Budgerigars are very similar to people in that each of them has its own character and personality. And in what direction these qualities develop – good or bad – to a large extent depends on the host bird. The habit of a parrot biting can be a manifestation of both aggression and tenderness for its owner. Nevertheless, pet bites are noticeably painful and can sometimes be very fraught with unpleasant consequences for the owner if the bird sitting on his shoulder chooses the eye or other part of the owner’s face as his object of attention. What motives do our pets push for such behavior, and how to deal with this annoying bird habit?
Why do they bite?
In the natural environment, parrots use the beak only as a device for moving from branch to branch or an instrument for receiving grinding of solid food. Aggression among the brethren is stopped by stronger birds, therefore, surrounded by feathered parrots behave quite peacefully, mostly expressing their negative emotions with outraged or angry cries. Domestic parrots can behave in a completely different way: growing up in a society of people and often spoiled by their attention, they often begin to not only copy their voice, but also, due to their sociability and observation, can even take on some traits of the character of the owner. So, first of all, start the search for the reasons for the aggressive behavior of the bird from your attitude towards it. If complete harmony prevails in this sphere, then the reasons for your pet’s “biting” can be found in the following:
- If the parrot is young, then in this way he studies the objects surrounding him. This is quite normal behavior for such a period, since the curiosity in these birds is inherent in nature.
- The parrot may try to use the owner’s hand or fingers as branches, and for a more reliable fixation, he tries to close his beak faster and denser until his hand is pulled back.
- A bird can bite if it is scared and in a cage. The limited space and the inability to fly away force her to defend herself.
- The mating season can also cause aggressive behavior of the parrot. Thus, he protects his territory from extraneous invasion. In this case, you need to wait time, and the bird will again become peaceful.
- Passion for the parrot game. At such moments, he can bite by accident, trying to securely fix in a convenient place with his beak. Or perhaps he is just having fun listening to what screams and “oohs” you make.
- An attempt to attract attention. Parrots do not like to be ignored, so they express their resentment and bewilderment in this way.
- The manifestation of feelings. The bird sitting on the shoulder can pinch the owner’s ear or cheek, and, not noticing that their “tenderness” is beyond the boundaries, they begin to move on to more active actions.
- Disease. If the aggressive behavior of a parrot is combined with lethargy and refusal to eat – this is a serious reason to beware and urgently consult a specialist.
How to eradicate a bad habit?
- First of all, do not spoil the bird too much, otherwise it will decide to take on the "master" function. Try to keep the bird cage below your height. In this way, you will remind the wretch who is among you “higher rank”.
- Do not provoke the bird to repeat his experiments with bites, reacting to them too loudly and emotionally. The observant cunning is just waiting for this. Otherwise, the parrot will use its beak as a tool for entertainment.
- Each time a parrot managed to bite you, calmly remove your finger or hand, while pronouncing in a strict tone: "You can’t!" At the same time, watch your facial expressions so that she also expresses discontent. Very soon, the bird will draw the right conclusions and begin to respond to the forbidden word as a command.
- To give your pet the full realization of his character, buy or make small wooden toys for him (without covering them with paint or varnish!) Hang objects in a cage and other places most often visited by the bird.
Show patience and endurance when weaning the bird from the habit of biting, do not give in to a feeling of pity, no matter how you like to caress your pet. Give him time to comprehend his "bad behavior", and the results will not take long!
Many bird owners, especially parrots, face the same problem – their pets bite. Parrots have a large beak, so the injury caused by a bite can be very serious, and this behavior of the bird needs to be corrected. You can try different ways of influencing a harmful parrot before looking for a new owner.
Why do birds bite? There can be different reasons for this, and it is very important for you to understand why your bird is biting. This will affect the choice of technique with which you will deal with this habit.
Bites are not peculiar to parrots in the wild. They use the beak to grab something when they climb trees, as well as for food.
A beak for a bird is the same as a hand for a person. Birds resolve conflicts between themselves with the help of body language and voice, and not with the help of bites.
Chick behavior : Just like the children and puppies that all pull in their mouths, young birds use their beak to explore the environment. The playing puppy will start to squeal if a relative bites him too hard, thus making it clear that he has crossed the permissible limit. In a similar way, one must also teach the chick to stay within certain limits. If the chick grows alone, without relatives, he may simply not be aware that his bite hurts. Unlike a puppy, which will change its behavior, because it does not like a loud screech, a baby parrot can decide that a scream is the right reaction and will bite even harder.
Sometimes the newfound owner himself can inadvertently teach a parrot to bite when he puts his hand into the cage to get a bird out of there. The chick will be reaching for the hand with its beak to grab it and crawl out. If the owner pulls his hand away too quickly, the baby will decide that the next time he needs to grab faster to get on it. And soon, an attempt to grab will turn into a bite.
Rainbow or multicolor lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus)
Fear : “Fight” or “fly away” – two options for the behavior of birds if they are afraid of something or attack them. In the wild, birds mainly use the second option. Beak is rarely allowed. Poultry whose wings are clipped, on the contrary, can bite if something scares them.
As we know, all birds tend to peck, and our pets are no exception. By biting, a bird can mark the boundaries of its territory, thus asserting its status. Some birds quickly realize that when they bite, they will get what they want, whether it’s a show with a host jumping and screaming in pain in the lead role, or a trip back to the cage where there is food. Also, birds can bite to avoid something unpleasant, for example, cutting their claws or forwarding to the cage when they still want to be free.
Mating behavior : For many species, it is characteristic that birds that have reached puberty become aggressive during the breeding season. They protect their couple and territory. It is important for the owner to determine whether the aggression of the bird is a consequence of a hormonal shift or is it a sign of poor behavior.
If the bird does not feel well, she wants to be left alone. If a bird suddenly begins to bite, which is usually not characteristic of such behavior and, in addition, there are other changes in behavior, for example, it has become less eaten or does not want to play, then it should be shown to the veterinarian.
A bird may accidentally bite you while playing. This can happen if the bird is overexcited, or simply inadvertently grabbed onto any part of your body to maintain balance.
Learn to understand the body language of birds: often they can show how they feel and what they want. For example, they can make it clear that they have played enough and it’s time to go back to the cell. If the information that the bird is trying to tell you does not immediately reach you, then it may begin to bite.
Correction of behavior. Before you start fighting biting, determine why the bird does this. Perhaps she is ill and needs treatment.
If a bird thus shows its aggression, then, firstly, it needs to be shown that a person has a higher status. First, teach her the commands “up”, “down”, “to me”, “climb”, which teach the bird to move from the perch to the owner’s finger and back. Ideally, short daily trainings should be conducted from the first day a bird appears in your house, before any behavior problems arise. Training sessions should be conducted in an unfamiliar environment for the bird. If the parrot has already bitten for some time, and the owner is afraid of its beak, the training must be transferred to an environment that is completely new to the bird. It is unlikely that the bird would want to bite the only person she knew in that case. If necessary, try to teach a bird in a veterinary clinic. You can also ask your friends and family to let you use their home for short training sessions.
Birds respond to facial expressions and verbal praise. If the bird did something right, praise it, and if not, raise your head so that you look at the bird from above and say “you can’t” in a calm voice. Do not speak in a loud voice, much less shout. Their screams are associated with other birds, and they may like it very much. There should be no aggression or punishment during training. The lesson must be continued until the bird with a desire to respond to commands. If she carries out the command, she can finish the training, but continue to use the command every time the bird is in your hands.
A higher position for a bird means a higher rank, so it is very important that the pecking bird is not higher than the level of a person’s heart, whether it is in a cage or not. Do not let such birds sit on your shoulder. This indicates a higher rank than yours, and also exposes your face, ears, eyes and lips to the risk of a serious bite. The owner needs to learn how to predict the bite of a bird and stop it with a stern look and a team before she has time to fulfill her intention.
If the bird does bite you, the response must be immediate and effective. If the bird sits on the hand, the owner must pull the hand so that the bird loses balance. Do not let the bird fall, it just needs to lose balance for a second. You should not arrange for the bird to perform with screams. Many birds need to be put in a cage so that they rest, but make sure that this is exactly what they achieved with their bites. When the response was taken, the incident is over. Do not punish your bird by isolating it for a long period. Consider the nature of the parrot when applying negative encouragement. Some birds just need a strict look, while others need a strict look and a quiet "no," and still others need a rest.
If a bird bites with fear, it is necessary to determine exactly what kind of thing it is afraid of, or in what situation it feels a sense of fear. Sometimes the cause of fear is understandable, for example, the sound of a vacuum cleaner. And sometimes the fear of the bird seems unreasonable, but perhaps something happened in its past that caused fear that it seems harmless to us.
When you remove the cause of fear, avoid reminding your bird of it. If this is not possible, try to keep the bird away from the object that causes fear. Move her to such a distance where she is no longer afraid, praise her and give a treat if she sits calmly. Do this for a week, gradually moving the bird closer to the source of its fear, but still staying far enough so that the bird does not get nervous. Use positive encouragement. Soon, the bird will identify the cause of fear with pleasant things and cease to be afraid.
It is important to know the reason the bird bites in order to control its behavior. Then after some time and with the help of an experienced specialist in bird behavior, you can help your bird be kinder, more fun, calmer and happier.