"digging" behavior in African Grey

by Kate

Ok so I have had my Grey for about two years now and pretty much understand most of her body language and why she is doing things that she does. However, I never really understood why every once and a while when she is playing on the floor, she will wiggle her way inbetween pillows, grab the carpet with her beak, puff up her feathers and dig at the carpet like she is digging to China!! I have seen other greys do this inside their cages but mine only does this in the carpet...does anyone have an explanation as to WHY she does this?? Is this just instinctive foraging behavior or something more? :)

Comments for "digging" behavior in African Grey

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 03, 2015
Bird training help
by: Tracie

Please go to our Parrot Training page for help training your bird.

It is important that you have a bird safe room, if you are going to allow your bird out of the cage. You can bring in bird diseases from outside on your shoes, have toxic items that the bird may chew or ingest etc.

Apr 03, 2015
Biting carpet and wall
by: Anonymous

My african grey goes on top of her cage but while shes up there she can reach my wall and she has chewed through it but then will fly onto the floor and bite the carpet. This makes me not want to bring her out and i know thats wrong!! How can i stop this?

Jun 26, 2011
tearing and biting everything in sight
by: Anonymous

My African grey name is Mia, she tears and bites holes in bread, blinds, paper, chair padding,plastic fruits, and climbs and throws dishes everywhere.

Feb 11, 2011
by: Kate

She is 13 y/o so nesting could be it? Hopefully she just wont start egg laying :-/ and yes i bring her to my avian vet once every 6 months :)

Editor's note: Avian vet says normal AG behavior.

Feb 09, 2011
by: Lori

Mine only does it on the tile. I think he is foraging

Feb 09, 2011
African Grey digging behavior
by: The Avian Vet

No one is really sure why they do this but is is seen in most African greys, and it is seen only in African species. It is thought to be a foraging behavior, but there may be other explanations. It may be related to nest cleaning as it is seen young birds mostly, including those that are still being handfed.

Dr B

Feb 08, 2011
"digging" behavior in African Grey
by: Linda

This could be nesting behavior if bird is 6 years or older. Otherwise, birds in the wild dig in the ground looking for bugs and worms which are a part of natural diet. Playing with her on the floor is not a good idea anyway because no matter how good a housekeeper one is, the floor is covered with bacterial particles and worse. It's the things we cannot see that will hurt our birds, so get her up off the floor onto a perch and play with her like that.

If she has not been seen by an Avian Vet in the last year, it is time to take her in for an exam. We recommend once a year exams to make sure everything physical is well taken care of.

Thanks for writing,

Click here to add your own comments