Parrots and Pregnancy

by Daniel

I was surprised to find little about this online but...

Has anyone observed a change in their parrot's behavior toward a woman after she becomes pregnant? I have a 2 yr old Caique named Kona who is very friendly and calm even with strangers. About 6 months ago my sister-in-law became pregnant, and not long after Kona started being really aggressive toward her. Since then my sis has been bitten several times and Kona lunges at her if she gets closer than a few feet. This is strange because Kona has been with toddlers to grandparents, male and female, with no problems.

I personally think it could be a hormonal thing given the rapid change in behavior but have no previous experience with this strange issue.

Comments for Parrots and Pregnancy

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Feb 01, 2017
by: Anonymous

I have a cockatiel and he is also super Ffectionate w this pregnancy- flew on my head, singing and mimicking me, and snoozing on my belly. He didnt do this w the pregnancy we lost last year and I didnt notice the change until around when the heart would develop. Therefore my guess is that they hear the heartbeat!!! He was aggro until I showed him it was just my belly- I think the multiple heartbeats confuse them- they are like 180 times more sensitive to vibration through their little feet I think!

Feb 17, 2016
parrots & pregnanacy
by: Anonymous

My friend's daughter is pregnant and her African Grey seems very upset. The Grey has always been very talkative and noisy. Now quiet and not wanting to be with family. He's chewing on the baseboard in their home. He never did that previously. Should she be worried about him hurting the baby?

Jan 02, 2016
More affection for pregnant me.
by: Hannah

It has been the other way around for me since becoming pregnant. My main companion Iris, a green cheek, has become so affectionate and protective of me. Her buddy, a rescue black cap was always moody and would bite me but has also become more affectionate. My galah has been a daddys boy from the get go but he now seems happier with me and prefers that I get him out in the morning and now loves to shower with me instead. Iris started stretching out and snoozing on my belly even before we had a positive test. The birds have reacted more than our dogs.

Jan 03, 2015
Same thing
by: Anonymous

My Timneh African Grey was always very eager to be with me and get head scratches... Now he bites me whenever I reach for him to either pet or let him climb on me. He now LOVES my husband, who he actually used to bite every now and then. :(

Nov 24, 2014
Conures sometimes pick a favorite
by: Tracie

Sometimes conures will pick a favorite, and bite everyone else. Our conures loved me, then one day they decided I was the enemy and loved my husband.

Please read the biting conure article on our Parrot Training page to learn how my husband was able to get the conures to tolerate me. He had to do it, because he was their favorite.

Nov 22, 2014
by: Angeles

My 1 year old green cheek conure is also acting different around my wife who is 2 months pregnant. My conure liked my wife more than me but now it likes me more. It tries to bite my wife and when she gets close to the conure it puffs up his feathers.

Jun 17, 2014
birds and pregnancy
by: Anonymous

We have a 1 year old rainbow lorikeet who was really distant toward me leading up to us finding out we were pregnant. Even to this day, he (could be a she!) puffs his feathers up at me, will not let me go near his cage without attacking me,and I can't even have play time with him anymore. It's not a change in my clothes, because I haven't changed my clothes. I think he just senses the baby. After all, he knew about our little baby for 15 weeks before we did! I'm hoping he gets better with me once our little man is born because he draws blood on me all the time nowadays and is so distant with me after hand rearing him - he absolutely loves my partner to death now too!

Feb 17, 2014
parrot turned on me since being pregnant
by: Anonymous

I have 3yr old african grey whome ive been close to since we got him as a chic, i could carry him around on my shoulders.n.cuddle upto him and he would be affectionate to me,loving when i tickled his belly, since becoming pregnant iam struggling to even get him on my hand without him taking a peck at me, im hoping once the babys born this will stop as its very saddening, he is still as chatty and chirpy just doesnt want me near him anymore.
Any tips would be greatly appreciated x

Editor's note: Please visit our Parrot Training page In the future if you want people to see and answer, you need to post a question, not an answer here to another question, on our Parrot Questions page.

Feb 25, 2013
Wife terrified
by: Crazed Cockatoo

it's the pheromones or something like that. I know what you're saying about clothes, but our cockatoo will chase and continue to attack my wife who is now 8 months pregnant. I know birds can react to what you're wearing, but this is a whole new level, she just goes nuts.

Our Amazon has started to react now too, she is extra noisy and extremely broody.

We visit our local breeders occasionally and last time none of the birds were comfortable around my wife. Before she was pregnant no problem.

Sep 08, 2012
My parrot is acting like me!
by: Christy

I'm 12 weeks pregnant, and my 23 yo Amazon parrot, whom I've had for 22 years, is mimicking my behavior. She sleeps often and has been really picky with what she will eat (like me). If I didn't know her (or him) so well, I would worry she was sick. But days that I feel energetic and healthy, she is right there with me, doing her little dances and singing along to music. She cracks me up. My poor husband has to deal with 2 of us! I haven't noticed any aggression, but I'm not showing yet, and am wearing the same clothes I always wear. She is a bit distant, but it may be because I haven't been playing with her as much, because I've been so nauseous. I'll post an update if she gets aggressive once I start to show.

Oct 26, 2011
African grey
by: Matt

We've found the same thing happening recently with my partner and her parent's african grey. He (I say he - it could be a she!!) is normally very pleased to see us - dancing and singing whenever we go round. My partner is now 18 weeks pregnant and for the past fornight their parrot's seemed really wary of her. He'll puff his feathers up and if she gets too close to his cage he'll snap at her. She's not yet in maternity wear so the colour of her clothes will be what he's always been used to, and he's been fine up until this past couple of weeks. In fact when my partner had gone out of the room I was stroking and playing with him and he was fine. We were thinking along the same lines with hormonal change - perhaps if the parrot is indeed a female then she feels jealous that my partner will be receiving more attention. It's interesting to read that others are witnessing the same behaviour though.

Jul 23, 2011
by: Daniel

Yeah...I'm sure the clothes could play a factor as well. I have noticed Kona being scared by specific clothing. In fact I know she doesn't like my class ring or my blue baseball's almost funny but I just avoid wearing them around her to keep the stress level down. As far as the hormones go I would agree as well. Kona senses alot of "unseens" and I'm sure my sis' hormones are through the roof right now. I'll be interested to see how Kona reacts after the baby is born.

Jul 23, 2011
Parrots and Pregnancy
by: Linda

This one is a real mystery and hopefully someone else will pick this up and answer it better.

Being that I've not been pregnant around my birds nor have I had any friends who were when they came around birds, I cannot speak from experience.

Your bird is either picking up on the pheronomes your sister in law is giving off OR if she is already wearing maternity clothes, it could be that the clothes are larger, brighter, just different. Birds are very sensitive about things like that. If they've never seen you wearing a hat, they will become very upset, so her clothes may be what's setting her off.

Since your bird has actually become aggressive towards her, I'm placing my bet on different clothes, different size and different hormones being given off. Your little bird may perceive her as a total stranger who may hurt her.

As I said, hopefully someone else with some experience with this will step up. You can also call an Avian Vet and discuss this with them. I still think it's the "different" your bird is seeing and feeling. The baby human is sensed but hidden, and this may be causing some stress.

Thanks for writing and let us know how this very interesting story ends up later on.


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