Terrible Twos

This term is related to the development period where a pet bird might act disagreeably toward its owner, as it is maturing.


This is a descriptive term derived from human pediatrics. It identifies the period at which a parrot – much like a 2-year-old child – often becomes less agreeable to the human’s wishes. This is a developmental period and is not associated with the actual chronological age of 2 years when applied to parrots. Different species can be widely divergent regarding the speed at which they develop, with the smaller species maturing at a much faster rate. For example, a 2-year-old cockatiel has been sexually mature for approximately one year. A 2-year-old hyacinth macaw is still very much a baby, and won’t reach sexual maturity for a few more years. So a cockatiel might encounter “the terrible twos” at six months of age, whereas a hyacinth might encounter it at the age of 2 years.


Normal stage of growing up!


Keep your temper, keep your sense of humor, don’t take it personally, remain patient and consistent, and keep your young parrot busy!

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.

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Behavior and Training · Birds