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Old 06-22-2020, 10:11 AM
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Conure Running Away From My Hand

Hello, I have a 3 year old YSGCC that has always been super loving, cuddly, and playful.

I let him out of his cage and let him freely roam my father's house, let him go where he wants, fly where he wants, and do what he wants. There are very few rules on what he can do, (such as eat things off the kitchen floor, and not allowed on the counters, or the floor..)

But suddenly there's been a change in behavior I have no idea why. He's been just running away from my hand, and I can't figure out why. I thought it was just something happening for a bit, since in a few days he was fine. In a few more days though, he begins running away from my hand again and keeping a certain distance that I've not been trying to cover because I want to give him time in case thats what he needs. It's been 2 weeks now and nothing has changed. I don't believe there's any sort of changes to his environment that can be causing this, I haven't changed at all, so I don't know what could be causing this lack of trust now. I haven't accidentally done something that could make him have a lack of trust, so I don't understand why. Any help?
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Old 06-22-2020, 10:33 AM
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Re: Conure Running Away From My Hand

Something has freeked him so don't offer your hand unless it's to offer a treat. Syd my GCC has always been very happy to step up on a piece of perch. Suddenly he attacks it every time. He likes my sleeve or hand so I have removed the perch piece. I think sometimes they just have a weird few days/weeks. Don't worry just remove the offensive item don't worry him with it and then suddenly he will be fine again.

A ring, nail varnish colour, a bracelet, a watch, any number of things could have sparked it. I don't know if you are male or female but something strange has created the problem. It will pass, just back off use something different.
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:54 PM
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Re: Conure Running Away From My Hand

T00syd has probably summed it up best; but I will add my experience. My Pineapple is 2 1/2 and has gone through similar behavior.
When he was a baby, he wasn’t afraid of anything. He’d step up, lay on his back in my hand, I could hold him like an ice cream cone, etc. Then for no apparent reason things changed. About a year ago, he wouldn’t come near me let alone my hand, step up, nothing.
At first I thought maybe it was the TV bothering him since he is in that room. The loud noises and yelling of some shows, I think, had a negative effect on him. If someone was yelling on a show, he’d squawk and carry on. If I muted the TV, he’d calm down.

Being home because of Covid, I worked with him a lot. He now is almost 100% of his former self. All I did was use positive reinforcement for everything. When going into his room in the morning, I would fuss over him, give a treat and just talk upbeat.
When out of his cage, I never pushed him to do anything. I let him come to me and again with lots of praise.
I also did clicker training which I think helped a lot. The only weird thing he does now is when he flys to me when I am on my recliner, if he is on the LEFT arm, he will let me handle him any way I want. But on the RIGHT arm, he almost attacks my hand. Have no idea why?
But am still very happy with the progress. He flies to me every time I leave the room and even comes when called.
The ONLY thing that may have turned him last year was a female friend that came over to my house a lot. He took to her right away and if I tried to touch him he’d bite every time.
The friend has not been around much since February so wondering if that has helped.
As far as the TV, I use headphones now for most TV shows.

So, not sure in your situation if anything minor has changed that turned him, but best to be patient and gain the trust back. Over praising, making a fuss, and definitely try the clicker training while he is in the cage. Showing him a treat in your hand should help get him to come to you.
Good luck!

Last edited by Caitnah; 06-24-2020 at 08:04 PM.
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Scott  (06-25-2020)
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Old 06-25-2020, 11:54 AM
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Re: Conure Running Away From My Hand

Any subtle changes such as new glasses, hair style change, different scent? Doubtful but sometimes thinking out of the box turns up the most unusual reason.

If the behavior continues, perhaps some bonding/trust exercises may help: Tips for Bonding and Building Trust
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Old 06-25-2020, 11:59 AM
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Re: Conure Running Away From My Hand

Also--- they can mature sexually between 1-3 years (could have been a late-bloomer) it is possible this is also related to hormones *(assuming nothing else changed).

No matter what, you need to start re-building trust (regardless of the cause). That means you shouldn't force anything--read his signals, keep things low-stress and positive. If he hesitates, don't keep trying something day-in-and-day-out. A hesitation more than a few times should hold for a number of days--- don't just keep trying to touch him everyday.

the following must happen indefinitely/forever-- even if behavior changes back:

1.No tents/huts/shadowy spaces/no drawers, boxes, bedding, under furniture, shelves,under clothing, in paper piles etc
2. NO CUDDLES--head and neck petting only (even if your bird wants more than that--it is sexual and shouldn't be allowed).
3. 10 -12 hours of sleep nightly ( on a schedule)

All of these things impact hormones and can change behavior in an adult bird.

Last edited by noodles123; 06-25-2020 at 12:09 PM.
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