meals so that it learns to eat a nutritious diet and is willing to try new items.

Stages Of Socialization For Companion Birds

There are two primary behavioral learning phases that contribute to a companion bird’s well-rounded socializing. The first is the socializing that takes place during hand raising. This stage is critical because it creates human confidence in the baby bird. Each time the hand-feeder handles the bird, trust develops. This involves moving the bird to clean the brooder, transferring the juvenile before feeding, maintaining the youngster in the proper brooder setting, and having the appropriate baby cage. When hand-feeders are tough with the newborns, the babies learn to dread human hands. Once this early learning takes occurred, it is not possible to overcome it by kind treatment at a later age.

Socialization In The New Home

The most essential time of socializing comes when young birds have been properly nurtured and weaned and have moved into their new home to be companions. Unfortunately, many novice bird owners are unaware that each encounter they have with the bird teaches the bird about themselves and their connection with the bird. They do not comprehend that whatever they do with their new feathery partner is going to significantly effect the bird.

The Perfect Parrot

New owners sometimes see their new bird as a fully evolved creature that will “adapt” or “fit into” their lives just as they had anticipated. Sometimes these notions have nothing to do with the reality of the bird, its species, or its background. A runner, for example, may anticipate the bird to learn to fly alongside them while running on a woodland track. The fact is that hawks occur in the wild (and even in towns) and hence constitute a hazard to a single flying parrot. Or a novice bird owner will expect his or her bird to perform techniques similar to those shown at bird shows, not comprehending that the birds at shows are older and have spent many hours acquiring their talents from skilled trainers.

Arriving At The Perfect Parrot

Socializing a baby parrot into a new household takes more than a few hours, days, or even weeks. Because the baby bird is constantly maturing in its new home over the first several years, socializing is likewise a continual process. Gentleness in handling and the formation of a normal daily routine will go a long way toward obtaining the ideal parrot. It may be difficult for the new bird owner to grasp the need of constant kindness and maintaining a schedule, since the new bird owner has acquired a bird for pleasure and enjoyment and relaxation. If the new bird owner fails to be consistent in handling and following daily routines, the bird may wind up being spoilt and the owner dissatisfied.

Educating The New Owner

Because the young bird receives the most continual socialization in its new home, it is critical that the new owner be well taught about this process and his or her responsibilities for its success. Responsible breeders that sell directly to the public usually advise their customers about the bird and its requirements. Responsible pet retailers often provide advice on how to care for the birds they sell. The intelligent owner will go beyond this first instruction and seek out books and Internet information about the companion bird of choice. This additional effort on the buyer’s behalf will make a significant difference in the correct socialization of the young bird and the overall quality of the bird as an adult.

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