Ear biting


New member
Nov 9, 2006
Lucky, a 10 year old Eclectus
A good deal of time spent with my Eclectus is when I'm playing XBox or working on the computer. He likes to mimic the sounds and I think enjoys watching the colors on the screen. I started taking him out and placing him on my shoulder while I work, and at first he was fine, just hung out and watched. After a few times doing this he started to nibble, and then later bite my ear.

I've read in several books that Parrots are drama queens and they like when people make big fusses, and it’s advised to ignore the negative behaviors and reward the good. It advises that yelling, regardless of what you’re actually saying could excite the bird because it’s a form of attention, even though it’s negative. Following the suggested method, whenever he has bit my ear, I've unceremoniously walked over to the cage and put him in. After a while I'll take him back out again, but it’s not too long before he does it again.

Should I just keep trying or should I try something else? The last thing I want to do is reinforce this behavior. I’ve read some people say a very harsh “NO” and the bird gets the idea, have others tried this with success?

Also, could it be that he simply just doesn’t want to be on my shoulder while I’m at the computer and is biting my ear to get me to move?
Also, could it be that he simply just doesn’t want to be on my shoulder while I’m at the computer and is biting my ear to get me to move?

Spot on, all the while you are playing Xbox, or on the computer you are not taking notice of him. He's getting jealous.

Bucc went through a stage of doing this with my hubby, biting her ear when he read the paper or watched the TV. He has had some real bad blood drawing bites, and has got the scars still. :D We cured this by saying a very harsh "NO" if he did it again it was time out in the cage. Now my hubby doesn't have him on his shoulder while reading the paper or watching the TV. I never allow him on my shoulder while I'm working as he gets real jealous, so he can either sit on my lap, arm of the chair or his Java Tree, which I move to my office.

You are doing the right thing by ignoring this behaviour, but when he is on your shoulder and not biting make a big fuss of him. that is just as important as ignoring the unacceptable bahaviour.

If putting him in his cage without you saying a word is working then keep to that. I always say a harsh "NO" as Bucc does not like it when he gets the harsh "NO" and that will usually stop any unacceptable behaviour.

As parrot parents we have to adapt any advise that we are given to suit our own birds, No one knows our birds like we do. I think you are going the right way with Lucky. Let us know how he gets on.

Maybe if he keeps this up, you could try moving him off your shoulder while you are on Xbox/computer, but keep him close and try to include him. :D
I feel you pain... Cricket bites my ears too... then climbs on my head and plays with my hair, well she trys too.... I try not to let her get up there.
I dont put Kodie on my shoulder at all. Ive read its a sign of dominance to be your eye level and a easy target to get your full attention as you should react to a hard earbite. My breeder also told me not to do it.

I see when putting Kodie on my lap or between my legs while on the pc he enjoys it very much, he can sit safely by me and my eyes are on him "constantly". He can watch and comment in his own way and he gets cuddles from me every now and then. Even falls asleep there! I do not recommend a bird on the shoulder especially if dominance and great trust isnt fully built yet.

Ive got Kodie for almost 3 months now and he has only sat on my shoulder about 4 times and then i cover it with my hair so he cant see it. And a harsh no really does work, i did it from like where something happens and no reaction, so now when he is doing something i come right up to his face and say a very harsh "no" and it worked.

Good luck on that! Let us know what your solution works for you.
I would agree totally with no shoulders.The most dominent parrot sits on the highest perch so cut that out and you should see ahuge difference. Hopfully anyway.:D

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