All About Pets

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Did you know?

Many of the unsavory behaviors associated with pet parrots are not inherent to the bird but are learned reactions that result from interacting with humans. In the wild, parrots are social creatures and do not need to look far to communicate with others. Often their calls are returned quite quickly by other parrots or birds. In solitary cages, parrots may try to get the attention of their caretakers through the usual means, only to find that they get no response. Over time, a parrot may resort to screaming or making other loud noises, which people are not able to ignore. If the parrot owner reprimands the parrot or acknowledges the screaming, he or she has just inadvertently let the parrot know that this is an effective way to gain attention. A similar thing occurs with biting. In the wild, parrots may use body language to warn off other animals before they need to resort to biting. However, humans may not be tuned into these clues and may end up pushing the boundaries with the bird. Biting may be the only way the parrot gets the message across that it does not want to be bothered at the time. Some parrots grow accustomed to biting simply because this gets the fastest reaction. Parrot owners need to become acquainted with the behaviors of parrots and avoid conditioning parrots to be poor companions. The bird owner should provide opportunities for socialization and time for play, and he or she should respect when the parrot wants to be hands-off. This can strengthen the parrot-owner relationship.