Even if your pet bird or parrot loves being petted by you, do not expect it to be comfortable being petted by everyone else. It is, in fact, a very small prey animal, and humans are very large predators. To offer the back of one’s neck takes tremendous trust, and most parrots do not grant such trust easily — it has to be earned over time. I, too, am not comfortable being touched by just anyone, and I would be quite angry if someone felt they had the right to make such demands. Consequently, I totally empathize with parrots that feel the same way.
Not All Bird Relationships Are The Same
It is also quite normal for a parrot to have different relationships with different people in its flock. People often complain to me that a parrot allows some flock members to pet it but not others. It is as if they perceive the bird as doing something wrong by not having identical relationships with multiple people.
My usual response is to comment that no animal I have ever known — human or otherwise — has had identical relationships with several people. After all, none of us have identical relationships with our mothers and our fathers, or each of our siblings. Even our dogs have different relationships with all of the humans with whom they live.
To expect a parrot to do otherwise is not reasonable. For instance, when you think about it, you will realize that no, perhaps your parrot won’t let you pet it like it lets your husband, but there are other things the bird does only with you. This is quite normal for intelligent life forms. For example, my sister was entranced when her grandson (whom she never sees often enough) developed specific games that he will play only with her. This does not mean he does not love his parents. It just means that he loves each person in a different way and has special things associated with each one.
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