Parrots are beautiful birds with very distinct colors. You may have seen one in the wild or even own one as a pet. However, we wanted to give you some important facts about their behaviour that makes them different from your average companion animal.
Here are a few of our favorites about them:
1. Parrots prefer to have their head feathers stroked towards their beak
While your dog or cat may appreciate being stroked from head to tail, this is often merely tolerated or it can be sexually stimulating to companion Parrots.
I prefer to see a Parrot who fluffs his head feathers up in a big ball in anticipation of a few head scratches. Touching on the head is definitely a great way to foster your relationship. They will like it!
Look at your bird’s body language to guide you as to whether your Parrot is just taking it or can’t get enough.
2. Puking on us is how Parrots show love
Isn’t that a funny one? Yes, it is true, this is not a joke!
Parrots may try to dribble this usually smelly gooey mush into your hand if you make it available. This courtship behaviour is also one that caregivers will want to avoid reinforcing. The beak will be brought to the chest and the head will arc in a repetitive motion as food is brought back up into the mouth. A Parrot who has decided you are its chosen mate will express its love by regurgitating for you. Weird isn’t it?
3. Not all Parrots can fly well, not because they have colorful feathers
In some places it is common to clip the flight feathers on Parrots right about the time the bird would first attempt flight. If this happens (or you keep them on a cage that is too small to allow flight) during that time in development when flight should be happening, it can lead to a loss in flight for the rest of that bird’s life. Teach them to fly.
There are also Parrots that find it naturally hard to fly due to their heavy body such as Amazons, Macaws and African Grey Parrots. These typically are the birds that were clipped during this critical stage of development in which their genetics would have been urging their body to attempt flight. Instead of flight, each launch off from the perch would have been met with a crash landing.
Behaviours such as recall, station training and developing flight skills make living with flighted Parrots a pleasure
4. Parrots are super-duper visual
If your dog is an expert sniffer and your cat hears the slightest rustle of small insects, then your Parrot can see the tiniest speck of a spider on the ceiling. This means he is also carefully watching you. Especially if he is interested in your attention and companionship.
You should know common Parrot behaviour when petting them, because you can’t just ignore their stare.
5. Parrot friendships can take time, but can be super rewarding
Most of us are accustomed to being with dogs or cats and love to interact with our furry friends. In general, most dog and cat friendships seem easily earned compared to Parrots.
Many Parrot species are not as social as we might think. In the wild they live with only one partner or small family groups. Flocking may only happen under certain circumstances such as foraging or roosting. Therefore automatically accepting new individuals may not be the norm for those species. Learning history also plays a role in how quickly a Parrot may be inclined to respond to a new potential friend. That is where training can help.
Even though your Parrot’s behaviour may present challenges that might be a bit different from your dog or cat, don’t give up! They are often eager students and ready to learn.
Let us know if you found some of these facts eye opening by leaving a comment below. We would love to hear from you. Until next time, all the best from the OUR TEAM.