My bird is afraid of me... Parting ways with my best friend?

Nico is 19 years old. I adopted him when he was 16 from the shelter I volunteered at. He has plucked for years prior to me adopting him. His vet informed me his feathers may never grow back which I’m fine with. As long as he’s a happy boy that’s all that matters. It’s springish so all of my parrots of course are hormonal, and they are molting. It’s like a double whammy for them. Nico is also constantly contact calling. He’s eating like a hog too. My female conure is also at the bottom of her cage right now trying to pull up papers. She’s a little sassy frass when she’s hormonal. Parrot owners have to stick together! We know spring and certain times of the year are rough. It eventually gets better but there are times you just need a deep breath.
Ty So Much For Replying & Letting Me Know He's A Happy Boy! I Wasn't Aware They May Not get Their Feathers back. But Like You Said, If He's a Healthy, Happy Boy Than Not a Big Deal, Just Had No Idea they didn't get them back. If It's Spring-Ish Does He Get Cold? I've Seen where people have their little Sweaters on, It's Cute! But I'm Sure it's More to Keep Their Body Temps Up too. Yes, Paco Seems to Do this Every year, with this Hormonal Thing. Since We've Had Her for So Long, She's Never Had an Egg but We were told She'd Try. Wow. That Was Something to be told that. We Didn't know if She was Missing Having a Mate or What. So True About They Do get Over Certain Things, These Times of the Year! Yes, We Do Need to Stick Together. We have 3 Rescue Pooches too, Had 4 Until Thanksgiving Day in 2022. Lost Our Princess, She'd Been Through So Much & I Swear I Think because We let them Do Surgery On Her it Caused the Growth to "Turn" Into Cancer & then that was the SPREAD. There Was "No Cancer" When They did the "Removal" of the Growth, So They Said. But After The Surgery & Removing Her Teeth, You know, For HER health, She began about a Year later getting sick. They Said it was Pancreatitis, Ugh No. It Was Obviously Cancer then. Long Story, Just Heart Breaking With Every Loss. It's Why I Admitted I Still Miss Stella the Fella Umbrella Cockatoo We Had. Didn't Lose Her to Sickness, Lost Her because I "thought" I Was Doing Right By Her & Since She Only Wanted me, I Was Sick, One of Our Pooches Was Sick & Soon Would be gone too, But It Was Still a Mistake to Rehome Stella & Even though I Tried to Make Sure I Could Get Her Back, They Sold Her. Again, These Poor Birds, Dogs, Cats, All the Animals, they Trust So Much & they're Dependent on Us to Make the Right Decision FOR THEM. They Deserve for that Choice to be What's Best For Them, But, Sometimes WE make a Mistake. They're those However, that Pay for it. Ugh. So, I Am Glad They Sold her, I heard She was Sold for $2000, Hopefully if that's True, They'll have at Least Appreciated Her Since She Wasn't "Given" Away. Ok, Don't Want to be a Downer, Just Wished for So Many Years for A Better Set of "Enforced"...Laws to Protect those Who Cannot Protect Or Fend For Themselves. Children Thankfully Don't Get Dumped, At Least I Hope Not, But Animals Are Always the 1st to Go. Many Stress Out because of All that. So that's why I Asked about Nico. Thank You So Much for Telling Me He's A Happy, Healthy Bird! NICE.
 
Agreed. Got to watch how you give treats. That's how he and I have been training for years now. Right now, he is being a tricky little buzzard in that he grabs the treat and my fingers. He gives it just a little lunge to get my fingers along with the treat. No blood today, but the top layer of skin sliced through. We've been buddies for years and there have been thousands of treats without trouble. But not now. Weird. And he doesn't seem to be crazy hormonal -- this seems more like fear of me. It's hard to describe.

He has been relentlessly calling for me all day from downstairs, asking for everything: "let's have the snacks", "let's take a bath", "watch the doggies", and "watch squirrels". When I enter the room, he "begs" for me to come over, crawls down the outside of the cage to face/shoulder level and immediately scowls, growls, lunges and bites. All within a few milliseconds. WTH? I now have a couple of bites to my face, a few to my shoulder and a few bites to my hands. Nothing requiring stitches, but it's not not pretty.
The best way I can describe Toby’s situation is that he is sort of like a hormonal teenager. He isn’t exactly in control. He is feeling a bunch of new things, and he’s expressing himself. He will truly come out of it but it may take some time. I am not trying to be age bias but it’s the only way I know how to describe the situation.
 
Ty So Much For Replying & Letting Me Know He's A Happy Boy! I Wasn't Aware They May Not get Their Feathers back. But Like You Said, If He's a Healthy, Happy Boy Than Not a Big Deal, Just Had No Idea they didn't get them back. If It's Spring-Ish Does He Get Cold? I've Seen where people have their little Sweaters on, It's Cute! But I'm Sure it's More to Keep Their Body Temps Up too. Yes, Paco Seems to Do this Every year, with this Hormonal Thing. Since We've Had Her for So Long, She's Never Had an Egg but We were told She'd Try. Wow. That Was Something to be told that. We Didn't know if She was Missing Having a Mate or What. So True About They Do get Over Certain Things, These Times of the Year! Yes, We Do Need to Stick Together. We have 3 Rescue Pooches too, Had 4 Until Thanksgiving Day in 2022. Lost Our Princess, She'd Been Through So Much & I Swear I Think because We let them Do Surgery On Her it Caused the Growth to "Turn" Into Cancer & then that was the SPREAD. There Was "No Cancer" When They did the "Removal" of the Growth, So They Said. But After The Surgery & Removing Her Teeth, You know, For HER health, She began about a Year later getting sick. They Said it was Pancreatitis, Ugh No. It Was Obviously Cancer then. Long Story, Just Heart Breaking With Every Loss. It's Why I Admitted I Still Miss Stella the Fella Umbrella Cockatoo We Had. Didn't Lose Her to Sickness, Lost Her because I "thought" I Was Doing Right By Her & Since She Only Wanted me, I Was Sick, One of Our Pooches Was Sick & Soon Would be gone too, But It Was Still a Mistake to Rehome Stella & Even though I Tried to Make Sure I Could Get Her Back, They Sold Her. Again, These Poor Birds, Dogs, Cats, All the Animals, they Trust So Much & they're Dependent on Us to Make the Right Decision FOR THEM. They Deserve for that Choice to be What's Best For Them, But, Sometimes WE make a Mistake. They're those However, that Pay for it. Ugh. So, I Am Glad They Sold her, I heard She was Sold for $2000, Hopefully if that's True, They'll have at Least Appreciated Her Since She Wasn't "Given" Away. Ok, Don't Want to be a Downer, Just Wished for So Many Years for A Better Set of "Enforced"...Laws to Protect those Who Cannot Protect Or Fend For Themselves. Children Thankfully Don't Get Dumped, At Least I Hope Not, But Animals Are Always the 1st to Go. Many Stress Out because of All that. So that's why I Asked about Nico. Thank You So Much for Telling Me He's A Happy, Healthy Bird! NICE.
Sadly pluckers who have been doing it for years, and made the situation habitual won’t get their feathers back. Nico will unfortunately always look this way. He has a collar, sweaters, a heated perch, and a heated snuggle up warmer. I am very careful with him in winter. I am sorry to hear about your umbrella cockatoo. I can’t imagine the guilt with that. Losing pets is never easy. When I lost my shih tzu I was heart broken but I knew he was really ill. He was truly suffering, and he was shaking terribly because he was so scared as he had no hearing or sight left. He had a tumor in his throat that without a doubt had spread. He’d dropped so much weight that he looked like a skeleton. He shivered constantly. I didn’t have a choice but to let him go. It took me awhile to find peace with it. At least you can give @WingDing a different perspective if he chooses to give up his Ekkie as you experienced a great deal of guilt giving up your umbrella. I know with Charlie my sun conure his owner asked for photos of him for awhile after I adopted him. He just texted Charlie on his birthday this year. When I picked him up it was a duplex, and they had Charlie covered. Sun conures scream very very loud, and I can’t exaggerate that enough. It’s a consistent scream too. I already had a Jenday that is just as loud so I didn’t mind. I highly suspect that the previous owner didn’t have a choice but to give up Charlie. He was probably getting noise complaints. It hard because if you purchase a bird from a pet store they aren’t always transparent about how loud some parrots can be. Nextly if you go to YouTube and watch parrot videos it gives people a glimpse of how cute parrots are. It usually doesn’t show how messy, loud, and destructive they can be. It takes so much time, and work to “tame” a parrot. There’s a lack of education with parrots for sure, and both the owners & parrots pay the consequence to that.
 
I’m sorry you feel it’s come to this, I know it’s not been easy. Have you not thought about hiring a trainer? Here in Houston I’m aware of at least two parrot trainers. And of course there’s birdtricks, who offer video consults and in home training.
 
I think you are wise in seeking some consultation. I can tell you that this year, my usually calm ( for an amazon) has been locked into some kind of extended mating season. Humping toys, perches, anything, Jekyll/Hyde behavior out the door. I think Ive been bitten more in this year then all 9 other years combined. Hormone season is usually done by Feb or March at the latest. I blame the wacky weather up here in NY, we barely had a winter, and spring was really early. I;ve been mowing lawns sine mid April! My usual baby spider season (my house has loads of house spiders - I dont mind em) started a few weeks ago, way early. When I am gone even for 1 evening, Salty is a monster the next day, cajoling and treats are the order of the day.

But dont give up on this little guy, he does care for you, thats obvious. Patience young Jedi, this too shall pass, I guarantee it.
 
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Latest developments: No change to Toby's behavior. Toby calls for me constantly, begs me to take him upstairs to my office but he turns into the monster when I get close to his cage.

Now, the good news. I contacted the National Parrot Rescue & Preservation Foundation (NPRPF) and they are going to help us. They were recommended by Pamela Clark when she was working with us last year. They are going to board Toby for a month to get him out of this cycle of behavior and train him. Very importantly, that will give me relief from the constant stress. Then, a behaviorist (not metioning who at this point) will help us in our interractions with Toby. At any point, we can decide to relinquish him. The cost of boarding and training is very reasonable. So, that is the plan.

This will also give us the opportunity to decide if keeping Toby is right for me and my wife. I never chose the job of caring for Toby -- it just landed on me. Now I can make the decision more objectively. My stress level has already subsided.

Please wish us the best!
 
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Latest developments: No change to Toby's behavior. Toby calls for me constantly, begs me to take him upstairs to my office but he turns into the monster when I get close to his cage.

Now, the good news. I contacted the National Parrot Rescue & Preservation Foundation (NPRPF) and they are going to help us. They were recommended by Pamela Clark when she was working with us last year. They are going to board Toby for a month to get him out of this cycle of behavior and train him. Very importantly, that will give me relief from the constant stress. Then, a behaviorist (not metioning who at this point) will help us in our interractions with Toby. At any point, we can decide to relinquish him. The cost of boarding and training is very reasonable. So, that is the plan.

This will also give us the opportunity to decide if keeping Toby is right for me and my wife. I never chose the job of caring for Toby -- it just landed on me. Now I can make the decision more objectively. My stress level has already subsided.

Please wish us the best!
I will hope the best for Toby, you, and your family. I really hope this helps. Ekkie’s are so incredible ❤️❤️❤️

Let us know of the progress he makes, and what you learn.
 
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It's been 1 full week without our 2 birds, Toby and Midori. We only made a small dent in the cleaning and extermination process we need to complete before we bring either of them back into our home. I still have bird mites irritating me so they are still in our home.

I realize now that I was overwhelmed with having 5 pets in our home (2 dogs, 2 parrots and a rabbit). After boarding the birds last week, I had to put down one of our puppy dogs last week due to a neurological issue and heart murmur. What a heartbreak. I named her Daisy when she was a pup because of her sweet demeanor. We all miss her.

So, we are down to only one pet: a healthy but older Chinese Crested Powder Puff. It is freeing to focus our attention on him and he is loving it even though he obviously misses his companion, Daisy.

I'm still working through whether Toby the Eclectus should come back or be adopted out. I need to go visit him and see if we can mend our relationship. "Emotional intelligence" is very important during this time.
 
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It's been 1 full week without our 2 birds, Toby and Midori. We only made a small dent in the cleaning and extermination process we need to complete before we bring either of them back into our home. I still have bird mites irritating me so they are still in our home.

I realize now that I was overwhelmed with having 5 pets in our home (2 dogs, 2 parrots and a rabbit). After boarding the birds last week, I had to put down one of our puppy dogs last week due to a neurological issue and heart murmur. What a heartbreak. I named her Daisy when she was a pup because of her sweet demeanor. We all miss her.

So, we are down to only one pet: a healthy but older Chinese Crested Powder Puff. It is freeing to focus our attention on him and he is loving it even though he obviously misses his companion, Daisy.

I'm still working through whether Toby the Eclectus should come back or be adopted out. I need to go visit him and see if we can mend our relationship. "Emotional intelligence" is very important during this time.
I’m very sorry to hear about Daisy. It’s heartbreaking losing a family member. When we put down our Shih Tzu last year it really changed our German Shepherd. They had been together over 10 years. It takes time to heal. Be kind to yourself.

Hopefully your visit with Toby goes well. I will forewarn you. If you are emotional at all Toby may be able to pick up on it. All of my parrots are emotion toppers (kind of like story toppers). If I’m sad, mad, excited, or whatever emotion I am feeling they are going to be even more extreme with their emotions. I try to remain calm whenever I interact with them.
 

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