Defined in the behavior world by the less anthropomorphic term of “resource guarding,” jealousy can be categorized as a type of territoriality. Like other animals (including people), pet birds can be territorial about places; objects, such as toys; and people of whom they are especially fond.
Resource guarding falls into the category of a survival instinct, since guarding one’s territory, nest and mate are necessary to successful reproduction. In the human habitat, such behaviors often manifest in pet parrots becoming aggressive when their favorite person pays attention to anyone but them. This is not healthy and should be avoided, and under no circumstances (no matter how flattering) should it be encouraged.
Aggression should never be tolerated. If a pet parrot jealously guards particular people, those people need to make it very clear to the bird that they disapprove of this behavior. Favorite people can accomplish this by turning their backs and moving away from the bird when its body language becomes aggressive. Consistent responses such as this can send a clear message that such hostility is unacceptable.
Disclaimer: BirdChannel.com’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.