There are more than 9,000 species of birds in the world yet they are very elusive to predators. This is because birds are very good at concealing their weaknesses to avoid being hunted as prey.
Domesticated birds have adapted this survival skill, which is why it is quite a challenge to recognize their stress and illnesses.
What are the things that could cause them stress? What are the signs of a stressed bird?
Biting is often regarded as an act of hostility and self-defense. However, birds only bite because they feel scared and threatened.
Fear is a factor of stress; so if your bird is being aggressive, you might want to check your environment and figure out the culprit.
If nothing is out of place and everything’s completely normal, your bird might be feeling unwell and it might be best to bring it to the vet.
2. Unusual screeching
Occasional screeching and screaming are normal for birds, but make sure that you can identify what sounds normal and what doesn’t.
Long, persistent screeches could mean discomfort, pain, or injury. Examine your bird to identify the cause, or bring it to the vet for a checkup.
3. Unusual silence
Unusual silence or lesser-than-normal vocalization is also a sign of stress.
To be chirpy and jolly is their natural disposition; so if they are being gloomy all of a sudden, something might be off.
Birds can also exhibit signs of unhappiness and boredom. If this behavior persists for more than 24 hours, it’s time to seek the vet’s advice.
4. Feather picking
Feather picking is usually caused by strange and intense noises.
Unpleasant noises could cause them stress and trigger this behavior, which is often difficult to stop even if the noise had subsided.
Even though stress is a factor, there are other possible reasons for feather picking. The best thing to do is to visit a vet to rule them out.
5. Self-inflicted harm
A bird that is severely stressed could inflict harm on itself by gnawing on its skin until it penetrates the muscles and bones.
This alarming behavior warrants an immediate trip to the vet for further assessment.
Most of the time, birds who exhibit this type of behavior are placed under medication and are made to wear an e-collar for restraint.
6. Stereotypical behaviors
Examples of stereotypical behaviors in birds include tapping its claws, repeatedly swinging its head, or walking back and forth.
This can be caused by boredom or unhappiness. It is important to spend some time to play and talk to your bird to make sure it stays happy and stimulated and prevent stressed feelings.
7. Loss of appetite
Sudden loss of appetite is indicative of stress, but it can also be caused by an underlying illness.
If your bird is not touching its meals, try giving it a different type of food such as a slice of banana or a different type of seed.
If it hasn’t eaten or has eaten very little for more than 24 hours, it’s time for a vet visit.
Pet bird owners should be sensitive to any kind of change in their bird’s behavior. Being able to recognize these signs will prevent health issues that are associated with stress.
Birds are one of the most sensitive pets, so any kind of change must be introduced slowly and gently to avoid getting the stressed.
If they are raised and maintained in the right environment, they will be healthy and live for many years.