Help with lovebird's behaviour


New member
Apr 12, 2023
Tuna (lovebird)
Hello everyone,
I am caring for a lovebird that I've named tuna. I say "caring for" considering this little guy flew onto a friend's head as they were walking home and has refused to leave my house since.
I have no idea where it could have come from, perhaps it escaped from his previous home or a pet store? Either way, I haven't found any matching lost an found posters and I've kept it in my house for about 2-3 months now.
I've never cared for birds before, but I've got the main basics down, I'd like to think.
It has a very energetic character. It started off landing on my head sometimes, but now it simply cannot leave me alone like an attention seeking toddler, it loves looking at me and asking me for kisses and mimicking the noise back to me.
But I notice that it's still very much apprehensive about me touching it with my hand, and I can only really give it air kisses a few centimetres away from it's face after it bit my lip on one occasion. It also has this tendency to bite me pretty hard out of the blue, though it does start off as little beak nibbles. I'd also like to encourage it to poop somewhere specific or at least not on me...
As I've stated before, I don't really know how to approach this! It's such a cute little thing, but I'd like some guidance as to how I should deal with it's behaviour.. if health is a concern I've taken him to the vet before and they said that it's a completely healthy bird, but I still don't know it's sex.
Many thanks in advance,
Biting, whether intentional or not, just over preening your skin or actually taking chunks of meat out - all are PAINFULL! In the wild that sort of behavior is not tolerated by the flock. They ostracize flock members who continue to act like that. We call it 'Shunning'. This WILL work, but needs to be done correctly to get the message across and it needs to be done IMMEDIATELY so the parrot can associate the bite with the shunning action. And it needs to happen every time and with anyone involved with the parrot.

When the bite or over preening occurs:
  • Say in a forceful but not shouting voice "No Bite" or other endearments.
  • Immediately place the parrot on a nearby, handy chairback. NOT the cage (that would only teach the parrot to bite when he wants to go back to his cage).
  • Turn your back to him and ignore him for 1 minute. No peeking, no talking about or too him, NADA. NO eye contact. No less or the message is lost, no more or the bird will not associate the action with the bite.
  • After a minute you can try to re-establish contact.
Rinse, repeat as needed. Most parrots get the message after a few times, some may need more. Also very important - make sure the bite is not your fault. Annoying your parrot, asking him to step up when he is otherwise preoccupied with eating or playing, bothering him during known moody times like mating season, or ignoring the warnings and body language of your parrot - these are bites that you deserve! Learn, and be a better parront !!

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