Birds behaving Badly
All parrots aspire to be top bird and this can become a problem around the time of sexual maturity (approximately 4-6 years in African greys and Amazons). To avoid these dominance problems it is very important to establish strict ground rules from a young age.
Tips to avoid avian dominance
- Never let your bird perch on your head or shoulders. Train your bird to perch on your lower arm. Make sure your bird's cage is never higher than shoulder height.
- Never overindulge a young bird . Otherwise they will expect you to be their slave for life and may start screaming for attention when they get older. You have been warned! Many parrots are rehomed because their owners spoilt them when young and made them too dependent on them.
- Make sure your parrot interacts with all the family - a bond with just one family member can become obsessive and may lead to aggressive behaviour as the bird gets older. Encourage all family members to handle the bird. This is best done in a strange environment (away from its territory and cage) to encourage the bird to interact.
- Never let your bird kiss you or put its head near your mouth. This can be cute habit in a young bird but when your bird reaches sexual maturity it may give you a nasty and frightening nip.
- Keep to simple rules. Reward good behaviour with a food treat. Birds are very aware of facial expressions so if your parrot is naughty give it a cross look and then ignore them by either placing the cage in a different room or covering the cage.