The 6 Most Aggressive Parrots

All parrots are not as sweet and cute as the well-behaved cockatiels or budgies we see in online videos. Here are the six most aggressive parrots that need special care and training as pets.

Most pet owners often forget that not all pet birds are well-behaved and trained.

All parrot species can display defensive behavior or territorial behavior – after all; they are wild birds.

It’s essential to train all types of adult birds well. Sometimes a dangerous bird is simply a non-socialized bird.

Aggression in parrots can be in the form of a powerful bite, scratching, flying at the owner’s head, and nipping in the case of flightless birds.

But sometimes, it can just be that the species is difficult to train to be docile. Let’s take a look at some of the most aggressive parrot species.

Most Aggressive Parrots

1. Green Wing Macaws

While they’re generally calm and lovely birds, open to bonding and learning, Green Wing Macaws require a lot of upkeep and attention.

They’re large and have strong fliers. It would help to keep them in large cages or aviaries, along with regular bathing or misting sessions to ensure good plumage.

Lack of space and toys can lead to a bored and disinterested bird that might start plucking its feathers or screeching.

New owners must invest some time in teaching the chicks to get used to hand-feeding. A good diet would include high-fat items as well as protein.

Sometimes, females in heat may display aggressive behavior. Their bite force can be as powerful as 2,000 PSI, equivalent to the force needed to snap a broom in two pieces.

Green Wing Macaws are known to every aggressive, and they have powerful beaks to match their behavior

2. Blue and Yellow Macaws

Growing as large as 36 inches from head to tail, Blue and Yellow Macaws are social and affectionate birds that need lots of time and a large enclosure.

They are not beginner-friendly birds, as their smartness makes them both quick learners and self-willed beings who don’t like being ordered around.

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    Macaws enjoy flying to high places, chewing on anything around, and engaging in loud calls. This makes them highly non-beginner-friendly pets.

    Moreover, they can live for up to 80 years, spanning generations of families.

    Being monogamous, they prefer to remain bonded with a partner for life. Hence, it’s best to keep them in pairs of twos.

    If you’re new to macaws or big birds, opting for species requiring less time investment is best.

    Blue and Yellow Macaws are notorious for chewing everything around them

    3. Hyacinth Macaws

    The bright blue plumage of Hyacinth Macaws has attracted many a pet owner – but beware, while they’re expensive to purchase, they’re even more expensive to maintain!

    A typical diet is high in fat and contains lots of nuts, especially native nuts from their habitat in Brazil.

    They have large, curved beaks, meaning they need big chewing toys. It’s best to get them sturdy wooden toys.

    However, these will also need monthly replacement as the bid wears them out.

    If left outside during playtime, you must monitor what they go after, as they might chew on plastic or toxic items.

    A minimum of two hours of outdoor playtime is necessary for hyacinth macaws.

    Hyacinth Macaws need at least two hours of playtime everyday

    4. Bare-Eyed Cockatoos

    Cockatoos are one of the most common larger parrots kept as pets.

    Their social behavior and innovative cue-based learning make them ideal for families living in large homes.

    If introduced slowly, these intelligent birds also get along well with children and other pets.

    However, cockatoos can be as destructive and unruly if not trained well.

    Most importantly, cockatoos have distinct personalities that make them express their likes and dislikes intensely.

    Hence, owners must be prepared to take on these aggressions at any time of the day. They also screamed and required enough time and exercise outside the cage.

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      It isn’t easy to prevent them from chewing on things as it is their nature, so you must monitor this time daily.

      The bare-eyed cockatoo is the smallest of the other species (sulfur crested or black palm); hence, if you have a space crunch, this can be the species to opt for.

      Bare-Eyed Cockatoo
      Source: Корзун Андрей (Kor!An)CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

      5. Moluccan Cockatoos

      Moluccan Cockatoos can be great single-bird pets for owners with prior experience with large parrots.

      They are highly active and have strong beaks, making them unsuitable for homes with children.

      Moreover, they need 3 hours of outdoor exercise every single day. These cockatoos give off a dry, powdery dust many people can be allergic to.

      Exposure to this for a long time can cause breathing problems.

      Male Moluccan Cockatoos are more prone to aggressiveness than females.

      Home-raised birds feed mainly on nuts; without enough exercise, this high-fat diet can result in a myriad of health problems.

      Moluccan Cockatoos

      6. Crimson Rosella

      A Crimson Rosella is one of the toughest parrots to keep as a pet.

      This is because they’re known for being wild and untameable and do better as aviary birds than companion birds for families and children.

      They are not affectionate with humans and don’t enjoy touching or petting. They can bite you if you get too close to their personal space!

      You can train them to perform basic tricks such as sitting on your own.

      However, they socialize better with other rosellas and should always be kept in groups.

      Crimson Rosella

      Other Small But Aggressive Birds

      You might think smaller parrot species, such as cockatiels, lovebirds, conures, or parrotlets, might be less aggressive.

      However, we should warn you that they can also pack a punch!

      Lovebirds and parrotlets have loud screeches, are social, and have pretty curved beaks that can cause damage.

      It’s best to keep them in groups.

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        While they don’t need much outdoor time if you keep them in a large cage, they need regular cage cleaning, food changing, misting, and basic training sessions.

        Cockatiels and conures form stronger bonds with their owners than other birds and need more one-on-one time and attention.

        Conures can deliver a strong bite, while cockatiels are prone to pinching and scratching.

        Aggression in birds is reactive behavior.

        If you can identify what triggers it and train them to respond better or remove the trigger, you can train a potentially aggressive bird to be more docile and calm.

        Parrotlets can also be territorial

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          What Triggers Aggression in Parrots?

          So let’s take a look at what can trigger this behavior:

          • Fear: Parrots can become aggressive when they feel threatened or scared, especially when placed in a new environment or owner’s care.
          • Hormonal changes: This is usually seen during breeding or molting season.
          • Lack of socialization: If not properly socialized, some parrots may become aggressive towards new people or other animals.
          • Frustration: Bored parrots may display aggression as a way to release their pent-up energy.
          • Illness or injury: Parrots in pain may display aggression as a way to protect themselves.

          How To Calm an Aggressive Parrot?

          Dealing with an aggressive parrot can be challenging, but there are some things you can do:

          • Determine the cause and try to address it. If it’s boredom, give them more toys. If it’s loneliness, spend some time with them.
          • Give the parrot space and back down. Return to address it later, at a calmer time.
          • Establish trust by spending time and giving treats.
          • Use positive reinforcement to teach better behavior.
          • Create a calm environment.

          Frequently Asked Questions

          What Is the Most Difficult Parrot?

          Green Wing Macaws are calm and friendly birds but require a lot of attention and upkeep due to their size and strong flying abilities.
          They need large cages or aviaries and regular bathing to maintain good plumage.
          Lack of space and toys can lead to boredom and negative behaviors. New owners must invest time in teaching hand-feeding and providing a diet with high fat and protein.
          Females in heat may display aggressive behavior and have a powerful bite force.

          Which Parrot Screams the Most?

          Parrot owners generally call the Sun Conure to be the biggest screamers.
          Their loud, high-pitched calls can be heard over a fairly considerable distance.
          While some people find the Sun Conure’s vocalizations to be charming and endearing, others may find them to be overwhelming or even annoying.
          Of course, almost all parrots have the potential to be noisy. Proper training and socialization can help to reduce excessive screaming and other undesirable behaviors.

          Which parrot is least likely to bite?

          Budgies are the parrots that are least likely to bite. They are known for being very social and friendly, which is why these birds are extremely popular as pets.
          While budgies are generally not aggressive, it is important to note that any bird can bite if it feels threatened or uncomfortable.
          Proper socialization and training can help minimize the risk of biting, but it is always important to approach any bird with caution and respect.

          What Bird Has the Strongest Bite?

          Research has shown that the Galapagos large ground finch has a stronger bite than Tyrannosaurus rex, despite being much smaller in size.
          Pound-for-pound, the finch’s bite is 320 times more powerful than that of the dinosaur.
          The discovery was made after analyzing the bites of 434 species using supercomputers.
          The finch’s beak can exert 70 newtons of force, which is used to crack open nuts and seeds.
          The researchers found that bite force was not what gave T. rex its evolutionary advantage, contrary to previous beliefs.

          Wrap Up

          Aggression or destructive behavior isn’t a bad trait; it’s a learned trait. It might be the only way a parrot knows how to react in a given situation.

          A good owner will try to override their initial instincts with better training.

          Having said this, some larger parrot species are generally tough to deal with and require patience that most bird owners do not realize is needed.

          It’s best to perform the necessary research before owning a bird for life.

          Thank you for reading.

          Photo of author

          Team Beauty of Birds

          Beautyofbirds.com's team of experts includes veterinarians, biologists, environmentalists and active bird watchers. All put together, we have over half a century of experience in the birding space.

          You can meet our team here.
          Team Beauty of Birds is separate from the “Parrot Parent University” parrot training course and its instructors.

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