Can a parrot get jealous

Do Parrots Get Jealous? (And How To Deal With It)

Jealousy is not uncommon in parrots. As social birds, parrots want all of your time and attention for themselves. 

If they feel like there’s someone else cutting into their time with you, they can begin to exhibit jealous behaviors. Some of them who have the tendency to become one-person birds can do this even more.

Parrots can feel jealous of other pets, family members, your partner, or people who are close to you. A jealous parrot might act aggressively by biting or lunging, and at times scream excessively to get attention. Sometimes a parrot may also develop destructive behaviors like feather plucking as a result of jealousy.

Signs Of A Jealous Parrot

As described in The Psychology Of Animal Jealosy, parrots have their likes and dislikes when it comes to choosing the people they will tolerate. Those who win the parrot’s trust are rewarded by a low chattering, or gentle caressing with the bill, whereas for those it is not particularly fond of, it may show aggressive behavior by flapping its wings, darting from its perch, and biting.


Lunging is a telltale sign of jealousy in parrots. When parrots sense that their bonded human is interacting with someone else, they might respond by lunging at the person who is potentially a threat to their relationship.


The way parrots show jealousy is quite different from other animals. A jealous parrot may not follow you around since it is in its cage most of the time. It shows its possessiveness by acting aggressively with people that it thinks are its competition.

Excessive Screaming

Parrots vocalize constantly throughout the day, whether it is playful chattering or shrill screams for attention. But when a parrot is screaming excessively, particularly upon seeing its rival with its owner, it might be because it is feeling jealous.  

Flapping Wings 

A parrot will flap its wings, typically in front of the person whom it dislikes. It is the parrot’s way of saying that it does not like the person.

Such behavior is also meant to show dominance to other birds whom the parrot may think are intruding on its personal space. It is always better to keep new birds in separate cages before you are assured that they will get along well. 

Feather Plucking

Neglect can be tormenting for your parrot mentally. When a parrot feels uncared for continuously, it may make it feel helpless and frustrated. This is often the reason why parrots start picking on their feathers.  

What Makes Parrots Jealous?

The main reason parrots get jealous is when someone or something steals away the attention that they get. It can make feel neglected and harbor feelings of jealousy. Below are the common triggers of jealousy in parrots:

A New Pet In The House

Any object or person that may take attention away from your bird will be seen as a competition by them. A pet such as a dog or cat if not familiar with the parrot can become a cause for jealousy. Even as friends, parrots would like equal, if not more attention compared to other pets. 

Usually, when there’s a new pet in the house, it is possible that we tend to spend more time with them. And this may make the parrot feel neglected. Further, this may become the root of negative emotions like jealousy.   

A New Family Member

If you’re wondering why your parrot is being such a baby all of a sudden, it may be related to the arrival of a newborn in the family.

Having a baby in the house can take everyone’s attention off your parrot. This new bundle of joy can quickly become the center of attention, which may not be liked by your parrot so much. It might seem like your parrot is being a little unreasonable, but it is in its nature to feel jealous. 

Your Partner

You may also notice your parrot being jealous of your partner. Your parrot may not want to share your affection, so it may act out in a way to not let him/her near you. Biting and flapping wings aggressively is common. Your parrot may also scream whenever you come close to your partner.

This can be an even bigger problem if your parrot considers you its mate. Parrots that have been raised as single birds tend to develop very close bonds with their owners and sometimes even take them as their mates.

If this may be the case with your parrot, being anywhere near your partner may trigger jealousy. In some cases, the parrot may also start to pluck its feathers out of frustration and stress.

Guests In The House

Meeting new people can be sometimes stressful for parrots. If they see many new faces around them, it can make them a little uncomfortable.

Your parrot might see the guests getting lots of attention, which can trigger feelings of jealousy since it is used to being the special one who talks and gets noticed.

It might feel left out and start behaving in socially acceptable ways, like screaming excessively to get the crowd’s attention or biting people when let out of its cage.

Competition From A Rival Bird

Normally, parrots that are kept in pairs or housed with other birds will not feel jealous as long as they all get your attention. 

However, if the parrots do not get along, it will make the situation heated. The original bird will not like to share its owners with the other even if you choose to play with them together. 

This may make the parrot display aggressive behavior towards the other bird. Usually, when you notice such signs of hostility between two birds, it is better to separate them or their spite might turn into a real fight.

Encroaching Their Territory

Parrots are territorial creatures and can be possessive of their belongings. If you have recently introduced a new bird in its cage, the parrot may act territorial over its toys, food bowls, and other items. It may not want to share them with the new bird. While it is the parrot being territorial, it is also a form of jealousy. 

How To Handle Jealousy In Parrots?

When a parrot is close to its owner, it is normal for it to get jealous. However, this possessiveness can be a problem when they do things that are socially undesirable. Here are some steps you can take to prevent or solve jealous behaviors in your parrot:

Parrot jealous

Introduce New People Slowly

Your parrot will never bond with another pet or a family member as closely as it will with you. But you can still teach them how to be friends with them. A parrot can like a person and tolerate them around you to a certain extent. 

If you want to introduce your parrot to your partner or a family member, take it slow. Don’t ignore your parrot around them. Instead, have them interact with your parrot, give it treats, or play with it. 

When you try to acquaint your parrot with the other person, it will not feel as if it is being ignored. It might believe that it has a new friend to play with. 

However, this may not always go as smoothly because parrots have their own preferences for people. Sometimes, a parrot may not be able to like that person despite your best efforts. In such a case, you need to take a step back and give your parrot some more time. 

Address Their Insecurities 

Parrots attach themselves to a single person, so being a little jealous is in their nature. To calm them and appease their insecurities, you should spend more time interacting with them.

You should spend some time alone with your parrot. This will help them understand that you haven’t lost interest in them and that you still care about them.  

Consult A Behavior Specialist

If your parrot’s jealousy has become an ongoing issue in the house and you can’t seem to manage it, you should consult a specialist for help. Parrot jealousy can be a serious problem. It stresses them out and often turns into the cause of destructive behaviors. So it is better to nip this problem in the bud. 

References and further readings:

Gesell, A. L. (1906). Jealousy. The American Journal of Psychology, 17(4), 437–496.

Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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