Parrot behavior is easier to understand when you consider that parrots are flock animals, preyed upon in the wild and often sleep deprived in human households.
- Flock animals live their lives in a group and some in mated pairs within a group. The group survival depends on every member looking out for the group. This means that parrots will often let their human flock know when something is not right in the household. (i.e. fire, intruder, hawk outside, doorbell, etc.)
- Flock animals keep in contact with each other verbally. Your parrot may greet you when you leave. Tell them you are leaving and when you will be back. Greet them right away when you return. - Flock animals are VERY SOCIAL. They will want to be around the human flock when you are home. Socialize your parrot by introducing them to new people, places and things. Change should be a routine part of their lives.
- Introduce new people to your parrot slowly. Parrots may not accept handling from people they do not know or like. A parrot usually needs time to assess whether or not a stranger is OK or not. (Unknown things in the wild can kill them, so instinct tells them to be wary, until they determine that they are safe). Learn their body language and you will know when your parrot is comfortable with a person or situation.
Animals that are preyed upon are aware of what is going on in their environment. A distracted parrot in the wild might become “dinner” for a hawk or eagle. Parrots in the home environment might see a dog, cat, snake, or even a small child as a predator. Small children often move fast and “swoop down “ on a parrot like a predator. Parrots often respond by biting. Help children to calm down before approaching a parrot. Small children should be supervised around a parrot.
Parrots living in human households often do not get enough sleep.
They need to have 10 to 12 hours of sleep in a darkened, quiet room. Parrots in the wild must stay wary of predators, even at night. If your parrot is trying to sleep in a bedroom, every time you move your parrot will stir.
A TV room or any other room that has human activity will also keep your parrot from getting a good night’s sleep. Try using a bird room or separate “sleep cage” in a quite room.
Quality sleep can sometimes solve behavioral problems.
Another important issue with companion parrots is that bored birds “create their own entertainment”, like screaming, chewing the wood table or their feathers among other equally unacceptable activities. Give your bird activities to do, including: