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Old 05-05-2020, 02:08 AM
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Re: Rainbow Lorikeet Aggression - Help!

It can be so depressing when your bird plays up like this and it's hard to know what the cause might be. You haven't begun wearing any new or different rings, have you? Or painted your nails a different colour? Used new perfume? It can be things as subtle as that and you'd never guess! Just persevere and do your level best not to make a fuss when Zuko bites. Sometimes, the fuss we make (ie. 'Ouch!') is quite entertaining for birdie, so he'll bite again just to see the floor show.

I've never kept Rainbow Lorikeets and I'm not certain why yours would suddenly start biting. This can often happen round about the time a bird reaches its puberty, but a year is too soon for a lorikeet: they're sexually mature at about two years. Still, I have a few suggestions you might like to try.

Firstly, always carry a chopstick when you approach Zuko. Offer him the stick so he can latch onto that while you do whatever it is you need to do. If you offer him your hand, offer the back of your tightly-closed fist to step onto. If he bites, he'll find it hard to get much purchase on your flesh and you should have time to withdraw your hand if necessary. Always squeeze your hand closed tight and that should prevent deep bites.

It does sound as though he's suddenly developed a 'thing' about hands, so maybe you could try putting a treat on the back of your hand (tightly closed, remember) each time you approach him. Might work. Might not. Worth a try?

The other thing is that you could try target training Zuko (check out our forums or YouTube for instructions). If he has something to think about and a job to do, he might forget his initial thing about munching on you. Target training is useful in many ways and one of those is to divert a bird from doing something unpleasant or unwanted.

Don't *ever* strike a bird for any reason. Punishing birds is about as useful as punishing cats (ie. doesn't work), so don't risk whatever trust you might have built up with him. The best you can do is try to ignore (or at least *pretend* to ignore) the bad behaviour and distract Zuko into doing something else. Remain calm and simply introduce new activities to his routine. Persevere! You want to win!

It's not a great idea to keep a wild-caught lorikeet. Not judging, just passing on info. They can carry so many diseases (not the least of which is PBFD, which is rife in the wild flocks) and rarely ever tame successfully, no matter how patient and kind you are to them. They continue to pine for the skies and are never entirely happy living in captivity. I've seen wild-caught lorikeets calling and calling for hours each day as the free ones fly overhead and it's just sad. You might consider passing on your wild one to a WIRES person who would know what to do for the best. If you really want a second bird, why not get a hand-raised one?

I hope Zuko calms down for you! Do stay in touch and let us know how you're getting along!
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