Parrot Rant

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
706
2,133
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
I've had a tough Ekkie week. Usually I'm very positive. It's my first spring with Nico my Ekkie. I will never rehome him. I adore, him, and love him. This is just a rant as I've had an off week with him.

1. He refuses to eat anything from my husband. I mean anything. Not even an almond. He would rather starve. I can't leave my Ekkie for an entire night anymore because he will no longer eat what anyone else will give him. This is so frustrating!!! Now he screams, and will make awful sounds when my husband feeds him just to make sure my husband knows that he doesn't like him.

2. Nico doesn't like it when I put him down. He wants me to hold him all of the time. He has very strong talons/claws/feet. He will latch on as hard as he can when I go to put him down. This hurts. For whatever reason the past week Nico feels he needs to be with me all of the time, and will not let go of me. I have to pull his little claws off me one by one. This is another level of clingy.

3. He has escalated his level of hating my husband to attacking him for coming anywhere near me. He screams if I leave him in a room with my husband.

4. Nico has decided he doesn't like anything hard to stand on all of a sudden. He only likes his rope perches, or his perches that are wrapped with vet wrap.

5. He no longer likes most of his food. He only likes whatever I'm eating. I cannot eat in front of him, or this will cause all sorts of behavioral issues.

6. Nico (like other ekkie owners on here have posted) has been very vocal. He is talking a lot, screaming, screeching, beeping, honking, and contacting calling. Its been a long week for sure when it comes to vocals.

7. Regurgitating, and masterbating has been at an all time high. I don't know what to do but to just ignore it. I feel like correcting it just brings more attention to it.

8. Nico wants to be held, and if he doesn't get his way he will start feather plucking primarily his down feathers.

Just to add an additional comment for my parrot venting... today I forgot to clean my conures cage. It wasn't even a full 24 hours sense it was last cleaned (papers changed). I was just having an off day. She stuffed all of her papers under the grate, and threw them on the floor, and went to the bathroom on the grate. That way I had to really scrub her cage!

I love my parrots but they love to challenge me some days. Not all days are great! :cry:
 

Inger

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2017
3,300
534
Everett, WA
Parrots
Bumble - Pacific (or Celestial) Parrotlet hatched 02/19/17
I'm sorry you're having a rough time of it this week. I don't know a lot about Ekkies, but that ALL sounds hormonal. Is he getting 12-14 hours of dark and quiet for sleep? That is an important way to keep hormones down. Is there anything is his cage/environment that could be nest-like (sleeping huts, coconut shells, dark enclosed spaces of any kind)? Remove them. Also sounds like he had claimed you as his which makes your husband competition. Hopefully someone will have a suggestion for that.

I hope it eases soon.
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
12,496
10,320
USA
Parrots
Full house
Well I can empathize! Phoebe was a screaming Hormonal girl, and laid an egg yesterday...I'm watching closely for anymore or any indications of issues..

And since I have multiple females with the same environment and diet and time out of the cage. It highlights that its individual!!!

A rant is a good way to let off steam , at least it made me feel better complaining about Phoebe continously screaming.

Tho Nico seems to have a lot of neuroses in addition to hormones or brought on by hormones ....thats a big pile to deal with. I guess my only advice would to pick one to work on At time ....or hopefully the hormones coming back down fix a lot of them for you
 

chris-md

Supporting Member
Feb 6, 2010
4,232
1,822
Maryland - USA
Parrots
Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
Hormones can absolutely play emotional havoc on some of us, even when we know better than to let it. I’ve unloaded some epic rants here too about my Ekkie over the years, including on a couple of occasions the last couple years wondering if I shouldn’t rehome him. It wont happen but his worst hormonal bouts really get to me.

A big part of it is I’m the disfavored person, so while I do all training necessary, I often lose 95% of my control over him. He wont step up for me, he annoys my partner Eddie with his clinginess, wont ever stay put if he’s on a stand, preferring to fly tot he floor to track down my my partner. He generally misbehaves and Eddie, who is not a parrot person but learned Parker quickly, has to get ME out of trouble like Parker landing on the floor near me (=will bite my feet). I can easily grab a blanket and pick him up that way but I don’t want that to be the norm and permanently break our relationship, so eddie has to come running to pick him up…again, because parker will immediately step up for him while turning his beak up at me.

Right there with you! Keep the rants coming, it really can help soften the effect the hormones have on you.
 
OP
kme3388

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
706
2,133
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
I'm sorry you're having a rough time of it this week. I don't know a lot about Ekkies, but that ALL sounds hormonal. Is he getting 12-14 hours of dark and quiet for sleep? That is an important way to keep hormones down. Is there anything is his cage/environment that could be nest-like (sleeping huts, coconut shells, dark enclosed spaces of any kind)? Remove them. Also sounds like he had claimed you as his which makes your husband competition. Hopefully someone will have a suggestion for that.

I hope it eases soon.
He for sure is being hormonal, and has claimed me as his "mate". There is nothing I can do to stop it either. Ekkies really can be challenging :-(
 
OP
kme3388

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
706
2,133
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
Well I can empathize! Phoebe was a screaming Hormonal girl, and laid an egg yesterday...I'm watching closely for anymore or any indications of issues..

And since I have multiple females with the same environment and diet and time out of the cage. It highlights that its individual!!!

A rant is a good way to let off steam , at least it made me feel better complaining about Phoebe continously screaming.

Tho Nico seems to have a lot of neuroses in addition to hormones or brought on by hormones ....thats a big pile to deal with. I guess my only advice would to pick one to work on At time ....or hopefully the hormones coming back down fix a lot of them for you
Thank you for being understanding, I know it sounds bad ranting about my parrot I just needed to get it out. It was a really rough week with Nico, and his behaviors.
 
OP
kme3388

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
706
2,133
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
Hormones can absolutely play emotional havoc on some of us, even when we know better than to let it. I’ve unloaded some epic rants here too about my Ekkie over the years, including on a couple of occasions the last couple years wondering if I shouldn’t rehome him. It wont happen but his worst hormonal bouts really get to me.

A big part of it is I’m the disfavored person, so while I do all training necessary, I often lose 95% of my control over him. He wont step up for me, he annoys my partner Eddie with his clinginess, wont ever stay put if he’s on a stand, preferring to fly tot he floor to track down my my partner. He generally misbehaves and Eddie, who is not a parrot person but learned Parker quickly, has to get ME out of trouble like Parker landing on the floor near me (=will bite my feet). I can easily grab a blanket and pick him up that way but I don’t want that to be the norm and permanently break our relationship, so eddie has to come running to pick him up…again, because parker will immediately step up for him while turning his beak up at me.

Right there with you! Keep the rants coming, it really can help soften the effect the hormones have on you.
My husband at times resents Nico. Nico is beyond mean to my husband. He will not allow my husband anywhere near his cage. This is a war, and Nico will fight. He will not step up for my husband. He will not eat for my husband (he will lose weight, and hurt himself). Nico probably feeds off the fact that my husband is afraid of him. Also from what I've read on here once these males pick a mate they tend to be bonded to them. They tend to pick favorites more so then other parrots.

The problem with this is now I have to bring Nico everywhere with me.

Hormones are a huge issue with ekkies, and people who buy them don't realize this can happen year round with them. There really isn't a quick fix to it either. This isn't just a spring thing when it comes to ekkies. I don't have the heart to say this to people on here who just bought a baby ekkie expecting this to only be a spring thing that just spent $3000+.
 

Keatz

Member
Jan 5, 2016
81
29
Australia
Parrots
Eclectus
I can empathise with you. My eclectus, Oscar, is a fussy eater and is very vocal. Most of his noises are high pitched and shrill and cut through my nerves. There are times when he gets me down. I've never had such a noisy, fussy, attention seeking, high maintenance bird like him before.
Before I got Oscar, I had a cockatoo, and she was quiet, well-behaved and easy to look after. I also have an Amazon parrot, Basil, and he too is so much easier to look after than Oscar. Even though he is louder, he's not noisy like Oscar. He's also not fussy and will eat any veggie that I give him.
When I go on holidays, people are happy to look after Basil, but no one wants to look after Oscar, so I usually end up taking him with me.
There are times when I do think of rehoming Oscar. It's mostly the noise that gets me down.
 
OP
kme3388

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
706
2,133
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #9
I can empathise with you. My eclectus, Oscar, is a fussy eater and is very vocal. Most of his noises are high pitched and shrill and cut through my nerves. There are times when he gets me down. I've never had such a noisy, fussy, attention seeking, high maintenance bird like him before.
Before I got Oscar, I had a cockatoo, and she was quiet, well-behaved and easy to look after. I also have an Amazon parrot, Basil, and he too is so much easier to look after than Oscar. Even though he is louder, he's not noisy like Oscar. He's also not fussy and will eat any veggie that I give him.
When I go on holidays, people are happy to look after Basil, but no one wants to look after Oscar, so I usually end up taking him with me.
There are times when I do think of rehoming Oscar. It's mostly the noise that gets me down.
Male Ekkie's are very needy. They are very hormonal. Once they pick their chosen "one". It's a sealed deal, and they can be quite aggressive towards others.
 

Kentuckienne

Supporting Vendor
Oct 9, 2016
2,676
1,354
Middle of nowhere (kentuckianna)
Parrots
Roommates include Gus, Blue and gold macaw rescue and Coco, secondhand amazon
I don’t have any eclectus experience, so hopefully people with helpful advice will chime in. Keep posting and asking in different forums. i have had some good results with other species. When a macaw was starting to bond with me, instead of with his intended human (my husband) I just stepped back. Didn’t feed him, didn’t give requested skritches, didn’t respond for requests for pickup, left the room when he called to me. It was hard. I had never been able to give skritches to the previous bird and it was such a marvelous thing. But I did, and he eventually bonded to the “correct” human, and now I can’t skritch or pick him up unless he wants to go somewhere.

Then there was the previous parrot, a BFA, who was totally bonded to his human and bit me at every chance. What worked here was just paying attention to the bird himself. He was very intelligent. If he screamed, I left the room, and when he was quiet I came back and gave him a treat. So he learned to do non-screaming things to get treats and attention. He learned to do flips on his perch! This was purely from me watching him closely. If I wanted him to step up, he would do it or let me know he didnt want to. If he didn’t want to, I pulled my finger back toward me but left it extended and made good eye contact. He would look at me and think about it. Most of the time he would then extend a foot and step up. He just wanted it to be his decision. Once I learned that I never was bitten again.

So I have a decent working relationship, if not an affectionate one, with two parrots now. The exact details of what worked and didn’t probably won’t help you. What did help was the general paying of attention. For example. A parrot might learn that if he bites or attacks your partner, you will come running to save the partner. Aha! Now the parrot has an easy way to get you to come get him. Better for the partner to deal with it and you stay away. If ekkie attacks your partner, you say no and leave the room. Partner might need to use Mr. Cushion - google Birdman666 posts for Mr. Cushion - to restrain bird without hurting him or scaring him and give him a chance to think about what he did. But make EYE CONTACT and WATCH your bird. You will learn what he is thinking. You will even learn when he is being sneaky, like a macaw putting up a foot for step up and then biting the arm once in range.

If there is a chance to solve this by training or behavior, you will find it. Don’t decide you know what he’s thinking or focus on what you want or on what you expect or what a person would do. What is your bird doing? What do those little eyes, those feathers, that stance, tell you? Young parrots go through intense hormonal phases. It’s in their DNA. Don’t dismiss the possibility of hormone treatment or meds to temporarily change behavior. Interfering with his biology might be a lesser evil than rehoming an aggressive bird who might then wind up as a production breeder in a tiny cage for the rest of his life. Keep looking for answers and KEEP WATCHING, SEEING, and PAYING ATTENTION to your bird as the sentient, individual, autonomous being that he is, and use your greater insight to guide the relationship.

Sorry I didn’t have more concise advice. I hope you will achieve a great breakthrough and be able to help other ekkie/human pairs everywhere on earth! Good luck, good wishes, May the Forum be with you.
 

chris-md

Supporting Member
Feb 6, 2010
4,232
1,822
Maryland - USA
Parrots
Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
My husband at times resents Nico. Nico is beyond mean to my husband. He will not allow my husband anywhere near his cage. This is a war, and Nico will fight. He will not step up for my husband. He will not eat for my husband (he will lose weight, and hurt himself). Nico probably feeds off the fact that my husband is afraid of him. Also from what I've read on here once these males pick a mate they tend to be bonded to them. They tend to pick favorites more so then other parrots.

The problem with this is now I have to bring Nico everywhere with me.

Hormones are a huge issue with ekkies, and people who buy them don't realize this can happen year round with them. There really isn't a quick fix to it either. This isn't just a spring thing when it comes to ekkies. I don't have the heart to say this to people on here who just bought a baby ekkie expecting this

That’s why I speak up. Education is key. The hormones aren’t a negative, they’re a feature. Every species is going to have their quirks, hormones are ekkies.

How old is Niko again?

That’s a tough spot to be in with your husband. But I’m certain that can partially be attended to with training. Key to understand the training is that YOU are the reward he gets to enjoy for positive behavior around the husband. If you don’t have the wherewithal to work out the training for yourself, I would say this is one case where involving a parrot trainer would be of great benefit.

I do believe you can actually get a handle on this to some extent. It’s not ALL hormones all the time. I’m very guilty of this with Parker, I’ve realized VERY recently, but we frequently overattribute maladaptive behavior to hormones. Ekkies are different, but no so different that every unfortunate behavioral is hormonally related. Sometimes it’s something we have inadvertently reinforce.
 
OP
kme3388

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
706
2,133
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #12
That’s why I speak up. Education is key. The hormones aren’t a negative, they’re a feature. Every species is going to have their quirks, hormones are ekkies.

How old is Niko again?

That’s a tough spot to be in with your husband. But I’m certain that can partially be attended to with training. Key to understand the training is that YOU are the reward he gets to enjoy for positive behavior around the husband. If you don’t have the wherewithal to work out the training for yourself, I would say this is one case where involving a parrot trainer would be of great benefit.

I do believe you can actually get a handle on this to some extent. It’s not ALL hormones all the time. I’m very guilty of this with Parker, I’ve realized VERY recently, but we frequently overattribute maladaptive behavior to hormones. Ekkies are different, but no so different that every unfortunate behavioral is hormonally related. Sometimes it’s something we have inadvertently reinforce.

I don’t have any eclectus experience, so hopefully people with helpful advice will chime in. Keep posting and asking in different forums. i have had some good results with other species. When a macaw was starting to bond with me, instead of with his intended human (my husband) I just stepped back. Didn’t feed him, didn’t give requested skritches, didn’t respond for requests for pickup, left the room when he called to me. It was hard. I had never been able to give skritches to the previous bird and it was such a marvelous thing. But I did, and he eventually bonded to the “correct” human, and now I can’t skritch or pick him up unless he wants to go somewhere.

Then there was the previous parrot, a BFA, who was totally bonded to his human and bit me at every chance. What worked here was just paying attention to the bird himself. He was very intelligent. If he screamed, I left the room, and when he was quiet I came back and gave him a treat. So he learned to do non-screaming things to get treats and attention. He learned to do flips on his perch! This was purely from me watching him closely. If I wanted him to step up, he would do it or let me know he didnt want to. If he didn’t want to, I pulled my finger back toward me but left it extended and made good eye contact. He would look at me and think about it. Most of the time he would then extend a foot and step up. He just wanted it to be his decision. Once I learned that I never was bitten again.

So I have a decent working relationship, if not an affectionate one, with two parrots now. The exact details of what worked and didn’t probably won’t help you. What did help was the general paying of attention. For example. A parrot might learn that if he bites or attacks your partner, you will come running to save the partner. Aha! Now the parrot has an easy way to get you to come get him. Better for the partner to deal with it and you stay away. If ekkie attacks your partner, you say no and leave the room. Partner might need to use Mr. Cushion - google Birdman666 posts for Mr. Cushion - to restrain bird without hurting him or scaring him and give him a chance to think about what he did. But make EYE CONTACT and WATCH your bird. You will learn what he is thinking. You will even learn when he is being sneaky, like a macaw putting up a foot for step up and then biting the arm once in range.

If there is a chance to solve this by training or behavior, you will find it. Don’t decide you know what he’s thinking or focus on what you want or on what you expect or what a person would do. What is your bird doing? What do those little eyes, those feathers, that stance, tell you? Young parrots go through intense hormonal phases. It’s in their DNA. Don’t dismiss the possibility of hormone treatment or meds to temporarily change behavior. Interfering with his biology might be a lesser evil than rehoming an aggressive bird who might then wind up as a production breeder in a tiny cage for the rest of his life. Keep looking for answers and KEEP WATCHING, SEEING, and PAYING ATTENTION to your bird as the sentient, individual, autonomous being that he is, and use your greater insight to guide the relationship.

Sorry I didn’t have more concise advice. I hope you will achieve a great breakthrough and be able to help other ekkie/human pairs everywhere on earth! Good luck, good wishes, May the Forum be with you.
This was very very good advice! Thank you so much. The problem I run into with Nico is when he gets "upset" or something doesn't go "his way" he feather plucks, or causes self harm. He really challenges me in ways that I've never been challenged.
 
OP
kme3388

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
706
2,133
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #13
That’s why I speak up. Education is key. The hormones aren’t a negative, they’re a feature. Every species is going to have their quirks, hormones are ekkies.

How old is Niko again?

That’s a tough spot to be in with your husband. But I’m certain that can partially be attended to with training. Key to understand the training is that YOU are the reward he gets to enjoy for positive behavior around the husband. If you don’t have the wherewithal to work out the training for yourself, I would say this is one case where involving a parrot trainer would be of great benefit.

I do believe you can actually get a handle on this to some extent. It’s not ALL hormones all the time. I’m very guilty of this with Parker, I’ve realized VERY recently, but we frequently overattribute maladaptive behavior to hormones. Ekkies are different, but no so different that every unfortunate behavioral is hormonally related. Sometimes it’s something we have inadvertently reinforce.
Nico is 15-18 years old
 

Most Reactions

Latest posts

Top