Parrots are flock animals and they mate for life. But, birds are prey animals, or food to other birds and critters, so they tend to be extremely protective of anything that feels like a threat to their safety. You’ve probably read about how you must be vigilant to maintain parrot trust. That’s because if a parrot doesn’t perceive you as part of its flock, it fears that you are an enemy. Most parrot species will ferociously protect their mate and their home. They want to ward off poaching, egg eating birds, snakes and other vermin. Territorial behavior is an innate behavior and your best defense is to gain your pet birds trust. Your parrot must trust that every time you reach into its cage or attempt to pick it up, it will be safe.
Unlike domestic animals like dogs and cats, parrots choose whom they desire to form deep connections with. While you may love your parrot if he didn’t pick you, his love may be conditional. Parrots can be territorial troublemakers and as they sexually mature. Unless they are well trained and socialized by all family members, they may bond more deeply with one member of the family while displaying jealous and aggressive behavior to others who vie for the chosen persons’ attention. `
While territorialism is an innate parrot behavior, some popular pet bird species are known to be more territorial than others. Of course, the bigger the beak, the more of a problem territorialism is. Territorial behavior, of course escalates with seasonal or nesting behavior that both wild parrots and pet parrots experience in the spring and fall.
If you find yourself taking parrot aggression and territorialism personally than you need to step back and consider how to gain your parrot’s trust. Your parrot will display aggressive behavior if it does not trust you. You lose parrot trust with loud, jerky, commanding handling techniques. The best way to gain your parrots trust is to consistently handle it with gentle love, insuring to reward expected behaviors.
A great beginning step to establishing your birds trust is to teach the “step-up” command. You start off teaching the “step up command in a neutral area and then advance up to your parrot’s cage. The “step-up” command is when your parrot literally steps up onto your outreached finger or arm quickly upon request. You teach the “step up” command using positive bird training techniques like Clicker Training for Birds. By quickly rewarding expected behaviors with a special clicker and treat, your bird learns it can entrust that you are always safe. Clicker training in turn enhances your trust that your bird will not bite you. It’s the beginning step to a mutually trusting relationship.
Step up is the most basic form of developing trust with your parrot. You will want to build upon the mutual trust by teaching other behaviors that will help your parrot stay safe and help you care for it. The Basics of Parrot Training A Live Workshop offers everything you wanted to know to help you get started training your parrot is captured in this video of one of Barbara Heidenreich’s world renowned Parrot Training Workshops.
Andrew Gutner is a content creator for BirdSupplies.com, a leading online retailer of bird & parrot supplies.