In the Spring, A Young Bird’s Fancy Turns

To courting. Mating. Laying eggs, feeding the wife, then the kids, and finally kicking them out of the nest so the cycle can start all over again.

For Parrots who live with humans, this time can mean hormones rushing around and little voices whispering in the bird’s head. Voices that say, Attack your human to protect him or her. Tear up this thing for the nest. Find a dark hidey hole so you can lay eggs. And don’t eat that! Okay, this last one is always present, but needs to be stated.

The phrase Bird Brain is used incorrectly to mean a person who has very little use of their grey matter. But in reality, it should mean someone whose behavior changes with the seasons, is messy and loud, and thinks a bell is a wonderful toy. http://theworldofafricangreys.weebly.com/behavior–body-language.html And isn’t originally from around here.

The best way to encourage breeding behavior includes providing an abundance of food, at least 12 hours of light, water in bowls for bathing, and materials to tear up. My love birds like palm fronds. Then you see the head bobbing, the feeding of each other, and the wing and crest (if present) display. Some species involve a very attractive foot gesture. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlelGSQCsns

When no parrot of the opposite sex is available, birds have no trouble substituting. Humans are a good choice to them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTwXwIPr550 but if you want to dodge that bullet, so to speak, here’s tips from a veterinarian on how to curb your bird’s desires. (Part 1, the other parts should be easy to find.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qRCOQFyXxk I can’t leave this subject without posting this wonderful, famous video of a male kakapo named Sirocco having his wicked way with the video camera man. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SS-H6dLlSDs Great commentary by Stephen Fry.

You have a sweet little parrot who overnight became a raging sex machine? Yeah, it happens. Here’s a good tip sheet on how to avoid that with your pet. http://www.tailfeathersnetwork.com/birdinformation/hormones.php And as everyone who reads this blog knows, my Amazon parrot Maynard is over-bonded with me. This link shares an important story about such situations, but I must point out that I disagree with the statements regarding owning parrots and hand-feeding them, to some extent. http://www.islandparrotsanctuary.com/over-bonding.php

Dr. Larry Lachman has good points here about not getting another bird to keep your parrot company. I just met someone who did this, and he is lucky that things are working out with his two birds. But parrots are different from cats or dogs, and won’t always enjoy being with another feathered friend. http://www.drlarrylachman.com/pets/bird-to-bird-fighting.php

I have entered as many different search phrases into Google that I can come up with, and have no information to point to regarding same sex bonding with parrots. I know cockatiels can develop this way. I had two bonded pairs of males. One of the elder males died, the remaining male of that pair started chasing a hen. I think she likes being the center of attention from two males. So outside of my own experience, I cannot relate any statistics on this situation.

Now, back to courting, what do parrots find sexy? Bright colors, intense fluorescence on feathers, talent in building a nest or courting ground, health to guarantee they can take care of a family. You know, just like when your kid gets married. A job, a car, and a house are important things for them to have or to be able to obtain. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/parrots-in-the-land-of-oz/what-do-parrots-find-sexy/709/

For love birds, according to National Geographic, courting and copulation go hand in hand. Er. Well, just watch the video. http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/lovebirds

Another important thing to know about parrots and courtship is that the birds can tell if the mate that attracts their eye is male or female. They may look exactly alike to us humans, but the extended range of parrots’ ability to see colors gives them the advantage in this. http://zoologica.wordpress.com/2008/09/07/the-behaviour-of-wild-amazon-parrots/

Whether we mean to or not, humans duplicate lots of the courting behaviors that signal interest in breeding to our parrots. Here is an awesome article that explains clearly what we do wrong, and why our parrots are completely confused by it. http://www.rationalparrot.com/tease.html

Parrots love to play footsie, while courting, too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9s8tiYiEz0

Well, now that you and your flock are all wound up with what you are doing wrong and what it means when your parrot bites, here’s something relaxing. Eleven hours of natural rain forrest sounds. Most of these relaxing sound videos are of song birds and so on. This one has some parrot-like calls in it. Am I the only person who thinks parrot calls are nice to listen to? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IAfg_Iy7n8

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I’ll be back on Wednesday.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “In the Spring, A Young Bird’s Fancy Turns

  1. S Stull

    Some lovely links, and a good article! I’m glad you posted a link to the Island Parrot Sanctuary, as they are a wonderful place, and friends of mine. A more beautiful place there never was. I know they speak out about hand-rearing due to the number of birds they get requests to take. They turn away hundreds due to space limitations….It’s hard to imagine – when you see that and live it – bringing more into the world. I do share the IPS’ views, but fully support good breeders so that new owners don’t buy birds from not-so-good sources!

    Will have to check out the rest of the links when I get to a computer!

    Reply
    1. windr0se Post author

      Thank you for your comment and sensible point of view. I should add that I don’t breed and probably never would the bigger parrots. Those are the real problem, but most sanctuaries and bird rescues make it really hard and expensive to adopt them. I breed cockatiels, love birds, and in the past, budgies, finches and canaries. Usually good pets and easy to rehome if circumstances change for the adopter. I do heartily support IPS’s process of letting the parent birds raise the chicks, and after fledging, work with the bird to tame it. You get a more settled individual that way. So many birds I have that were hand raised and fed by humans bonded to that one person, and now are lost and alone.

      Again, thanks for your input!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s