The biting game?


New member
Dec 24, 2006
Is play bititng ok?
We seem to have this new game developing.
If Skippah feels the hand is moving too fast toward him, he ducks in and bites the finger.
Not like on day one when he wanted us dead, not even hard enough to leave a mark. This then turns into a game to see how many times he can nibble at me b4 I can get to his head and tickle it.
I can see a more raucus version of this game getting nasty.
Should I nip it in the bud early(yes, bad pun), or is it part of him learning what level of biting is play and how hard is too hard?
I want a well socialized family member, not a moody biter in the corner.


Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Sep 7, 2006
A bird uses his beak for many things, play among them. As soon as it gets too hard then you need to tell him to stop. Bucc plays a biting game with my hubby but when it is all finished there is no mark on hubbby's fingers at all. (I have pictures here somewhere, I'll look for them and post link)

Skippah needs to learn how much pressure us mere humans are able to stand, without the biting becoming too severe. Once he reaches the bite that is not acceptable you need to let him know and stop the game for a while, he will soon learn how much pressure he can put into this game.

Here is the link of Bucc playing with hubby.
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New member
Dec 6, 2006
Albany, NY
Cricket -C.A.G
My grey does that too (won't let touch her head yet)

With Cricket I think it is a more of a test to see you I react, some times if she doesn't like my reaction she takes It a bit further and really lays a bloody one on me.

Yesterday for exsample I was sitting on my couch with her in my lapand she kept trying to get above eye level, like my shoulder and the top of the couch. This is a big no no (higher eye level = dominance) I kept doing the step up and putting her down on my lap again, well she finaly got sick of me doing that (stubern bird) and chomped down on my hand... yes blood. *sign*

There is another reason why I am teaching her not to climb up above me, and yes there is pain behind this reason too. When she starts climbing she bites as she climbs (to help her self up) sell she pinched me good on the soft spot of my arm and a really nice looking neck bite *ouch*

Sorry got off track.... yes I think you should stop the biting before it becomes a habit. If she thinks its a game then she doesn't understand the possible pain behind the idea and start biting harder, then on top of it you are rewarding the bites with the head scratch. If she is just being cranking and your not reading it right ... well then I don't know what to tell you because as you can see I am having a biting issue of my own :(


Staff member
Super Moderator
Jun 16, 2005
As you can see there are no hard and fast answers. Each bird is different and handle biting differently. I let my macaw put his beak around my fingers, but if he ever gets too hard in my opinion, I let out a strong 'NO'. He generally stops. If he doesn't, it's a barrage of 'NO's and then time out.

Remember, the beak is a third foot, they use it to climb and balance themselves.


New member
Nov 9, 2006
Lucky, a 10 year old Eclectus
I guess I'm kind of in the middle on this one. I do not think any type of biting should be rewarded, whether its play biting or not. Though it seems from Petas post Bucc and Petas's husband have a fun game that they play. I think its your call on this one, and what ever you feel comfortable with.


Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Sep 7, 2006
Agree, but as Parrot Owners we have to work out what is a bite and what is not, they use their beaks as a hand, so does that mean that whenever they use their beak it is automatically a bite, We have to work out what is a bite and what is not.

In my opinion (and this is gonna differ from other peoples) a bite is something that they will do to fend us off, for whatever reason, playing is when they use their beak to play and that is totally different. When my hubby plays that game with Bucc, there is NO mark on his hands anywhere, so to me that is not a bite, he is using his beak to play. Believe me he can and will use that beak to bite and that is very different, blood chunks taken out of skin etc. and PAIN a lot of pain. :D

You have to work what is and is not a bite.

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