Parrots are one of the most loved bird pets in the world, and there are reasons for this – they are intelligent, entertainers, and come in a wide range of colors. However, the most endearing trait of parrots is that they are capable of sending out an enormous amount of love to their owners. One of the techniques parrots uses to show affection is through kissing.
So do parrots kiss? Yes, parrots do kiss either humans or fellow parrots. Despite them not having lips to pucker, these birds do love to dole out some kisses to their beloved humans. Their kisses usually involve the parrot putting his beak against your face, mostly around your lips or cheeks, which can be followed by your bird smoothly nibbling you. Some parrots may even stick their tongues out and lick you during smooching.
A parrot kiss often comes with a typical smooch sound that they imitate from us.
This show of affection by parrots is not only limited to us humans. Parrots can also kiss other birds. However, this is learned as a baby when a mother makes a beak to beak contact with its baby during feeding time.
Parrots would maintain this behavior throughout their lives to help them enhance bonds with fellow birds.
Can I kiss my parrot?
You can absolutely kiss your parrot. But by “kissing” I mean a gentle peck on the head or beak. There are no health records that suggest kissing a parrot is contagious. Just make sure you kiss your bird on the beak and not his tongue or inside his mouth or your mouth.
So don’t go all French kissing on your parrot, because mouth contact between you and your bird is very bad. Besides, this may lead to an emotional breakdown for your parrot (exchanging saliva).
Can I get sick from kissing a parrot?
This is highly unlikely unless your parrot carries a zoonotic disease, such as parrot flu (psittacosis), histoplasmosis, or cryptococcosis. If you suspect your parrot is sick, you should avoid kissing him and take him to the vet first to have him tasted.
A kiss from your parrot should ideally be a dry kiss, and this is no cause for alarm.
Getting sick from a kiss from your parrot is the least of your worries. What you should be concerned about is the disease you are likely to transmit to your parrot through kissing.
Can my parrot get sick from my saliva?
This is where you should be worried when giving your parrot a kiss. Your saliva can actually kill your bird.
No matter how clean you think your mouth is, the saliva can carry more than 100 different types of bacteria. One of the bacteria is the gram-negative bacteria, which parrots or birds, in general, don’t naturally have. Your parrot’s immune system cannot fight the gram-negative bacteria, and this is one of the reasons kissing your bird could be dangerous.
If your parrot was to swallow even the smallest amount of your saliva, it could make it violently sick and it has led to deaths in birds.
Another way your saliva can be dangerous to your parrot is if you have a lipstick or gloss on. While it is safe for human kisses, it is not advisable to kiss your parrot with lipstick or allowing saliva to be ingested by your bird.
Besides kissing, your parrot can also ingest your saliva through sharing your meals like cereals with your bird.
There are reasons why our saliva doesn’t mix with the bird’s saliva. First, the bird’s mouth is much cleaner than humans’. The most perilous organism in our mouth is the Pasteurella multocida, which once it is introduced into your parrot, it can be very contagious. When it enters into your parrot’s bloodstream, this organism can take your bird from perfectly fine to death in a short as an hour.
Due to the dangerous nature of Pasteurella multocida, as well as the fact it is present in the mouth of all mammals, you should not allow your parrot to get into contact with the saliva of other mammals.
How can I discourage my parrot from sticking his tongue out during kissing?
Parrots learn from seeing humans do things, and so you shouldn’t be surprised if your bird sticks out its tongue when you are kissing. While it is flattering, you need to discourage this behavior for your parrot’s safety.
According to avian vets, you can kiss your parrot’s tongue if your lips are dry. But why risk? To discourage your bird from sticking his tongue out, make sure you always keep your lips firmly shut when giving your parrot a beak kiss. This way, he will get the idea that tongue kissing is out of bounds.
When is my parrot not allowed to kiss me?
First, you may want to avoid kissing your bird if you feel he has parrot flu to avoid getting the virus. Also, when you have given your bird some fresh and red hatch chilies, for obvious reasons, your bird is not supposed to kiss you.
Why does my parrot vibrate his mouth against the face and other objects?
Parrots sometimes vibrate their beaks against objects as a way to show affection. So if you see your bird doing this, there is no reason to raise alarms. However, periodically, the parrot may regurgitate food while vibration his beak against you. Just watch out for excessive regurgitation, as it may be a symptom of a more severe condition.
Note that this is different from kissing. Make sure you take close look at your parrot when he starts to vibrate his beak against you or other objects. If the bird pays more attention to the items that he vibrates against, it may just that he likes the objects.
What does it mean when my parrot kisses or licks my hand?
This is usually a show for affection, preening you, or tasting you. Please note that parrots use their beaks and tongues to explore the world around them – the tongue is like a hand to parrots.
However, when your parrot has eaten chili pepper, which contains capsaicinoid or capsaicin compounds, it can cause some hot burn sensation when it comes in contact with your skin.
Will my parrot-like it when I kiss it?
Parrots are social and flock-oriented birds and so even if you have never kissed it before, it will like it when you do. The squeaky sound of kissing is very similar to the bird’s sound, so your parrot will relate.