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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2019, 06:33 PM
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Re: Sweet Bird, Attack Bird

I have zero bird expertise but plenty of partner expertise................... just wanting to extend my kudos to your loving mate for hanging in there.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2019, 06:52 PM
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Re: Sweet Bird, Attack Bird

Quote: Originally Posted by chris-md View Post
Ok, so as I said I was a bit occupied and spoke even more definitively than it actually is.

The answer is: if your approach includes in any way “who disciplines the bird”, you’re approach is off. If your bird needs discipline, smack yourself in the face cause your doing it wrong and need a wake up call.

Positive reinforcement includes AVOIDING situations where bites occur to begin with. Bird bites when you walk up and ask for a step up? STOP DOING THAT, FOOL. Teach the bird to step up onto a stick, and use that until bird can step up nicely. Or Mark - our current/former parrot rehabilitator in residence (rarely posts anymore) would put on layers of clothing on his arms so that when asking aggressive birds to step up to flood them with positive experience in stepping up. Two different methods.

Set the bird up for success, not failure. Scale back the interactions to situations where biting doesn’t occur, limit the interactions, and scale up from there.

Most importantly: one MUST remember these are hormones. This isn’t an aggressive bird you’re trying to train aggression out of. All references to rehabilitation of aggressive parrots is irrelevant. Except maybe to prevent it from getting worse.

This is a hormonal bird that requires more adaptation than training. The aggression is hormone driven, you aren’t going to stop it with training while puberty is in full swing. The object during this time is not to make things worse. Once puberty has passed, any residual aggression can be trained away through more conventional training means.

You must have misunderstood our term of 'time out' to mean 'discipline' as opposed to a reinforcement.



"A reinforcer is anything that immediately follows a behavior that serves to increase the frequency of the behavior in the future. Reinforcement is the process of delivering reinforcers. A reinforcer has two characteristics:
  • First, it is something that immediately follows a behavior. Therefore, reinforcers are a special type of feedback or consequence.
  • Second, reinforcers increase the probability that the behavior they follow will be repeated in the future."
We use the term 'time out' as 'leaving the room' or 'not maintaining eye contact'. Simply put, I do believe that Jottlebot and myself intimated that if ekkie came into the room to address the biting of the partner, then this reinforced the biting by Cairo getting his favoured person in the room whenever he bit the partner.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2019, 09:12 PM
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Re: Sweet Bird, Attack Bird

Ellie, I’m in fact versed in the vocabulary of training. You are partially correct. We are inadvertently talking past each other a bit, as I latched right onto “partner always be the one to discipline”, which caused me to overlook the larger point.

That larger point is valid and conceded. Replace biting with talking and that’s how closet talking often develops. Would fall under the category of “don’t make it worse”.

It’s also remedied by scaling down the interactions to a comfortable level for all concerned.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 08-22-2019, 12:07 AM
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Re: Sweet Bird, Attack Bird

Right now a key problem is when Cairo flies to my partner's shoulder. We had trained him to do this, so Cairo doesn't know that it's now wrong to do so since his shoulder privileges have recently been revoked. But now that he's on his shoulder, my partner is at risk of being bitten 2 ways - one on his face/ear if the mood takes Cairo, and the other when trying to get Cairo to step up off of his shoulder.

So in order to save my partner from continuously bleeding (and potentially building up a fear/nervous association), I'd rather be the one asking Cairo to step up off his shoulder.

We do have a small perch that my partner can use to protect his hands, but I worry about displacement biting starting up (it's not happened before, but I don't want to give cause for it). So for now, I'll be the one getting Cairo to step up off his shoulder.

I realise the concern that if Cairo's goal is to get me, then me being the person to ask him to step up off my partner's shoulder might be seen as giving into that. And while we're training my partner and Cairo to have positive interactions with each other, I'm ok with that. I need to set a positive foundation between Cairo and my partner again before I can ask either of them to go to the stage of working on a situation that results in a bite majority of the time now.


My goal when we get back is to, in roughly this order:
  1. get Cairo to step up from a training perch without biting
  2. get Cairo to step up from a training perch and be able to be shifted to another perch without biting
  3. get Cairo to step up from a training perch, be able to be shifted to another perch in the vague direction of his cage without biting
  4. get Cairo to step up from a training perch, be able to be shifted to another perch on the side of his cage without biting
  5. get Cairo to step up from a shoulder without biting
  6. get Cairo to step up from a shoulder and be able to be shifted to another perch without biting
  7. get Cairo to step up from a shoulder, be able to be shifted to another perch in the vague direction of his cage without biting
  8. get Cairo to step up from a shoulder, be able to be shifted to another perch on the side of his cage without biting

Tbh, Cairo still responds when my partner trains him on most other things. He still recalls just fine, still plays with toys together just fine. It's really just sometimes there's a bit of a mood swing that turns Cairo into attack mode or both of them get into a situation (stepping up) where Cairo gets upset.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 08-22-2019, 12:09 AM
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Re: Sweet Bird, Attack Bird

Quote: Originally Posted by Rival_of_the_Rickeybird View Post
I have zero bird expertise but plenty of partner expertise................... just wanting to extend my kudos to your loving mate for hanging in there.
Thanks so much for this <3 you and my partner don't get enough credit for what you guys put up with!
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 08-22-2019, 10:44 AM
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Re: Sweet Bird, Attack Bird

If there's anyone who can get Cairo to harmonize with his family it's you, charmed. At least judging by all your wonderful FB posts, LOL! I'd reiterate what's already been said which is to identify and then disrupt any triggering cycles that may be incidentally reinforcing (or prompting) undesirable behavior, ensure he's getting plenty of rest, and perhaps just observe how he behaves with your partner when you're out of sight. There's a balance to maintained in the midst of this, and it just be that Cairo needs to be "weaned" off of his Mom/partner perhaps.


Mochi used to love me and wasn't as into the wife, now it's the reverse. Whenever she's around Mochi can't get enough of her and gets all bitey with me. When wifey's not home, Mochi's more or less fine on me (no bites). Ultimately I simply don't intrude much on Mochi's "wifey" space, but we're both careful not to let her get too obsessive about it (since she'll also chase and antagonize Mango too).
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 08-22-2019, 04:09 PM
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Re: Sweet Bird, Attack Bird

Quote: Originally Posted by charmedbyekkie View Post
Tbh, Cairo still responds when my partner trains him on most other things. He still recalls just fine, still plays with toys together just fine. It's really just sometimes there's a bit of a mood swing that turns Cairo into attack mode or both of them get into a situation (stepping up) where Cairo gets upset.
I really feel your pain, and I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. Many have been in these shoes.

I'm trying to not to go point for point with everything you're saying to avoid my essays becoming longer than they already are. But above really highlights all you need to know: Mood swings. can't live with them, can't do anything about them but be patient.

In the meantime, socialization games such as hot potato birdie (passing bird from one person to another) can help, especially if you get more htan just you and your partner involved. And watch what your birds reaction is to your partner. You might need some desensitization training. <---see that? reading body language!

And thank you for the breeder insight, highly fascinating! I'd be cautious drawing any conclusions regarding Cairo and his possible tendencies, specifically, given how mixed the species are with his breeder. <----Speaking to this, how much does Cairo weight

Ironically and paradoxically (meaning I don't know anything and have plenty to learn ), you say the non-aussie species are not so poly, typical implciation being they blend better with variety of people. However, whats often cited is that the Solomon Island subspecies - non aussie - usually make the better pets. Its all matter of degree of course, but I'd love to see how the breeders square their statements with this widely held perception.
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Old 08-25-2019, 02:32 AM
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Re: Sweet Bird, Attack Bird

Thanks, guys! We're overseas now (yay, 30+ hours of travel time), so we're both concerned about Cairo in other ways now. Will get back on track with managing birdie puberty when we return.


As for the breeder insight, I'm rereading and realising I might have misinterpreted her words. She said, "[poly] has only been researched in the Australian subspecies. Maybe the other subs have some inclination towards that, but not as strongly as the [Australian] ones." She then elaborated on her observations of her flock's different subspecies, the interaction between the males/females and Aussie/non-Aussie. So I might have over-analysed her words and extracted more than what she might have intended.

Cairo himself is around 440 at his heaviest. But his weight goes up and down, depending on molt/mood. I'm planning on getting in touch with other people who adopted his siblings/cousins to get a gauge of what's normal for his family, at least in terms of health. We've already established that Cairo isn't a bird-bird (he has no clue how to act around other birds and is scared of them sometimes) he's a human-bird (he's more comfortable around humans).
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 08-25-2019, 10:15 AM
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Re: Sweet Bird, Attack Bird

Cairo and Parker are roughly the same weight, high-ish end for any Ekkie. So while mixed you probably could apply some stereotypes to of larger subspecies to him and reasonably expect them to hold up.

Hope you guys have safe travels!
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Old Today, 04:26 AM
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Re: Sweet Bird, Attack Bird

So we're back from overseas, and the first week back was fine. Call it a honeymoon period again. The second week back - not so good.

Cairo went from sweet bird to getting very territorial of all spaces (basically a bubble around himself). Two days ago, he fly-attacked my partner's face and arms to the point of bleeding and bruising. Cairo actually managed to grab my partner's cheek and chomped down hard and held on. My partner had to toss a blanket over Cairo mid-flight attack and shove him back into his cage.

My partner worries that I've created this situation by being the main person who trains and handles Cairo, so we agreed that I don't spend 1-1 time with Cairo unless my partner is also at home. Conversely, my partner doesn't want Cairo anywhere near him - he plans on hiding in our room away from Cairo. So for my partner's safety and sanity, I've agreed that both of us will be home when I spend time with Cairo in the living room.

That being said, Cairo went from only threatening me to actually biting me yesterday evening when I went to remove him from a table he isn't allowed on. He quickly released my thumb - it only broke skin, no bleeding.

I do think this haze situation is making things worse. Cairo hasn't been allowed out of the house for about 2 weeks now because it's so unsafe. It's in the Very Unhealthy range at times, and schools are closing because of health reasons. He goes crazy if he doesn't get flight time outdoors, and flying indoors just doesn't expend enough of his energy. He really thrives on not just our outdoor flights, but also the stimuli of going on his regular walks. And we know that he flew away from his previous family because they couldn't free-fly him for 2 weeks (they were getting married; then when they went to take him outdoors after those 2 weeks, he unhooked himself and took off).



I'm trying to reach out to our local free-flying trainers. I promised myself and Cairo that I would never clip his wings. He goes stir-crazy if he doesn't fly, and I worry clipping might just make his aggressiveness worse. Our breeder friend, in fact, recommended that we fly him more often to expend his energy to help calm him down. At the same time, it's hazardous for my partner if Cairo flies at him. And I don't want Cairo to cling to me as a mate. So I'm hoping the free-flying trainers have some insight on how to handle this hormonal aggression.

I'm also trying to get in touch with another lady who owns a couple of his older siblings/cousins, since she also experienced them being aggressive during their puberty years and she still free-flies them. Hopefully we'll have some guidance that's a healthy compromise for both my partner and Cairo.


It's definitely taking a toll on my partner. He's hurt and upset. I don't blame him. I just feel so lost in trying to figure out how to do right by Cairo.
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