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Masturbation is a common behavior in pet birds.


This perfectly normal behavior is beautifully explained by Dr. Marge Wissman in the BirdChannel’s medical index.

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
Is the butt rubbing on me or my hand a sign of this. I have 2 severe macaws and I'm trying to distinguish is they are male or female. They are close in age and named scarlet and ret. I believe scarlet is a female because she has a thing for cavities. And ret who I assume male dislikes the attention I give scarlet and try's to bite me any chance I get. Recently My wife and I moved in with my uncle temporarily and ret seems to be trying to bond with him. We are noticing signs of ret rubbing his parts on him and an avian doctor said to distract him so he doesn't do that. Again she never tested these birds to find gender. I was curious to know if female birds masturbate as well? Thanks
Tim, International
Posted: 10/14/2015 11:01:16 AM
Our 4-year old love bird masturbates everyday on his small rope perch that has a big knot on the end. I figured this was just normal behavior, but today I saw where he had released some of his "maleness" on the rope and he turned around and ate some of it. Is this normal behavior, I've never heard of this before?
Terri, Evansville, WI
Posted: 3/4/2013 1:05:04 PM
My Sun Conure "I call it making love to my hand" does this quit frequently. I just think of it as a release that he needs an don't stop or scold. I just kiss him on the neck and head. He is very prescious to me. He is 12.
Marilyn, Fredericksburg, TX
Posted: 10/15/2011 10:15:35 AM
valerie, glen oaks, NY
Posted: 10/10/2011 7:20:48 PM
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