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Poicephalus Senegals, Meyers, Red Bellied, Jardines, Capes, etc.

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Old 01-14-2019, 01:15 PM
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Need senegal behavioural help....

Hi, I'm new to the forum, but have come to read as a non user for a while. I have a Senegal parrot, whom my family and I rescued over 12 years ago. We're not sure about age or gender. He can range from sweet to noisy, as it seems normal for the species. Lol. However, there are several behaviors that have gotten worse I would like help remedying. I'm not sure how to help...

He's stopped playing with his toys. He might nibble a bit when first presented a new one, but that's it. He never touches them again. I've switched them out, tried different materials. He used to like to destroy paper towel rolls, but now he won't touch them. Any tips on renewing toy interest? I'm sure boredom is part of the problem. I've even covered them in white paper to make them different, by nothing changes. My husband and I do work a lot, and he needs to stay entertained during the day. Would letting a radio play while we're gone help?

Second, I would like some tips to reduce screaming. Sometimes, he's very quiet most of the day when i'm home, but other times I can shift position on the couch, go to the kitchen, go to another room for a couple seconds and return, and he will get anxious and scream. We live in an apartment, and hearing another door/person in the hall will set him off into a fit that is hard to stop. Even when we sit down to dinner, or turn on the tv (not at high a volume), he will throw a fit. I've tried ignoring it, but knowing that every movement could set him off is hard. He's quieter outside his cage, but eventually, he gets bored sitting with me on my knee or shoulder and gets wiggly/cheapy. Any suggestions on stands/play areas? We bought a white, plastic perch for out of the cage time, but he's afaid of it to the point of flying away. I never know what he'll be mad at/scared of.

Sorry for the long post...Lol. He has always been a silly, tempermental bird, but I want to find unique ways to make him happier and help out his humans, too...after all, the bird owns human pets. Lol.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:43 PM
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Re: Need senegal behavioural help....

Welcome to you! Lots of people here with great ideas!
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:48 AM
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Re: Need senegal behavioural help....

After 12 years is is difficult to come up with new, fresh ideas for toys.
Of course is it possible your bird 'has seen it all'
(one of my nightmares)

Sometimes just not letting them see a certain toy for a couple of months can make it 'a new toy' or even 'an old beloved toy' again.

Parrots love (instinct) to gnaw on things, keep the beak busy--- so nature is on your side in this.

Maybe go overboard? (oversized toys are another challence)
Give him somehting like an old phonebook (do these things still exist?) or a really fat paperback to destroy.

If you always hang toys from the sidebars...try freeswinging from the ceiling --> it will give him a lot of completely different feedback from the muscles even if it is the same thing again.
Have you tried 'the foraging for food between marbles'? (huge dish at the bottom of the cage)

'ducking for apples' (waterbasin and a few berries / you can put some small floating toys in there as well -> water is messy but a fascinating medium)

a question for you: how enthousiasticly are you playing "do not set the bird of"-game with him/her?

My macaw absolutely loves it when people cringe when she yells ... for her it is a game, for me it is flirting with eardrumdamage.
The moment I stopped cringing -> she stopped yelling in my ear.

She wil yell when somebody passes outside, I am lucky my neighbours think it is funny!

She stopped reacting to a lot of noises (slamming cardoors etc.) because I looked at her like she was mad (Huh? what are you talking/screaming about?) and then tell her "OooOh, it's just a car" and just keep doing what I was doing, completely dismissing the noise and her reaction as "not important for anyone".

Birds are smart: if you start reacting with fear (tensing up, maybe looking around)... you tell the bird "Whoa! This is important/ scary/ remarkable-- keep screaming!"
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:38 PM
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Re: Need senegal behavioural help....

Welcome to the community!

It's odd that your Senegal "screams" and is "noisy", I've not ever heard of a "noisy" Senegal...Either I have the quietest male Senegal in the world, or he's a mute, because I don't think that I've ever heard Kane "scream" once...He sings, he talks and he'll yell "Baby!" and "Mama!" at me in his little robot-voice, but he hasn't ever screamed, not once...Maybe I got lucky in that department...

How much out-of-cage-time does he get each day? If he's screaming while he's inside of his cage it's understandable, especially if he's in a totally different room than you are in while inside of it...What room of your house is his cage located in? Is it located in the "main room" of your house, meaning the room where you and your husband spend most of your time when you're home? (usually this is the living room)...A lot of parrots (my Quaker Parrot) will scream constantly if they know their "Flock" is at home but they can't see them (they are "Flock" animals after all)...There is a lot to be said about "Passive Interaction" when it comes to parrots, as you are their Flock, and they naturally live and are constantly among their Flock, even though they aren't always talking to them or interacting with them...So if you and your husband are watching TV, eating a meal, reading, etc. and he's inside of his cage in another room and can't see you, that might be the issue, as it's a pretty common problem...The solution is simply moving his cage into the "main room" of your house where you guys spend most of your time when you're home, so that he can see you and is among you when you do things like eat meals, watch TV, read, have conversations, etc. And not only does this usually stop the screaming, but it also typically encourages them entertaining themselves because they feel much more calm, comforted, and secure simply "being among their flock"...That could also be one of the reasons he's not playing with his toys and entertaining himself anymore, because he's constantly pre-occupied with not being with you guys, not being able to see you, and wanting to simply be among you guys when you're at home...Obviously you can't constantly be with him 24/7, but if his cage is located in a spare-bedroom or a back-room of some kind, that's one solution to try...

As far as the toys go, have you tried "Shredders" yet? My Senegal will spend an entire day working on his Shredders when I wrap his cage in it...You can buy it at any Petco, it's with the rest of the bird toys. It comes in a box, I think you get 30 feet per roll of it and it only costs $4.99 a roll...It's a roll of braided (and strong) digestible paper that you basically wrap their cages up with, weaving it in and out of the cage bars and twisting it around and through the bars...It actually gives them a "job" to do, they have to really work at getting it all off/out of the cage bars, and if you really wrap his cage up the right way in it, he'll be working at it for hours and hours...I'd give it a try, it will only cost you $4.99 for a package of it, just wrap his cage up in a roll of it, be sure to really weave it in and out of the bars and twist it around them so he'll have to work at it, and then just let him go and see if he starts working on it...If it works then you've found your new best-friend, trust me...
"Dance Like Nobody's Watching".
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:35 PM
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Re: Need senegal behavioural help....

I have a sennie. You mentioned you and your husband work a lot. That's kind of a recipe for a miserable bird, unless you are working right in front of him. I work from home 3 days a week and there's no way my sennie would tolerate being in her cage even though I'm sitting there right in front of her. She wants FREEDOM to go up and around her cage all she wants. Otherwise... she'll shriek and screech-- it ain't pretty. Also, I buy blocks of balsa wood, it's the only thing she's interested in, although I am going to give "Shredders" a try. In my experience, the only reason parrots scream is because they are trying to tell us something. It's our job to figure out what that is, hard as it may be. Clearly, the old toys aren't working, and if your sennie isn't getting lots of out-of-cage time, with mental stimulation, like being on your shoulder and "helping" you wash dishes, do the laundry, make the bed, etc. etc., as well as play games and do target training, her very smart brain may be driving her crazy without stimulation.
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