Chewing is a natural, instinctual behavior for parrots where they use the "power of the beak" to chew nesting holes in trees. Chewing is one of nature's way of keeping a parrot's beak fit and trim. Providing opportunities for your parrot to chew is very important considering all of the activities a parrot must accomplish using its beak (eating, climbing, preening, defense, nest building and more).
The drive to chew can create some problems if we don't give them suitable objects like destructible toys to chew. Otherwise, our parrots will gladly find their own chewable items within our homes like furniture, doors, baseboards and moulding. Many an antique, doorframe, window sill and favorite chair have fallen prey to the almighty beak. Unsupervised exploratory chewing also poses extreme dangers to our birds if they decide to chew on toxic plants, through live electrical cords, etc.
Although you can't halt a bird's drive to chew, this instinct can be re-channeled towards more appropriate objects such as:
A few other great benefits of chewing is that it provides a release for excess energy and alleviates boredom. Providing acceptable chewing outlets will be of great benefit to your bird's physical and emotional health as well as to your own peace of mind.
Birds use a wide variety of vocalizations to communicate with their flock members in the wild.
In our homes, parrots also use a variety of vocalizations to get our attention and express their needs. They are constantly calling out to their human flock with the equivalents of:
Bird owners need to listen to and try and interpret their bird's calls relative to the time of day and what may be going on in their environment so they can address their needs.
Sometimes a parrot's vocalizations can become excessive and prove to be very trying. Noise levels and screaming are often cited as reasons for birds being turned over to shelters. Parrots can be very vocal animals; yet many people try very hard to force their birds to be quiet. We must accept a certain level of noise if we have birds in our homes – but there are things we can do to control the noise.
Others actions that help to avoid the development of a screaming problem are to:
Birds use their beaks for a wide variety of tasks, including eating, climbing, exploring and nest excavation. Parrots rarely bite in the wild and when they do it is for defensive reasons. A parrot's first instinct is to flee danger but when they feel cornered or threatened they will bite.
If you observe your parrot closely and are familiar with your bird's body language then you will realize that your bird most often gives fair warning of an impending bite. In captivity, biting is largely a learned behavior that a bird uses to avoid doing something they don't want to do. This behavior arises out of frustration over the fact we fail to recognize and respect the clues they provide to us via vocalizations and subtle changes in body posture and feather position.
Since a bird uses its beak for so many things, one question to ask is, "was it really a bite?" For example:
There are different degrees of "biting":
A bird will bite if:
To avoid getting bitten:
If you are bitten: