Overly-amourous CAG ... first bird, first post

Mizamook

New member
Sep 11, 2023
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"Clancy" - Congo African Grey (approx. 16 y.o. as of 2023)
Hello!

Thanks for all the great information ... I've been reading quite a bit. One thing I've not found is a concise answer to my question: Seems my (male?) Congo African Grey is really in love with me. He's been so since he saw me walk into my dad's place, about 2 weeks after he passed. (he was very, very glad to see me, since I look a bit like my father. Grey beard, squinty eyes, same smile (or lack thereof), billed cap. This bird "Clancy" is about 15 years old ... was my mom's, then my dad's when she passed in 2013. I quickly found out that I was the only one to whom he'd do this, or allow fairly care-free handling without bites. He started doing this when I walked in the room in late August. Now that I've got him home, I've taken pains to try to wean him of it .. I put him down when he starts up .. but he always starts up ... and gets more "enthusiastic". He does not regurgitate, but he will gravitate toward me whether on his play gym or on the floor, or a chair, etc.

The question is: How do I actually deal with it? I want to keep giving him lots of attention, and handling, and I feel bad when I relocate him off my hand or shoulder. Here's a short video of what he's doing. How long should he be hormonal like this? It's October!

At any rate, we're learning a lot from him, and from forums, books, etc. He has bitten my wifey twice, so we're taking it super slow on that now. He has bitten me relatively softly ... as in warning ... but enough so I have a healthy respect of that beak!

He's pretty tolerant of change (was very well-behaved on the three flights from California to Alaska) and has no problem with new items in his cage, new toys, he even helped me make him a play gym, although how much help he gave is debatable, however fun. He shreds cardboard with great zeal, having a particular loathing for any box with structural integrity, fixing that "issue" with no mercy. He is curious, active, and talks funny. I've attached a short mp3 of him doing so ... he also says "hello" to phone calls, is apparently very into either a "cookie, or cracker?" and has quite a lexicon, albeit mostly random ... although I did figure out yesterday that his "chsssk" sound is not a sneeze .. it's a response to the mister that I use to mist him .. that's his interpretation of the sound it makes! He responds to loud noises with a loud descending whistle (hilarious on an airplane, I can tell you!) and has basically taken over our lives.

Cheers,

Gene
 

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DonnaBudgie

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Jan 24, 2023
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Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
Clancy is so beautiful and I love the recording of him talking! Have you been able to figure out what he's talking about or what he's saying?
I suppose his apparent "affection" for you is somewhat embarrassing to explain ("what is he DOING"?) to guests, but it's harmless because Clancy can't lay eggs or get egg bound.

Since CAGs are from equatorial Africa, the length of the day (daylight hours) probably doesn't have much affect on hormones and breeding behavior. From what I've read about CAGs in the wild, seasonal rainfall and plentiful food stimulates them to take advantage of the bounty and breed. Providing a healthy but low fat, low calorie diet (low in rich seeds and nuts and low in sugar) may help keep his hormones in check, but please consult with a certified avian vet.
 

PrimorandMoxi

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May 29, 2015
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Max (23yo) Blue and Gold Macaw,
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PRIMOR (8yo) Red Lored Amazon,
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wow, what a story.
Can't say much about the harmones but I'm so happy that Clancy is blessed to have you and your wife.
 
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Mizamook

Mizamook

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Sep 11, 2023
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"Clancy" - Congo African Grey (approx. 16 y.o. as of 2023)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
Clancy is so beautiful and I love the recording of him talking! Have you been able to figure out what he's talking about or what he's saying?
I suppose his apparent "affection" for you is somewhat embarrassing to explain ("what is he DOING"?) to guests, but it's harmless because Clancy can't lay eggs or get egg bound.

Since CAGs are from equatorial Africa, the length of the day (daylight hours) probably doesn't have much affect on hormones and breeding behavior. From what I've read about CAGs in the wild, seasonal rainfall and plentiful food stimulates them to take advantage of the bounty and breed. Providing a healthy but low fat, low calorie diet (low in rich seeds and nuts and low in sugar) may help keep his hormones in check, but please consult with a certified avian vet.
Thank you ... I appreciate your kind words and support. I'd read some mentions of "confusing" a hormonal bird ... especially CAGs, who might start to act out (be more nippy, etc.) and I certainly don't want that. The avian vet we took him to before I traveled to Alaska said he's in great shape ... and that "he 'looooves' you" ... hehe. But did not indicate any problem with it. I don't want the poor bird getting too frustrated!

We're trying our best to keep him on a 12-hour cycle. He eschews vegetables ... mostly green ones (hah!) but likes carrots. He was given cookies before, and candy as occasional treats. No more of that! His treats now are occasional walnut fragments, and a special date/seed/carrot mixture. We've also stopped him from getting the salty crackers he was used to, and while he loves scrambled egg (unseasoned, no fat) and salmon (who wouldn't?) we are limiting protein-rich sources too, so they are just accents. He does love lentil pasta .. any "noodle" ... : )

The vet said he could have some nuts .. as the house we live in is generally in the mid to low 60's ... but we've been keeping it as warm as we can (now it is 70F) in the first couple months while we transition him ... he lived in a house that was 65-70 always, but got warmer when the summer sun came .. we don't have that luxury. So the vet, when asked, said he'd be OK with a transition period, and occasional nuts wold give him energy for heat-making. At night he has a side heater, which he seems to like.
 
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Mizamook

Mizamook

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Sep 11, 2023
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"Clancy" - Congo African Grey (approx. 16 y.o. as of 2023)
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  • #5
wow, what a story.
Can't say much about the harmones but I'm so happy that Clancy is blessed to have you and your wife.
Thank you kindly! We are working very hard to understand and support Clancy. He's so fun!

Sad to see your RIP tagline.
 
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Mizamook

Mizamook

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Sep 11, 2023
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"Clancy" - Congo African Grey (approx. 16 y.o. as of 2023)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
Clancy is so beautiful and I love the recording of him talking! Have you been able to figure out what he's talking about or what he's saying?
Sorry, no ... my sister agrees that he may be repeating the general sounds of my dad (a construction foreman) on the phone, or perhaps old messages from back in the days of real answering machines that go BEEP? Could also be dialogue from crime dramas my dad enjoyed.

When he expresses things that humans said, he's clear. "Want a cookie?" "OK" "Hello" "babble babble cracker" and others. One of our favourites is "It's OK". That means something to him. He tried to fly and had a "landing" and said that. He also responds to it, like when I cared for him in the airport ... he understands and chills out.

But some of his funniest moments are when he launches into longer statements or babbling. I tried Google translate ... no dice! : )
 

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