Change in Behavior of my 5yo GCC

OinkyThePiggy

New member
Mar 30, 2022
4
6
Long Island, NY
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Green Cheek Conure (Monkey), African Grey Parrot (Jackie)
Monkey is about 5 years old and I've had him for the last 3. My husband and I take him out, he hangs out with us and everything. He's been particularly attached to me.
That said, when I wasn't home he would be sweet with my husband. Let him hold him, would fall asleep in his hand, would let him get his 'crunchies' (pin feathers) and everything. Even coming out of his cage he would climb to the top on the side and wait for his hand and then roll into it. Super cute.
A couple months ago he started biting my husband on the hands and face. He'll try to open the door to the cage and he'll bite. He doesn't do the hand roll thing anymore. He's even attacked him in passing. It's very upsetting to have this change in behavior.
Additionally, Monkey now 'barks' at the TV or the corner of the room, or anything (he does it with sound off or even when the TV is off). It's very frustrating that he's doing this when we're trying to watch a movie or play video games. He's not locked in his cage when we're home. He's free to enter and leave it, fly to me, walk around the top of the couch, etc..
Even more recently he's been grinding on my hand but I chalk that up to the change in season and just redirect him.

Nothing has changed here.* The room is the same and it's just my husband, his Grey, and myself. Any suggestions or ideas why he's doing this?

::note, we call Monkey and Jackie "he" but we haven't had them gendered so we really don't know::

*edit* in 2019 I was working 10a-6p, which changed August 2020 to 1p-9p. In September last year, 2021, I started 10a-6p again. Would that be enough to make him change behaviorally?
 
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May 2, 2021
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Monkey is about 5 years old and I've had him for the last 3. My husband and I take him out, he hangs out with us and everything. He's been particularly attached to me.
That said, when I wasn't home he would be sweet with my husband. Let him hold him, would fall asleep in his hand, would let him get his 'crunchies' (pin feathers) and everything. Even coming out of his cage he would climb to the top on the side and wait for his hand and then roll into it. Super cute.
A couple months ago he started biting my husband on the hands and face. He'll try to open the door to the cage and he'll bite. He doesn't do the hand roll thing anymore. He's even attacked him in passing. It's very upsetting to have this change in behavior.
Additionally, Monkey now 'barks' at the TV or the corner of the room, or anything (he does it with sound off or even when the TV is off). It's very frustrating that he's doing this when we're trying to watch a movie or play video games. He's not locked in his cage when we're home. He's free to enter and leave it, fly to me, walk around the top of the couch, etc..
Even more recently he's been grinding on my hand but I chalk that up to the change in season and just redirect him.

Nothing has changed here.* The room is the same and it's just my husband, his Grey, and myself. Any suggestions or ideas why he's doing this?

::note, we call Monkey and Jackie "he" but we haven't had them gendered so we really don't know::

*edit* in 2019 I was working 10a-6p, which changed August 2020 to 1p-9p. In September last year, 2021, I started 10a-6p again. Would that be enough to make him change behaviorally?
GCCs are pretty well known for mood swings, and personalities do change over time. Stormy had a phase where he threw 'seed tantrums', biting me and everything around him if I didn't give him seeds when he wanted them, and believe me, it HURT. He was putting all his heart and soul into showing just how angry he was. He grew out of the phase in about 6 months.

My best advice is to ignore him. If that doesn't work, redirect with anything BUT a treat. When Stormy bit, I would set him down on the nearest perch, then give him a treat once he calmed down, so that might work. My flock is extremely bitey, and that's my go-to method for stopping their biting.

Oh, and welcome!
 

Squeekmouse

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May 31, 2017
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Yoda, Green Cheek Conure - Trigger, Congo African Grey
Definitely sounds like hormonal behavior. Very common, very frustrating, and there's definitely things that can and should be done so that both you AND your bird are less frustrated.




 
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OinkyThePiggy

OinkyThePiggy

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Mar 30, 2022
4
6
Long Island, NY
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Green Cheek Conure (Monkey), African Grey Parrot (Jackie)
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Thank you both. Article says to try toys and better sleep location so I'll try that first. Fingers crossed!
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Everybody sharing great advice!

I'll just add sometimes something happened from the birds point of view that has caused loss of trust or fear of hands. Even after years of nothing but love from us.

I just bribe my way back into mines heart, while respecting that trust may be temporarily lowered. Lots of just going to say hello and offer a treat. Putting a perch on the outside and having them step to that before stepping to me.

Fingers crossed mine haven't been terribly hormonal the last few seasons. But I do get an uptick in noise. And the bite attempts at cage openings and closing..while still being great away from the cage. Any season can be different from the ones before, sometimes the rush is just stronger.

Hoping you can soon move past this and back to calmer kinder.
 
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OinkyThePiggy

OinkyThePiggy

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Mar 30, 2022
4
6
Long Island, NY
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Green Cheek Conure (Monkey), African Grey Parrot (Jackie)
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Everybody sharing great advice!

I'll just add sometimes something happened from the birds point of view that has caused loss of trust or fear of hands. Even after years of nothing but love from us.

I just bribe my way back into mines heart, while respecting that trust may be temporarily lowered. Lots of just going to say hello and offer a treat. Putting a perch on the outside and having them step to that before stepping to me.

Fingers crossed mine haven't been terribly hormonal the last few seasons. But I do get an uptick in noise. And the bite attempts at cage openings and closing..while still being great away from the cage. Any season can be different from the ones before, sometimes the rush is just stronger.

Hoping you can soon move past this and back to calmer kinder.
My husband tried the bribe today and he was a little better. A couple nips but manageable. Guess we need to stock up on mango and bananas.
Thank you for your input.
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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it takes several bribes fir sure. Abd just give with making them do anything fir them.

If I didn't mention already. Always say hi as soon as get up, make sure to say bye when leaving and hello as soon as you get home. This was a top from a burd behavioral specialist and it can make a big impact.
 
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OinkyThePiggy

OinkyThePiggy

New member
Mar 30, 2022
4
6
Long Island, NY
Parrots
Green Cheek Conure (Monkey), African Grey Parrot (Jackie)
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it takes several bribes fir sure. Abd just give with making them do anything fir them.

If I didn't mention already. Always say hi as soon as get up, make sure to say bye when leaving and hello as soon as you get home. This was a top from a burd behavioral specialist and it can make a big impact.
Yes 100%. When I wake them up in the morning it's always "good morning!" and "hello!". When I leave it's "see you later!". When my husband or myself come home it's "hello boys!" or if Monkey is with my husband in his room I go in and my husband excitedly says "who's that?" and I say "hi baby!" and he flies over.

We definitely have the hello and goodbyes for them.

Again thank you for the input and the follow-up. Super appreciated and gives us hope.
 

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