BIRDS OFTEN HAVE THE ODDEST BEHAVIORS THAT SEEM TO PUZZLE US, MAKE US LAUGH AND SOMETIMES EVEN QUESTION THE INTELLIGENCE OF OUR FEATHERED PET….….HOPEFULLY I CAN SHED SOME LIGHT ON A FEW THAT I AM ASKED MOST OFTEN BY OUR CUSTOMERS :

  • FLUFFING: For a healthy bird, fluffing is sometimes twofold….release of tension or a prelude to preening. Fluffing can also be an indication of illness. If your pet stays fluffed for an extended period of time, please contact your Veterinarian.
     

  • EYE PINNING: Talk about a “roll of the dice”….that is exactly what this one brings. Pinning can mean excitement…fear….aggression….or interest. This is where you know best…..is he pinning because he is happy or ready to remove some flesh! Pay close attention to his behavior so you can read his moods as accurately as possible.
     

  • HANGING UPSIDE DOWN:  We lovingly refer to this as “bat bird” ….This particular behavior is very common for African Grays, Macaws, Caiques and Conures. Many other species also participate in this odd bat like demonstration. What does it mean? It means your pet is happy, content and quite secure with his surroundings. 
     

  • FLYING IN PLACE: Birds that are caged and have their wings trimmed usually will exercise their chest muscles and wings by this behavior. This is a very healthy activity. Sometime you can hold your bird’s feet and encourage them to exercise in this manner.
     

  • PICKING ITS’ FEET: Healthy parrots not only groom their feathers, but they also take care of their feet. Sometimes little bits of food get stuck on their feet as well as dead skin. This is a good time to mention that it is very important to check your bird’s feet regularly looking for redness, cracks or calluses. Some heavy bodied birds have red places on the bottoms of their feet caused by perches…… similar to us getting sore spots on the bottoms of our own feet. This is easily avoided by using natural wood perches of different dimensions and shapes.
     

  • REGURGITATION:  This behavior is one of the greatest compliments your bird can pay you….even if sometimes considered gross. Birds regurgitate to their mates during mating season and also to their babies….so you are the recipient of a large amount of affection. Consider yourself blessed and try not to act too disgusted.
     

  • SENSORY OVERLOAD:  Pinning of the eyes, puffing of the feathers and an attitude that suggests someone has just fed him rocket fuel….beware……this is Sensory Overload. This is probably the time you are most likely to get bit. Too much activity, too much noise and general chaos is usually the cause. Amazons and Grays are prone to this Sensory Overload. Allow your bird some quiet time to allow his emotions to calm and regain his composure.
     

  • SNEEZING:  In companion birds, sneezing is categorized as either productive or non productive. Non productive sneezing clears dust, feathers or feather shafts from the nostrils. Some birds even stick their claw or toe into their nose to make a sneeze happen. Sometimes a little liquid will shoot out from the normal sneezing process….very similar to humans.  Productive sneezes produce a mucous discharge and the nasal area remains wet, damp or sticky and needs to be a cause for concern. Sometimes, a normal sneeze will produce a liquid but it will quickly dry and the nasal area won’t remain wet. ….this seems to be of no concern. If the area around the nostrils remains wet, make an appointment with your Vet.
     

  • NIGHT FRIGHTS:  This is sometimes referred to as thrashing. African Greys and Cockatoos seem prone to this behavior and oddly enough Lutino Cockatiels. Throughout the years I have observed that all Cockatiels can experience these night frights but Lutino Cockatiels, (all yellow) seem to fall victim more often than not.  Night Fright is when the bird is startled awake by loud noises, vibrations or flashes of light and then tries to “take flight”. While in their panic to flee, wing tips, tail feathers and toes get caught and bumped on toys, cage bars and perches. If your pet is prone to this behavior, sometimes a night light or even an air cleaner (to provide ‘white noise’) will all but eliminate the problem. In severe cases, a “sleeping cage is necessary…a very small cage void of all toys and other items which could pose a potential danger. This phenomenon is not life threatening but certainly can cause worry and needs to be addressed. Bleeding feathers can be a problem and bleeding needs to be stopped using Quick Stop or cornstarch, flour or sugar. Apply pressure and if a feather seems to need to be pulled contact your Veterinarian. ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR VET IN MATTERS OF HEALTH AND WELLNESS.

Common Behaviors in your Pet Bird

February 2017

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