Noming on People {Another Guest Post}

April 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s Guest Post Day again, and that means we’re back! I’m Mango, and today, we’re going to be talking about a very serious issue: Noming on people – also known as biting. Now, biting is a perfectly normal thing; most of us do it. But funnily enough, people don’t seem to care if it’s perfectly normal when their Macaw decides they should have more earrings. So today we’re going to explore the different types of biting, and how to stop it.

First of all, there’s “exploring” biting. If you had no arms, what would you use to explore? We use our feet and our beaks. Now let’s say you’re asking Polly to step up. What you see is a perfectly stable perch (your arm) for her to step up on. What Polly sees is a possibly unstable perch. So of course she’s going to explore: Feet won’t work, of course, so she uses her beak. What’s happening here is not biting, so much as checking. But most humans will jerk back at the apparent “bite” – and now Polly is going to bite! The important thing to remember when exploring happens is to keep perfectly still and stable. This will encourage your parrot to step up, not bite. Kiwi’s going to describe the next biting behavior.

Many of us, including Mango, are protective of our cage – just like people are protective of their houses. Let’s say a man comes barging into your house; you would probably protect yourself in whatever way you could. Our way is biting. Usually, protecting a cage isn’t something you can stop. Instead, you can use the simple safety measure of having your parrot step up onto a perch, and then (once the cage is out of sight) onto you. Another cage-related biting behavior is biting when being put back into the cage. Again, you can simply have your parrot step up onto a perch when putting him back into his cage.

“Beaking” is a stage during which a young parrot experiments with biting. Parrots’ beaks are filled with encapsulated nerve endings used to experience sensation, texture, etc. (Information found here.) Young parrots should be given appropriate things to bite, such as toys. Mango’s up.

Imagine that you were fired by your insane boss. When you get home, you’re impatient with the kids and snappy with your husband. This is “displaced aggression,” and we have it too. If your parrot really wants to bite something or someone, but you’re the only available option, she’ll bite you. There isn’t an easy way to fix this, but mostly you should simply not pick up your parrot when she’s in a bad mood or someone/something she doesn’t like in near.

If your parrot has decided you’re his mate, you’ll be subjected to plenty of biting. For example, if your husband attempts to hug/etc you when your parrot’s on you, your parrot will quickly bite you to prevent an “affair.” Or if he thinks your sister is dangerous, he’ll bite you to encourage you to “fly” away. Most of us won’t take no for an answer when it comes to the safety of our mate, and so the only fool-proof way to the prevent this is simply not to handle your parrot and interact with someone he deems unsafe at the same time.

If you’d like us to include another type of biting, please leave a comment. Arrivederci!

English, Mango, not Italian. Goodbye!

For Goodness’ Sake, Stop with the Myths Already {A Guest Post}

April 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hi! Today’s our first guest post day, and guess who’s doing it? Here, I’ll give you a hint.

Mango and Kiwi

I’m Kiwi, and – Mango, what are you doing?

Uh . . . nothing.

Mango, seriously. You need to act professionally.

But –

Now, we’re going to be talking about some common parrot myths, and why they’re, well, myths. Mango, you can start.

Myth #1: “Parrots should be fed seeds.”

I hate to break it to those of you with seed junkie parrots, but frankly seeds are like M&Ms for us. Sure, they’re fine for a special treat, but c’mon people, are you going to feed your parrot M&Ms? For more on all that nutrition stuff, you’ll have to wait for a post in the near future. Kiwi, your turn.

Myth #2: “Parrots are easy to care for.”

We aren’t necessarily hard to care for, but certainly we’re not that easy to. You learned all about that in yesterday’s post, but here are the generals again: We’re time-consuming (and live for up to 100 years, depending on species), can scream and be extremely messy, bite, and can become “one-person” bird easily. Your turn, Mango.

Myth #3: “If your parrot misbehaves, you should get him a mate.”

Hey, I love Kiwi, but that doesn’t make me not bite Z. Seriously, I don’t even know how this myth started. You have a badly behaved parrot, so you get another one? Off you go, Kiwi.

Myth #4: “Cockatoos are always sweet and cuddly.”

Certain species of Cockatoos (such as the Umbrellas) are cuddly. Other species, like the Goffin’s, are better described as hyperactive escape artists. However, all Cockatoos, cuddly or not, do have some behavior issues. We’ll explain those later in our Cockatoo post. Mango, you’re up.

Myth #5: “Lovebirds will die of loneliness if kept alone.”

As we’ve already explained over at the About page of The Single Lovebird, this is complete –

Mango! Mind your language.

– er, this is completely incorrect. Now, maybe you should get another Lovie friend for your Lovebird if her mate just died, but I doubt she’ll die if you don’t. And many a Lovebird lives happily alone, as you can see here. Off you go, Kiwi.

Myth #6: “Sunflowers are addictive to parrots.”

Though I haven’t had them yet, numerous parrots have informed me that sunflowers do indeed taste wonderful. However, they are not necessarily addictive; they’re more like ice cream than drugs. Go on, Mango.

Myth #6: “Mature parrots are unpredictable and dangerous.”

Let’s say your lil’ baby parrot is a fluffy ball of love. And then, she grows up. So she goes through the “teenager” stage, which means that she’s more likely to be irritable. So, your teenager parrot is stalking around her cage in a hissy fit, when suddenly you poke your hand into there. This is about as dangerous as poking your hand into a 16-year-old girl’s bedroom, or poking your hand into a shark’s mouth. (No offense, 16-year-old girls.) So, naturally, she bites you. This doesn’t mean she’s unpredictable and dangerous – you just didn’t recognize the signs of a parrot “hissy fit.”

Actually, now we’re running out of myths, so it’s time to wrap up this post. If some parrot expert happens to wander over, please comment and add any myth you’d like to be mentioned. Thanks and hallelujah!

What Mango meant to say, I’m sure, was goodbye.

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