Do you find that your gentle and happy parrot has turned into an aggressive fowl of fury? And you can’t understand what caused the change? That is probably just the hormone acting out due to the mating season. Basically, they start acting like teenagers every mating season. Not the most pleasant of times, I agree.
Today, let’s talk about the various signs that your bird is ready for mating and how to react to them.
There are quite a few signs of a mating season upcoming, and most of them are far from pleasant for parrot owners. If your bird suddenly behaves more aggressively than usual, it’s probably the hormones. You need to be prepared to accommodate the bird for the next couple of weeks and not push its boundaries.
I hope that this list will help you identify what your parrot is going through with ease. Usually, birds are very social and open – they show you what they want if you learn to read them correctly. Such a diverse body language is one of the reasons why parrots make good pets! At least, I appreciate it.
Signs that Parrots Want to Mate
Parrots, just like humans, are controlled by their hormones. And when the mating season approaches, we can clearly see the hormonal change affecting their behavior. Among humans, women are more familiar with the concept as we constantly have to deal with hormonal changes. Among parrots, such mood swings happen to all birds.
The following signs indicate the wish to mate.
A Parrot Bites
That’s the least pleasant of all, yeah! It is also called “bluffing” God knows why; probably because this is angry bites but a kind of teasing one, I guess.
It acts as a sign only if your parrot is gentle the rest of the time. If it suddenly starts nipping at your hands or anywhere it can reach, it’s a clear sign f sexual frustration.
In this case, you have to walk away immediately and let the bird calm down. Only then can you return.
A Parrot Becomes Territorial
Upon the mating season, most birds become territorial. Your parrot may become very protective of everything that belongs to it. Among such things are its toys, cage, accessories, and, in some cases, even members of its flock. Mainly you!
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do except wait for the phase to pass. Just to be safe and don’t stress the bird, don’t take it toys for now!
A Parrot May Scream
Yes, your parrot may become even louder than it already is. Be prepared for a whole new pitch if you are already used to its happy chirping as background noise. Your parrot may be screaming. Often, very often.
This is a vulnerable time for a bird. So, try not to scold them for that. Instead, you can talk to your pet gently and pet it on the head! It can help from time to time.
A Parrot Plucks Feathers
I’ve already mentioned in the article Can Parrots regrow feathers that plucking often occurs in parrots and can be a result of several issues. The coming of a mating season with no mate is of them. The good news is that your pet will regrow your feathers. However, you’ll still have to look for skin damage, as intense plucking can lead to premature baldness.
Also, if you notice that the bird’s skin is irritated, it’s better to schedule an appointment with your vet.
A Parrot Is Affectionate
This is the only positive sign of a mating season in play. You’ll notice that your bird wants more attention, eagerly cuddles with you, and fans its tail for you. A clear sign of affection is regurgitating food. Yes, it’s gross for you, but a parrot shows its utmost trust in such a way. Appreciate its love.
When Does Mating Season Start and How Long Is It?
Luckily, this is a once-a-year occurrence. It usually begins when spring comes. This is the optimal period to raise offspring in the wild – when everything blooms and there’s plenty of food around. In captivity, parrots hold onto the same instincts.
It can slightly vary depending on your climate and when everything becomes green and blooms in your area. This usually indicates the start of the mating season. It lasts only a couple of weeks. For some birds, one week is enough. The change in behavior can last even less.
How Parrots Mate
Parrots are monogamous, though that doesn’t mean that they can only have one partner for life. I’ve already discussed in the article about Parakeet mating habits, but if a partner dies, a parrot will find another mate.
Anyway, to the actual process! When the birds have courted and are ready to mate, the male parrot will climb on the female. He laps its wings and tail as a sign of affection. Don’t worry; he isn’t hurting the female; it’s a natural thing for birds.
Unlike many other animals, a parrot male doesn’t have a penis. Instead, he has internal organs and an opening (cloaca) similar to the female anatomy. The female opens her cloaca by moving her tail to the side. Thus, the birds need to press both cloacas together to transfer sperm.
This is a standard mating process for many birds.
Can Parrots Mate With Other Birds?
As I’ve already mentioned in my previous parrot breeding article, parrots cannot mate with birds of other species, only with some parrots of the different genus but more commonly inside one genus. Cross-breeding is popular among different types of Macaws to create even more colorful hybrids. In theory, cross-breeding is also meant to strengthen the bird’s health and avoid extinction. However, in practice, cross-breeding is not perfect as it may have damaging results.
Do not attempt hybridization at home. It’s the job of professional breeders.
How to Help a Parrot During Mating Season?
Though all the symptoms will pass in about a week without your intervention, there are a couple of things you can do to help the bird feel better during this stressful period.
- Be prepared. If you know what to expect from your bird during the mating season, you won’t scold it for nothing, thus making this week even more stressful for the pet! Remember that the bird cannot reign in its hormones!
- No guests. It would be better for your bird if you had the least number of visitors at that time. Only family members. Your parrot will become anxious, all the screaming and biting will worsen, and it’ll be an awful experience for all parties involved: you, the parrots, your guests. Offer the bird a calm and comfortable environment.
- Keep petting limited to the head. Even if your parrot likes when you pet the tail or wings normally, try to avoid all areas except the head during the mating season. It may heighten a parrot’s sexual frustration.
- Don’t punish it. No scolding and no punishment! Your parrot cannot control its behavior at this time. This is already a stressful period for your pet. Don’t make it even more anxious. It’s merely a week. Be accommodating to your pet.
Hormonal changes during the mating period are a natural thing. However, parrots cannot control the changes and their behavior. Some birds are affected more than others. Among the mating season signs, you can notice biting, scream, plucking, and increased affection.
As a loving owner, the only thing you can do is be patient, not scold, and devote time to socializing with your parrot.
An unmated bird always has a stressful time during the mating season. So make it as comfortable as possible.