My senegal parrot is being agressive and loud

by Cassie
(Denver CO)

Senagal Parrot

Senagal Parrot

So have a 9 month old senegal parrot and up until recently he has been very sweet and loving but recently he has become very aggressive and loud before he was very quiet and sweet at first i thought it was just the move from one apartment to the other and so i gave him some time and extra attention but it hasn't been helping he is biting my friends and just getting very mean even to me.

He is spoiled and when i am home he is always out the only change i have made is that he sleeps in his cage at night now because i have no safe place in my new place for him to roost at night. He gets the best seed i can buy and since i work in the restaurant business he gets all the freshest fruits and veggies honestly the little bugger eats better than i do. Any advice to help me out and make sure he is comfortable and happy is appreciated thank you.

Comments for My senegal parrot is being agressive and loud

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 18, 2017
Build the bird you want
by: Vicki

Hi Cassie, Take some of the advice you are receiving with a grain of salt. Much of it is erroneous. First of all parrots do quite well with change, think of the territories a wild bird explores (unless they never get new experiences then, just like any living thing they become afraid of the unknown. The "birds do not take well with change" is an idea created by the boring way humans keep them. The happiest Senegal I ever knew was a therapy bird at a mental hospital. If you provide different experiences you will build a more social and adaptable bird.

It sounds like you are furnishing an excellent diet. That is what they eat in the wild. In the wild Senegals eat nuts and tree buds more than the seeds you find in bird mixes but variety is the key. Pellets can add something, although if you think about it pellets are made from grains, fruits and veg which you can feed fresh (without the enzymes cooked out). Pellets do last throughout the day better than fresh and come in handy in an emergency and when you're under time constraints. Just like kibble for dogs they are made more for our convenience then for the better health of our pets.

It does sound like your guy may need to learn some manners. He would be taught acceptable and unacceptable behavior in the wild by his parents and his flock. In captivity that duty falls to us. Explaining your disappointment will make no sense to him (or her, I will just say him here for my convenience) but reward for acceptable behavior goes a long way. Rewards for a bird comes in several forms including: special treats, excited or dramatic responses, attention period, head scratches or anything that your bird enjoys or reinforces the behavior that you like. Conversely responding to unwanted behavior (in any way) will reinforce it. This is why so many birds quickly learn dramatically expressed swear words.

"Step up" is a good place to start. Practice it over and over until it becomes an automatic response. You can even practice from finger to finger in the beginning until he does it by rote (without thinking). That way you will be able to control him when needed. If he is biting your friends do not allow him out of his cage until that behavior is extinguished.

It does sound like he has more choices in his life than he has learned how to handle. Find a book on trick training. Like training a dog teaching your bird deepens your relationship, understanding and trust of each other.

Don't think that you can provide a fulfilling or stimulating life for your bird by offering a good diet or rules and lots of toys. Birds are social beings and the more relationships and experiences your bird is able to develop the more satisfying his life will be.

You are right not to clip his wings. Flight is the ONLY way a bird's heart muscle is exercised. This again is an activity that is for the convenience of the human (who either does not know better or does not want to take the time to teach) not for the bird. Teaching him to fly to you when called is a fantastic skill to teach. I would keep him in a cage at night however, that way in case of emergency (ie: fire) you know where to find him and he is under control in a panic situation.

I think you have a good start but a bird like a person is a work in progress as long as you keep up the work he will continue to progress so keep reading, keep broadening your knowledge. You have to build the bird you want.

Apr 09, 2013
by: hugh

hI it is probably with him coming to a year old that his breeding instinct is setting in it will last about 3 to 6 months and then he should be back to normal his hormones will be all over hopes this helps

Apr 06, 2013
Revise one some off what i said
by: Cassie

thank you for your comments and to update he has been to the vet whole work up clean bill of health in fact they say hes in better shape than all his siblings are i do not trim wings i will never trim wings i understand why some people do however i do not feel the need to do so his original owner trimmed him once and did it very badly and he hurt himself more while trimmed and he has never fully figured out flying he prefers to walk or climb anyway so health wise nothing wrong there as far as his feed he is on pellets seed is only a treat and i feed him fresh veg and fruit twice daily all organic all safe i don't feed myself or my pets crap and i think that as great as pellots are you cant replace real fruit and veg. and since i work with it and grow it myself there is no better way to get it for myself and my bird i understand the fact that i moved pissed him off so i am giving him time to acclimate and i guess i should have said he sleeps in his cage but the door is open he chooses to sleep there due to the lack of any other place he he does not bite me he is my baby that way he does however bite my company when they come over which is new they do not handle him he flys or more often then not runs he is not a big flyer anyway at them and attacks that way my friends never yell or hit him they know to just let me handle him i never raise my voice to him or any pet I am just going to try and set up a more interesting area for him and see if that works better i think i figured it out he gets upset by the people who walk by the window he has never had that before so i just am exposing him more slowly to that thanks again for the help and advice

Apr 06, 2013
My senegal parrot is being agressive and loud
by: Linda

Okay, get ready to learn and please do not be offended by anything I say because you asked for help, and I'm going to give it a go!

Your bird has recently been subjected to major change in his life by moving to new apt. Birds do not like changes of any kind and sometimes will react with violence.This is a major change and bird is very upset. Try and see his point of view.

His diet is not a good one, and here is where you need to get to work. Parrots need to be eating a high quality diet like organic pellets. Harrisons is the best and avain vet endorsed and is found here along with a few other good ones. 80-85% pellets and only 10-15% in dark yellow, orange and green veggies, organic if possible. The reason for organic is to avoid chemicals of any kind like preservatives, dyes, pesticide/fertilizer residue, etc. Diet is important here because a bird eating wrong diet becomes aggressive, and is living with a very bad dietary imbalance, so you can't really blame him for his behavior. Aggression is also a sign of illness in that bird feels bad and takes it out on you.

Below is a link to article on how to go about changing from seeds and junk food to a good, well balanced diet which will do wonders for his temperament:

Switching Birds To Pellets article

Bird has to be examined by an Avian Vet ONLY in your driving area before any dietary changes to make sure he is physically healthy. Have him checked for bacterial/viral infection and have blood drawn to check on organ functioning. If his wings are not trimmed, have them trim 4-6 Primary Flight feathers. These are the long ones at the ends of each wing. Trimming higher causes chronic pain so do not allow them to cut any higher.Make your needs very clear about the clipping.

The wing clipping will help to settle him down some plus will keep him from flying away if he gets the chance.Get him in and out of cage with stick if necessary and let him know, in quiet, controlled way, you do not like his behavior. No need to shout, just quietly talk with him about how disappointed you are with him so he knows he's hurting you physically and emotionally. Birsd are highly intelligent creatures, so he will get the message.

Write back with what avian vet has to say and keep us informed about how this is going. We are with you on this, and you now have some emotional and practical backup. Thanks for writing

Apr 06, 2013
aggressive Senegal
by: Alex

Perhaps the stress of the move and change of now being in a cage has changed his behaviour.

Whenever behaviour changes you should see an avian vet as sickness can change behaviour before presenting physical symptoms which they hide for as long as possible.

Also, he will be suffering from malnutrition as you have him on a seed diet. Fruit and vegetables will not provide all the nutrients he needs.

Seeds are deficient in about everything and high in fat which causes the bird to become overwight, develop fatty liver disease, fatty growths and death from long term malnutrition.

Harrison's are an avian vet approved pellet.

I do not have the link for changing your parrot to a pellet diet, but someone on here will be able to provide the conversion advice link.

DO NOT convert until your bird has been given a clean bill of health and is not stressed out anymore, as conversion from one food to another can be stressful.

Parrots should be eating 80-85% organic pellets and 10-15% healthy treats like fruit and vegetables and some seed.

Luckily for me my birds took to the pellets straight away and love them.

Stay away from Zupreem Laefbers as they are high in sugar, slat and artificial colourings.

Also as pellets are uniform in shape, taste and colour, they and not just pick out their favourites.

Apr 06, 2013
Aggressive senegal
by: Anonymous

Your bird is mad because you cage him at night, which is something you should have been doing all along, unless in your old place the bird had his own room and you were able to close the door.

Continue caging him at night for his safety. Your bird will acclimate to this after a while. Remember, you are teaching him something new and you are the boss, persistance is the key. Also, as birds mature, they develop different habits and personalities. No bird is ever quiet all the time.

My bird started opening her cage at night and I was afraid she would get out and get hurt so I started putting a lock on it. She was not happy about that but after a week or so, she accepted it.

Click here to add your own comments