Biting (Cockatiels)

This is an early article, written when Mickaboo was originally Mickaboo Cockatiel Rescue. So, while much of it can be applied to other species, it focuses on Cockatiels. 

Parrots are prey animals, not predatory animals. Their beaks are used to explore, communicate, and groom, they were not designed as aggressive weapons.  A prey animal would rarely offensively attack for no reason.

We will soon have a more extensive article on biting and a class on bird behavior and training.  In the meantime, here are some things to consider:

  • Beaks are an integral part of a bird's body and are often used like a hand, to test things out
  • In their natural environment, birds use their beaks to warn flock mates, but beaking at feathers does not break skin
  • Biting in pet birds is often a "learned behavior" from being improperly handled or misunderstood, and became the last resort for the bird to try to communicate fear or dislike
  • Bites often result from ignored warning signs that the bird had previously been trying to communicate
  • As with aggression, analyze situation and try to identify the cause
  • Bites usually require “human training”, use clicker training methods to mold more desirable behavior
  • Respect your bird's fears and don't use force or punishment
  • Don’t give up on your bird if you get bitten

There are many good articles on this site:
and this article by Barbara Heidenreich is also good:

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