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Aggressive Bird

An aggressive bird can be demonstrating lack of socialization or frustration, or showing that he has been put in a situation in which he feels vulnerable. Understanding how to communicate with your bird and reduce his frustration can help to minimize situations in which he is aggressive. An aggressive bird may bite, scream or squawk, or becoming overly bonded to one individual and refuse to interact with other humans.

Early training and socialization, usually between fledgling and around 18 months of age, is one important key in avoiding or minimizing having an aggressive bird. At this age, you can help the bird get used to her surroundings, people, and other animals before aggressive behaviors become habitual. Once aggressive behaviors become the norm for a bird, it is much harder to retrain her to be less aggressive.

Some birds act aggressively when food is present, using instinctive behaviors to protect their food source. Territorial aggression is also common among many species of birds. Regardless of species, most birds tend to be very territorially aggressive when breeding, to protect their nests. For parrots that show a great deal of territorial aggression, one suggestion is minimizing the time the bird spends in his cage. By expanding the areas in which he is allowed, the bird may display less aggression surrounding the immediate territory of his cage. Sexual maturation can sometimes lead to a more aggressive bird.

Birds in the wild need to act aggressively in order to protect themselves when they feel threatened. Pet birds are no different, and will lash out when they feel vulnerable or in danger. A bird may be especially intimidated in new surroundings, and should be dealt with slowly and cautiously. A human reaching into the cage to take a bird out can cause a great deal of fear for him, leading to aggressive behavior. Take time to allow the bird to become accustomed to you and to his surroundings. Deal with him slowly, patiently, and consistently. Birds who are in familiar settings and know what behaviors, actions and reactions to anticipate are less likely to behave aggressively.

An aggressive bird should always be dealt with quickly and firmly, to prevent the behavior from becoming a habit. As with most other areas of animal training, consistent behavior modification through positive reinforcement should be employed. Completely ignore your bird while she is acting aggressively, and lavish her with praise when she behaves well. She will soon associate the positive reinforcement with not performing the aggressive behavior, and your aggressive bird should begin to behave better.

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