Introducing a baby human to the parrot flock

LakeDesire

New member
Sep 27, 2012
118
Media
4
0
Seattle
Parrots
Jade (Nanday Conure, 20),
Henry (Red-Crowned Amazon, ~15), Joey and Sophie (Congo African Greys, ~17)
Hi all! Apologies if this has already been covered, but I wasn't able to find an existing thread while searching the forum.

My husband and I are expecting our first human baby this November. Does anyone have any experience introducing a human baby to the parrot family? We'd like to minimize jealousy. Our lives revolve around our four parrots and they participate in cooking, board games, and TV, and that may change with a newborn, and they're smart enough to know baby is who is disrupting their routine.

Our flock:
--a 20 year old conure: she'll be fine, I've had her since I was 12 years old, and she has dealt with all my life changes with a positive attitude.
--two 17 year old pair-bonded CAGs, who we adopted from a rescue. We've trained them to have good manners under our supervision, but they know how to make trouble when we turn our backs. They have scared away three house-sitters.
--a 15 year old green cheek amazon (also a rescue) who is bonded with my husband. You know how amazons get jealous and possessive.
 

GaleriaGila

Well-known member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
May 14, 2016
15,059
8,781
Cleveland area
Parrots
The Rickeybird, 38-year-old Patagonian Conure
No experience, buttttttttttttttt...

Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
17,660
10,044
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
Well, its more like introducing a new Parrot to the flock than a new adult Human.

I have know several great Amazon Nannies. There are several Amazon Members who have had Amazon Nannies. As with near anything its all about introductions.

Far to many Parrots have lost their homes because of 'Baby Doctors' warning against the dangers of not mixing Parrots and Babies!

The most likely problem is the Parrots picking up on the fact that the Baby gets attention when it cries. So, they will all learn how to cry. So, upfront warning, avoid over-reacting!!!

Congrats on the new baby!!!
 

Kiwibird

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2012
9,539
111
Parrots
1 BFA- Kiwi. Hatch circa 98', forever home with us Dec. 08'
Congrats on your new or soon to be new arrival:) How exciting! Has the baby arrived yet?

I have not had any kids yet, but I once once a newborn in a house with 3 parrots. They all reacted differently, and held the same attitudes towards me as I grew up. One amazon took to me immediately and pretty much decided I was HER baby, she was trustworthy and persistent enough she was allowed on my crib. She's always loved my mom and hated my dad, that didn't change lol. The other amazon never minded me but wasn't over the moon in love either, then again he's not attached to any human. He's bonded to the other amazon but is about the sweetest parrot you could ever meet, not an aggressive bone in his body towards anyone. The cockatoo however developed pretty extreme jealousy issues. Sometimes he was ok with me, but other times, well lets say I got an early introduction to how hard parrots bite. My parents had to clip him while I was small (let him be flighted again once I was older) and put him in a pedestal cage up where I couldn't reach or he would've taken a finger off (again, only a few years until I was old enough to know to stay away). I don't know that much changed for the parrots though. They were still always included in family life, my parents just had to keep an extra close eye on the cockatoo while I was small but the amazons were great pets growing up and I interacted with all the birds from a very young age, learning about body language and parrot behavior along the way. Another thing, I remember those parrots always doing fly by's and stealing my toys:rolleyes: Life lesson learned: what's yours is mine and what's mine is mine with parrots:D I think it's one of those 'play it by ear' things and a wait and see how they react individually and adjust accordingly. And even though I did get bit by the cockatoo, I wasn't damaged for life and still grew up loving birds.

As we plan to have kids in the next few years, I've kind of loosely thought about Kiwi. I think he's going to love having a loud little human around. He's clipped already so not worried there, but thinking when that time comes, will probably introduce him to the babies area before theres a baby so he kind of understands something is about to change, but he isn't "banished" from this special magical place. Also think we will likely (unless he shows some kind of unforeseen extreme aggression) start showing him the baby and letting him observe from a safe distance ASAP like what my parents let their birds do so he sees he will still be included and this is a new family member, not a replacement:)
 
Last edited:
OP
LakeDesire

LakeDesire

New member
Sep 27, 2012
118
Media
4
0
Seattle
Parrots
Jade (Nanday Conure, 20),
Henry (Red-Crowned Amazon, ~15), Joey and Sophie (Congo African Greys, ~17)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
Thank you for the replies, everyone! The baby has not arrived yet, but will arrive sometime in November.

Kiwibird, that is so cool that you grew up in a parrot house and still love parrots! I was always a parrot lover ("bird" was my first or second word) but had to beg my parents to indulge my obsession. It is reassuring that the amazons got along with you and one looked after you. I can see our African grays biting a child, but they DO give a lot of body language warnings before they get to the point of biting.

I had assumed the parrots would learn how to cry for attention, especially the grays, since they like to "make phone calls" and "ring the doorbell" for attention. However, I hadn't considered that the amazon may want to become a nanny, that would sure be preferred to her hating the baby! Maybe she'll think the baby belongs to "her" and my partner together. I have a friend with an orange-wing "nurse amazon" who cares for elderly and disabled parrots, and he surprised everyone when his DNA test came back that he is male!

I have had some concerned family members worried about having a baby around parrots, but my family doctor knows I have parrots and hasn't been concerned. Nor is my avian vet concerned (she sees less than one case of psittacosis a year, and is raising her own kid in a parrot household). As far as I know, cats and dogs are more dangerous to children in terms of disease and attacks, but they are also more "socially acceptable" pets so I don't think new parents get much pushback for having a furry family like those of us with feathered families do. I think the main thing I'll have to be careful of is the parrot creating a choking hazard for baby since they love to throw their parrot kibble and chewed up toy fragments on the floor.
 
OP
LakeDesire

LakeDesire

New member
Sep 27, 2012
118
Media
4
0
Seattle
Parrots
Jade (Nanday Conure, 20),
Henry (Red-Crowned Amazon, ~15), Joey and Sophie (Congo African Greys, ~17)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
The baby arrived a few weeks ago! Surprisingly, the grays have been really well behaved. They seem to be on their best behavior to compete for our attention with the newborn. The amazon has been having tantrums to compete for my husband's attention, and she gets the conure riled up, who squawks because everyone else is squawking.

Lesson learned: if your parrots are already well trained, they seem to fall back on that training when a new baby arrives. The grays were well-behaved when supervised, and so that has continued. The amazon had trained my husband to server at her beck and call... and that has continued too!
 

Most Reactions

Latest posts

Top