Why is pair bonding a problem
for pet birds and their people?
Pair bonding frequently occurs with parrots who are given a lot of
physical attention. While pair bonding may initially seem beneficial,
it can cause birds to become aggressive as they work to drive away
potential competition or threats to their "mate" and/or territory.
Other family members are usually the target of this aggression.
How can pair bonding be remedied?
To improve a parrot/owner
relationship, the owner must decrease
attention given to the bird through
petting, cuddling, or similar behaviors.
Correct any factors that may stimulate
the reproductive system of the bird,
and remove any hide boxes or nest-like
areas from the cage. Provide the bird
with a lower-calorie pelleted diet with
veggies, 12 hours of quiet darkness
each day, behavioral training, and
ample opportunities to forage for
food. Additionally, all family members should forage with the bird
by spreading pellets on a towel (placed on a table) and "pecking"
at them with their fingers as a bird would peck at them with his
beak. Other family members should also take on more of the tasks
of caring for the bird, providing treats for correct behaviors,
etc, so the bird can ultimately see all the humans as flock
members, rather than mates or threats.