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The Birds and the Bees for Adults (Parrots, That Is!)


The days are getting longer, and if you have a sexually mature parrot, there may be some major sexual stuff going on - and you might not even know it!

A lot of people believe sexual behavior in adult parrots means they now need to be put in a breeding situation - not true! While there are a FEW birds who truly are not happy as pets and desperately want a mate and babies, they are very much in the minority. For most birds, it's simply a few months of mother Nature's influence, which then passes, revealing your loving companion once again. While some birds do become aggressive at this time, the majority do not. In a true breeding situation, with a bonded pair and a nest box, you will of course, see aggressive, territorial behavior, but generally not so much in single birds in our homes. Some birdies exhibit "selective aggressiveness," depending on the situation and environment.

Basically, sexual behavior starts when the number of hours of daylight begin to lengthen. It's helpful to follow the natural light cycle at this time, getting them up with the sun, and going to bed when it sets. Lots of birds become super cuddly when hormonal, wanting to snuggle more and literally lay in your lap. Touching gets "touchy", since a lot of your usual petting may now be sexually stimulating. Avoid stroking under the wings, under the tail, over the tail (or tugging on it), hands down their full body, or pressure on the back. All of this can be too stimulating, causing frustration. It's like lots of foreplay, with no culmination to follow! While sexual urges are natural, and fairly common in a lot of adult birds, it is not something to encourage.

By the same token, don't discourage or reprimand - simply ignore it, and try to avoid instigating it! Often, we're not aware of our role in the whole process, and unlike "spring fever" in adolescent birds, mature sexuality is often much more subtle, so that we may not even be aware that our birds experiencing it.

In many birds, they're either a bit more affectionate or a bit more grouchy, but not much else is obvious. Some birds exhibit no changes at all. If you do intend to get a mate and embark on the adventure of breeding parrots, please don't start too early! Many people mistake "spring fever" in immature birds as a sign of readiness for breeding, but like all kids, they're simply playacting. Breeding too young puts tremendous stress on Mom - instead of putting energy into her own body's development, it all goes into laying eggs and raising babies. You also tend to get weaker, smaller babies with less vitality.

Another trigger during this phase is anything that looks inviting for nesting - boxes, drawers, cupboards, bags, etc. - cozy protected little nooks and crannies. Avoid having those things around, and definitely don't offer a nest box! Some people do, as a place for birdies to hide, sleep or hang out, but it will make things worse. With some kids, "Happy Huts" will do the same thing - you may want to remove it for awhile.

Be careful! Watch your bird for over stimulation signals - eye pinning, tail fanning, feather puffing, blushing, posturing. You may need to change your approach in handling at this time. Use "step up/down" commands consistently, and avoid having your bird higher than your head and shoulders. You may want to use a hand held perch for bringing your bird out of his cage or off his playstand. Biting can definitely be a problem now. Make use of a "neutral room" when needed, to regain or maintain your position as flock leader.

Other factors affecting sexual behavior include humidity and temperature, as well as lighting and hours of daylight. Normally, nature pushes birds to reproduce right around the time that plants are flourishing, producing lush foliage, seed, flowers, and fruit. This ensures adequate food being available to feed the new hungry mouths!

You may get lucky, and have a parrot who slides right through "breeding season" without batting an eye. Not everyone acts out when the hormones surge! Just be prepared, keep alert, and use good judgment if problems arise. I don't advise doing major behavioral work in the spring if your bird does react negatively, although this is usually when I get a ton of calls begging for help!! Sadly, it also seems to be the time when many birds are put up for sale, as the owners are either unaware or unwilling to deal with this very natural, normal event.

If you do run into problems now, though, it's still advisable to work on behavior after things return to normal. Improving your techniques and building a stronger bond, based on trust and guidance, may help you and your parrot deal better with potential problems next year! Hang in there meanwhile, and don't entice your birdie with provocative behavior. Instead, buy some new toys, feed him more fresh veggies and healthy stuff, and enjoy the promise of new life that accompanies the beautiful season of spring!

-----------------------------------------
Your Parrot Place
Marilu Anderson, Bird Nutrition and Behavior Consultant, (503) 771-BIRD. Marilu is a regular contributor to the Your Parrot Place Newsletter. YourParrotPlace.com - Only the Best for Your Parrot!

Free eBook!
140 pages! A compilation of parrot articles from 2000-2004.
http://www.yourparrotplace.com/ebooks/ypp2004ebook.htm


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Tue. August / 11 / 2020

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Greenlin Pet Resorts offers a perfect getaway for pets  ABC27

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Are you worried about leaving your pet home alone post-pandemic?  pennlive.com

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Furever Friends: Adoptable pets available  WJAC Johnstown

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International study indicates shift to raw/home-made food diet for pets over past decade  Jill Lopez

Many Americans have adopted pets amid Covid-19. But beware the costs - CNBC
Many Americans have adopted pets amid Covid-19. But beware the costs  CNBC

Pets of the Week: Aug.11 | The Herald-News - The Herald-News
Pets of the Week: Aug.11 | The Herald-News  The Herald-News

Austin company paying employees to adopt pets, encourages 'pawternity leave' - FOX 7 Austin
Austin company paying employees to adopt pets, encourages 'pawternity leave'  FOX 7 Austin

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All About Pets: Remember — make mealtime special for your pets  Prescott Daily Courier

#ClearTheShelters Pet Gallery: Adopt one of these lovable pets at a local shelter near you - WAVY.com
#ClearTheShelters Pet Gallery: Adopt one of these lovable pets at a local shelter near you  WAVY.com

Lubbock Animal Shelter sees increase in lost pets, urges owners to microchip - KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com
Lubbock Animal Shelter sees increase in lost pets, urges owners to microchip  KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com

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Pets enjoy a seat at the quarantined family dinner table  Supermarket News

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Why the French are 'European champions' at abandoning pets  BBC News

Pets of the Week for Aug. 11, 2020 - WKRN News 2
Pets of the Week for Aug. 11, 2020  WKRN News 2

How to Help Your Pet With Post-Quarantine Separation Anxiety - The New York Times
How to Help Your Pet With Post-Quarantine Separation Anxiety  The New York Times

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Looking after pets as Texas heat indexes remain high  Katy Times

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Pets of the Week  Statesville Record & Landmark

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Robotic pets used to remedy loneliness in nursing homes across Alabama  WKRN News 2

Wilson woman captures pets through her art - WIVB.com - News 4
Wilson woman captures pets through her art  WIVB.com - News 4

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New Boundary Plus Smart™ System Provides Smarter Security for Pets  PRNewswire

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Harriette Cole: Dog mom defends ‘over-the-top’ pet funeral  The Mercury News

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Trupanion Reveals 20 Unique Pet Names That Are Truly Awesome  GlobeNewswire

East Bay pets of the week for Aug. 14 - East Bay Times
East Bay pets of the week for Aug. 14  East Bay Times

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N.J. pets in need: Aug. 10, 2020  nj.com

New Boundary Plus Smart(TM) System Provides Smarter Security for Pets - Tullahoma News and Guardian
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Animal Rescue Groups Try To Curb Pet Overpopulation As Some Shelters Are Overcrowded | 90.1 FM WABE  WABE 90.1 FM

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How to make grooming part of your weekly pet care routine  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

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PET TALK: Outdoor time increases pet's exposure to insect stings  New Castle News

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Wayside Waifs, Unleashed Pet Rescue present sweet animals waiting to be adopted  Kansas City Star

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Pets of the Week: Aug. 10  White County News

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Tips on keeping pets safe during summer months  Fox 59

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Did your pet seem to ‘know’ the earthquake was coming?  WBTV

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Letters: Coyote issues? Obey leash law, don't leave pet food out  The Advocate

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Key to harmonious pet relationships: Pheromones  Science Daily

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Arlington: Pets Of The Week - Meet Sprinkles And Apricot  Patch.com

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KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Richard  KCBD

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Pet-Friendly Design Tips – Pasadena Weekendr  Pasadena Now

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Toxic Algae That Can Harm Humans, Pets Found In 2 County Lakes  Rockville, MD Patch

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SMVHS Pet of the Week: Blanca  Lompoc Record

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Be careful not to leave children or pets inside vehicles in summer heat  Parker Pioneer

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VIVA Pet of the Week: Juice and Julius  Lompoc Record

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PET OF THE WEEK, AUG. 10, 2020: MEET MARIGOLD  wvua23.com

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Mohawk Hudson Humane Society offers new helpline for pet owners  NEWS10 ABC

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In Central Illinois, some pig owners fight local governments to keep their pets  Herald & Review

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Fargo man accused of starting fire that killed pets sentenced to prison  INFORUM

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Pet cats in Texas first in state to test positive for coronavirus  FOX 13 Tampa Bay

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Coronavirus in pets, French research strategy and a duplication detector  Nature.com

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Boulevard Veterinary Clinic Pet of the Week: Rico  TAPinto.net

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Good Day Pets – Meet Oliver!  KCAU 9

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Adopt-A-Pet Tuesday: Peach, Doug & Laker - 9 & 10 News  9&10 News

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Gateway Pet Guardians to open new East St. Louis clinic  KSDK.com

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Our Pets Heads Are Falling Off  College and Magnolia

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Alligators make terrible pets: 'You're basically dealing with a dinosaur.'  National Geographic

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Pumpkin Pet Insurance is Now Available in All 50 US States  PRNewswire

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Vicksburg Living wants to feature your family's pets in upcoming edition - The Vicksburg Post  Vicksburg Post

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Austin startup giving employees $300 per year to adopt a pet  KXAN.com

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Getting Answers: What if my pet shows signs of COVID-19?  KVOA Tucson News

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Pets of the Week: Rico and Tigger  Daily Bulldog

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Low-Cost Pet Vaccines for Winnebago County Residents  q985online.com

Harris County Pets announces free adoption days in August - KTRK-TV
Harris County Pets announces free adoption days in August  KTRK-TV

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App Uses Pet Selfies to ID Shelter Pets  Bay News 9

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Historic Main St, newly remodled, No smoker/No pets. 1BR apt  Bradford Era

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This $150 Pet Feeder Saved My Sanity When I Got a Second Cat  Gizmodo

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KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Titan  KCBD

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Pet Advice: Adverse reactions to vaccinations  KSNT News

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Livestock and Pet Owners Should Be Aware of Tick Season  Wgnsradio

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Army vet finds peace fostering pets, finding them homes  ArmyTimes.com

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United States Pet Market Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis  PRNewswire

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COVID-19 can affect pets; cases confirmed | AgriLife Today  AgriLife Today

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Homeward Bound: Pets' Incredible COVID-19 Journeys To Reunite With Owners  NPR

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Greyhound Pets of America Greater Northwest finds homes for Florida dogs  The Spokesman-Review

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Pasco to end retail pet store sales of dogs and cats  Tampa Bay Times

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PHOTOS: Local family-owned pet store survives during COVID-19 pandemic  WWLP.com

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Clear the Shelters Presents Virtual ‘Bark Week' Pet Adoption Event  NBC 10 Philadelphia

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Woman speaking out after her pet was attacked by two unleashed dogs in Clinton  WCVB Boston

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Majority of Pet Owners Give Their Pets Some Homemade Food  The Bark

Carhops Distributed Free Pet Food at This Giveback Pantry - NBC Southern California
Carhops Distributed Free Pet Food at This Giveback Pantry  NBC Southern California

The pandemic's unlikely pet: Chickens - CNN
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La Crescent Animal Rescue Pet of the Week: Lady  FOX 25/48 - WiProud.com

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Pandemic from a pet’s perspective: Sun Messages  cleveland.com

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Pets  Anti Aging News

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Wasilla man attempted to escape arrest through small pet door, troopers say  Anchorage Daily News

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Pet Vet: Cancer in Pets  WNDU

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These 14 adoptable pets are sure to make you smile: July 18-19  SILive.com

Pets Are Keeping People Sane During the Pandemic - LA Magazine
Pets Are Keeping People Sane During the Pandemic  LA Magazine

The Villages issues reminder about leashing and picking up after pets - Villages-News
The Villages issues reminder about leashing and picking up after pets  Villages-News

Lemonade launches pet insurance - TechCrunch
Lemonade launches pet insurance  TechCrunch

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New Houston pet adoption event helps you find a furry friend for free  CultureMap Houston

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