Sometimes, parrots go from being loving and affectionate toward their owners to acting inappropriately around them. This causes some to wonder whether their parrots are attracted to humans.
Parrots become sexually attracted to their owners if they don’t have a mate. Sexually frustrated parrots who want to mate pluck their feathers out, rub their vents against owners, and become aggressive towards other humans and animals. They’ll regurgitate their food, which signifies they see you as their sexual partner.
This usually happens in spring, when the breeding season begins. This behavior shouldn’t be encouraged. Thankfully, some things can be done to redirect your parrot’s sexual frustrations away from you.
Are Parrots Sexually Attracted To Their Owners?
There are reports of parrots being sexually attracted to humans. While this seems unlikely, it can happen, especially if you have a lone parrot. That’s because, in the wild, parrots mate whenever they want, forming pair bonds that allow them to breed when mating season comes around.
These bonds usually last for life. Even when the mated parrots aren’t breeding, they nest together, preen one another, vocalize, and forage for food in small groups. As a result, socialization is essential for breeding birds.
In captivity, life is slightly different for breeding parrots. There are no other birds for them to interact with. Instead, they imprint on their owners during the breeding season, craving their attention more often.
As described by The Proceedings of the International Aviculturists Society Convention, over-dependent parrots that are allowed to over-bond with their owner are more likely to become sexually attracted to them. This is most likely to happen if the parrot adopts the dominant role in the relationship.
As a result, the parrot sees you as its mate, making life awkward for both of you. If your parrot shows signs of sexual attraction towards you, you must discourage this behavior.
Do I Have A Sexually Frustrated Parrot?
Most parrots reach sexual maturity between the ages of 1 and 4. When they do, some start displaying unwanted signs that make their owners feel very uncomfortable.
However, sexual frustration is a man-made problem. We’ve explained how wild parrots can breed whenever they like, so they don’t experience feelings of sexual frustration in the same way that captive parrots do.
According to the Australian National University, parrot mating season is in spring, just before the rainy season. This is when you’re most likely to experience your parrot’s hormonal behaviors. Signs of a sexually frustrated parrot include:
Parrots regurgitate their food for their mates. If your parrot does this to you, it sees you as its sexual partner. Regurgitation is a natural courting behavior that many birds use to show affection. However, during the breeding season, it also means your parrot’s very too attached to you.
Whenever your parrot regurgitates for you, place it back in its cage and don’t reward the behavior. Over time, it will realize that regurgitation means that it won’t receive any attention or affection and should get it to stop.
That being said, don’t reject your parrot because this can damage the trust between you. It may even become sad or depressed, so tread carefully.
Parrots have certain zones that 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’s a problem.
For example, parrots experiencing a surge in sex hormones may attempt to initiate copulation by rubbing their vent on their hands and arms. They’re also sensitive under their wings, towards their tail, and down their back.
Discourage this by ignoring the behaviors and placing your parrot back in its cage whenever it becomes over-familiar.
Sexually frustrated parrots become aggressive toward humans that they don’t see as their owners. This is 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 this 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.
This aggressive behavior is known as mate-guarding. According to Watchbird, parrots are most susceptible to mate-guarding at the start of the mating season because they’re experiencing the largest surge of hormones.
Sexually frustrated parrots are prone to plucking out their feathers around their chest and legs. In the worst cases, they’ll also show signs of illness and lethargy as they struggle to cope with the intense hormonal surges.
What Should I Do If My Bird Thinks I’m Its Mate?
Allowing your parrot to see you as its mate should be discouraged. Otherwise, its sexual frustrations will worsen, and this could affect your bond.
According to Avian Medicine, parrots must understand their boundaries and realize that they’re birds, not humans. There are steps you can take to deter your parrot from making sexual advances toward you:
- Avoid touching the parrot anywhere except for the head, neck, and skin around the feet and beak.
- Minimize contact with your parrot until breeding season’s over.
- Decrease the amount of light your parrot’s allowed throughout the day as this will reduce its hormone levels.
- Remove any toys that the parrot attempts to mate with.
- Prevent it from shedding and nesting by removing materials from the cage it can tear to smaller pieces.
- Distract your parrot with games and exercise.
- Limit high-calorie, high-fat foods that can stimulate your parrot’s hormone production.
Unfortunately, your 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. There are several reasons for this, such as the bird is scared of a man’s deep voice. This can also be affected by past traumas.
While parrots may seem to display gender bias tendencies, it’s down to handling and socialization. For instance, if a male parrot has more fun or receives treats from its female owner, it will gravitate toward that person.
Male and female parrots are unlikely to prefer the opposite gender because they’re attracted to them. In fact, it’s doubtful that parrots can even recognize human genders.
Can Parrots Be Gay?
As described by Animal Behavior, homosexual behavior occurs in over 130 bird species. Similarly, there is 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 that has fewer parental duties mate more, regardless of which sex they do this with.
This means male parrots are more likely to be gay than females because female parrots are more likely to be busy raising their young.
Same-sex parrot pairings display the same mating rituals as male-female pairings. Similarly, some gay parrots carry out their parental duties by raising their young with their mate before returning to their same-sex partner.
However, this doesn’t always mean you should get two male or two 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 worried about your parrot’s sexual behavior towards you, you might want to think about getting it a friend.
However, some parrots see their owners as their flock-mates and don’t respond well to other parrots being in the home. If they’ve been the only parrot for a while, it’s even harder to integrate a second parrot.
If your parrot seems bored, lonely, or sad outside of the breeding season, it might be pining for some feathered company. But if they enjoy having you to themselves, adding a new parrot won’t prevent sexual frustration.
Your parrot’s hormonal changes will eventually subside and return to normal levels once the breeding season is over. Then, you can get back to petting, playing, and bonding with your parrot as usual.