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Old 10-07-2017, 01:42 PM
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Unhappy 15 Year old aggressive princess parrot

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Heya!
I have a 15 year old princess parrot, he keeps to his cage mostly, and whenever anyone comes near the cage he seems to be on-guard, when a hand is in his cage he will start making aggressive sounds at it and he'll bang on his mirror, he'll also approach the hand and try to bite it hard

He has been like that for years now, but considering he's going to live until about 30, is there hope of changing him? training him somehow or making him less aggressive?
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Old 10-07-2017, 03:42 PM
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Re: 15 Year old aggressive princess parrot

Hi ya!

Be interesting to know if this 15 year old Princess parrot is new to you or not?

Love to see a photo of him.

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Old 10-07-2017, 04:55 PM
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Re: 15 Year old aggressive princess parrot

Respect his boundaries! His cage is his! My JoJo isn’t the least bit cage aggressive, but I still ask for permission before reaching in!
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Old 10-07-2017, 06:25 PM
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Re: 15 Year old aggressive princess parrot

Tell us more about your parrot.

How is Diet.
How long you've had.
What sort of enrichment do you provide.

Many knowledgeable peoples on this forum will help you give your bird a better life.
read links provided above.

I am sure you can convince your bird that there is a much more interesting world outside of his cage.
fifteen is young.
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:06 PM
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Re: 15 Year old aggressive princess parrot

Hello, and welcome to the Parrot Forums family!

Another important thing is whether or not your bird was hand raised. This will make a big difference in terms of how difficult it might be to get him hand tame.

If your bird gets angry when you approach his cage, does this mean he never gets to come out? If so, it might explain why he is so highly cage territorial. Cage-bound birds tend to be highly protective of their home spaces.

Assuming that your bird is indeed cage-bound, your first step will be to start building a relationship with him. An interactive relationship with elements of trust and communication. You'll have to start slowly. Reading to him while sitting as near to his cage as you can without him getting uncomfortable or nervous is a good start.

Another great way to begin an interactive relationship with him is target training. You can start this off while he is inside of the cage by using a pointer (a chopstick makes for a great pointer) and pointing it toward a certain area within the cage. When he moves toward it, or even better yet touches it with his beak, you reward him with his favorite treat. A clicker can be used as well as a bridge, but that is up to your individual preference. Here are 2 videos illustrating the basics of target training:


And here's a link that gives some insight as to reasons a bird might be biting: BRAINSTORMING: Biting Parrots
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Old 10-08-2017, 12:00 AM
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Re: 15 Year old aggressive princess parrot

It's also possible the mirror is in play here. He could view it as his mate and is being territorial and agressive trying to protect the reflection in his mirror which he thinks is his mate. In his mind he may have mated with it and is expecting some little mirror babies any day now...
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:24 AM
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Re: 15 Year old aggressive princess parrot

The mirror is a good point! My daughter hated mirrors around parrots! They had so many problems at the store with aggressive behavior!
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:31 AM
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Re: 15 Year old aggressive princess parrot

First of all, thank you all for taking the time to try and help me and Sally!
A few important things I forgot to mention!

1.In some EXTREMELY rare cases he would fly onto the shoulder of a certain person in my household, tough, when on his shoulder, the person still couldn't touch him with his hand without getting bitten
And a long time ago, when my grandma set next to his cage, he would eventually go down to her shoulders and play with her golden earings, still not allowing her to touch him of course

2.He sometimes leaves his cage to fly a short circle above the living room before flying back to his cage, probably to use his wings a little (his cage is always open, he sometimes sits inside, and sometimes outside on top of it,
but that's usually when he's more active and feels like making sounds)

3.Sometimes when he is doing his short circle, something would make him crash (bumping into the glass accidentally while flying next to it) and he would end up on the floor, in that case, he doesn't really know 100% how to get back to his cage, in this scenario, he would let me approach him, and when I lay out my finger next to him, he would step on it to let me get him back to his cage, but again, when he is on my finger, he still wouldn't let me touch him, he would let me put him on my shoulder tough.

If this is somehow relevant and could be helpful, I would love to know!


Quote: Originally Posted by plumsmum2005 View Post
Hi ya!

Be interesting to know if this 15 year old Princess parrot is new to you or not?

Love to see a photo of him.

Tips for Bonding and Building Trust
Sally is not new to us! we got him a few months after he hatched, he was hand-fed trained before he moved over to us
Here is a picture of the little guy:



When he sleeps, it's always infront of this mirror

Quote: Originally Posted by Flboy View Post
Respect his boundaries! His cage is his! My JoJo isn’t the least bit cage aggressive, but I still ask for permission before reaching in!
How exactly does one "ask permission"? I assume I can watch for his reaction first tough and move back if he doesn't like something I do.

Quote: Originally Posted by PrimorandMoxi View Post
Tell us more about your parrot.

How is Diet.
How long you've had.
What sort of enrichment do you provide.

Many knowledgeable peoples on this forum will help you give your bird a better life.
read links provided above.

I am sure you can convince your bird that there is a much more interesting world outside of his cage.
fifteen is young.
I've had him for about 15 years, he's been with us almost the entirety of his life,
As for food and enrichment, here are 3 pictures:




These are treat sticks with plenty of stuff on them (as you can see, these sticks are almost done, he loves them)



These are his basic seeds at the bottom of the cage, he eats them, and lots of seeds and shells get onto the floor outside the cage haha

Aside from these he LOVES Portulaca oleracea, I'm not sure what the common name is in english, my mother picks it for him when we see a plant of it, it looks like this:



Quote: Originally Posted by Anansi View Post
Hello, and welcome to the Parrot Forums family!

Another important thing is whether or not your bird was hand raised. This will make a big difference in terms of how difficult it might be to get him hand tame.

If your bird gets angry when you approach his cage, does this mean he never gets to come out? If so, it might explain why he is so highly cage territorial. Cage-bound birds tend to be highly protective of their home spaces.

Assuming that your bird is indeed cage-bound, your first step will be to start building a relationship with him. An interactive relationship with elements of trust and communication. You'll have to start slowly. Reading to him while sitting as near to his cage as you can without him getting uncomfortable or nervous is a good start.

Another great way to begin an interactive relationship with him is target training. You can start this off while he is inside of the cage by using a pointer (a chopstick makes for a great pointer) and pointing it toward a certain area within the cage. When he moves toward it, or even better yet touches it with his beak, you reward him with his favorite treat. A clicker can be used as well as a bridge, but that is up to your individual preference. Here are 2 videos illustrating the basics of target training:
https://youtu.be/HaOicTtwIZo

https://youtu.be/a6iRRum5lPU

And here's a link that gives some insight as to reasons a bird might be biting: BRAINSTORMING: Biting Parrots
Thank you very much!
He was indeed hand-trained before we got him, and we got him when he was a few months old
He DOES get to come out of his cage, his cage is always open, unless we have to open up a window, we then close the cage, but it's open 90% of the time, and as I mentioned in at the start of this reply, he sometimes does circles above the living room when he wants to stretch out his wings

I've tried sitting next to him and playing guitar, I'm not sure if he hates the sound of it or not, but I assumed he'd like music
I guess reading to him or playing the flute might work too? I guess I'll have to judge by his reaction

Will a regular chopstick from a chinese food order do the trick? I'll get a clicker for him next time we order food from the pet store and perhaps try this type of training with some sort of fruit/dried fruit or the leaves I mentioned above

Quote: Originally Posted by Sunnyclover View Post
It's also possible the mirror is in play here. He could view it as his mate and is being territorial and agressive trying to protect the reflection in his mirror which he thinks is his mate. In his mind he may have mated with it and is expecting some little mirror babies any day now...
He does indeed think the mirror is another parrot, whenever we clean it, he suddenly interacts with it alot, he also sleeps infront of it
Tough, considering the things I mentioned above, I think he just doesn't like people touching him, even if he feels safe enough for him to sit on their shoulders or hands... I might be wrong


Also, adding this picture of his cage in full view, as I said, it's open 90% of the time:


Last edited by Chironyx; 10-08-2017 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:13 AM
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Re: 15 Year old aggressive princess parrot

Hi, that plant looks like purslane! I used to put it in salads. Super easy to grow anywhere!
I knew I needed to clarify ‘asking for permission’.
I read JoJo’s body language and always wait for him to make a move towards me.

Good ol Google!
Portulaca oleracea (common purslane, also known as verdolaga, little hogweed, red root, or pursley) is an annual succulent in the family Portulacaceae, which may reach 40 centimetres (16 in) in height
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Last edited by Flboy; 10-08-2017 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:50 AM
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Re: 15 Year old aggressive princess parrot

Alrighty I'm going to start a long novel here.

First off thank you for reaching out for your bird; when I first joined this forum I was trying to bond with a slightly plucked and miserable Hahns macaw and trying to make his life far more enriching than it had been. Back in the 80s and 90s the majority of people thought that birds did just fine in a simple small cage with seed and that was all they needed.

In recent studies and such it has been proven that most parrots have the intelligence of a small child and items and toys are beginning to come out that reflect that.

First off lets talk enrichment.

1.) Mirrors.

Birds are animals that bond, what they see when they hatch is what they associate with as their 'kind' your bird was hand raised and looks to people as his flock yes; but with that mirror in his cage he now gets to see an animal just LIKE him every day and thus has from your description likely bonded with the bird in the mirror. If you want him to interact more with you... I'd remove it. He will be sad for a few days, and likely start flock calling' but it will be better for him and you in the long run with it gone.

2.) Perches and toys.
You have done an amazing job with the mostly outside his cage bit; that he can come and go as he wants has likely done wonders for his confidence and mindset. However think of his cage as his 'room' his 'bed' is in there... his personal items and so on. However he has two toys in there and one is a mirror which doesn't really count for his health. I'd reccommend looking at the petstore for a few things that can be chewed on... and shredded; maybe even an entire branch of that bush that he enjoys so much! My rule of thumb for toys is usually at least one for every perch in the cage... and then I put at least two outside of the cage!
https://www.amazon.com/Paradise-8-In...Bird+chew+toys
https://www.amazon.com/Paradise-4-In...Bird+chew+toys
https://www.amazon.com/Birds-Accesso...Bird+chew+toys

Now his perches are nothing but dowel rods, in the wild a bird has many different sized perches to stand on; but think of it like this; would you want to sit on the same three legged stool... eat on it... sleep on it... all day every day? After a little while our backsides would start hurting and we'd have to move right? Think about getting him some chairs... and even a couch! Varied perches are important for feet health; otherwise arthritis and sores can develope in his feet. My general rule of thumb for this is at least three varied perches inside of a cage.

Perches like these...
Boings- or swings for variety and a soft place for him to rest his feet..
https://www.amazon.com/Zeroyoyo-Acce...erch+for+birds
Natural wood perches with odd angles and such that force his feet to settle in different positions
https://www.amazon.com/Bwogue-Perch-...ood+bird+perch
A simple flat perch that forces him to open his feet.
https://www.amazon.com/Alfie-Pet-Pet...ood+bird+perch


3.) Cage size.
While your baby has lived in that cage for 15 years and it was an amazing cage for a new baby... sometimes size can be a factor in aggression. Imagine if you had one of those little box rooms with a small bed... a dresser and that was all that would fit. I did back in college and I was uncomfortable every time my parents walked into the room! With a hand going into the cage like that he might be just as uncomfortable and stressed out; add in the option that you are likely near his 'bonded mate' aka the mirror... I'd reccomend maybe getting him a new cage?

This one is by no means tiny but if you are going to throw his entire world upside down and try to retrain him I'd reccomend doing it in a new atmosphere and changing up EVERYTHING he knows. Your pretty bird has been doing the same routine for the last 15 years, and birds LIKE routine. Change it and they are confused and uncoordinated and you can take advantage of this just a little.

https://www.amazon.com/Prevue-Produc...ords=Birdcages
I have this cage... and it would just about double his current space, and allow for several perches and such. However... if you feel like you should keep his current cage, move it into a new area in the room; and while he is on one of those runs around the room flying try putting in new perches a few lower than just those on top, and adding more toys. Take out the mirror and that should change his routine enough that you can start getting him back on track.

4.) Food
Seeds are one thing for parrots like a Princess, candy.
They are originally from Austrailia and like most birds from the continent they eat a variety of different things. Ranging from seed to insects and fruit... even human crops! So just like their wild counterparts they need a slightly more varied diet. USE the diet change to get him to come around for you... start offering him treats like apple slices, bits of egg and in general carefully introduce him to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Non-toxic for birds list and a list of things that are toxic for birds.
I'd also try and get him acclimated to either pellets... or cut down slightly on his seed as his base diet and try him on nutriberries. Heck I know some birds that are ONLY fed fresh foods daily, and eating with the 'flock' aka YOU is a wonderful bonding tool!

5.) Add together..
All of these things are steps that can be used to not only get your parrot to be more active and dependant on you; but to also enrich his life a little more and make sure he stays with you for another 15 years healthy and happy without any problems with his health!

So far it looks like you've done a pretty good job taking care of him! And that is great; but sometimes a little change can be just as wonderful!

Last edited by jugoya; 10-08-2017 at 08:53 AM.
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