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Bird Behavior: What You Need to Know Now

By Petco_Charlene on Jan. 5, 2017

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Your bird didn’t come with an operating manual, but you can learn about why your pet behaves in certain ways. A few basic tips on bird behavior can help you interact better with your feathered friend. 

  • Boredom has a profound effect on your bird’s overall well-being and can cause your bird to start exhibiting undesired behaviors. If you’ve made the effort to prevent your pet from being bored, but the undesired behavior persists, look into other areas of your bird’s life to discover what’s causing the problem. For example, have you made changes in your bird's diet, have you made changes to the habitat or the location of the habitat? It's always a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about any undesired behaviors your bird exhibits.

  • Birds are verbal creatures with voices that vary from pleasant whistles to raucous screeches and screams. Normal noises occur when a bird greets the morning, when it is ready to roost at night, when it is frightened or in pain, when hormones surge at breeding time and even when a bird is just plain happy.

  • Birds may bite for several reasons. They may bite when they feel threatened or frightened. They may also bite when feeling a bit territorialeither protecting their habitat or the person they have most closely bonded with.

  • Birds normally pull out a few feathers when they are preening or molting. However, when birds carry this to an extreme by chewing off breast, wing or tail feathers, the behavior must be stopped before it becomes an obsessive habit.

  • Regurgitation, or bringing up undigested food from the crop (a saclike enlargement of a bird’s gullet in which food is stored before digestion) and attempting to feed a favorite human, mirror or toy, is a common behavior. What some people perceive as disgusting is the highest honor a bird can bestow.

  • Cockatiels, cockatoos and macaws frequently experience night frights when startled from sleep by a loud noise, vibration or sudden movement.

  • Seizures are sometimes mistaken for night frights, but in fact, they are symptomatic of more serious, life-threatening problems such as lead or zinc poisoning, head trauma, epilepsy, infection or diet deficiency.

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9 Comments
Comments
by Karanbir
‎04-13-2016 08:39 PM

Just asking if you guys still sell the larger conures.

Just asking if you guys still sell the larger conures.

Posted on Apr. 13, 2016
by Community Manager
‎04-14-2016 09:45 AM

Hi Karanbir. Thank you for your question; conure availability varies by store location. We recommend getting in touch with your local store for more information. 

Hi Karanbir. Thank you for your question; conure availability varies by store location. We recommend getting in touch with your local store for more information. 

Posted on Apr. 14, 2016
by Rita
‎05-18-2016 05:15 AM

Please help my conure has started dumping out his food dish even after putting fresh food in it. Why ? 

Please help my conure has started dumping out his food dish even after putting fresh food in it. Why ? 

Posted on May. 18, 2016
by Community Manager
‎05-18-2016 07:19 AM

@Rita Hi there! Have you made any recent changes to the diet, habitat, or environment for your conure? We sell many options as far as bird bowls go that can help prevent dumping or spilling of food, however, this behavior could be a sign of boredom or stress, so you'll also want to make sure your bird has plenty of toys and mental stimulation.  

@Rita Hi there! Have you made any recent changes to the diet, habitat, or environment for your conure? We sell many options as far as bird bowls go that can help prevent dumping or spilling of food, however, this behavior could be a sign of boredom or stress, so you'll also want to make sure your bird has plenty of toys and mental stimulation.  

Posted on May. 18, 2016
by Torchic
‎05-19-2016 04:01 PM

I have a pet pigeon who has injured her eye and keeps it closed most of the time.  What can I do to treat her eye.

I have a pet pigeon who has injured her eye and keeps it closed most of the time.  What can I do to treat her eye.

Posted on May. 19, 2016
by Community Representative
‎05-19-2016 04:18 PM

Hi Torchic. We recommend consulting your local Veterinarian about treating your pigeon's eye. I hope it heals soon. 

Hi Torchic. We recommend consulting your local Veterinarian about treating your pigeon's eye. I hope it heals soon. 

Posted on May. 19, 2016
by Lillismoot03
‎10-18-2016 09:51 AM

parkeet cages are hard to find the right size.  how big or small should it be?  how many birds are usually already tamed at the pet store?

parkeet cages are hard to find the right size.  how big or small should it be?  how many birds are usually already tamed at the pet store?

Posted on Oct. 18, 2016
by Community Manager
‎10-18-2016 10:42 AM

Hi Lillismoot03. Thank you for your question and welcome to the community! Here's an article with information on bird cages. At the very least, your bird should be able to fully spread both wings without touching the sides of their cage. Shape also bears an influence on size. As far as how many birds are tame at your local store, I recommend calling them directly for more information on their specific birds. You can find the number to call the number to the store nearest you here. Also, you may want to check out Petco's full selection of bird cages online here. I hope this helps!

Alex Cat Very Happy

Hi Lillismoot03. Thank you for your question and welcome to the community! Here's an article with information on bird cages. At the very least, your bird should be able to fully spread both wings without touching the sides of their cage. Shape also bears an influence on size. As far as how many birds are tame at your local store, I recommend calling them directly for more information on their specific birds. You can find the number to call the number to the store nearest you here. Also, you may want to check out Petco's full selection of bird cages online here. I hope this helps!

Alex Cat Very Happy

Posted on Oct. 18, 2016
by Audreyfr123
‎07-23-2017 10:40 AM

My sun Conure has a swollen flap of skin where his lover beak meets his chest, there is a little opening and dried blood, it hasn't bled recently and I have applied antibiotics. He also has some missing feathers on his wing and is sensitive to touch there. He was fine yesterday, I have photos of him at 3 and he was perfectly fine, I noticed the wound just before bed. He is acting normal in terms of character but is obviously in pain and he's lethargic. He has been eating, drinking, and pooping normally and has played with toys and his cage mates. Please tell me if I should take him to an emergency room tonight or do you think he can wait for an appointment with the vet tomorrow. Thank you.

My sun Conure has a swollen flap of skin where his lover beak meets his chest, there is a little opening and dried blood, it hasn't bled recently and I have applied antibiotics. He also has some missing feathers on his wing and is sensitive to touch there. He was fine yesterday, I have photos of him at 3 and he was perfectly fine, I noticed the wound just before bed. He is acting normal in terms of character but is obviously in pain and he's lethargic. He has been eating, drinking, and pooping normally and has played with toys and his cage mates. Please tell me if I should take him to an emergency room tonight or do you think he can wait for an appointment with the vet tomorrow. Thank you.

Posted on Jul. 23, 2017
About the Author
  • I am a lover of all animals, especially cats! We have two at home, a red tabby named Milo and a black cat named Luke, both rescued off the streets in San Diego. There are so many benefits to being a pet parent! I've worked at Petco since 2008, and as a content marketer, there's nothing more rewarding than learning as much as I can about animals of all types! My areas of specialty include social content, video production, editing and photography. I get to work with animals of all types at our HQ—including dogs, cats, snakes, tarantulas, guinea pigs and lizards and I work closely with our animal care team to ensure our content is accurate, informative and entertaining. Email me anytime with your article ideas!
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