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Cage Aggression: Bird Term of the Day

Definitions of words used by pet bird enthusiasts with the pet bird slant.

By Angie Hendrickson

Cage aggression occurs because a pet bird instinctively wants to make sure that her home is safe.  
Learn to read your bird's body language so you know when it doesn't want to come freely out of its cage.

Cage aggression is when a pet bird becomes very possessive and protective of her territory, which is usually the cage. She may threaten, scream, or bite anyone who tries to take her out of her cage. Even pet birds that are otherwise calm and sweet can exhibit cage aggression.

Cage aggression occurs because a pet bird instinctively wants to make sure that her home is safe. Her cage is her sanctuary, and her instinct is to protect that territory from any intruders, including you. Some pet birds become very threatening, puffing up to make themselves look bigger and more menacing, growling, or even screaming at you to get away. If you get too close to a cage-aggressive pet bird, she might even attack you. This is all done in an effort to protect her home.

With cage-aggressive birds, take a calm, slow approach. Some pet birds will step up out of their cages on their terms only, while some pet birds prefer that you leave the door open so they can come out when they choose. It’s also possible that your bird isn’t cage aggressive as much as toy aggressive. If you notice your bird protecting a certain toy, removing it should solve your problem. Of course, that’s not really an option with cage aggression.

The most important thing to remember about cage aggression is that your bird is acting on instinct. It doesn’t mean that she doesn’t like you or that you should stop handling her. It just means you have to be a little more creative and respectful in how you approach your pet bird.

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Cage Aggression: Bird Term of the Day

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Reader Comments
Solid article
joan, franklin square, NY
Posted: 10/8/2011 8:10:23 PM
Nice article, I just don't like the subject...
Qing, Rochester, NY
Posted: 8/4/2011 10:08:12 AM
My female eclectus is cage aggressive. It's a challenge, but with the door open she will exit at a time of her own choosing, and allow me to handle her on her own terms. The challenge is putting food on hangers in the cage. She is definitely a lady who wants to be in charge!
Carol, Silver Spring, MD
Posted: 6/26/2011 10:02:16 AM
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