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Parrot Behavior, Bonding and Training Discuss parrot behavior, parrot training, parrot bonding, and other psychological aspects of parrot care.

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 09:12 PM Thread Starter

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Beak Handling, Playing

As always it seems with me, the topic comes to Reptar again. He is still the strangest bird I have ever met. But this time, its mostly just out of curiosity. He's my lovable dork, always playful even with the drastic moody puberty period lately. Just a bit nippier.

Since I first got him, I wanted him to be able to handle anything. I can lift his wings, hold him around the body, hold him upside down, etc. It was about getting him used to any sort of situation if it became necessary later on, and he never once had any difficulty. While this was going on over the beginning weeks, we developed a sort of game. There was never any harm to it. I would hold each side of his beak between my fingers and he would just sort of move his beak/ tongue around, never putting any pressure.

Fast forward to Reptar at five months, its still the same sort of deal. I can grab his beak, or use that hold to roll him onto his back, and he does so without any pressure from me. I use it to calm him down when he's being a bit nippy and ignoring other cues, he holds one of my fingers when hes on his back and just kind of runs his open beak across my other fingers, again without pressure against my skin at all, even if he was in full on attack mode a second before.

Is this normal or even typical? I know that it isn't fully discouraging the behavior of being nippy itself, but it seems to be a really calming thing when he starts to act up a bit. We actively discourage the nipping otherwise. The nippy side itself isn't a problem overall, he is a very gentle bird otherwise, he's maturing towards adulthood right now and has phases that are noticeable.

I know that stroking birds along the back or even along the body can be hormonally stimulating, even with a bird not fully mature, so I avoid it. Is the beak in the same ballpark? I swear its like Reptar's "calm down" button, but I don't want to be doing anything too offsetting.

lindsay, owned by three conures
six tiels, two dogs & two tortoises
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 12:28 AM

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My GCC also loves her beak to be stroked. When she is acting up I also will gently hold her beak and tell her no bite... She will get tired of it in 2 or 3 secs and gently remove her beak from my fingers... I can grab her beak and gently shake her head ( wiggle it a bit, not really shake) and she loves it... When she is naughty I can gently tap her beak with the tip of my finger and she stops... No I am not hitting her... It is a very light touch that does no harm, causes no fear or distress of any kind, it is a mere redirection, an attention getter. I think the beak is a very sensitive piece of the body.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 02:34 AM
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Mojo totally loves it. Same thing. If he is fired up it's literally like a "shhhhh" and he just mellows. He nibbles with no nipping as I do it as well, and allows the head wiggle Parrotletsrock mentioned.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 03:32 PM

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My green cheeks loved beak rubs too, I think it's a conure thing

- Alexandrine parakeets Kona, Peaches, George (missing), Holly (RIP), & Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
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