Generally speaking, springtime is hormonal time for birds that have already reached a sexually mature age. This is also referred to as nesting behavior, and is a normal pattern of behavior for our avian companions. To an aware and understanding human, this pattern of behavior- while ranging from annoying to downright frightening- can be dealt with in a loving manner. Taking the right precautions one can even hope to minimize the effects of some such behaviors.
Signs to look for when dealing with a hormonal parrot include:
- excessive 'love' regurgitation. Make sure you are aware the differences between sick bird regurgitation and hormonal regurgitation
- nest making. Some birds will use anything they can get their beaks on to form a nest. Be aware of such behavior and remove any possible
material that may be percieved as a good nesting item from the birds environment
- masturbation. This one is pretty self explanitory Feather picking- yes, it can be a hormonal thing. This most commonly occurs in female birds, and they will pick what is known as a 'brood patch' on their chest. If they were to nest, the patch of skin would have direct contact with the eggs, heating them more effectively.
and the list goes on...
What can we do to put a damper on hormonal behaviors, or just make living with your parrot a bit more bareable during these trying times?
Several factors come into play when considering whether or not your birds new behaviors are hormone related. Everything from light, to
toys found in the cage, to foods your avian friends eat can impact their behavior, and even be 'egging on' hormonal mannerisms!
Typically, light is one of the first environmental factors we take into consideration. As the spring days lengthen, your birds schedule
is thrown out of whack. An increase of light tells your bird that now is the time for their body to start acting in a certain way that will
eventually lead to the laying of eggs. Is your bird exposed to 10 or more hours of light a day? How many hours a day does your bird sleep?
Increasing the amount of sleeping time during the spring months and regulating the amount of light your bird gets can help quiet certain
As we said before, make sure your bird does not have anything in its environment that can be percieved as nesting material. For some birds,
this can be a cardboard box. For others, shredded paper. For even more, happy huts or sleeping tents can be construed as nesting
territory. Removing all such materials can discourage possible nesting behaviors.
Can food impact your birds behaviors? You bet it can! Certain seasonal foods can encourage behaviors. Take sprouts for example. While they
are chock full of nutrition, they are also a spring item that can stir horomones. Why? Sprouts occur when seeds are fresh, have access to
enough moisture, air, and sun that they can sprout. This occurs in spring, when trees are budding. Other foods that can encourage
- seed mixtures that contain hemp
- excessive amounts of warm, cooked foodstuffs
- increased amount of carbohydrates
Taking the right precautions can help prevent the full onslaught of hormonal behaviors.... or maybe decreased use in your band-aid stock!
Edited by Kevin, 06 May 2009 - 08:44 AM.