New GCC attacking hands

GCCinYYJ

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Hello,
We are new bird owners and adopted a 1.5 year old green cheeked conure 5 days ago. The first day she seemed fine with our hands but on the second day I threw a hand towel over her and picked her up when she started violently attacking my bare foot. Since then when she sees our hands she will usually try to bite them. We have been letting her out of her cage to hang out and she flies to our shoulder and gently nibbles on our ears and hair and she will sometimes gently take treats from our hands but other times lunges and bites our fingers.
I’ve read not to react and pull away which we have been trying to do and if she is on my hand or arm when she does it we drop our hand or blow on her face which seems to interrupt the behaviour about half the time.
We really are at a loss of how to handle this, there is so much mixed information online and we don’t know where to start!
My assumption is that as we build a bond and she trusts us more this will stop but it makes having her out challenging as we have to be extra cautious about how we interact with her. She will step up on our arms and we have figured out how to calmly get her back in the cage. Do we just give it time? I’ve been covering my hands with my sleeves and letting her bite and not reacting hoping she will learn that it isn’t productive.
Thanks in advance!
 

Ira7

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You toweled her?

You lost 3 months of her trust, at least. You have a long hill to climb to win that trust back.

You NEVER towel a bird. You made a huge mistake.

Did you spend any time here before getting the bird to learn how to handle the bird?
 

noodles123

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You are going about this WAY wrong, but I'm glad you are here.
1. NEVER force a bird to do anything unless it is life or death (or essential medically).
2. Never try to touch a bird that is clearly showing signs of hesitation/stress/fear
3. 5 days is far too little to expect to have earned trust.
4. Day 1, your bird was probably so scared of its new home that your hands seemed safer than its surroundings, but that doesn't mean that you have a pass to just touch whenever without establishing a relationship.

5. If anyone tells you to shake your bird or "earthquake" or towel him, or spin him to force compliance RUN (don't walk) in the opposite direction. Birds do not need to be taught who is "dominant" they don't work that way. They don't have "alphas" etc...and your bird is biting you as a last resort because you (accidentally) disregardful its wishes and forced it into doing something you wanted, rather than thinking about how complex and terrified your parrot was (we've likely all done something like this at some point, but learning from here on out is what matters). Never EVER towel a bird for the heck of it, NEVER punish, never spray with water as a punishment and NEVVVVER cover the cage to stop screaming or as punishment---these things are bad news.
If you try to force a bird to submit, it WILL backfire.

I'll try to post some more, but I cannot emphasize how much you need to research because toweling a bird to hold it for fun breaks a cardinal rule. When you put yourself in a position where the bird feels forced to bite (as you have, repeatedly) you not only destroy trust, but you also make it much more likely that they will keep biting because they will associate you with dear/anger/stress and they will also get BETTER at biting. You want them to have as few opportunities to bite as possible, which means learning their signals and respecting those/moving at their pace--not forcing the issue. If you think a bird will bite, you shouldn't be trying to pick it up...period.There are ways to allow a hands-off bird out etc without ruining their trust in you.


You need to build trust and make yourself as positive/low stress as possible. You burned a big bridge when you toweled the bird and didn't respect it's fear/forced the issue. You can build it back up, but these guys move in SLOW MOTION. They are wild animals and not domesticated like dogs and cats-- plus, they are much smarter. You have to treat this with some more reverence-- this isn't like the other "pets" most people have. You truly have to learn their body language and establish trust.


Please do a lot more research on parrots and their behavior etc and again, SLOW down. This forum is an invaluable resource, so please stick around and read the threads etc. You will get a ton of good info


Since you sound extremely new to this, I am posting a link to a thread that contains really important info about health etc that they do not normally discuss on general pet websites or at pet stores. Please read it all and read for detail. I will post another on building trust etc. Here is the link-- please see my reply to the OP (2nd post down) http://www.parrotforums.com/conures/88384-new-bird-owner.html <--there you go (seriously, you should read it)


Here is another link on building trust http://www.parrotforums.com/general-parrot-information/49144-tips-bonding-building-trust.html
read this as well^


Read this whole thread (including comments etc) http://www.parrotforums.com/conures/88156-i-need-advice.html


Also, see my replies on this thread to OP - http://www.parrotforums.com/conures/88282-please-help.html
 
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GCCinYYJ

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Yeah I knew as soon as I did it that it was a mistake. She was biting my foot so hard she drew blood and it happened so suddenly I panicked and didn’t know what else to do.
I did months of reading and watching bird behaviour videos on YouTube before we got her but found all the contradictory advice to be very confusing. I have come across a few threads here in my research. I have a background in vet med in a mixed animal practice that treated birds and my experience handling and restraining them for procedures was always with towels but I recognize how it doesn’t translate to the home environment.

So now what? I 100% acknowledge that I don’t know what I’m doing and that what I did damaged her trust. I also fully recognize that 5 days is early in the game and that this is going to take lots of time and effort to get under control.

She seems to really want to come out and interact. She is always at the front of the cage and calls when we leave the room (I have read about how to handle this and we are careful not to reinforce it by waiting until she is calm and then talking to her). When we let her out she wants to be on us constantly and seems to really enjoy being on our shoulder, doesn’t seem comfortable being on a perch or play stand nearby just on us. Should I continue to allow this? How to I show her hands are good and that she can trust us? She reacts really aggressively when she sees them which I assume is a fear based response but if I’m going to have her out and around my hands are going to be in the mix. I’m trying not to get stressed or pull away when she bites but it hurts!!!
 

Laurasea

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Hello! Welcome to the forum, and congratulations on your GCC!

Yes the towel probably lost you trust. Its ok you can earn it back. I've had things happen even after 7 years with my GCC that caused a fear of hands. Its do easy for birds to develop a fear of hands.

For me going slow, talking abd explains, and feeding a seed treat ir other treat lots and lots of times daily will help. One behavior expert even says aim fir 50 times a day! Lol she must be talking larger birds. But I do feed a ton when winning back trust. Even just a hello abd give a treat and walk away.

Here is a link that covers lots of behavior,
https://lafeber.com/pet-birds/bird-behavior/

This one is also so great, covers lots of stuff. I din5 use clickers cus I just say good birdie, but well worth your time to read
https://lafeber.com/pet-birds/stress-reduction-for-parrot-companions/

Oh yes GCC bites hurt! No magic takes place in the cage, so have her out as much as possible. And a new home and that she is seeking and need comfort from you is a great sign.
Try holding fingers bent under. Only touch head and side of beak. Don't point finger or move finger towards chest are thst will trigger bites in a fearful one.
Offer peanut butter on finger just a dab, thst can help with fear of fingers if she gives it a taste
 
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noodles123

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Don't allow shoulders until she steps up willingly-- it's too risky of a position and it must be earned.



You can try opening the cage door and letting her come in and out while you supervise from like 10 feet away--- of course make sure the space is safe and that ppl in your house know this so that they don't do something stupid like come in with a vacuum or something scary. Read from a book outloud but don't get up in her face. If she goes back in, let her but don't shut the door or she will begin to think that whenever she goes in, she gets locked up and you don't want that because then she will avoid hands further for fear of lock up.


Talk about your daily routine and use key words and phrases. Do everything you can to keep stress low from HER perspective (not yours). Label things in the house and talk about what you are doing as you do it (while she is on her cage or whatever). Let her see you put favorite treats in bowl (don't force her to take them from your hands yet). Over a few weeks/months, you will start to see slow improvement I am sure, but you 1. MUST stop rushing, and 2. stop putting yourself in situations where you will be bitten. If you are getting bitten, it is not the bird's fault--- in the wild, they only bite as a very last resort because other birds read their signals and they don't have to.


If a bird bites you and you don't know why, then it is best not to react, but if you are picking up a bird and the bird keeps biting, ignoring doesn't help because the problem is that your bird is grasping at straws to be "heard" by you...and they only bite when they have exhausted everything else. If you are getting bitten, you need to change what you are doing....this sounds like it is happening a lot, so you are really just harming trust and teaching your bird HOW to bite if you continue to put yourself in situations where you get bitten. Bites always are for a reason.


The threads above will answer a lot of your questions and they also contain a lot of really important health info that many people do not know when they get birds.
 
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GCCinYYJ

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Also just to clarify as soon as she started biting we stopped offering our hands to her or asking her to step up, and the only time that I ever picked her up was during the towel/foot biting incident. The rest of the time she has come to us. Not saying this to be defensive just to clarify the circumstances. Since then we’ve been opening her cage and letting her come out on her own terms. Usually she will come out immediately and go to the perch on top of her cage and then within a minute or two fly to one of us. If we got back to the cage and lean towards it she will readily step back but then she just flies back to us.
It seems to me that continuing to have interactions with her where she is out with us on her own terms is a positive thing for the relationship but if my finger pokes out of my sleeve she will run down me and repeatedly bite then sometime start banging her head in to my finger or hand after biting for a bit and not getting a reaction.
So I guess I’m asking how do we build the bond going forward without reinforcing the biting or doing more to stress her or harm the relationship.
I really appreciate the advice and both of you taking the time to respond to me so thank you! :)
 

noodles123

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Also just to clarify as soon as she started biting we stopped offering our hands to her or asking her to step up, and the only time that I ever picked her up was during the towel/foot biting incident. The rest of the time she has come to us. Not saying this to be defensive just to clarify the circumstances. Since then we’ve been opening her cage and letting her come out on her own terms. Usually she will come out immediately and go to the perch on top of her cage and then within a minute or two fly to one of us. If we got back to the cage and lean towards it she will readily step back but then she just flies back to us.
It seems to me that continuing to have interactions with her where she is out with us on her own terms is a positive thing for the relationship but if my finger pokes out of my sleeve she will run down me and repeatedly bite then sometime start banging her head in to my finger or hand after biting for a bit and not getting a reaction.
So I guess I’m asking how do we build the bond going forward without reinforcing the biting or doing more to stress her or harm the relationship.
I really appreciate the advice and both of you taking the time to respond to me so thank you! :)


See, that's even worse because you are teaching her that if she doesn't want to be touched, all she has to do is bite you and you will stop. It also teaches her that biting is THE ONLY way to avoid unwanted contact (as her other signals, which were clear as day to her) were repeatedly missed. You don't wait for the bite to stop touching, you must prevent the bite by reading her better.

That is why you have to know her well enough to know when it's okay to touch. IF YOU ARE BITTEN in an aggressive way (and you don't know why) you should not generally change your behavior because then you teach a bird that biting can be used for manipulation. It starts as a last resort reaction to boundaries not being respected, but it can turn into a behavior problem when the bird realizes that bites produce reactions. That is why it is SOOO important to know your bird enough to know when you can or cannot do something.


This won't happen overnight-- TIME and moving at her pace are huge. Get her used to you doing your own thing in the room (while keeping an eye on her but not in her face). Get her used to the sound of your voice. Allow her to see that you are not a threat and associate yourself with positive things. REMEMBER-- positive to you may not be positive to her (perfect example--- you might think you got a great new toy and that she will love it, but if your bird is timid, shoving a new toy in their cage can be like coming home and finding a terrifying monster in your bedroom, and suddenly hearing the door lock behind you). I share this example because "positive" to us, isn't always truly perceived as low-stress or positive to them. Same with people trying to lure birds to step up by hanging their arm in the cage with millet for half an hour-- bad idea--- if your bird is walking away and not approaching, that whole time, the bird is stressed and scared, so while it seems nice, if there is any hesitation, do not push it...and don't keep testing the waters daily--- if everyday you put your hand in with a treat and the bird walks away or avoids you, don't try again the next day. They don't move that fast....It has to be very gradual and it takes a lot of patience.


*also- to clarify-- you should still get your bird toys etc, but if they are weird about it (and many are) you should place the toy within eye-shot of the cage a few feet away for a few days. When you are like 6-10 feet away, model playing with the toy/showing interest (don't bite it lol-- human saliva is dangerous for birds). After a few days, you can move it closer and so on, but just don't assume that something that seems fun will definitely be fun right away.
 
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GCCinYYJ

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One more thing to add actually... she was rehomed to us and her previous owners sent videos of her before we got her where they were picking her up and she would do a squeak and a little bite to them. They also told us that they usually let her fly around to tire herself out then their daughter would hold her and she would just sit there frozen and completely still while the daughter held her but that otherwise she would just attack the kids when they tried to touch her unless they were feeding her... in hindsight these were probably red flags? Then I go and put her in a new home after a long car ride and towel her... oops.
 

Laurasea

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Noodles is smart and experienced. But I disagree on allowing on shoulder , I still would and have as I work to overcome fear of hands.
She wants to bond with you, and they do want to be on you. Because these are early days, and some trust has been lost, id keep having her on you. So she doesn't get frustrated and give up on you. That's my take doesn't mean I'm more right than Noodles, just that dome things I do different , and this is a little bird nit a big bird that can take your face off.
 
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GCCinYYJ

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So how do we interact with her if she continually flies to us when we open her cage?
Also, thank you so much I’m glad I came to this forum... I’m off to read the other posts you suggested!
 

MelloYello

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I understand your frustration. Here's what I've deduced after reading:
If your GCC is 1.5 years, this means they are reaching maturity. Hormones are starting to flow. He may have seemed quiet and sweet the day you got him, but this is most likely because he was scared. He'd just arrived somewhere new after all. GCCs are known to be little birds with huge personalities. His biting of the feet may be aggression, but it could also be playful. I advise keeping him off the ground the most you can.
Throwing the towel over him also probably scared him a great deal.
My advice is to give him a little bit to adjust. Let him get used to his surroundings. Once he's comfortable, then you can start bonding. Slow, patient steps are best. Let him chill outside of the cage and sit beside him, quietly reading or something.
Bowing on his face is definitely not the solution to stop biting.
Make sure to reward him with healthy treats when he steps up without biting. Be gentle, slow, and patient.
Good luck!

Have a lovely day!!
 

noodles123

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When she flies to you and lands on your shoulder, do you get bitten when taking her off? If that is the case, it could be a fear of your hands specifically OR it could be that she knows what you are trying to get her to do and doesn't want to do it. It's easy to teach them to bite because it's a pretty effective way of getting a person's attention and changing the person's behavior. Does she have play-stands and play gyms around the house? They can often be scared of them at first, but you need to establish places that are hers. They are flock animals so they want to see you and hear you. If you are in the living room and she would normal fly to your shoulder, see if (over time and not right away) you can get her interested in a play gym or something. That way, she can be around you but not invading your space or putting you in a position where she will have the upper hand and access to your face. It's too easy for a bird on the shoulder to bite because they don't want to leave or because they think you will put them back in the cage.

You are in a bit of a tough spot because you need to be sucking up lol BUT I will say, the one battle I do not let my bird win is the shoulder thing. She is allowed up there, but if I go to get her down and she runs to the other side or starts trying to prevent it, I gently back up against a wall so that she can't keep climbing onto my back and I get her to step up (although the wall should not touch your bird, this could still scare her, so consider that as well). At the same time--- she can't think that she can stay up there all the time or that if she doesn't want to leave that biting will prevent her from doing so...At the same time, you don't want to be in these sorts of situations, as they tend to be higher stress/negative from both your and your bird's perspective....so again, really try to work on stepping up first.


**ALSO-- when doing step-ups, never push your fingers into the bird's chest--this is an old and outdated method that is garbage but still is in circulation today, even among some breeders who should know better.


Once you establish trust better (and you will know when you do, because your parrot will just hop onto your arm etc) THEN you might consider something like training her to step onto a perch if you see that her fear of hands is an issue with everyone and if she does other things to show that she is gentle with the rest of you but just hates your hands. In time, positive associations and patience should win out, so I'd wait on trying to get her to step onto a perch because many birds are scared of sticks and because it makes it WAY harder to read your bird's body language etc if they are standing on a perch in your hand, vs on your hand itself (where you can feel their tension, balance, grip etc---these things are all hugely important, which is why the stick thing should be a very last resort. Building trust takes months in many cases.



I had my parrot (who I got as an adult) and she stepped up day 1 because she was so scared. After that, I couldn't pick her up for 3 months. It's also important to note that they can seem very confusing--- JUST BECAUSE A BIRD LIKES YOU, does not mean he/she trusts you enough to be picked up and I made the mistake of pushing mine at some point because I thought, what they heck, you are always calling for me and wanting to be near me and showing other signs of trust..but I shouldn't have because it did backfire and then we had to take 2 steps back because I was too eager to make things move faster after 2 months with a bird who just SEEMED to be being stubborn. Don't make that same mistake.



We are great now, but I want you to try and think very carefully about how little actions can have huge impacts. If you have ever met someone with autism who gets upset by changes to routine and notices every little detail or has fears that seem "irrational" then you kind of know what birds can be like. Autism is a huge spectrum and I mean no offense, but if you know anything about autism and parrots, there are a lot of general similarities when it comes to textbook comparisons etc.


I'm not saying she should get in trouble or anything for flying to your shoulder, but the thing is, she shouldn't be going up there if she can't/won't tolerate hands when she needs to get down.
 
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Laurasea

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Also read up on target training. Bird trick you tube has good instruction videos.
Don't be hiding hands.
Sometimes I touch my face and say good birdie, before I touch them. You can see if yiu can use your whole hand fingers together sbd cup smooch them for a second . Its hard to explain stuff in writing..some you are going to learn as you go.
Get better at reading body language, GCC usually crouch , or weave, or stomp storm before they bite. Sounds silly but is sontrue avoid the bite in the first place.
Use the same words and ritual.
First bute I say no, then go on as if nothing happened. Second bite, no and back to cage, then I turn my back and wait a few minutes and get them right back out. If the bite right away , no , back to the cage and I walk away. I come back in 5 min. And try again. It has to be short or they don't pick up the connection.
Repetition, and time, and trust building will get you there. All training sessions with burds should be short 1-3 Repetition, then repeat in 15 to 20 min.
They have a huge drive to be with you, abd they are smart and learn from useing tge sane words.

Now my GCC is as loving as can be, but she would bite me daily if I didn't pay attention to her body language. If I'm petting her snd bump a feather wrong or move to fast, she us ready to bute scold me, I just wait a few seconds, then I can pet her again no problem.
Its a negotiation or conversation if thst makes sense. I think if her like a cat, pet me pet me, no don't you dare pet me, ok pet me again, why you stop.
 

noodles123

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In terms of the shoulder thing-- it depends:

My thing is, if when they get up there, IF it is a bite-fest or struggle to get them down, then that is another opportunity to teach biting manipulation and/or scare/stress your bird.
If you have no problems getting her off of your shoulder on your terms, then step-ups are less important, but what you don't want is a bird who refuses to step up and won't get off your shoulder without a fight. If a bird bites for some other reason but you KNOW that they want to be picked up/with you, then putting them in a time-out makes then understand that if they bite the people they want to be with, those people go away....BUT, in your case, you don't know why your bird is biting but I'd bet money on lack of trust/fear- therefore, placing yours on the cage after a bite could seriously backfire by rewarding the behavior (I am stressed out and want these people to stop, I bite, they leave me alone on my cage).

Laurasea can say "no bite" and put her bird back because she KNOWS the bird has a bond with her and that her bird craves her attention. With yours, since you don't have that bond, if your bird bites, putting it back on the cage could be seen as a reward if the bite was due to fear of being handled etc (because then the bird got its wish via biting.)
 
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Laurasea

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"Laurasea can say "no bite" and put her bird back because she KNOWS the bird has a bond with her and that her bird craves her attention. With yours, since you don't have that bond, if your bird bites, putting it back on the cage could be seen as a reward if the bite was due to fear of being handled etc (because then the bird got its wish via biting"

Noodles, you know I respect you 100%
But he said the bird always wants out abd want to fly to them. So I think this can work fir them.

Now with a bird that doesn't want anything to do with you, or is sort of cage bound and wants to get back to the cage you are completely right!

Also as there are more than one way to accomplish a goal. I got a baby quaker from the pet store that had an extreme phobia of hands!!! He would scream, run, lunge and bite. But he also was sweet abd wanted comfort from me. So I just flat out didn't try to train or teach step up. I just focused on trust building, and showing love with kisses and words and praise, and feeding treats. It was slow, 2 months, but now he will cuddle his whole body in my hand, and step up just evolved naturally. He also has a fear of the word up, so I just say come here. This happened because of forced interactions at tye pet store, and people saying step up over and over while he was fearful. And everyone sticking hands in his cage ..
So its an option. I've worked with hand shy and fearful....but he was a whole different level, definitely a phobia and PTSD. But with time we got past it.
 

noodles123

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"Laurasea can say "no bite" and put her bird back because she KNOWS the bird has a bond with her and that her bird craves her attention. With yours, since you don't have that bond, if your bird bites, putting it back on the cage could be seen as a reward if the bite was due to fear of being handled etc (because then the bird got its wish via biting"

Noodles, you know I respect you 100%
But he said the bird always wants out abd want to fly to them. So I think this can work fir them.

Now with a bird that doesn't want anything to do with you, or is sort of cage bound and wants to get back to the cage you are completely right!

Also as there are more than one way to accomplish a goal. I got a baby quaker from the pet store that had an extreme phobia of hands!!! He would scream, run, lunge and bite. But he also was sweet abd wanted comfort from me. So I just flat out didn't try to train or teach step up. I just focused on trust building, and showing love with kisses and words sbd praise, and feeding treats. It was slow, 2 months, but now he will cuddle his Ecole body in my hand, and step up just evolved naturally. He also has a fear of the word up, so I just say come here. This happened because of forced interactions at tye pet store, and people saying step up over and over while he was fearful. And everyone sticking hands in his cage ..


I have always made it a point to follow-through if I go to remove her from my shoulder (even if she bites) because, by that time, we did have a trust bond that I knew was real (she was stepping up etc) But also because not being able to remove a bird without the getting the run-around is very difficult long-term when it comes to getting them the time/attention they need and still keeping a job. I get her out before work daily, but if she was fighting me to go back in or get off my shoulder, that would be a nightmare (and it was, for a while).



Again, the only time I ever force her to do anything is when I need her off my shoulder, and 99% of the time, she steps right off. The thing is, I have very rarely let her feel like it was optional to get down, and especially not if she got sassy about it.
I still always was calm and gentle with her-- it's not something to get angry about or anything, but I do think there is value in setting some boundaries. At the same time, by bird could probably definitely send me to the ER if she wanted to, so I also think about that.



So its an option. I've worked with hand shy and fearful....but he was a whole different level, definitely a phobia and PTSD. But with time we got past it.

Agreed- (respect you 500% also-- very awesome bird lady here :)


SHOOT! I JUST EDITED THE QUOTE INSTEAD OF EDITING MY POST :( *changes shown in quote box above*


If he's sure that he won't get bitten or railroaded into keeping the bird up there out of fear, then I agree. He could try squatting by the cage and seeing if she will step off there-- but you don't want a bird thinking it can just be on you whenever with or without permission. That's my whole thing..They learn very quickly how to avoid what they do not want to do, and often it involves biting. Most of my bites after bonding came when removing Noodles from my shoulder, or putting her up before work. Initially, I was bitten for pushing her faster than she was ready (because she was acting like she loved/trusted me but just didn't want to take that leap of faith---pushing that=not a good idea). But then, once she started stepping up, she went to my shoulder and took advantage of that (MAINLY with other people-- which is also huge...) She would get on my shoulder and avoid getting down...but with other people (even those she really liked) she would almost bully them into keeping her there....They would try to take her down and if they so much as hesitated, she would run away or bite them to stay.

What concerns me is that if a bird realizes that it can bite to stay there or run around to avoid getting down, that makes for miserable/impossible interactions before work etc.


Also, Noodles wanted to be with me all of the time before she wanted to be held by me, so having made the mistaken assumption that eagerness to see me= desire/trust once before, I do tend to be wary. Bird want SOMEONE around no matter what-- they feel safer in a flock. Noodles would try to get to me all the time and call out but didn't want me touching her (which was frustrating for me). After I figured out that she was NOT ready (despite my attempts to force it) we did continue to grow/build our relationship (granted, it was set back a bit after my bite fest with double sleeves lol). Once she DID trust me, she also didn't want to leave my shoulder-- that can be problematic, which is why careful observation and consideration of all of this stuff will be important (because it really just depends on the motivation-- but wanting to be near someone is not the same as trusting them in some cases). That's my caveat lol
 
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Ira7

Banned
Feb 9, 2020
621
1
Coral Springs, FL
Parrots
YNA
The vet environment is different because who cares if the bird learns to hate him/her? That distrust doesn’t transfer to the parront!

This is why even simple things...like clipping nails if needed...is best left to the vet.

It’s not like the bird is going to blame YOU for bringing him there, more or less.
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
10,253
2,673
USA
Parrots
Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
Lol he is getting a lot of great advice from us great members, going to have to print it out and read through closely, lots of good stuff and links!' And it can take a combination of all our advice, and tweaks if his own to get there. But for sure one day they will have trust , and work it out.

For me I had to teach Orbit to go back to his cage, without using my hands. I found popcorn was his favorite. I showed it to him, put it in the cage, and told him good boy, every step he took to cage. Tgen praised and praised and gave more popcorn when he went in. He learned pretty fast!

And your feet, they are scary, most birds don't see them as being part of you at all. If you had offered your hand probably would have stepped up. But sometimes birds have a problem connecting our hands as part of us to. They think our head is our whole self, and it just perches on this walking tree. They are smart but they see the world different than us, and they are a prey species.

For Orbit, I held my hands very close to my face, like they were part of my face. But only after we had some time and trust and he was taking treats nice...or I held my hands close to my body st chest level..its hard to explain I guess. Lol but it worked.
 
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noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
341
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
One more thing to add actually... she was rehomed to us and her previous owners sent videos of her before we got her where they were picking her up and she would do a squeak and a little bite to them. They also told us that they usually let her fly around to tire herself out then their daughter would hold her and she would just sit there frozen and completely still while the daughter held her but that otherwise she would just attack the kids when they tried to touch her unless they were feeding her... in hindsight these were probably red flags? Then I go and put her in a new home after a long car ride and towel her... oops.

That definitely does sound odd (like they had no idea what they were doing eek!) BUT don't worry. You can repair this-- now, there is no way of knowing whether your parrot will gravitate towards one family member more than the others, but with time and patience, you will (worst-case-scenario, at least be tolerated)..In all likelihood, you will be more than that, but you really have to work on reading her/trust etc.

Also-- NO SNUGGLE HUTS....if you have any, move them out when she's not looking because they kill birds often and they are notorious hormone triggers.. Also-- only pet on the head and neck and prevent access to shadowy spaces of full-on cuddling--- no matter how much they want it, it's a sexual response and can lead to behavior problems. 10 hours sleep nightly in a quiet/darkish place= super important as well (not just for hormones and behavior, but also for immune health).
 

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