Big Parrot and Small Children - - - by Liz Davies (aka "Mom")



I will say up front that I don’t have children, so there are some people who may discount what I am about to say.  However…

All birds can and do bite at some point.  All young parrots go through a “beaky” period when they try out their chomping strength on everything they come into contact with.  Birds are easily startled and frightened.  A frightened bird is even more likely to bite. 

Are you considering a large bird?  Look at that huge beak – the one that can crack open brazil nuts.  Look at your child’s tiny arms, fingers, ears, noses.  Think about stitches.  Think about the trauma that a facial bite would cause – especially if it resulted in needing cosmetic surgery.  Yes, I know… your child is above-average intelligence and would NEVER tease the parrot.  Yes, I know… your parrot is totally tame and would never bite.  Yes, I know…

If you simply must have that parrot, and you have small children (or are planning a family in the future), at least resolve not to allow youngsters to be around the bird unsupervised.  And memorize the shortest distance between your home and the nearest emergency care center.

I've not been bitten (yet) by my large macaw.  But she has pinched me, nipped, me and tried her amazing beak strength on my fingers (she'd like to remove my fingernails, as all parrots seem to want to do).  I have been bitten by Pakshi, my small macaw - and bitten badly enough that I would NEVER allow him to be in direct contact with anyone, especially a child.
Here's a photo of a mild bite on my right forearm from Pakshi.  He attacked me because I reached into his cage to remove a toy that, apparently, he didn't want me to move.  Pakshi is a very small macaw - only about 12 inches long.  Fortunately, he wasn't able to get a good grip on me and I moved away before he could break the skin.