A blue and gold macaw perched in a tree with a scarlet macaw.

What to do When your Parrots Don't Get Along

What to do When your Parrots Don't Get Along

Mine! Not Touching!

Two phrases not spoken, but evoked consistently between Snickers, our scarlet macaw, and Felix, our African Grey. Their issues are few, but they run deep. Knowing that a male scarlet and a male African grey start from square one as territorial meisers helps. 

Respect your parrot's personality and species instincts.

First item; dad. Who owns the dad? Felix says Felix, Snickers says Snickers. In the evening, during the last two hours before macaw bedtime, Snickers spends time with dad in the dad chair. Felix is in his cage on his digesting perch. The cage door locked. The parrot kvetching injustice! How dare Snickers attach to dad while he, The Felix, is in lock down? 

Two hours of Felix savaging his bell while hanging upside down. Intermittently calling, HERE! while scrambling upside down hanging from the ceiling of his cage incensed by the entire event playing out before him. This "entire thing" has played out since the arrival of Snickers 7 years ago.

There is no time frame, or guarantee, of reconciliation.

Second item; mornings. Felix is the first up with dad. He showers with dad. Helps dad brush his teeth and get his dad act together. Without The Felix, dad would be a mess. He comes downstairs with dad to assist with dad breakfast and coffee. He then switches over to me to help me at the computer. He is my assistant du jour. All things need a dip in The Felix juice. Felix loves mornings. He is the only bird awake in the house.

Then it is time to bring Butters and Snickers downstairs. Butters is irrelevant to Felix. Butters loves me. Butters comes first on dad's hand discussing her plans for the day as they step 13 times down to the first floor. Her plans are simple. There are none. Divas don't plan. Divas barely do a thing. He places Butters on her favorite tree in front of her favorite breakfast bowl.

Dad goes back upstairs. Felix turns into a begging, threatening, puffing, trembling mess on his tree stand to my right. His calls and feathers say one thing, "Let me at him." He waits for Snickers to come down with dad, hoping to launch himself at his arch nemesis. It's at this time I stop what I'm doing, get a step up from Fee and take him into the kitchen to await the transfer of nemesis locations.

You cannot force a parrot to like another parrot. Don't try it.

Felix is so irritated that dad brought that bird downstairs AGAIN, he wants to go straight back to his roost bedroom cage to "nap". Which is pouting. Inside his cage. In the dark. With his favorite fans lightly blowing into his uncovered cage containing a very pouty parrot. He takes his frustration out on his chew towels.

Third item, Felix's towel covered tree stand. Snickers works hard to get on this to throw out Felix's phonebook. Pull off the towel. And insufferable indignations, poop on it. This scrambles Felix's eggs.

Support their territorial choices to be equally expressed. 

Accepting a parrot's claimed dibs on property and territory, relieves a portion of the stress a territorial parrot feels when he's faced with others near or touching what he considers his. If possible, guarantee at least one item or location be sacrosanct to your parrot. Exclusion allows more territorial stress to vent.

After the new toweled tree stand built by dad was gifted to Felix. Fee took extreme ownership. Snickers isn't even allowed to look at it, let alone attempt to infect it with dactyl cooties. The day he sat on Felix's new tree stand for 15 minutes brought a response from Felix. He demanded a nap upstairs immediately.

As I set him on his bed chew towel to shred his frustration instead of pouting that morning, he climbed out of it, clicked across the floor onto Snickers' bed roost cage, climbed into Snickers' bed roost cage, with grand flair, pooped on the floor towel Snickers used for his own bedtime comforts. He pooped centered to the door, back three inches. A clear statement.

I thought on Bugs Bunny. He and Fudd were always in the middle of some territorial issue. Bugs would declare, "Of course you know this means war!"

Grab a copy of my book - The Art of the FlockCall. It's everything you need to create your successful companion parrot lifestyle.

Growing Emotionally with your Companion offers an idea as to where to start with this lifestyle of companions and us.

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 Amazon.com.


  • And then there is the question of ‚unrequited love‘ in my upstairs flock complicating their attitudes toward me. Coco is a small 42 year old yellow-crested cockatoo with one eye. I give him one on one attention outside of the bird room, which drives Maradona Roco, a 45 year old mealy amazon absolutely bonkers. He has decided he wants to be with Coco. Coco wants to be with me, but enjoys the excitement of sharing a double cage divided in the middle to protect Maradona Roco. Coco wants to bite his feet. Coco will chase him, should he dare venture onto the floor looking for him. The third in the unrequited love triangle is Jimmie, a 35 year old yellow naped amazon. Jimmie would like to be with Maradona Roco. Maradona Roco attacks when Jimmie chances too near and they have been known to both tumble to the floor in a flap of feathers. Laura-Lei, a 40 year old yellow fronted amazon lady tries her best to ignore the three foolish men.
    If I should attempt to save Maradona Roco from Coco‘s beak by detouring Maradona Roco from the danger, I immediately change from favorite human to public enemy # 1. All their differences are forgotten. They rise up in screams with feathers flapping and pinned eyes. Everything becomes MY FAULT!

    Carol Buess on

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