For every parrot that enjoys snuggling, cuddling and petting, another probably couldn’t care less if it was ever touched. This is natural behavior, as wild parrots have seldom been observed touching any other bird except mates and, occasionally, rivals when threatened. The tendency to enjoy tactile interactions changes as people mature. Remember how your first child just loved to be held and cuddled? Remember how that changed slowly, as he or she grew older? Remember how you would get a goodbye kiss before kindergarten and a hug before grade school, then you endured avoidance and grimaces by junior high school?
Some parrots, even those that were carefully nurtured and hand-fed, prefer other forms of interaction to touching by the time they reach adulthood. That doesn’t mean that the bird that doesn’t like to be touched or doesn’t like to interact. It merely means that interactions might include coy looks, peek-a-boos, dancing, singing and indirect attention.
**For the full article, pick up the October 2008 issue of BIRD TALK**
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