Sulking Alexandrine

les9566

New member
May 11, 2021
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Good morning everybody.
New member here so please be gentle and I apologise for the long winding post below.

I'm Les and both my wife and I purchased a Alexandrine last year [Bugzy] and to be honest we were relative novices to owning a parrot and he is neary 12 mnths old. Bugzy's cage has always been in the front room aside my wife and I and his door is generally left open when we are in the room and we spend hours in there when we return from work.

He is quite content to take food from my hand, for us to kiss his beak and generally get close to him. When he is in the mood he will hop onto my arm and head directly to my shoulder where he will nuzzle into me and rub his beak on my face and neck and nibble [sometimes a little harder]. All sounds ok to some, however we really struggle to get him to step up or let us stroke his head/neck. I appreciate that birds like many animals can be stubborn and if he has food /water and toys in abundance he may well think... I don't have to let you stroke me or why should I step up.

I have tried coaxing him onto my hand with his favourite treats and to be honest its a bit hit and miss and often ends up with him trying to bite. I would appreciate any feedback as despite his standoffish nature I believe he is secure in as much that he willingly preens himself while sat on my arm or shoulder.

I know not all birds will want to be petted etc and just to add to the story.
We have recently bought a Galah Cockatoo [smokey] and we have had him 2 weeks. we have moved the cages to another area in the room and they are side by side [a couple of feet apart] and Smokey is approx. 7 month old and is extremely affectionate with me, steps up,loves kisses and rubbing his neck. We know have another battle as Bugzy seems to be sulking and not coming out of his cage. We still give him plenty of attention and no doubt the move of cage and introduction of another bird will have an affect.

in closing I am just after some advice as to what I we could do differently and possibly reassurance that we are not making major mistakes with our birds.

thanks
les
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
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USA
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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
Welcome to the forum. Its a great community, and always I am learning.

Alexander as a species are less into being petted i think. So that he let's you pet him sometimes points to him really liking you.

Bird tricks on YouTube tube has some great target training videos, and foraging training videos. I think target training might help yiu move forward. Remember very short training sessions with birds, just a few repetition. But you can repeat throughout the day.

This article covers so many great things abd sort of give you an insight into how parrots think.. its long but so worth a read
https://lafeber.com/pet-birds/stress-reduction-for-parrot-companions/
 

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
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Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
I totally agree with Laurasea's response above.


Since you guys are fairly new to this, here are some links for you on a variety of health, training and behaviors:

This is what I think all people with parrots should know about (health, hormones, sleep, safety etc)--see my long reply on this one: http://www.parrotforums.com/caiques/89726-can-i-get-1-caique-if-i-work.html

http://www.parrotforums.com/general-parrot-information/49144-tips-bonding-building-trust.html <-- bonding/trust (I know trust may not be the root of your issues at this time, but this is important to know, as neither of these parrot species will be sexually mature until 2-3 (which means you will likely have to focus on this a lot more at puberty, even though you will have had your birds for a few years at that point. Furthermore, sometimes something seemingly small can upset them and require owners to start back at the basics for a period of time.

http://www.parrotforums.com/questions-answers/89733-new-parront-here-biting.html <--- ABA can be your best friend when it comes to parrots and dealing with any behaviors (good or bad). I know your bird isn't biting, but the principles described here apply to behavior in general (see my replies)

again, I know your bird is not biting, but this video has good behavioral tips: [ame="https://youtu.be/ej8dal0tx-g"]Avoid Parrot Biting - Body Language and Bite Warning Signs - YouTube[/ame] <- a lot of people make the mistake of waiting until the bird shows signs of agitation or fear instead of looking for positive indicators of cooperation when training etc.


http://www.parrotforums.com/cockatoos/89788-galah-cockatoo-does-not-like-me-anymore.html <-- The importance of teaching independence and avoiding hormones etc. Hormones are huge with parrots and this becomes more evident as they mature sexually, but it's important to start sustainable/non sexual interactions now, rather than waiting to change when they mature and things become sexual.


http://www.parrotforums.com/conures/86786-need-help-bird-upsetting-whole-family.html <-- how to respond to screaming (in the event that you have issues with screaming at some point)--I imagine you may run into this at some point, and knowing what to do ahead of time can save you a lot of headaches




I would also research "target training" because that can be helpful when teaching step-ups.
 
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Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
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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
" how to respond to screaming (in the event that you have issues with screaming at some point)--I imagine you may run into this at some point, and knowing what to do ahead of time can save you a lot of headaches"

Noodles! This made me laugh because its sooooo true!!! With all parrots but especially those two species are high on the screamin list.

Everyone needs to think about screaming before it becomes an issue. Understanding birds are going to be more vocal during breeding season
 

Betrisher

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2013
4,246
62
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Parrots
Dominic: Galah(RIP: 1981-2018); The Lovies: Four Blue Masked Lovebirds; Barney and Madge (The Beaks): Alexandrines; Miss Rosetta Stone: Little Corella
G'day Les! Nice to see another Alex owner here!

Not all Alexes enjoy being touched or petted. Some do (and those owners are lucky), but mine don't and never have since babyhood. If you persist in trying to pet or stroke your bird, there's the possibility that you could be teaching him to bite, since that's the only way he can think of to get rid of your unwanted attention.

My best advice would be to stop trying to pet him, but to engage with him in other ways. You can try to pet very occasionally, but if he refuses, then just accept that he's not a hands-on kind of bloke.

Alexes are extremely easy to read and they will give you many signals before they bite. The most obvious one is eye-pinning (where their pupils contract to pin-holes). More subtle ones can be bill-clacking and wing-shuffling or sidling away from you. It's very important to recognise these as signs that the bird does not want to do what you're asking. If you persist (eg. by forcing a step-up), then you'll be bitten and the bird will soon learn that biting works!

Instead, find out which treat your bird likes best and then set about bribing him shamelessly to do what you want. Reward him lavishly for sitting on your hand but *never* when he sits on your shoulder. The full-force bite of an adult Alexandrine can literally deglove your finger (I know this from experience) and you certainly don't want to be bitten on the ear or face. It's probably more sensible never to allow your bird on your shoulder, but that choice is, of course, yours to make. :)


I appreciate that birds like many animals can be stubborn and if he has food /water and toys in abundance he may well think... I don't have to let you stroke me or why should I step up.

It doesn't exactly work like that. Who knows why some ringneck species don't like to be touched? There are plenty of normal people who aren't fond of it either. It doesn't mean they aren't affectionate or that they don't enjoy interaction with others. You just need to find other ways is all. This is where trick training can come in handy.

If you can engage your bird to do small tasks for a reward, it opens a different dialogue between you and allows you to enjoy a very special bond indeed. Target training is not only fun to teach, but also very useful in terms of being able to put your bird wherever you want him to go. (Instructions in the Training section).

Step up can be easy or difficult, depending on the bird. The best way I've found is to put the bird on a t-stand and hold the end with your hand. Offer treats to your bird and entice him to walk toward you on the perch until he steps on your hand. Give him a bonanza (a few treats at once) and then put him away. Keep doing this a few times and step up should become a breeze.

Congratulations on your choice of a Galah too! They make a beautiful companion bird and are very, very intelligent. I'm sure you'll have a ball with yours. Having said that, though, it's entirely possible that your Alex has his big red nose out of joint. You might just need to be patient with him while he works out his issues.

Having kept a Galah along with my Alexes, I'll just say that I always supervised them carefully while at liberty in the house. The Alex bill can do serious (and, perhaps, lethal) damage to a Galah while the Galah's sense of self-importance could lead it into an ill-advised argument with the Alex. Just be watchful.

The last thing I'll say is that it takes a LOT of time to build solid relationships with our birds. These little problems can sometimes take weeks or months to resolve and can occasionally take a good bit of lateral thinking. Be patient and be prepared to simply watch your birds from a distance sometimes to work out what makes them tick. :)
 
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Scott

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les9566

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May 11, 2021
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Thanks to everyone for the responses and information and it is greatly appreciated. I take on board Betrisher's comments about keeping an eye on the birds and tbh I was mindful of this and never leave the cages open if no one is in the room and constantly monitor whats going on. At present Bugzy is still mooching around his cage and showing no interest of venturing out and with Smokey its early days as we only opened the cage door last weekend and he has been out once. Moving forward it was always my intention to keep them apart.

I can also relate to the risk of biting from the alex. Fortunately Bugzy was only 6-7 month old when this happened to me. His split ring got caught on a thin piece of wire on a ladder he was in the process of destroying and rather than risk him breaking his leg or worse I had no option but to grab him for the minute or so it took my wife to remove the ring from his leg and ladder. As I said, I was fortunate he was only young but he still did a job on my hand and fingers... the things you do for love eh ?

anyway, thanks again and take care.
 

Flboy

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2014
12,123
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Greater Orlando area, Florida
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JoJo, 'Special' GCC, Bongo, Cinnamon GCC(wife's)
Welcome to you!
Remember— Different strokes for different folks!
My JoJo, a GCC, is a bird that is known for cuddling! Someone forgot to tell him!
I am allowed to rub his beak- a little! Anything else is met with a polite, stop, followed by a bloody STOP! He will cuddle a little after a bath!
 

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