How to Stop a Parrot From Biting? A Complete 2022 Guide

On the surface, it may seem that birds are the easiest pets to bring under your care. After all, how could an innocent and small little birdie be anything but cute?

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. A pet mammal like a cat or a dog may be bigger and more dangerous if they turn rabid, but a parrot can be just aggressive, if not as dangerous.

Birds (like parrots) can be very aggressive under certain circumstances. Their bites can be quite sharp, and they tend to hang onto whatever they bite. So why do parrots bite? And more importantly, how to stop a parrot from biting? Let’s find out!

What Is the Reason Behind Parrots Biting?

Parrot Biting Human finger

To stop parrots from biting, we must first understand why they bite in the first place. You can understand their behavior by reading their body language. Biting is a normal instinct of the parrot as it uses its beak to eat, grab, etc. However, if your bird starts biting spontaneously, there may be several causes behind this.

First, birds use associations a lot. This means that if you use your hand to exhibit punishment or to fly the bird away, it will connect your hands to bad behavior and will bite you. Some common reasons are discussed in detail below.

Another reason you might start getting painful bites is that the parrot may sense your emotions at that time. If you are mad or upset or frustrated, chances are your bird will know it and act in self-defense. Thus, it’s best not to go pick up your parrot when you are angry.

Warning Signs

Bad behavior in birds may be a form of warning. Usually, when birds sense that something is wrong, they will start biting as a form of gaining your attention and will continue to do so until you give in. It is predicted that birds can sense natural calamities before humans as they can hear infrasound.

Social Adjustments

Another reason bird lovers may suddenly find their bird biting is due to social anxiety, and nipping may be seen as a form of self-defense. Many new parrot owners especially face this problem.

When Putting It Back in the Cage

Birds may also start tugging at your skin if you do something displeasing to them, such as putting them back in their cage. If a person doesn’t play with their parrot in the cage, only out of it, eventually the parrot will only associate happiness with not being in the cage. Thus, the bird will bite as a form of protesting.

Territorial Behavior

Still wondering how to stop a parrot from biting? Sometimes, birds may show possessive behavior over personal space. They may mark a certain area as their personal space. If someone enters the parrot’s supposed territory it may cause the bird stress which would make it act out and bike you as a protective mechanism. Mostly, this territory is the parrot’s cage itself.

The best solution to this is to use a tool such as a wooden stick to create a path for the bird to move out, or to open the cage door and lower your hand outside of the cage, allowing the bird to come out itself.

Hormonal Birds

A rare cause of sudden bird biting is hormones. This usually starts in adulthood and continues through life in small amounts. Signs other than biting that a hormonal parrot would exhibit include the parrot regurgitating food, puffing out its chest, and continuous crouching,

Ways to minimize hormonal effects in birds include decreasing exposure to daylight, increasing flight time, improving diet, and keeping your parrot preoccupied.

Fast Movements

If you exhibit fast movements around your bird it may get scared away. It’ll associate rapid movements with danger or hazard and leave a more painful parrot bite. The parrot may generally show more aggressive behavior overall too.

Thus keep an eye on your body language, as well as that of the parrot.

Reaction to Bites

Gray parrot biting young veterinarian

Bird bites are quite common so let’s start with what not to do when your pet bird does this. It’s a very normal reaction to get angry, and even yell at your parrot for their rude behavior. But acting this way works only to reinforce their rowdy actions.

What you should do instead is to calm down and blow into your pet’s face. This will grab their attention and likely distract them.

If your pet bird is resting on your hand, then you can also try to drop your hand swiftly to put them off balance. While they reorient themselves, they’ll hopefully release their bite on your hand.

One of the more severe measures is to place your bird on the floor. The drop in height will make them feel insecure and vulnerable. As a consequence, they will drop their aggressive pose.

Avoid Punishing Your Bird by Putting It in Cage

We cannot emphasize this enough. Do not, under any circumstances, put your bird into a cage as a punishment. Instead, use positive reinforcement.

You want to make the cage a place where they feel at home. A place where they can find food and clean water, with a bunch of toys they can play with.

Putting them in a cage as a punishment will have the opposite effect. They’ll start to see it as positive punishment, and will tend to struggle and get aggressive whenever you bring them near the cage.

Only put them in a cage once they have calmed down and are in a good mood.

Conclusion

Parrots can be one of the cutest and most rewarding pets to have. With a wide variety of different breeds as well as some of the rarest and most exotic birds, this hobby has something in it for everyone who adopts it.

But it is important to train your pet in a way that doesn’t reinforce their bad habits and makes a better pet out of them.

In this article, we discussed how to stop parrots from biting. We also discussed a lot of methods that you can employ to prevent the aggressive behavior of your birds. This brings us to the end of this article. Thank you for reading.

Harlan Derricks
Latest posts by Harlan Derricks (see all)