Pascal the Emma's Conure

Skarila

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Apr 19, 2021
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āœ»Csillam the rescued budgie
āœ»Pascal the Emma's (Venezuelan) Conure

Previous owned:
āœ»Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
Hello all!

Here I wish to share my journey and experiences with Pascal with y'all!

Pascal (the little rascal) is an Emma's conure, also known as Venezuelan parakeet (pyrrhura emma). He looks very similar to the white eared conure (pyrrhura leucotis), but there are some quite different features like the prominent blue crown and nape, and the yellow barring on his chest. He is much smaller than your usual GCC, but with equal spunkiness. He was parent raised in an aviary and is currently around 8-9 months old (he hatched in July 2020)

skarila-albums-my-birds-picture23409-pascal-being-majestic.jpg



I've gotten Pascal bit less than 3 weeks ago from an aviary. I was already planning to get a GCC later on, but by pure luck and accident I have seen that the little fella was up for sale, so I immediately begged my partner that we take him in, I had a feeling that this was a now or never moment. At first I had mistaken him for a Painted conure, which I have never seen for sale here in Hungary. The breeders mostly have general GCCs.

I already did have a prepared cage (from my fostered cockatiel) and all the food, so all I was missing was a bird. I went to the aviary, and lord, one GCC can be loud when they shout, but 20 at the same time can be quite deafening. There were a few GCCs that did come close to me to get some treats, while the others mostly huddled in the back. I sticked to the plan to get Pascal, because I knew that he wouldn't be as loud as a GCC, and I was right, luckily. All of the birds there were parent raised and not tame at all, but I rolled the dice and got the bird anyways. Initially i wanted an already tame bird because I wanted a buddy again, not a wild bird... Another of my issue was that he was weaned off to seeds opposed to pellets, which I honestly thought would be a challenge. I mean, I did switch 3 birds to pellets by now, so maybe I will manage this one as well... (spoilers, I switched him to pellets swiftly on his 3rd day.)

Pascal was quiet as a bug until we got back home. As soon as we put him in the cage, 20 minutes later he started jumping around the cage and vocalizing. I dare to say that it sounds like constant squeaks, like a dog toy. His contact call can be loud, but not nearly as earpearcing as from an IRN, even our cockatiel's contact call was much harsher. Poor things was shouting and jumping all around his cage for hours to no end, only in the evening he roosted to a comfy branch to sleep.

He was very similar the next day, quite uneasy. I started to get bit worried, but I did understand that all of this is so new to him, and now he was in a cage oposed to a huge aviary where he could fly. Letting him out yet was completely out of the question, as he is terrified of hands and I had no idea how would I bring him back in. It is also worth mentioning that we also have a little female budgie, who was super interested into him, so it was quite hard. .....still is. We were super careful and gentle around him, and slowly I started leaving treats in his tiny bowl as i would pass by. Very quickly I have found that he has a big love for apples and pears, seeing he is a fruit bird afterall.

On the 2nd day I started offering him apple as treats directly from me through the bars. Of course at first he was extremely reluctant, but later on he started accepting the apples from me. To my demise though, he didn't want to eat anything else, no peppers, no zucchini, not carrots, not even banana, ...Not even nutriberries!! Who doesn't like nutriberries??
Once he started accepting treats from me, I immediately introduced the clicker. So, every time right before getting the treat, I would click and then give it to him. And yes, he was still and absolute crybaby. Still is.

On his 3rd day I offered him Roudibush pellets, and he ate it without any issues so I immediately switched him from the millet. Now I use the millet as a treat as well. Since I am working from home, I get to work with him very often, which is really good. Very soon I introduced him into target training which by accident started with the sight of the clicker, unintentionally i let him always touch the clicker first, but soon after introduced him the chopstick instead, which he picked up very very quickly. He is a very brilliant bird, but awfully bullheaded. To my luck though he is very food driven (when my budgie isn't around) so training him seems less of a challenge. So, I was training him with the chopstick all around his cage, and already on day, he was literally chasing the stick just to get some apple.

in the course of next week, I kept target training him daily.

Because I knew he had to go out and get some exercise I started to let him out while i would shut in my budgie back into her cage. All was good except he always wanted to be with the budgie! It's a very natural behaviour, seeing that he came from a large aviary with tons of other birds... I also made a big mistake for leaving the food outside "just in case he gets hungry". BIG mistake. it was a mess to get him back, he didn't respond to the target training or luring with food, so I had to chase/tire him so I could grab him and put him back... I was certain that he would hate me from that day. He was so terrified that he played dead. He was super calm that evening and seemed to have forgotten everything the next day.

Slowly he was less terrified of hands, he would accept treats from me, but no way in hell was he about to step onto my hand to get that delicious pear or apple. I have realised that I must stop pushing him and let him simply get more comfortable around my hands. Instead of just giving him the piece of the fruit, I would make him having to stay nearby to eat while I was holding it, and it was a success.

Now, because he is so drawn to Csilli (my budgie), if I want to let him out, I started putting Csilli to the other room where my partner works. Now, she adores my partner, so no issues there, but it is a bit darker room than the living room (where the birds are usually) so I feel a bit bad for that. But in that case I can let our Pascal to roam around the room, and slowly he started coming to his play stand which was next to me on the table when I work at the computer. There I started occasionally target train him too, so it's not just in the cage. Also I stopped leaving food outside, so when he would get hungry, he would go back to cage and I could gently close him in and reward him too. Stress free...! Once I even managed to lure him in with the target too, that was a huge success. But that being said, for him it is always Bird>Food , so if Csilli is around, no training in the world will work.

In the 2nd week he was willing to step onto my hand to feast on the fruit. Success.

Couple of days ago I was chilling on the couch and eating apples and he was super interested but too afraid to come. I didn't push him, but their ignored really. I tried the same the next day and he did flew next to me trying to steal some of it. I fed him so that I would be holding the piece of the fruit and he would have to step up onto the hand to eat. This way I am not pushing him to do anything, but it is his choice entirely. Slowly he is more and more comfortable. And today he started flying onto my laptop, expecting to get a treat. Now I let him step up onto my hand and I give him a bite or two of the fruit and let him go where he pleases. This way I don't have a jumpy bird, and he seems to be more silent and taking care of his feathers more. He even bathed yesterday for the first time, I knew he was much more relaxed when he wanted to bathe...

And now as we speak he is eyeing the new unassebled cage (*COUGHfortressCOUGH*) and is zooming left and right trying to get to it :D little inquisitive little butt, I love him so much.

I will be writing more soon, if anyone is more interested!!
 

fiddlejen

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This is great story thank you for sharing! Look forward to hearing more about Pascal's life you you. :)
 

LaManuka

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Thanks for introducing me to the beautiful Emma's Conure! I'm looking forward to The Continued Adventures Of Pascal The Rascal! :D
 

Laurasea

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A beautiful treasure of a bird!! Lucky girl!!
Of course we are enthralled by your journey!!
Keep up the good work
 
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Skarila

Skarila

Supporting Member
Apr 19, 2021
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āœ»Csillam the rescued budgie
āœ»Pascal the Emma's (Venezuelan) Conure

Previous owned:
āœ»Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
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A little update on my dear Pascal!

Well he is surely a mischievous and stubborn little fella. I have him for just a little bit more three weeks, but he is slowly improving, at least while I keep Csilli the budgie in the other room.

Naturally, Pascal wants to be with the other bird, seeing he came from a large aviary which was full of his kind, I must respect it but also find a way how to tame him effectively. Now, that being said he is very food driven, but usually all my work seems useless whenever he's up for some mischievous work. Or simply clinging onto Csilli's cage.

If possible, usually during work I put Csilli's cage into the work room where my partner works so she is hanging out with him. However I am not a fan of that room because it is quite dark. The living room is pretty decent because is big and bright, but all other rooms are very dark.
I am working in the living room so I can spend most of my time with Pascal then. I let him out only if Csilli's cage is not there (along with Csilli). This way he will work actively with me, and get his prized apples and millet. Until now, I taught him target training and perhaps stepping up. He has no issues with the target one, but the stepping up can be a challenge. When he truly wants some apple, and he knows he will get some, he will step up, jump or fly to my hand, which is awesome. However, when he's chewing up on something he shouldn't, or being at a place I don't want him to be, there's no way in hell he will step up to me, even if he sees his favourite treat. I will keep trying with bribing him, I strongly believe that I will win his love through his stomach...
I even have a tiny T perch on which I ask him to step up. Sometimes he will, but most of the time not. He is extremely flighty, so if I do have a successful transfer of the bird with the T perch from point A to point B without him flying off, I do reward him handsomely. Actually, today was pretty successful "trasnfer" from his old cage to his new flight cage.

Oh, his cage upgrade. This guy seemed to HATE his cage. I bought the cage last year for a cockatiel we were keeping, it had pretty nice size, and getting big cages with good bar spacing here in Hungary really seems like mission impossible. The cage was 82cmx51x113 cm, but at 160cm height with the stand. However, while the cage it self wasn't cheap at all, it is incredibly cheaply made. it has plastic clips at the corners and sides which isn't really good for a bird. Archie, our cockatiel never cared, he never chewed on the plastic parts. However, Pascal was doing nothing but chewing on the plastic corners and clips which holds the cage together. I tried stuffing the corners with some chewables and cardboards and whatnot, but he always found his ways to the plastic clips.

That's when I knew it was time to buy a new cage.

After some research, by pure luck we stumbled upon a wonderful aviary that was available here in Hungary, but to our curiosity, we didn't even see anywhere any add in the store nor in the store it self the cage, we had to personally ask the staff in the store if they had it, which they did. It was super weird.

The flight cage is this one -> https://www.fressnapf.de/p/more-for-voliere-darwin-1008244/

For me it costed around 200 EUR which was a lot, but not that much for such a big cage. Normally all other cages are similar in price but much smaller and much worse quality. So, we got the new flight cage and soon enough built it up. The cage is 97x64x166cm but overall 100x65x187cm, it is way taller than me :18: I modified a couple of dowels to have a rough uneven texture so that I can use them as an actual perch without having to worry about Pascal's little feet. Today I will set up rest of natural perches inside for him, but i will try to keep it spacious, it is so wonderful to see that he can actually fly in the cage from one end to another. He really loves to fly and is really excellent at it. (also seeing what huge bombs he drops in the morning, I should've named him after a bombarder plane...:rolleyes:)

Sadly, in the evening, Pascal is still very nervous and always wants to be with the budgie whenever he sees her. Best I can do is half cover his cage to calm him down and prepare him for sleep. This way he doesn't see Csilli, and he can slowly roost up and go to sleep. I am still thinking and trying to address the issue, I guess he still doesn't see me nowhere near as a companion or friend, and because he is friendless he tries to be with another bird which is very familiar to him. I will keep the daily training during my work when he can be fully free in the room, keep rewarding him when he is nearby me and keep it slow and steady. Hopefuly after a few months his trust will build up from "apple holder" to "friend". As much as it can be sad that he will come to me only to get some treats and fly away when he had enough (no pushing or anything, I let him do the choice where he wants to be). Guess I am super impatient, but the fear of him bonding with my budgie who doesn't care about him much is real!!

But to be fair, it is a good sign he will fly to my hand whenever he wants something good to eat :D :39:
 

reddfoxx79

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Thanks for sharing your experiences with Pascal. He sounds like a fun little bird! I, too, have been struggling with a baby bird from a breeder who isn't tame. She is still unsure of hands. I wasn't able to have her on my hand without food for the first 3 weeks after she came home, and even then, it wasn't a fully trained step up. I've had her 4 weeks now, and she is getting better day by day. It sounds like he's making progress, and you're being patient, so you're off to a great start!
 
OP
Skarila

Skarila

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Apr 19, 2021
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āœ»Csillam the rescued budgie
āœ»Pascal the Emma's (Venezuelan) Conure

Previous owned:
āœ»Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
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Thanks for sharing your experiences with Pascal. He sounds like a fun little bird! I, too, have been struggling with a baby bird from a breeder who isn't tame. She is still unsure of hands. I wasn't able to have her on my hand without food for the first 3 weeks after she came home, and even then, it wasn't a fully trained step up. I've had her 4 weeks now, and she is getting better day by day. It sounds like he's making progress, and you're being patient, so you're off to a great start!

Thank you for your encouragement! Didn't plan really to get a bird from an aviary, but I had good feeling about this little fella.... Yeah, it's really a tough task to tame a bird, by pure luck I work from home so maybe that's why we're improving rather fast...

Yesterday I actually found out that he loves rock music. We always play classical music on the radio, but he never cared, but yesterday I was really itching for some good rock so I blasted the music and sang along, and he immediately bought it. He settled on my laptop and started chirping along, it was super adorable. He even stayed with me for a while and preening while right next to me (he was on the laptop). First time I've seen him bobbing his head for fun and doing the "snake dance", but I don't know if he's being a little territorial butt or he was just copying my head swaying. It was hilarious! Too bad I couldn't catch it on video.

Today Pascal seems very energetic and very playful and open. Until now he always seemed very obsessed with eating or getting to my budgie who's in the other room, but today I'm playing lots of my favourite rock music and singing, and he's loving it. Never seen him hopping around and just being silly, chirping and...simply having fun. Today I'm letting him be free - I'm not bothering him too much with targeting or stepping up, he seems having the time of his life and it brings me so much joy. if I'm working from the couch he will fly onto my hand and ask for some fruits that I'm snacking on too, so we have some slow bonding. While he's getting really good at flying onto my hand for snacks, I'm also slowly teaching him how to step down without freaking out and flying away, this way he will get more comfortable of me moving my hand to a different direction. And lord... My work laptop is so messy from the apple pieces that Pascal shakes off... I have to clean my laptop all the time :'D

He's making such cute chatters today compared to his needy squeaks, in general he seems happier. On Friday I have to take him to the vet, I really hope he won't regress from the visit and become too fearful of me again!
 
OP
Skarila

Skarila

Supporting Member
Apr 19, 2021
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āœ»Csillam the rescued budgie
āœ»Pascal the Emma's (Venezuelan) Conure

Previous owned:
āœ»Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
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Pascal the little Rascal

Does anyone feel like every day is a bit different with our birds? I sure do with Pascal. While one day he is absolutely fantastic and friendly, immediately the next he seems incredibly skittish and not interested in anything but just sitting away from all of us or shouting his head off (which thank the Lord, is not as bad as with my IRN I had before).

One day Pascal is willing to hang out with me, perhaps not on my shoulder (we're still not at that stage yet), but usualy nearby on the cage or will land on my phone while I am handling it. He even preened once while sitting on my phone, I swear I developed muscle fever from holding him still. The things we do for love....

While I do keep rewarding him whenever he comes to me, I cannot escape the feeling that he will come to me only when he is highly insterested. If I'd like him to step up for me, no way. Not even bribing helps. When I think about it, seems I haven't been successful not even once in making him to step up on random, only when he is hungry or demanding apples. Not sure what am I doing wrong, really. I'm generaly not forcing him anything, If he doesn't want to step up, I let him be, I make sure he sees the treat and retrieve it when he doesn't do what I asked him to do. Sometimes he will fly to me only to take the treat and just fly away. Hmm.

Yesterday Pascal was very interested in "preening" my nose, my lashes and eyebrows. And my hair. He really enjoyed grabbing my hair strands and just "preening" them over and over. Not sure if he sees it as preening me, or just having fun with my hair. Ofcourse he does not let me preen him back, not even touch him with my nose. Perhaps later one day.

Tomorrow Pascal will surely hate me, he must go to the vet for his check up, which means we'll have to catch him - I don't like the idea, I am always so afraid he will hate me later on and become more fearful of me. I might ask my partner to do it for me, so he'd be the bad cop in this case. Idea is that Pascal becomes more bonded to me, since my partner already has a Senegal who is strongly bonded to him (the Senegal is living with my partner's mother, so the 2 birds never met each other yet)

He's with us for exactly weeks now, which most likely isn't much, I know that with our rescue budgie (Csilli) we needed around 4-5 years for her to trust and become bonded to us.

Also, yesterday we installed some natural perches into his flight cage instead of the dowels, it seems very nice. We left some space in the middle of the cage for him to be able to fly a bit from one end to another, so if we're not home, he can still get some exercise in his cage. Not as good as flying around the room, but hey...at least something.
I am also planning to make a sleeping place for him, I am still thinking about it. He always snuggles up somewhere tightly among his toys whenever he goes to sleep, so I'd like to make something in terms of a happy hut, but without fabric. I have a big diameter (strong) carton tube which might be good for him, I'll put in some yuta or sisal fabric inside, to make it a bit softer, maybe he will like it. My only concern might be that he might become hormonal once the Terrible Twos hits, but he is still juvenile, at just 9 months old after all. Who knows, perhaps he might bloom into the snuggliest birb alive later on... or become the devil himself who will bond to my budgie :'D
 
OP
Skarila

Skarila

Supporting Member
Apr 19, 2021
331
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599
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Parrots
āœ»Csillam the rescued budgie
āœ»Pascal the Emma's (Venezuelan) Conure

Previous owned:
āœ»Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
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Two steps forward, and 13 steps back

Last Friday (which makes it week 4), I took Pascal to the vet for his check up, luckily everything seems to be okay, he's healthy 52 grams. The vet ensured me to calm down regarding his barbed and destroyed feathers, seeing that he is still very young and from an aviary. After first few moults I should see some improvements in his feathers, seeing that I did switch him to pellets on his 3rd day. ....Still working on making him eat his veggies. At least he's playing with the carrots.....

My issue is that I am fully aware that parrots are like bipolar cranky toddlers, I had bipolar birds before, but never SO much! I am being very impatient it seems!

Sometimes, Pascal is very active in his stepping up for treats, or simply to hang out near me, or trying to preen my eyebrows and hair which is adorable. But then, some days it seems like I am the devil himself and will just waddle away from me, and doesn't want to do anything with me. I am very careful not to push him, and to reward him for his stepping up. Heck, I could even do recall training sometimes, he was willing to fly across the room to get his bite of an apple! He doesn't seem to have issues with target training, but he is too reluctant with stepping up. I always seem to have to lure him with something, and even then it doesn't really work. He seems to be interested in me only when he is hungry and really wanting some treats. otherwise he is just hanging around the budgie and destroying her cage from the outside, heh.
Another thing that happens very often is that even when he does step up for me, he will fly away as soon as he gets the treat, and I am really clueless how to troubleshoot the issue. Normally I don't put him down into places where he doesn't want to be (aka inside his cage), I'm really gentle and careful with him. Since I work form home, I work in the same room where the birds are. I let them do whatever they want, Csilli (the budgie) will usually just sit in her cage, while Pascal is just climbing around her cage and chewing on the bars. Or trying to get into her cage before I notice him.

I am certain that Pascal is calmer around my hands now. sometimes I manage to pet his beak gently with my finger before he backs off a bit, I immediately stop and coo to him :'D I get super happy if he doesn't back off if I get really close, I will just talk to him softly, nod and blink slowly or keep my eyes closed, kind of mimicking him. Sadly those moments are very rare. I mostly have issues with him stepping up, sometimes he is extremely reluctant for some reason. He would put one foot up, and then kind of just change his mind and back off. In such cases I must give up and try again later. I also do not interrupt him during his preening or playing with plastic laundry clips (I swear, he loves them and will play for at least 20 minutes with it alone...), but only when I see I have his attention.

I understand he must have a reason to step up. Before it was to get his treat. Pascal does seem bit less food driven, and I am not sure what else I can offer him, since he doesn't really want to hang out with me at all. He won't even sit on my shoulder at all, he seems too afraid to do so, or sees no reason to, since he doesn't seem to be interested in being with me. Csilli is the one he wants to hang out with, even though she always seems to be keeping some distance from him, no preening allowed.

One thing that did improve is that he does seem calmer during the day when he is in the cage (if he is). Maybe it has to do with the fact that he spends most of the day outside, together with me and Csilli (mostly Csilli).
Despite everything, he is the darnest and cutest thing ever had, I can never stay angry on him no matter what he does... I just really hope he will come around soon.
 

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