Another very interesting publication from Margaux!
I regularly receive distress calls from people deeply saddened by the choices and preferences of their birds for other members of their household.
It happens that the parrot becomes attached to a person who was initially not interested in the idea of creating a bond with him. If it is often a person already part of the social group of the bird, it can sometimes be that a “love at first sight” takes place with a completely foreign person and simply passing through.
This phenomenon occurs with other humans as well as with other animals, including the bird congener!
This explains why we are, wrongly and selfishly, reluctant to take a congener to his beloved parrot.
To risk losing the emotional exclusivity of one’s bird may be unbearable for many people… What a pity! What a mistake !
Let’s start from the beginning …
When the bird expresses a preference for someone and in particular a person who does not take care of it, one has to ask quite simply “why”?
There is indeed a perfectly logical explanation for this choice.
Here are the most common causes:
1) a familiar figure
We very often observe a preference for a sex (or a morphotype) in young parrots just weaned and who have just been adopted.
It is common for individuals raised by men to be more familiar with and trusting men in the family for example, and vice versa.
I say “men” or “women” but parrots linger in particular on the timbre of our voice and our general appearance to differentiate us. I am convinced that they do not identify us as “males” or “females” because they do not have the same tools of perception as mammals.
For a parrot, we are above all “morphotypes” with varied timbres and appearances.
The birds will initially favor what is familiar to them, what they have known during their early childhood. For a prey animal such as a parrot, what is familiar is reassuring, reassuring.
We see the same phenomenon with older birds and having lived with other humans. For example, if a parrot has developed a privileged relationship with a woman, blonde with a high voice, it will be easy to interact with other people with similar characteristics.
Conversely, birds traumatized by humans will express fear or aggression towards people which brings them back to their negative experiences.
Fortunately for us who adopt or collect these individuals, the choices and preferences can change throughout their existence, depending on the new experiences they will have with their new humans.
2) The quality of the interactions of the person in charge of it
It often happens that the preference is weak at the start, and that the young parrot is very sociable with all the members of the family.
Young birds are always sociable and open to exchange with other individuals, human or not. This characteristic diminishes with maturity in favor of more exclusive relationships, not to mention exacerbated possessiveness. (Possessiveness is NOT NORMAL contrary to popular belief that makes it acceptable for a parrot to reject its potential rivals with violence. But this subject alone will be the subject of further reflection.)
It may be that the bird develops a preference for one or more people in the household, and categorically refuses any exchange with others.
Among these rejected, we often find and paradoxically THE person who takes care of the parrot the most.
“I feed him, I take him out, I clean his cage, I talk to him non-stop and yet he doesn’t want to know anything about me!” “
This situation, which may seem perfectly unfair from our human point of view and which can make our adored parrot look like the king of the ungrateful, can nevertheless be explained in a very simple way:
If the parrot rejects interacting with the person who spends the most time caring for it, it is most likely because it is bored.
Clearly, this person inflates it!
For fear of rejection, our reflex is perfectly awkward, to hold back the other.
However, by dint of soliciting the bird we will necessarily strengthen it in its behavior of avoidance or rejection.
In short, the more you insist that he likes you, the more you will widen the chasm that separates you.
Do you remember that talkative and clingy kid who kept hanging out on you during recess when you were kids?
I could make a comparison a little harsher with these lovers transits who fail to accept that their potential suitor, you, fiercely rejects their “proofs of love”.
Can we then rectify the situation? Yes !
It is enough to be desired on the one hand, to stop being constantly on the back of his piaf to constantly want to solicit him, to take him with us or to caress him then that he SIMPLY DOESN’T want.
Then, in a second step, it suffices to review the quality of its interactions.
If you take the parrot out and spend your day running behind it to prevent it from knocking down furniture, landing on doors, touching your belongings … it is obvious that it will associate you with these situations. conflict and avoid trading with you.
On the contrary, if you strive to bring him only positive, his perception of you will evolve and he will then naturally seek your company..
(Small parenthesis: if your parrot spends his time doing silly things and you have to wage war on him every time he goes out, it’s because his living environment is poorly studied, your bird is probably bored or lacking in enrichment. , and that you don’t yet have the right tools to communicate better with him.)
3) The reactions of each one which can reinforce the preference.
Without realizing it, we tend to reinforce the beginnings of behaviors which, in the early stages, are never real problems.
We strengthen them by acting like humans, that is, by focusing on them and trying, in vain, to correct them.
It is very human to act on the bird rather than wondering what the behavior may mean and how to react to bring the parrot to another attitude.
Of course, it is not easy to act against our own nature, but this is the whole point of acquiring language!
By learning to develop the same codes as our birds, we can make ourselves understood effectively.
So when the parrot lands on someone other than ourselves and at that point we want to interact with it, either to prevent it from attaching to the person or for any other reason, we are fine. often look for it …
If your bird is tolerant, you will probably avoid the bite. But you have to understand that if your parrot lands on THIS person it is because he wants to interact with him and NOT WITH YOU.
By preventing him from going on her you risk once again passing for the service ball that constrains and prevents the satisfaction of his desires.
You will then REINFORCE the parrot’s interest for the person rather than for you.
On the contrary, make yourself want!
If the parrot is on somebody and you want to make it come on you, don’t go looking for it already, invite it to come and if it refuses,
do not insist.
If it is the person himself who takes the parrot to lay it on you, the latter may be frustrated, which will motivate him to return tirelessly to this person.
You know very well what happens when you prevent the bird from accessing something that interests it. He becomes obsessive about it!
So let him once and for all exorcise his envy, so that he will simply end up getting bored and wanting to come back of his own accord to other activities, other people.
Remember that to be appreciated by someone, it is never a question of quantity of interactions but of the qualities of the exchanges!
Let’s do little with them, towards them, but let’s do well.
Any situation can be changed simply by changing the way we approach it.
Margaux Deman, 2021, My parrot does not love me !, publication available on Margaux Deman’s Facebook account, consulted on July 1, 2021,
An information nest © – July 2021