Parrots are ( for most species ) very physical and sensual animals. They need the intimacy that touch provides in order to meet their emotional needs and their overwhelming need for security. Touch is a very particular and essential tool that allows the creation of a strong and deep emotional bond with your bird as well as a gentle relationship of trust.
The importance of touch
In nature, in most species of parrots, physical contact is highly developed between members of the same social group. Parrots touch each other to feed each other, groom each other, stroke, play, etc. Everything seems to be a pretext for initiating physical contact. It is only in the scheme of things that the “domestic” parrot seeks this kind of contact with its human companion and within its social group.
Touch should be an integral part of his parrot’s socialization. To develop a great relationship, it would be best if you could touch and handle him with confidence. A normally constituted parrot has an equally pressing need to feel secure as it does for a companion. He should ( ideally ) have no apprehension towards his human. You have to prove to him or her that you are the one who wants to represent the ideal companion.
The “parrot touch”
My philosophy of life with parrots is one of exchange and reciprocity. It’s give / take: the human must have enough complacency to be able to transform from time to time into the perfect parrot companion and behave as if he were a parrot himself.
The perfect human companion is one who is very open-minded, has no inhibitions and who lives very comfortably with the innate behaviors of his bird.
The “parrot touch” is one of the attitudes that our winged companion appreciates the most from his human. This way of incorporating the bird’s innate attitudes into your own behaviors and gestures can only bring you closer to your bird while sending the message that you understand and respect their needs.
One of the parrot’s most prized touches is grooming ( debarking ) the ripe feathers of its head, cheeks, and neck. Indeed, these places are hardly accessible to him and he will need the intervention of a partner to perfect his toilet. This seemingly harmless gesture also serves to strengthen emotional ties. There is the groomer (the one who unsheaths the feathers ) and the groomer (the one who confidently accepts to be pampered ).
It is a gesture of great sensuality and a moment of privileged intimacy. You always start this kind of grooming session by advising the bird of your intentions with a phrase like: “Come scratch your head”.
I hear someone laughing… This is what I tell my birds, so please ..
This way of doing things reduces the bird’s anxiety and it can therefore begin to anticipate the happiness it will have in letting itself be pampered under your nimble fingers. Then, delicately, feather by feather, you scrape the keratin sheath which covers the small quill (small peak on the top of the head) between the nails of your thumb and index finger. The latter will crumble into small flakes and the new feather will appear under the action of your fingers. A moment of ecstasy for your bird. Then, you gently tilt your head in his direction, indicating to him that you wish to become the “groomed” and offer him your hair to be groomed ( without shell or hairspray ). He will love doing this intimacy with you and will feel important to you.
Parrots like to know that they are needed.
By performing this simple bird gesture, you will strengthen the bonds that unite you.
Another touch very popular with our sensual winged companion: playing with his beak and his tongue with our fingers. Parrots use their beaks and tongues a lot for socializing. These are very sensitive and have a lot of nerve endings, so they are powerful erogenous zones in our birds.
Of course, during hormonal periods, this kind of caress can take on its full meaning … It’s up to you!
Playing and stroking a parrot’s beak sends it two messages:
1. I like having periods of intimacy with you ( yes! Yes! Don’t blush! ).
2. Your beak is not a weapon for me, I am not afraid of it.
A bird which takes pleasure in “playing” at terrorizing its surroundings with its beak may be very surprised by your attitude and completely stop biting, having found a more pleasant use of its beak.
There is still a “parrot touch” which is defined as follows: I give you the most beautiful gift there is… very hot and predigested food… A real treat!
Parrots demonstrate their attachment by feeding each other. In a back and forth movement, they regurgitate food from their crop and then offer it to the object of their affection. In a domestic context, it’s a safe bet that you will be this object and that you will have to learn to accept this kind of gift, to say the least unusual.
Never cringe or look disgusted at this behavior. Your bird is convinced to make you very happy and will not be able to understand your repulsive reaction. Your best bet is to accept this warm, sticky and fragrant present in your hand on a tissue. If your sweetheart is a cute little lovebird, this is quite trivial, but in the case of a large macaw, I must admit that sometimes you have to have a strong heart, depending on what he has swallowed before. … Ouirch!
You yourself can use this “bird gesture” to strengthen your emotional bonds with your companion. Offer her hot food ( not too much, 106 ° F or 40 ° C ) with a syringe or a spoon ( oatmeal, cream of wheat, baby cereal, etc. ) to make her feel like you are regurgitating her. good, hot, predigested food like a parrot companion or parent would.
It would be wrong to believe here that this gesture could make your bird regress. I have an Amazon over 50 in my house who literally loves that kind of attention and, if it’s a 3- or 4-month-old kid, how far do you want them to go down? Directly in the bud ?! A baby parrot cannot regress any further than a… baby parrot. So, we don’t care and we continue to offer …
You now have one more string on your bow to become an ideal bird companion. Your parrot will appreciate that you adopt for him attitudes that he knows and reassure him. Let’s say it’s a little more “check mark” in your relationship.