Dealing with mood swings, sudden outbursts, anger issues and increased vocalization in your household? And your teenager can’t take any of the blame? It sounds like you have a hormonal pet bird!
Hormones might seem to turn your pet bird for the worse, but it’s perfectly natural. Rest assured, like teenagers, this to shall pass. Hormonal changes depend on your pet bird’s species and the time when that particular species breeding season starts. For lovebirds, it is usually late winter/early spring where they have the urge to nest and they become increasingly territorial of their cage and other surroundings. Know your species in order to predict when your pet bird’s hormones swing into gear.
Pet Bird Hormone Signs To Look For
So how do you know when your birds are hormonal? There are certain signs to look for.
According to Karl Lieberman, BIRD TALK’s Finch and Canary columnist “Hormonal signs can be things like birds acting overly sexual in response to petting (on the back or wings). If your bird is regurgitating food frequently, panting, crouching down with wings dropped, those are all signs. A bird with a favorite person may be extra possessive of their chosen one while being extra aggressive toward others. They may also show an increased interest in cuttlebone or other calcium sources (especially female birds), as well as protein rich foods like egg or meat.”
Other pet bird hormone signs to look out for include:
- Increased shredding of paper or toys
- Increased chewing
- Nest-building or nesting
- Hiding in dark areas or holes and/or burrowing
- Increased vocalization
- Being territorial
- Egg Laying
What To Do About It
To prevent certain hormonal behaviors, you can decrease the amount of light your pet bird gets everyday and deter your bird from actively seeking a nest or building one. If you have a pet bird that becomes increasingly aggressive, try to refocus its energy by providing more toys that it can destroy. Talk to a breeder or avian consultant for more tips on how to work with your pet bird during breeding season. But the most important thing to remember is that your bird is going through a change in its life, and with a little adjustment to your routine, you can both weather this interesting time of year.