What Does It Mean When Birds Go Crazy?

Whether you have a small pet bird, such as a canary, or a larger bird, such as a parrot, you may be mystified by their occasional crazy behaviour. Birds are just like other domesticated pets, they too need attention, stimulation, healthy food, and care.

But if you feel you’re doing everything you can to provide them a happy and healthy environment, here are a few tips for helping you understand why your bird is going crazy, and what you can do about it. 

Possible Fear Issues

One of the most common reasons a pet bird may become agitated is due to fear. This could be from any number of issues. Birds are like dogs and cats and can sense when we are distressed. It may be something as simple as them picking up on our anxiety over a work issue.

A bigger concern is that your pet bird may be acting up due to genuine fear. If their cage is near a window, they may have spotted a predatory type of animal – dog, cat, eagle, coyote, etc. Another issue may be if you’re bringing your pet bird to the vet clinic for a checkup. They do not understand why you are taking them away from their home so they start acting up.

Birds may also be triggered by sensory issues. You may be wearing a brightly coloured shirt, or have purchased new furniture or drapes for the windows. You may be playing your music or TV too loud. Your pet may not like what you are cooking in the kitchen. There may be vibrations from doing renovations on your house. 

The best way to prevent your bird from becoming agitated due to fear is to eliminate as many triggers as possible. While you may not be able to control outdoor fireworks in October, you can move your bird’s cage to the bathroom on Halloween night. Even small adjustments in your bird’s living environment will help to keep them happy and calm. 

Nervous of Human Interaction

Did you recently adopt your pet bird? Do you know if they were properly socialized in advance? If you’re the only one who lives in the home then your pet bird may be fine. But if you live with a large family and your pet bird is not used to human interaction, they could be getting riled up every time a human walks past.

They may even be nervous if a child jumps out at them, or someone tries to reach into their cage to touch them. It’s even possible the bird was mistreated by a former owner. This is a harder problem to solve that will require plenty of time and patience on the part of the entire family to help everyone to bond with your bird. You’ll need to train your family and tell your guests to take care when near the bird, until the bird is used to human interaction. Go slow and your bird will slowly adjust.

Other Pets in the House

It’s not just other humans that can agitate your bird but also other pets too. If you bring another bird into the house, it does not necessarily mean the two birds will get along. You may have to separate them. If you have a dog or cat, ensure that they can’t get to the cage. While you want your bird to get used to other pets, keep the interaction to only a few minutes to start. 

Your Bird Is Bored

It is quite different for a pet bird than it is for an outdoor bird. While an outdoor bird is exposed to predators of all types, a pet bird is safely indoors. However, outdoor birds generally have the freedom to fly all over the place without limitations.

A house bird is stuck to their cage, except for those times when you allow them out into the room. If your bird is going crazy, it may be the only way they know to get rid of all the energy in their system. Schedule in times twice a day where you can open the door to your bird’s cage.

Simply open it, and let them decide if it’s time for them to hop out and fly around for a bit. (Ensure all doors and windows are closed first.) Do this during the time of day when it’s quiet at home too. Your bird will decide when it’s time to return to the cage. After they’ve done that, quietly go and close the door.

How Can I Stop My Bird from Going Crazy?

It’s important to figure out why your bird is going crazy in the first place. Were their sudden sensory changes right before they started fluttering their wings and chirping? Was a guest in your home who was near their cage?

Perhaps you haven’t taken your bird out of their cage today, especially if they’re used to it once per day? It may even be as simple as moving your bird away from the window and hanging their cage against a blank wall in a quiet room where there is little family traffic.

You should also offer friendly interaction with your bird. You can do baby talk with your bird which will let them know that they are loved and cared for. Go slow when you go to open their door. If you do get nipped, don’t yell or punish them. Slowly withdraw your hand. 

When You Can’t Figure It Out

It’s natural for a pet bird to go crazy on occasion. Sometimes they just need to act like birds for a while. But if your pet bird is suddenly acting out and you just can’t remedy the situation, they may have a chronic health condition where they feel unwell. It may be time to book a trip to the veterinary clinic where the doctor can rule out any diseases or illnesses that may be causing your pet bird distress. 

Pet birds are just like other pets. They’ll need time and care to make them feel happy and settled in their new home. But if you’re completely puzzled, do your research and consult an expert for extra help as required. 


Hi, I'm Mason, I've kept small animals as pets since I was 8 years old. I love to learn and talk about them basically every day. Over the years I've adopted small pets like hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs.

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Our website does not constitute medical advice for pets, for medical advice for a pet please consult a licensed veterinarian.