Sweetheart Amazon randomly bit me???

Feb 20, 2023
28
62
U.S.A.
Parrots
Yellow Naped Amazon (rescue)
So, since the moment Chubby accepted me as his one & only human, we’ve been able to play together, eat together etc …
We are bonded.
Today, I took him to do laundry with me, which he received lots of stimulation from others & the environment. (I bring him almost 98% of the time - no issues.)
We went inside & he played around.
He grabbed the remote & I came to take it from him, which he held on tighter than he normally would. Normally if this happens he easily lets go.
He was being a bit defiant & I could tell something was off. He didn’t like that I did that.
Then same situation with my cellphone.
I went to sit on the couch & I put my arm next to him & he bit me! It wasn’t the usual “love” bite, it definitely broke tiniest bit skin, no blood.
I immediately said, “Ouch” which normally signifies to him that it was a “no - no”.
He stood his ground.
I slid up to the front of the couch, still sitting, withy back to him.
I heard in the wild that their flock mates would turn their back to another if they don’t like want they did.
So, I did this. He walked off to the side & I slid back & he went about his business tearing up a nearby cardboard box.

I did go blonde & chopped my hair to a pixie cut. Plus I am wearing a scarf over my head (which I’ve done before).
Maybe he doesn’t like the new color. lol

So, with that in mind, could anything have happened that triggered this?!
Is it hormonal season or something!?

Thanks guys!
 
OP
Chubby The Amazon
Feb 20, 2023
28
62
U.S.A.
Parrots
Yellow Naped Amazon (rescue)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
Exactly the right way to address an unsolicited nip!

He could just be pushing the limits to see what would happen.
I certainly hope so.
I was so happy when he started to accept me & we have been having non-stop fun.
I was so disappointed when he bit me because I thought we’ve come so far & it was out of his character.
I understand Amazons have a tendency to be unpredictable, which can be nerve racking when everything is going smoothly & you get nipped out of no where.

Kind of walking on eggshells at the moment, but not letting him own the space. Just keeping an eye out on his behavior & body language.

🤞
Thank you!!
 

JinPicaJest

Member
May 12, 2023
32
77
Parrots
Jingo - Cinnamon GCC
Picasso - Pineapple GCC
Court Jester - BCC
I think it's worth noting that you actually really did read Chubby very well -- you said,

"He grabbed the remote & I came to take it from him, which he held on tighter than he normally would. Normally if this happens he easily lets go.
He was being a bit defiant & I could tell something was off. He didn’t like that I did that.
Then same situation with my cellphone."

So you did a great job of realizing something was off with him. Maybe next time give him more space when he's like that, by not putting your arm next to him, or otherwise letting him settle down when you pick up those "off" signals.
 

ravvlet

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2019
2,349
7,078
Seattle WA
Parrots
Kirby - OWA, 33yrs old (2019-)
Broccoli - Dusky Conure - 3?mo old (July 2023 -)
~~~
(Rehomed) Sammy - YNA, 45 yrs old (2022-2023)
(RIP) Cricket - Cockatiel (2019-2022)
Kirby is also really bonded to me and normally is a total sweetheart, but sometimes I do something (either accidentally or on purpose, like when he needs medical care) that pisses him off, and then he too will act “off”. He really dislikes when I wear hats or if I change my hair, but is blasé about when I paint my nails. He rarely bites but still does sometimes when I’ve really set him off - we have been together four years just about.

Chubby still loves you. He was just peeved and letting you know the best way he knows how! And you did exactly the right thing. As far as I know - and I wish I was wrong, so it I am someone can come correct me, haha - there really isn’t a point where you’re so bonded that they *never* bite. It’s more about understanding where they’re at so you can prevent the circumstances that will lead to one, and that’s something you’ll always be working on, because I swear they’re always finding new stuff to be pissed about, haha!
 

Keatz

Active member
Jan 5, 2016
107
91
Australia
Parrots
Oscar (eclectus)
Basil (Amazon)
I can relate to you because this year, my Amazon, Basil, started displaying aggressive behaviour. The people on here gave me great advice and I've been doing target training, albeit not consistently, and it seems to have made a difference; though, he still has his off days, like yesterday, for instance.
When I got up, in the morning, I could tell that he was grumpy. Probably the way he lunged at me through the bars of his cage was the major indicator. Normally, in the mornings, he sidles up to the side of his cage for a tickle behind his head, but not yesterday. Then when I let him out, he flew onto my back and bit the back of my neck, leaving a nasty scar and lump. He seemed angry with me all day, and frequently tried to attack me. (Though, he didn't try to attack my partner - just me.)
Last night, I was sitting in front of the heater and Basil was sitting on the ceiling fan, giving me the evil eye with his wings out and his tail fanned. I put a towel over my head for protection.
When I got up this morning, he was the complete opposite, affectionate and sweet. It was like his Dr Jekyl potion had worn off.
I don't have a PhD in parrot psychology and don't really know why he has his off days. I can only speculate that I recently made the mistake of encouraging his nesty behaviour by letting him under the doona with me as I watched TV on the couch. They say hormonal Amazons can become aggressive. But this I know for sure: I've never experienced this type of aggression with other parrots, namely my pet cockatoo and eclectus parrot. It seems to be a behavial trait that Amazons are renowned for. One article I read suggested that while they respond to training, sometimes we have to learn to identify the triggers of their misanthropic behaviour and adjust the way we interact with them. That's why, last night, I put Basil in his cage by getting him to sit on a piece of dowl rather than my hand.
 

texsize

Supporting Member
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Oct 23, 2015
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I am not sure how old your Chubby is but based on a lack of yellow on his neck I am guessing he is still young.
The hormone season in the northern hemisphere is mostly over (for amazons).
So I am wondering if Chubby isn't going through puberty based on your other thread with the video of Chubby trying to mate with his ball toy.

It could be you are in for a rocky year or so with a teenage parrot.
 

saxguy64

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If I recall, Chubby is reportedly in his mid-late 30s? Hormones are USUALLY a seasonal thing, but honestly, the weather here in the northeast US has been awful this "summer". It's been cloudy, rainy, and cool since spring, and seems to have confused my YNA a little as well. She was over it, but started up again last week with the nesty shredding behavior for a few days. 🙄
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
17,616
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DYH Amazon
Coming from a totally different direction!

Far too often, individuals assume their Amazon's are static, with the exception of Hormonal season and as a result are caught-off guard when they react differently.

I am a very longtime Amazon lover and have had several control our home over the years. Regardless of whether the Amazon is a recent arrival or a longtime member, I ALWAYS approach my Amazon telling s/he what I want, while checking s/he's response (body language).

As noted above, many things can trip them back into a hormonal response! Whether 3 or 30, never assume your Amazon is in a loving mode! Expect the worst and rejoice when greeted with a kiss and not a bite!

You are clearly anticipating only love and need to be a bit more respectful in a need to announce why you are coming his way and what you want! It is part of communication /contact call that allows you time to assure the response (body language) your Amazon is providing.

Nothing really changes in your relationship, only you being a bit more respectful. It may seem stupid, but, not getting bit is not being stupid, right.
 
Last edited:

texsize

Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Oct 23, 2015
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1 OWA (Plumas R.I.P.)
1 RLA (Pacho R.I.P.)
2 GCA(Luna,Merlin) The Twins
1 Congo AG (Bella)
5 Cockatiels
For me not getting bitten = not taking any chances.

Because Bingo has been very non-hormonal this year I tend to forget what his normal hormonal behavior was like.

It’s true he could and would get um.. aroused at any time of year but….
I just thought it was a case of…..
boys being boys kind of thing.
If I was locked in a cage without girls……
 
OP
Chubby The Amazon
Feb 20, 2023
28
62
U.S.A.
Parrots
Yellow Naped Amazon (rescue)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #13
I am not sure how old your Chubby is but based on a lack of yellow on his neck I am guessing he is still young.
The hormone season in the northern hemisphere is mostly over (for amazons).
So I am wondering if Chubby isn't going through puberty based on your other thread with the video of Chubby trying to mate with his ball toy.

It could be you are in for a rocky year or so with a teenage parrot.
He’s 37. lol Definitely not going through puberty. I think he was just upset I took the remote away from him. 😅
 

Botsari

Active member
Nov 1, 2022
63
144
Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Parrots
African Greys
Parrots have not been selectively bred in captivity for hundreds to thousands of years like other common domesticated animal. They still very much have a switch in their head that goes off when triggered where they go into hyper-alert mode. The triggering event can be ludicrous, like he doesn’t approve of the new hair style, or entirely mysterious. My observation is that ANY time they are thwarted in any way there is a chance, albeit often a small one, that the switch will get flipped. This is probably why my default for dealing with telling a bird “no” is always to offer something that is MORE desirable, if possible. My birds have trained me well!

Presumably this is the wild animal “better paranoid that eaten” switch. My youngster Grey often will be playing with something like a pen cap when suddenly he will drop it, not like the particular motion it made, then start squawking and attacking it. Sometimes this is mr Hyde mode and all their normal relaxed behaviors transform into something else. In my observation this is separate from, and in addition to, hormonally activated aggression. You did exactly right - basically you can’t actively negatively reinforce parrot behaviors, just passively remove the thing the parrot wants - in this case your attention.

I sometimes think parrots aren’t really satisfied without a little bit of chaos, but usually this doesn’t mean your relationship with them has changed at all. It is probably a topic for a thread of its own, but my 28 year old Timneh African Grey (that’s him on the left in my avatar thumbnail) has been a life long agent of chaos. I probably should have named him Loki. Once or twice a month he would nip the tail of his buddy just to get chased around for a bit. You can always tell he not only enjoyed the chase, but that this was the whole idea from the start.
 
Last edited:

Sama

Member
Jul 14, 2021
15
58
Australia
Parrots
Amazons, eclectus, indian ring necks, cockatiels
So, since the moment Chubby accepted me as his one & only human, we’ve been able to play together, eat together etc …
We are bonded.
Today, I took him to do laundry with me, which he received lots of stimulation from others & the environment. (I bring him almost 98% of the time - no issues.)
We went inside & he played around.
He grabbed the remote & I came to take it from him, which he held on tighter than he normally would. Normally if this happens he easily lets go.
He was being a bit defiant & I could tell something was off. He didn’t like that I did that.
Then same situation with my cellphone.
I went to sit on the couch & I put my arm next to him & he bit me! It wasn’t the usual “love” bite, it definitely broke tiniest bit skin, no blood.
I immediately said, “Ouch” which normally signifies to him that it was a “no - no”.
He stood his ground.
I slid up to the front of the couch, still sitting, withy back to him.
I heard in the wild that their flock mates would turn their back to another if they don’t like want they did.
So, I did this. He walked off to the side & I slid back & he went about his business tearing up a nearby cardboard box.

I did go blonde & chopped my hair to a pixie cut. Plus I am wearing a scarf over my head (which I’ve done before).
Maybe he doesn’t like the new color. lol

So, with that in mind, could anything have happened that triggered this?!
Is it hormonal season or something!?

Thanks guys!
Amazon's parrots different personalities I have 13 years pair I adopted them since they are babies especially the male just 3 months js or less old , he was and still bitter bird , especially when he going older protect vhis female , and still sometimes attacked me don't know why love him so much , and I have his son 8 years old so quiet so friendly, and have his daughter 8 years so friendly as well and never bite me all years .
So we have to love and care them but we hope to be all so good . I found when give them chewing branches of safe trees like eucalyptus make them busy and calming . It better to keep them busy and never left them boring . And different forging food make them so happy and love us more .
 

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