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Old 10-28-2019, 03:59 PM
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Movies + Afternoon = Screaming

Hello my friends,
I'm really hoping my ParrotForums family can help us out on a problem we've been having with our CAG Trigger. I don't know if his behavioral issues are specific to the fact that he is an African Grey, so I figured this would be the better place to post. Anyhoo, here's the issue...

Trigger was born August 20, 2018, so he is just over a year old now. In the last year he has gone through phases of difficult behavior and then come out of them. So maybe this latest thing is another phase, or maybe it's something we need to take action on.

Most evenings after dinner, we watch a movie or TV show with the boys hanging out on us or on their perches. Yoda usually snuggles into my hair, Trigger plays with his toys on our laps or on his perch. The boys are wonderfully behaved and happy during this time before bedtime.

Often, when we're both home in the afternoon (weekends and occasional work day), we will try to watch a movie together like we do in the evenings. Yoda usually snuggles with my hubby, while Trigger typically hangs out on his perches and does his best to drive us completely insane. He'll either practice all of his vocalizations as loud as he possibly can, with plenty of loud screeches. To spice things up, he'll fly over and land on our heads, attempting to steel our glasses while he's at it. He KNOWS landing on the head is forbidden and he KNOWS messing with the glasses is forbidden. Outside of the afternoon movies, he doesn't do these things very often. During after dinner movies he is an angel, but in the afternoon... it's a totally different story.

Is this some kind of a phase he is going through? We thought he might be responding to the volume of the movie, but it doesn't matter if we turn it up or turn it down, he is the same either way. If we put him in his cage, he can't jump on our heads of course, but he tries to make up for it with even more volume. He doesn't sound distressed, he doesn't seem like he is attacking, he just seems like a two year old who has been drinking coffee and energy drinks. I've tried playing with him and offering him toys on my lap, but he either plays rough and bites, or flies to my head, or flies back to his perch to scream some more. If I stand up and go stand next to his tree perch, he will USUALLY quiet down and just preen. But I'd really rather not have to spend the whole movie standing by his tree perch, paying more attention to him than the movie.

It's not like we don't ever pay attention to him, for background here is what life is typically like for us. During the week, my husband goes into the office to work and I work from home. He spends at least a half hour every morning with the boys before he goes, teaching them tricks and playing with them, and I also spend about a half hour with them giving them attention and skritches and love. Then the boys go into their cages for a few hours as Wolfy (my hubby) is at work and I'm out /working/busy. From around 11am onward, they will come out of their cages in shifts (because they don't get along and I can't watch them close enough while I work). Sadly, Yoda gets more out of cage time because he is easier to keep entertained while I work. Some weekdays Wolfy works from home also and both boys get a lot more out of cage time then. Also, on the weekends they are out of the cage with us most of the day.

Anyone else have this kinda thing happen? Any suggestions? We're going crazy here...
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:49 PM
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Re: Movies + Afternoon = Screaming

Uh yeah
If I want to watch a movie.....
I play with the birds, scritch heads.
Then give them a bath
Then put them in cage with extra great snacks like popcorn plain popped , maybe a nut or two, a slice of apple
Then I watch the movie
If I'm lucky I get 45 min to hour quiet time...
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:12 PM
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Re: Movies + Afternoon = Screaming

EEEEEEEK, that all sounds wayyyyy too familiar.

Also, sounds like the kind of thing that would need to be addressed with consistency, firmness, planning... stuff like that. Stuff which is in rare supply here on Planet Rickeybird...

I wish you luck, I truly do! I know you'll get great advice here.
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Old 10-28-2019, 10:37 PM
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Re: Movies + Afternoon = Screaming

Lol yeah you are focusing on something other than them, you are quiet.
Obviously you need your parrot to help you!!!
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:15 AM
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Re: Movies + Afternoon = Screaming

Unfortunately for me, when it comes to movie watching, the boys have won this round...

So now I typically only watch movies (or anything longer than 30-45 minutes) after they’ve gone to bed (about 6ish). Sometimes I can out stubborn or wear them out in the afternoon, but it usually isn’t worth the pouting I get lol.
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Old 10-29-2019, 11:48 AM
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Re: Movies + Afternoon = Screaming

" How DARE you watch a movie during the day! That is MY time!! "

Plain and simple...




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Old 10-29-2019, 02:05 PM
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Re: Movies + Afternoon = Screaming

Quote: Originally Posted by Laurasea View Post
Lol yeah you are focusing on something other than them, you are quiet.
Obviously you need your parrot to help you!!!
Quote: Originally Posted by AmyMyBlueFront View Post
" How DARE you watch a movie during the day! That is MY time!! "

Plain and simple...




Jim
Yup, you are short circuiting mandatory attention to birds. Seems Trigger is "triggered" by your focus elsewhere!
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:59 PM
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Re: Movies + Afternoon = Screaming

I know if the TV is in anyway loud Jacob will try to beat it by being louder. Also, if I watch TV he needs to be on me, he needs all the attention to himself 100% of the time. Maybe try having a stand right next to where you sit rather than having to stand next to Trigger? It's hard to watch stuff when Jacob is up but not impossible for me, I have him on me most of the time and when he asks for attention like giving kisses or asks to shake a paw I do that while still mostly being able to watch my shows. When he's bad and tries to climb down or runs to the couch I put him back, I'm lucky he only screams for a bit then goes a chews his toys. He loves to chew little plastic boats I get for him at the dollar store, those keep him busy all the time.

Sorry I'm not of much help but just letting you know how I deal with my parrot even though they probably behave very differently from each other.
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Old 10-30-2019, 10:52 PM
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Re: Movies + Afternoon = Screaming

Levi is most vocal, when I am on the phone. I see it as attention seeking.

He is fine in the evening when we are watching TV. He is either on his cage playing/eating or snuggling with me.

I'm lucky in that, he is pretty quiet for the most part.

If I am busy and can't have him with me, I put nature shows on for him. So, he has something to watch or listen to. And I always put the TV on when I'm not home. One day, he'll probably start talking like David Attenborough... hehe

The mischievous behavior is constant. He always wants what he knows he can't have. It's ongoing. The funniest thing about Levi is, he says 'no' right before he is going to do something that is off limits. So, if I'm not watching him at that moment, he lets me know he is about to get into trouble.

When he is really being a nudge, I give him a foraging toy to keep him occupied.

Have you tried putting the TV on just for them? Maybe he needs a little desensitizing? Or maybe, he doesn't like your movie choices ... haha JK
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Old 11-04-2019, 01:13 PM
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Re: Movies + Afternoon = Screaming

We always leave the TV on when we're out of the house, usually with a movie, and he has no trouble with the sound at all when we watch a movie after dinner.

This weekend we took your advice and I made him some nice destroyable toys as the movie started. He happily shredded it for 45 mins or so, and then I gave him another... and he was a very happy, quiet bird. Mostly. So that was a real win. Thanks Tami!!
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