Addressing the One-Person Bird
Most bird owners want a close bond with their bird. Although this is usually viewed as positive, it can actually become a serious problem if your bird becomes pair bonded to you. Pair bonding is a bond between two animals for reproduction. However, a pair bond can also form between a person and a companion bird; this can also be called a one-person bond. Although this doesn't sound negative, a pair bond between a pet bird and a person usually leads to frustration and jealously for the bird, resulting in aggression, feather picking, and excessive screaming.
Pair bonding typically occurs when a bird is given a lot of physical attention. Things can start going wrong when the bird senses potential threats or competition. This can easily lead to jealousy and aggression, and many times this aggression is targeted towards family members.
How to Break a One-Person BondIf you sense that your bird has become pair bonded to you, the first step is to decrease your amount of petting and cuddling. Make sure that you don't stimulate your bird's reproductive system in any way.
A great way to break a one-person bond with your bird is to successfully bond him to the other members of your family. Let each family member spend time with him, play with him, forage with him, and care for him. Split up duties such as training, bathing, and feeding so that everyone has regular contact with him. Hopefully your bird will start viewing the family as all part of a flock, rather than competition.
Other tips are to remove any nesting areas and places to hide from his cage. Give your bird plenty of time to sleep and forage, reinforce basic training, and try adjusting his diet so that he receives less calories.
To try and prevent pair bonding, ensure that each family member takes time to interact and socialize with your bird. Although this may take some time, it will be worth the effort if each of your family members can successfully care for and spend time with your bird.
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