African Grey’s behaviors can present themselves in a variety of ‘habits.’ Your bird can scream, bite, hide, and pluck their feathers. It can be a hair-pulling experience for African Grey parrot owners. Dangerous for you, your family, and your bird.
As an owner, you want your beloved African Grey to be happy and content yet nothing you try seems to work. It’s a familiar story told by many bird owners. Fortunately, there is a solution!
- Determine the cause of the behavior. What was your African Grey doing right before the undesired behavior? Pay attention to the cues that he gives before he exhibits the behavior. Does your bird scream when you walk into the room?
Does he bite when you’re playing with him? Does he cower in his cage and refuse to be touched? Is he simply beaking or is it an act of aggression? When you first understand when and possibly why your African Grey is behaving this way, you can begin to take steps to reverse the behavior.
- Eliminate your reaction to the behavior. A loud reaction to any undesirable behavior simply serves to reinforce the behavior. Your African Grey bites you, you yell and now he knows that he can elicit a reaction from you by biting. Don’t yell, stay calm, place the bird back into his cage, and leave the room and your parrot is left feeling unsatisfied.
Maybe your African Grey parrot screams and you and your family members yell at him to stop. You may shriek back and run out of the room. Maybe you make a loud noise attempting to startle him to get him to stop screaming.
All of these behaviors can make it more fun to scream. Eliminate your reaction to the behavior, at least in front of your bird, and you make the behavior less interesting. Additionally, when you remain calm it helps your bird to remain calm too. Oftentimes, these undesirable behaviors are caused by anxiety. If you’re nervous about handling your pet parrot, you’ll make him nervous too.
- Begin the process of bonding and training your African Grey. The only way to put an end to nervous behaviors, whether it’s screaming, biting, clawing, or even hiding, is to gain the trust of your bird. Even plucking behaviors can be overcome by training.
One of the main reasons African Grey pluck is because they get nervous around their owners. Many African Grey owners have stopped their bird’s plucking, by simply training tricks as a way to overcome this nervousness.
If you want to put an end to your African Grey’s biting, screaming, hiding, or plucking you must train him and train him properly. Poor training can result in a bird that is even more aggressive and nervous. End nervous behaviors by using the step-by-step training process we’ve designed over the years.
Simple commands and rewards teach your parrot that you are the one in charge and that he or she can trust you to care for him, bond with him, or keep him safe, engaged, and well cared for.