A prey animal
The parrot is a prey animal, that is to say it is genetically designed to serve as a meal for another animal ( outch! ), And that is an elementary rule that it knows from the moment it leaves the egg! The parrot is not an animal that attacks, on the contrary. He is not programmed to face adversity or to confront his fears. He does not know how to attack, if he feels threatened, he simply flies away, he waits for all danger to be removed and if he feels like it, returns to his initial perch. Even if the parrot was born in breeding ( EAM), the fact remains that his natural status is that of prey animal and that all his physical and mental construction, his instincts, his emotions as well as his reactions are the result of this state.
He therefore possesses a host of innate behaviors adapted to this very particular condition, among others, flight, the behavior of abandonment in the face of a threat.
There is a big difference between the behaviors of predatory animals and those of prey animals. We humans naturally and intuitively know how to behave and communicate with dogs. Like us, they are hunters. We have a lot in common: binocular vision, we know how to stalk, attack and defend ourselves. We are predatory animals and the instinct to confront the threat is conceivable to us as a primary reaction. Flight comes second if we don’t judge ourselves to be the match for an attacker who’s too big a deal for us.
In our parrot, the reverse is true. His first option is to flee, he does not know how to attack or fight and if he has to defend himself, it is the left brain that will be called upon. The bird is then helpless, emotionally incapable of thinking which generates a great state of panic. Everything takes place under a huge rush of adrenaline and the bird struggles in a state of confusion and total terror.
Thus, the logic of human and canine reactions is quite opposite to that of parrots. It is important to take into account this huge difference in our relationship and how we communicate with our bird. This is one of the reasons why the “education” methods used with the dog cannot guarantee results with the parrot: one is predator and the other prey. In the parrot, security is the possibility of being able to flee. It is a secondary defense mode The parrot’s defense modes ( in the presence of danger ), its main survival strategy and the only one really effective in its natural parrot habitat.
To escape, the parrot must still have the possibility
The parrot must be able to react naturally in the face of real or imagined danger.
He is fierce and of a very suspicious nature, he is worried about everything that is unexplored to him or about all attitudes that can be compared to a gesture of predation. Anything new, foreign or unusual is at first glance a threat. The trigger can be a visual stimulus such as the sight of a predator (a foreigner or a new object in its environment ) which initiates the flight instinct in the bird, even if Coco has the flight feathers trimmed.
Flight always involves flight in parrots. Even if very large species such as the macaw or cockatoo make very little use of this mode of locomotion in our homes ( space often too small for such a large expanse of wings ), the mere fact that they can fly facing a threat serves to reinforce their sense of security in their environment. The size of flight feathers ( still far too common today) can prove to be a cruel, mutilating and infinitely damaging operation for these birds. Contrary to popular belief which suggests that we must prune flight feathers to avoid accidents in our pet parrots, most of the misfortunes that occur to them are largely due to this ( barbaric ) pruning practice. flight feathers.
- Broken immature feathers ( blood feathers )
- Cracked or broken beak
- Split or broken keel
- Concussion, etc.
It should be understood that even if its flight feathers are shortened, flight will remain the bird’s first instinctive reaction to danger. He will try to fly away and may be seriously injured by hitting a wall, a corner of furniture or falling to the ground. A parrot who cannot move at ease feels vulnerable and becomes anxious, fearful and risks developing learned helplessness and unwanted behaviors such as howling, biting and even self-harm.
If you do decide to trim your parrot’s flight feathers anyway, do so with the goal of slowing it down, not crippling it.
The pet prey
The domestic parrot remains a prey with the instincts and behaviors that define its condition and since we are talking about innate attitudes here, this condition is therefore immutable. On the other hand, the parrot is an intelligent animal which can learn to adapt its instincts; learn to recognize what is not a threat in its “human” environment and thus, to control its fears and the automatic reactions which are attached to it. It is again with the human who returns the task of socializing his parrot in this artificial environment in which he will have to evolve, to teach his bird to distinguish the real “boggers” from the false ones or the imaginary ones.
A lot of
- You must avoid actions that are akin to an act of predation.
- The presentation of a stranger must be done away from his cage, or better yet, set up a safe place ( ideally at a height ) where the bird will not feel threatened.
- Choose a safe place to put the parrot’s cage, preferably in a corner where it will only have to watch what is happening in front of it, its rear being protected – especially not in front of a large window ( natural predators come usually from the sky ).
- The safety of the bird depends on the knowledge of its territory. Take him to visit the apartments in your house one by one ( and often ).
- Never isolate your parrot from its social group ( your family ). For him, it is still his best guarantee of security.