why does my bird hump me

When our pet cats and dogs become sexually mature, we can prevent them from mating and breeding by having them castrated or spayed. However, we don’t routinely desex birds as the procedure is expensive, can be risky and is usually only undertaken in female birds with gynaecological problems Therefore our pet birds will have a sex life whether we want them to or not.

Most pet bird owners fail to understand that their newly acquired, hand-reared, pet will grow and develop like a young child. Just as a child grows and matures through the various stages of development to reach sexual maturity, so will the pet bird. The cute, young, cuddly, baby bird will reach puberty and undergo hormone induced behavioural changes just like their human, adolescent counterpart. I commonly get calls from unhappy cockatiel owners. Their sweet little bird has started to bite and be aggressive and demanding. These behavioural changes in cockatiels usually occur between nine months to one year of age. They correspond with the bird reaching puberty.

When birds become sexually mature, their instinct is to find a mate. Birds don’t have ‘casual sex’. They choose and court a mate, select or build a nest and have sex for procreation rather than recreation. If there is no ‘feathered’ mate to choose from the bird will choose a mate from the ‘human flock’ (i.e. one of the family members). Many behavioural problems induced by sexual frustration occur when a pet bird chooses a human as his/her mate. When pet birds are inappropriately bonded to a human mate, they become frustrated because the human mate cannot fulfil the role of mating or laying or sitting on the eggs. In these circumstances birds can be driven by sexual frustration to feather picking or even self-mutilation (where skin and soft tissue is chewed). They masturbate and can become aggressive and dominant towards other family members that they perceive of as a rival.

Female birds that are inappropriately sexually stimulated by their owners (eg on the shoulder, kissing, feeding from the mouth etc.) can become chronic egg layers. Chronic egg laying can cause uterine prolapse, egg yolk peritonitis, malnutrition from the depletion of the body stores of calcium and other nutrients and many other problems associated with female reproductive organs and ‘secret women’s business’.

Therefore, it is very important for the humans associated with the pet bird to always act as a parent or ‘older bird’ to the pet rather than as a lover or a mate. I always tell owners that they should never become a ‘birdophile’ in their relationship with their pet. Just as there are appropriate and inappropriate ways of handling pet birds. In other words, owners should not touch or handle their pet bird in inappropriate or sexually suggestive ways. They should never allow the bird to eat out of their mouths or stroke it on the lower back or abdomen if the bird is presenting. These types of behaviours are ‘birdy foreplay’ and encourage sexual and mating behaviour in the bird.

Seasonal changes also trigger the sexual instincts of pet birds. In the wild, heavy rain after a prolonged dry spell will indicate to birds that there will be abundant food supplies to support a clutch of offspring. Abundance of food and longer daylight hours signal the appropriate time for breeding. Recently, the prolonged drought has caused unnaturally dry conditions that have mimicked the natural environment of many inland Australian birds. The onset of spring rains after the period of drought has stimulated many single pet female cockatoos or galahs to lay eggs. I have received many calls from surprised owners of 20 to 30 year old sulphur crested cockatoos or galahs that have suddenly laid an egg in response to these conditions.

Spring time is the mating time for many species of birds. As a result of increased hormone levels in spring, birds may show behavioural changes. Males can become more ‘pushy’ and aggressive. Females become more cuddly and amorous, ‘presenting’ to their owners. Owners need to be aware of the reasons for these seasonal hormonal changes in their pets.

It is natural for a bird to reach puberty and choose a mate. It is unnatural for pet birds to be isolated from their own kind and restricted to a caged environment. Well-meaning owners often provide a mirror for company. This is the worst thing that they can do. The sexually frustrated, single pet bird will often try and ‘bond’ with his own reflection in a cage mirror. ‘Randy Budgie Syndrome’ is a recognised medical condition where a single, pet, male budgie endeavours to maintain a sexual relationship with his reflection. He masturbates on his perch or cage toys and regurgitates food to his reflection. Some owners consider this activity as a form of entertainment, while others find it distressing. Such activity on a constant year round basis can lead to digestive and hormonal disturbances. Frustrated, single pet birds will often engage in stereotypic and obsessive compulsive behaviour. Some birds will continually pace up and down the length of their cage. Others will acquire a ‘drinking problem’. This is a form of displacement activity where the frustrated bird channels its sexual urges into an obsessive compulsive activity such as excessive drinking.

The obvious way to counteract aberrant sexual behaviour in pet birds is to introduce a mate of the opposite sex. There are many ‘old wives’ tales’ about having a mate for a pet bird. The most common misconception is that your bird won’t be tame or talk if it has a mate. This erroneous idea has been disproved so many times. Instead of having one friendly little bird, you have two (provided recognised training and behaviour is applied). When birds have mates of the opposite sex, they have a natural outlet for their sexuality when they become sexually mature. Many owners are horrified when I suggest this. “We don’t want our bird to have babies” is the common response. However, there are forms of ‘birth control’ that can be introduced. The important aspect from the bird’s point of view is that they can pair bond with another bird and undergo normal sexual activity. If an when they do mate and lay eggs, the eggs can be boiled to prevent any potential chicks hatching, while still allowing the parent birds to undergo the whole cycle of laying and sitting on the eggs. It is important to leave the boiled eggs in the nest for the incubation period. If the eggs are removed, it will stimulate the female to lay another clutch.

Owners need to have an understanding of bird sexuality as sexual frustrations and inappropriate bonding with owners can result in aberrant behaviour that will affect the bird’s physical and mental health and its relationship with its ‘human flock’.

Yes. However this is usually only done in extreme cases, mostly with female birds that have gynaecological problems. The procedure is not without risk and should only be considered in serious cases where the health of the bird is at risk. You should do a search for an avian clinic near me and ask whether or not the procedure is necessary for your avian companion.

In the wild, dominance can be a common occurrence in bird colonies, especially when one bird begins to consistently achieve its goals at the expense of others. When looking at why certain birds become dominant in captivity, it’s important to understand that the bird sees you as part of the flock. You need to be confident so the bird sees you as its leader. Usually birds will attempt to assert or ascertain dominance during their adolescent period. If you are having trouble with your bird then you should contact an exotic pet vet and ask for advice.

Yes. When birds reach puberty, they undergo a number of physical changes that can be both interesting and confusing. Their wings may grow larger, their beaks may change colour and shape, and their feathers may become more pronounced. There are even some birds that can start singing at this stage! On the other hand, puberty is often the stage where your bird may become naughty and attempt to establish dominance as they would in the wild. If you are having issues with this then you should do an online search for vets near me for birds to find a vet that can advise you how best to approach the issue.

When you see a bird that is hormonal, it is usually easy to tell. These birds will usually be in a more excitable state and may be more active. Their plumage may also be different, with brighter colours and more pronounced patterns. Additionally, they may have a more pronounced posture, with their head held high or pushed forward. They may also become irritable and begin to bite or even hump their owner. If you are experiencing problems with behaviour then it is best to find an exotic pet doctor if you do not already have a regular avian vet. They will help you to understand how best to train your avian friend during this period.

Published by Three Birds and a Cloud

Im a parrot owner and animal welfare advocate. This blog used to be called Students with Birds! See all of Three Birds and a Cloud’s posts!

Upon reaching sexual maturity, birds naturally search for a partner. Birds don’t have ‘casual sex’. They select or construct a nest, choose and court a mate, and engage in sexual activity more for reproduction than for fun. The bird selects a mate from the “human flock” if there are no “feathered” mates available. e. one of the family members). An assortment of behavioral issues stemming from sexual frustration arise when a companion bird selects a human partner. Pet birds get irritated when they form an improper bond with a human partner because the human partner is unable to perform mating, egg-laying, or egg-sitting duties. Under these conditions, birds may become so frustrated sexually that they pluck feathers or even commit self-mutilation (chewing on their skin and soft tissue). They engage in masturbation and may exhibit aggressive and dominant behavior towards other family members whom they consider to be competitors.

Generally speaking, it is simple to identify a hormonal bird when you see one. These birds may be more active and will typically be more agitated. They might also have different plumage, with more pronounced patterns and brighter colors. They might also adopt a more pronounced posture, pushing their head forward or holding it high. Additionally, they could get agitated and start biting or even hulking their owner. If you do not currently have a regular avian veterinarian, it is best to locate an exotic pet doctor if you are having behavioral issues with your pet. During this time, they will assist you in understanding how to train your bird friend the most effectively.

By having our beloved cats and dogs castrated or spayed when they reach sexual maturity, we can stop them from reproducing. But since desexing birds is costly, dangerous, and typically only done on female birds with gynecological issues, we don’t regularly desex birds. As a result, whether we like it or not, our pet birds will have a sexual life.

It seems sense to introduce a mate of the opposite sex to pet birds in order to correct abnormal sexual behavior. Numerous “old wives’ tales” exist regarding mating a pet bird. The most widespread myth is that if your bird has a mate, it won’t become tame or speak. This erroneous idea has been disproved so many times. You have two amiable little birds instead of just one (as long as appropriate behavior and training are followed). When birds reach sexual maturity, they naturally have a way to express their sexuality when they mate with people of the opposite sex. Many owners are horrified when I suggest this. The usual reply is, “We don’t want our bird to have babies.” But there are “birth control” methods that can be implemented. From the perspective of the bird, the fact that it can form a pair with another bird and engage in regular sexual activity is crucial. When they do mate and lay eggs, the parent birds can complete the cycle of laying and sitting on the eggs, but the eggs can be boiled to stop any possible chicks from hatching. Leaving the boiled eggs in the nest during the incubation phase is crucial. Removing the eggs will encourage the female to lay another clutch.

As a result, it is crucial that the people who own the pet bird always behave as a parent or “older bird” to the animal rather than as a mate or a lover. I always advise pet owners not to develop a “birdophile” attachment to their animal companion. Similar to how there are proper and improper ways to care for pet birds To put it another way, owners must refrain from inappropriate or sexually suggestive handling of their pet bird. If the bird is presenting, they should never let it eat out of their mouths or caress its lower back or abdomen. These behaviors, known as “birdy foreplay,” stimulate the bird’s mating and sexual behavior.


Why does my bird try to mate with me?

Sexual behavior may be induced by many factors such as seasonal changes in daylight hours and temperature, environmental influences, diet, and interactions with owners or favorite toys and objects. Wild birds (particularly parrots) normally have a very intense relationship with a mate.

How do I stop my bird from trying to mate with me?

Discourage these behaviors by putting your bird back in her cage for a “time out” whenever she displays them. Don’t pet your bird on her back or under her tail, as this can be sexually stimulating.