Bird loves me too much

JimsBrother

Supporting Member
Mar 3, 2022
101
751
Parrots
Uncle to Bebee
and Amy
Bebe the Cockatiel loves me. Any time I let him out of his cage he flies to my shoulder and tells me so. Sharing affection with a bird is a wonderful thing, except... all he wants to do is sit on my hand and rub his little pecker on me. I hate that.

It's not a seasonal/hormonal thing, he does this all the time. He did it with my brother too, and Jim hated it as well. If I put my hands in my pocket or hide them in my sleeves the bird gets mad and bites me.

I'm wondering what I can do as behavioral training to curtail this action. I'm thinking of using a water spray bottle to piss him off when he does this. But I don't want him to hate me... Any ideas?

Dave
 

foxgloveparrot

Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Aug 30, 2021
5,351
Media
2
6,259
Indiana, USA
Parrots
Ziggy - budgie
Kai - budgie
Lilla - senegal
Jasper - YNA
Cricket - parrotlet
Seiji - budgie
Snowberry - YCA
Never, never, never punish a bird! Don't squirt him with water, yell at him, flick him, anything. He will lose a lot of trust in you and you don't want that.
Try some target training, and provide a large variety of toys for him. You might find something he really likes.
But cockatiels are known for being clingy. Nothing you can do about it. He will never stop craving affection, even though you can help him learn to play independently.
Good luck.
 

zERo

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2021
473
1,104
Texas
Parrots
Tony-Green QP(M)
Tom-Pineapple GCC(M)
Ryuk-Cockatiel(M)
Sheer Khan-Cockatiel(F)
Romeo-Cockatiel(M)
Billy- Green budgie(M)
Hedwig- Green budgie(F)
Striga- Blue Clearwing budgie(M)
Grim- Mauve budgie(F)
Well whenever I'm petting my Quaker, just his head and neck but sometimes he starts taking it too far (try to mount my hand, panting, etc.) I just put him back in his cage or on a perch away from me and let him 'calm down.' I don't tell him no because technically he's not doing anything wrong, he just can't help it.
That's the most effective way I can think that would help possibly 😅
 

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
709
2,143
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
This is the down fall to captive birds. Some do have a tendency to be overly affectionate, or hormonal. They like to masterbate on you, perches, toys, and so on. It can be rather disruptive when company is over, and a parrot just starts randomly masterbating on them, or around them.

I ignore the behavior, or put him back on his stand.
 

Kentuckienne

Supporting Vendor
Oct 9, 2016
2,703
1,463
Middle of nowhere (kentuckianna)
Parrots
Roommates include Gus, Blue and gold macaw rescue and Coco, secondhand amazon
Sometimes changing the amount of daylight/sunlight is reported as helpful. It resets their circadian cycles so they stop thinking it’s mating season. But I’m sorry, I don’t remember the details…it’s something about making sure the bird has enough dark vs light time. Maybe someone here has experience, or knows a good link?
 

ravvlet

Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Jun 25, 2019
1,426
4,280
Seattle WA
Parrots
Kirby - OWA, 33yrs old (2019-)
Sammy - YNA, 45 yrs old (2022-)
RIP Cricket - Cockatiel (2019-2022)
Making sure they get 12hrs of dark time for sleep, and reducing the amount of fatty/sugary foods can sometimes help with hormones. Our tiel was a Velcro bird but never sexual with us. Also make sure to never pet him anywhere but his head, if someone hasn’t already said it.
 

Scott

Supporting Member
Aug 21, 2010
32,673
9,605
San Diego, California USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Parrots
Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
This is the down fall to captive birds. Some do have a tendency to be overly affectionate, or hormonal. They like to masterbate on you, perches, toys, and so on. It can be rather disruptive when company is over, and a parrot just starts randomly masterbating on them, or around them.

I ignore the behavior, or put him back on his stand.
Superb advice shared within thread, Dave. I'd advocate highlighted prose above, specifically put him back on stand. Perhaps the best and most direct method of attempting to stop unwanted behavior. Hopefully he'll transfer pleasure-seeking tendencies to the stand or other inanimate objects.
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
3,021
5,441
Bebe the Cockatiel loves me. Any time I let him out of his cage he flies to my shoulder and tells me so. Sharing affection with a bird is a wonderful thing, except... all he wants to do is sit on my hand and rub his little pecker on me. I hate that.

It's not a seasonal/hormonal thing, he does this all the time. He did it with my brother too, and Jim hated it as well. If I put my hands in my pocket or hide them in my sleeves the bird gets mad and bites me.

I'm wondering what I can do as behavioral training to curtail this action. I'm thinking of using a water spray bottle to piss him off when he does this. But I don't want him to hate me... Any ideas?

Dave

I agree that it’s kinda weird to be the object of a tiny bird’s affections, but the best things to do are take all possible steps to reduce inducing breeding condition or hormonal/sexual behavior (reduce hours of light, rich food, petting anywhere but the head) and ignore the masturbatory activities. You can even reduce the amount of time and attention you give him as that’s confusing to him too.

If you calmly return your bird to his cage and turn your back to him briefly every time he humps your hand, he should learn that doing that will get him put back in his cage and ignored. And if he’s rubbing on a toy or perch, just ignore it. He doesn’t understand privacy and making a fuss will make it more exciting.

My Quaker rubbed her bottom on my hand once; I thought she was rubbing her head so I was quite embarrassed. But I just put her in her cage and went about my business. If she ever started to get puffy and hissy on my hand, I put her back in her cage or carrier. She didn’t like it but it was important as she had an egg laying issue that nearly killed her in later life.

It’s better to discourage that behavior as it will lead your bird to be more moody and aggressive. And will make him frustrated. He’ll be happier if you work on the different factors—hours of light, rich food, attention/ body contact—so he’s not confused.
 
Last edited:

Most Reactions

Latest posts

Top