About parrot psychology
thinking of the long term happiness of you and your parrot, you will inevitably
need to learn how your parrot thinks in order to influence its
you can get it to step up on your finger, and it seems to eat fine, but why
does it scream incessantly hour after hour?
Why does it
bite you? Why
does your parrot bite everyone but you?
How can you have a happy,
healthy home for your parrot?
When you have a pet
parrot that will live 20 years (for a conure) or even possibly 80 or
more (think African Grey parrots or Cockatoo parrot), there
are long-term planning considerations that you need to
Researching parrot psychology as early as
possible will help you mold your bird in ways that will pay off over the years, and even as soon as a few
months. Do you ever wonder why there are so many slightly used birds (one or two years old) in the
It's because their owners did not raise them
with an eye to the future, and when their birds got out of the "cute and cuddly" phase into their birdie
adolescence (this happens at 6-10 months for conures and at two years or so for greys and cockatoos) their
owners don't know how to deal with them any more.
They may have figured out how to feed them
correctly, but then they "kill them with kindness" ... by which I mean that they spoil them so much they become
impossible for anyone, often including the owner, to deal with anymore.
There are two kind of influences on parrot
behavior. One is instinctive. Pet parrots may cry outside if they see a predator bird. This is an instinctive
action brought by a fear of being picked off by an avian predator.
Morning and evening calling are another
instinctive behavior, as is shoving food out of a dish and scattering it on the ground. These behaviors are better
adapted to that changed. Learning what your bird is prone to do instinctively will give you an opportunity to work
with it or around it as needed.
The more frustrating influence on parrot's behavior is
learned behavior. It would not surprise a parrot owner to find out that they
can teach his parrot tricks by rewarding behavior he likes.
This is the kind of learned behavior that most people expect
out of an animal, like when they teach a dog to sit. But what is surprising
is what a parrot learns that is not intentional on a human's part.
For example, if your parrot is having a screaming fit,
is the proper response to:
the bird out of its cage
b) cover the bird or to
c) yell at the bird to shut
Well, I would say none of these responses is
right. Think about what your bird is learning varies with each response you make: yelling gets my person
play with me
make me more bored
participate in my fun.
A person who yells back at a bird is
interacting in a way that is effective (if not wonderful) for changing the behavior of other members of the
human species that works in unintended ways for a different species.
What do I recommend? Ignoring a screaming bird
is, I think, the best response of all. (A short cover-up is recommended for prolonged screaming,
but before your parrot
noises getting you crazy, you need to figure out why and work on fixing the
problem.) Find out more about parrot training.