Separation Anxiety in Parrots & How to Avoid it

Separation Anxiety in Parrots & How to Avoid it

 February 25th, 2010
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Blue throated macaw, Camelot macaw

The only reason your bird would suffer from separation anxiety is if the only person it likes is you and you’re leaving. So, don’t leave.

Just kidding. We all need somewhat of a life outside our parrots, if that’s possible…

The key is socializing your parrot so that it isn’t altered too emotionally severely when you aren’t around suddenly. The best way to do this is to prepare your bird long before you have to actually go. You can do this by having people stay over and do most of the caring for your bird while you’re still around too, or even leave for a night… then two, then three. Slowly increasing the amount of time.

However, I swear the best answer to every bird problem out there is trick training.


When you trick train your bird, it allows complete strangers to interact with your bird in a challenging way (meaning it challenges the bird and doesn’t bore it to death) making socializing fun and interactive for both bird and person. This is also a great way of fun entertainment for your bird and new bird sitter and something they can do together without you there.

When I left my bird with my parents and one of the training courses, I came back to a bird who knew tons of phrases plus every trick on the DVD! My bird hardly noticed I wasn’t around, she was too busy having a blast learning new things and was eager to show them off for me!

Now I don’t know about you, but if I all I had to do was buy the DVD course and leave it someone else to do the training… I’d accept free training! (But doing the training sure is a lot of the fun, too!)

And it makes your bird a lot easier to socialize with new people, making it less likely to have any separation anxiety from you taking a much needed vacation.

Try introducing your bird to one new person a day, let other people do the “caring for” so your bird knows not everything comes from just you, and start your trick training today (using other people too). I know it feels good when your bird just wants you and only you, but it’s a super selfish thing too and doesn’t do the bird any good in the long run.

To pick up a copy of our trick training course today, check out the birdtricks store here.

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3 Comments on “Separation Anxiety in Parrots & How to Avoid it”

Shasta  02/25/2010 3:34 pm

I appreciate the tips but what can I do about a bird that freaks out & screams constantly the instant I walk out of the room until I come back? If he knows I’m in the house and I’m not within eye shot he freaks out until I am. I do bring him around the house with me as much as possible… He drives my partner crazy with the screaming and subsequently Michael doesn’t want to have much to do with the bird.
I do have some of the DVD’s and he doesn’t seem remotely interested in training. He’s fearful of pretty well everything that goes too close so the touch training has been hard. I get the impression that I ‘annoy’ him with it & he just goes into the farthest corner of his cage and ignores me or becomes aggressive until I leave him alone to do his thing.

Jamieleigh  02/26/2010 10:01 am

Hey Shasta,

Do you have the Stop Screaming Birdtricks course? It seems to be more what you may be looking for. Also, the Seminar DVD’s talk about the “Phases of Fear” birds go through and that could be super helpful to you as well. You can find the screaming course here; and ask customer service about the Seminar DVD’s at

Hope this helps!

Tori  02/10/2014 2:55 am

My bird had a somewhat different kind of Separation Anxiety. I have two Tiels. I can never have alone 1 on 1 time with either of them, which I feel is detrimental to them, because One refuses to be out of eyesight of the other, or he’ll start screaming. We’ve come to accept it, and refer to the episodes as “Beaconing”. We love to spend time with them, but have mostly limited them to one room of the house, as they are both flighted, and when one flies to another room, the anxious one will start screaming (even if he’s the one that flew away!).