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General Health Care Remember to use common sense and consult with an avian veterinarian.

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Old 10-13-2018, 12:42 PM
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Exclamation Green Cheek Snuggling - too much?

I am not a new parrot caretaker, but I am newly owned by one sassy little four year old Green Cheek, 'Bongo.'

My previous bird was not a cuddler, and was in fact very hands-off. It was an entire year before he was even comfortable being touched at all, excluding his feet. He was an older rescue bird, neglected by his previous owners, and as such was inclined to enjoy watching, rather than interacting. I loved him as he was <3

That said... I'm a bit out of my element with a young, curious, and actively interactive bird!

Her favorite thing to do seems to be snuggling up under my hair and napping. My concern however... is that she will stay there snuggled up for sometimes a half hour to an hour or more, while I am doing paperwork or computer work for my business.

During this time she isn't taking breaks to poop, eat, or drink water. She will rouse on her own to fly back to her cage and go eat for a bit, but I still wonder if I should be encouraging her to be more active?

Bonus picture of a happily snuggled up Bongo:


I do not wish to inadvertently teach her to be a lazy bean all day, or develop sleeping issues.

Chicken ate and drank very frequently - he was a very big water drinker.


Lastly - she'll be going in for her very first vet checkup (under my care, at least) in a few weeks, but I was hoping to have an idea on normal GCC behavior and what I should encourage before I head in.

Last edited by Squeeing_Onion; 10-13-2018 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Added a picture, because who doesn't love pics?
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Old 10-13-2018, 02:43 PM
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Re: Green Cheek Snuggling - too much?

Like all parrots each is an individual unto themselves. Gernerally GCC's are know for being very cuddly, but there are always eceptions. So Bongo is right there on the cuddly side.
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Old 10-13-2018, 02:51 PM
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Re: Green Cheek Snuggling - too much?

Nothing to fret over then, so long as she's choosing to fly back for food and drink when she pleases?
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Old 10-13-2018, 03:17 PM
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Re: Green Cheek Snuggling - too much?

I have 4 conures (2 suns, 2 gccs) and they’re pretty individual with their behavior when they are out. My 2 suns are very cuddly and spend very little of their out of cage time eating or drinking, they do fly off for nibbles or drinks if they want to - but it’s not unusual for that to be longer than 1/2 hour. I have one gcc who is more hands off and eats and drinks more frequently, but he’s just generally “on the move” more (play stand, perches, snacks, flap around). My other gcc is somewhere between and will sit on me for 1/2 hour or more, then wants to be busy for awhile (eating, playing, climbing), then comes back for more cuddles. I would say that as long as her vet check is good, this doesn’t sound abnormal to me
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Old 10-13-2018, 05:30 PM
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Re: Green Cheek Snuggling - too much?

Just because of age etc, I would put hair in a pony-tail to promote a more open (less cave/nest-like) environment. Most of that hormonal stuff is happening at a subconscious level, so I always try to err on the side of caution. My cockatoo gets awkward over the most innocent things, so I always am cautious...
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Old 10-13-2018, 06:35 PM
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Re: Green Cheek Snuggling - too much?

My GCC snuggles for as long as g ad I let her.
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:30 AM
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Re: Green Cheek Snuggling - too much?

This is completely normal behavior for a Green Cheek Conure, in fact, I'd be worried if she wasn't doing this constantly, lol...

As far as whether it's "healthy" behavior, well, they all do it, and yes, it can encourage hormonal behavior at times (not anywhere near the amount of hormonal behavior that arises from them being allowed to go into any small, dark place, such as in a "Happy Hut", in a hammock, a nest box, underneath furniture, in boxes, etc...That is a huge no-no when it comes to Green Cheeks, because if they are in a hormonal period and they are allowed to go into any small, dark place, they literally lose their minds)...

Bowie, my Green Cheek, is extremely bonded to me, and I to him if I'm being honest, lol...My Quaker loves head scratches and to just sit on my shoulder, and is content to just be in the same room with me doing her own thing; my Cockatiel wants nothing else in the world, 24/7, 365, than to have her head/neck/face/chest scratched, her permanent posture is holding her head down, lol, and she'll cuddle, but not for a long period of time, and not nearly as closely...And honestly the most cuddly bird I have other than Bowie the Green Cheek is oddly Kane, my Senegal...Kane is almost as cuddly/attached to me as Bowie, but they can't be on me at the same time, otherwise Kane would go nuts...But Bowie is definitely different than the rest of them, he just wants to be on me and snuggled tight against me all the time.

If they start getting at all "nippy" or start actually biting during the snuggle time, that's your sign that their hormones are raging, and they need a "time-out" to cool off. But personally I wouldn't worry too much about her being "too snuggly". It's completely normal behavior for a Green Cheek, he's not actually being "lethargic", like he's ill, he's just bonded with you and loves to be with you...So whether you decide to keep allowing him to do this, or you stop him, either way he's not sick and there's nothing "wrong" with him or abnormal about his behavior...
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:40 PM
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Re: Green Cheek Snuggling - too much?

Thank you for all the helpful advice and feedback, everyone! It's helped a lot. I'm a lot more at ease with it now, too, now that I've managed to catch Bongo drinking water in front of me. I knew she had to be because her poops were well formed and had urates and all that, but it still made me antsy not to see! New mama bird flutters x'D

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
Just because of age etc, I would put hair in a pony-tail to promote a more open (less cave/nest-like) environment. Most of that hormonal stuff is happening at a subconscious level, so I always try to err on the side of caution. My cockatoo gets awkward over the most innocent things, so I always am cautious...
@Noodles: I'm going to take that suggestion to heart! She's been very nippy with me the last four days or so, (though I definitely think today's was stemming from a grudge at me leaving her all night and coming home in the afternoon! I had a family semi-emergency, and was with my grandmother at a nursing home all night.)

Her cage does get covered at night now, due to the fact I have a street lamp outside that likes to shine right through my blinds, and it was disrupting her sleep. She otherwise has no snuggle huts or nesting boxes or anything of the sort in her cage.

I've been pleased so far to find she doesn't seem to get very 'territorial' while on my shoulder if I am around family members, though I keep a very close eye on her for it. Likewise, she doesn't seem to mind me interacting or coming into physical contact with family / friends, so I think that's a very good sign.

I have suspected her of attempting to regurgitate on me - it has not come to fruition yet, as I employ the "earthquake" method to distract her from it. (I very gently give my shoulder, leg, or hand, a wiggle so she goes to focus on "oh hey my perch is moving!" instead of "LET ME CONFESS MAH LUUUURVE FOR YOOOU!")

She's the first bird I've consistently been around that is so young, any suggestions on good read-ups for how to manage hormonal behavior in a little young adult bird? I'm used to the old geezers, haha!

Also, a brief disclaimer: I will NOT surrender Bongo due to hormonal, aggressive, or otherwise 'unpleasant' behaviors. I am all too aware her age-frame is near to the most common age for parrots to be surrendered(as I have been informed of from several sources). I was well aware of this potential (and, really, inevitability!) before adopting her - and indeed before even adopting my first bird.

Don't worry for her place in family :') I am in for the long haul! She has found her forever home.
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:06 PM
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Re: Green Cheek Snuggling - too much?

I’m glad she’s with you forever, she’s a lucky girl!

All of mine were adult birds when they came to me and I have 2 in particular that are more prone to regurgitating to me. I tend to just use that as an excuse to gently change gears...we do a few step ups, play with a toy or go over to the play stand to jingle something distracting. I mostly just redirect or distract hormonal “let’s be more than friends” behavior, I don’t want them to feel like they are being punished for that so I do it gently with a happy voice and find something fun for them to do (that doesn’t involve sharing their lunch with me lol). I hope others chime in with ideas for managing hormones....I’ll probably try them too .
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:17 PM
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Re: Green Cheek Snuggling - too much?

I've had very good luck with distracting Bongo by clicker training - she is currently learning flight recall, and with that, learning how to fly down to land on my hand.

She's grumpy at me today because I wasn't here in the morning for it (it's becoming an established routine to practice it first thing in the morning before breakfast), and I am currently out of her training treat, sunflower seeds, to reward her with. Time for grocery shopping tomorrow!
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