Sexual reproduction is the process required for parrots of every breed to conserve their species to roam the globe successfully. And many other species require the same process as well. Some species will wait for breeding season, and other species will reproduce casually whenever food is plenty, just like tigers.
How Do Parrots Mate?
After the parrot’s pair get to know each other, they will fly away from the flock and start mating until the female lays a clutch of eggs. Both of the couples will take care of the eggs and feed the new hatchlings until they can fly. After that, the pair normally returns to the flock.
These are the basics of how parrots mate naturally, but it’s different in captivity. And in this article, we will dive into everything related to how parrots mate, the way they do it, and what is exactly different between wild and pet parrots.
So, without further ado, let’s get into this…
How Do Parrots Get to Know Each Other?
Guess what, with parrots, it all starts with attraction, similar to what happens with us humans. So, with parrots, the females will attract the male naturally, however, this is just the start for the males. And their part is to display their health, colors, feathers, and their songs to attract the females to them, so they can start the socializing part. Which is all about testing each other.
What I call socializing part is where can get tense and aggressive, and it’s all about the male trying to dominate the female. The female will resist at first, but in the end, things will flow smoothly. However, in this part, the male will test the health and strength of the female, to make sure that she can mate because the sexual effort will be on the female to pay.
This usually occurs in different places, not in a certain place like while with the flock. No, the attraction normally starts whilst the couple is still with the flock, but the steps after that happen in different places in the forest.
Anyway, the natural behaviors of breeding in parrots may not be possible to happen in captivity, even while the breeding season is current. And it can’t happen naturally without the intervention of a breeder, to help and imitate whatever is necessary regarding food, privacy, space, humidity, and temperature.
I have written a complete guide on How To breed Parrots In captivity. It’s highly recommended. Besides that, I agree with allowing any pet parrot to breed and express and relief its natural desires.
So, How Do Parrots Mate?
Before I explain how to do parrots mate, I should announce that male parrots do not have penises, yes you heard males don’t have penises like mammalian males do. The testicles, though, are located inside their bodies, resulting in the impossibility of neutering parrots without highly dangerous surgery.
Instead, parrots have what is called the cloaca, both males and females have it. And it is attached to the testicles of the males and the ovary of the females. And during the breeding season, the cloaca opening will swell a bit and the parrots will act spicy.
Interesting fact: Although female parrots have two ovaries, only the left ovary is the one working, the other one is idle, and this applies to most birds.
So, while mating, the male parrot will hump over the female back, and their cloaca openings will rub against each other until the male discharges the sperm into the female cloaca that leads to the ovary where the eggs get fertilized. And later, when the eggs are formed, they will get out through the female cloaca as well.
Urination and feces go out through this opening as well, not like most mammals who have over one opening to dump their wastes.
This is basically how parrots mate and reproduce. This is the last step before laying the fertilized eggs. However, not all eggs that female parrots lay are fertile. A female parrot can lay unfertilized eggs even with the absence of a male. And this is equivalent to menstruation in females of mammals. Which happens regularly.
Is it The Same In Captivity?
One of the main requirements for parrots to mate is privacy, and this is the reason for wild to fly away from the flock to mate, not just for mating but also to find a good tree hole that has a lot of food around and safety for the hatchlings. However, these, to some extent, are available to parrots around their flock, but it’s not always enough for them to mate.
In captivity, parrots may lack privacy, and they may lack the hole to nest eggs. So, it’s rare for females to lay eggs, and they can’t lay eggs in the cage ground, at least in most cases. Apart from that, the perfect temperature is crucial for parrots to mate, besides enough supplies.
These all are on the owner or the breeder to provide to his pair to breed successfully. Some beginners may lack experience and think it’s hard. The preparation part is hard, and once you get it done, things will flow naturally.
However, the process itself is the same: the male will hump over, the female will hold the partner for a while until the sperm is discharged. So, most of the effort is on her. Nesting and laying the eggs should be in a nesting box instead of a tree hole. Most breeds of parrot do not build nests.
How Parrots Act During Mating Season
Well, the mating season can parrot behave so frisky, they will act angry and may show aggression toward other flock mates, especially the male individuals, just to show dominance and strength. However, fighting is not so common as we see with gazelles of other mammals. Parrot competition over females is more about singing and showing some desired traits like health, and color, and feathers.
Pet parrot may show some aggression, restless behavior, anger, it may attack the owner, especially if the parrot is territorial and protective. However, when these behaviors appear with your parrot, the bird may live in the perfect humidity and temperature to induce the body to switch to mating and breeding behavior.
It’s up to you whether to attempt breeding your pair, and provide privacy, nesting box, etc. or you can change the weather in the surrounding environment artificially, and this might reduce these behaviors.
For females, they might lay eggs, and the weather is perfect and imitates the mating season weather. So, either you change the surrounding environment weather, or you should provide a high calcium meal to prevent egg binding. The best thing to do is to change the weather, especially for laying eggs females, because this might cause other infections, or sometimes excessive eggs laying, which can pose serious health problems.
Some parrots, if they bond tightly with owners, may see them as a mating partner, they may show affection to your hand or they suddenly try to set in your head. And this is not limited to owners, it can happen with toys and other objects in the house.
Do Parrots Have Periods?
Yes, female parrots have periods and it’s basically when the female parrot lays eggs without a male. So they are fertilized. Laying eggs in a parrot is equivalent to menstruation in female mammals. However, the period depends on the weather and humidity, and they are the key to stopping it in female parrots.
Why Do My Parrot Hump Things?
Humping things is normal behavior when the male parrot is in its mating season. And this can happen in captivity with pet parrots if the surrounding weather is perfect, and it can happen all year round. However, to stop this behavior, changing the place of the cage to a slightly warmer or older area can solve this issue.
How Long To Parrot To Lay Eggs After Mating?
Just a few days and the fertilized eggs will come out from the cloaca of the females. After the eggs are laid, they will need from 18 to 31 days, depending on the breed to hatch. Laying eggs can consume a lot of calcium in the female body, so enrich the meals with high content of it if you have a breeding pair.
What Trigger The Mating In Parrots?
The weather is the main inducer for a parrot’s mating season. And can happen even in captivity, and the female will lay eggs even without a male. Male may show aggression and sometimes will hump on things if they see them as a mating partner. Changing the humidity and temperature in the surrounding environment can help to stop these mating behaviors.
In conclusion, parrots mate and reproduce sexually, and this happens in the mating season that occurs every year when the weather shifts, the breeding behaviors start within the flock. The process itself starts when the pair settle to each other, while the mating happens when the male humps over the female and rubs their swelling cloaca openings against each other’s until the male discharge the sperm.
And yes, that’s about it, I hope you found this article informative and easy to digest. Thank you for reading…
Hello, my name is sadeq and I am obsessed about parrot And I am here to share everything about raising pet parrots and how to be good owners to your bird.