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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2017, 04:01 PM
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Re: More Sammy weirdness

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WOW! Over the years,Amy has had her "moments", a week or two of lunging and beaky attacking,but nothing like what you are experiencing with Sammy.
I agree with the video..SOMETHING is driving poor Sammy nuts!
And what Steven said ('Boats)...ask your friend/expert to visit once again,and see if that changes Sams 'tude.
I feel for you,really! I don't know what I'd do if Amy turned so mean



Jim
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Amy my beautiful Blue Front. Who was four months old when she picked me to go home with to her "forever" home in 4/1990.. DNA'd MALE in 2015
Jonesy, a cute Goffin 'too
that had to be rehomed :-(

And a Grey 'teil, BB...a.k.a. The Beebs
that was 18 weeks old 5/20/2016,






Rest in peace,my precious Smokey..4/2015 at 28 years young
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2017, 05:53 PM
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Re: More Sammy weirdness

The friend is a frequent visitor here, and my wife's best friend. In the past couple of years, even when Sammy was being antisocial, her visits have caused Sammy to get friendlier with me, wanting to be "up", cooing, making nice sounds, and enjoying lots of skritches and other physical attention. To be honest, I don't think she believed how mean he'd become, as she always saw the sweet side of him.

Now, however, she sees it - he treats her just like us, and when he's not being violent towards everyone in the room, he ignores her visits completely.

She's actually had a similar problem with her a male Eclectus, who has become a more or less permanently caged bird, although it's been gradual over the past 5-6 years. In her case, I suspect that the bird might be angry that he's not an "only bird" (although he's always had amorous intentions toward the other females in the flock, so he doesn't hate them), and is jealous over the attention she gives her other birds. Whatever the reason, she's had to go to hospital several times because he's attacked her out of the blue, and he has a very large, powerful beak.

Some have mentioned perfume, etc. - my wife's allergic to most scented products, so we don't use or wear anything scented in the house (and visitors are asked not to do so, as well).

To be honest, we've scoured every aspect of our lives - schedules, furniture changes, Sammy's toys (we've gone back to solely the ones he has always liked best), his diet, his treats, the TV shows we watch, people who visit (we live out in the sticks, so visitors are fairly rare, and those who do visit are the same ones as we've always had), the clothes we wear, etc., and we can't find a solitary thing that's remotely changed since Sammy was a lovable bird. He's always had hormonal periods, where he's been testy for a week or two, but this has been going on for months, and getting worse every day.

Our routine hasn't changed at all. Identical schedule for, well, everything. All the other birds are healthy, happy, and social, as they've always been. They're all rescues, and they've all blossomed in our care. Even Sammy, for the first year or so - he was "daddy's bird", closely bonded to me. Now, even my wife (who Sammy's always hated) agrees that Sammy simply isn't bonded to me anymore.

I can't express how sad it makes me to have lost that bond. I miss my Sammy...

Last edited by mh434; 01-13-2017 at 06:03 PM.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2017, 06:00 PM
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Re: More Sammy weirdness

This is such a distressing read. I am wondering if perhaps parrots can become insane ... There might be a lot of inbreeding going on, depending on the breeder, and people sometimes give unmanageable birds back to breeders so they can have "some natural life" but then the bad genes get passed on. Maybe Sammy is the progeny of unmanageable parents and it just manifested. Do you know anything about his lineage? Could he have developed an allergy to something that didn't bother him before, something in his diet or environment, that is causing him to be overstimulated? If you are at the point of having to consider a next step...it would be instructive to have a nanny cam set up on him for a while to see how he behaves during the day, to see what might be going on, if there is a trigger... Maybe you started a new bag of the same kind of food or treat that has been contaminated? Some grains can be infected with ergot which is a hallucinogen for humans, maybe poor Sammy is tripping?
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 01-14-2017, 01:37 PM
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Re: More Sammy weirdness

Well, I hadn't thought of food contamination. Mind you, he's on Harrison's (as are the rest of the flock), they're all on the same supply, and the rest of them seem to be flourishing.

As for his lineage, well, that's anybody's guess. I got him, at about 10 years of age, as a rescue. His previous owner had died, the man's widow hated Sammy, and put him out on their patio for a couple of weeks (in the rain & near-freezing temperatures). When the neighbors started to complain, she was offered the choice of surrendering him or being charged with cruelty. Being as it's extraordinarily difficult to re-home even an even-tempered parrot in this area, the rescue group was thrilled when I agreed to take him. It took awhile for him to bond to me (I couldn't even touch him for the first month or so), but once he did, it went well. No one else could handle him though. Over time, our bond grew, and he spent a lot of time on my shoulder, asking for skritches, talking, and generally being a wonderful & loved companion.

Back then, he was absolutely, totally trustworthy on my shoulder. There was never even a hint of aggression for the first couple of years. In fact, it was only a few weeks ago when he first asked to get up onto my shoulder and then attacked my face (my eyes were his intended target). There was NO warning. None. The second time, I just had him on my arm (I was cautious after the last time), and all seemed fine. A second later, he started pinning, flaring, and hissing, then ran up to my shoulder, too fast for me to head him off, and went for my eyes again. This time he got a piece of my cheek. I managed to shake him off, but he flew around the room & came right back at my face again. Twice. My wife finally managed to snag him in a towel in flight, and wrestled him back into his cage.

This sudden change initially made me think there was maybe something medically wrong with him. I've seen cats, for example, go completely insane as a result of illness. But, our avian-specialist vet (the very best in our region, and very highly regarded) has checked Sammy over, and determined he is extremely healthy (if perhaps a tiny bit overweight, though nothing to be worried about).

The ONLY thing I can think of is the arrival of our African Gray "Reno", a couple of years ago (another rescue). Sammy stopped talking when Reno arrived (I figured it was because he couldn't get a word in edge-wise with Reno's verbal diarrhea) but, other than that, his behavior didn't change. He doesn't seem to mind Reno's presence, and Reno is bonded to (and doted on by) my wife, not me. Many's the time when we've been on the couch, with Reno on my wife's lap & Sammy on mine...both birds comfortable to be sound asleep, only three feet apart.

I've always been conscious of my bond with Sammy, and have purposely avoided giving any attention to (or even acknowledging the existence of) any of the other birds when Sammy's around, so as to avoid him becoming jealous.

I know my posts on this thread are rather long & involved, but I'm hoping that providing all the details will shed some light on something I've missed...

Last edited by mh434; 01-14-2017 at 01:44 PM.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 01-14-2017, 03:58 PM
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Re: More Sammy weirdness

If Sammy were human I would suspect a brain injury. Flew into his cage or something and has memory loss. Sudden memory loss does happen in people, especially if they have a brain tumor, stroke, or traumatic injury. Brain tumor or injury might need not show up in tests and might resolve on its own depending.... I will go look up sudden personality change in humans. There must be some organic cause.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 01-15-2017, 02:41 PM
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Re: More Sammy weirdness

That's what keeps occurring to me, too. Not much chance of getting him to lie still enough for an MRI, though...
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Old 01-15-2017, 02:59 PM
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Re: More Sammy weirdness

Quote: Originally Posted by mh434 View Post
That's what keeps occurring to me, too. Not much chance of getting him to lie still enough for an MRI, though...
Getting him to lay still is the easy part. Think surgery, etc... Getting him a time slot, that could be a bit harder. Consider a discussion with AV regarding this very unusual behavior.

FYI: Thank-you, for your very long and informative Thread /Posts!

Last edited by SailBoat; 01-16-2017 at 11:15 AM.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 01-15-2017, 05:06 PM
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Re: More Sammy weirdness

I can't stop thinking about Sammy. I re-read the thread. You said Sammy used to get moody if you were gone, but would forgive you after a while, but that after a recent two-day abscence the old Sammy never came back. So that might indicate he was trending in this direction all along and it just got dramatically worse.

Or that could be a red herring. The new change has nothing to do with the old pouting. In that a case it could be an organic cause, including (this is what I found so far):
1. Lead or other metal poisoning. Metals can accumulate over time and finally reach a tipping point in the health of the animal, causing neurological changes. This might be true for any kind of environmental toxin.
2. Brain injury, stroke, concussion, tumor.
3. Infection or illness.
4. Painful conditions.
5. Hormonal changes.

Sammy is old enough that it's probably not hormones. Did the vet test for metal poisoning?

How does Sammy behave when he thinks no humans are observing? Does he play normally with toys, make normal noises, sit normally, otherwise act the same as always? Or does he seem agitated and restless even when he's by himself? Does he attack his toys more violently or exhibit any other signs of aggression? Does he seem relaxed and fine, and then just get agitated when he sees people? If he's fine until he sees you, relaxed and chill and acting like always, that does seem to indicate something personal and not an underlying painful condition. Wouldn't something like that make him restless or agitated more of the time, or at least change the way he sits and moves?

The vet did a blood screen for all types of infections, viral and bacterial? Or the vet says that based on the exam?

Lastly...this is a real twilight zone thing...I remember reading about a person who was taking care of an animal for a friend, maybe a budgie but I really don't recall, these stories are apocryphal anyway...but the pet died, so the person bought a replacement one. Don't remember the alleged outcome. Since the world is crazy nowadays, are you SURE it's still Sammy? No change from old photographs, different feather pattern or beak shape etc?

I know, that's nuts, but this is such a puzzle. Is he crazy? Is he sick? Is he in pain? Is he somebody else?

Oh... Come to think of it...the attacking, especially during feeding, is that really what a wild Amazon would do? Wouldn't they be more fearful? No wait, I remember seeing something about this, that parrots who have been previously tamed can be much harder to manage because they have lost their fear of humans. He can't be wild in the sense of reverting to a pre-captive state, but something is causing the aggressive behavior to outweigh the past loving trust.

I sure hope you can put your finger on what's going on with Sammy. This is dreadful. It would be one thing if there were a known trauma or reason, at least it would be understandable. It's the unknown factor that's so unsettling.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 01-19-2017, 01:08 PM
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Re: More Sammy weirdness

I am sad to hear this. Same thing happened to my Amazon. 6 months ago! And he is still aggressive like an angry lion mixed with a falcon. I am not sure what to do. In his cage I can stroke him, but if I try and replace his food he's all over aggressive.

90% of the time he is just completely aggressive and I am not sure what to do at this point. I also asked for help in another thread; I hope we will find a solution or something at least that can bring our birds back to normal.
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Old 01-23-2017, 06:11 PM
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Re: More Sammy weirdness

Kentuckienne -

I wondered myself about his behavior when I'm not visible, so I tried a web cam. When I'm not there, he chatters happily with the rest of the flock, plays with his toys, eats, bathes, scampers around in his cage, naps when the other birds do, preens appropriately, etc. - all 100% normal behavior. He also flares at my wife when she's around, although he has done this ever since we've had him.

The new aggression seems to be directed specifically at me. My intention is to try to continue doing the things he's always accepted in the past (with the exception of trying to touch him, or let him up on me - because of the several, serious injuries he's caused lately, I don't think I can ever trust him again), in the hopes that whatever this is will pass.

I sure miss "my" Sammy. It's like my best friend has deserted me, for good. Maybe they just sometimes decide their "bond" with us is over. I've read that some Amazons do this at full sexual maturity, and will never be "tame" again.

Last edited by mh434; 01-23-2017 at 06:36 PM.
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