Lunging is a motion in which a pet parrot will make a quick thrust or jab at someone with the point of its beak.


A motion in which a pet parrot will make a quick thrust or jab at someone with the point of its beak.


This is often a territorial warning, as when a pet Amazon parrot might lunge at people who walk closer to the bird’s cage than the bird likes. Many macaws also seem to use lunging as a test of strangers, to see if they are afraid. Those who flinch away are afraid, those who don’t, aren’t.


This depends on the circumstances. If a pet parrot is lunging at people who are walking by, then the bird’s cage or play area needs to be moved farther away from regular foot-traffic patterns. Ideally, a bird’s cage and/or play area is close enough to the central activity area of the home to allow active observation and participation. However, it should be on the edge of that activity area, not smack in the center of it. In this way, the bird can participate as much as it wishes, but it can also withdraw as needed. Parrot living areas located in the center of high foot-traffic areas often cause serious stress to the birds involved. If this is a macaw lunging at a stranger, and the new person wishes to have a positive relationship with the bird, he/she needs to show no fear. Macaws rarely appear to respect people who are afraid of them. Those who are experienced with macaws generally choose to stand just outside the bird’s reach. In this way, when the bird lunges, the person doesn’t blink an eye, as he/she realizes the bird cannot reach them.

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.

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