Mating Behavior

Mating, reproductive and nesting behaviors can be exhibited by sexually mature pet birds.

Mating, reproductive and nesting behaviors can be exhibited by sexually mature pet birds.

Mating, nesting or reproductive behavior can cover a plethora of actions, including increased shredding of paper and/or wood, seeking small dark places inside cabinets and/or under furniture, aggressive protection of said places, increased regurgitation to feed a perceived mate (person or otherwise), increased vocalizations, increased “clinginess” with pet birds, masturbation, and in female birds, egg laying.


This is a perfectly normal cycle for all birds (and their owners) to experience once the birds become sexually mature. Depending on species, age and individuals, nesting behavior can last from a couple of weeks to a month.


Under normal circumstances, there is little the owner should do during this period, other than to gently avoid encouraging amorous advances from their feathered friend. Owners need also to remember that increased aggression can be a component of reproductive behaviors, and they should be even more aware than usual of a bird’s body language. Aggression can usually be avoided if one is paying attention. Please note that serious physical and psychological problems can develop if pet birds remain in reproductive hormone behavior for prolonged periods. Such birds are considered to be in chronic reproductive status (CRS), and owners should seek the assistance of their avian veterinarian and/or a parrot behavior consultant to help resolve this situation.

Disclaimer:’s Bird Behavior Index is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

Article Categories:
Behavior and Training · Birds

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