What does this behaviour mean??

by Wesley

Hi there! I have a beautiful nearly 1 year old Rainbow Lorikeet, un-sexed at this stage. Recently he/she has developed at unusual behaviour - when playing on the bed with us s/he'll run with excitement behind the pillows where it's dark, fluff up and wiggle it's bum and scratch with the feet at whatevers behind the pillows (which is normally our pyjamas!) It certainly LOOKS like a mating behaviour.

I was wondering if this is any indication to the gender of the birdy (finding a vet to DNA test it has been quite challenging) but more importantly whether or not this is a bahaviour we should be trying to discourage. I have read that female parrots sometimes try to find a 'hidey hole' nesting area to lay an egg - could this be at all relevant?

Also completely unrelated - the pet shop we 'rescued' it from made a real hash out of its wings when they attempted to clip it - thus it has been missing the usually clipped feathers as well as one primary flight feather on one side. He/she has been doing fine but I was wondering if/when these will start growing back? He/she broke alot of tail feathers due to the inability to glide properly and these are just beginning to grow back now.


Comments for What does this behaviour mean??

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Apr 16, 2010
by: Anonymous

I actually thought when my birds did this it was a game? They are healthy i have male and female. We have breeding box but to no avail. The male does his dance and funny walk around her and she walks around with her rear in the air. He then starts playing and leaves her still walking around with bum in the air. I think its just a game your bird is playing. They are quite playful and funny.

Sep 04, 2009
Possibly in season?
by: Anonymous

My rainbow lorrikeet is 7yrs old. She does almost the same thing. Squats down, fluffs & stiffens up(to the point you could almost push her over) scratches her feet & she contracts her cloaca continuously. This behaviour is only presented around August and the following next few months into spring, coinciding with breeding season every year. More than likely I would say she is getting ready to breed.

Jul 27, 2009
new feathers
by: Linda

Birds molt twice a year, so they will have two sets of feathers a year. Just let all the wing feathers come back in and then this is what you need to do.

Take bird to your Avian vet and have them TRIM THE PRIMARY LAYER OF FLIGHT FEATHERS ONLY, and after you watch it done, you may be able to do it at home. There are only 6 Primary feathers that need to be trimmed on both wings. What the pet store did was to go up into the Secondary feathers which is the layer above the first Primary level of feathers. This is a Butcher job and is to be avoided at all costs for all the reasons you mentioned and then some. Birds cannot glide down, they fall like a rock breaking all kinds of feathers and even feet and leg bones if fall is from too high.

As for "behind the pillow" behavior, most likely bird is just playing since the on the bed time is always playtime. Normally, single birds of either sex will not exhibit outright nesting behavior. Once they are sexually mature, they will attach to human of the opposite sex and bond very tightly with this person. Sometimes they will not allow other people of same sex as human near THEIR HUMAN. If this ever gets to be a problem, you may need to get bird a friend of the same sex unless you are wanting to breed them.

Breeding birds lose most of their attachments to humans and only have eyes for each other while birds of the same sex can have nice friendships with both you and the other bird. Breeding pairs become aggressive and will revert back to wild state. They can actually become dangerous as many people have found out the hard way.

So, don't worry about what the little sweetie is doing behind the pillow unless pooping is happening which would not be unusual. If bird ever lays an egg, then you'll know for sure what sex it is. Also throw away any eggs laid immediately as they sometimes become cracked and the contents are poison for bird as in bird will die from eating it.

Keep us posted and pet store does not know how to clip wings on birds. I hope they did not clip them so far back they never grow back in as that can sometimes happen. You need to print out this message and take it down there so they know they only have to trim the first layer called the PRIMARY FLIGHT FEATHERS AND ONLY 6 OF THEM AT THAT. Anything else is called Butchering.


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