Birds Being… You know, Birds

June 1, 2018

Birds Being… You know, Birds

Just like other pets such as cats and dogs, Birds also have some behavioral problems which their owners and caretakers find difficult to deal with. There are also times where they misbehave and end up frustrating their owner (also makes them rip their hair off their heads, like literally!), but get this, a few of these behavioral issues have rather simple solutions if the bird owner would just pay a little more attention, time and a lot of effort.

Here are some common things your birdie will do and also the reasons behind it (plus the things that you can do about it):

Dead Fish Eyes

(Why do your birdie have a flashing/dilating eyes)

When your pet birds dilate or flash their eyes, it can be a sign of aggression, excitement, nervousness, or pleasure (or a combination of both or all). That flashing of a bird’s eyes is also called “pinning”. There are certain reasons for this particular behavior. When a bird is displaying an aggressive behavior such as tail fanning, this means “back off” or “one more freaking in closer and ill flay you!”.

So, you better not approach your pet bird when it exhibits this kind of behavior you might get a nasty bite (which of course, you deserve, haven’t I warned you earlier?). This can also be a response to other animals, another bird or human that is not welcome in the area.

Hon, Who’s Dog Is That?

(Hey! you’re a bird, so what’s with the barking?)

Dogs aren’t just the only pets that bark, sometimes pet birds does it too. Birds also “bark” when they are excited, and if they are having a chatting session. This is also a display of dominance over their cage mates or to other birds in the household.

Growling and Purring

(They might sound the same but actually they really aren’t)

Just like any other animals, growling is also a form of aggression in birds. It indicates that the bird does not want to bother and it is also sometimes accompanied by flashing or dilating of the pupils and rising of the feathers in the back neck area.

In these cases, it is wise to stay away from them and just wait until your pet bird calm down before attempting to approach. Purring on the other hand sounds very similar to the growling sound, but it’s no accompanied by the dilating of pupils. This means the exact opposite of growling which means that the bird is relaxed and their feathers are fluffed up. It indicates contentment.


(At first you bark, then now that?)

Pet birds love to make fascinating sounds which feels like relaxing music the ears, and you might also notice that they do some weird ones too (such as tongue clicking). Rapid “clicking” of the tongue against their beak is a positive and friendly behavior they usually do. This generally means that your pet bird is feeling friendly towards you and informing you that if you approach them this time, they won’t try to hurt or bite your finger out. This positive behavior is most likely seen with Cockatoos.

Ouch…Birdie That Hurts!

(Nasty Bird Bites)

Biting is one of the most reported cases of problematic behavior that pet birds do, and this one is not so shocking anymore. Bird bites really hurt though.

There are two forms of biting cases in pet birds. With baby birds, there is a stage in their growth that is called “teething stage”.

In this case, baby birds will bite (“beak”) everything that comes in contact with them. A bird’s beak is filled with encased nerve endings and is used in experiencing sensations, textures, tastes, the hardness or softness of an object or their food and many others. In these instances, the “beaking” cannot be considered as biting, but more of a “habitual” thing that they do.

This behavior may also lead to biting later when it grows up, so this can be discouraged by directing your pet bird to an appropriate object such as bird toys or something chewable and safe approved by your vet.

With older birds, biting is obviously the most ultimate form of showing dissatisfaction. Birds bite not just for fun or anger; they do so for some reasons such as when they feel threatened, startled, or anxious. Birds also bite as a defensive action, like when they protect their nest or when the owner did something that the bird dislikes.

Birds may also bite their mate or their beloved human owners in an attempt of protecting them. It can also be caused by a displaced aggression. When your bird is unable to bite the object it desires, it will bite the closest thing available (even their bird cage). When encouraging a bird to step up onto your hand, do not misunderstand an open beak aimed at your hand as an attempt to bite.

Birds almost always “test” a perch’s stability before stepping onto it, and will touch his beak to your hand before stepping onto it or sometimes you use it as an extra appendage to help them get up their perching spot.

Who Is Making That Catcall?

(Why do Birds Whistle, Talk, and Sing?)

Hearing Birds sing early in the morning is a great way to start a day together with your typical hot coffee and the gentle breeze from your window right? Well do you know why your lovely pet bird sings or whistles? Or do you ever wonder what the meaning is when your birds talk?

These activities done by our birds is a form of contentment and usually indulged when they are feeling safe, secure, and contented with their surroundings. You can usually hear them at times during the early morning when the sun is getting ready to rise, and at dusk when the sun is setting down.

It also occurs at times when the bird is feeling happy and excited. This is one of the positive traits that our feathery friends possess and it is a great thing to listen too, so it is really important to keep your pet birds happy and contented.

Not the Sofa Again!

(Why does my pet parrot destroys things?)

Destructive behavior is often seen in most parrots. It is a sign when out feathery friend is either has a problem with his or her environment and or is not receiving enough vital mental and physical simulation to keep its mind and body occupied and active. Birds are very intelligent and social animals and they need a lot of attention in order to keep them from being bored.

Boredom is one thing that can cause health problems to your pet bird. So, if your bird is showing some signs of blatant destructive behavior (such as destroying its cage, chewing bird toys, and other things it see) it may be a good idea to assess how you are spending your time with your pet, and take steps to make your pet bird more included in your daily activities. Pay attention to them more. By doing so, you can greatly reduce destructive tendencies in most pet birds.

Cut It Out Birdie!

(Why do these birds scream?)

Screaming is one of the most undesired behaviors of many birds reported by owners and their neighbors respectively. While a lot of healthy birds will scream and vocalized at some point throughout the day, problematic screaming can be out of boredom, depression, or some other type of stress that your bird is currently experiencing.

Consider all factors and consult and avian vet to rule out any medical problems, or you may want to talk to a parrot behavior consultant for some help with modifying your pet’s behavior if the screaming doesn’t begin to calm down.

Birdie, U Mad?

(Feathers are too beautiful to be plucked)

Birds comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors but some of them really standing out from the crowd, whether it is growing specialized beaks or setting record-breaking flights. Birds always find a way to astonish us in every way possible, which also includes birds flaunting their eye-catching and mesmerizing feathers.At some point in their life, they will pluck their feathers for a particular reason.

But why do Birds pluck their feathers? And what is the meaning of feather-plucking?

Feather plucking is generally regarded as a multi-factorial disorder (and also makes them look like a dressed chicken). This occurs when birds are severely depressed and very unsettled due to their environment. Birds that are stressed will pluck their feathers as means of pacifying themselves and sometimes doing it out of boredom or lack of interaction (just like when a deranged person tears their hair of from their heads). This could also be the effect of some certain medical issues such as problems with their diet, toxic exposures and infections. In captivity, a bird that usually plucks their feathers can be a sign of veterinary or environmental problems, and the damage is usually concentrated on their breast, neck, wings and tails, parts in which their beaks can reach easily. (Visit Bird Behavior to know more.)

Possible causes of this habit may include:

Birds that are overactive and overstimulated tend to pluck their feathers too. If you noticed large featherless patches on your pet bird, you should immediately consult with an avian vet to rule out the possibility of diseases such as Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease, or PBFD.

Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) is a viral disease that affects all old world and new world parrots. The acute form of the disease is demonstrated by lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. Since the immune system is heavily infected and it’s functions decreased, other diseases and infections may develop, causing death within approximately two to four weeks.

Typical ratification of the acute form of the disease is by necropsy (just a tip: any word that describes something and starts with the word “necro” is typically a bad thing), because it progresses too quickly for the normal signs such as feather loss and beak deformity to appear.

How to prevent this disastrous feather plucking disorder? Here are some helpful and easy tips you can follow:

Owners should be aware that caring for a bird takes more than just simply providing a bird cage and bird food and treats. Birds are more delicate creatures compared to dogs and cats.

To keep your feathery little friend safe and healthy, you’ll need to create a safe environment both within the cage and within your home. Or check out Bird Environment for more helpful ideas.

Make sure that the cage is large enough that your bird can move freely.

Your bird will spend most of its time standing (or yeah, perching), so having a sufficient number of perches inside the vital for your bird’s health and happiness. Locate some of the perches near the bird toys and the other near the food and water.

Double-check your bird’s food and water supply regularly, making sure there is enough every time your birdie wants to grab a light snack and to drink. If you’re using a water bottle, check it to be sure that it not clogged and is working properly. Water is essential for your bird’s health and a couple of days without it is enough is fatal for your bird.

Birds need to bathe everyday to keep their feathers and skin healthy. If you put the bird bath inside the bird cage, make sure to clean it and change the water regularly.

Birds tend to chew on their toys, so make sure that it is not made from wood that is treated with harmful chemicals and soft plastics that your pet bird can swallow (and one more thing, wood tends to chip off if chewed, so there’s that). Be sure to switch their toys every other day to keep them stimulated. Boredom can lead to some health problems in the future if not taken notice.

Clean the bird cage regularly to prevent the spreading of germs and diseases. Remove your bird perches, bird toys and all excess bird seeds and water on the cage floor. Scrub the cage with soap and water then spray it with disinfectant. Rinse and let it dry before putting backthe perches, toys and your bird back in the cage. See also: Birds Proper Hygiene

Always provides a high-quality diet for your bird and in different assortments too, including “fun” foods that require work to eat. Scrounge behavior is important in birds and should be incorporated into their feeding. Providing mental stimulation and variety for your bird can help reduce boredom, which can help prevent your bird from becoming a feather picker (or a lunatic).

Just like kids, our feathery friend also needs Bird toys to keep them entertained, and to help them burn energy and stay fit (visit online pet stores like for a wide variety of toys for your bird). Regularly switch their bird toys to keep their playtime fresh and interesting.

You can choose from a variety of wood blocks (as long as it is laminated or made of light hardwood that doesn’t chip off), ladders, ropes, barbells and hanging toys that are especially made for your bird’s size and species. You also need to get involved too and play with them, and play games (such as peek-a-boo). This can gain trust between you and your pet and can provide a fun and quality time together (please, don’t be a stranger to your pet)

Birds are wonderful creatures. By just watching them every day flaunting their fascinatinglydandy feathers and hearing their heartwarming and relaxing songs will make a great difference in your everyday life. So, take good care of your pet birds, keep them healthy and happy all the time.

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