Most birds, including ducks, chicken, cockatiels, and cockatoos, enjoy a little cuddling and petting, though some birdies adore cuddles a lot more than others.
Plus, it depends on the bond between you and your bird and how you handle it.
Some parrots like to be held in both hands, while others don’t. One bird might be Ok with her wings being restricted, while others don’t want to be held but are ok with light strokes.
From experience, parrots seem to love and require more cuddle time than most birds, although it varies depending on the type.
Mine love it when I stroke him under the head or chin, though he equally enjoys when I lightly touch his chest and downy type areas that are not heavily feathered.
When he’s craving some petting, he’ll put his head down and stay still as long as he still wants to be handled.
Granted, while each bird has his or her own personality, a nice cuddle is a favorite for many, and most birdies come up with brilliant ways of letting you know when they want to cuddle.
Come along with me as I explore more about bird cuddling, petting, and handling birds. We’ll look at the Dos and Donts, plus how to get the most of the bond between you and your pet.
Do Birds Get Turned On When You Pet Them
I’m sure this may come as a surprise to new owners who just got a pet bird, but YES, your birdie may get turned on when you pet her.
However, as long as you put limits on how long you pet your bird after expressing her arousal response, there no reason not to cuddle her.
I also suggest you only concentrate the touches on the head feathers as this is less likely to excite her. Avoid stroking your birdie’s underwing and lower parts, especially the area around her vent.
Stroking the head and neck areas is usually fine, especially for short sessions; non-mated birds do this for each other in a flock. But petting the body beneath the wings or the rear end is a no-no.
If your birdie is getting excited and it makes you too uncomfy, but you still want to pet her, try to redirect your bird’s attention with things like perches, music, and toys anytime you notice her get aroused.
Move her from your lap, hand, or the area she tends to rub on as you distract her.
As a long term solution, you can also try getting her a companion to bond and maybe mate with.
Because many bird species mate for life, a boyfriend for your girl birdie will help water down her bond with you and allow you to pet her without getting excited.
Another thing to note is that this tendency is easier to handle if you catch it early.
If you unknowingly encourage the behavior for a long time, it could cause frustration and anxiety in your bird when you try to stop the practice
Even then, you can remedy her behavior once you understand your bird is a wild animal, and arousal is merely a natural, instinctive behavior that your birdie can unlearn quite readily.
Gradual positive reinforcement will help your bird understand the reasons for petting her. This means making your bird understand a cuddle does not mean sex but activities such as grooming.
For instance, you can choose to pet your bird only when trimming her nails. And while at it, pay attention to her behavior to ensure its cuddles her wants and nothing else.
Reward appropriate reaction with tasty treats to reinforce and encourage good behavior.
As well, try to encourage your birdie to show interest in boys (or girls), to make her less attached to you, and know where to direct her sexual urges.
So, how do you know if a bird you are petting is aroused or just enjoying your cuddles.
Well, most birds will make a cooing, clucking, or whistling sound and push their head towards you when excited. The bird will also try to rub on your lap or hand while you cuddle her (or him).
Are Birds Sexually Attracted to Their Owners
As we saw above, a bird can get excited by an owner’s touches and cuddles. Sexual attraction is also possible, particularly with birds kept in isolation and only bonded to the owner.
Male birds might try to feed you by regurgitating if they are sexually attracted to you, whereas girls will stick their lower parts out (dropped wings, high tail) when you handle them.
In case you’re wondering how a bird becomes attracted to you, here is how!
In case you are wondering how a bird becomes attracted to you, here is how!
For a parrot kept in isolation, she (or he) only has one person to form a bond with. Gradually, you will register in the bird’s mind as a potential mate considering you are the only life-form available.
And since most bird species bond and mate for life, your birdie will show sexual excitement anytime you handle her in a manner akin to a mating cuddle.
This includes touching her underwing and the rare end of her tail close to the vent.
Hand-raised birds and those kept singly without a mate usually feel horny enough to want to mate with their caregiver. Some may even reject fellow birds as potential mates if you take too long to introduce the other birdie.
How to Pet (Handle) Your Bird Appropriately
Most socialized birds do enjoy a gentle scratching on the side of the and back of the neck and head, probably because the strokes mimic how birds in a flock groom each other.
Some also enjoy touches under the wing, but I do not recommend it since it’ll very likely arouse your birdie.
Stokes in the underwings and tail feathers are more sexual in nature and not so much for grooming purposes.
Before you start petting your bird, you should start with creating a rapport with him or her. Learn what your birdie likes and understand her body language.
A strong bond will build your bird’s trust and help her ease up to you enough to allow petting and cuddles.
The perk of understanding her body language is to know when your bird wants some petting and when to let her be.
With newer birdies, start slowly and gently until she grows accustomed to it. You can even begin by stroking less intrusive areas like her beak, then move along gradually.
Move on to petting her on the head, gently gliding your fingers against her feathers from back to front. Stoke the head just above the beak and between the eyes.
If your bird fully trusts you, it’s also Ok to pet her up and under the chin and on the chest, but don’t overindulge.
Lastly, remember not all birds like cuddling, so you need to be very respectful of their wishes. If your bird doesn’t want to pet, let them be.
Since all animals love affection, if you forge a bond with it, it might come around and ask for your attention, just don’t force it.
Happy Birding ????.