HAMILTON & DISTRICT BUDGERIGAR SOCIETY INC.

The Behavior of Parakeets

Understanding Parakeets:

Many parakeet owners have wanted to learn as much as possible about the behavior of their birds. Careful scientific studies have provided insight into some behavior patterns of parakeets, and observation of the birds in their Australian habitat has yielded further clues. Last but not least, the decades of experience of keepers and breeders of parakeets have contributed to our knowledge. In this page on parakeet behavior is meant to enable the parakeet fancier--and especially keepers and breeders--to understand parakeets better and to aid in creating an environment that does justice to these sociable, "intelligent," and charming creatures. But remember in reading the following pages that no living creature, especially one as highly developed as the parakeet, always conforms to the typical behavior of its species. And our birds that have lived for generations so far from their original habitat and under totally different conditions show deviations from their natural behavior patterns. If your bird does not exactly fit the descriptions that follow, this may be because of different living conditions, the particular personality of your parakeet, or perhaps some degeneration, which is not necessarily to be viewed negatively. The bird has simply adjusted to living under the care of humans.

Social Behavior:
A bird that lives with many others of its kind in a flock and would probably not survive long in nature as a loner has to be able from birth to get along peacefully with its fellows. It takes a number of innate differentiated forms of expression for birds to live together in a flock and to guarantee smooth natural social interactions. Alt social behavior is involved here, i.e., all communication with fellow members whether it be expressed by voice, posture, or by a sequence of actions. These forms of behavior are intelligible to all members of the flock as well as to the sexual partner. The latter point is especially important with parakeets because these birds tend to live monogamously. Among parakeets everything from courtship and mating to the selection of nesting sites, raising young and introducing juvenile birds into the flock, as well as all interaction within the flock, including even aggression, is regulated by universally understood patterns of behavior that are therefore typical of the species.

Human beings can express their feelings and intentions by means of a language that they have learned when young and that they keep expanding with the aid of their brains. Parakeets, too, can learn, but most of their means of communication are inborn. As already mentioned, movement, posture, and vocal utterance are the signals that either singly or in combination affect the actions and the inner state of other birds; these signals can have a soothing or an agitating effect. It is easy to see, for instance, the calming effect of mutual scratching of the head.

Other behaviour & social apsects.

E-Mail: berniehansen@sympatico.ca

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Hamilton & District Budgerigar Society Inc.