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Old 12-23-2020, 12:34 AM
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Question Recently acquired rainbow

I've recently got a rainbow lorikeet that wandered into our yard and since I've owned birds before I knew how to care for him while we waited for an owner to claim him. Its been 6 mths and we've heard nothing in response to our ads, so we have kind of adopted him for the time being.
The thing is, I spend quite a bit of time with him and he is very nice, talks to me, comes over to snuggle and kiss etc, but every time my husband comes near, he will bite me and fly to him immediately.
It kind of sucks because I'm the one that feeds him and plays with him, but he has a marked preference for my husband, who is literally hardly ever near him. Is this normal behavior? What can I do to encourage him not to bite me when my husband comes close and fly away from me?
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Old 12-23-2020, 08:21 AM
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Re: Recently acquired rainbow

Yuk! That sucks! Birds are quick to pick up patterns, so this is also becoming a learned behavior! Besides you hubby being the chosen one! At the moment!
Divert birdie’s attention when hubby is about to come near, have him work with you on this. This isn’t to change birdie’s favored person, it’s to keep you from being bitten!
The only bite that isn’t rewarded, is the bite that doesn’t happen!
My JoJo has an invisible set of rules, I violate, I bleed! I can move anything in his cage around while he’s in there- 99.5% of the time! I can move him around while he’s sitting on his PlayStation, 99.5% of the time! He steps up 99.5%- you get the picture! I try to anticipate the 0.5’s as much as possible and try not to be obvious when I pick up on his body language! I have him used to stepping up on anything for me- toothbrush, etc! I keep small sticks around all the time, also 4 foot wooden dowels(great for fetching from heights).
An example of diversion, our morning routine. We are together for 3ish hours and he has free run of my bedroom and bath. When done, I move him to the main part of th house. Because of other pets, he must be held securely! This isn’t an option open to debate! Overall he dislikes this, I know-painfully! So, as I get a good grip on him, I announce my intentions to my daughter that I’m opening my door, and as we walk out, I talk to him, give him beak rubs, move my free hand around to divert his restraint, etc!
FYI, the announcing isn’t as dramatic as it sounds, but JoJo is fully flighted and a very skilled jet pilot! I am making sure no outside doors are open, and if he slips away from me we are prepared!
I highly recommend having your bird used to stepping up on dowels! For us, anyone can move JoJo, if needed! He is closely bonded with me, and this helps tremendously!

Edit: if you haven’t realized by now, be aware of these fids being experts at reading you and anticipating your actions! That’s how they stay alive! It’s a hardwired talent! So your diversion tactics need to be in thought too! And mix it up! What works today, won’t tomorrow! And have fun! Remember, when hubby walks into the room, it’s really, ‘hey mom look, a new toy! See ya later!’
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Last edited by Flboy; 12-23-2020 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 12-23-2020, 06:37 PM
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Re: Recently acquired rainbow

Ok I wonder if he also has a thing about my hands at the moment, as he will hop on my shoulder, but if my hands go near him, and I'm not holding food, he will take a chunk out of me!! He will take treats, but not step up, only bite. Really random, because a few days ago we were getting along really well, he was letting me scruff him, wrestle and scratch his pin feathers for him. But idk if there's an explanation for the sudden change?

I have tried to get him to get on a stick or anything else, as suggested but this really seems to freak him out and he scurries away from it, I end up feeling mean and thinking maybe he will hate my hands even more because I'm holding said stick!
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Old 12-28-2020, 01:46 AM
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Re: Recently acquired rainbow

So good news!! We had 2 days away from home, in which I left our adopted bird in his big cage with enough food to last him while we were gone, and it turns out absence does make the heart grow fonder! He has not bitten me since I got back and I have been playing with him for nearly 2 hours. He has been rubbing himself against me and saying hello and doing his pleased little whistle. Let's hope it stays that way!!
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Old 12-28-2020, 08:19 AM
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Re: Recently acquired rainbow

So nice! Remember, when he does nip, all birds nip, don’t react in the same way you did before! I am not saying there was anything wrong in the way you have been reacting! Just trying to avoid falling into a learned pattern again!
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Old 12-28-2020, 09:29 AM
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Re: Recently acquired rainbow

Glad to read that he seems to have had a change of heart with you. I am going to make some comments, that in no way are criticizing you, but made in the spirit of helping you have a better understanding and relationship with your new family member.

1. Rubbing on you. Unless its him rubbing his head against you, which is fine, letting him rub oh, say his butt, against you is a mating sign and amounts to masturbation. It is to be avoided as it will only exacerbate further mating behavior and stimulate hormone release. You want to try to minimize hormonal behavior as much as possible because unless you have a mating pair, this will only get your parrot frustrated and angry as there is no source of release. There are many threads on the forum about hormonal behaivior and ways to minimize it. Cardinal rule for touching - head and neck only, other areas are no-no's.

2. THis is a tough love one. Leaving a parrot for 2 days with no human contact is cruel and dangerous. Cruel becasue these are social animals and once he becomes a part of your familial "flock" he will be distressed by the separation. In the wild, a lone parrot is an easy meal for a predator, so they have evolved flock behaviors. Some species are pair bonded, like macaws, and some separation from the flock can be tolerated, as long as the "pair" is intact. FLocking type parrots, like Greys, Ringnecks and lorries flock in great numbers in the wild. Dangerous, because parrots, being so intensely curious, investigate everything, and even in a cage with supposedly 'safe' toys, they can get themselves into trouble requiring hman intervention to prevent harm and even death. I'll give you 2 examples that happened to my own little Amazon Salty, one quite recently. Awhile ago, he was playing in his cage with ahanfing wood toy, attached to the cage with one of these screw closed links ( very common on parrot toys). He had managed to unscrew the portion of the link and catch it inside his mouth and partially down his throat. I heard him thrashing around in his cage, reached in to grab him annd free the link from his mouth. Had I not been there he could have really damage his beak and throat and possibly died from the exertions. (Always check these links for tightness!!). The second example, I had put a new toy on his play chain outside his cage, consisting of a tunnel like section of these woven sea grass mats, joined by 2 wooden dowels about 2 inches apart. Salty managed to get his head stuck between the dowels and again, I looked up when I heard him thrashing around trying to free himself. Birds do that; if they are stuck somewhere they will thrash around continually to free themselves, to the point of exhaustion. So many possibilities for this on manmade toys exist and we dont even realize they are there. We have read on this forum about parrots getting beak stuck on those split ring type loops like you see on keychains, parrots getting strangled by a thread that worked loose on these cotton covered wire core perches and other cloth or string type toys. The point of telling you all of these, aside from being on the look out for them, is to illustrate that had one of these or other things happening while you were away for 2 days would mean coming home to the worst possible circumstances.

Owning a parrot is truly like having a very active, highly curious toddler who has no idea of limits or possible chain of events. We as the parronts, have to anticipate these for them.
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