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CR TENT SECURITYWhat is Security?

For a living being, security is the condition of feeling safe and protected against danger. We all have the innate desire to feel safe and secure in our environment.  Not feeling safe can negatively impact your birds health and mental well-being. Birds that live under stressful conditions often start to exhibit undesireable behaviors like screaming, biting and feather picking.

What would cause my bird to feel unsafe?

Parrots are prey animals which means that predators in the wild, such as hawks or snakes, are always looking to make them into a meal. This one factor influences parrot's behavior in captivity more than any other. Have you ever noticed how frightened parrots get with sudden load noises or movements from above or behind? Ever make the mistake of letting a helium balloon float by your bird's cage? Even the snakelike vacuum cleaner cord/hose can evoke a negative reaction. Our parrots are instinctually hardwired to be on alert for danger from predators 24/7. Because of this, it is up to us to realize how instinctively vulnerable our birds feel and to help them feel as safe as possible.

How can I help my bird feel secure?

Fortunately, there are many simple things that we can do to help our birds live with less stress while living in our homes. One of the keys to understanding your bird is to carefully observe their body language so you can find out what situations may cause a fearful reaction. This knowledge will help you to make adjustments in your household to avoid undue stress in your bird. It is important to note that not all birds react the same way to a specific situation. For example, some may be terrified of the vacuum cleaner but others are absolutely delighted by the noise of the vacuum. 

To reduce the potential for stress in your bird, here are some things to consider:

  • Cage placement -

    Placing at least one side of your bird's cage against a wall may help your bird feel sheltered from predators (a corner position is even better). Placement opposite the entry to the room allows your bird to observe who is approaching and what is going on. Avoiding cage placement in a room with a ceiling fan or directly in front of a window may also help them to stop worrying about flying predators.

  • Cage accessories -

    Utilizing cage covers, sleep tents or a perch surrounded by lots of toys can also provide a parrot with opportunities to hideaway and feel more secure when they want to sleep.

  • Be a responsible flock member

    A parrot derives its greatest sense of security from living within a flock, they are emotionally geared to live as part of a group. In the wild, activities such as feeding, flying and grooming are performed communally. Parrots left in isolation without the benefit of direct contact and interaction do not develop a sense of security. Daily interaction on a one-on-one basis and inclusion of your bird in family activities are essential to your bird's emotional well-being.

  • Establish routines 

    Parrots are less stressed when there are household routines that provide them with the opportunity for regular sleep hours, regular feeding and watering times and special one on one time. Since they have no means to do it for themselves in captivity, parrots are entirely dependent on us to provide them with clean water and a nutritious diet. They need to know they can rely on their human flock for this.

    Interactive rituals also reinforce your parrot's sense of security. For example, greetings in the morning, goodbyes when leaving for the office, game playing when coming home, silly songs during activities such as feeding or bathing all help to reassure your bird.

  • Expose your bird to new things

    The earlier in life that you start to expose your bird to changes of a non-threatening nature, the less likely they will be frightened by things commonly encountered in life such as household moves, family additions, time away from their flock (vacations, business trips).

    Variations in diet and toys, travel, and exposure to new people and places all help to make your bird more flexible and adaptable to change. At the same time, if your bird is fearful of certain situations then remove him from that event and provide reassurance using a calm tone of voice.

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