Choufie

New member
Apr 5, 2022
6
11
Houston, TX
Parrots
The flock:
• pallid quaker “Chouchou” born 2021
• opaline quaker “Fifi” born 2018
My video of Fifi getting scritches:

I have a rescue quaker parrot, Fifi, who only lets me pet/give her scritches on the top of her beak. Her beak was injured and is currently growing back, so I’m sure it’s an extra sensitive area to touch— especially considering how sensitive the upper beak is for parrots in general. (I have a post on my profile about Fifi for the story on her story & beak injury)
On the special occasion, Fifi will let me give her a few scritches on the feathers near her beak (the “cheek area”). When I adopted her in December of last year, she got frightened whenever anyone (invluding myself) entered the room and would go and hide in a corner of her cage. She’s comfortable sitting on my shoulder or head for a few minutes now, and actually loves giving kisses from the perches on the outside of her cage.
However, Fifi doesn’t let me (or anyone) touch her anywhere but on her beak unless I’m picking her up or transporting her between cages in different rooms in the house. She’ll put her beak around my fingers if I try and touch anywhere else on her head (& body) but she is extremely gentle when she does this. She isn’t biting when she rejects being touched anywhere else, it’s as if she’s politely pushing my finger away. She also does this while I’m giving her scritches on her beak, but she always pushes my finger to right near her upper beak regardless of where I had the finger near her body/head originally,
I’ve noticed that Fifi has a few behaviors that are standard quaker parrot habits she doesn’t perform (i.e. Fifi never quakes, doesn’t enjoy foraging, doesn’t like to try eating new foods). But this is one of the behaviors I haven’t seen my other quaker parrot do or seen other people post specifically about on forums/sns, so I wanted to ask and see if anyone recognizes/understands Fifi’s behavior in this video.
I’ve heard that the beak can definitely be an erotic-touch zone/arousal zone, so I’m a bit worried I’m giving Fifi mixed signals by touching her beak. But, I don’t get any signs of her becoming sexually aroused/stimulated by getting scritches on her beak.

So, main questions are:
Is it safe/healthy/acceptable to give her scritches on her beak? Also, does it seem as if she’s enjoying the scritches in the video I’ve attached?
 
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WingDing

Active member
Nov 13, 2017
66
Media
1
185
Texas
Parrots
Eclectus (Red Sided)
Nanday Conure
Fifi is adorable! My 2-cents is that you should not allow her to nibble on your finger. You should be communicating that it isn't acceptable for her beak to be around your fingers. Nope -- never.

I think that brief beak-touches are ok. That's how birds do a lot of their 1-to-1 communication, but prolonged touching anywhere gives the wrong message and may cause an "undesirable heightened state".
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
2,298
4,360
Check out “I wanna hold your beak” thread in the Quaker forum for a discussion of beak snuggling.

My Quakers have always liked having their beak rubbed. Of course, they can be in a bad mood and push away or nip your hand. But I think the beak and head are casual places to touch.

Willow will reach out and tap or grab my finger if I am not petting him enough. Sometimes I have to hold him with one hand and rub the beak with the other.
 

cnyguy

Active member
Apr 23, 2010
951
249
Syracuse, NY
Parrots
Quaker parrot, Ralph; CAG, Scooter
Ralph enjoys beak rubs and there's never been any problem with it. If he isn't in the mood for a beak rub or has had enough, he'll just turn his head away.
 

ifnlovebirds

Member
May 23, 2022
27
52
Parrots
Eclectus, conure, and cockatiel :)
Fifi is adorable! My 2-cents is that you should not allow her to nibble on your finger. You should be communicating that it isn't acceptable for her beak to be around your fingers. Nope -- never.

I think that brief beak-touches are ok. That's how birds do a lot of their 1-to-1 communication, but prolonged touching anywhere gives the wrong message and may cause an "undesirable heightened state".
How would you recommend discouraging finger nibbling? My eclectus likes nibbling on my fingers (gently) but it’s because he is interested in picking my finger nails which I dislike, but sometimes I just let him do it because I have acrylics and it doesn’t hurt. But I am afraid he will do that to someone else. How would you recommend keeping him off my fingers?
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
2,298
4,360
Willow also grabs my fingertip if I’m not doing the beak rubs correctly or if I stop and he feels I should resume.

I’m glad Fifi is comfortable with you touching her beak. My Willow was pretty nervous about touches two years ago but now he cuddles up to my hand or my cheek and sort of gives me bird hugs!

I have noticed that if he’s anxious and needs to “go” he may give me a light nip. But he is quite gentle.
 
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texsize

Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Oct 23, 2015
3,018
Media
2
2,005
so-cal
Parrots
1 YNA (Bingo)
1 OWA (Plumas R.I.P.)
1 RLA (Pacho R.I.P.)
2 GCA(Luna,Merlin) The Twins
1 Congo AG (Bella)
5 Cockatiels
Young birds should be discouraged from nibbling fingers lest they develop the habit and start biting hard.

one of my birds (Luna) and I have developed a ritual….touching I guess. She is not really a tame bird more like a wild caught but she does like me in her own way.
When I extend my index finger to her when she is in the cage She gives me the gentlest of bites. So gentle I can barely feel it. If my Son try’s it the results are….different.
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
12,496
10,318
USA
Parrots
Full house
Awww
I see nothing wrong. My enjoy nibble preening my fingers when I'm petting them. They understand bite pressure and are careful. If the pressure increases to not gently I remind them be careful and they are or I move them off me and say be nice.

Adult quakers generally do not quake that's a baby thing. I only have one that does a lot of bobbing when excited. She just loves my mom when she visits and really bobs to her begging her to pet her, unfortunately my mom is pretty terrified of birds so silly. So.she just like to talk to her and look at her.

I kiss love on and am able to rub beaks faces and back of necks, and they love me to gentle stroke over their eyes.

You could try cradling her on your chest. And stroke both sides if her beak and see if you can slowly go over face from there.

On beak. Sometimes a veterinarian will need to grind back every so slightly lower beak until upper beak grows back. As they grind lower beak against upper beak to keep it in shape and she is unable to this right now possibly.

Your relationship will continue to grow and deepen over time . Do what makes you both happy.

Share a salad together. Try steam and minced veggies. Offer on shallow serving dishes try outside if cage. Eat some with her. Hand her stuff to try. But don't chase her with food, offer if she takes fine if not set down near her let her decide. The more things they start trying the better they get at try stuff
 

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