Catalina Macaw displaying and pinning eyes as a warning.

Don't Take a Parrot Bite Personal

Don't Take a Parrot Bite Personal

Taking things personal is a human thing. It's what we do, some more than others but we all do it. Generally, it's an offense taken through an interpretation of an event or slight we deem directed straight at us and no one else. It's always based on miscommunication and pride though. It's hard to take things personal if you also do not take things pridefully. A humble nature creates low blood pressure and the ability to see things clearly. It's science and it's a very powerful asset. Humility in its best form, is an indispensable asset when you have a companion parrot in your life. You cannot take things personally with a parrot.

You can't because no matter how you want to interpret a bite, a face full of butt feather as they turn away from you, or complete rejection by their going in the corner of their cage, a parrot is not rejecting you.

  • They are rejecting an action
  • A timing
  • An object

If you take this personally, and react in kind the yield is a bushel of misunderstanding. Parrots are not arrogant in the human sense. They do not hold self-esteem in the Id complex as humans do. So, interpreting any action on the part of your parrot personally will lead to nothing good.

Why do some parrots haul off and bonk, bite, or nip? You may never really know. But it had nothing to do with you. Redirection is a wonky impersonal action by a parrot. They could have been falling asleep and just at that point where they are nodding off, their body reacts and WHAM! they react without intention. Maybe it was a familiar sound or a perceived impending event. Butters can be half asleep in my arms getting a bit of allopreening from me and then WHAM! I get a beak bonk on my hand. I don't take it personal. She wasn't talking to me; she was talking to herself. I carry on, and she settles back into a relaxed state.

There will be days, moments, weeks, or even months where half of the actions our parrots are doing make no sense to us. You can't take it personal, and you also don't need to interpret it as a bad behavior that needs fixing fast.

These one-off moments and phases best absorbed and ignored. Why? Because they are not meant to be taken personal. Behavior management can sometimes be a breeding ground for creating problems, not solving them. Much like changing successful food and feeding habits just because you read somewhere Kale is the new green. You don't fix what's not broke, and you don't take things personal.
Parrots make choices based on comfort as defined inside their instinctive natures. This is not something behavior training changes, or even works around. This is the nugget of the relationship we are nurturing. Respect this idea. Acknowledge it as unbending truth and do not take things personal, ever.

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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