Have you ever dated someone who was super clingy?
For the first little while it might be cute, but eventually it can become annoying and even exhausting.
Clinginess is a common relationship ender.
But while human relationships can be easily breakable, the relationships that we have with our parrots are based on a bond unlike any other.
But can parrots become overly clingy to their human owners?
The answer to this question is yes, parrots can definitely become clingy. Parrots are very social creatures that crave social interaction to thrive but sometimes this need can be taken to extremes and parrots can start to engage in clingy behaviors.
But what do clingy behaviors look like in parrots?
Why do parrots become clingy?
And how can you prevent clinginess in your parrot?
Today we will answer all of these questions and more so let’s not waste another minute!
Parrots are extremely social creatures.
In the wild they travel in flocks 24 hours a day.
For this reason, it shouldn’t be surprising that parrots crave companionship.
This companionship with other flock members is how parrots obtain a sense of both physical and emotional security.
They eat with their flock members, travel with their flock members, preen and bathe with their flock members, and so on and so forth.
Not only are parrots in the wild always around their flock members, but they are also in constant communication with them.
Through different bird calls, parrots can work to keep each other safe from predators and help to signal when food has been found.
And since social interaction is so essential to a parrot’s well-being in the wild, it’s no surprise that they maintain the need even when in captivity.
The only difference is that instead of requiring that social interaction from flockmates, they now require it from their human mates.
When left in isolation for too long, parrots can develop a poor sense of security and belonging, and may develop depression, anxiety, and negative or unwanted behaviors.
The answer to this question really depends on the individual parrot.
Some parrots can be left alone for longer timespans, while others need consistent attention.
Many smaller parrots, like parakeets, don’t require as much attention as say, an African Grey.
While you may be able to leave a parakeet alone for 24 hours with proper food and water supply, you wouldn’t be able to do the same for an African Grey.
And just as much as needs can vary from species to species, they also vary from parrot to parrot.
While one African Gray may be able to spend 8 hours alone while you are at work, others may only be able to go a few hours without social interaction.
It’s always important to remember that parrots are very social birds.
In the wild they are with their flock mates 24 hours a day.
In return, it’s unnatural for them to spend long periods of time alone.
The more time you spend interacting with your parrot, the happier and more well adjusted they will be.
Getting to know your parrot will help you to determine exactly how much attention they need and how long they can be left alone without becoming depressed or destructive.
Is my Parrot normal or clingy?
It’s difficult to define a “clingy” parrot, again because parrots differ in their needs based on their individual personalities.
On top of that, parrots are relatively needy in general.
But if you are finding it difficult to do anything else besides pay attention to your parrot, they may be overly clingy.
Normal parrots need regular attention, but don’t need it 24/7.
If your parrot is vying for your attention all of the time to the point where it is interrupting your daily routines, you may have an overly clingy parrot.
You might also define your parrot as overly clingy if they scream or fuss every time you leave the room.
Finally, overly clingy parrots may also have the tendency to lunge or bite other people when they are around you.
Who do parrots tend to cling to?
If you own an overly clingy parrot, you will probably find that it tends to cling on to one particular person.
This is because in the wild, parrots are monogamous.
In other words, they mate with one other parrot for life.
Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule (such as if their mate dies), but in general, it stands true.
In captivity parrots don’t have mates – they have owners.
And just as they are monogamous to their mates, they also tend to be monogamous to their owners.
While parrots may be social with others, they only tend to develop a deep bond and connection with one person.
And if they become clingy, it will be this person that they are most likely to cling to.
An owner can take this as a compliment or a sign of love from their parrot, but it can also start to get in the way of everyday tasks – especially if your parrot becomes moody or aggressive when they aren’t getting the attention that they want.
What can you do to prevent clinginess?
If you want to prevent your parrot from becoming clingy, you’ll need to spend an ample amount of time with them.
Many parrots can become clingy out of fear that their owners are going to leave them.
In order to assure your parrot that this isn’t the case, you need to develop trust.
And how do you develop trust?
By creating a predictable routine for your parrot that involves a lot of interaction between the two of you.
If you have to work throughout the day, make sure you are up well in advance so that you can spend some quality time with your parrot before you leave.
Then, make them the priority as soon as you get home.
The more time you can spend with your parrot before you go to bed, the happier they will be.
Many parrot owners like to leave their parrot out of the cage from the time they get home until the time they go to bed to ensure that they are socially satisfied before going to sleep.
Also remember that for a clingy parrot, social interaction may not be enough.
They might also need predictability and routine.
If your parrot knows that you leave every morning but come home every night, they will be less likely to freak out when you leave.
Establishing a routine for your parrot can help to prevent separation anxiety, as well as the destructive behaviors that come along with it.
Here are some other things you can do to prevent clinginess:
Respect your parrot as you would anyone else in your family.
Greet them when you get home, spend time with them, and interact with them regularly.
Include your bird in your day-to-day activities
Enjoy meals together
Establish daily rituals that include games, songs, and activities
Respond to your birds contact calls to reassure them that you are nearby when not in the same room
Spend one-on-one time with your parrot at least twice a day where you give them your undivided attention.
Spend at least 30 minutes with your parrot while engaging in other activities (cleaning, watching tv, washing dishes)
In conclusion, parrots require a great deal of time and attention.
If you work long hours or spend a lot of time away from home, a parrot probably isn’t the best choice of pet for you (maybe try a cat?).
With that being said, while parrots require a great deal of attention, there does reach a point where they can start to be considered too clingy.
If your parrot needs your attention 24/7 and it’s interfering with your daily routines, your parrot may be stressed out and have separation anxiety.
Try some of the tips above to help you relieve their anxiety and reduce their clinginess.