OK, Jenny, thanks. The putting the head down - that has confused me up until now. I thought she was begging for head scratches, but now I think I am wrong. I think she is telling me she wants me to back off, sometimes, when she puts her head down, but I'm having a hard time knowing how to tell the difference between the two.
When she first came home, she reverted to a very babyish stage, which has lasted all of this time. All she seemed to want was to cuddle for hours and be petted. Now, she is changing, and that is to be expected and a normal part of her growing up.
My only problem is, I think I am not understanding her body language. The other day she started striking at my hands. Understand, she did NOT hurt me, yet. I want to figure out her body language before she does.
She put her head down really far and fluffed up her feathers, but when I tried to pet her, which is what I thought that meant, she struck at my fingers. Shortly after that, I asked her to step up. She put her head down like that and fluffed up again, but I just kept my hand where it was - where she could have stepped up. Instead, she pulled her head back toward her chest and up - kind of like a snake getting ready to strike. Then she made this click, and I could tell it was a warning click of some type. I was thinking I should move my hand, but just didn't get it moved fast enough, when she struck really fast - BUT - she didn't hurt me, but this was definitely an "attack" that I don't want to cause to be repeated.
I got to thinking about lots of conversations I had heard from people at the bird store and greys, and they are always talking about how greys will put their heads down like they want to be petted, and people will try to pet them, and then they will strike out and bite really hard. That made me think even more strongly that this is a form of grey body language we are not reading correctly.
Also, I know this, when I put my hand into Roni's cage, or even when she is on a playstand, if I say "step up", and she puts her head down like she wants to be petted, I CAN pet her, always, but if, instead, I stick my hand under her like I am going to insist instead that she step up, she will bite, always. Roni is an African bird, too, not a grey, but a senegal. However, it stands to reason to me that African birds might have more similar body signals than, say, African birds and South American birds would have.