Parrots can become sexually attracted to their owners without same-species, opposite-sex companions.
The parrot will regurgitate food on you, which signifies it sees you as its mate and has fallen in love with you. This usually happens in the spring when the breeding season commences.
Sexually frustrated parrots who want to mate may pluck their feathers, rub their vents against owners, and become aggressive toward rival humans and animals.
Are Parrots Sexually Attracted To Their Owners?
It’s more likely that parrots will be sexually attracted to humans when they live alone. Wild parrots form pair bonds that allow them to breed during the mating season.
These bonds can last for life. Even when mated parrots aren’t breeding, they nest together, preen each other, vocalize to check on their whereabouts, and forage for food for each other.
In captivity, life is slightly different for breeding parrots, as there may not be other birds for company. Instead, they imprint on their owners during the mating season, craving their attention.
As explained by The Proceedings of the International Aviculturists Society Convention, dependent parrots that over-bond with their owners are more likely to become sexually attracted to them.
If the parrot sees you as its mate and is attracted to you, you must take steps to discourage this behavior.
Do I Have A Sexually Frustrated Parrot?
Most parrots reach sexual maturity between the ages of 1 and 4. Unfortunately, some parrots start displaying unwanted signs of attraction that make their owners uncomfortable.
Sexual frustration is a problem of human making. We’ve explained how wild parrots can breed whenever they like so they don’t experience feelings of sexual frustration in the same way as captive parrots.
According to the Australian National University, parrot mating season is in the spring, just before the rainy season. This is when you’ll likely notice a parrot’s hormonal behaviors.
The signs of a sexually frustrated parrot include:
Parrots regurgitate food for their mates. If the parrot regurgitates for you, it likely sees you as its sexual partner. Regurgitation is a natural courting behavior that many birds use to show affection.
Whenever the parrot regurgitates for you, put it back in its cage and don’t reward the behavior. Over time, it’ll realize that regurgitation means it won’t receive food, attention, or affection.
Don’t reject the parrot’s affection bluntly, such as chastisement, because this can damage your bond.
Parrots have certain zones they reserve for their mates.
If you touch one of them during the breeding season, they get the signal that you’re looking to mate with them. Unfortunately, owners do this without realizing it.
Parrots experiencing a surge in sex hormones may attempt to copulate by rubbing their vent on their owner’s hands and arms. They’re also sensitive under their wings, toward their tail, and down their back.
Discourage this by ignoring the behavior and placing the parrot back in its cage.
Sexually frustrated parrots become aggressive toward humans they don’t see as their owners because they’re jealous and view them as a rival for your affection.
Parrots will also display unhappiness toward other pets that are getting your attention.
Alongside aggression, parrots squawk angrily and scream. These noises are usually unpleasant to listen to, but parrots won’t quieten down until the breeding season ends.
According to Watchbird, parrots are most susceptible to mate-guarding at the start of the breeding season because they’re experiencing the largest surge of hormones.
Sexually frustrated parrots may pick the feathers around their chest and legs. In the worst cases, they’ll also show signs of illness as they struggle to cope with the intense hormonal surges.
What Should I Do If My Bird Thinks I’m Its Mate?
Allowing the parrot to see you as its mate should be discouraged. Otherwise, its sexual frustrations will worsen, which could affect your bond.
According to Avian Medicine, parrots must understand boundaries and realize they’re birds, not humans. There are steps you can take to deter the parrot:
- Avoid touching the parrot except for the head, neck, and skin around the feet and beak.
- Minimize contact with the parrot until the breeding season’s over.
- Decrease the amount of light the parrot’s allowed to reduce its hormone levels.
- Remove any toys with which the parrot wants to mate.
- Prevent it from nesting by removing materials from the cage that can be torn into smaller pieces.
- Distract the parrot with games and regular exercise.
- Limit high-calorie, high-fat foods that can stimulate hormones.
Unfortunately, a parrot can’t control its hormone production, nor can it control its sexual urges.
Do Male Parrots Prefer Female Owners?
Some male parrots are sweet and loving toward their female owners but aggressive toward men. This may be because the bird fears the man’s deep voice due to past abuse or trauma.
While parrots may seem to display a gender bias, it’s due to handling and socialization. For instance, if a male parrot has more fun or receives treats from a female owner, it’ll gravitate toward that person.
Male and female parrots are unlikely to prefer the opposite gender due to physical attraction, and it’s highly unlikely that parrots can recognize human genders.
Can Parrots Be Gay?
As described by Animal Behavior, homosexual behavior occurs in over 130 bird species. Similarly, there’s an increasing number of male-male pair-bonding occurrences.
Male parrots are more likely to display homosexual behaviors when there’s a mating opportunity without the chance of reproductive success.
The sex with fewer parental duties mates more, regardless of gender. This means male parrots are more likely to be gay than females because females are busy raising their young.
Same-sex parrot pairings display the same mating rituals as male-female pairings. Similarly, some gay parrots raise their young with a mate before returning to a same-sex partner.
However, this doesn’t mean you should get 2 male or 2 female parrots in captivity. Parrots of the same sex may fight and become territorial, bullying their submissive mate.
Should I Get My Parrot A Mate?
If you’re concerned about a parrot’s sexual behavior, you might want to get them a partner.
However, some parrots see their owners as their flock-mates and don’t respond positively to other parrots in the home. If they’ve been the only parrot for a while, it’s harder to integrate a second parrot.
The parrot might need a same-species companion if it seems bored, lonely, and depressed outside the breeding season. Adding a parrot won’t prevent sexual frustration if they enjoy having you to themselves.
The parrot’s hormonal changes will eventually subside and return to normal after the breeding season. Then, you can return to petting, playing, and bonding with the parrot.