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Kissing describes a behavior in which a pet bird seems to mimic human kissing.


Perhaps thanks to the idealistic but unrealistic Disneyesque approach to animals and Nature, people are often wildly enthusiastic about animals that touch parts of their faces to those of others. “Kissing” is a positive thing in some but not all human societies, so people often assume that any animal that touches its face to another’s face is doing the same thing as a human kiss. In reality, most animals (other than some primates) do not “kiss” each other, so this assumption can be a seriously faulty one.


It is astonishing how many people offer their faces to pet parrots that they know are biters, apparently blithely assuming that a parrot that often communicates through biting would never bite their faces. This can be extremely unfortunate, as a facial bite (even an accidental one) can seriously damage the bond between person and parrot.

Disclaimer:’s Bird Behavior Index is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

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Reader Comments
Hi I have just been reading the comments on kissing. Let this be a warning...I have had my African grey for 15 years and always he would lean forward and press his beak onto my lips when asking him for a kiss. I would never force this and if he didn't move forward I would leave the kiss. I have just had two major bites to my face, I have been left with numbness on my top lip, and a bite under my eye. This isn't the first bite, over the last few years its got worse, I don't shout or do anything aggressive, I calmly put him back into his cage and cover him for a while. I am at a loss, a vet told me to rehome him and I cant because I have made that commitment. Any suggestions...
rosemarie, uk
Posted: 2/6/2015 2:53:44 PM
Ok so if 2 bird Pairs or mates, 'kiss' there taking out aggression?
It makes no sence. Doves and pigeons kiss
Before mating. It CAN BE A POSITIVE THING.
and yes it's not 'Kissing' it's the transfer of food
From one bird to another, this is a common
Practice in a lot of birds mainly Pairs (mates).
This is like a gift. Normally the male will step
Forward and start the kiss (if there mates) but
That's not always the case, daisy a young
Parakeet of mine try's to kiss blue, an adult male
But he bites her. He has his eyes set on jewel.
So for all those bird lovers out there, just know
That kissing is not always a bad thing!!
Corrin Jessen, Brownstown, MI
Posted: 6/6/2014 9:17:38 PM
I let my lovebird Jackie nibble my nose and lips occasionally, and when he presses his face against his cage. So far he has never exerted force strong enough to cause pain; he only does that to my hands and fingers when he's upset. I think allowing your birds to kiss you is fine, and it's really cute too!
Mai, International
Posted: 12/23/2013 2:58:45 AM
My macaw is obsessed with kissing! She says "kiss", then presses her beak against my lips & makes kissing sounds, then says "love you"!
Sandy, Greensburg, PA
Posted: 5/12/2013 3:43:27 AM
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