Fighting entails an aggressive interaction that can result in physical injury to one or more of the birds involved. Fighting can occur in many avian species due to the pressures of food, mate and territorial competitions.
Parrots tend to fight with raucous noise accompaniment. Feathers may fly from both involved, with much lunging and screaming. However, parrots often play in exactly the manner indicated, minus injuries. It is common for humans to have difficulty differentiating between the two if no injuries occur.
Squabbles often arise when birds are crowded together, especially when wing feathers are trimmed. Without flight, it is difficult for a bird to avoid an aggressive advance from another. (When an individual’s body language indicates serious aggression, wild birds simply fly away, thus avoiding an escalation of hostility). In addition to overcrowding, limited access to food and water dishes are also cause for conflict.
If birds are actually fighting, they need to be housed separately. If the human is not sure if play is intended instead of aggression, the birds should be closely observed so owners can make a sensible decision. Until that decision is reached, the birds in question should not be in direct contact with each other when humans are not available to closely supervise.
Disclaimer: BirdChannel.com’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.