Abby Says: Why is my bird suddenly biting me?

This month's question comes from Connie in Riverside.


Why is my bird suddenly biting me? She is normally a really friendly bird, but I've noticed a dramatic change in the past month or two.


Hi Connie, I'm so happy you asked this question! Many people deal with similar changes in their companion parrots. The sudden change in behavior, associated with the beginning of spring, makes me think her biting is due to hormonal changes.

The parrots we have in captivity are nor domesticated, they are only 1-3 generations from being caught from the wild. Therefore, their reproductive systems are still hard-wired to breed in spring.

There are a few ways to prevent her hormones from changing her behavior. First off, you want to stop reinforcing any breeding related behaviors such as: regurgitating, overbonding with one family member and stop petting her underneath her wings or above her tail. Secondly, try reducing any nesting behavior, for example, chewing up paper or cardboard and making a nest in the cage. Remove any toys that are easily shredded. Thirdly, try limiting daytime hours. As the days get longer, we tend to stay up later, and shorten the number of hours they sleep. If you and your family stay up late, then cover the cage and/or put her in a quiet sleeping room. If non of those help, consult your avian veterinarian about getting a hormone injection.

I hope this helps.

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