Why Does My Bird Panic?

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Q: How long should you wait for a pair of birds to settle down? We purchased a pair of Amazons about six months ago. After one month in our quarantine, we added them to our bird room. The female goes into a panic every time we enter the room. When this happens, all the other birds in the room panic. What should we do?

A: Six months is more than enough time for a bird to begin to show signs of acclimation to its environment. If the bird is still acting as if it came out of the jungle yesterday, there is definitely a problem. Sometimes, certain colors will set a bird into a panic. I have a super-tame bluemutation yellow-naped Amazon that I keep next to my desk. If my son walks into the room with red pajamas, the bird goes into a complete panic. She will batter herself from one end of the cage to the other, trying to escape the horrible red monster coming her way. I have also seen the same type of behavior when people wear brightly colored “bird shirts” around some birds.

Try a few color experiments with your clothing. You may find that certain colors do not send her into a panic. I know that many of our birds will panic when people wear certain types of hats that they are not used to seeing. This is especially true of hats with long front visors. Also consider the possibility that your entrance into the room might cause a chain reaction that results in her panic. If, for example, your entrance into the room causes an umbrella cockatoo that usually walks around its flight to suddenly fly up to the front of it, your problem may be the fact that the Amazon can see the cockatoo fly.

You must also consider the possibility that you have a psychotic bird on your hands. In this case, you must come to grips with the fact that it is her problem, not yours. If this is true, your only option is to eliminate her from your bird room. Believe me when I tell you that a bird like that can cause a major decrease in production in your other pairs.