Parrots are highly regarded for their intelligence and sharp body language. Generally, it’s easy to understand your bird with time when you learn its characters and behavior. Parrots’ body language is varied and, in many ways, learn to copy the owner’s behavior. With such high intelligence, many owners don’t really know what to expect. To cover the basics, today we’ll discuss an important issue – are parrots vicious?
Overall, parrots can be vicious. However, this behavior is situational and depends on the bird. All parrots have different characters. Some are kinder and quieter; others are loud, and, yes, can be vicious at times. However, biting is not only used as a negative sign in birds. Parrots can also bite just to attract your attention.
Overall, we cannot surely say that parrots are vicious and the other way around. Parrots’ mood changes as easily as ours. They have different temperaments and behavioral patterns. And even calm and gentle parrot can bite you at times. Unfortunately, this often results in parrot abandonment. So, I’m sure everybody needs to read this section on parrot behavior to know what they’ll be dealing with.
Do Parrots Bite?
Yes, parrots bite. Some do that more often the others. You can check what parrots bite strong in a previous article.
Biting is their natural behavior. Birds do this not only because of viciousness; there are many other causes. However, sometimes, biting is a sign of an upset vicious bird.
But what other uses do parrots have for biting?
For younger parrots, biting is used to discover the world and test new things. Human children do this all the time. So if they see something new, know that it’ll go straight to their mouth!
Considering that these are still young birds, their bites are not hard at all. They can even start “chewing” your fingers, but it won’t hurt. This is done in curiosity, not meaning to hurt you. Let the chick explore the world in its natural way!
Yes, if a bird is scared, it can bite things. Likewise, if you are nearby, it can bite you.
When they see new people or hear unfamiliar noises, parrots get scared easily. These are birds of prey, and they have to be alert constantly. Any noise or new face may indicate danger to them.
Biting can also indicate an act of possessiveness. Birds are rather territorial. They have their mate and their flock that they feel strongly about. As an owner, you are their family. And the bird may become possessive of you in the presence of others. Especially if you are used to living just the two of you.
Plus, birds get super possessive of their toys and cage. So, if you try to take a toy away, you may be bitten. So, possessive biting is not a good thing that should be discouraged.
Parrots can have a variety of moods, very similar to humans. They will let you know if they are upset or don’t like something. Often, by biting your fingers! And though it’s not always aggression, such behavior has to be discouraged if the bird is being too spoilt.
However, in some instances, biting is an act of aggression. Parrots can be vicious and bite. In most cases, you can find the reason behind such behavior. But you’ll have to know your parrot well to be able to find the exact reason.
Aggression in Parrots? Reasons
There are multiple reasons why a parrot can become vicious or aggressive. Some of them are clear-cut and can be changed. Like the bird feeling possessive of territory or being in proximity with other animal aggressors. However, some reasons lie deep in the bird’s biology and can be caused by changes in hormones, often present during mating and laying eggs for females.
There are also mental reasons! For example, boredom and lack of mental stimulation (a.k.a. intellectual playtime) can cause aggressiveness in parrots.
How to Deal With Parrot Aggressiveness?
Parrots can be trained and educated on proper behavior like dogs. And the best way to discourage aggressive behavior is by ignoring it. This “time out” strategy is also known to work for human toddlers. Both parrots and toddlers demand attention via such aggressive behavior.
If you start screaming at the bird, it’ll work the opposite way. Your pet will accept it as a challenge and become even more aggressive. So instead, you better walk out on the aggressive bird. Return only when it calms down. Then, if it starts biting аgain, walk away again. Repeat until your pet learns that such behavior is unacceptable and will lead it nowhere.
Be sure to implement this technique as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it’ll be to tame aggressive behavior in birds.
How to Prevent Aggressive and Vicious Behavior in Parrots?
Though discouraging such behavior may be a great way to reduce biting in the long-term, nobody wants to get bitten meanwhile. There are a few tricks for such instances. You can predict when a bite is coming by reading its body language. Although this is not a 100 percent sure way, you can learn the possible signs of the bite coming and try to avoid it.
- Staring. If your parrot stares at you for a long time and its irises dilate and pulsate, this is a sign of aggression. The bird is getting ready to attack. You may be invading a parrot’s personal space.
- Feathers ruffled or flattened. Ruffled feathers can also indicate aggression or your parrot’s discomfort. Flattened feathers, on the contrary, mean that the parrot is scared. But a frightened parrot can also bite. Leave it alone for a moment.
- Hissing. Well, this is an obvious sign. Many people don’t even know that parrots can hiss and growl! Yes, they can do that well. When this occurs, it’s the clearest sign that a parrot is ready to bite. Instead of trying to calm it, move away. Or remove the “irritant” if you know the reason your parrot is distressed.
- Body swaying or standing tall. Both of these signs are not limited to irritation only. They can be used to express interest, boredom, or happiness. However, when combined with the previously mentioned signs, they add up to expressing irritation.
What to Do If a Parrot Bites You?
If it’s only a light bite, no bigger than a scratch, you can deal with it at home. Just disinfect the wound with water and ointment and keep it covered initially. When the wound is no longer open, let it dry! Simple yet effective.
If your parrot bites hard, you better visit the hospital. The professionals will take care of it. Considering that the bite is from a house pet and you know it doesn’t carry infections, rest assured that it’ll heal quickly and well!
Overall, parrots are loving birds who consider their owner a part of their family. However, parrots feature the same variety of moods as humans. Meaning it can become scary or aggressive. And biting is a natural way of protection and even getting attention for parrots. Parrots can get vicious, but they mostly require a valid reason for that.
As I’ve mentioned, biting is not always a sign of viciousness, but it should be discouraged anyway unless it’s a chick exploring the world!