ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Stop a Bird from Biting

Updated on May 25, 2009

While the prime positions of biting offenders are taken over by dogs, there are also birds that as innocent as Tweety as they may  look, may still resort to grinding mercilessly their beak into your flesh without second thoughts. If you own a bird , that has a Jekyll and  Mr. Hyde attitude, cute and friendly one minute and vicious biter the next, rest assured your are not alone. There are plenty of biting avian companions out there and plenty of owners dealing with the same problem.

First of all it is important to ensure your bird is a true biter. It would not be fair to accuse your bird of biting when all it is doing is using its beak to explore the world around him. Often birds resort to using their beak in order to ''test'' the perch they are about to climb on to ensure it is safe or they may use their beak simply as a third hand. It is natural for birds to use their beaks even though it might not be something to look forward to when used against you. However, rest assured that your bird is not doing it in a malicious way.

Now a true biter is a different story. These birds can tell you from their body language that they had an intent to hurt you. Unlike using their beak to  test their surroundings, these birds use their beaks and mouths to delivery injuries quite often resulting in leaving a visible dent in the skin, or worse, breaking the skin causing it the bleed. Some parrot owners have even developed unsightly scars from their biting feathered friends.

In order to stop your pet bird from biting you must first try to understand why he is biting in the first place. It would be unfair to treat a frightened bird as an aggressive one, possibly causing more damage than good. Following are some explanations of why birds bites.

Causes of Biting in Birds


Your bird may be a fearful biter, meaning he bites only when he fears something. For instance, some may  birds may become defensive if they are handled roughly or when they are startled. Owners must understand that in nature, birds will rarely confront their fears and will fly away rather than fighting. However, in a home environment, the bird is incapacitated from escaping  due to being cornered in a cage and therefore, they may feel forced to use their ultimate line of defense. 

If you are able to understand what your bird is fearing you want to try your best to not expose your bird to the source of his fear. However,if this is inevitable, you can also try to desensitize your bird from exposing him to the source of his fears from a distance and by praisingand giving treats when your bird remains calm. It may take a few weeks until you may be able to allow your bird to get closer to the source of his fears and remain calm. 


Yes, there are birds with dominant behaviors that need to be placed off their pedestal. These birds are often territorial birds that will usetheir biting to get what they want. Some may not want you near their cages, other may not want you to trim their nails, others may try to keep you away from their best buddy, the reasons may be various, but the goal is the same; to see you retreat and claim victory.

Birds on the pedestal, need to be taught that at the top of the rank is the owner. This can be accomplished by teaching your bird some basic commands such as the ''step up'' command or the ''up'' and ''down '' commands  where the bird is trained to move from one perch to another or back and forth from your finger to the perch etc. All this should be done in a neutral setting where the bird is less likely to display territorial behaviors.

Dominant birds should be praised for good behavior and scolded for bad. Never hit a bird! You should also avoid yelling which may only excite your bird. Instead upon biting, raise your head higher than the bird's and say ''no'' in a firm voice without yelling. Unbalancing a birdattempting to bite can also be effective. For instance, if the bird is on your hand  when he attempts to bite, move your hand in a way that will cause your bird to slightly lose balance without risking him to fall. 


When cupid strikes your bird he may turn into a temporary Otello attempting to bite you if you try to approach his precious mate. This hormone driven aggression is often temporary, once those hormones are normal again, he may lose interest in his mate and lower his guard.

-Health Issues

A sick bird can easily become a grumpy bird. This is an understandable behavior, nobody likes to be handled when not doing well. It is best to have an avian veterinarian take a look at your bird if he appears withdrawn and unusually grumpy.

Whatever the reason your bird is biting try to remain calm and do not pull your hand immediately away. While it is an instinct to withdraw a hand or finger upon being bitten, you must refrain in doing so in order to prevent major tissue damage. Your bird as well, will learn much more if you refrain from withdrawing immediately, especially when dealing with a dominant bird. This teaches him that there will no drama whatsoever from his bite and that his biting will not send you away as he desires.

With time, consistency and patience, you will be able to modify your bird's unwanted behavior and turn your bird finally into a friendly companion you enjoy to be with.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This helped a lot with my pet cockatiel :) thanks for the tips!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)