I went to bed last night with a sentence running through my head over and over. "Your parrot might hate you." I read that in an article a FlockCall member shared with me yesterday. The statement was followed by advice to accept that status of hate and get on with it as best you can. Because sometimes, parrots will hate someone. And sometimes you just have to live with a hateful bird and accept it as their decision. He based this written belief on his personal experience over a few decades shared with his birds. Which I felt bad about. Decades of assuming your bird hates you is sad.
So I fell asleep wondering why he used the word hate. Birds do not hate. Humans hate. Hate is fatal and only destroys the one that nurtures it. Biologically speaking harboring hate makes you sick. A hateful being will have elevated hormones, blood pressure and stomach acids. A hateful being will sleep poorly, eat poorly and choose poorly in their actions. A truly hateful being is so blind to real life they choose in anger and self pity. In the end a truly hateful being will spend hours defending their victim status to support and uphold the very hate they present as justified. A companion parrot harboring hate makes no sense, nor can it exist fundamentally.
A companion parrot that is aggressive in a flock is not full of hate. It is without understanding by the human in the room. There is no hate in a parrot telling you clearly to walk away. It simply needs the space you are refusing to give up. This is not rejection of company, this is a request for space. Aggressive companion parrots are in dire straights. They are full of fear and full of frustration because there is no understanding, and more vitally, unconditional acceptance of their needs. The human in the room plays judge and jury on their requests and decides a bird is bad, aggressive, mean, angry, hateful, or unreasonable. And then the door closes to create better understanding. Behavior modification exercises begin that make no sense to the parrot, but certainly gives a feeling of control to the human. Which can lead to more miscommunications. Before you know it you've lived decades with a bird you think hates you. When in reality you both stopped communicating long ago.
Pride is a cousin to hate. You need to carry a good boatload of pride to begin the process of building a hateful vessel to carry around. Parrots are a proud being, but not prideful in nature. Arrogance isn't in their DNA. They are simply, a parrot. It's hard for a human to wrap a natural instinct of pride around a companion parrot that defies the impact or pressure of that pride. Humans communicate subliminally all the time via prideful actions, objects and claims. Parrots do not.
Human nature and pride provides a drive inside all humans. The drive to have, own, acquire or get that which we do not already have, own, or have gotten. Contentment is not a human's first response naturally. A companion parrot's whole flock goal is contentment. Just to be safe, with food, materials and location inside their flock. Once a flock is strong, stable and consistently providing those things a companion parrot wants little else but same. A parrot is not watching TV or looking at advertising for a bigger cage and then glancing over to their own with dread and hateful judgement. That's what we do.
So you're wondering at this point, what's my point? I'm not talking about how to fix the parrot in question. I'm not going over steps to fix an aggressive bird. I should probably just cut to the chase! If you chose to "have a parrot" then you will not "have a companionship". You will have a misunderstood, frustrated and unyielding being in your midst.
Next time you hear someone talking about their parrot being mean or bad, ask them kindly, "Are you trying to have a parrot, or create a companionship?" Next time you find yourself at that moment of impasse with your bird (and we all have them, big or small) ask yourself, "What am I trying to do here, have a parrot, or create a companionship?"
There's a big difference in those two motivations. And there is a huge difference in the end results. But in either direction, it is the full responsibility of the human in the room.