Final - Bird Problem Behaviour Flashcards Preview

ANSC 378 - Companion Animal Behaviour > Final - Bird Problem Behaviour > Flashcards

Flashcards in Final - Bird Problem Behaviour Deck (26)
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1
Q

What do bird problems mostly stem from? Give an example for parrots.

A

Bird problems mostly stem from their wild nature

For example, parrots:
- Captive parrots are still wild (not domesticated)!!!
- Key “parrot traits” that are so intriguing are the same ones that make them difficult as companion animals
- Most ppl unaware of the work that’s needed:
1. physically and psychologically adapted to live in the wild
2. they can’t realistically provide an enviro compatible with a parrot’s natural lifestyle
3. not an “easy pet”

2
Q

Trait: Intelligent

A

Problem: Boredom

3
Q

Trait: eat a variety of foods

A

Problem: health issues

4
Q

Traits: destructive e.g. for nest building

A

Problem: destructive towards other objects

5
Q

Trait: sharp nails

A

Problem: scratches/damage

6
Q

Trait: active- they fly!

A

Problem: excess energy taken out in other forms

7
Q

Trait: form strong bonds

A

Problem: defensive behaviours

8
Q

Trait: communicative- visual and auditory

A

Problem: flapping/screaming

9
Q

Aggression and territoriality in parrots

A
  1. Parrots choose whom they wish to form strong bonds with
  2. Parrots are mischievous and territorial
    - sometimes view others as intruders and can display jealously
    - when they mature sexually, often resort to aggression to keep intruders away from mate, “chosen human”. or territory
  3. As prey animals, birds can be naturally suspicious and defensive around strangers or in unfamiliar situations
10
Q

Causes of aggression in parrots

A

Aggression is usually due to fear
- bird will give you signs!

11
Q

Prevention of aggression in parrots

A
  1. Expose birds to a variety of scenarios when young
  2. Give them time/space to adjust to new things
  3. Let them venture outside the cage so less territorial of that area
  4. Don’t force interaction, if need be talk softly to bird from outside cage
12
Q

Screaming and social demands in parrots

A
  • In the wild, loud calls help maintain constant contact with flock mates
  • Parrots form strong bonds which can manifest as separation anxiety
  • Anxiety —> screaming or constant tooting
13
Q

Prevention of screaming and social demands in parrots

A
  1. Hours of daily social interaction with their human companions as well as with other birds
  2. Talking softly and calming, don’t get bird “worked up”
  3. Do not rush over when screaming starts! This reinforces the behaviour.
14
Q

Flight

A

Flight and exercise are bird behavioural needs

15
Q

Why is wing clipping controversial?

A

Flight and exercise are bird behavioural needs

Wing clipping is controversial
- no bird meant to be kept from flying
- proper wing clipping still allows “gliding”
- proper wing clipping not painful but can be stressful
- birds can and still will fly with clipped wings
- BUT birds can be trained to fly only in particular areas and return to cage
- training and supervised flight takes TIME

16
Q

Flight management

A
  1. Teach “up” command early on
  2. Form bond with bird so doesn’t fly away when time to come home
  3. Make going home to cage a positive/rewarding experience
  4. NEVER chase a bird!
  5. Avoid toweling birds to get them back, it only forms a negative association
  6. Restrict flight to certain areas of the house
  7. Places to land and perch are just as important as open flight spaces
  8. Practice other forms of exercise
17
Q

What is a parrot’s beak equivalent to?

A

A human’s hands
- Use their beak for a variety of activities
- in the wild, beaks of macaws and cockatoos are powerful enough to chew through branches and excavate nests in tree trunks

18
Q

What can destructive chewing in parrots be caused by?

A
  1. Boredom
  2. Lack of appropriate things to chew
  3. Being unsupervised (learning difference btw appropriate chew/not)
19
Q

How can destructive chewing in parrots be prevented?

A
  1. Provide wood or things to tear up in cage
  2. Be creative! Play on bird’s natural behaviour to forage or peck
  3. Supervised time outside of cage
20
Q

Feather plucking

A
  • Preening and some feather plucking normal
  • Problem is when it becomes psychological/occurs too often
  • FIRST check with the vet it’s not medical- feather loss can be caused by vitamin deficiencies, viruses, tumours or parasites
21
Q

How can feather plucking be prevented in birds?

A
  1. Prevent boredom and loneliness by providing enriching toys, spending time with bird, MAYBE consider a mate
  2. Don’t expose birds to chemicals
  3. May need temporary solution (medical/physical)
22
Q

Failure to entertain

A
  • Many parrots simply do not learn or choose not to speak or perform cute tricks
  • More of an owner behaviour problem!
  • Ppl may have misguided expectations
  • Prevention: Treat your bird as an individual with its own unique abilities and preferences. Play to these. Learning takes time!
23
Q

What is one of the most critical periods in a parrot’s life?

A

Fledging
- leaving the nest and learning to fly, find food, form social bonds, and avoid predators by following their parents
- many behaviour problems can be avoided/minimized by taking time and care during fledging
- form positive bonds w/ many ppl
- expose to many enviros and situations
- introduce variety of food
- teach skills/commands that can help training later

24
Q

How can many behaviour problems in birds be avoided?

A

With TIME and CARE

25
Q

What are terms like “hand-tame”, “hand raised”, “hand fed”, and “domestically-bred” often misunderstood to mean?

A

That a bird is loving, well-behaved and will not bite
- remember, these are not domesticated animals and are considered to be wild

26
Q

The reality is that not all birds are the same, however…

A

All parrots do bite, scream, chew, make messes, and demand intensive care and interaction
- these behaviours are adaptive and important in the wild, but aren’t always considered “pet qualities”