Also called abnormal or neurotic fear, this is an overwhelming fear response in a pet parrot. It is often characterized by a parrot flailing around its cage, sometimes breaking blood feathers in its attempt to escape. The object of the fear response is often something or someone the bird previously trusted, such as the bird’s favorite person.
Anecdotally, this behavior can be associated with a pet parrot having a fundamental lack of confidence (for example, if never allowed to fledge normally) or having encountered a terrifying circumstance, such as an earthquake, or an extremely negative experience, such as overly aggressive handling in a veterinary office.
Contact an experienced parrot behavior consultant for assistance immediately. If a parrot is truly phobic, mishandling the situation can seriously exacerbate the problem. If so, it can cause damage that can take years to repair.
Disclaimer: BirdChannel.com’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.