My parrot is jealous when I cuddle my husband, my child, my dog, my second parrot, etc. He is jealous when I argue with my neighbor, my mother, my partner, etc. My parrot is jealous when I offer a toy to my child, my dog, my other parrots, etc. My parrot is jealous when I work at the computer when I talk on the phone… in fact, my parrot is jealous of any attention I give to other people or to an object that is not him.
My parrot is always jealous when I do not take care of him exclusively …
Houlà… what a pain!
What makes us think our parrot is jealous?
He demonstrates aggressive behavior towards us ( tender object of jealousy ), towards the rival ( this spouse who touched us ), he screams heartily ( and our ears ) if we dare to consider the youngest, he folds up, isolates himself and shouts at us when he interacts with another family member or has not participated in the activity. Our parrot seems to us terribly egocentric, excessively possessive and totally unsuited to social life within our family.
Jealousy is therefore not an essentially and exclusively human emotion. And it might not be so anthropomorphic to state jealousy when talking about emotion in our parrot.
What is an emotion?
Emotion is a very strong instinctive emotional reaction to a given situation, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant. According to * Matrine Lagarnier, “The common characteristics of emotions are not only to occur in the head but to be accompanied by physiological and somatic modifications such as: flushing (macaws and African grays present reddening visible under the head). stroke of an emotion); the acceleration of the pulse and palpitations (which has not heard the small heart of his parrot pounding under the blow of a great fright) ; the bristling of the hairs (or of the feathers) ; pupil dilation(observable in most species) ; tremors (observable) ; feeling of discomfort or tightness in the chest ( unfortunately, not observable – we concede ) , etc. “
The emotion also leads in its wake, behavioral reactions such: agitation, flight, aggression, prostration, and alteration of thought and reflection. A parrot could therefore, quite involuntarily, exhibit unfortunate behavior under the influence of emotion. We must remember this precept when we decide to take an action to modify an emotional behavior with our parrot.
To date, research on emotions shows that, like any instinctive reaction, these have the characteristics of being priority processes, automatic ( non-voluntary ), rapidly variable, which engage in little elaborate mechanical attitudes and, like all innate attitudes, would be poorly adaptable to the environmental context.
On the other hand and of course, an adequate socialization and well adjusted to the temperament of the parrot can help it to adapt these mechanical reactions by teaching it to no longer respond to certain stimuli ( by habituation or desensitization ). But no matter what the learning, it will never be able to eliminate the reactions inherent in the lively emotion generated in certain circumstances.
Emotions provoke impulsive reactions which are essential for survival, since they allow very rapid reactions which push the bird to act and react instantly ( eg fear = flight or defense ). The emotion is sudden, intense and very limited in time; the emotional intensity could not last long without becoming unbearable.
However, adaptation, knowledge, understanding of one’s environment and social context play important roles in the processing of emotional information.
Emotions will be felt differently by each parrot depending on the quality of its socialization and the environment in which it evolves.
Still according to * Martine Lagarnier “Cognitive psychology considers that an individual placed in a certain environment processes the information he receives according to his previous experiences and his expectations.” In other words, the emotion would arise from the interpretation that the parrot will make of a situation and not from the situation itself ( and God knows that from the interpretation on both sides … there are masses in a parrot-human relationship ).
My Cockatoo Jersey is So Jealous!! COCKATOO TANTRUM
What about the emotions of our parrots?
Research tends to show that emotions are directly linked to the nervous system and are generated at the level of “limbic” structures. Activation of these structures would cause changes that would be perceived at the level of consciousness, thus producing the emotional sensation. Neurobiological studies show that different species including humans, dogs, cats, ferrets, birds and other animals have the same chemical structure and carry information in exactly the same way. It therefore becomes acceptable to assume that our parrots also possess a wide range of emotional states.
Emotions, as much for our birds as for us ( or dogs, cats, ferrets and others ), are present at all times and intervene in all circumstances, whether in relation to oneself, in relation to others or in relation to the environment, and are caused by as many factors as there are parrots, humans ( or dogs, cats, ferrets and others ).
Now, when we talk about “jealousy” on the part of a parrot, often it is better to take a second look before deciding. The parrots are not, but then there, absolutely not these “little angels” to whom one would give the good Lord without confession. It is not because they proudly display their winged finery that they are nevertheless marked with the seal “cherub guaranteed innocent” … I could write an encyclopedia on the sacrosanct rivalry of nature of our pet parrots … and even … a second volume on their competitiveness … You have to know how to make a clear distinction between “jealousy” and … envious rivalry, which is unfortunately part of the lot of the small miseries of the parrot cohabiting with the human.
Envy is rivalry, the desire to enjoy an advantage or pleasure equal to others. Envy is differentiated from jealousy by the implication of the bird to a single individual. Envy is the feeling of irritation, almost indignation, that the parrot experiences when he fears that another has something that is desirable to him and above all… that this other enjoys it. ”The envious impulse tends to s ‘grab or damage that object. ” -Melanie Klein.
Envy is wanting what another has and feeling like you are unfairly deprived of it, and I continually see and re-see this kind of behavior in parrots in a captive context. If two identical toys are offered to two parrots, often one of the two birds will abandon its own toy in an attempt to grab that of the other bird… the rival. Parrots are emotionally very individualistic and can (very often) only endure the object of their affection ( the human darling) provides an identical benefit, let’s say our attention here, to another bird or person. They seek to rob him of this advantage. They consider themselves to be the sole and legitimate recipient of the advantages offered by the human darling.
Here, it is a question of rivalry, of competition… of envy with a big “E” all green, and at the limit… of a completely normal behavior if the parrot finds its account in acting in this way and that no behavior modification action is taken. But that’s another story…
What about jealousy among our parrots?
Jealousy has always been considered one of the worst deadly sins ( and I agree ).
It is a hateful emotion that one feels out of frustration when one fears losing an advantage that one would like to have exclusively, for the benefit of another. True jealousy is based on envy but involves a relationship with two individuals ( jealousy is played in three ) and mainly concerns attachment.
What painful anxiety the fear of sharing this advantage or losing it for the benefit of others inspires. For the parrot, “jealousy” would be the fear that a third person ( human, bird or other ) steals from him what he considers his, that is to say the affection or attention of his companion, of his human favorite. The parrot may be “jealous” when it feels that it has lost or is threatened with losing a favor, it could even become brutal ( on others and on itself ): jealousy involves a great deal of anger. .
Now, remains to be discovered why our parrot would feel such a devastating emotion as the jealousy in which he would feel threatened? What is the source of so much frustration in the relationship we have with our parrot?
It’s not necessarily our fault, at least not quite. Like most hand-reared parrots ( EAM ) and … uncertain impregnation, our bird has likely ( also ) experienced attachment loopholes, and our parrot’s insecurity is exacerbated each time we he is faced with a situation of secondment. This insecurity is all the greater as it develops in a context where the parrot has no control over its well-being.
Indeed, in captivity, the bird depends entirely on the human or the social (human) group to ensure its safety, both physical and psychological, and to make matters worse ( and as if that was not enough already ) , the parrot also has no control over the security of the attachment beings that make up its environment, its social group. If we work outside, he suffers and re-suffers daily the abandonment of his companion or his group. No easy task.
The companion parrot must learn to deal with a situation that it instinctively is not prepared to face…. Total dependence.
When one is dependent at this point, it becomes a priority not to lose any of the advantages already acquired. If we lower our guard, we risk losing a well-being over which we have no control. Constant monitoring is then necessary. For the “insecure” parrot, each event drags in its wake new rival elements and nothing in its genetic background prepares it to face such a situation. While human jealousy is largely a matter of the imagination, that of the parrot is tangible: it involves concrete social relationships for which it is not at all suitable: three-way relationships ( us, our spouse or child and our parrot = 3), the important attention that we offer to our dog ( us, the dog and our parrot = 3 ) or to the usual devices that require great attention from us ( us, the phone and our parrot = 3 ). The worried parrot sees so many competitors with whom he must share the presence or the attention of his human companion and… obviously, he does not know ( naturally ) how to share.
Unfortunately, we can not change the pathological impregnation of our parrot ( EAM ), nor the innate attitudes that make him so vulnerable to the ambivalent emotions that cause him so much anxiety in our world. On the other hand, we can certainly help him to adapt ( at least a little ) to this environment which at first glance is very anxiety-provoking for him, and help him to integrate into our ( human ) group without him. don’t feel too aggrieved in the story.
Living with a “jealous” parrot makes living together painful, no one is happy in a relationship based on such insecurity: neither the parrot nor the human.
Only we can try to secure our very maladjusted little companion, starting by analyzing and evaluating the quality of our interactions with our parrot, the quality of our modes of communication with him, the quality of our relationship, and how empowered we are to ( attempt to ) meet their needs. If you can’t do it, there’s no shame in asking for professional help. We can help his parrot to adapt the representation he has of his social relations within our family and guide him towards accepting situations that are difficult for him to conceive, which any relationship with three protagonists causes.
Unfortunately, I cannot get you THE infallible trick to reform the “jealous” behavior of your parrot: there are as many problems, investigative gymnastics, solutions as there are parrots and human companions. Your dynamic is probably very different from that of your neighbor, your parrot’s temperament is very different from that of its bird, and the background is very variable. We are here, really in a case-by-case situation… but the solutions exist…
An angry parrot may stretch up tall or crouch into an attack position, or it may sharply flick its tail or spread its wings to make itself appear larger and more threatening. Sound: Many parrots have alarm calls and other sounds such as bill clacks or hisses that can indicate agitation and anger
Out of Cage Time.
Don’t yell at your parrot
Loss of appetite.
Constant head bobbing.