Spring Time in Parrot World

Those spring time warm days often seem to bring with them a feathered friend who may act like a bird with a newly developed personality disorder. Or maybe even a multi-personality condition; one minute a BFF and the next your worst enemy it seems.

For example, in our home every spring there is one very loud boisterous Amazon named Gertie, one very aggressive "Make My Day" Amazon named Tori, and one very very needy Cockatoo named Cookie. How loud, how aggressive, and how needy sometimes depends on the time of the year, and always includes the spring.

Although there are some birds who seem to move through seasons with very little personality change, other than maybe a seasonal molt, there are many others who are not so mellow and Zen in their changing of the seasons.

Spring is breeding season for some parrots we share our lives with, and can bring with it hormonal ups and downs ranging from ear deafening noise levels of screaming for no apparent reason, to unprovoked aggression against the person it loved only yesterday, to needy hold me all the time or I will be a very bad bird tantrum thrower, and on occasion a surprise egg or two appearance in the cage.

Spring is a good time to change out some of those old toys for new ones that can be destroyed and help redirect some spring behaviors.  Some parrots in breeding mode often have a need to shred, tear, and destroy, to fulfill that nesting feeling.  Doesn't matter if they are the only bird in the home, that breeding cycle is happening and they need to do what they need to do.  Sometimes moving the cage to a new location, even in the same room, can help give a little "change of attitude" (just make sure the move doesn't scare your bird in any way as some birds are very sensitive to change and this might make matters worse)

If your bird is exhibiting "Spring Fever" it usually helps to limit cuddle time with the sweet ones, to just pet and distract for a while.  Keep scratches and petting to pretty much the head area, with some cheekie rubs as petting the back and under wings often only enhances their hormonal mood.  For the grumpy ones, if you haven't already done so, now is the perfect time to teach your bird to also step up on a extended perch instead of always a hand or arm.  There is no point whatsoever in offering said hand or arm to a bird who is obviously determined to point out who the boss of his nest area is. 

Remember the big 3. 1-Distract with new toys, lots of shredding and destruction toys and activities as needed; 2-keep hands and arms out of reach of aggressive beaks; and 3-practice a lot of patience, patience, patience. Well, maybe there's a number 4 on some days; get some good ear plugs for occasional use.

Although it may seem some of our feathered family may have lost their mind temporarily, please be patient, as this too shall pass. (Hopefully sooner rather than later)

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