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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
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
My U2 loves to kiss me. She just lightly puts her tongue on my lips. I know it's bad for them, but I do let her sometimes because she is so cute when she does it. She even is looking me in the eye.
Kim, Lewisburg, PA
Posted: 5/10/2013 10:11:26 PM
i have a bird obsessed with kissing and he is a sweetheart who dares not bite anything on a human only lips, it's soft and loveable!
Marie, orem, UT
Posted: 7/29/2011 12:30:43 PM
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