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Flighty and Feisty: Coping with Bird Biting Behavior

By Charlie Plaza,

If you're dealing with bird biting or flighty behavior, CP Birds offers practical advice on managing this issue effectively. Read below.

My bird is biting and it's flighty. What do I do? This is a common question I get from new bird owners. Similar to human toddlers, baby birds often test their limits, and it's essential to correct and train them to discourage undesirable behavior and encourage positive behavior.

Baby Birds that Do Not Bite Parrots
Scarlet Macaw

If your bird is biting and appears flighty, there are several steps you can take.

Observe their body language for signs of aggression or fear and respond accordingly. Use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior. Avoid forcing your bird into actions they resist and consider their health and environment to ensure they are not acting out due to discomfort or illness. For flight training, start with basic commands and gradually increase the complexity as your bird learns. Patience and consistency are key in training your bird.

Here are some effective strategies to address your bird's flightiness and biting behavior. Establish a positive bond by spending quality time with your bird, respecting their space, and observing their body language for signs of discomfort. Avoid forcing interaction, and instead use positive reinforcement to encourage desired behaviors. Ensure your bird's environment is enriching and that they are in good health to prevent stress-related biting.

Tip #1 - Establish positive relationship

Firstly, foster a positive relationship with your bird by spending time together, providing mental stimulation, and respecting their space. It's important to acknowledge that birds are expected to adjust to our environment, not the other way around. As such, it's vital to understand that everything they encounter is new to them. Even if their cage is shiny and appealing, it represents an unfamiliar environment. The food they eat, the people who become their family, the sounds, and the smells are all novel. With so many changes, it's natural for them to feel anxious and cautious.

Begin gradually. Speak to the bird softly, refrain from making abrupt movements, and offer treats from outside the cage during the initial days.

Tip #2 - Observe their body language

Observe their body language for signs of aggression or fear and respond accordingly. Use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior. Give the bird treats when new the bird gets closer. Reward the bird with positive verbal sounds and soft-spoken words. Avoid forcing your bird into actions they resist and consider the bond and the trust you are trying to build.

Birds are intriguing creatures; they possess their own forms of communication, yet they can also learn ours. – Charlie Plaza

Tip #3 - Establish a routine

Establishing a routine for training and interaction, along with abundant positive reinforcement, is crucial for bird training. Consistency is the cornerstone of success in this endeavor. Inconsistent treatment almost certainly guarantees failure. Success requires time, patience, dedication, and perseverance, even in the face of apparent setbacks. Commitment is essential. The rewards of having a well-behaved bird are immense, and the sacrifices made will seem worthwhile when others inquire about your method.

Tip #4 - Flightiness is a sign of distrust

Flightiness in birds is often a manifestation of distrust. A bird may attempt to flee from you or its current environment. If escape is not possible, it may resort to biting as a means to gain freedom. The key to addressing flightiness is to socialize the bird and build trust. Increased exposure to various situations can enhance their sense of security, diminishing the impulse to flee. Consistent practice is essential until the desired outcome is attained. While some birds, particularly the younger ones, will inevitably undergo this phase,

others may scarcely exhibit such behavior.

It is a natural aspect of avian companionship.

Tip #5 - A baby bird biting may be temporary

A hand-fed, socialized baby bird may nip and bite during its early adolescent stage. Biting is a natural behavior we aim to discourage, similar to how young children learn to claim "mine" and not share their toys. To address biting in birds, it's crucial to establish a bond and communicate that biting is undesirable. This can be accomplished in several ways:

1. Maintain eye contact when handling a bird, signaling your control.

2. Never place a bird on your shoulder, as it suggests to the bird that it has control, potentially leading to dominant and aggressive behavior.

3. Understand that a bird uses its beak to step up; a beak on your finger doesn't necessarily mean a bite is imminent.

4. Approach the bird from the abdominal area, avoiding reaching from above the head or from behind.

5. Remain calm. Overreacting to a bite can encourage the bird to seek such attention.

6. If a bite is too forceful, firmly say "no," place the bird on the floor safely, and walk away. This teaches the bird that biting results in isolation and loss of interaction.

7. Never use the birdcage as punishment. It should be a comfortable, happy, and safe space for the bird.

Friendly parakeet for sale
Hand Fed Baby Parakeet

Conclusion: A bit of training will go a long way

In conclusion, a little training can make a significant difference. It revolves around building a relationship, establishing trust, and setting boundaries for acceptable behavior. Developing this bond and understanding with your bird will take time. Keep in mind that birds have beaks and biting is a natural behavior. You may get bitten, but the important thing is to observe the behavior, respond correctly, and avoid encouraging it. Should you require further assistance, please leave a comment below and we will provide our insights.

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If you are interested in getting a hand fed, well socialized and friendly baby bird, please visit to find your new best friend.

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