Security is the
condition of feeling protected against danger. A lack of security
causes stress which can negatively impact your birds health.
Stress often leads to undesirable behaviors such as feather
picking, screaming and biting.
It is important to remember that even though we "train"
our hand raised parrots to adapt to the human environment, their behavior is
still largely influenced by their instinctive tendencies and as such will react
to stimuli in their environment based on these instincts.
prey animals which means that predators in the wild, such as hawks
or snakes, are looking to make them into a meal. Have you ever
noticed how frightened parrots get with sudden load noises or movements
from above or behind ? Ever make the mistake of letting a helium balloon
float by your bird's cage ? Even the snakelike vacuum cleaner cord/hose
can evoke a negative reaction.
Our parrots are instinctually hardwired to
be on alert for danger 24/7. It is up to us to realize how
instinctively vulnerable our birds feel and to help them feel as safe as
possible. We can do this by:
that their physical
arrangement of their environment supports this goal,
observation of our bird's body language so we can note what situations
create a fearful reaction,
events that threaten your bird, and
reassuring our bird when he looks fearful.
A parrot derives
it's greatest sense of security from living within a flock. In the wild,
activities such as feeding, flying and grooming are performed
Since parrots are
flock animals, they are also emotionally geared to live as part of a
Parrots left in
isolation without the benefit of
direct contact and interaction do not develop a sense of security.
need to interact with their household flock to become comfortable and
develop a sense of belonging.
The decision on where to place your bird's
cage is a critical one. Placing at least one side of the cage
against a wall may help your bird feel sheltered from predators.
Placement opposite the entry to the room allows your bird to observe who
is approaching and what is going on. Also, avoid placement
in a room with a ceiling fan or directly in front of a window so they
can relax and stop worrying about flying predators.
Utilizing cage covers,
tents or a
surrounded by lots of
toys can also provide a parrot with opportunities
to hideaway and feel more secure when they want to sleep.
Parrots are less
stressed when there are household routines that provide them with the
opportunity for regular sleep hours, regular feeding and watering times
and special one on one time. Since they have no
means to do it for themselves in captivity, parrots are entirely
dependent on us to provide them with clean water and a nutritious diet.
They need to know they can rely on this.
Interactive rituals also reinforce your
parrot's sense of security. For example, greetings in the morning,
goodbyes when leaving for the office, game playing when coming
home, silly songs during activities such as feeding or bathing all
help to reassure your bird.
Change is Good
The earlier in life that you start to
expose your bird to changes of a non-threatening nature, the less likely
they will be threatened by things commonly encountered in life such as
household moves, family additions, time away from their flock
(vacations, business trips). Variations in diet and toys,
travel, and exposure to new people and places all help to make
your bird more flexible and adaptable to change.