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-   -   Eye pinning and heart wing behaviour in Alexandrine? (http://www.parrotforums.com/alexandrines/79111-eye-pinning-heart-wing-behaviour-alexandrine.html)

la_la_rebecca 01-21-2019 06:12 AM

Eye pinning and heart wing behaviour in Alexandrine?
 
Hi all, sorry if this seems a bit of a silly question but I would love some advice please...

Long story short, I took in an Alexandrine who had been passed around more times than I care to imagine.We believe her to be around 2/3 years old. We have come a long way in the six months I have had her, she is still aggressive - but we are work in progress, it will be a marathon not a sprint for both of us.

We had been doing some clicker work on her perch out of the cage, I had stopped and was talking to my partner. That's when I noticed that Rio was eye pinning, opening the top of her wings and swooping her head down, and then stretching up really tall. She would stop briefly, pupils would return to normal, she would chat to me for a few seconds, then back to eye pinning and heart wings. She has done this a few times when I have loitered by the cage, but doesn't do it to my partner or sister who both interact with her on daily basis. I've really struggled to find much about this sort of behaviour in Alexandrines, however it does look very similar to male Ringneck mating behaviour!

So my question is...Is this a form of aggression? Is she telling me to back off? (Floofs her head feathers at me if I accidently get too close usually) Is she potentially a he? No neck ring but due to not being 100% sure on her age, she could be approaching 3 years old this year...

SailBoat 01-21-2019 08:14 AM

Re: Eye pinning and heart wing behaviour in Alexandrine?
 
My background is with Amazons and with the two species being half a World of separation, there is likely little comparisons regarding specific behavior. But, interactions do have like foundations.

Your Alex is clearly attempting to communicate something and whatever it is seems to be target to you. That at least helps as your interactions will have specific meaning. Next time your Alex presents, try moving slightly to the right or left. Slightly being a very small movement. Watch for a like small change in the presentation of your Alex. This is best done with your upper body or only your head. What you are looking for is whether the response is a like movement or possible a move toward you or away from you.

Normally with Amazons, lifting of the upper wing tips is a jester of interest in something. Widening of the wing to the left and right is a jester of I'm becoming bigger, so back off. Point being that very minor differences can mean very different things.

Most new Parrots are looking for someway to interact and become part of the new flock. Soft voice, slow moments and only good things happen when Humans are around helps greatly. Larger, rapid movements by Parrots tend to be more a sign of aggression.

With hope an Alex professional will be along shortly.

Betrisher 01-21-2019 08:27 AM

Re: Eye pinning and heart wing behaviour in Alexandrine?
 
Firstly, good on you for choosing an Alexandrine! They're *gorgeous* birds and highly intelligent (ie. easy to train, once you have a bit of a connection with them).

Secondly, at rising three your girl will be approaching her puberty and therefore subject to her first rush of hormones. That's possibly going to be a trying time for both of you, but especially for her. My little hen, Madge, gets really *really* nasty during her hormonal times and I find it a lot easier not to push her too hard when she's like that. I well remember how hormones affected my mood and blood pressure back in the day, so I try to go easy on poor Madge when she's feeling a tad humid.

Having said that, though, the head ducking and stylised wing movements can either be a pair-bond display or a bit of territorial 'get outta my nest area' warning (especially when teamed with eye pinning, at which ringnecks are masters). Madge does it to me when I come too close to her roosting perch sometimes, but most often she does it to Barney when she's - ah - exerting her queenliness over him. ;)

I wouldn't worry. I don't think it's a bad behaviour per se, but it bears watching in a relatively new bird approaching her first breeding season. Some birds change markedly in their personalities once they reach puberty and can do weird things like rejecting their favourite person and choosing a new one or completely changing their sleeping habits and cage behaviour.

I've always felt that birds will do or not do things depending on what you tolerate. If you allow aggression, then it might escalate and if you ignore territorial behaviours, then they might come back to kick you in the bum further down the track. Watch your girl carefully during this period and see if you can identify the things that seem to set her off. Once you know what disturbs her or changes her mood, then you can change things round (eg. cage furnishings, situation of cage in the room, the order in which you do things with birdie etc etc etc). As they say, 'a change is as good as a holiday', right?

The other thing you can do is distract her from behaviours you're not comfortable with. Continue with clicker training and teach her to target. By giving her something to think about, you're lessening the amount of time and intensity in which her hormones govern what she does, y'know?

Finally, (I say this all the time, but I do believe it) consider getting her a male companion. My pair are great mates, but they also love me to bits. I will never allow them to breed (I don't provide materials for that), but they do have a close pair bond which, I think, is good for them and doesn't detract one bit from each bird's bond with me. Aside from anything else, they play together during times when I'm not available and that's a big plus in my book.

Good luck with your girl! It'd be really lovely to see some photos please (Alexandrines being so ravishingly beautiful, as you already know). :)

Betrisher

la_la_rebecca 01-21-2019 09:51 AM

Re: Eye pinning and heart wing behaviour in Alexandrine?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Betrisher (Post 792646)
Firstly, good on you for choosing an Alexandrine! They're *gorgeous* birds and highly intelligent (ie. easy to train, once you have a bit of a connection with them).

Secondly, at rising three your girl will be approaching her puberty and therefore subject to her first rush of hormones. That's possibly going to be a trying time for both of you, but especially for her. My little hen, Madge, gets really *really* nasty during her hormonal times and I find it a lot easier not to push her too hard when she's like that. I well remember how hormones affected my mood and blood pressure back in the day, so I try to go easy on poor Madge when she's feeling a tad humid.

Having said that, though, the head ducking and stylised wing movements can either be a pair-bond display or a bit of territorial 'get outta my nest area' warning (especially when teamed with eye pinning, at which ringnecks are masters). Madge does it to me when I come too close to her roosting perch sometimes, but most often she does it to Barney when she's - ah - exerting her queenliness over him. ;)

I wouldn't worry. I don't think it's a bad behaviour per se, but it bears watching in a relatively new bird approaching her first breeding season. Some birds change markedly in their personalities once they reach puberty and can do weird things like rejecting their favourite person and choosing a new one or completely changing their sleeping habits and cage behaviour.

I've always felt that birds will do or not do things depending on what you tolerate. If you allow aggression, then it might escalate and if you ignore territorial behaviours, then they might come back to kick you in the bum further down the track. Watch your girl carefully during this period and see if you can identify the things that seem to set her off. Once you know what disturbs her or changes her mood, then you can change things round (eg. cage furnishings, situation of cage in the room, the order in which you do things with birdie etc etc etc). As they say, 'a change is as good as a holiday', right?

The other thing you can do is distract her from behaviours you're not comfortable with. Continue with clicker training and teach her to target. By giving her something to think about, you're lessening the amount of time and intensity in which her hormones govern what she does, y'know?

Finally, (I say this all the time, but I do believe it) consider getting her a male companion. My pair are great mates, but they also love me to bits. I will never allow them to breed (I don't provide materials for that), but they do have a close pair bond which, I think, is good for them and doesn't detract one bit from each bird's bond with me. Aside from anything else, they play together during times when I'm not available and that's a big plus in my book.

Good luck with your girl! It'd be really lovely to see some photos please (Alexandrines being so ravishingly beautiful, as you already know). :)

Betrisher

Thank you for your response Bertrisher, I need a different perspective on these things sometimes, if she has taught me anything it's to be mindful of every single thing I do! Every day is a learning day :)

My initial impression was that it was a "outta my space" display, but our journey so far as involved a few "oi, get lost!" responses and this was quite different from those, hence me posting here. It may well be puberty is creeping, I hadn't thought about that at all.

I will keep an eye on her, we'll continue our target training - a busy beak is a happy beak. As it stands our relationship is a little different from most, she absolutely detests hands and anything above a snails pace when it comes to movement. A really good day for us isn't her snuggling into my neck...it's her shuffling over to me for a chat whilst I work, or even just taking a treat nicely from my hands. Due to her aggressive behaviour my partner doesn't have much to do with her other than talking to her from a distance and giving the odd treat (patience isn't his strong point!). We'll see how we fair through the hormonal stage...something I learnt early on with her was to ditch ANY expectations I had of her. We now both admire and communicate to each other from a distance (with the exception of spray bottle shower times, I'm allowed up close and personal for those...lol) and that is just fine with me!

Unfortunately due to lack of space getting her a companion just isn't possible at the moment, but it is in our plans to buy a new house next year so we can build her a nice big aviary and find her a man to keep her company :)

Birdmom12 02-05-2019 11:09 AM

Re: Eye pinning and heart wing behaviour in Alexandrine?
 
New Amazon parent here but I have been experiencing this as well. Ours will spread wings head down, eyes pinned, and occasionally hiss.(He doesn't stand tall though hes always dipped down) At first we thought it was aggression or irritation, then maybe excitement and hey come here. In the past couple days we realized he is excited about something, but its not happy excitement its more fear or anger excitement we think. Its usually brought on by someone entering the room when hes out, another bird singing(or screeching), or the dogs walking by his cage when hes in it.

When he does this we now turn our backs to him. He gets a firm No, backs turn, and wait for him to calm down. Not sure if this is the correct approach but its working so far. Hes learning he gets happy attention and sweet talks when hes standing happy. When he goes big bird and dips he gets the cold shoulder for that moment. His moments of flared up are happening for shorter periods of time now. They still happen daily but its a working progress. Hes also new to the home and in the adjusting period.

Betrisher 02-05-2019 05:57 PM

Re: Eye pinning and heart wing behaviour in Alexandrine?
 
I forgot to mention in my earlier response that Alexandrines can be a bit funny about human hands and being touched. Having said that, I have some friends (G'day Amanda and Bundii) whose birds are cuddly and snuggly and love being handled. Mine, though, absolutely *loathe* being touched in any way. This means no head-scratches, no snuggling and no picking up of birdie unless birdie wants to be picked up.

Doesn't worry me. The Beaks love me to bits and spend most of their out-of-cage time on my person. That says it all, really. I just thought you should know that maybe your bird is like mine and prefers not to be handled on her body. :)

EllenD 02-07-2019 01:58 PM

Re: Eye pinning and heart wing behaviour in Alexandrine?
 
Sounds like love to me, lol...

I have a male Senegal who drops his wings and lets them hang low, eyes start pinning, and then he comes walking on over to me like that, with his wings hanging, making this weird "chirping" noise...Then he'll proceed to climb up onto my hand and try to move my fingers around with his beak to the 'position" of his liking...And when I stop him from doing it and put him back up on his cage to cool-down, he'll proceed to hump whatever is within reach to him at that point...He's a humping fool right now, just started two days ago...Spring is here...


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