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In issue 311 -
Unique voice print in parrots – By The Max Planck Society, Behavioural Biology Cognitive Research
In issue 311 -
Endangered Parrots – 40 years on – By Rosemary Low
In issue 311 -
An Endangered Mexican Parrot – thriving in urban areas of south Texas – By GrrlScientist Senior Contributor at Forbes, evolutionary & behavioural ecologist, ornithologist & science writer
In issue 311 -
Human-altered habitat spurs nesting innovations in neotropical parrots – By David Waugh Correspondent, Loro Parque Fundación
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Aggression – territoriality is an important factor

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By Rosemary Low

In the January issue, I related some instances of aggressive behaviour in parrots from my own experiences. There are many reasons and when this behaviour occurs we need to consider all likely causes.

A sudden change of behaviour, including aggression, can be caused by disease. American veterinarian, Darrel Styles, studied avian bornavirus and its association with PDD (proventriculus dilatation disease virus), which has taken the lives of thousands of captive parrots in recent years. In his experience, affected birds can become aggressive as the result of contracting the disease.

In 2014 the breeder of a Rose-crowned Conure (Pyrrhura rhodocephala) told me about one of three young birds he had hand-reared, and which had been returned to him by the buyer. She could not cope with its aggressive behaviour. The breeder was looking for a new home for this conure. As my only companion bird, my much loved 38-year old Yellow-streaked Lory (Chalcopsitta scintillata) had recently been put to sleep, I decided to take the conure. He was about eight months old, very friendly and lively and inquisitive. However, I quickly discovered that he would bite my hand hard if it was near him. He also repeated the words: “Step up! Step up! Step up!” in an agitated voice.

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