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In issue 305 -
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Different Parrot Biting Behaviours

Spreads for web 1

By Sally Blanchard

Biting behaviours have many different reasons and many different bite types.  Understanding why various bites occur can keep our relationships with our parrots.  Parrots are rarely biters in the wild and most of their aggression is reactive and based on threats from other birds or animals.  They generally bluff by puffing themselves up and showing off their colours.  It is not natural for them to initiate aggression, and I believe this is also true of companion parrots.  Most biting is in response to confusion, a perceived threat, and/or aggression towards them.

Baby parrots come into their lives as explorers.  Once they get past the 'eat, poop, and sleep stage', parrot chicks develop an avid curiosity about the world around them and everything in it.  The ends of their tongues and beaks have encapsulated nerve endings that help them to determine what they are touching.  With an almost insatiable curiosity they want to explore their world and this means touching everything with their tongues and beaks.  This is more nibbling that it is biting.  Is it food that they are touching?  Does it feel good?  What is it made of?  Is it soft or hard?  Is it soft enough to chew on?  How does the person handling the bird respond to their nibbling?

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