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Old 04-26-2012, 12:42 PM
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Exclamation My conure is afraid of me! (behavior changes)



I bought my adorable green cheeked Conure almost a year ago and he was a hand fed super friendly little guy (or girl?)! We spend every day together for at least 2-3 hours a day cuddling and playing (he even takes naps with me!). He's not afraid of hands, fingers, being petted or really anything much...

Starting about 1 week ago, he's become afraid of me! If I approach his cage to get him out, he moves to the back and slowly lifts one foot like he'll come out, but only if I go in and get him (he used to spend every waking moment on the bars of the cage smooshed up, trying to get my attention so I'd take him out). I used to be able to just open the door and he'd race over to come to me!



When my husband and I hang out watching TV, he'll sit on my head but if I try to reach him with my hands, he flies over to my husband (who he's never preferred before) and keeps away from me, like he's afraid of me catching him.

Trying to put him back in his cage has been horrible! I have to chase him around while he flutters screaming until I catch him, which can't possibly help the situation :-(

He's NEVER been this way with me and I'm confused about what I did... a couple of weeks ago we had to clip his wings again but he didn't get really weird until a week after that.

he's about a year old and I'm not sure if he's a boy or girl.

Help me get my best friend back?

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Old 04-26-2012, 01:19 PM
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Re: My conure is afraid of me! (behavior changes)

Maybe something happened that he didn't like and he is associating something bad with your hands.

With my bird I have to be careful about what I do immediately when I ask her to go in her cage, and when I ask her to step up. If I do something she doesn't enjoy or isn't fun repeatedly she doesn't want to step up.

If I'm putting on her harness I make sure to take her downstairs and play with her first so she doesn't think coming off her cage means putting on the harness(I don't force it on her, but she doesn't like that it makes her front heavy and bites the leash. A better harness is in the mail). I'm pretty good at it now, but at first I made several mistakes.

You should try touch training with a target stick and clicker, conures learn this very fast and I'm positive it will help you with him because he will enjoy it.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:49 PM
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Re: My conure is afraid of me! (behavior changes)

Has anything changed with you? New glasses, hair color, anything? It could be a reaction to anything new or different.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:01 PM
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Re: My conure is afraid of me! (behavior changes)

Thanks for the help you guys!

I dye my hair different colors all of the time and he seems to like that (maybe it's the bright colors;-)

I did clip his wings a few weeks ago which he didn't enjoy - I just didn't know he would be permanently damaged from the activity!

Mostly it seems like he's only afraid of being picked up by my hands. He tentatively steps up but jumps straight to my shoulders to prevent me from holding him.

Copperarabian: you are probably right - I just ordered some click training stuff so hopefully he'll like that. I'm just sad that I did something to freak him out so badly! :-(

Also, a week ago I took him some baby squirrels (i'm a licensed wildlife rehabber) but I always wash my hands and that doesn't seem like he'd be mad at my hands for that...
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:33 PM
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Re: My conure is afraid of me! (behavior changes)

i think it has to do with you clipping his wings
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:45 PM
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Re: My conure is afraid of me! (behavior changes)

Well, i'm NEVER doing THAT again! I really hope I can regain back his trust with some positive reinforcement.

Do you guys ever clip wings and have this happen? Thanks for all of the help!
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:56 PM
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Re: My conure is afraid of me! (behavior changes)

Try talking to him slowly and give him his favorite treats, don't force him, just take it slow and rebuild your trust. Good luck, he'll come around
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:22 AM
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Re: My conure is afraid of me! (behavior changes)

i clip my teil and my indian ringneck and i havent had to clip my green cheek yet - but i find my green cheek is alot more sensitive and its easier to hurt his feeling so to speak
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:37 AM
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Re: My conure is afraid of me! (behavior changes)

I clipped my alexandrine, and even though he was extremely pissed off with me, it only lasted a few days...

I'm wondering about your nails.. Do you always use the same chemicals? Colours? Maybe he's had enough of the changes to hair, nails etc...???
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:51 AM
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Re: My conure is afraid of me! (behavior changes)

I take Guava to a local bird shop to get her wings clipped. That way she's mad at them and not me, lol.

I'd highly suggest step up training. Never force her to step up or be petted(this will only further dminish your relationship) , work with her pace. When she does step up, reinforce immediatly with her favorite treat and lots of verbal praise. This will help to rebuild positive association with your hands. Use lots of positive reinforcement (e.g., treat, verbal praise) every time she makes progress. When she lets you get nearer to her, reinforce. When she lets you pet her, reinforce, etc. It's worked wonders with Guava when we went through a similar phase.
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