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Is My Bird Obsessed With Her Mirror?

When the mirror becomes your bird's only source of entertainment, it might be time to wean her off it.

Sally Blanchard

Your bird might become obsessed with the birdie in the window. This isn't always a bad thing, but if she does nothing else but play with her reflection, it might be time to wean her off the mirror.

Q) I’ve always heard that cockatiels like mirrors. But I’m certain that the addiction/obsession displayed by my 21/2-year old male cockatiel, Coco, must make even the most ardent mirror love out there pale in comparison. Coco got his first mirror when he turned 1. As soon as I put it in his cage that was it, he was entranced. All other toys, and he had quite a few, became boring and obsolete compared to the shiny doorway into another world where a new cockatiel friend was waiting.

A) There is a lot of controversy about mirrors in bird’s cages. There is no doubt that small parrot-family birds, such as cockatiels and budgies, fall madly in love with their reflections. Because a mirror can become a mate substitute, their mirror behavior can prevent bonding with a human. It can also encourage chronic sexual stimulation, which can create some serious health problems.Cockatiel With Mirror

While a bird could become obsessed with a mirror, she might also appreciate time hanging out with a "friend."

Start by removing the mirror for short periods of time when you are playing with the birds. Gradually increase their time without the mirror until it is no longer such an important and obsessive part of their lives.

Want to learn more about bird obsessions?

Bird & Toy Obsessions
Food Play & Food Obsessions In Parrots

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Posted: April 22, 2014, 12:00 a.m. PDT

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Is My Bird Obsessed With Her Mirror?

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