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Old 08-02-2010, 08:25 PM
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Angry How can I keep my birds off of my head?

Hi,

I know this sounds like a silly topic, but it has become a real problem!

My conure and cockatiel are both flighted. They think the best place in the world to hang out is on top of my head. This wouldn't be such a problem if they were potty trained *YUCK*!

When they are out of their cages, I put them on their play stand. They immediately fly back to me...landing on my head. If I'm quick, I can stick my in front of my head which forces them to land there instead. Sometimes, I'm not quick enough or my hands are full, so they land on my head. I immediately remove them and return them to their stand. They fly at my head as I walk away after replacing them on the stand...rinse and repeat.

Sometimes it's hard to get them off of my head because they bite at my hands or they climb down the back of my head so I can't reach them easily.

I like letting them fly around because it's good exercise for them, but this is getting old. Do any of you have suggestions on how to curb this behavior without wing clipping? If there is no other choice, they're getting clipped. I'm tired of washing poo out of my hair

Thanks,
Birdy
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:25 PM
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Re: How can I keep my birds off of my head?

I'd clip them, birds that can fly end up thinking they're the boss and they can do whatever they want when they want. Believe me I know. My parrotlet Peeps was clipped until some psycho told me that it's not fair to have them clipped and they're like a slave(yeah I know right?!)Well I followed his advise and 2 months later Peeps is flying everywhere whenever he pleases. Not to mention some of the dangers of flying, they could go right into your oven!!! Just try the clipped feathers and see if it helps. It's not like they won't grow back.
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:41 PM
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Re: How can I keep my birds off of my head?

Try rewarding them when they are sitting where you want them to. Try training as well as this will develop a better relationship and level of understanding, making it easier for you to get them to step up off your head.

Quote: Originally Posted by Mrspy View Post
birds that can fly end up thinking they're the boss and they can do whatever they want when they want.
This is not necessarily true. They may become more independent (not the 'boss'), but this is the whole reason for letting birds grow their wings out anyway, to give them the 'freedom of flight'. My birds don't always agree that it is 'cage time', but I have never had problems with getting them to do stuff, a little training and relationship building goes a long way in this respect. Also consider that your birds are used to being flighted, clipping their wings suddenly could cause some serious behavioral issues. If you do decide to clip, then you are going to need to do it gradually so they don't injure themselves.
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:47 PM
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Re: How can I keep my birds off of my head?

Quote: Originally Posted by Aussie Ben View Post
Try rewarding them when they are sitting where you want them to. Try training as well as this will develop a better relationship and level of understanding, making it easier for you to get them to step up off your head.

Quote: Originally Posted by Mrspy View Post
birds that can fly end up thinking they're the boss and they can do whatever they want when they want.
This is not necessarily true. They may become more independent (not the 'boss'), but this is the whole reason for letting birds grow their wings out anyway, to give them the 'freedom of flight'. My birds don't always agree that it is 'cage time', but I have never had problems with getting them to do stuff, a little training and relationship building goes a long way in this respect. Also consider that your birds are used to being flighted, clipping their wings suddenly could cause some serious behavioral issues. If you do decide to clip, then you are going to need to do it gradually so they don't injure themselves.
So true there, our conure that we gave to a friend had his feathers completely grown. Well our friend decided to clip them and right after that the conure hated EVERYONE. If you're going to do it then do it early, or take the risk. However, our conure might have been more prone because he was like 8 and had been through 3 not so good familys. Just be careful what you decide.
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:01 PM
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Re: How can I keep my birds off of my head?

I'm inclined to disbelieve any claim of height dominence in parrots. From the things I've read, it's merely a survival instict...higher in the tree means more line of sight to spot predators. So, perching on your head doesn't necessarily mean they're trying to "take charge", they're doing what's natural to them.

My birds aren't allowed on my head for no reason other than it's annoying and I don't want them to think it's okay to land on anyone else's head - guests may not like it. When they land there, I gently, but firmly, take them off my head and put them on an acceptable perch location, like my shoulder or hand. They're starting to get the idea and trying to perch there less and less.

Remember, unless you plan to never have company, or leave your parrots in their cages when company is over, you have to teach them manners. Honestly, I don't mind them being on the table when we eat dinner, but I don't like them to sample from my plate - I'm willing to share, but they need to be polite. However, I'm sure that there will be times that family or friends will be our dinner guests and they probably won't appreciate this....hence, I'm working on teach them that the table is off limits when we're eating.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:53 AM
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Re: How can I keep my birds off of my head?

Ever think of trying an owl hat?
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:01 AM
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Re: How can I keep my birds off of my head?

Quote: Originally Posted by Bobby34231 View Post
Ever think of trying an owl hat?
OMG lol, that poor owl.
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:01 PM
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Re: How can I keep my birds off of my head?

Quote: Originally Posted by Bobby34231 View Post
Ever think of trying an owl hat?
LoL! That might work

Yesterday I put a plastic grocery bag on my head while I was trying to do housework.

The Cockatiel didn't try to land on my head, but he didn't seem to mind it being there.

My Conure wouldn't come off her cage - she just stared at my head. She didn't want to come near me with that thing on my head.

Back to the drawing board...
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