Are some eclectus birds happier than others with being caged up most of time?

cytherian

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The inspiration for this post is an adult male eclectus bird, about 11 years old. Of the 3 birds in our care, he's by far the easiest to manage when out of his cage. He usually steps up. When he does wander into "no-no" territory, it's usually easy to rescue him. When he's mad and nips it's almost never hard. The only time he has inflicted a flesh wound was trying to separate him from his mate, in the midst of a beak-clashing fight.

After he and his mate reached puberty, the copulating began. He's a totally dedicated bird. He is always looking out for her. Always feeding her. And at times he's almost an obsessive bother to her (like straining to feed her while she's in the middle of feather preening). She'll bap him on the beak with hers to shove him away, but he comes right back, eager to feed.

Anyway, the undesirable behavioral change started about 2 years ago, and in the last 6 months or so it has progressed. The problem is? He can't stand being caged up when people are around. He wants to be out. He USED to just chirp a bit, then eventually stop. Or he'll scramble around his cage when you're coming nearby, trying to get your attention (he has like 3 places he'll go to signal he wants out). But now? Well... it's the squawks. The annoying, highly persistent squawks. He has an amazing repertoire of vocalizations... but more than half of them are unpleasant. And... he has come up with his own special level of unpleasant. A screeching shrill scream that is worse than nails on chalkboard.

VOCAL SAMPLE - this is a time compressed compilation. Sometimes he'll fixate on the loudest, painful one, but often times it's the upper middle one that is a grating, grinding kind of squawk. It's like Chinese water torture. 4 to 8 per minute, on average. And he can go for a solid 15 ~ 30 minutes. He never used to be like this.

It begs the question -- do some birds outgrow their happiness in captivity? It's not frustration to the point of him self-plucking (although he had done that as a juvenile when he was adopted from a family who couldn't attend to him well enough). When he does get out-time, he's usually very happy. But he can start to be problematic as he tries in vain to explore more in our smallish 2-bedroom apartment.

One final back-story piece: He and his mate have just 1 offspring, a juvenile who is now 5 years old, and is tucked in at the end of the cage lineup. The adult male will come to his cage and feed him. But no more chicks. The adult female's eggs get swapped with fakes. So, she's not producing any more. Does the male know this and wish to have another mate? He and his female companion are very serious about reproduction. She sits on her eggs faithfully for up to 6 weeks, before she starts signaling that she's done (hanging outside her cage for a solid 15 minutes before going back in). I just wonder if these two should really be in the hands of a caring breeder, who can give them a lot more attention and let them fulfill their desire to reproduce.
 
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wrench13

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As you well know, parrots have complex behaviors and that means they change over time. Mating instincts not so much but the 'beeping'? I think that is likely not a permanent habit, unless you make it one. My little 'zon had a sound at least 50% more high pitched, loud and annoying, literally hurting our ears any where in our open floor plan home. We studiously ignored it. THat was very hard. But he moved on after a few months.
 

chris-md

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No, that’s not the case. I saw your other post but didn’t speak up.

You’ve noted yourself: it’s progressed over time. Used to be fine, but is progressively degenerating.

Behavior doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You’ve inadvertently reinforced this behavior without knowing it. How? Your original post answered this question: when he vocalized, you responded. You came running, maybe occasionally let him out, shouted out.

Any response other than ignoring him - in conjunction with rewarding any PLEASING sound he makes - reinforces his attention seeking behavior, and will make it worse. It’s taken you two years to get to this point and will take at LEAST as long to correct the behavior.

I have a minor and similar issue here where whenever Parker REALLY screams and my partner yells at him to shut up. He knows better than to respond like that because he knows it reinforces the screaming (he’s trying to understand more about positive reinforcement lately), but he can’t help it sometimes. The scream rattles his soul. It’s not as bad as your situation, because he doesn’t do this often, but the increase in screaming is notable over 9 years.
 

Talaya

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It’s very difficult to ignore an unwanted behaviour like screaming. My boy is only 2, he loves being out and wing begs alot to be out. never have we let him out when he does this . Admittedly, once out he just does his own thing on his tree or stand, but obviously there are occasions when he has to be in. So sometimes we leave him in For a couple of hours. We’ve nearly always ignored any screams.

Many behaviors are unknowingly trained by giving attention; which is a reward. Or even by giving an actual reward like food a toy or freedom.

Generally now my boy only Shrieks occasionally as part of his singing routine.
He too has a really high extremely loud ear piercing noise, which he learnt from our hoover ’stuck’ alarm .. 5 beeps, pause, repeat several times and also I think maybe the cooker alarm. Now I don’t let the the alarms go off anymore and he is slowly cutting down on these noises In his song.. Maybe there is something in your apartment that he too is copying and then using. the first clear high pitch note sounded like a piece of electronic equipment you might have. I played your clip to my boy and he didn’t stop preening to listen, so I would judge this to say it’s definitely a call for your attention.

just a little training story:
The other thing I’ve done.. is I have sung a song to him over and over for a year..“if your happy and you know it , click your tongue “click click”.
He has learnt himself over the year where the clicks go.. now if he is getting screechy loud we sing this to him and he stops screeching to listen..waits for the punchline and then he does the clicks. It’s a little behaviour modifier and takes 5 minutes or so of singing together.. But it is worth it everytime. He loves it.

we are now working on the Adam’s family theme tune as well, with each note being a ‘bop de bop de boppy, click click” because I don’t know the words lol.
 
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cytherian

cytherian

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As you well know, parrots have complex behaviors and that means they change over time. Mating instincts not so much but the 'beeping'? I think that is likely not a permanent habit, unless you make it one. My little 'zon had a sound at least 50% more high pitched, loud and annoying, literally hurting our ears any where in our open floor plan home. We studiously ignored it. THat was very hard. But he moved on after a few months.
Yes, being highly intelligent, they are subject to behavioral shifts and changes over time. They also have extremely keen memories!

With this adult male, it feels like a behavioral shift that is not temporary. It has been gradual, over time. It has taken about a year for him to get to this point. Bird language in just their non-word vocalizations can be highly emotive. I can definitely tell when he's happy, frustrated, mad, and enraged.

This adult male is CLEARLY happy being out and about. He has had some weekends where his cage door was wide open and he only stopped in to eat a little... because he also has access to food on a play gym about 8 feet beyond his cage. If that door is open? He's OUT. And he'll remain out until we put fresh food in his cage (especially corn, his absolute favorite).

Now, in the late evening (after 9 pm) if it's quiet and he doesn't have much to do? He'll put himself to bed. There's a special place on a perch in the back of his cage where he parks himself for the night. It's one of his pleasant attributes. We don't have to struggle to get him back into his cage at the very end of the day.

My guess is... he absolutely knows that he needs a human to set him free. And when we're around? He chirps, beeps, squawks, and then screeches, because he wants out. And since he has just barely crossed 1/3rd of his life at this point, he's still very active, energetic, and can't stand to be cooped up. Only now, he has decided to become extremely vocal about it. And that's what is really disheartening. And I'm desperate to learn of some behavioral adjustment technique where we can encourage him to stop behaving like this.
 
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cytherian

cytherian

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No, that’s not the case. I saw your other post but didn’t speak up.

You’ve noted yourself: it’s progressed over time. Used to be fine, but is progressively degenerating.

Behavior doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You’ve inadvertently reinforced this behavior without knowing it. How? Your original post answered this question: when he vocalized, you responded. You came running, maybe occasionally let him out, shouted out.

Any response other than ignoring him - in conjunction with rewarding any PLEASING sound he makes - reinforces his attention seeking behavior, and will make it worse. It’s taken you two years to get to this point and will take at LEAST as long to correct the behavior.

I have a minor and similar issue here where whenever Parker REALLY screams and my partner yells at him to shut up. He knows better than to respond like that because he knows it reinforces the screaming (he’s trying to understand more about positive reinforcement lately), but he can’t help it sometimes. The scream rattles his soul. It’s not as bad as your situation, because he doesn’t do this often, but the increase in screaming is notable over 9 years.
Hi Chris,
Please allow me to elaborate. We have made absolutely clear NOT to come running and then let him out once he has started his very loud undesirable noises. We really strive to wait until he has either stopped or has gone back to his friendly and pleasant chirps.
We are in the kitchen, he starts his screeches. He can see us just barely in the kitchen due to how the cage is oriented next to the other cages. So when he does this? The curtain is drawn so he can't see us. And he'll stop for a moment, but then start up again. And he'll just keep going and going... we ignore it, but he keeps going. I should also point out that my housemate talks rather loudly, so if we're having a discussion, the bird appears to be more motivated to vocalize. He knows two humans are nearby, who could let him out.

So are you saying that we shouldn't even reward his pleasant sounds of wanting attention? Not reward any at all? And then make it such that only once he has been quiet for a while (like 10~20 minutes of silence) that we then open the door to let him out?
 
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cytherian

cytherian

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It’s very difficult to ignore an unwanted behaviour like screaming. My boy is only 2, he loves being out and wing begs alot to be out. never have we let him out when he does this . Admittedly, once out he just does his own thing on his tree or stand, but obviously there are occasions when he has to be in. So sometimes we leave him in For a couple of hours. We’ve nearly always ignored any screams.

Many behaviors are unknowingly trained by giving attention; which is a reward. Or even by giving an actual reward like food a toy or freedom.

Generally now my boy only Shrieks occasionally as part of his singing routine.
He too has a really high extremely loud ear piercing noise, which he learnt from our hoover ’stuck’ alarm .. 5 beeps, pause, repeat several times and also I think maybe the cooker alarm. Now I don’t let the the alarms go off anymore and he is slowly cutting down on these noises In his song.. Maybe there is something in your apartment that he too is copying and then using. the first clear high pitch note sounded like a piece of electronic equipment you might have. I played your clip to my boy and he didn’t stop preening to listen, so I would judge this to say it’s definitely a call for your attention.

just a little training story:
The other thing I’ve done.. is I have sung a song to him over and over for a year..“if your happy and you know it , click your tongue “click click”.
He has learnt himself over the year where the clicks go.. now if he is getting screechy loud we sing this to him and he stops screeching to listen..waits for the punchline and then he does the clicks. It’s a little behaviour modifier and takes 5 minutes or so of singing together.. But it is worth it everytime. He loves it.

we are now working on the Adam’s family theme tune as well, with each note being a ‘bop de bop de boppy, click click” because I don’t know the words lol.
My only fear in doing that, is that if we come to offer "alternative sounds" when he's in his screechy mode, he may conclude that screeching is what will get us to come over to his cage.

Now, I MAY have a solution. I had tried it out last weekend. I have this recording compilation of his vocalizations. It starts out with his friendly tweets. Well, I was sitting in the living room watching TV and he started up with his groans of frustration. And when he progressed to his screeches, I played the tweets of him. And then he tweeted back. I did it again... he tweeted back. I stopped... and then about a handful of minutes later he was back to his screeches. At that point I had to leave the room and attend to other things. But it got me to wondering. Should I keep a shortcut to his tweets and play them back as he is about midway through his groans and squawks of frustration, before he gets to the nasty screeches?
 

SailBoat

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Have long believed in understanding their life in their natural range to understand founding behaviors.

It is important to remember that the males spend the vast amount of their day feeding their hen and than chick while they are enclosed is a caved-out tree trunk. Never looked closely at the timeline, but remember it was more than a 1/3 of a year. As a result, he is out and about, finding food for his love and flying to and from the nest. Based on that, his being caged can be problematic as his hardwired self needs to be out working.

The loud contact calls also make sense as he would be keep in touch with his family, while traveling about.

Just looking at things from a different vantage point.
 

azflcowboy

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Solomon Island Eclectus (Male)
The inspiration for this post is an adult male eclectus bird, about 11 years old. Of the 3 birds in our care, he's by far the easiest to manage when out of his cage. He usually steps up. When he does wander into "no-no" territory, it's usually easy to rescue him. When he's mad and nips it's almost never hard. The only time he has inflicted a flesh wound was trying to separate him from his mate, in the midst of a beak-clashing fight.

After he and his mate reached puberty, the copulating began. He's a totally dedicated bird. He is always looking out for her. Always feeding her. And at times he's almost an obsessive bother to her (like straining to feed her while she's in the middle of feather preening). She'll bap him on the beak with hers to shove him away, but he comes right back, eager to feed.

Anyway, the undesirable behavioral change started about 2 years ago, and in the last 6 months or so it has progressed. The problem is? He can't stand being caged up when people are around. He wants to be out. He USED to just chirp a bit, then eventually stop. Or he'll scramble around his cage when you're coming nearby, trying to get your attention (he has like 3 places he'll go to signal he wants out). But now? Well... it's the squawks. The annoying, highly persistent squawks. He has an amazing repertoire of vocalizations... but more than half of them are unpleasant. And... he has come up with his own special level of unpleasant. A screeching shrill scream that is worse than nails on chalkboard.

VOCAL SAMPLE - this is a time compressed compilation. Sometimes he'll fixate on the loudest, painful one, but often times it's the upper middle one that is a grating, grinding kind of squawk. It's like Chinese water torture. 4 to 8 per minute, on average. And he can go for a solid 15 ~ 30 minutes. He never used to be like this.

It begs the question -- do some birds outgrow their happiness in captivity? It's not frustration to the point of him self-plucking (although he had done that as a juvenile when he was adopted from a family who couldn't attend to him well enough). When he does get out-time, he's usually very happy. But he can start to be problematic as he tries in vain to explore more in our smallish 2-bedroom apartment.

One final back-story piece: He and his mate have just 1 offspring, a juvenile who is now 5 years old, and is tucked in at the end of the cage lineup. The adult male will come to his cage and feed him. But no more chicks. The adult female's eggs get swapped with fakes. So, she's not producing any more. Does the male know this and wish to have another mate? He and his female companion are very serious about reproduction. She sits on her eggs faithfully for up to 6 weeks, before she starts signaling that she's done (hanging outside her cage for a solid 15 minutes before going back in). I just wonder if these two should really be in the hands of a caring breeder, who can give them a lot more attention and let them fulfill their desire to reproduce.
Hello What a very interesting story you shared.
I see that about a year ago our 4 year old Moses wishes to get out and play around the house more often.
He is a good boy when out of the cage as our home is 3500 square feet and he has his special play areas:)
He believes and he is right that this is his home and he needs to be out and about when not in for his am, 12pm, and 4 pm feeding time:)
He usually goes to our very large master bedroom for his night time sleeping cage.
Before his best friend (my service dog ) passed away they both had to sleep in the same room (our large master bedroom) but now he is ok going to his sleeping cage between 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm.
I have thought about buying a female and let them mate but my wife who prepares the food fresh daily is not in favor of that idea:(
so again thank you for you story and God Bless and Happy New Year
Larry azflcowboy
 

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Talaya

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My only fear in doing that, is that if we come to offer "alternative sounds" when he's in his screechy mode, he may conclude that screeching is what will get us to come over to his cage.

Now, I MAY have a solution. I had tried it out last weekend. I have this recording compilation of his vocalizations. It starts out with his friendly tweets. Well, I was sitting in the living room watching TV and he started up with his groans of frustration. And when he progressed to his screeches, I played the tweets of him. And then he tweeted back. I did it again... he tweeted back. I stopped... and then about a handful of minutes later he was back to his screeches. At that point I had to leave the room and attend to other things. But it got me to wondering. Should I keep a shortcut to his tweets and play them back as he is about midway through his groans and squawks of frustration, before he gets to the nasty screeches?
I’m glad you may have found a way that works for you. i have a sneaky feeling it could potentially feed into his sound making and make it more varied or Intense.. As its giving him attention when HE is demanding it... I would worry that he would think. yay let’s make noise to get noise. But it’s only my guess, only you know your birdie.
As I said I sang to my boy for a year. (Every morning/lunch) once he had learnt it, I knew I could then use it intended; as a focus distraction for if he ever got loud, which he does about once a week.
The loud single contact call he makes when I’m just in/out of sight, I just say ‘hello I’m here’. and he stops. I do have a camera on him for when I’m out so i can see if he is getting stressed. But he either playing or sits on his song perch & sings the song of his ancestors.Of course I have no idea how he will be at 11 !
I wish you luck with your recordings. XX
 
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chris-md

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Hi Chris,
Please allow me to elaborate. We have made absolutely clear NOT to come running and then let him out once he has started his very loud undesirable noises. We really strive to wait until he has either stopped or has gone back to his friendly and pleasant chirps.

From your prior post:

The problem is, if we cave in and let him out anytime he wants, which is what we'd done earlier on, he now seems to expect that he should be let out any time. And ignoring him? That used to work, but now it doesn't help much.

So have you responded, or have you absolutely not responded when he screams? I’m confused. Because stated plainly in your own words here is the origin of your problem. It starts by responding to mildly annoying sounds, and escalates to worse screaming over time, which is exactly what you describe as your situation. They start with mildly annoying vocalization a, and progress when the mild stuff eventually fails to work.

What I said was you’ll get this in the absence of rewarding silence or nice sounds. So You absolutely should reward any good sound you want to hear more of. Come running, let him out, yell back. Make a big to-do. Ignoring alone doesn’t do anything without following up by teach what TO do.
 

azflcowboy

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I’m glad you may have found a way that works for you. i have a sneaky feeling it could potentially feed into his sound making and make it more varied or Intense.. As its giving him attention when HE is demanding it... I would worry that he would think. yay let’s make noise to get noise. But it’s only my guess, only you know your birdie.
As I said I sang to my boy for a year. (Every morning/lunch) once he had learnt it, I knew I could then use it intended; as a focus distraction for if he ever got loud, which he does about once a week.
The loud single contact call he makes when I’m just in/out of sight, I just say ‘hello I’m here’. and he stops. I do have a camera on him for when I’m out so i can see if he is getting stressed. But he either playing or sits on his song perch & sings the song of his ancestors.Of course I have no idea how he will be at 11 !
I wish you luck with your recordings. XX
Hello Fortunately My Guy Moses only screeches if he hears the doorbell or if the black birds in the yard squak which he imatidated and he will squak back or sometimes says "Go home" after he heard me tell the black birds to go home after they were eating the squireel food i put out:) sometime Moses squaks if he hears a loud noise and just for a moment or two, he started that at about the age of 3 years old....so good luck and thank you for your posts and Happy New Year
azflcowboy in fllorida
 
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cytherian

cytherian

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From your prior post:



So have you responded, or have you absolutely not responded when he screams? I’m confused. Because stated plainly in your own words here is the origin of your problem. It starts by responding to mildly annoying sounds, and escalates to worse screaming over time, which is exactly what you describe as your situation. They start with mildly annoying vocalization a, and progress when the mild stuff eventually fails to work.

What I said was you’ll get this in the absence of rewarding silence or nice sounds. So You absolutely should reward any good sound you want to hear more of. Come running, let him out, yell back. Make a big to-do. Ignoring alone doesn’t do anything without following up by teach what TO do.
When I say that we "cave in", it is NEVER at the crescendo of his squawking tirades. It's only when there has been a lull and he has cycled back to his friendly "hello, I'm here, please come to me" chirp. And, this didn't become the norm at any point. It's only on occasion that we'd let him out at those instances. Other times, it's at the usual appointed hour, like in the morning as food is being prepared to start the day and at the early evening when dinner food is prepared.

I should also point out that sometimes he is let out when his mate is out taking a nesting break. Her routine is to scamper back and forth in front of her cage door with an occasional squawk. We let her out and bring her to the play gym where she can stretch, take a big poop, and nosh on some food there. The adult male will be watching intently with his "mini wing flutter" telegraphing he's really eager to come out. He won't squawk at that point. We'll then come over and let him out to join her.
 
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cytherian

cytherian

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One other thing.
The eclectus bird specialist who actually raised these two birds just after birth (and then by commission sold them to the family who had them prior to my housemate) was contacted about this behavior. Her recommendation is that after he has made a few of these really loud unpleasant sounds, come over to his cage and make a loud vocalization at him, then walk away. If he continues, wait a few times, then do it again.

We did this. And he would stop for about 5~10 minutes. But then he'd return to it.

Today, I am not feeling well and laying in my bedroom. My housemate is working in her room. No one is around the birds right now, although they know we're here because their acute hearing picks up on sounds.

I decided to time the male. When he gets going, it's about 8 to 10 squawks in a minute. And he could go for anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes straight at a shot. NO ONE IS AROUND, at least in view. He'll take a break, eat & drink a bit, watch over his mate that he can see is in her nest (through the bars of the cages). And then... he's back at it.

I'm no bird specialist, but I'm empathic with animals. And to me? He's miserable. It just feels like he has reached a point in his life where staying cooped up all day in a cage is no longer tolerable for him. He wants to be out. Desperately. Is it cruel to keep a bird in a scenario where they aren't happy most of the time? He's pretty easy once he's out. And in the evening when he goes to bed (although because the TV light and sound can be picked up by him, he periodically moans and groans because of it). But that's not a lot of time relative to the whole day.
 
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cytherian

cytherian

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I’m glad you may have found a way that works for you. i have a sneaky feeling it could potentially feed into his sound making and make it more varied or Intense.. As its giving him attention when HE is demanding it... I would worry that he would think. yay let’s make noise to get noise. But it’s only my guess, only you know your birdie.
As I said I sang to my boy for a year. (Every morning/lunch) once he had learnt it, I knew I could then use it intended; as a focus distraction for if he ever got loud, which he does about once a week.
The loud single contact call he makes when I’m just in/out of sight, I just say ‘hello I’m here’. and he stops. I do have a camera on him for when I’m out so i can see if he is getting stressed. But he either playing or sits on his song perch & sings the song of his ancestors.Of course I have no idea how he will be at 11 !
I wish you luck with your recordings.
It worked... for a while.

Today I had my lunch in the living room. The adult male cannot see me where I'm seated, but he can certainly hear the TV. He started chirping. Then, he began to escalate again to his "disgruntled crow" sound. I started using the recording to chirp back to him. And we did this on/off for about 20 minutes.

Then, he escalated to his more frustrated vocalizations. When I'd chirp in response, he wouldn't step down to chirp back. He'd continue on his unpleasant sound. I tried it a few times... and it looks like he lost interest. Maybe there are nuances to a chirp that signify subtle uniqueness, and so using a recording where it's the exact same chirp as before might get him thinking something is up. I have a couple captures in a row, but that's about it. Overall, it doesn't look like a reliable approach to curb his vocalization escalations.

As for singing, maybe I'll give that a try. The trouble is, standing in front of his cage is a sign to him that he might be getting out. So he'll scamper over to 1 of 3 places where he is usually given a chance to step-up. And really, the excitement is so much he'll pause at one spot for like 5 seconds--if you're not showing a move to let him out there, he quickly scampers over to one other spot and tries his luck there. 5 seconds and no joy? Next spot. I mean, it's so very clear that all he wants is out. I'll have to record it.
 
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cytherian

cytherian

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Hello What a very interesting story you shared.
I see that about a year ago our 4 year old Moses wishes to get out and play around the house more often.
He is a good boy when out of the cage as our home is 3500 square feet and he has his special play areas:)
He believes and he is right that this is his home and he needs to be out and about when not in for his am, 12pm, and 4 pm feeding time:)
He usually goes to our very large master bedroom for his night time sleeping cage.
Before his best friend (my service dog ) passed away they both had to sleep in the same room (our large master bedroom) but now he is ok going to his sleeping cage between 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm.
I have thought about buying a female and let them mate but my wife who prepares the food fresh daily is not in favor of that idea:(
so again thank you for you story and God Bless and Happy New Year
Larry azflcowboy
Thanks for sharing your story! Moses sounds like a wonderful bird. As for introducing a female... I imagine it will be tricky to do it successfully. It's definitely a 2-way street. If you had the luxury of being able to arrange a visit, that would be great. Because who knows if they'd get along. The other thing is matching age. I'd strongly advise against bringing in a pubescent female. The life of dealing with a perpetual egg laying female is NOT easy!
 

azflcowboy

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Parrots
Solomon Island Eclectus (Male)
Thanks for sharing your story! Moses sounds like a wonderful bird. As for introducing a female... I imagine it will be tricky to do it successfully. It's definitely a 2-way street. If you had the luxury of being able to arrange a visit, that would be great. Because who knows if they'd get along. The other thing is matching age. I'd strongly advise against bringing in a pubescent female. The life of dealing with a perpetual egg laying female is NOT easy!
Hello and Thank you for your reply :)
I do believe Moses would get along with anyone from I see of him :) He loves people and interested in the birds who fly and sing in our backyard:)
Momma however says Moeses is enough at this time, so does not look good for a Lady Friend for Moses>>>
Stay well and God Bless
Larry azflcowboy
 
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cytherian

cytherian

Active member
Dec 29, 2020
102
114
Near NYC
Parrots
Eclectus
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UPDATE
I think I finally figured it out... why the adult male's behavior had shifted to such demanding to be out and defiant screeching / shrieking when not obliged.

The female. For the past 6+ weeks, she had been incubating two eggs. Well, fake eggs to be factual. When a female is in this situation, the male is the one to forage, be on the lookout for intruders, feed her, and also scout around for possible new homes.

The male's natural instincts are to be out and doing those things, but with his mate incubating eggs, it appears that behavior is ramped up quite a bit. Once she was done with her eggs, the nest was removed, and he seemed to be less squawky than before. Well, 2 weeks have gone by since then and she laid a new egg. And for the first few days of this period, we let the male hang out more. We have a rope perch affixed horizontally to the side of his cage next to her, so he can be outside and closely watchful. He will feed her through the bars as well. After this, he was back in his cage and when we weren't letting him out the following day, his squawks turned to grating droning noises, then escalated to loud squawks, gravely screeches, and then the ear piercing shriek.

When he has quieted down, we then give him an opportunity to be out. And for the most part, he's very well behaved.

So it does appear his horribly loud shrieks are his emotional response to feeling a very strong drive to be out, protecting his mate, and doing the usual things an adult male will do, but being blocked from doing so.
 

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
1,130
3,362
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
Hi there, I’m so glad you found the source of the problem. Ekkie’s at least mine is quiet 99% of the time. The other 1% he is loud, and puts my conures to shame. Usually it’s for 2 reasons. He wants out of his cage, or his food bowl is empty. I have to be careful if I let Nico out of his cage too long as he will get over stimulated and let the feather plucking begin. If it’s ever loud I always put him in his overnight room. That’s another way I’ll notice Nico getting over stimulated, and he’ll start screaming & ripping out feathers. It took me a good 2 years to figure out a routine with him. There was a lot of trial and error.
 

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