Companion Birds Care: Dealing With One-Person Birds

Parrots in captivity become one-person birds. Especially when there is no cage friend or mate, this species of bird quickly becomes closely bonded to one person in the home. In fact, the bond is so strong that other people living in the home are typically shunned to the point that the parrot will bite. Why?

While this behavior is endearing, it can also be frustrating. What makes this so hard is that an individual might purchase a parrot as their bird but upon arriving home, find the bird prefers to be attached to someone else. Although there are a few things to try, in truth once the bird has chosen “his person”, it seldom changes.

Usually, the person a parrot attaches to will remain the same throughout life but there are cases in which an alliance changes. For example, a woman might bring a bird home as a pet and for years, have a beautiful, one-on-one relationship when all of the sudden, the bird prefers the husband. There have even been instances when a bird will suddenly change preference to someone visiting from out of town.

Although experts are unsure why this happens, one theory is that there is a genetic predisposition among birds to move away from one particular family member in an effort to locate someone who shares the same genes. This is evident in birds that are hand fed. For instance, if a young bird is hand fed by a woman or bonds to a woman while still young, that bird then becomes an adult who prefers a man.

With parrots, there is no way to choose who in the home the bird will attach to. However, in really young birds there are ways this behavior can be prevented. The goal is to introduce the bird to a lot of different people. While still young, the bird should be handled by men, women, and children of both genders.

Remember that although most parrots are one-person birds, there are some who love everyone. If you are thinking about getting a parrot or have recently brought one home, you want to pay attention to how he responds and reacts around each person. The individual your bird will prefer is the one he will go to, hand feed from, cuddle with, and play with.

People not interested in him will either be ignored or he may try to bite them. Although there are no absolutes in life and I am not saying this will happen to every household but during sexual maturity anything can change in their likes and dislikes so they could fall in love with the person they disliked the most.


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