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Old 05-06-2019, 06:22 PM
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Beak rubbing

My GCC loves to rub and tap his beak on anything and everything, is this a normal behavior? I wasn't worried about it because I had heard they did this to show ownership but today I noticed his beak is becoming slightly discolored where he rubs it. He has a beak buffer and cuttlebones in his cage. Should I be concerned? How to I help him stop this behavior if it is damaging his beak? Could it mean there's an underlying issue? He eats Zupreem pellets and fresh veggies/fruits and gets sunlight nearly every day.
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:30 PM
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Re: Beak rubbing

He's probably just trying to file it down.
I have read that about ownership too, but that's not the only reason they do it.
In my opinion, it doesn't sound very worrisome, but pictures would help.
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:40 PM
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Re: Beak rubbing

I'm pretty convinced Mango was a drummer in his last life. He's constantly tapping on things. If I start singing he starts drumming even more.

He also rubs his beak on everything, I think he likes the texture. So far it seems to be zero about ownership and everything to do with Mango things.
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:12 PM
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Re: Beak rubbing

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
He's probably just trying to file it down.
I have read that about ownership too, but that's not the only reason they do it.
In my opinion, it doesn't sound very worrisome, but pictures would help.
I'm on mobile I tried to attach an image let's see if it worked. It's towards the bottom on either side of his beak, a white/light grey
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Beak rubbing-snapchat-739178178.jpg  
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:25 PM
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Re: Beak rubbing

Is it that light grey part on the tip?
I have never owned a conure, but I have seen other beaks that look that way...
I found a link where an owner had a similar concern (granted, it's a patagonian conure)..
I am not a vet but I am a HUGE believer in CAVs, blood-work etc, but....in my non-exert opinion, I wouldn't be too concerned, as long as you are taking standard precautions (like annual CAV visits etc)...Perhaps conure owners will chime in.

Here is the link:
https://www.parrots.org/ask-an-exper...agonian-conure

*** On the off-chance that it is hormonal---as many things are with birds--- make sure he has no huts, tents, or shadowy spaces (to which he has access in or outside of his cage--this includes blankets, bedding, piles of paper, under clothing, under furniture etc). Also, pet only on the head/neck...anything else can trigger a hormonal response***

Last edited by noodles123; 05-06-2019 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:25 PM
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Re: Beak rubbing

LOL, I wish Salty's beak looked that good !
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:04 AM
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Re: Beak rubbing

Remi taps his beak when he wants the snack I have. He can be quite persistent, lol.
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:20 PM
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Re: Beak rubbing

Quote: Originally Posted by wrench13 View Post
LOL, I wish Salty's beak looked that good !
EXACTLY WRENCH!!! You took the words right out of my mouth! That Green Cheek beak looks stellar with no issues at all! My Green Cheek has had multiple small beak injuries, the last one being holes on each side right through his beak which occured about 6-8 months ago, and the holes are gone but his beak is still growing-out, so he's got two differently layers to his beak, and even though it's exactly what needs to happen and it will eventually look normal again, IT IS UGLY!!! Combine that with the giant bald-area he has on the back of his head and entire neck from being "scalped" by me and the bathroom-door AND the regular Spring full-body molt he's going through right now, and Bowie looks like I beat him, pluck him, and set him on-fire on a daily-basis right now...

Your Green-Cheek's beak looks perfect. It looks like the beak of a very young baby or juvenile Green Cheek who has yet to get himself into trouble...So nothing to worry about regarding his health based on how his beak looks...However, if you haven't already been taking him to either a Certified Avian Vet (CAV) or an Avian Specialist Vet at least once a year, every year, for a full Wellness-Exam that includes a full visual and physical exam, full Fecal-testing on a fresh-sample of droppings you bring in to the appointment with you and that they run both a Gram-Stain/Microscopy on right in the office on the spot and also a Culture & Sensitivity that they send-out to the lab they use to rule-out any bacterial, fungal/yeast, protozoan, and/or parasite infections (budding-yeast as well), and then also must include full, routine, "baseline" Blood-Work, then I too highly suggest that you do so for the first time immediately, and then at least once every year for the rest of his life. (If you need help finding the closest Certified Avian Vet or Avian Specialist Vet to you, we can help you with that, as there is a great search-tool that has a link posted all throughout the forum, it's a world-wide search and it only shows CAV's and Avian Specialist Vets, and no "Exotics" Vets, which you DO NOT want doing your bird's yearly Wellness-Exam, as they have no special education or experience with birds, and they aren't able to see/catch any early, subtle signs/symptoms of illness in birds, nor are they typically confident enough to take blood from a bird's neck without sedating them or putting them under anesthesia, which should NEVER BE DONE FOR A SIMPLE BLOOD-DRAW!!! Always ask over the phone when you make the appointment if their Avian Vet puts birds under ANY TYPE of sedation or anesthesia to do a Blood-Draw, and if they say yes, you hang-up and keep looking for a qualified, experienced, confident Avian Vet!)

***Birds rub their beaks on things for any number of different reasons, and sometimes it's difficult to know exactly why they are doing it, but if whenever your bird does start rubbing his beak on something or someone you look at the entire situation as a whole, meaning what it is he is rubbing his beak on, where he is when he's doing it (as far as the room of your home, what he's standing on or inside of, etc.), and what is going on during the time that he's doing it (was he playing and getting excited, was he eating something, was he chewing on something, is there another bird or animal in the room, or a person he doesn't know, bird or other animal sounds on the TV, were you petting/scratching him or holding him at the time, etc.), then you can usually figure out why he's doing it...

***The most-common reasons why birds/parrots rub/wipe their beaks on things or on you are to wipe something off of their beaks, such as food, poop, purcellin from their preen-glands (if they were preening themselves right before they start rubbing their beak on something), etc., in-order to sharpen or round-off their beaks (usually they do this on their Cuttlebones, Mineral-Blocks, Cement Perches, etc.), or they can be doing it for a behavioral-reason, such as they are excited about something (if they are playing with a toy, with another bird, with you, etc., or they are dancing, eating, flying around, etc., anything that gets them "excited" in a general way, not in a hormonal way), they are trying to warn you about something that they view as being a danger, they are "courting" you, as in a hormonal-behavior towards you if they are rubbing their beak on you, etc.

***One last reason, and actually a fairly new theory as to why birds rub their beaks on objects or people/other birds or animals, is in-regards to the preen-oil/purcellin again...I read a journal-article on this last year sometime that was published as the result of a controlled, scientific study that was done by the Ornithology department at a University in the US, though I forget which one (the journal was left by our CAV at the Rescue in my office, he always leaves me a copy each month after he's done reading it, lol)...What the results of this study showed was that often when birds are excitedly rubbing their beaks back and forth very quickly on something or someone, as we've all seen our own birds do to both us and to inanimate objects, they are actually rubbing Preen-Oil from their Preen-Glands on the object, the person, the other bird, etc. in order to try to attract whomever it is that is nearby the object or that they are actually rubbing their beaks on; And what they proved in the study is that the reason they do this with Preen-Oil is due to the specific compounds/chemicals in their Preen-Oil, and the "Odor" that it puts-off...So basically they are dipping their beaks in their Preen-Glands, getting some Preen-Oil on their beaks, and then rubbing it on a person or an object that this person is near, in-order to try to attract/lure that person to be attracted to them because they think the smell of the Preen-Oil is sexy!...They call it "The Cologne Theory", lol...So if your parrot is excitedly rubbing his beak on you or on an object that your next to, chances are that it's because he "LOVES" you...
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Old 05-07-2019, 03:12 PM
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Re: Beak rubbing

Skittles has a cement perch to keep his nails trim and he also rubs his beak on it. But he REALLY likes to 'rapidly' rub his beak on my fingernails. He likes to rub the side of his beak (side-ends of upper beak) as well as the area between upper and lower beak. When he does it, his head bobs so fast that he looks like an orange 'blur' from the neck up. Like 'the Blur' or 'the Flash'. lol. Only he's orange.

As far as the 'beak tapping', thats TOTALLY normal. I've been told its there way of saying "whats this?" or "I like this" or "this is mine".
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Old 05-07-2019, 03:20 PM
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Re: Beak rubbing

For comparison- take a look at these... the 'wet' picture is of Skittles beak when he is in need of a beak polish (which he gets annually).
It was also taken BEFORE I got him the cement perch.




And the second picture is how it looks AFTER the beak polish (and tends to remain pretty close [with a few chafes] to that between vet visits now.
He is sitting on the blue cement perch that he uses for beak conditioning. I just use a mild diluted bleach solution (the vet recommended)
to clean and disinfect it and then I rinse it THOROUGHLY. I have to clean it where it is cause its mounted to my desk (I don't trust the suction cups.

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