Beak to Beak

For 10 years I have had a birdie companion.

For 10 years that birdie companion has tried to bite my nose whenever I pick her up and go to kiss her soft feathery belly.

For 10 years I have been trying (clearly unsuccessfully) to break her of this unwelcome habit.

But after reading more books lately about parrot behavior (technically, a cockatiel belongs to the parrot family) I suspect I have finally figured out what is going on.

When parrots meet, and especially if they are family, friends, or partnered, they often grab beaks in greeting. If they are meeting as parent to nestling, the parent will grab the nestling’s beak in order to offer food.

So today, as my feathery angel reached out her beak to bite my nose yet again, it occurred to me that the action of kissing her tummy puts my nose pretty much in a direct line with her beak.

Ergo, it is highly likely that Pearl sees my nose as a (seriously large but much less sharp) “beak”.

Which would mean she is not biting – she is greeting:

Mommy and birdie, beak to beak.

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