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Old 11-26-2017, 12:07 AM
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Help!

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So, I recently acquired a blue fronted amazon. He came from an older couple. The husband bought Oscar, the bird, as a gift for his wife who was scared of the bird. Oscar has been with them since he was a baby and is now 5. He is not unfriendly but is a bit skittish about us getting him out of his cage. He has bonded with me, eats food off my lips, takes it from my hand, talks with me, but he "barks" at me when I get too close. The couple said they do not take him out of his cage. They scratch his head but that is the extent of of interaction. He "nips at" my hand when I get too close. He has not broke skin, it doesn't even hurt, but he is letting me know he is not happy with that. I sit with my head and half my body in his cage, he does not mind it. He eats his treats from my lips, I heard this was a bonding technique, and is fine with that. He allows and even encourages me to scratch his head and neck but only through the bars. Tonight marks 24 hours since I picked him up. I want to know if being patient is the right thing, let him come to me, or should I reach my hand up and ignore the "barking?" He obviously does not know "step up" considering they never held him so I am not sure the right thing to do here.

Last edited by AmberAndOscar; 11-26-2017 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 11-26-2017, 12:12 AM
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Re: Help!

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Old 11-26-2017, 07:18 AM
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Re: Help!

YES!

Take it at oscar's pace and read as much as you can on this forum.

have fun and good luck.
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Old 11-26-2017, 07:30 AM
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Re: Help!

Did they take the conure out of it's cage? It might've been that. Mine was completely attached to me when I first got her back home. So she was kept outside so she could be happy. If you give her treats teach her how to step up by giving her treats. My bird already knew how to step up and we now have a good bond. Try and take her out of the cage every day at least an hour. If she's nappy just open her cage door to let her out unless she's/he's sharing with another parrot.
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Old 11-26-2017, 07:32 AM
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Re: Help!

The image you linked to does not work. It should end in JPG, GIF, PNG, etc. Also, the image might be set to private?



eats food off my lips
I'm going to have to stop you there and say this behavior is dangerous. It might be "okay" with you, but it's harmful to him. Birds can get sick from our own healthy bacteria, so allowing them access to our mouths increases the risks of getting sick with an infection.

https://featheredangels.wordpress.co...kiss-of-death/


he "barks" at me when I get too close
Time and patience.

It may help to change how you approach him. Maybe try approaching slower? Announcing your presence?

Any time you walk by the cage, drop a treat into a treat cup in the cage. You do not need to pay any attention to him, just drop the treat and go.

Whatever you do, try and ease his comfort as much as possible by not causing to be stressed out.


I want to know if being patient is the right thing, let him come to me, or should I reach my hand up and ignore the "barking?"
Put yourself in his situation. If you were scared, terrified, in a new home you were unfamiliar with, with no one you knew, would you prefer to be forced to interact or learn through slow but patient ways to trust?

Please always have patience with him and work with him rather than against him. If he doesn't want to do something, then you may be asking too much too soon... or perhaps he simply doesn't understand what it is you are asking and you need to figure out how to ask in a different way that he can understand.

Never give anything by your mouth. Always offer by hand, by putting a reward down, by offering it in a cup or by a spoon.


He obviously does not know "step up" considering they never held him so I am not sure the right thing to do here.

Instead of teaching 'step up' as a first behavior, consider teaching target training instead. Teach him to reach for a target (could be a chopstick, knitting needle, empty pen case, etc) for a reward. Break it down into steps he can achieve. He looks at target? Reward. Repeat 10 times. He moves his head towards target? Reward. Repeat 10 times. He takes a step towards target? Reward. Repeat 10 times.

It doesn't *have* to be repeated 10 times, it's just to give you a general basis to start off with, and how many times a step needs to be repeated will depend on you and him.
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Old 11-26-2017, 08:58 AM
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Re: Help!

Quote: Originally Posted by MonicaMc View Post
The image you linked to does not work. It should end in JPG, GIF, PNG, etc. Also, the image might be set to private?



eats food off my lips
I'm going to have to stop you there and say this behavior is dangerous. It might be "okay" with you, but it's harmful to him. Birds can get sick from our own healthy bacteria, so allowing them access to our mouths increases the risks of getting sick with an infection.

https://featheredangels.wordpress.co...kiss-of-death/


he "barks" at me when I get too close
Time and patience.

It may help to change how you approach him. Maybe try approaching slower? Announcing your presence?

Any time you walk by the cage, drop a treat into a treat cup in the cage. You do not need to pay any attention to him, just drop the treat and go.

Whatever you do, try and ease his comfort as much as possible by not causing to be stressed out.


I want to know if being patient is the right thing, let him come to me, or should I reach my hand up and ignore the "barking?"
Put yourself in his situation. If you were scared, terrified, in a new home you were unfamiliar with, with no one you knew, would you prefer to be forced to interact or learn through slow but patient ways to trust?

Please always have patience with him and work with him rather than against him. If he doesn't want to do something, then you may be asking too much too soon... or perhaps he simply doesn't understand what it is you are asking and you need to figure out how to ask in a different way that he can understand.

Never give anything by your mouth. Always offer by hand, by putting a reward down, by offering it in a cup or by a spoon.


He obviously does not know "step up" considering they never held him so I am not sure the right thing to do here.

Instead of teaching 'step up' as a first behavior, consider teaching target training instead. Teach him to reach for a target (could be a chopstick, knitting needle, empty pen case, etc) for a reward. Break it down into steps he can achieve. He looks at target? Reward. Repeat 10 times. He moves his head towards target? Reward. Repeat 10 times. He takes a step towards target? Reward. Repeat 10 times.

It doesn't *have* to be repeated 10 times, it's just to give you a general basis to start off with, and how many times a step needs to be repeated will depend on you and him.
Excellent post all around! Both in terms of the proposed techniques and the warning regarding the possibility of getting your parrot sick via the Gram negative bacteria that we all, as mammals, carry in our saliva. Never feed from your mouth to his. And never allow them to bite from a piece of food after you have. You will doubtless hear from other parronts that there's nothing wrong with it because they've been doing it for years. But such is akin to arguing one doesn't need a seatbelt because he/she has never been in a car accident. Just not worth the risk.

Here is a link to a video that illustrates very well what Monica is talking about with target training:

As you watch the video, the only thing that I would add is using a verbal command cue (saying "Target" as you present the stick is a common one. It can be any word of your choosing, as long as it is used consistently and it is not a commonly used word that might be frequently heard outside of the context of training) and verbally praising the bird (again, with a consistent word or phrase) just before offering the treat as a "bridge" to the reinforcer. This bridge is important because it serves as a signal to your bird that he has done something correct and that a treat is coming. This way, when he does something praiseworthy and you don't immediately have a treat on hand, he'll still understand that he did the right thing. And eventually, the praise becomes something of a treat in and of itself through simple association.

Keep us updated, and good luck!
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Old 11-26-2017, 01:48 PM
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Re: Help!

Thank you all! My granny fed her bird by the lips as a bonding technique, I had no clue it could be dangerous. Oscar has come a long way. I leave the cage door open and sit at the entrance by a window. We discovered his love of sandwiches when he randomly decided to come out of his cage to come take a bite of mine, I think that's great progress. He still "barks" but quickly realized that he gets a treat when he allows my hand close and has even let me stroke his feathers IN the cage instead of through the bars. I have been doing research and am now part of a second parrot forum as well. On this forum, while trying to figure out how to navigate this thing, I got a welcome email from admin Scott. I seen his picture of his bird Gonzo and thought it looked so much like Oscar I had to check it out. After seeing thousands of pictures of different types of conures and seeing none that looked like him, Gonzo gave me the answer, I am 99% sure, he is a blue fronted Amazon. I am doing research now specifically for that type of bird! I have been announcing when I enter a room, we also put him in the family room so he can hang out with us and learn our voices! He gets a treat, his favorite we found so far, besides sandwiches, is peas. He LOVES peas! He gets a pea everytime he sees me! Thanks for the advice and thanks for the best wishes and good luck, lord knows I'm gonna need it. I was not looking for a bird, so I was a bit unprepared when Oscar came home with us. I will say this, I'm glad he did, he was a very easy guy to love! Didn't take him long to steal my heart, or my sandwich. Thank you to everyone again! Keep that advice coming in!
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Old 11-26-2017, 01:56 PM
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Re: Help!

Quote: Originally Posted by AmberAndOscar View Post
, I got a welcome email from admin Scott. I seen his picture of his bird Gonzo and thought it looked so much like Oscar I had to check it out. After seeing thousands of pictures of different types of conures and seeing none that looked like him, Gonzo gave me the answer, I am 99% sure, he is a blue fronted Amazon. I am doing research now specifically for that type of bird!
Looks like a BFA variant to me! http://www.parrotforums.com/members/...ums-oscar.html
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Old 11-26-2017, 08:31 PM
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Re: Help!

Okay... so not a conure! And not a blue fronted amazon, either!


Oscar is an orange winged amazon. They are smaller than BFA's and they can be charming birds, too! Potentially even better than a BFA!


Amazons are very expressive and easy to read their body language, so it makes working with them easier. Definitely pay attention to his body language and allow him to make as many choices as possible! With the right training, he *can* be a happy little zon!
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Old 11-28-2017, 08:25 AM
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Re: Help!

So, great news about Oscar, he comes to me! He decided yesterday that he would use that open door! He came out of his cage first to grab one of the pieces of hard boiled egg. Besides his bagged parrot food, I hand feed him to help us bond. I have been reading him a book (Thank you SailBoat) while sitting right outside his open cage door. I keep his food on a plate right beside me. While I was reading he came 2 inches from me, out of his cage and took a bite! After that, it was like a different bird... Oscar came out of his cage to sit on top of the door, to take another bite, to whistle with me, and to "yell" at me while I was on the phone! He is a really great bird! I discovered his love of Elvis yesterday also! I played "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You" and he danced his butt off! He still does not want me to touch him when he is not inside his cage, through the bars, but thats okay, he will eventually! We are fixing to start target practice as well! I will let everyone know how thats coming!
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