Ground Feeding

Ground feeding is a wild behavior that some pet parrots might want to exhibit in the home.


Some avian species naturally feed at least partially on the ground. In our back yards, birds such as mourning doves and North American cardinals are considered ground feeders. In the parrot world, African grey parrots and many cockatoo species are ground feeders as well, at least some of the time.


Allowing access to the floor is not generally recommended with any pet parrot species, as the chance for accidents is exponentially increased. Stepping on a bird or closing it in a door are common when pet birds are allowed on the floor. Many pet cockatoos can also become quite aggressive on the floor, putting their owners’ tender toes at risk. With ground feeding species like African grey parrots and cockatoos, owners can allow horizontal play on flat surfaces like tabletops. Some birds also enjoy having two playgyms that are connected by boards.

Disclaimer:’s Bird Behavior Index is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

Article Categories:
Behavior and Training · Birds