Eclectus parrots are very special birds, and to many owners, they are often like small children. They definitely each have their own personalities, but they also have two growing stages that can be quite trying. These growing stages are similar to a human child’s terrible twos and puberty. Here is a breakdown of both of these growing stages.
The Terrible Twos – The terrible twos for Eclectus parrots occurs between the ages of three and five months. It is during this time that they are generally naughty and into everything. They will essentially test the boundaries set by the breeder, the owner, or their actual parent. It is during this time that the young Eclectus parrot needs to learn who is boss (you).
It is very vital to your bird’s future behavior that you do not tolerate his bad behavior during the terrible twos. For example, you must make him do what it is that you want him to do, instead of allowing him to do what he wants to do during training sessions. This does not mean, however, that he should be punished. Essentially, you need to show him that you are dominant. During this period, experts advise that you should not let the bird sit on your shoulder, as this puts him above your eye level, which in his world means that he is dominant.
Puberty – When your Eclectus parrot is about nine months old, he will start going through what is essentially puberty. Just as human teenagers have raging emotions, these birds also have raging emotions, and they look for a way to deal with them. This stage, unfortunately, can last until the bird is about two or three years old.
Of the two growing stages, this one is often the hardest for the owner to deal with, because it lasts the longest. The good news is that unless your Eclectus parrot has been demonstrating poor behavior before this period, he will grow out of it, just as most teenagers do. During this time, you may notice extreme mood swings, screaming that takes place more often, shadow boxing, and even masturbation. It is also during this time, of course, that the Eclectus parrot will start showing obvious interest in the opposite sex.
The key to getting through both of these trying times is patience – just as though you were dealing with a human child. However, discipline really isn’t suggested, since the Eclectus parrot won’t understand it. Instead, encourage more appropriate behavior, and understand that your beloved bird will outgrow these awkward stages, and he will become the bird that you’ve grown to love once again.