Bird Behavior


Our feathered buddies can exhibit either innate or taught behavior, depending on the situation. The term “innate behavior” refers to actions and tendencies that are present from birth and are passed on genetically from adults to their offspring. In today’s parlance, we would say that it is “hard-wired,” which is a term derived from the world of computers. Learned behavior, also known as acquired behavior, refers to all of the intricate movements, calls, and social interactions that a baby bird picks up after it is hatched (often even before it is hatched, as parents and young communicate during the piping period). The bird is learning about its world and the important people in it during both the time that it is being fed by its parents and during the period of hand-feeding when humans take over the rearing of the bird. These people are first its hand-feeder and subsequently its parents (perhaps also its clutch-mates, unless it is a single youngster).

Continuous Learning

The first few years of a bird’s existence are crucial for cognitive development, and this period is also one of intense learning. A young bird displays both the behaviors that are natural to it and the behaviors that it has acquired. One innate characteristic that is shared by the majority of flying birds, the majority of whom spend their natural lives in the trees, is the desire to avoid going to the ground or, in the case of captive birds, going to the bottom of the cage.

Safety Lies In Heights

When introduced to a new habitat, newly weaned baby birds will look for the highest possible perches to perch on. When tempting food bowls are placed on the floor of their cage, they will either not touch them at all or only touch them very gently. It’s possible that the bird will venture down, grab a meal quickly, and then return to the relative safety of the higher perches. This bird does not believe that the surrounding environment is safe enough for it to descend to the base of the cage and consume food from the dish there. Instead, the bird’s behavior is dictated by a powerful survival urge that takes precedence over the desire for food. This instinct helps the bird avoid being eaten by predators that live on the ground, such as snakes, lizards, and other mammals that eat flesh, when it is free in the wild. In a similar vein, this same tendency frequently prevents companion birds from remaining on the floor of the cage (even though predators do not reside in your family room).

Eating Known Foods

Young birds in the wild learn what to eat from their parents, who fly to the fruiting trees or nut-bearing trees or bushes. These trees or bushes may be trees or shrubs. The children follow in their parents’ footsteps and model themselves after them. When children see that their parents avoid eating particular berries or fruits, that encourages them to do the same. They gain the knowledge necessary to avoid consuming anything harmful or toxic in this manner. During the weaning stage and immediately afterward, young companion birds who are kept in the home will eat the same foods that they were taught to eat during this time. They will eat whatever they see other members of their clutch or other birds eating, or whatever has been given to them by the person who is responsible for their care.

Provide A Variety Of Foods

It is essential to offer young birds that are just starting their weaning process a wide range of foods. If they are only given a restricted diet consisting of seeds, perhaps pellets, and a few fresh items, they will be hesitant to experiment with a wide variety of new foods in the years to come. The baby bird needs to be hand-fed a wide variety of meals by both the new owner and the person doing the hand-feeding in order for it to learn to consume a balanced diet and be willing to try out different kinds of food.

Stages Of Socialization For Companion Birds

There are two primary stages of behavioral learning that contribute significantly to a companion bird’s capacity for well-rounded socialization. The first benefit is the increased likelihood of socializing throughout the period of hand rearing. This stage is particularly significant since it determines the degree to which humans place their faith in the young bird. When a bird is handled by a hand-feeder on multiple occasions, the relationship between the two gradually evolves into one of trust. This involves transferring the bird so that the brooder may be cleaned, moving the kid before feeding it, maintaining the youngster in the appropriate environment for the brooder, and ensuring that the appropriate baby cage is used. Babies quickly learn to be fearful of human hands when they are subjected to abusive treatment from those who hand-feed them. When this type of learning occurs at a young age, it is difficult to undo it by later experiences that involve mild treatment.

Socialization In The New Home

The most important stage of a newborn bird’s socialization occurs after it has been properly nursed and weaned and after it has been introduced to its new environment, where it will live with other birds. Unfortunately, a lot of people who have just started keeping birds don’t aware that every experience they have with their new pet teaches the bird something new about them and their dynamic with the animal. They are unaware that anything they do with their new feathered companion will have a significant impact on the bird because of their lack of understanding.

The Perfect Parrot

New owners frequently have the misconception that their newly acquired bird is a fully formed creature (due to the fact that it has all of its feathers) that is going to “adapt to” or “fit into” their lives just as they have envisioned it. There are times when these preconceived notions have nothing to do with the reality of the particular bird, the features of its species, or the history of its origin. For instance, a jogger on a forest track may anticipate that a bird will figure out how to fly beside them and learn to do so alongside them. The harsh reality is that hawks may be found in the wild and even in urban areas, which means that even a single flying parrot could be in danger from them. Or, a new bird owner may have the unrealistic expectation that their bird will be able to perform the same kinds of tricks that are seen at bird shows, despite the fact that the birds in shows are much more experienced and have spent a significant amount of time being trained by knowledgeable professionals.

Arriving At The Perfect Parrot

The process of acclimating a baby parrot to its new environment is not something that can be accomplished in a matter of a few hours, a few days, or even a few weeks. As a result of the fact that the young bird will continue to mature over the course of its first few years in its new environment, the socialization of this bird will be an ongoing process. When it comes to handling, maintaining a consistent kindness and establishing a fair daily routine will go a long way toward accomplishing the objective of producing the ideal parrot. Due to the fact that the new bird owner likely bought the bird for the purpose of having fun, enjoying themselves, and unwinding, it may be difficult for the new bird owner to grasp the need of being gentle and consistent and adhering to a routine. If the new owner of the bird does not maintain consistency in the way it is handled and in the routines that it follows on a daily basis, the bird may become spoilt and the owner may be dissatisfied.

Educating The New Owner

Because the young bird receives the greatest amount of continual socialization in its new environment, it is essential that the new owner receives a comprehensive education about this process and about the obligations that lie with him or her for the achievement of this goal. In general, responsible breeders who sell their wares directly to members of the public will offer their customers with information regarding the bird and its requirements. In addition to selling birds, responsible pet retailers often provide information on how to properly care for the birds in their inventory. The astute owner will go beyond this initial instruction and look for information about the companion bird that he or she has chosen in books and on the internet. This additional effort on the part of the purchaser will make a significant difference in the appropriate socialization of the young bird and in the quality of the bird as it matures into an adult.

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