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Old 03-21-2017, 12:18 AM
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Where exactly are the erogenous zones?

Something that my first avian vet told me was that the lower back and the sides under the wings are erogenous zones which I shouldn't touch. This was after asking him about it following an article I'd read that claimed the whole body below the neck is an erogenous zone. Since then, I've seen the "below the neck" claim a lot, but I trusted my vet and always ignored those claims, and assuming that it was generally safe to touch the wings and upper backs of my birds. I've never had a bird vomit on me, attempt to mate with me, or treat me as its mate and drive off all comers, and those are the three behaviors I hear about most in parrots who view humans as their mates.

One of the things that people on the forum I joined before this one told me in my brief time there was that my habit of rubbing my cheek against the wings of birds who will allow it (not that either of my current birds will) was responsible for the death of the lovebird who died of egg block. I thanked her for the new information, repeated part of what the vet told me (presented as what I had believed), and pointed out that that lovebird would not let me touch her at all. Another member of the forum suggested that that's what comes of getting all my information from periodicals and forums, despite the fact that A. I also read books and talked to people and B. it's the periodicals and forums that seem most keen on the "nothing below the neck" rule.

Since in my experience it's usually the simpler ruler which is wrong, and since I got the lower back and under wings rule from a vet, and since I've never had issues, I'm inclined to continue to believe that upper back, wings, and chest are safe to touch if a bird will let me. On the other hand, I know someone with a green-cheek has had her bird vomit on her, but I've also seen at least one picture of her making light contact with her bird's lower back. (The bird was perched on her thumb and she had her hand wrapped around the mid-lower back and upper tail.)

So I'm wondering A. what other people have heard from actual vets, B. whether anyone has had problems with their bird as a result of stimulating the upper back, wings, and/or chest, and C. whether there's other, less-obvious signs of erotic stimulation I might have missed, other than the vomiting, humping, and possessiveness?
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:34 AM
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Re: Where exactly are the erogenous zones?

Your questions: "So I'm wondering A. what other people have heard from actual vets, B. whether anyone has had problems with their bird as a result of stimulating the upper back, wings, and/or chest, and C. whether there's other, less-obvious signs of erotic stimulation I might have missed, other than the vomiting, humping, and possessiveness?"

Lets start with things that you didn't ask:
- What drives a Parrot's Hormonal State? Different species of Parrots will have their specific time of year. Some, very early in a calendar year others at different periods during the year. There are also some that will have multiple times with in the year. Commonly, the larger the Parrot, the more likely of have a single natural yearly event!
- Can Humans change when a single event Parrot has theirs: Yes! With a combination of Food, Handling and length of good restful sleep.

Now on to your questions;
- Your Certified Avian Vet (CAV) provided an excellent description of the areas that are 'most effected' by stimulation. Others areas are commonly added i.e. like everything below the neck because some Humans are not bright enough to keep their hands-off a Parrot that is naturally (based on time of year) Hormonal, or showing clear sights of being Hormonal!
- I am certain that you know that Parrots only vomit when they are serious ill, if they do vomit, your next move is directly to your CAV! What you are referencing is regurgitate, expelling what is in the Crop. This is to show the mate that they will care for them then they are sitting on the eggs and support feeding of the chicks.

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Last edited by SailBoat; 03-21-2017 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:02 AM
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Re: Where exactly are the erogenous zones?

From what I have experienced with my large birds a parrot regurgitation is not necessarily related with touching the sensitive areas.
If a parrot chooses you he/she can regurgitate.
I don't find it repulsive or gross, I feel honored.
Most of the time most of the food goes back to the crop not on my hand.
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:11 PM
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Re: Where exactly are the erogenous zones?

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
Lets start with things that you didn't ask:
- What drives a Parrot's Hormonal State? Different species of Parrots will have their specific time of year. Some, very early in a calendar year others at different periods during the year. There are also some that will have multiple times with in the year. Commonly, the larger the Parrot, the more likely of have a single natural yearly event!
- Can Humans change when a single event Parrot has theirs: Yes! With a combination of Food, Handling and length of good restful sleep.
I did know this, which is why I didn't ask. My personal feeling is that I should try to let them have as close to the light cycle in their natural habitat as I can. When I had equatorial species (sun conure, Senegal, lovebird) in New England, I tried to keep a consistent year-round cycle by covering cages around 6 (7 during DST) and having artificial light until six in winter. Now that I have subtropical species and live in the subtropics, I cover them when it gets dark and don't turn on any lights until they're covered. (I also don't use artificial lights much after dark for my own benefit, when I do I prefer them dim and/or red-shifted.)

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
Now on to your questions;
- Your Certified Avian Vet (CAV) provided an excellent description of the areas that are 'most effected' by stimulation. Others areas are commonly added i.e. like everything below the neck because some Humans are not bright enough to keep their hands-off a Parrot that is naturally (based on time of year) Hormonal, or showing clear sights of being Hormonal!
Thanks. I suspected it was something like this.

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
I am certain that you know that Parrots only vomit when they are serious ill, if they do vomit, your next move is directly to your CAV! What you are referencing is regurgitate, expelling what is in the Crop. This is to show the mate that they will care for them then they are sitting on the eggs and support feeding of the chicks.
I knew that it was voluntary regurgitation rather than involuntary, but I've always thought of vomiting and regurgitation as synonyms. I actually didn't realize that parrots could vomit involuntarily at all (I thought this was one of several reasons it's so dangerous when they ingest things they shouldn't) but I certainly would have taken the regurgitation of large amounts of food as a problem calling for a vet.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:58 AM
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Re: Where exactly are the erogenous zones?

Im may be wrong on this.. I know birds can be different. But I have never restricted my touching of my bird to "above the neck" only. And I have never had a bird that went all goofy/hormonal other than what I would think is normal. I did have one cockatiel that would get excited and start laying eggs if you just whistled to her.. but it seemed to be more connected to season coupled with just talking/whistling to her than physical contact. This went on pretty regular for 25 years.
Right now I have 2 males... a BFA (31 years old) and a SC...about 3 years old. Both are cuddlebugs, enjoying all kinds of contact including preening, back scratchs, belly rubs etc. and lots of mock fighting/horseplay with each other as well as me. Ive not noticed anything that would signify our interactions have any negative affect. To the contrary,.. they don't panic or get stressed being handled for maybe first aid, a lil nail trim, or giving meds. Maybe I've just been lucky, maybe its just the birds that I have and had.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:25 AM
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Re: Where exactly are the erogenous zones?

Quote: Originally Posted by Notdumasilook View Post
Right now I have 2 males... a BFA (31 years old) and a SC...about 3 years old. Both are cuddlebugs, enjoying all kinds of contact including preening, back scratchs, belly rubs etc. and lots of mock fighting/horseplay with each other as well as me. Ive not noticed anything that would signify our interactions have any negative affect. To the contrary,.. they don't panic or get stressed being handled for maybe first aid, a lil nail trim, or giving meds. Maybe I've just been lucky, maybe its just the birds that I have and had.

You clearly understand when your BFA begins displaying to a level of Hormonal rage, and you than back-off and allow your Amazon to settle down before you interact with him. Sadly, there are far too many people that just continue to play with a Raging Amazon that is clearly spinning out-of-control! It is that bunch of 'idiots' that the "not below the neck" comment is aimed.

A Life Truism: Amazons do not suffer idiots! Such individuals are provided clarity at a painful level.

Knowledge is a wonderful thing to have on your side when working with Parrots. I try to write to the lowest denominator and hope that those who have the knowledge will understand the reasoning!
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:45 AM
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Re: Where exactly are the erogenous zones?

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post

I knew that it was voluntary regurgitation rather than involuntary, but I've always thought of vomiting and regurgitation as synonyms. I actually didn't realize that parrots could vomit involuntarily at all (I thought this was one of several reasons it's so dangerous when they ingest things they shouldn't) but I certainly would have taken the regurgitation of large amounts of food as a problem calling for a vet.
There is a major difference between vomiting (involuntary) and regurgitation (voluntary).

Voluntary is sourced from the Crop and is very limited in the amount of digestion that has occurred. Commonly, a Parrot will fill the Crop and move to a safe place and regurgitate to complete the chewing of the contains. The additional use is for feeding a mate sitting on eggs and feeding chicks.

Involuntary is a very rare event for a Parrot, uncommon if you will! It is a very serious occurrence and when it happens one needs to be involved in a mad rush to your CAV. The contains are clearly not what is seen from regurgitation. The fact that it is so rare and deeply concerning is why there is a clearly different term used to separate them.

I hope that this helps in defining the difference.

Last edited by SailBoat; 03-22-2017 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:20 AM
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Re: Where exactly are the erogenous zones?

As I understand it, the erogenous zones are the ones touched during mating. So, lower back, the sides under the wings where feet would go (even on males), the vent and tail area. But of course all birds are different. Some birds seem to go hormonal with no touching at all. Some can be touched anywhere. Gus went through a regurgitation phase which improved markedly when we cut back on his daylight hours. Gus also has a spinal deformity that makes it impossible for him to preen himself properly, so a human must crack the sheaths on the tail feathers and lower back in addition to the back of the head. Luckily, this doesn't seem to start him off on a mating frenzy. He seems to know that this is a grooming behavior and not a prelude to something more.
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