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Old 09-22-2019, 03:38 PM
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Cockatoo behavior that is new

I have a cockatoo named Anna. She was a zoo bird for a long time . I have had her for about 2 years. She is very friendly with me and likes to cuddle.
she lives in a large outdoor aviary.
I can go in and feed her etc.
we also have a small door that we can open to give her food and water without actually going in the cage.
Recently she has started flying at us whenever we open that little door.
she flies to the side of the cage and flutters her wings right above her feeding tray or near the opening. If we try to put food in, the will reach down and bite.
This happen when we try to feed her in the morning. In the afternoons she is much calmer if I open the door.
I cannot figure out this new behavior. She never used to do it before.
Can anyone explain and is there any way to stop it?
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Old 09-22-2019, 07:35 PM
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Re: Cockatoo behavior that is new

It sounds like cage aggression, but it's hard to be sure without seeing the behaviour in the flesh. My Madge is *extremely* territorial about her cage and bites anyone silly enough to stick a finger in for any reason. Outside, though, she's as sweet as can be. Good thing we have a cage divider and can corral the birds off for feeding and cleaning!

Try watching what Anna does as you approach and leave her cage. If she fixes her gaze on you and raises her crest or begins walking her perch as if agitated, that's a sign she's a bit peeved about having you in her territory. Sometimes, it can be weird: the bird might be fine having you *inside* its aviary, but dislike you messing with the boundaries (ie. cage wall). Also, watch Anna's behaviour as you leave. If she relaxes visibly and begins to preen or sleep or eat, then that might give you a clue. Keep us posted. Maybe see if you can catch her on video. The main thing is to remain calm and simply do things the way you've always done them. Sometimes change can make a big difference to a birdie, y'know?
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:33 AM
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Re: Cockatoo behavior that is new

Welcome to you and your cockatoo! We love pictures if you are able to upload. How lucky to have a walk in aviary!!

My sense is Betrisher nicely outlined the behavior. Hard to know why the recent change, but sometimes the best we can do is accommodate. Can you avoid the small door for a while, exclusively entering for all chores via primary walk-in? After a period, try using the small opening and observe the reaction.
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:36 PM
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Re: Cockatoo behavior that is new

It is likely cage aggression as others already stated. Way to resolve it is to move toys bowls and perches around in cage and change environment. Then to remove bird from cage when they show bad behavior and not to panic if you get bitten, overtime she get behavior is not acceptable. Never avoid and never give in as reinforces behavior, as they want you to go away and they are getting what they want, "which is you to get out of their safe space". Never also over react and stay claim works best. Moving cage around also works to as well.

My frankie had same issue and took me about a week to break the behavior, but he is no longer aggressive and can go completely in cage pretty much without fear of getting bitten, or attacking someone when they get close to his cage. Where as before he was well known to fly and attack you the instant someone came close to his cage as it was a walk in before, outside of it he was fine. Hence one of the reasons last owner gave up on him.

Working on my next door neighbor Macaw right now that has same issue and she will protect her food bowl and lunges at you if you come close to it. So I did stick click/treat training with her and distract her while grabbing food bowl and eventually started rewarding her when she doesn't lunge at you and now she allow me to get close to food bowl without biting, she once in a while will threaten me, but won't bite no more as I don't give in and she learned that a bite no longer will work and she back up and let me grab bowl.

Last edited by ParrotGenie; 09-23-2019 at 05:53 PM.
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