My baby has turned aggressive

Melissa67

New member
Oct 16, 2023
3
5
Parrots
Hi I’m also after a southern mealy,did anyone end up finding them in Australia
Hi, I have a three month old female double yellow Amazon parrots I’ve had her for three weeks now. She has been really good sits on my lap and plays with her toys but has turned very bitty and aggressive and I don’t know why how do I solve this? She was out of her cage All the time, but it’s got that way I have had to put it because of biting and lunging at me, please help
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
17,687
10,139
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
It is likely something that you are doing or not doing as just becoming bitty is not that common especially for a 'very' young Amazon. Lunging clearly states you are missing something.

It is likely that your baby wants /needs to be formula feed as your Amazon was sold to you at a very young age. Separation at such a young age commonly results in some level of regression and returning to feeding formula is common.

For a three month old Amazon, it is likely you are in the Southern Hemisphere as chicks in the Northern Hemisphere are near eight months old now. So which Hemisphere are you in?

You understand that you have chosen one of the "Big Hot Three" Amazons and that your relationship with your Double Yellow-Head has to strong and deep because this group of Amazons can be true lovers, but also have serious personality changes during Hormonal Season. You are five years from that starting. So, understand you need to start now to well establish your relationship.

You really need to upgrade your Amazon Knowledge and I strongly recommend you read the entire Amazon Forum!!
 
Last edited:

cep55

New member
Aug 11, 2023
4
2
Parrots
Emmylou, BFA
Hi Melissa,

I'm not nearly as experienced as most of the folks here, but I can tell you that my BFA started doing exactly the same thing at about 4.5 months. I know everyone says it's something you're doing or not doing, but for the life of me I couldn't figure out anything that had changed. (She was still actively coming to me, and initiating contact, so the 'you're making your bird do something they don't want to do, you're not reading their body language' bit didn't seem to apply.)

I tried everything advised here (and these are the right things to do):
- Watch for eye-pinning or any signs of overexcitement, and let the bird calm down before you try to interact. (It's important to try to remove or minimize the opportunity/likelihood of the bird biting you in the first place—each time they do it is kind of its own reinforcement, it's way better to avoid it altogether.)
- Try not to yelp/scream/react when they bite you (this was hard because she was biting extremely hard, often drawing blood)
- Try to immediately walk away/put the bird down. (Good advice, but easier said than done—sometimes she was literally not letting go, and other times if I put her down she'd fly after me.)
- I also tried saying 'no' firmly but calmly, which some people advise and others say won't work. I can say that she definitely understands 'no' now. (These birds are smarter than a 2-year-old human, so I think it makes sense that they can learn 'no,' especially if it's accompanied by a consequence—like you removing your attention, for example, if that's what they want.)

I got her a couple of foraging toys that hold food, too, and she especially loves one that is a big plastic rotating container with small holes that she can interact with to get nuts (like pine nuts in the shell), pellets, and dried fruit out of). She has to work for it, and I think the stimulation and exertion are helpful.

I also started making sure she got a full 12 Hours of sleep. (She had been getting 10-11), and I started leaving her in her cage more during the day. (I was nearby, and would talk with her, but didn't let her out nearly as much.) Previously she'd been out most of the day. I found that she was typically a little less bitey in the evening, close to bedtime, and more cuddly—it was more likely to be a positive interaction, so that's mainly when I took her out to spend a little time.

Basically, less direct interaction, as long as it was mostly positive, proved to be helpful.

After about 2-3 weeks of doing all of the above, she stopped biting hard/actively coming after me. She became once again the sweet bird she was before. She still beaks me a little, but now it's just normal bird behavior—they are going to bite some, but hopefully not too hard/often. She definitely seemed to learn bite inhibition, as far as force. And now she'd not biting all the time for no apparent reason like she was—so it's easy to read when to leave her alone to avoid a bite, so that advice does work now.

Don't lose heart, just be patient and mindful, and I'm sure you two will get past this. (I was very sad/discouraged at first, but we're all good now. It was probably good practice for puberty, where I'll likely be dealing with this again, if not before!)

One other thing I've started to notice, even though she's not biting very often and definitely not very hard now, is that she seems to do much better if I pet her with the hand on the same side as the wrist she's sitting on. She almost never bites at all when I do that. But she sometimes does get a little more bitey when I pet her with the other hand (even if I'm not reaching toward her quickly, or from above, or anything else that could be threatening). Just a weird new observation I've made lately, wanted to mention it.
 
Last edited:

jessem101

Active member
Jun 9, 2021
48
103
I have owned my DYHA for 4 years and some change...this species of parrot is not like most of the others. Their intelligence levels are through the roof, so training is a must before you end up in the hospital later on, as others have already mentioned their hormones, they turn into dr Jekyll and mr hide lol

I trained my amazon with positive reinforcement. know your birds diet and get your bird on a legit schedule. prevent petting your amazon under their wings or on the back, as that will induce hormonal behavior. scratching on the head or beak, under the neck is preferred. also try not to place your amazon on higher ground, i.e. constantly on your shoulder. I have seen so many attacks on owners and they dont know why their amazon went on kill mode. I was fortunate enough to have a vet that went to the Amazonian regions and worked with all sorts of wild Amazons. he teaches me how to hold the amazon for vet care, taught me the signs when to approach and not approach my amazon..he also mentioned how you want your amazon to be self sufficient, for the birds safety and your own.

today my DYHA is like my best friend. The dude will hang out on his perch next to me and the fam on my couch, on my deck, when we go camping, hang out, travel..hes honestly been awesome and very healthy. I did what the vet told me to do (which is extensive) and we are constantly training. like I said earlier, their intelligence level is like no other, beyond what any dog or cat can do...he literally wants to communicate. we got to the point where he wants me to finish his commands at times. like he learned how to do the sexy whistle, now he will do the first part and wants me to do the second part of it and completely geeks out.

I do my best to introduce him to just about anything...and I never punish him. I also dont encourage any negative behavior (as others have mentioned when they do, put them down, walk away, dont react or do something to where he or she will think this is a behavior they can trigger to get you to do something they want).

since they are very intelligent and they are major foodies (yes they love food so their diet and weight management is very important) you can use treats to your advantage. when I want to re-direct his behavior, I use one of his fav treats...and after 2 times, he knew instantly what he needed to do to get it. and if you induce clicker training along with it, trust me he/she will pick it up quick. its unreal honestly.

Dont be afraid to get help, and find a vet that is experienced with these species..as it helped me a TON. There are trainers out there that can help you as well. Best of luck to you, and your life long commitment to this parrot...as this species can live up to 90 years of age in captivity. my boy will out live me, so it's important to try and make sure he or she is not a one person bird.

hope this info helps, and congrats on your new amazon, they are AWESOME!

side note: just to describe how intelligent they are..I recently had a close relative pass away, he knew instantly I was emotionally torn...my boy cuddled and did not want to leave me alone...and he's usually self sufficient and don't care to snuggle or give kisses...it was very emotional...he knew exactly what was going on. This species specifically is amazing. it's hard to explain at times.
 
Last edited:
OP
M

Melissa67

New member
Oct 16, 2023
3
5
Parrots
Hi I’m also after a southern mealy,did anyone end up finding them in Australia
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
Hi Melissa,

I'm not nearly as experienced as most of the folks here, but I can tell you that my BFA started doing exactly the same thing at about 4.5 months. I know everyone says it's something you're doing or not doing, but for the life of me I couldn't figure out anything that had changed. (She was still actively coming to me, and initiating contact, so the 'you're making your bird do something they don't want to do, you're not reading their body language' bit didn't seem to apply.)

I tried everything advised here (and these are the right things to do):
- Watch for eye-pinning or any signs of overexcitement, and let the bird calm down before you try to interact. (It's important to try to remove or minimize the opportunity/likelihood of the bird biting you in the first place—each time they do it is kind of its own reinforcement, it's way better to avoid it altogether.)
- Try not to yelp/scream/react when they bite you (this was hard because she was biting extremely hard, often drawing blood)
- Try to immediately walk away/put the bird down. (Good advice, but easier said than done—sometimes she was literally not letting go, and other times if I put her down she'd fly after me.)
- I also tried saying 'no' firmly but calmly, which some people advise and others say won't work. I can say that she definitely understands 'no' now. (These birds are smarter than a 2-year-old human, so I think it makes sense that they can learn 'no,' especially if it's accompanied by a consequence—like you removing their attention, for example, if that's what they want.)

I got her a couple of foraging toys that hold food, too, and she especially loves one that is a big plastic rotating container with small holes that she can interact with to get nuts (like pine nuts in the shell), pellets, and dried fruit out of). She has to work for it, and I think the stimulation and exertion are helpful.

I also started making sure she got a full 12 Hours of sleep. (She had been getting 10-11), and I started leaving her in her cage more during the day. (I was nearby, and would talk with her, but didn't let her out nearly as much.) Previously she'd been out most of the day. I found that she was typically a little less bitey in the evening, close to bedtime, and more cuddly—it was more likely to be a positive interaction, so that's mainly when I took her out to spend a little time.

Basically, less direct interaction, as long as it was mostly positive, proved to be helpful.

After about 2-3 weeks of doing all of the above, she stopped biting hard/actively coming after me. She became once again the sweet bird she was before. She still beaks me a little, but now it's just normal bird behavior—they are going to bite some, but hopefully not too hard/often. She definitely seemed to learn bite inhibition, as far as force. And now she'd not biting all the time for no apparent reason like she was—so it's easy to read when to leave her alone to avoid a bite, so that advice does work now.

Don't lose heart, just be patient and mindful, and I'm sure you two will get past this. (I was very sad/discouraged at first, but we're all good now. It was probably good practice for puberty, where I'll likely be dealing with this again, if not before!)

One other thing I've started to notice, even though she's not biting very often and definitely not very hard now, is that she seems to do much better if I pet her with the hand on the same side as the wrist she's sitting on. She almost never bites at all when I do that. But she sometimes does get a little more bitey when I pet her with the other hand (even if I'm not reaching toward her quickly, or from above, or anything else that could be threatening). Just a weird new observation I've made lately, wanted to mention it.
Thankyou so much, for your great advice, I will give it a try
 

wrench13

Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Nov 22, 2015
11,554
Media
14
Albums
2
12,842
Isle of Long, NY
Parrots
Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
Welcome! You have gotten some really great advice from some very experienced members here. Read that info at the top of the Amazon forum page, read it several times! Read it TO you DHY, thye love being read to. You need to learn your bird, and quickly too. Now is the formative tiime for your parrot and good and bad habits are being forged. On biting:

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 !!
 

Most Reactions

Latest posts

Top