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Old 05-13-2019, 07:46 PM
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Bird Puberty

Its nothing really serious to be honest. I just read up that conures enter puberty around the age of 2 and my conure is hitting the age of 2 next month and I think he's hit puberty because he has increased aggressiveness. Quite frankly he doesn't allow me to preen his pin feathers, doesn't like me scratching his neck and one second he can be an angel and then the other he murders my finger (I'm actually getting bite marks in my finger now, like scabs.)

I'm just asking if this is puberty or potentially something else, and if this is puberty how long may this last and will it be back to normal once his puberty is done, or will he be more independent?

Thanks for the advice if you give any.
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:24 PM
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Re: Bird Puberty

Does he normally allow you to preen his pin feathers? If he is molting and has 'new' pinnies growing, that could account for the increased aggressiveness. Molting is a very stressful time for a bird (much like 'teething' for babies) and often creates a 'grouchy' mood. The pinnies are VERY sensitive and so they don't like being touched until after they have fully grown in and are ready to be 'opened'. It could also be hormones or puberty or a combination of all of the above. Perhaps others may have more in depth advice.
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:42 PM
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Re: Bird Puberty

He's done moulting 100%, the furry storm of feathers is gone and I see no pin feathers so I know he's done, he just won't let me scratch his head anymore. Actually, any form of touching, including snuggles, he doesn't want anymore. He runs away or bites if I try to do it myself without him coming in.
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:54 PM
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Re: Bird Puberty

You may find he settles down in a little while. Could be just puberty issues. Grumpy teenager and all that goes with it. My GCC Echo is going through something similar. From my limited experience with conures they seem to be the moodiest birds. Love the attention one moment and then it's latch on and bite as hard as they can because how dare you be scratching them on the head. My younger GCC Ari is like that at the moment. Wants to be near but doesn't want to be touched unless it suits him. A lot like cats in that regard I guess.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:48 AM
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Re: Bird Puberty

Could be hormones + molting (discomfort). Make sure he doesn't have any huts/tents/hammocks, shadowy place to hang out in (inside or outside the cage).
When he permits contact, I would strongly advise that you stick to petting on the head and neck only (even after this calms down) and make sure he is getting a solid 12 hours of dark/uninterrupted sleep on a schedule.

After puberty, birds aren't the same as when they were babies. That having been said, they do mellow out a bit, in the same way that teens tend to be more extreme in their behaviors than adults lol. At certain times of year (1-2), even adult birds who have already gone through puberty can sometimes get super irritable/more aggressive...Generally in the spring, but not always (as with captive birds, there is no true mating season---it is based on lighting etc).

The thing is, now that your bird is reaching sexual maturity, a lot of things that were okay when he was a baby will not be okay now. Cuddling and exposure to shadowy spaces are common hormonal triggers and their impacts can happen almost immediately or over time. It isn't always super obvious when something is triggering a bird, so just keep that in mind. Warm/mushy food can also be a trigger.

When my bird is already hormonal, grass-type shredding toys seem to push her over the edge, but wooden chew-blocks don't seem to be associated with nesting in her mind.

Every bird is going to differ slightly in these areas, but stroking/cuddling and access to shadowy spaces are extremely common triggers for birds in general . If your bird is triggered hormonally, then it doesn't matter what time of year it is (you will see behaviors---not to imply that all behaviors in adult birds are hormonal, as that is not the case).

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Old 05-14-2019, 08:05 PM
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Re: Bird Puberty

OK, I am a little confused and maybe that is because I associated 2 events. I understand the first molt is the biggest one. With my rosefront conure, I understand that her head will be completely red. It is about 80% there. Maybe I was in error thinking this drastic change in appearance is part of puberty. I do know this. My bird has all kinds of mood swings. Timing wise I read that puberty for a small conure is 1-2 years. She is just about 13 months old and I thought everything was on schedule.

She definitely does not like me to touch her and I think I have a long road ahead of me for her to wear a harness.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:49 PM
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Re: Bird Puberty

Could be a bit of everything. The good news is that this too shall pass, the bad news is that it could b a few weeks or it could be a few months and rarely a year. give him plenty of space, try to maintain what ever contact he alllows, without getting nipped or bit. My Salty went nuts for a few weeks bitting, hard, but has since mellowed out quite a bit, not quite returned to his former 'scratchie-hog' but much better than he was at the hight of his dont touch me phase. You just have to weather it out. rEMEMBER EACH PARROT IS DIFFERENT.
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:39 PM
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Re: Bird Puberty

My Sun Conure Ollie is cranky and has a lot of in feathers and yells at me when I give him pets. He never bites me but I'd think something similar is happening with you. Ollie is 3 and we'll into puberty. It's just a phase... respect his wishes for now but keep spending time. Birds don't really bend to our will like dogs can...they gave a mind of their own and will do what they want not do what they don't want for the most part. Find other ways to spend quality time with your bird during this difficult time like perhaps teach tricks and clicker training.
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