Biting issues


New member
Jul 3, 2021
hi there! I'm new here
I got a lovebird about two months ago, he's super adorable. When I got him he was about 8 weeks old only. He normally behaves in a very good way - he has his mischevous moments but if I wasn't expecting that to happen then I shouldn't even get a bird in the first place hahaha. Even his singing/chirping is actually pretty ok, he sings when he's happy and when the sun is shining and that's about it. I find it very cute and it doesn't bother me in the slightest

He doesn't like hands in general and I'm slowly getting him used to it. He lets you pet him with your nose or chin, but not with the finger hahaha. I think that's a process so I'm taking my time with him. You can hand feed him and recently he started to perch on my finger to eat millet, so I think he's making progress.

Anyways, my issue with Pepe is that he has a really annoying habit of sometimes climbing up to your shoulder to bite your ears. sometimes my fianc? is feeding him and he just randomly climbs down from the forearm to the hand to bite his fingers and then fly away immediately cause he knows he shouldn't do it.

I don't know how to discipline him. I try to always reinforce positive behavior with the millet and that's how I trained him to even fly to me. So while on one hand he behaves in a generally good manner, sometimes he simply likes to climb up to you and bite you for absolutely no reason (it's not a reaction to lack of food/water, someone speaking loud or moving fast, it's literally out of pure evil!)

I say "no" to him in a serious voice and lately I tried to see if spraying water would help with that, but I don't want to do negative things or, idk, make the bird afraid of water at some point and stop bathing. since he really dislikes hands, it's impossible to just grab him and put him in the cage for a time out, unless I want my hands to turn into swiss cheese!

Can anybody help me please? He's got plenty of toys and since I work from home, he spends almost the whole day with the cage door open, so he's not stressed out at all. He's a sweet bird, but sometimes he just wakes up and chooses violence.

Thanks in advance!!
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Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
See my replied to the OP on the following post and make sure you aren't pushing your agenda to the point where you are scaring the bird, as this destroys trust (granted, it can be rebuilt..but by the time you see signs of fear or aggression, you have already pushed too far).

My replies are really long, but ABA works---read for detail because once you understand the concepts, it makes dealing with behaviors much easier.

*NEVER DISCIPLINE A PARROT!!!!* Punishment does not work and will only make this far worse.
If you have any shadowy huts, tents, boxes (in or out of the cage) remove them and do not allow access- same goes for in your shirt, under pillows/blankets, drawers, cabinets, under furniture etc--- any remotely shadowy space trigger their nesting tendancies and amps up hormones which leads to a number of destructive behaviors and even can cause health risks.
If your bird is not getting a bare minimum of 10 hours sleep each night on a schedule, make sure you establish bedtime and wakeup schedule that you follow daily (10 hours dark, quiet space= essential for hormone and immune health and without, behaviors will increase)
Pet on the head and neck only- anything else is sexual and a sexually stimulated or frustrated bird is far more likely to scream, bite, pluck, become aggressive/jealous etc

This is going to sound bad, but I say it to everyone (myself included) - bites are a last resort and they are ALWAYS the human's fault. Either you reinforced it accidentally via the way he/you reacted, disregarded/triggered hormones, didn't build sufficient trust, or failed to read positive cues..Instead of waiting to see signs of fear, hesitation or aggression, you should look for signs of willingness (otherwise, you teach the bird that it has to act out to get respected/noticed). Your boyfriend should not be letting the bird climb up his arm or even sit on his arm if he cannot control where it goes. Shoulder privileges should be earned, not given.
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