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Old 06-21-2014, 10:31 AM
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Unhappy Seeking advice on my new Green Cheeked Conure's behavior

So a little over a week ago my mother bought a four and a half month old Cinnamon Green Cheeked Conure from a local pet store, to help herself deal with the recent death of my brother. It was quickly determined that the Conure, whom we named Callie, prefers me over her, so we moved her cage downstairs with me away from the rest of the house.

Now she has two behavior "modes". Downstairs with me, away from my parents and the other dogs (we have five), while she can still be nippy, she mostly doesn't bite me hard and is relatively calm, wanting to snuggle and get attention. When I bring her upstairs she goes nuts, biting any piece of skin she can get her beak on (starting with nibbling softly and quickly moving into "get this darn bird off me before she takes a piece of my ear") and chirruping and vocalizing like a mad bird.

Part of what is making this so difficult for me is that I'm not understanding why she's acting like this. When she's upstairs she clamors to get onto my mother and gets very nippy and shrieky when I try to take her back from my mother, because my mother hates being bitten and that's all Callie seems to want to do; get to my mother or start biting when she's upstairs. You would think that if she didn't want to be on my mother she wouldn't eagerly try to get to her when she sees her.

The other part I'm having trouble with is her training, which I think also might have to with her biting. See, when my mother takes Callie out of her cage when she gets home (she works till 2:30pm, I work till 5pm) to get Callie to stop biting and focusing on my mother, my mother feeds her outside of her cage. I'm worried that this is interfering with my training. Instead of putting Callie down and walking away when she starts biting, I think my mother may be accidentally rewarding her for her bad behavior. I've tried telling my mother how I am training her and how I want things done, but she refuses to listen. She can't train anything to save her life, so I feel like I take one step forward and two steps back with Callie's training. And I can't be as forceful with my feelings as I should because my mother is still grieving and some part of her still thinks that even though the bird has chosen me, she bought it and she still has a say in what happens to it. I feel like I'm trying to train two beings!

So I guess what I'm asking is:

1. Is her nipping behavior upstairs normal? Should I keep her where she is more calm? Why is she so nippy upstairs and not downstairs alone with me?

2. Is she always going to be a biting bird regardless of my proactiveness and training? Will she eventually learn that it's just me and my husband she can't bite, yet has free reign to shred my mother and father?

Any thoughts, comments, and advise are both welcomed and appreciated.
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:48 PM
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Re: Seeking advice on my new Green Cheeked Conure's behavior

Quote: Originally Posted by CallieOwnsMe View Post
1. Is her nipping behavior upstairs normal? Should I keep her where she is more calm? Why is she so nippy upstairs and not downstairs alone with me?

2. Is she always going to be a biting bird regardless of my proactiveness and training? Will she eventually learn that it's just me and my husband she can't bite, yet has free reign to shred my mother and father?

Any thoughts, comments, and advise are both welcomed and appreciated.
-Green cheeks are nippy birds but being overly nippy or biting like that isn't normal but it has only been a week in a new place for her though. I would say she is being this way because you are taking her from a place that she likes and is getting comfortable in to a place with to much going on, to manny things to watch, and probably is all scary to her. Or/and she may think she is 'protecting' you (who she may see as her friend now) from your mom too. She may be trying to tell you 'I don't like it here, take me back' and the only way is to be nippy/bitey and loud. If you can I would keep her where she feels most comfortable and work from there.

-What's her favorite treat? If you don't know watch what she eats first from a fresh bowl of food. Use treats or maybe something like a toy she enjoys to reward her if she would like that better. Sounds like you may be on track with starting training. For your mom though can she have Callie step up without biting? Does Callie lunge at your mom? Does Callie only 'attack' your mom when you are around? You may have to 'train' Callie to at least tolerate your mom if I'm understanding correctly.(My Meeka never, still doesn't, liked my mom either but I got her were she would at least tolerate my mom when I am in the room at least,meaning she wouldn't bite my mom.)
I'm sure with time she will learn her boundaries with nippiness But the key is
time and patience.

-Hope this helps some, maybe someone else can chime in too or add
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:33 PM
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Re: Seeking advice on my new Green Cheeked Conure's behavior

My gcc is a little nippy too, but only gets really nippy when she gets over excited. Your bird might actually be so "aroused" (for a lack of a better word) by all the ruckus upstairs that she just can't contain herself.

Maybe she should have a "travel cage" so you can take her around to new places and experience them without panic? She's just new to your household, so you don't want to let her be in charge so soon. Conures think they are big birds, so you have to treat them accordingly.
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:00 AM
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Re: Seeking advice on my new Green Cheeked Conure's behavior

Thank you for your opinions guys. Callie's been in the house for about two weeks now, and I have noticed a slight change in behavior. While she can still be nippy, she seems to be a lot more curious about her surroundings, which is causing her to be less interested in biting and more interested in exploring. Which of course is its own set of problems in itself!

Quote: Originally Posted by greencheekachick View Post
For your mom though can she have Callie step up without biting? Does Callie lunge at your mom? Does Callie only 'attack' your mom when you are around?
Callie steps up for just about anyone, though it might take a bit if she doesn't want to come up. (Like she's just glided to the floor after losing her grip or balance and is a bit startled, or doesn't want to leave the person she's on.) I think part of my mother's problem is she likes to wear jewelry and Callie likes to chew on the shinies, and so as she's chewing she starts going after the skin as well. The other part is I believe Phlox is right, she's so excited or disturbed (the dogs bark a lot and our youngest, who is still a puppy, just cannot leave poor Callie alone.) that she doesn't have any other outlet than to chew. And I think her behavior is the same whether I'm around or not. She only gets shrieky and really bitey when she's removed from a shoulder or a finger against her will. Not that we're trying to forcibly coerce her, but in the example of needing to do something you can't do with a bird on your shoulder xD.
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:01 PM
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Re: Seeking advice on my new Green Cheeked Conure's behavior

I'm having the same problem with my new Lolli. She's about the same age has Carrie. We have 4 dogs, (the smallest dog has a crazy fascination with her/him) kids etc. She likes everyone in the house. Lolli loves me the most. Lolli started off with tiny bites and now its the hard, I'm going to pierce your ears kinda bites. I notice when she's tired or i try to move her from my shoulder (I've started using a perch) or if i'm on my cell or on the comp she starts to bite. I use apple to distract (her fav food) or change directions. when i feel her biting hard i hold her beak, (gently of course) and tell her "no bite" and to "be gentle" in a quiet voice. Ive done this since i got her and sometimes she gently relaxes. I always praise her if she does. If she carries on biting I put her in her cage. Ive stopped wearing jewelry because i think she doesn't realize she's biting me? It seems to be working for me at the moment. It might be that Lolli doesnt realize her own strength? Ive heard its all about patience. Ive had Lolli for maybe 6 weeks? and she's getting really confident with herself and in the house. She flies at my labs noses to scare them off when she's on my knee lol!! Maybe Callie is protecting you from your Mum lol I'm a new GCC owner, i'm no expert I could be doing something wrong. I hope some of these Ideas help

Last edited by yorkshiregal; 06-25-2014 at 02:06 PM. Reason: missing words
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