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Biting

Biting behavior is caused by a communication breakdown between bird and human or the result of a bird’s fear.

DEFINITION OF BITING

Injury inflicted by a parrot’s beak, usually characterized by bruising and/or bleeding. Milder examples of beak-vs-skin encounters include nipping and pinching. This is not to be confused with “Beaking” or “Beak exploration.”

CAUSES OF BITING

Biting is either caused by a communication breakdown between bird and human, or the result of a bird’s fear.

WHAT TO DO

Analyze the situation to attempt to figure out the motivation for the biting, and then figure out how to resolve the problem without aggression. For example, if a bird bites when you put it back in its cage, teach it to want to go into its cage on its own because if it does so, it is always rewarded with a special food treat that it gets no other time. If a bird is biting out of fear, back off and figure out what is frightening the bird, and remove that fearful thing or situation. For example, if the bird bites you when you reach into the cage to pick it up, then teach the bird to come out of the cage on its own by offering special treats. The careful observation of body language will prevent many bites, as birds communicate with body language prior to hostility, rather like a dog that growls and bears its teeth prior to biting. If aggressive body language is observed, you should back off and adjust the situation so the bird’s body language relaxes.

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.


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Reader Comments
When I had my Quaker Parrot, she was VERY noisy until I would whistle a song to her, after a while when she was in her cage being noisy I would just whistle that song to her from any room in the house and she would quiet down right away.
Willo, Wellington, OH
Posted: 6/16/2013 1:09:59 PM
My quacker has never let me put it on my hand, bite when i reachinto cage. only time she will come out on my shoulder only is when I clean her cage, she screeches all the time and only can stop her when I whisle standing at her cage. Need help,
maxine, Havre, MT
Posted: 5/3/2012 1:30:32 PM
This helps. Thanks
Dan, Sandy Valley, NV
Posted: 6/5/2010 3:23:42 PM
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