Why Is My Bird Suddenly Biting Me?

Why Is My Bird Suddenly Biting Me?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

I am so torn by my bird’s recent behavior. While I was cleaning his cage this morning, I let him roam. He was well behaved. He started pecking at the carpet and I said “No” in a stern voice. Of course, he fluffed up and waddled around.

When I finished, I gave him his bath which he loved. He just goes to the top of his cage and I spray and sing to him. After that, I got the cape I usually wear when holding him. He got all excited and came right up to my shoulder. He nuzzled and kiss my ear many times.

Then I sat down and just moved a charging cable away so he wouldn’t be tempted to chew on it. Well, as soon as I did that he lunged at my forearm! He didn’t break the skin but it hurt. Last week for no reason, I went to pick him up from the floor just to bring him higher on a chair by me, and he latched onto my left index finger and bit hard. Still healing from that incident.

I am really concerned about this behavior. I inherited Banjo back in 2012. after his owner passed. He was 8 years old at the time. I would hate to surrender him but I just can’t trust him. Oh, he also bit clear through my right ear about a year ago. That time he did’t want to go back to his cage.

Hope you can give me some advice.

Joanne 🙁


Hi Joanne,

Thanks for contacting us and I’m sorry to hear your bird has been behaving badly. I see several possibilities as to exactly why you were bitten. But I could probably help you better if I knew more about the bird and you. Would you mind answering a few questions to help me help you??

Here we go…..

  • The first question of course is his species, so what type of parrot is he?
  • Has the bird seen an avian vet since you inherited him?
  • Did he come to you with any records of hatch date, preferred foods, normal schedule?
  • Did he go through a period of mourning for the person he lost during the first months he was with you?
  • What was the family composition from which he came? Include how many people lived in house with him, other pets etc. What is the family composition in your home including other pets?
  • How would you rate his level of tameness, desire to play with and interact with humans? Has he been trained to respond to any “manners” commands?

Step-up is a basic “manners” command

  • Tell me about the average daily schedule. When does he wake up? How many hours does he get out of cage time and how many hours does he get quality time with you outside the cage? When is bedtime? Is he covered at night? How do you make him feel secure during his sleep? How many hours of nighttime sleep does he get UNDISTURBED? Does he exhibit any sleep issues such as night frights? I want to learn his habits.
  • Tell me about his cage, size, perches (number and TYPE), play top if any play stand, outdoor cage, etc. Where is the cage located in your home? Is it directly in front of a large window or sliding glass door? Is it in the center of family activity or isolated in a corner?
  • Where does he like to spend his in cage time and wherein the cage does he like to sleep. Does he have a spot in the cage where he can “hide” when he wants privacy, perhaps behind a grouping of toys?  
  • Does he have a “bed” like a pet tent or snuggle hut (some species love these, others don’t) I want to learn all about how many toys he has in the cage, perches, as much as possible about what his personal home is like?
  • What does he eat during an average day? Please be specific as to food or pellet type, human foods, supplements, eating with people or only in a cage. What about snacks and treats?  The more info the better.
  • How does he react to new toys? Does he accept new toys quickly or wait 2 weeks or more to accept a new one?
  • Does he actively play, exercise, flap his wings sometimes, wander around on the floor a while perhaps following you? How much quality one-on-one time does he spend with you in an average day and when does this usually happen.

Does he accept new toys like this Amazon?

  • If there are other family members, how does he react around them? What about strangers entering the home? Does he accept them or become aggressive and perhaps nippy?
  • You refer to him in the “masculine” voice. How do you know he is male? Has he been DNA tested at some time? At his age (young adult), it could be critical to know the gender for absolute certain but I’ll explain why and how to inexpensively learn gender when I reply to you after learning more about you and him.

I know this sounds like a lot of info to provide but if you just answer each one, perhaps including a photo of the cage with toys, the bird, and write a sentence or two about each question I’ll have enough information to really help you.

But we aren’t quite finished just yet….. I’d like you to think back to the time he bit your ear. What time of year did it happen and was he perhaps molting at the time? What happened IMMEDIATELY before the bite? Think not just of you and him but outside noises, activities by others in the home, a car backfiring nearby, anything you can recall happening in the 60 seconds before the bite. Also did you notice a warning of any type.

Think of the recent nip and provide me the same information.

I truly look forward to hearing from you with detailed info so that I can provide you a response that is accurate and helpful.

I promise that upon receiving your reply you will get a rapid response either in a personal email, or in the next Sunday Birdie Brunch — or both. I didn’t find an account for you on our website so you want to be sure to signup for our opt-in weekly Sunday Birdie Brunch.

Create an account (I noticed you don’t have one currently) and you’ll get 100 points just for creating your account as a new customer. You can spend points just like money on things your parrot will love.

Then login to the website and on the homepage you’ll learn how you can earn points for having created a new customer account, or earn points just for logging in and other things. It’s a limited-time offer and points can be used just like money to pay for items you want or need from our website.

You’ll get an opportunity to sign up for Sunday Birdie Brunch through the screen you will encounter that invites you to sign up.

We plan to provide a truly awesome website learning and shopping experience once we get these technical bugs caused by the website migration. We want to help you with your problem with your parrot and also enjoy a long happy relationship providing you with a knowledge base, blog, and other tools to help you learn to make living with a companion parrot safe, fun, and easy for both of you and your bird.

Nora, Feature Writer, Website Admin Asst.

Unfortunately, I have not learned the answers to these questions from Joanne but I do hope to hear from her soon.

This is a great example for others who need assistance from Windy City Parrot regarding their parrot-related problems to use as a guide to providing the info we need to best help you. 

Approved by Mitch Rezman
Approved by Catherine Tobsing

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Catherine Tobsing

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