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can parrots bond with more than one person?

Do Parrots Only Bond with One Person?

The special bond formed between parrot and human is a wonderful thing. One-person parrots are discussed in the avian community, but the problem can often be resolved.

Captive parrots sometimes form bonds with just one person. All parrots are different, and factors such as species and early life experience determine if a parrot is a one-person bird. Its desire to bond with a single person primarily stems from a lack of diversity in its social life.

Parrots are social creatures that form lasting relationships with the birds in their flock. It’s natural for them to want to socialize with many. So, if your parrot doesn’t do that, it could signify an underlying issue.

Can Parrots Bond with More Than One Person?

It’s more natural for parrots to form bonds with several people instead of just one person. Parrots in flocks form long-lasting relationships with the members of their community.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, we know they’re capable of this because they have a similar number of neurons as primates in the forebrain. This means that they have the cognitive ability to socialize like other group animals.

So, if your parrot seems fond of just one person, know that it’s capable of learning how to love others. It’s healthier for the bird to bond with other household members.

Parrots are, after all, made to belong in such a large social circle.

parrots that are not one person birds

Why Do Parrots Only Bond with One Person?

The main reason captive parrots bond with one person is that they imprint on their human caregiver. Imprinting is when the bird has confused another creature for its mother.

According to Applied Behavior Science, how a baby parrot is cared for influences how it behaves as an adult. Parrots that were hand-reared (fed and cared for by adults) since they were born tend to be more selective toward humans than parrots that were cared for by their parents.

Experts suggest that, by imprinting on the human that watches over it for the rest of its life, a parrot never learns independence. It only ever clings to its parental figure, resulting in a heavy reliance on the bond between the bird and its owner.

Wild parrots rely on their parents, but they eventually become independent as they grow up. They learn to forage for themselves, form bonds with other parrots, fly where they want, and mate and have offspring of their own.

As pets, parrots don’t follow that timeline. They continue to rely on you for sustenance into adulthood, and the parrot has trouble learning how to form other bonds that don’t involve juvenile-like dependency.

Do Parrots Have a Favorite Person?

Parrots do have people they prefer over others. Even among themselves, parrots have best friends whose company they prefer over anyone else.

However, a parrot can change its mind about a person as quickly as humans do. Parrots can have a favorite person for years and then suddenly warm up to another person.

They can meet someone new and completely ignore the person who used to be their favorite. Although this doesn’t happen often, it happens with friendly species, like budgies and cockatiels.

If it seems like you’re no longer your parrot’s favorite person, it doesn’t mean that your parrot no longer loves you. Its priorities have shifted, and it’s now focusing all its attention on another person, but the bond you have is still there.

If this happens, try not to force your parrot into spending time with you. Respect the newfound adoration it has for the other person. After all, it’s a sign that your parrot is expanding its social circle and making new friends.

Do Parrots Only Like One Person?

Captive parrots tend to like only one person, but this isn’t the case for all parrots. They have different personalities, so there will always be some birds that have an easier time binding with multiple people.

All parrots are just as capable of bonding with many people as they’re one-person birds. It seems like many parrots end up only liking one person because they aren’t able to expand their social circle.

Wild parrots have a lot of flock members to make friends with, but as pets, one or two members of the household spend a significant amount of time caring for the bird. If only one person plays, talks to, and feeds the parrot, then it’s obvious that it would prefer that person over any other human.

Parrots can bond with multiple people, but they still have favorites. Between two carers, the parrot’s preferences become a lot clearer.

However, if the parrot has many friends to direct its love toward, it can spread its affection more evenly. Energetic, friendly parrot species, like lovebirds, are especially good at being affectionate with multiple people.

One-Person Parrot Breeds

Some parrot breeds are more likely to be one-person birds than others.

This should be a factor to consider when deciding what kind of parrot you would like to care for. After all, one-person birds tend to be aggressively jealous.

Depending on your lifestyle and the kind of pet you want for your family, you’ll want to avoid a potentially problematic bird.

Check out the table below to see which breeds are more likely to favor one person:

Multi-Person Parrot BreedsOne-Person Parrot Breeds
Pacific ParrotletsAfrican Grey Parrots
ConuresBlue and Yellow Macaws
CockatielsScarlet Macaws
LovebirdsAmazon Parrots
Eclectus ParrotsRingneck Parakeets
Hyacinth MacawsPyrrhura Conures

As you may have noticed from the table above, the birds that tend to do well with people are the smaller ones. All parrots are as capable of being one-person birds as they are bonding with multiple people.

Bigger birds tend to be less friendly because they’re the least likely to adjust to life in captivity. Even if they were born into captivity, they’re very intelligent and emotional birds, and being outside of their natural habitat affects them greatly.

These bigger species become jealous, destructive, and frustrated easily. They only really tolerate being handled by their primary carer, so they don’t do well in households with many people.

How a parrot was raised, handled, and trained affects its friendliness more than its species. When looking to adopt a friendly bird, you should look at its history before taking it in.

Birds neglected by previous owners or have a history of being moved around are more likely to have behavior problems. This will make it difficult for them to bond with multiple people.

one person bird breeds

Can You Be Too Bonded to Your Parrot?

There is such a thing as being too bonded to your parrot. Parrots that are too dependent on their owners tend to become jealous, which can be a problem if you live with other people in the house.

A jealous parrot gets stressed when watching its owner interact with others, leading to:

  • Aggression
  • Destructive behavior
  • Self-mutilation
  • Depression

This also becomes a problem when you need to leave the parrot with someone since it can develop separation anxiety.

The healthiest thing to do for your parrot is to train it properly and involve other household members in its daily routine. Have other people feed it and play with it to teach the parrot that making new friends is okay.

How to Tell If Your Parrot is Bonded to You

You can tell if your parrot is bonded to you by the way it behaves.

If your parrot loves you, it’ll do the following:

  • Call for you
  • Seek out physical contact
  • Copy you
  • Try to feed you
  • Sing and talk around you
  • Groom you

The way parrots show affection sometimes depends on the species. Some parrot species are more hands-off, so they won’t show affection by snuggling against you. Other species are quiet, so they may not be that talkative, even while you’re around.

Still, you’ll know when a parrot is bonded to you because it will make it quite obvious. Parrots are expressive and emotional creatures, so you’ll slowly learn how your bird likes to show affection.