No More Bitey Birds!


Abuse, fear, lack of sleep, noise and chaos in the surroundings, inappropriate handling, or the owner’s inability to understand the bird’s body language are all common causes of biting. Before biting, some parrots alternately widen and retract their eye pupils. This is referred to as “flashing” or “pinning.” Others will flail their tails, flap their neck feathers, or stretch their wings to terrify an attacker.

When you put your hand inside your bird’s cage, has it ever bitten you? This is called territorial biting. Nature has hardwired your bird to defend its cage and things against intruders. Remove your bird from its cage before cleaning and replacing food to avoid territorial bites. Avoid establishing eye contact with your pet at this moment since it may be seen as a sign of aggressiveness, prompting your bird to become even more protective. When your pet wants to get out of the cage, teach it to walk onto a provided stick. Raise the far end of the stick slightly, and the bird will fly to the upper end, safely out of your hand’s biting range.

Has your bird ever bitten you when another person approaches? This is known as displacement biting, and it happens even among birds. To defend its partner, a bird may nip at the mate first, then attempt to drive the intruders away. Never allow a biting bird to perch on your shoulder. Teasing your bird or jabbing your fingers through the cage bars should not be done to encourage biting. Mattie Sue Athan’s Guide to Companion Parrot Behavior will provide you with more information on biting and other avian behavior issues.

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