African Grey Parrots and Stress
The grey parrots may have many behavioral problems and most of them are caused by the human’s lack of understanding that it is first of all a prey bird and has little to do with a life in captivity. Many people fail to understand that and won’t allow that bird to manifest like a bird.
The grey parrots are exotic birds and come from strange lands. As strange as we find those lands, the same is for the parrots. They are not accustomed with the habits, the language or any other form of communication. A person should accept the parrot because the parrot also tries to understand the human behavior and tries to understand and live in peace with the human being.
Grey parrots caught in the wild are not aggressive when they are in a pair or breeding. They feel fear, which is justified, when they feel the presence of a human being, but they don’t have violent reactions. Usually, they share food, they play and they interact in a non – violent manner. Strangely, the grey parrots who act more violently while breeding or in pairs are the domestic ones.
The domestic grey parrots have a few reasons to become aggressive:
- They loose the respect and consideration for themselves when they are in captivity.
- They loose the desire to live safe.
- They are affected by human aggression because avian species knows that pain or aggression mean death. Those animals are not used to touches, pokes, pushes, chasing, shaking or striking. Those actions are frightening and dangerous for the parrots.
- Their self confidence, their trust and their comfort are shattered if they are intimidated. Standing over them, or staring at them may have a strong impact on the birds.
- A grey parrot will never trust a person who tries to dominate him or control small aspects of the nature.
- Just as any human being, a grey parrot won’t trust a person who uses sensory deprivation as a mean of punishment for misbehavior.
A comparison between a wild animal and a domestic one would fail from the beginning in every way especially when it comes to birds, which are usually predators. Genetic inheritance eradication would require thousands of generations of selective breeding to obtain a domestic bird like a grey parrot and it is not always possible.
A bird that becomes stressed will start self mutilating or biting or will develop phobias. There are many factors that could induce stress to a bird. When it comes to grey parrots, a person should know what actions stress the bird and try to avoid them in order to keep the trust of the pet.
The grey parrots are intelligent and sensitive birds and they have the tendency to find in the human caregiver the qualities of a teacher, parental figure and mentor. They get attached to their caregiver and expect to be treated with respect and compassion. This is a method that works as well for birds as it does for humans or dogs.