Fast Help for Common Parrot Behavior Problems

Understanding Parrot Behavior: Problems & Solutions

Parrot Problems

Just like a child, parrots are intelligent and will learn how to get their wants and needs met, unless provided with loving, positive redirection, lessons and structure. And, like children, parrots have very strong needs for socialization, mental stimulation, and structure. Keep in mind these basic care needs first, though:

  • Parrots need about 12 hours sleep per night
  • Feed your parrot right
  • Create a calm, safe, consistent living situation. 
  • Make sure that these physical needs are met before you embark on training for positive behavior.

When basic parrot needs are not met, parrots will develop behavior problems.

Some of the most common behavior problems we see in parrots are screaming, biting, feather picking and regurgitating. The good news is that all of these parrot problems can be addressed by educating yourself on what your parrot needs and how your pet bird thinks.  

Please note that feather picking and regurgitation are not really behavior problems.  Feather picking may be a sign of illness, malnutrition or boredom while regurgitation is a parrots way of saying "I love you so much that I want to feed you!"

Use Your Parrots Intelligence To Solve Behavior Problems

Realize that parrots are extremely smart pets that will use both their intelligence and their innate flock behaviors may get their immediate needs and desires met. Like a young emotional kid, parrots can be pretty impulsive.

Anytime that your parrot feels that it is gaining your attention with a specific behavior, good or bad,  it is likely to repeat it. And, just like a kid, your parrot will repeat a behavior over and over again as long as it gets a rise out of you, your parrot will too. So, if your parrot does something to annoy you and then realizes that it "Gez, I got a rise out of you," (good or bad) you can count on your parrot doing it again.... and again.......and again.

Take Care of your Parrot Basic needs: 

  1. Meet your parrots needs for sleep, foraging and enrichment, socialization, nutrition and exercise with safe parrot supplies.  I don't know about you, but I'm a lot more pleasant when I feel good.
  2. Reward the behaviors that you want your parrot to repeat. Decide on what behaviors that you want your parrot to repeat by paying lots of attention to them.  Cheerful praise, a whistle, scritches, and treats go a long way!
  3. Ignore inappropriate or irritating behaviors as much as possible.
  4. Prevent: If you know your parrot behaves in an undesirable way with certain situations, prevent problems in the first place.  For instance, my friend's Goffin would fly and bite her neice everytime the girl came over.  She solved the problem by putting her bird in it's cage when the neice came over.
  5. 5:1 Rule: Just like children, your bird needs 5 positive interactions with you for every "redirection" of misbehavior.

What do you need to do to STOP the problem behavior?

  1. Figure out a plan to teach and reward acceptable or alternative behavior.
  2. Force yourself to NOT reward or reinforce inappropriate or unwanted behavior. OH GOSH, DID WE MENTION THAT TWICE?
Behavioral Concern
Potential Causes
Possible Solutions


  • Lack of exercise
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor Diet
  • Lack of Entertainment & Toys
  • Insecurity or fear
  • Chaotic environment
  • Past reinforcement for screaming

I get cranky and loud when ....(I don't get enough Exercise * Sleep * Nutrition or I'm over-stimulated.)

  • Provide your bird more exercise by teaching it to fly and getting it out on a bird stand daily
  • Make sure that your parrot gets 12 hours of sleep each night. Consider a sleep cage or a Bird Cage Cover
  • Offer your bird a premium diet such as Harrison's Bird Food with nutritious fresh supplements
  • Teach your bird to talk or whistle. Talking parrots scream a lot less!
  • Use up excess energy. Teach your bird to fly with an Aviator Bird Leash. Or, if you are fearful of letting your parrot fly, wing-flap the bird (hold its feet in your hand and move your arm up & down causing the bird to flap its wings) when it screams
  • Use behavior management techniques such as that described in Clicker Training for Birds; Pay more attention to your bird when it is playing quietly and independently.
  • UnRuffledRx Parrot Calming Formula is a safe, natural homeopathic formula that helps calm uncontrolled screaming.


  • Insecure environment
  • Poor Diet
  • Copying the stress of the household
  • Reacting to demands that cause anxiety
  • Territorial behavior
  • Feeling ill

I feel like lashing out when I don't feel safe, I'm around a stressful environment, I feel threatened, I don't want to be put back in my cage or I don't feel good.

  • Teach your bird to step up on a stick.
  • Move your birds cage to a quieter place in the home
  • Feed your bird a premium diet such as Harrison's Bird Food
  • Tell the bird what you want it to do rather than force it with a strong command
  • Offer foraging bird toys with the bird's favorite treat or small toys inside for enrichment
  • Weave Shredders about the upper portion of the birds cage. Offer Wood Bird Toys. Shredding and chewing provides a stress outlet for the bird.
  • Use behavior management such as that described in Clicker Training for Birds
  • Check with an avian veterinarian if your bird continues to bite

Feather Picking

  • Insecurity
  • Lack of exercise
  • Lack of sleep
  • Lack of attention or socialization
  • Habit
  • Illness
  • Take your bird to an Avian Veterinarian for a full exam to rule out a medical cause
  • Weave Shredders about the upper portion of the birds cage and offer other preening style bird toys. Shredding provides a stress outlet for the bird.
  • Move your birds cage to a quieter place in the home
  • Offer your bird a separate sleep cage
  • Offer your bird a premium diet such as Harrison's Bird Food
  • Add nutrients with FeatherUp and UnRuffledRx Multi-Vitamins for Parrots
  • Offer more frequent baths with Bath Time Spray or with a shower perch
  • Aloe Vera Spray promotes healing of lesions and irritations that are often noted in early cases of feather picking.
  • Get the Parrot Feather Plucking Rescue Pack at


  • This is completely normal parrot behavior. Parrots feed their young and their mates by regurgitating. It is a show of love and dedication.
  • Observe whether the bird is vomiting as opposed to showing affection. Sickness output will be more liquid in nature. Vomiting is a sign of illness and a veterinarian should be consulted fast .
  • Observe for weight loss with a bird scale, abnormal droppings, loss of appetite or ruffled feathers.
  • If the problem is affectionate regurgitation, encourage other people to hold and love on your parrot or simply put the parrot down.
  • For affection regurgitation, offer favorite treats for loving time that doesn't involve barfing!


Join Facebook Group for Feather Plucking Parrots