Howdy from Texas

WingDing

Member
Nov 13, 2017
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Texas
Parrots
Eclectus (Red Sided)
Nanday Conure
Well, I've been a member here for 4 years but just made my first post this week.

My wife and I have a 3yo red-sided eclectus named Toby and my college-age son has a 5yo Nanday conure named Midori.

The Nanday is an absolute clown, perfect for my son. They are meant for each other. The conure loves my wife and begs for scritches from her. He is also my buddy and I can handle him without issue. He can be obnoxiously loud at certain times of the day or when something is going on in the house, but we do our best to work around it. Our challenge with him is to get him to eat veggies. He loves his Harrisons and Roudybush pellets.

My wife spent years researching parrots and decided that she wanted a male eclectus. Enter Toby The Eclectus. He and my wife were peas in a pod during the first year until an incident happened and he decided in that moment that her hands were evil. After a couple of hard bites, my wife became fearful of handling him. I had to step in, figure out how to become friends with him and become his caretaker. He is now my buddy and he spends his days with me as I've worked from home during covid. He is pretty much all business -- no cuddles, no scritches, no hands allowed at all. He does seem to like kisses on the beak from me, but my wife is too afraid of that darned beak to try that. He resists training and is aggressive if treats are involved. He also is aggressive about his cage and play stand. I've learned to work around it. Hormones are trouble, trouble, trouble. They come at least twice a year and our world is turned upside down.

So, the eclectus is a real handful, but I think I'm providing a good diet and decent stimulation through toys and such. I enjoy his company and the joy of taking care of him. At some point, I think we could benefit from a professional behaviorist to help us work through the training and aggression issues.

The forum has been a great resource and I especially enjoy the participation from other electus owners.
Blessings everybody!
 
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saxguy64

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Welcome, after all this time :)

Honestly, sounds like pretty typical ekkie behavior. They're more known for being observers, and many of them just don't want to be handled. I'm so blessed that mine is really the exception to the rule, kind of. Tucker is a red sided also. He doesn't mind being handled, and snuggles up against my face, demands kisses almost all the time. Skritches, not as much. He likes his head petted, when he wants it, but in the land of ekkies, always front to back. They pretty uniformly hate messing up "the doo."

Even though they're not usually snuggly, hands on type of birds, they still bond very strongly. They're amazingly intuitive, more so than any other birds I've had. Mine have always preferred to sit facing me whenever possible. That way they can study your face. They really see YOU. Who you are, not just what people see on the outside.

Looking forward to stories of yours. What's his name, BTW? And of course, pictures if you'd like to share. We love pictures here, and I'm a sucker for a beautiful ekkie face :)
 

Laurasea

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glad you took the leap and posted!

Things can happen to make bird fear hands, has happened to me. Lots of hand feeding treats and I bribes my way back to their good graces.

You and wife might try a little target training , keep sessions short 5 reps , then a 20 min or longer break and do some more. Lots of praise when they get it right. Also do foraging together as an activity, start super easy, over time they enjoy working harder to get that treat. Bird tricks on YouTube has some great foraging videos, I just d t watch the free ones.
 

chris-md

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Feb 6, 2010
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Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
Welcome from Houston! Glad you made the leap.

The whims of the birds are boundless. Absolutely one day your in, the next day, you’re OUT.

Fyi you can absolutely repair the relationship between the bird and your wife, if you’re willing to put in the work. At 3, I would expect it could happen fairly quickly,. No real behaviorist is necessary, in all honesty. 100% agree with above, start with clicker training to establish a common language - target training etc. you can use this all to help improve communication and heal old rifts.
 
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WingDing

WingDing

Member
Nov 13, 2017
21
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Texas
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Eclectus (Red Sided)
Nanday Conure
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  • #5
Welcome, after all this time :)

Honestly, sounds like pretty typical ekkie behavior. They're more known for being observers, and many of them just don't want to be handled. I'm so blessed that mine is really the exception to the rule, kind of. Tucker is a red sided also. He doesn't mind being handled, and snuggles up against my face, demands kisses almost all the time. Skritches, not as much. He likes his head petted, when he wants it, but in the land of ekkies, always front to back. They pretty uniformly hate messing up "the doo."

Even though they're not usually snuggly, hands on type of birds, they still bond very strongly. They're amazingly intuitive, more so than any other birds I've had. Mine have always preferred to sit facing me whenever possible. That way they can study your face. They really see YOU. Who you are, not just what people see on the outside.

Looking forward to stories of yours. What's his name, BTW? And of course, pictures if you'd like to share. We love pictures here, and I'm a sucker for a beautiful ekkie face :)

Thanks for the response. I edited my post above with our bird's names: the eclectus is Toby and the Nanday is Midori.

Actually, Toby does like face to face contact, although if it goes on for more than a 30 seconds or so he gets the wrong idea and jump on my should and "put the moves" on me. His sex drive is 24/7 even when he isn't hormonal.

You're right about these birds' intuition and the way they study you. I've got eyes (ok, one of them) on the back of my head all day. He makes cute little baby noises to get my attention many times in the day. Toby's vocabulary is pretty amazing. I couldn't say the number of words, phrases and whistle tunes he has in his repertoire. I've always talked to him in falsetto so he wouldn't sound like an old man. We trade whistle phrases back and forth across the house. He knows the sound of my car driving up in the driveway and starts whistling for me before I make it into the house. That's all fine and dandy, but as soon as my wife comes in the room, I am nothing. I dare not stand in the way of him being able to see her.

Well, it has happened again. Get me talking about the bird and I go on and on. My wife has to hear a daily Toby-report when she gets home.

BTW, Jon, I am a lifelong sax player. I suspect you are as well due to your screen name. I am mediocre -- just good enough to have had people pay me to play and I've never had an audience throw things at me. Nowadays I stick to playing along with my own recorded piano accompaniment and have a pretty well-outfitted repair shop for restoring vintage woodwinds.
 
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saxguy64

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Baxter the YNA
Patches the Grand Eclectus, my best friend. RIP
Cuckoo the BFA RIP
Well how cool is that!? Yeah, I still play, but of course covid killed pretty much all the gigs around here unless you're a solo act, or maybe a duo. Starting to pick up a little, but still dismal. I'm an old Berklee grad. I also worked doing repairs. Woodwinds and brass, 16 years full time in a shop. I miss that a lot. We got bought out and then a few years later they closed us down. I didn't particularly see eye to eye with the other repair guys at the other locations- I had standards. I didn't own the tools, so it pretty much hung me out to dry when they closed.

Anyway, no worries when it comes to talking about the birds. That's what we do here :)
 

foxgloveparrot

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Aug 30, 2021
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Hello there! Thanks for posting after 4 years! I look forward to seeing you around the forum!
 
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WingDing

WingDing

Member
Nov 13, 2017
21
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Texas
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Eclectus (Red Sided)
Nanday Conure
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  • #8
You and wife might try a little target training , keep sessions short 5 reps , then a 20 min or longer break and do some more. Lots of praise when they get it right. Also do foraging together as an activity, start super easy, over time they enjoy working harder to get that treat. Bird tricks on YouTube has some great foraging videos, I just d t watch the free ones.
Fyi you can absolutely repair the relationship between the bird and your wife, if you’re willing to put in the work. At 3, I would expect it could happen fairly quickly,. No real behaviorist is necessary, in all honesty. 100% agree with above, start with clicker training to establish a common language - target training etc. you can use this all to help improve communication and heal old rifts.

Thanks for the encouragement. We are kind of burned out with attempts at training and need to start fresh. He trained well his first couple of years but started becoming aggressive whenever a pointer or treat was involved. I can pick up anything that resembles a pointer and his eyes pin from across the room. He is like "get that stick out here or I'll chew it to shreds" and "just give me the darned treat or I will end you" :)
 

kme3388

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Sep 17, 2021
145
245
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Jenday Conure, Eclectus parrot
I'm sorry to hear about your ekkie. I will say I do not give Nico my ekkie any sort of nut. They make him very aggressive. The only time I've ever seen him not try to regurgitate something is after eating a nut. He will not be sharing almonds, or cashews his favorite nuts. For treats I give him oven baked cookies for now. I contacted caitec, and they sent me a free sample of some of their products. Then I purchased a few things after. I contacted harrison's as well. They sent some free samples too. We are doing the birdie bread right now as we speak as treats. These companies sent pamphlets that were very educational along with their samples (yes I'm a nerd).
 
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WingDing

WingDing

Member
Nov 13, 2017
21
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41
Texas
Parrots
Eclectus (Red Sided)
Nanday Conure
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@kme3388 Thanks for the info. I had no idea that these companies would generous like that. I've always been interested in trying baked birdie treats. It would be a good way of getting my wife involved in Toby's affairs again.

My favorite training treat to give Toby is uncooked lentil pasta crushed into small pieces. He loves them. There's a lot less fat in those than nuts and seeds. He has access to water during training no matter what the treats are.

The good news is that Toby and I experienced some good training interactions today after several months of aborted attempts. With much tenacity, I was able to get Toby to touch the target stick without crushing it and accept a treat without bobbing his head and threatening me. If he acted up, I backed off and treat time was over for a while. Then I came back in 5 minutes and went at it again, and again and again. He finally gave in to the fact that if he wanted another treat, he had to touch the stick nicely and accept the treat nicely.

So, we'll see how it goes tomorrow. I expect he will need to warm up to the idea again, but at least we're off on the right foot.
 
Last edited:

chris-md

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2010
4,073
597
Maryland - USA
Parrots
Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
I know first hand how frustrating it can be. Keep it up, and lean on us if you feel you need some guidance on your training. We’re here to help! Many of us have been there.
 

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