aprilrain

New member
May 13, 2021
1
2
Southern California
Parrots
Green Cheek Conure
The Issue:
My green cheek has become extraordinarily clingy & he screams whenever he knows I'm home but out of sight. It's extremely high-pitched & can go on forever. I'm trying so so hard but it's not getting better, so I'm asking for help.
- I know Conures are loud, I'm not expecting him to be quiet, but this feels excessive. Is there anything I can do differently?

I've read many forums that usually start with people asking for more details, so I've included what we have tried and his current situation.

Details:
  • Male- Green cheek conure
  • Acquired 12.21.21
  • Hatch date 02.01.19- 10 months when acquired
  • 20 months old now

Ignoring tantrums versus giving attention:
Part of my problem is I read conflicting feedback. So I'm not positive which advice to follow. There seem to be opinions on how to address screaming; I've read that you should ignore the screaming, leave the room and don't validated or reward the behavior, but others have said if your bird is lonely that ignoring it makes him worse. At first, I would go to him, let him out, give him food, ect. So I probably created the issue by rewarding the screaming. Now I've spent months trying to ignore him, but he's getting worse. He is in the main part of the house, so he can really be ignored.

Cage Environment:
He has a huge cage w/ lots of safe toys that we swap. A large open parrot jungle gym in my home office. Lots of little perches so he can join us in other parts of the house. His cage is in a high-traffic family room where there is lots of activity. He's got a small safe bath in his cage because he loves swimming. His cage is near a large window, so he has lots of things to look at.

Bordom:
We work from home, so he gets lots of attention. There are always people here & lots of activity. I'd imagine more attention, interaction, and activity than most, so it's not boredom.

Petting:
I did not know about petting below the neck at first, so I was petting his wings and belly him. Now I don't rub anything below his neck.

Fear of toys:
There doesnt seem to be any toy that he's afraid of. He likes loud plastic ones, so we stick to those. He likes destroying things, so we get shreddable toys.

Banned Mirrors:
We have removed all mirrors because he becomes obsessed with looking at himself. I even covered my sliding mirrors in my office because if he gets near a large mirror, he makes out with himself.

Diet:
He has a healthy diet of small hook blends we get at the parrot store. We give him fruits & vegetables. Avoid foods like bananas because I read it's not good for them. No avocados. Healthy with, huge appetite. However, I can tell he picks out dried fruit and leaves many seeds, so he may be taking in too much sugar but I don't know how to stop it.

Sleep:
We put a cover over his cage for 12 hrs; however, due to being a high traffic area, he's not in a quiet area for 12 hrs. The parrot store said thats fine. He just needs the isolation, not quite. He has a triangle tent, but I've likely never seen him use it. Or go near it. I leave it in there if he secretly sleeps in it but he doesnt have any other "huts" or things that promote breeding behavior.

Puberty
I know he's probably in puberty, and this may be the worst part, but I don't think we can handle it for too much longer.

Teaching tricks to use up his energy
I have taught him to come out of his cage to pick him up. I don't violate his space. I never get him from his cage if he doesnt want to come out. He's learned to step up. He's learned kickball - I roll a ball, and he hits it back. I should teach him more tricks, but regardless of how much activity he gets, he still screams shortly after I put him back in his cage.

His background:
We got him from a very reputable parrot store. He was 10 months and was not handled or hand-fed. It took us months to get him not to hide under furniture if he got off the cage—months more to eat treats near us. Months more, learn to step up. He's still very skittish and easily startled. However, at first, we were still learning, so we could have picked things up quicker. Now it's gone in the opposite direction and he's obsessed and clingy.

Cut Wings
We have his wings cut for safety. We let them grow out a few times because he loves flying, and the parrot store is a bit far, but I worry about him flying into windows, kitchens, and even though our dogs have been good, they could still be unpredictable if started. He also goes straight for the house plants which is bad.

Demanding Attention:
I keep him with me in my home office while I work. He has an open gym, but I just bought a cage because after a while, he'll feel like I'm not paying enough attention to him, and he proactive comes and bites my finger. He wants to be near me, so he sits right on my keyboard (which I can't have him do). I put a little perch in front of the keyboard, and sometimes she settles for that, but eventually, he just wants to sit on the keyboard, so I have to put him away. He is so smart and focused on what I'm doing he knows when my office door opens on the second floor, and he starts screaming the moment it sometimes opens even if he heard me stain up from my office chair behind a close the door on a second story. If he's out of his cage and I leave the room, he tries to follow me he goes looking for me. I worry that it's unsafe.

Experience level:
This is our first 'parrot". I used to have cockatiels, and everyone warned us that green cheeks were not for amateurs, but we got him anyway, so I'm doing my best to move to intermediate experience quickly.

So clingy he gets depressed:
When I went out of town for work, my husband thought he was sick. He didn't play, didn't scream, just sat and made a wheezing sound. The vet said as long he was eating normally, it was nothing to worry about. He did this for five days and was fine the moment I got home. He was depressed, and the wheezing was just a weird side effect.

Music:
We've tried playing calming music or a movie when not around. - Does nothing.

Other birds
We don't have any, and I have considered that as a possible solution to help keep him company, but I have read that it's not the answer.

So that's everything. I welcome any feedback.
 

Emeral

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2021
128
269
Parrots
Hanhs Macaw
The Issue:
My green cheek has become extraordinarily clingy & he screams whenever he knows I'm home but out of sight. It's extremely high-pitched & can go on forever. I'm trying so so hard but it's not getting better, so I'm asking for help.
- I know Conures are loud, I'm not expecting him to be quiet, but this feels excessive. Is there anything I can do differently?

I've read many forums that usually start with people asking for more details, so I've included what we have tried and his current situation.

Details:
  • Male- Green cheek conure
  • Acquired 12.21.21
  • Hatch date 02.01.19- 10 months when acquired
  • 20 months old now

Ignoring tantrums versus giving attention:
Part of my problem is I read conflicting feedback. So I'm not positive which advice to follow. There seem to be opinions on how to address screaming; I've read that you should ignore the screaming, leave the room and don't validated or reward the behavior, but others have said if your bird is lonely that ignoring it makes him worse. At first, I would go to him, let him out, give him food, ect. So I probably created the issue by rewarding the screaming. Now I've spent months trying to ignore him, but he's getting worse. He is in the main part of the house, so he can really be ignored.

Cage Environment:
He has a huge cage w/ lots of safe toys that we swap. A large open parrot jungle gym in my home office. Lots of little perches so he can join us in other parts of the house. His cage is in a high-traffic family room where there is lots of activity. He's got a small safe bath in his cage because he loves swimming. His cage is near a large window, so he has lots of things to look at.

Bordom:
We work from home, so he gets lots of attention. There are always people here & lots of activity. I'd imagine more attention, interaction, and activity than most, so it's not boredom.

Petting:
I did not know about petting below the neck at first, so I was petting his wings and belly him. Now I don't rub anything below his neck.

Fear of toys:
There doesnt seem to be any toy that he's afraid of. He likes loud plastic ones, so we stick to those. He likes destroying things, so we get shreddable toys.

Banned Mirrors:
We have removed all mirrors because he becomes obsessed with looking at himself. I even covered my sliding mirrors in my office because if he gets near a large mirror, he makes out with himself.

Diet:
He has a healthy diet of small hook blends we get at the parrot store. We give him fruits & vegetables. Avoid foods like bananas because I read it's not good for them. No avocados. Healthy with, huge appetite. However, I can tell he picks out dried fruit and leaves many seeds, so he may be taking in too much sugar but I don't know how to stop it.

Sleep:
We put a cover over his cage for 12 hrs; however, due to being a high traffic area, he's not in a quiet area for 12 hrs. The parrot store said thats fine. He just needs the isolation, not quite. He has a triangle tent, but I've likely never seen him use it. Or go near it. I leave it in there if he secretly sleeps in it but he doesnt have any other "huts" or things that promote breeding behavior.

Puberty
I know he's probably in puberty, and this may be the worst part, but I don't think we can handle it for too much longer.

Teaching tricks to use up his energy
I have taught him to come out of his cage to pick him up. I don't violate his space. I never get him from his cage if he doesnt want to come out. He's learned to step up. He's learned kickball - I roll a ball, and he hits it back. I should teach him more tricks, but regardless of how much activity he gets, he still screams shortly after I put him back in his cage.

His background:
We got him from a very reputable parrot store. He was 10 months and was not handled or hand-fed. It took us months to get him not to hide under furniture if he got off the cage—months more to eat treats near us. Months more, learn to step up. He's still very skittish and easily startled. However, at first, we were still learning, so we could have picked things up quicker. Now it's gone in the opposite direction and he's obsessed and clingy.

Cut Wings
We have his wings cut for safety. We let them grow out a few times because he loves flying, and the parrot store is a bit far, but I worry about him flying into windows, kitchens, and even though our dogs have been good, they could still be unpredictable if started. He also goes straight for the house plants which is bad.

Demanding Attention:
I keep him with me in my home office while I work. He has an open gym, but I just bought a cage because after a while, he'll feel like I'm not paying enough attention to him, and he proactive comes and bites my finger. He wants to be near me, so he sits right on my keyboard (which I can't have him do). I put a little perch in front of the keyboard, and sometimes she settles for that, but eventually, he just wants to sit on the keyboard, so I have to put him away. He is so smart and focused on what I'm doing he knows when my office door opens on the second floor, and he starts screaming the moment it sometimes opens even if he heard me stain up from my office chair behind a close the door on a second story. If he's out of his cage and I leave the room, he tries to follow me he goes looking for me. I worry that it's unsafe.

Experience level:
This is our first 'parrot". I used to have cockatiels, and everyone warned us that green cheeks were not for amateurs, but we got him anyway, so I'm doing my best to move to intermediate experience quickly.

So clingy he gets depressed:
When I went out of town for work, my husband thought he was sick. He didn't play, didn't scream, just sat and made a wheezing sound. The vet said as long he was eating normally, it was nothing to worry about. He did this for five days and was fine the moment I got home. He was depressed, and the wheezing was just a weird side effect.

Music:
We've tried playing calming music or a movie when not around. - Does nothing.

Other birds
We don't have any, and I have considered that as a possible solution to help keep him company, but I have read that it's not the answer.

So that's everything. I welcome any feedback.
Wow, I think he is one happy bird. Just a little confused, that is all. We will have to guess what he is lound about......

1) it seems he did not know when he can see you so he hope to see you every minute. And since he didn't know when you will be back, he called out to ask.

I read about this and it works with Emerald. She calls when she hears me, I always answer with Yes Yes? And this means I am busy, I am not going in. I
say hi before I enter the room. And
I say wait with a hand gesture when I don't want her to follow me out. Oh, and if we are going out without her, we say, stay home, everytime. We did all this persistently. If she screams, one of us go to see that she is OK, then leave. Never bring her out after she scream. So far, this cure her screaming.

2) he didn't know that he could be loved by every member of the family, so he get depressed when you were away.

Do introduce him to your family and friends, let him observe other people. Have his second cage in another room, let him see your husband about. Once he is comfortable, let your husband gives him treats.

3) birds fly into windows because they can not see whether it is open or close due to the glass.

To prevent accidents, we help her by telling her where the glass windows are.
I put Emerald on my left hand, and bring her face close to the glass while I tap on the surface with my right่hand. She remembered and never flew into a window, opened (by accident) or closed.
We, only had to show her to each and every closed windows in the room, once. I was surprised she remember so well.

Hope this helps
Good luck
 

T00tsyd

Well-known member
May 8, 2017
1,107
189
UK
Parrots
Green cheek conure - Sydney (Syd) Hatched 2/2017
Syd screams as well. We are very bonded and live together just the two of us. Or rather I believe I live with him! :mad: He is ok if I tell him what I am doing. So if I am going to have a shower/get dressed/work in the garden/go shopping etc etc I take great pains to go up to the cage some time before and tell him all about it. He cocks his head and usually says 'ok' after having listened very carefully. As I leave I repeat in exactly the same words what I am doing and give him a treat as I leave. If I'm in earshot I will reply to his initial calls with a whistle just to let him know I am around and doing what I said. When I return I tell him all about where I have been and have a conversation with him but from a distance. He gets so busy listening that he forgets all about screaming and when he is quiet he gets a treat and is then out free.
I am not going to pretend that this happened in minutes or even weeks but it has developed over a long time of total consistency of my reactions to any given behaviour of his. The formula stays the same each time so even if he doesn't understand he recognises it. It has worked. Like you I was driven demented initially but just took a deep breath and decided consistency must work in the end if for no other reason than he was bright. It's like dealing with a toddler, do the same thing every time he throws a tantrum and eventually it comes good.
 

T00tsyd

Well-known member
May 8, 2017
1,107
189
UK
Parrots
Green cheek conure - Sydney (Syd) Hatched 2/2017
I will just add that I didn't wait til he stopped screaming initially. I was only as long as I needed to be. Over time he began to understand that when I left the room I wasn't gone for ever. I do wonder if the fun of always being with us creates a monster. So sometimes he comes with me and sometimes he doesn't. I also try not to get too stuck into a routine so that he is kept guessing and can't dominate the proceedings. Eg Sometimes he goes with me around the house other times he doesn't. Oh by the way you need to carry him around everywhere he can fly and show him the windows. Tap them so he understand what's there and let him feel it with his beak. I did that many times in the beginning and even now if we enter a room he might have forgotten I repeat the process and show him any dangers.
 

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