Humans are faced with a long list of everyday things that can lead to an overstimulated state of being. Often, these events result in a wide variety of unwanted feelings and anxieties. We are complex beings and, therefore, fall into complex situations. Our bird companions can become overstimulated, too. And as with people, a collection of unwanted and stressful results can lead to lead to overstimulation in our exotic birds and other pets.
What is overstimulation? In essence, it is the aftereffect of outside, often unavoidable, contact with sounds, experiences, and unnecessary contact. For human adults, that can be something simple like a loud party with a lot of people, tense moments from work situations, the inability to accomplish something, and many other issues too numerous to list. For babies, it’s over-handling, or an abundance of noise and unfamiliarity. Birds are just as easily impacted by overstimulation. Some handle it well, but others exhibit variable reactions to an environment that is stressful to them.
Overstimulation of birds can be brought on by over-activity in the home. As with children and adults, noise sensitivity can be bothersome to a bird. This might include loud music, children roughhousing near a cage or in the general proximity, or television. Shows with loud, disrupting sounds like gunfire, screaming, etc. that might not bother you could be a source of disquiet for your bird. In fact, if your home is typically quiet, any extreme sound could be upsetting.
Disrupted routines can also be a source of disturbance for a bird. If a bird is cared for by someone else while the usual caregiver vacations or a bird is rehomed for any reason, the change can be terribly upsetting for a bird and lead directly to potentially problematic behavior.
The results of overstimulation in birds can be recognized in many ways. Plucking their feathers, sometimes to concerning levels, hard biting, excessive wing flapping, and screeching for what seems like no reason are all visual and auditory signs that a bird might be feeling stressed. Plucking is an extreme behavior and could be a result of more than just overstimulation. In cases of feather picking/feather plucking, a veterinarian must be consulted to rule out disease, parasites, allergies, infections, and other potential underlying health issues.
Get To The Bottom Of It
Should your bird begin to show results of overstimulation, a checklist can help you to begin to resolve problems. If the stimulation came by way of children being too curious around the bird or too noisy in general, and the bird quiets down after company leaves, then the solution was easily discovered and should be noted. If a bird is in normal conditions and develops overstimulated behavior, then the best thing to do is begin a systematic approach in attempts to arrive at a conclusion. While not all occurrences arrive at fast and sure solutions, it is important that you attend to your bird’s discomfort in a quick manner.
Our exotic bird pets live extraordinarily long lives. They feel life intensely, just like we do.