Why Do Parrots Throw Their Food?

One of the major behaviors that parrots show is dropping food while eating, and this will require a lot of cleaning efforts. However, there is nothing you have to worry about, and you don’t have to do anything about it, it’s totally normal.

So, Why Do Parrots Throw Their Food?

The answer is because their sharp beaks can’t hold the food just like we do as humans using our hands. So, there must be small pieces of food to fall, which sometimes makes this behavior just an accident. Other than that, dropping food happens because the bird didn’t like the food.

There are multiple reasons that lead parrots to drop food. And in this article, we will dive into everything related to this topic.

So, without further ado, let’s get into this…

Why Do Parrots Throw Their Food

Reasons Why Do Parrots Throw Their Food

As I mentioned, it’s totally normal for parrots to waste so much food when they eat and play. Sometimes, parrots play with food even if they are not hungry, and it’s totally normal. Here are more reasons parrots Throw Their Food.

They Are Just Playing

One of the most known reasons for parrots to waste food is playing and discovering. Even if they are not hungry, they will go and take a bite of whatever they think it’s food. And they are very good at knowing what’s edible or not.

Their instinct will lead them to assume what is safe to eat or what isn’t. And if they see their owners eating something new to them, they will make sure not just assume that this thing is food, and it will induce their curiosity to try it if they get the chance to taste and they didn’t like they waste it.

Evolutionary Behavior

Yes, wasting food in parrots sometimes appears as an evolutionary behavior, and it happens widely with wild parrots, even with pet parrots as well, because they are still exotic birds and they still possess their wild instinct.

This behavior is actually essential in the wild for plants to grow again, and for other animals to eat what parrots are wasting. So, in the wild, this behavior is not technically a wasting of food, but a way for the forest and its creatures to thrive.

It’s not like parrots doing it on purpose, no it’s just their natural way to eat.

Just an Accident

Even if the parrot drops big chunks of food, still, there is a possibility this is happening accidentally. I mean, parrots could be starving, and they like what they are eating, but they still waste food.

And this is, of course, not intended by them. It’s just their way of eating. And after thinking about it, you notice their beaks make it hard for them to swallow the whole bite, and there must be some wasted food, especially with fruits and vegetables.

With seeds, it’s rarely happening, and if you look at how parrots eat sunflower seeds, you see that parrots waste only the husk and will never waste the cypsela inside it.

Size of Food

The size of the fruit can be very important to assume if the bird is going to waste it or not. And just like the sunflower example, the parrot will drop the husk because it knows it has nothing to eat and will swallow the cypsela inside, or at least what it can swallow at once. So, the waste with each seed could be close to nothing.

What if you give your parrot a sizeable chunk of watermelon or cantaloupe?

It is going probably to waste more than what is going to eat. So, the smaller the size of the food you serve to your bird, the smaller the waste.

Unfamiliar or Rotten Food

Sometimes when parrots try new types of food, they might dislike it, and of course, put it to waste. Rotten food as well is more likely to be wasted when your bird tries it. And these reasons are going to cause huge waste, and the bird will dumb the food instantly.

Any Sudden Change in The Surroundings

The sudden move, voice, or anything that will make the parrot feel unsafe is also a reason to drop the food. So, parrots need a quiet environment to eat peacefully.

How To Stop Parrots Throwing Food

You can’t really stop or train a parrot to stop wasting food. It’s a natural thing for them to do, and they won’t stop because you want them to. The only thing you can do is to limit the waste by serving small-sized pieces of fruits and vegetables. Which are most likely to be wasted when serving them to parrots.

However, this also not going to let save food, but it’s all about reducing the cleaning efforts you will have to make for your bird. You can use a small barrier at the downer side of the cage to make sure that the wanted food is not falling outside the cage.

Or you can use a funnel and place it under the cage to use it to collect the wastage that falls out from the cage’s sides when the bird is eating.

You can use feeding champers, these small feeders that have holes in them allowing the bird to get his head inside and eat. However, when you use this type of feeder, try not to overfill with a lot of food, refill in small quantities because all the waste is going to stay there inside the feeder.

This feeder is good with small breeds of parrots, larger breeds are more likely to find it hard to eat from such feeder.

The other thing is, even with small seeds, and small chunks of fruits and veggies, the parrot of any breed will still waste a lot, and these are the best ways to limit the wastage you can follow.


In conclusion, you should know that wasting food is a natural thing that parrots do, even in the wild, while the food is sometimes rare. This behavior is important for the forest, and forest’s creatures as well. Big chunks of food, sudden movement, or voice are also reasons for parrots to drop the food. Rotten, Unfamiliar, or any type of food they just don’t like will probably go to waste. And if it’s an accident drop, the bird may go toward the food and pick it up again.

And yes, that’s about it, I hope you found this article informative and easy to digest…