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Parrot Behavior

How and When to Seek Help

It is important to remember that parrots are not like dogs, not like cats and not like people. They are a unique animal with their own very definite behavior sets. I don't believe that it is necessary to change parrot behaviors to make them a welcome addition to our families. We do need to learn to understand their behaviors and work with them instead of working against them.

I believe that parrots are the most remarkable and amazing creatures on the planet and being able to share our lives and our world with parrots is an wonderful gift.

Call Jamie at 281-217-0614 or email
Jamie Whittaker is a certified avian behavior consultant with over 30 years of experience working with parrots and other birds. Jamie and her husband own and operate a specialty bird store in Texas, specializing in parrots. She does in home behavior consults locally as well as telephone consults nationally.

Jamie is what many professional aviculturists consider to be one of the most comprehensive and flexible behavior consultants in aviculture. Her approach to behavior problems is positive, natural and practical. A good training plan should become a part of day to day living with a parrot. Positive solutions, taking natural behaviors and their functions into account, should be practical enough that they don't create a problem in day to day life. The best training plans are simply new ways to interact with the flock to keep everyone living in harmony.

Jamie has successfully completed Dr. Susan Friedman's "Living & Learning with Parrots" course as well as the professional course "Living and Learning with Animals". She is a certified member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and a professional member of the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators (IAATE). She has completed the Certified Avian Specialist (CAS) course with the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC)as well as the American Federation of Aviculture's "Fundamentals of Aviculture" courses I and II.

She is currently the President of the American Federation of Aviculture, Inc. and serves on the board of National Parrot Rescue and Preservation Foundation.

Jamie’s broad integrative perspective allows her to formulate customized approach across behavioral techniques for the individual parrot and owner’s situation. After all, no two people, and no two birds, are exactly alike, and each relationship is unique. The science of behavior, including positive reinforcement, is fairly straight forward and understandable. However, applying the science successfully and consistently to eliminate negative behavior or promote positive behavior requires a critical appraisal of the environment and formulation of a plan. Jamie is able to utilize and synthesize the various methods learned in the context of her certifications to customize an approach that works for each of her clients

                          FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why does my parrot scream when we are eating dinner?

Eating is a flock activity and your parrot wants to be included. Your bird has had the same food in the cage all day long and now it is obvious that it is time to eat and everyone is getting some new (probably very yummy) food. Before you sit down to eat dinner, be sure that your bird has something new in his dish. A bit of treat or some of the healthy food from your plate. If you are eating hotdogs for dinner, you might just give him some of his treat or a piece of carrot is usually welcome and easy to keep available.

Why does my parrot scream when I am on the telephone?

I don't know, but I can tell you that is very common. I believe that because birds have such keen hearing that they probably are able to hear the person on the other end of the conversation. From the perspective of the bird it may appear that you are in danger from the unseen voice. I have known several people to receive bad bites from their birds when they answer the telephone with the bird on their shoulder. This would seem to reinforce my theory that the bird perceives danger and wants to drive it away. I do have a quick and easy method for diffusing this problem and it has worked for many people. Keep a dish of almonds or walnuts or pistachios handy (depending on your birds size and preference). When the telephone rings, hand the nut to the bird before answering the telephone. It's very hard to scream and eat at the same time.

Why does my parrot only like me?

In many cases when parrots only like one person it's because that is the person that is most comfortable with them. Some people are more relaxed and comfortable around parrots than others. Some parrots like the sound of one person's voice. Sometimes it's as simple as who has the special treats. With a little help from a behavior consultant and a little cooperation from the rest of the family, your parrot can become friendly with other people.