Cockatoo bite

A parrot’s beak is an amazing instrument meant to be used to find the tasty and nutritious nuts inside extremely tough shells. It is a tool for climbing, preening, and protection. The force that a beak can exhibit to crack open these nuts is impressive.

Captivity isn’t natural, and a parrot that bites its owner is not a “bad bird”, it is merely using the only tool it has to react to this unnatural environment.

Unfortunately, when parrot beak and human flesh meet, the beak always wins.

For companion parrot guardians:

Biting and ABA – An article by Bev Penny, Living With Parrots, that discusses how using ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) can help you learn to work with a companion parrot that bites. Bev writes,

“… biting is a learned behaviour. The people who accept this behaviour from their birds is actually doing their bird a disservice. Isn’t it much better to learn how to prevent your bird from biting in the first place?…ABA teaches you how to become the best avian caregiver you can be. Then you can teach other caregivers, and they can teach other caregivers and we can help parrots keep their homes.”

Download the poster here

Creative Commons  License


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5 Responses to Cockatoo bite

  1. Suzanne January 18, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    I have a lip scar left by one of those bites! And a few others…..

  2. Jen. B January 23, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    I loooove cockatoos, but could never own one for this reason and others. I’d rather use 1200$ to go to see them in the wild vs. caging them.

  3. The finch lady January 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    I used to feel the same way about these beautiful birds untill I expressed my feeling of these parrots being caged to my vet, He said something back that opened my eyes alittle more, he said, ” at the rate that man is destroying their natural environment it wouldn’t be very long till All parrots would become exstinct and if it wasn’t for the great rescues that totaly know how to treat and raise them we would never see any of them again.” So I feel there ia a fine line here, just saying.

  4. John April 26, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    Sometimes I get really irked at extreme greenies. I consider myself to be an animal lover, but I also own a number of parrots (5 lorikeets). All 5 are rescued animals that were, for one reason or another, not able to be released. They have a day time flight avairy, a large sun room, and night cages. My main bird sleeps with me in bed (I’m aware of the risks, but it’s been ongoing for 4 years now). They put themselves into their cages as they choose for either food or entertainment.

    My point in all this is simple, caged birds aren’t necessarily abuses or troubled.


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