Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Parrotlet or Ringneck Bit A Parrotlet's Beak Off?

Dear Sandee/Robert,

I own several pairs of Parrotlets and have for many years. I recently paired up
2 potential breeders and had them in a split cage for nearly 2 months, monitored
their behavior/interaction and placed them in a single cage. They immediately
took to each other, sitting side by side, giving kisses and seemed like a match.
I had them housed in an outside aviary and on Tuesday the 3rd of May, I noticed
the female had one of her toes missing. However, the two seemed fine together.
The next day when checking on all of my birds, to my horror, the male was
missing his upper beak! I immediately separated the two and called my vet. She
said that if the bird lived, it was possible that the injured male could
possibly learn to eat on his own. I have been hand feeding him, with added baby
food. I have noticed that he does eat on his own. Although. his beak looks much
better, my main question is: could the female have done such damage? I have an
Indian Ringneck that free flies and noticed today that she was on top of the
female's Parrotlet's cage. Have you ever heard of Parrotlet's being this
aggressive or could the Ringneck be the culprit?

I have searched the Internet and have a copy of "The Parrotlet Handbook" and can
find no information regarding this unfortunate incident.

Thank you for your time and professional advice,



Dear Lee:

Thank you for your email. I'm terribly sorry to hear about this situation.

In 30 years I have never heard of a parrotlet being able to bite off another parrotlet's beak. I've seen them have fights and injure each other's beak but I would not believe a parrotlet could do that unless I saw it with my own eyes. I am not a betting woman but I would bet the farm it was the Ringneck. Parrotlets just don't have that kind of power in their jaws but the Ringneck certainly does. As I say in all of my writings including my book, The Parrotlet Handbook, over and over, parrotlets are very aggressive and territorial and will defend their cages against much larger animals including other birds. I'm sure the Ringneck landed on the parrotlet's cage, the parrotlet ran up to bite/chase it off and the Ringneck reached down and bit off the beak. Unfortunately, this is a very common occurrence with free-flying birds that are not supervised when out of their cages. Another excellent reason to keep those wings clipped and always supervise a bird when it is out of its cage.

Best of luck to you and your birds. Hope this helps.

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.
Secretary, International Parrotlet Society

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