Advice for scared bird

reddfoxx79

New member
Mar 4, 2021
37
4
Houston
Parrots
Fennel, Solomon Eclectus female (12/25/20)..... Lulu, Solomon Eclectus female (10/1/20)..... Vegas, Harlequin macaw (2/2/21)
I've posted multiple times about the two female ekkies I have. The younger one, Fennel, is just now 16 weeks old. I posted the other day seeking answers on why she constantly bites, and while I think MAYBE we've made progress with that, I think the main issue with this bird is that she's just scared of everything.

I cleaned stuff out of the office where her cage is to free up space and give her more room and less things to be afraid of. When I weighed her this morning, she was shaking. She never fully relaxed again, so I put her back in her cage and she immediately relaxed. I know there are lots of things to do to help a scared bird. I have an idea, and I wanted some advice on whether you guys think it will help or not.

Since Fennel came from a breeder, she came to me scared of cages, toys, hands, and household sounds. She was not exposed to the things hand-raised birds are exposed to. My idea is to board her at a local pet shop that specializes in birds, and hand raises them. (It's where I got the older ekkie, who is not afraid of much.) There is a part of me who thinks the immersive experience of people in and out of the store all day, other birds making noise, multiple people feeding and changing water, and lots of activity would be good for her. A week or two in that environment may show her that life is busy sometimes, and she's still safe. The other part of me worries that this could terrify her in a way that she won't recover from, or at least not make progress with in a couple weeks.

I don't want to leave her somewhere for weeks or a month and just loose any (of the very little) progress we've made. On the other hand, she is only 4 months old, and this work should have been put in when she was weaning. She isn't an 11-year-old Amazon with baggage - she's a 16-week-old baby Eclectus. So does anyone else think boarding her and forcing socialization will help? This is a privately-owned pet store whose owner has 30 years of experience hand raising and taming birds. I've seen some of the birds he boards go from scared for 3 days, to being out on a perch and talking to everyone who comes in the door. I would visit her daily while she was there. Would this type of environment for a couple weeks help this little bird get over her fear? TIA
 

Iyanden

New member
Feb 9, 2021
27
13
Bay area
Parrots
Female eclectus (Celeste, ~1.75 yrs old)
I don't think it's uncommon for eclectus to take a while to get used to things. When we get a new perch (especially if it's made from wood), it takes our eclectus a couple days to not fly away from it immediately. Then, when we put it on or in her cage, she'll actively go around it for a few days. We'll entice her to get near it with her favorite foods or toys; that seems to help.

Shaking is a weird thing to me. I often see mine's lower belly feathers moving (shaking?) even when she's content - i.e., when she's sitting on her perch or on our computer on one leg and slightly puffed up.

With regards to boarding her, we got ours on Thanksgiving two years ago and had to board her between Christmas and New Years when we were visiting family out of state. We boarded her at the local, avian pet store where we got her. She was extremely upset when we picked her up. She shrieked the entire car ride home, and the next couple times we got in our car with her.

Six months after that, my wife visited a friend out of state, and it was just me and her. For the first 3-4 days, she was okay, but then suddenly, she became worried why my wife wasn't around. She'd pace back and forth between the places she usually interacts with my wife and the doors to our place. She was like that for 2 days before she relaxed again. And when my wife came back, she was upset at her for a few days.
 
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reddfoxx79

New member
Mar 4, 2021
37
4
Houston
Parrots
Fennel, Solomon Eclectus female (12/25/20)..... Lulu, Solomon Eclectus female (10/1/20)..... Vegas, Harlequin macaw (2/2/21)
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Was yours hand raised by the pet store? Did a lot of people touch her, pick her up, interact with her, etc. before you bought her? I think the best way to socialize her and get her used to noises and activity is to board her. However, I also worry that she'll be traumatized from it. It doesn't bode well that yours was so stressed out, especially going to a place she already knew. And also that she was worried when your wife left, even though you were there, and she knew you. Hmm... these birds are a bit unique, for sure. Totally different than other animals, lol.
 

Iyanden

New member
Feb 9, 2021
27
13
Bay area
Parrots
Female eclectus (Celeste, ~1.75 yrs old)
She was kept in a separate room where they were rearing young birds. She was in the same cage as her sister. The store staff were feeding her, but not interacting with her too much beyond that. Only people interested in purchasing a young bird were taken to that back room to interact with them. Before us, there were only a handful of people that interacted with her. We went and interacted with her 3 times a week for 2 weeks before the store owner thought it'd be okay to take her home.

We don't get a lot of visitors to our place since it's not that spacious, but she's responded well to people that have visited us. She'll usually just watch for a couple hours before deciding to come to us. After seeing the same people a couple times, she'll even go sit on our friend's shoulder over ours. All of this is after we've had her for 6 months though.
 
Last edited:

cytherian

Member
Dec 29, 2020
55
25
Near NYC
Parrots
Eclectus
I've posted multiple times about the two female ekkies I have. The younger one, Fennel, is just now 16 weeks old. I posted the other day seeking answers on why she constantly bites, and while I think MAYBE we've made progress with that, I think the main issue with this bird is that she's just scared of everything.

I cleaned stuff out of the office where her cage is to free up space and give her more room and less things to be afraid of. When I weighed her this morning, she was shaking. She never fully relaxed again, so I put her back in her cage and she immediately relaxed. I know there are lots of things to do to help a scared bird. I have an idea, and I wanted some advice on whether you guys think it will help or not.

Since Fennel came from a breeder, she came to me scared of cages, toys, hands, and household sounds. She was not exposed to the things hand-raised birds are exposed to. My idea is to board her at a local pet shop that specializes in birds, and hand raises them. (It's where I got the older ekkie, who is not afraid of much.) There is a part of me who thinks the immersive experience of people in and out of the store all day, other birds making noise, multiple people feeding and changing water, and lots of activity would be good for her. A week or two in that environment may show her that life is busy sometimes, and she's still safe. The other part of me worries that this could terrify her in a way that she won't recover from, or at least not make progress with in a couple weeks.

I don't want to leave her somewhere for weeks or a month and just loose any (of the very little) progress we've made. On the other hand, she is only 4 months old, and this work should have been put in when she was weaning. She isn't an 11-year-old Amazon with baggage - she's a 16-week-old baby Eclectus. So does anyone else think boarding her and forcing socialization will help? This is a privately-owned pet store whose owner has 30 years of experience hand raising and taming birds. I've seen some of the birds he boards go from scared for 3 days, to being out on a perch and talking to everyone who comes in the door. I would visit her daily while she was there. Would this type of environment for a couple weeks help this little bird get over her fear? TIA
FWIW, the juvenile in my home is about 2.5 years old now. He has been there since he was a hatchling. He was hand raised by his owner. She hand fed him, kept him safe, handled & nurtured him. In the beginning she could put him on my hand. He was fine. But then, somewhere along the line in the succeeding months, the bird changed. He became VERY frightened of any other human but his owner. Even me, who he once knew. It took a VERY long time to get him to be comfortable with me again. Initially, he'd scurry off in fear if I walked by his cage, or tremble noticeably. Now, he can actually perch on my hand. He's somewhat comfortable, but his mood can change. Sometimes he won't step up to my hand. When he's in his cage, he's super chatty with me, very responsive. It's quite amazing!

Being accustomed to how quickly a dog or cat will warm up with me, I was astonished how long it was taking with this bird. They can be very skittish creatures. But as you've seen above, I've made great progress in just 6 months. The hope is after this, he'll be able to be comfortable around others with less of a struggle.
 
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reddfoxx79

New member
Mar 4, 2021
37
4
Houston
Parrots
Fennel, Solomon Eclectus female (12/25/20)..... Lulu, Solomon Eclectus female (10/1/20)..... Vegas, Harlequin macaw (2/2/21)
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  • #6
THANK YOU BOTH! (I still can't figure out how to tag you or quote you, lol.)

I am pretty surprised by your guys' experiences. I wouldn't expect trust issues to go on for so long with babies. I guess my expectations are too high. I assumed that since the 7-month-old ekkie was hand raised in the store, and isn't afraid of things and is a great little bird, that another baby would be very similar. I guess that's not the case.

I've decided not to board Fennel. I talked to the store owner yesterday and he said it won't help her and will make things worse. Coming back into my home, she'll be scared again, and I'll have to start over. And from what Iyanden said about his bird, I think I'd rather not put her through that. I'll watch more Birdtricks videos and work their training program to see if we can make progress a little quicker. I guess I'm in this for the long haul. Hopefully she can relax and be a good little bird before her hormones start kicking in. I'm afraid if I don't get her trust up and fear level down, then on the other side of puberty, she'll be a feral bird again.
 

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