Though birds are among the best options for people looking for pets, they will only work for you if you pick the right species. Some bird species come with challenging care needs as they are prone to diseases.
Moreover, some live for only a few years, meaning you will be constantly mourning the loss of an animal with which you have formed an emotional bond. For pets, conures are one of the best options. These are small colorful birds that belong to the parrot species.
While conures are renowned for their cheerful disposition, some pet owners have reported seemingly random cases of aggression. This aggression is generally evidenced as biting.
Though it is distressing to deal with a biting conure, this does not mean that you should get rid of the bird or that you have failed in its training.
Below are tidbits that will help you understand the biting behavior in conures and what you can do about it.
Why do Conure Birds Usually Bite?
Conures will bite for several reasons and it is crucial to understand the cause of their behavior so that you institute the right modification techniques for it.
Below are the common reasons why conures bite:
- Baby bird behavior: Like puppies and children, young conures sometimes use their beaks to discover their surroundings. This is quite common in birds that have been raised alone since they do not know about boundaries. Young birds might also pick the biting behavior when owners reach out to pick them as the grabbing turns into biting.
- Fear: Birds in their natural habitats will naturally fly off when they feel threatened. This is however not an option when in a birdcage. As such, the bird will take to biting to ward off a threat.
- Dominance or control: Birds often have a pecking order when they live in groups. Conures might use biting to defend their territories in captivity. The territory, in this case, might mean the pet owner with whom the conure has formed a bond or another bird in the cage.
- Breeding behavior: Sexually mature male conures can bite owners and other birds when in breeding mode. This behavior is meant to ward off competition and protect a mating partner. The biting, in this instance, is generally hormone-driven.
- Playing: During play, a conure can bite you when it gets overexcited or reaches out to you for some balance.
- Medical issues: When most birds feel unwell, they, like most people, want to be left alone. Trying to pet your conure when it is sick might cause it to bite you. If you notice other changes like a decreased appetite or your bird disinterested in play with the biting behavior, get a vet to check for any medical issues.
- Attracting attention: When your conure feels like it is being ignored, it sometimes starts biting to get the attention it is looking for.
How do You Get Your Conure to Stop Biting?
Owning a conure that bites is not exciting. Not only are the bites a sign that there is something wrong with your bird, but they can physically harm you. Here are some steps you can take to get a conure to stop biting:
- Be confident when giving your conure a hand to perch on since the bird reads your emotions and will bite if you are scared. Place the hand firmly in front of the bird, just below its belly and hold steady as it jumps on your hand.
- Be patient with your bird as it learns to be less fearful and stop biting. You can move it to a neutral location, focus on repeating positive behavior, avoid yelling and give treats to reinforce good behaviors.
- Stick to a training schedule when teaching your conure different things that will disrupt its behavioral issues.
- Only use your hands positively when around the conure so that it associates them with positivity rather than something on which they can bite.
Do Conure Bites Hurt?
Yes, conure bites will hurt. This is because the birds have strong beaks that enable them to crack the hard shells of the nuts on which they feed.
Moreover, conures are among the large birds in the parrot species and they thus have strong bites.
Do Conures Bite Each Other?
Yes, conures can bite each other. In these cases, the biting is often in a bid for one to mark its territory or a part of their mating behavior. If you notice one of your conures is territorial, have separate cages for your birds.
If your bird is young, however, it might bite others as it tries exploring its world. This is nothing you should worry about because the young conure will outgrow the behavior.
Do Conures Bite you When Jealous?
Yes, conures can bite you when jealous. Birds in the parrot species are quite emotional in their natural habitats and captivity.
Jealousy in conures often follows the introduction of a new person or another pet into your household, or another bird in their cages.
In this case, the jealousy might cause your conure to bite in a bid to catch your attention or mark its territory.
When you notice that jealousy is the contributing element to your conure’s biting, try giving it treats and spending as such time as possible with it.
Do Conures Bite Strangers?
Yes, conures can bite strangers. This arises from their behavior in the wild when young ones live in flocks. However, when they reach sexual maturity, they get a mate and will stop interacting with other birds.
They will bite strangers to protect their mates and ward off rivalry. In captivity, strangers are seen as people the conure should protect you from or ward off to maintain your attention, hence the biting.
Conures can be the best birds to keep once you understand their behaviors. From the above information, you have hopefully gained some insight into their biting behavior and are now well-placed to handle it.
If the techniques you use do not stop the biting behavior in your conure, see a bird specialist to assess the behavior and advise you.