Why Does My Parrot Bite My Nails?

Don’t be too alarmed if your parrot bites your nails as, more often than not, it is not any kind of worrying behaviour. If your parrot is biting your nails in a non-aggressive manner, this can be an act of affection or “beaking”. Parrots use their beaks in a number of different ways to communicate.

In this article you’re going to discover the following

  • Possible reasons why your parrot is biting your nails
  • Is it okay to allow your birdie to bite your nails
  • How you can stop this behavior

So if you’re interested to learn all about this particular behavior and how to stop it then you’re going to love this article!

Sound good?

Let’s get started

Possible Reasons Why Your Parrot Is Biting Your Nails

First, it’s important to note that parrots use their beaks to grab things and keep balance, just like their feet, so if they are not biting you too hard, it is not a sign of aggression.

There are many reasons why a parrot might bite your nails.

If you have a younger parrot, the most likely reason for your parrot biting your nails is “beaking”.

Simply think of a baby biting on teething rings or a puppy gnawing on a chew toy.

Another reason your parrot may be biting your nails is that it is preening you.

To remain clean, parrots preen themselves and their friends.

It is a form of affection in the parrot world. 

Parrots have many nerve endings in their tongues, so if the nibble is accompanied by a little lick of the tongue, this can be the bird sensing out or evaluating you.

On the other hand, if the parrot bites down hard or suddenly on your fingernail, this could be a sign that the bird is ill, stressed, or trying to communicate something.

Often a true bite will break the skin, and usually means the bird needs some space or is feeling threatened.

Related article – Can a parrot bite your finger off?

Now that we know the possible reasons why your parrot is biting your nails, let’s look at if it’s okay to allow your bird to do this

Carry on reading..

Is It Okay To Let My Parrot Bite My Nails? 

Since the most common reason a parrot bites your nails is to groom you, it is actually okay for them to bite your nails and it has no negative effects on the animal.

Usually they are biting off dead skin or hangnails.

It is a sign of affection as they do this to clean up their mates and chicks.

And if a younger parrot is nibbling on you, as mentioned above, this is generally their form of teething and in most cases, it will not hurt.

But please note that it is best to stop the parrot if they start to bite too hard otherwise it can become a habit 

“Beaking” is a normal occurrence for any bird owner.

However, if it gets out of control, you can get a leather arm cover in order to protect your fingers when holding your parrot.

Keep in mind, however, if your parrot chomps down on you in a quick motion accompanied by ruffling its feathers and backing away, this is a sign of a scared or stressed out bird.

In this case, you will need to find a solution to this issue for the animal’s well being. 

That means a trip to the avian vet to make sure your parrot is okay and healthy

How To Stop This Behavior

Birds, especially parrots, are sensitive animals, so you will not be able to respond to them the same way you do with dogs or cats.

When a parrot hears a loud or high pitched noise, they will most likely read this as a positive reaction or a sign of affirmation.

This is why it is not recommended to yell or make loud noises for unwanted behavior such as when your parrot bites you a bit too hard.

Instead, what you should do is softly react to the bird using lower vocals, and use body language and facial expressions.

And conversely, when the bird is listening to you and acting how you want it to, use higher vocal tones to praise it. 

When a bird bites you with a true, painful bite, you should use the same techniques as above but also use some other methods to ensure correcting this behavior.

One way to stop this behavior is to give the bird some time alone and not interact with the animal for a few minutes.

When you come back to the parrot after a few minutes, use praise and treats as you approach the bird if it is acting calmly, and allow the bird to approach you on its own.

The secret to stopping unwanted behavior in a parrot is repetition, patience, focus, and, of course, treats!

Related articles on parrot behavior

Why does my parrot nibble my ear?

Why does my parrot eat from my mouth?

Why does my parrot hold my finger?

Why does my parrot dip his food in water?

Why does my parrot bite my clothes?

Wrapping Up – Why Does My Parrot Bite My Nails?

Parrots are highly intelligent animals that can use their entire bodies including their beaks to show emotion.

As an owner of a parrot, it is important to learn to distinguish between “beaking” and a true bite in order to properly train your parrot.

Not all bites are the same as your parrot could be “beaking” to show affection or nibbling and licking to sense out their surroundings.

As long as your parrot is not biting aggressively, let them!

All they really want to do is show you a bit of love and that of course is a good thing!