Parrot owners tend to experience a number of behavioral problems with their birds, and since they know little about them, most of the time they don’t know what to do.
The truth of the matter is, that parrots experience behavioral health problems more than physical health problems, and in most cases, these behavioral problems underline physical health issues.
As a parrot owner, you should take your time to learn about parrot behaviors so that you can understand how to deal with your pet bird the right way.
The question we are looking to answer is are parrots territorial? The answer is yes. Some parrots will try to guard their toys, play stands and even their favorite person. As a result of this behavior, the parrot may bite you when you try to take the things that they are guarding away from them.
Many parrots can also become territorial during the breeding season, and a good example is the male Amazons since, in the woods, they are the ones that build and protect a nest.
Others will become territorial when feeding.
What is the common reason that makes parrots become territorial?
The most common reason a parrot may become territorial is they become deeply bonded with one person in the house.
When a parrot bonds with only one member of the family, they will see that person as their mate and will not allow any other human being or pet near that them.
Most of the time, territorial behavior will begin when around the same time the parrot attains sexual maturity.
A territorial parrot will aggressively guard what he considers his.
How can I manage a territorial parrot?
Territorial parrots will most often resort to biting, and this can be unpleasant or even painful to you as an owner.
You may even get scared of tending to it if it bites.
However, there are a number of things you can do in this situation.
Treat the underlying issues
Try to figure out what causes this behavior and work to fix it.
Here are a number of possible solutions:
The best way to deal with a territorial bird is to take him out of the cage occasionally so he doesn’t develop a deep attachment to it.
Ensure the cage of your bird has toys to play with when you are not around
Introduce him to other people so he doesn’t get too attached to one person.
Feed your parrot enough
Parrots will more often become territorial when feeding.
This could be because he doesn’t receive enough food regularly.
Your parrot needs to feed properly to maintain his constant weight.
If your parrot exhibits territorial behavior and usually empties its water and food bowls completely, then chances are high the problem is inadequate food.
Since there are dozens of parrot species, each of which has varying average mass, it may be difficult to know the required weight of your parrot.
So, it will be wise to check its recent vet records or contact your avian vet and ask for this information.
Also, because you can’t tell how much food your territorial parrot will want and at what time, it is better to just ensure that there is food in the cage all the time.
Exercise your parrot regularly
Ideally, you need to ensure your bird is physically active to prevent obesity and other health issues.
However, regularly exercising your parrot can also help curb territorial and aggressive behavior, since he will be too tired and will probably prefer to rest in the cage instead of causing trouble.
You can exercise your parrot in many ways including:
This is when you place him on your arm, hold his feet with your hand (especially if they are new to this), to prevent him from falling off.
Then move your hand up and down slowly to encourage him to flap his wings.
To make the exercise more stimulating, move your hand in circles while still maintaining the up-down movement.
Take a walk with your parrot
Place him on your shoulder as you walk around the house or as you do some house chores.
You can make your parrot climb up the stairways step by step or alternatively, a rope ladder like this one on Amazon.
Exercise your parrot brain
Another method you can use to help your territorial parrot is by exercising some obedient training.
When the brain of your pet bird is tired, he is less likely to get into any trouble.
If you have been planning on teaching your parrot some tricks, this might be the best time to start as you will get to kill two birds with one stone, no pun intended.
Reward positive behavior
While being territorial isn’t a nice behavior, make sure you reward or praise other good behaviors that your parrot does right.
Does abuse cause territorial behavior?
No, this is not correct.
Despite parrots being one of the most intelligent birds on the planet, they don’t hold grudges; they simply live here and now.
Abuse can nevertheless cause such things as fear biting, panic, deterioration in health and so on, but there is no evidence that abuse can lead to territorial behavior.
Is territorial behavior a stereotypic behavior?
Stereotypic behaviors are repetitive behaviors that a parrot would perform in excess if kept in an unusual environment.
These types of behaviors are common when you domesticate a parrot from the wild.
This is because out there, the parrot is used to traveling or flying across large areas, which is something it will not be able to do when it is confined in a cage or small areas.
Examples of stereotypical behavior include bobbing, over-preening, and excessive screaming.
While you cannot provide jungles to your parrot to fly over, you can offer what necessitates what it is flying for, which most of the case, it is food.
Can a territorial parrot become aggressive?
Being territorial and aggressive go hand in hand, and if your parrot grows deep attachment with one member of your family or guards its cage or food or chicks, it will be aggressive.
There is no clear explanation as to why some parrot species especially conures, amazon, and macaws tend to develop strong bond with one member of the family.
But they will act aggressively toward other members of the family whom they consider intruders.
Is being territorial a hormonal behavior?
Yes, parrots that are territorial, along with aggression and domineering are heavily associated with hormonal behaviors in parrots.
This means they can change with the season if the hormonal activity of your bird is entrained.
For example, your parrot will become territorial when it enters the reproduction and courtship phase.
Will my parrot become less territorial if he understands that I disapprove of this behavior?
This is highly unlikely.
One of the most highly recommended ways to change parrot behavior is to provide another positive behavior that it will like.
So before punishing your parrot or withholding your attention and affection, just know that this will probably not work.
How should I punish territorial behavior in my parrot?
Here is the thing, you shouldn’t.
No form of punishment will ever work with parrots.
This is because parrots are less likely to connect cause and effect or one thing to the other.
While they may be intelligent, they are not reflective and thus, live in the moment, just like the rest of the animals.
If you give your parrot a silent treatment because it’s being territorial, it is a form of punishment and is not recommended.
How do I train my territorial parrot to stop biting me or other people?
Parrots bite for many different reasons.
In fact, it is a pretty common phenomenon in birds.
A territorial parrot will aggressively bite you or other people as a form of defending what it considers his from you.
A parrot bite can be painful, but luckily there are ways you can stop it from biting even if it is still territorial.
First, you can use the above-shared methods to reduce or eliminate this behavior in your parrot.
This is perhaps the best way to solve all your problems.
Alternatively, you can anticipate the biting or any form of aggressiveness and prepare for it.
Know when and why your parrot will “fight back” is the initial step in curtailing it.
What should I do if my parrot bites me?
If you own a parrot, bites are inevitable.
While it is a common thing in birds, to bite, sometimes it can be painful and severe.
As a matter of fact, there have been cases where parrot owners have lost fingers, toes, and even eyes to their parrots, while others have sustained painful injuries to their ears, lips, and noses.
Mature parrots have sharp and powerful beaks and as an owner, you should know what to do when you get bitten by your pet bird.
The best thing to do is to take care of your injuries immediately and work on how to prevent it in the future.
Can I use drugs to treat my parrot?
Yes or no.
It depends on what causes your parrot to be territorial.
If it is inadequate food, then the best and only way is to feed it, so no drug needed there.
But if it’s is caused by psychological issues, sometimes avian vets may put birds into the category of compulsive or obsessive disorders and diagnose it with human drugs.
But I wouldn’t recommend going this route.