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Is My Bird Jealous Or Territorial?

Find out the signs to look for if your bird's behavior changes

By Chris Davis

Bird Behavior
A jealous bird will focus attention specifically on the newcomer. A bird that is being territorial will tend to react or attack almost anyone who is present. Courtesy Ellen Dianella, California

Although there may be overlapping similarities in the two behaviors, a superficial determination can be made by looking at a couple of major aspects:

A jealous bird will focus attention specifically on the newcomer, whose mere presence may trigger negative behaviors. That person, animal or object is usually the only thing attacked or reacted to, regardless of location. There may also be an increase in jealous behavior when the bird’s favorite person interacts with the trigger.

A bird that is being territorial will tend to react to or attack almost anyone who happens to occupy a particular area. This may include pieces of furniture. Some birds will exempt other occupants of the home, while focusing on visitors or new arrivals. This is not the same as jealousy, and this particular problem is relatively easy to eliminate by simply not allowing the bird to claim personal territory.

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Is My Bird Jealous Or Territorial?

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Reader Comments
"Not allowing the bird to claim territory?" Easy to say but no info on how to enact. My 2 parrots have adjacent cages and shared hanging/climbing/perching toys and play atop all three cages. One (patcon) is determined to rule it all. Funny to watch him race around trying to stay in charge - territorial for sure. But really, how do you "not let him claim territory"? He only does this at times each day, not all the time. But I'd really like to reduce his domineering behavior times without just locking him up. Article was too simplistic. I think anyone who knows their birds could have written this info but an expert should be able to give more detailed advice.
Bailey, Chico, CA
Posted: 6/10/2009 9:04:29 PM
i agree, what's the solution for a jealous bird?
t, mplst, MN
Posted: 1/4/2009 3:24:42 PM
good article, my parrotlet is sometimes territorial of her cage.
stephanie, no smithfield, RI
Posted: 12/31/2008 12:11:14 PM
You give a solution to territorial behaviour but not to jelous behaviour. What would be a good solution to that?
Sunny, Fort Collins, CO
Posted: 1/14/2008 7:31:07 AM
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