Baby Bourke Help :) - Talk Parrots Forums

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 19 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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Baby Bourke Help :)

Hello fellow Parront's!
I'm a frequent "talker" over on the Parrotlet forum, and I recently brought home a 8 week old Male Normal Bourke. (He's 11weeks now)
I am aware of how different they are from parrotlet, and I did a ton of searching to find a baby that was hand fed so that I could interact with him. Unfortunately my baby is terrified of hands, not sure why but I'm guessing he was not well socialized.
I talk to him and sit by him daily (for hours). I feed him millet in the cage and a few times have gotten him on my hand, but typically he just runs the other direction.
He likes coming out of the cage, he is clipped and can't get any height so we let him run around and explore (with careful supervision) and he will sit under the coffee table near me. He's clearly settling in, but it just seems like all my working with him is not making much difference.
It's very hard for me when I have to get him back in the cage, he can't do it on his own and so I have no choice but to chase him down and scoop him up. I'm not sure if it's helping or hurting, but he clearly likes coming out.
Today I put his cage on the floor while he was out in the hopes of coraling him back in without picking him up but it didn't work just yet.

I really love him, he's just so scared. I really could use any personal tips out there on taming down a Bourke beside the obvious I have already mentioned. Especialy about picking him up, should i avoide it at all costs? I feel so discouraged.

I also had another Bourke owner suggest that getting a second Bourke may help, as long as it was tame. The theory was a second bird may inspire Jasper to run with the flock so to speak. I know this could also have the complete opposite effect. I don't mind spending time with two, and the cage I have would be big enough for them if I got another male.
When he hears Birds outside he seems pretty desperate to find them, it makes me sad for him. I'm not giving up on working with him and I'm not rushing out for a second bird either, I could really use some oppinons on what you all might do based on your experience.

Here's a pic of my baby Jasper.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 03:24 AM



 
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Hello and welcome to the forum! Jasper is absolutely gorgeous

A good approach would be to look into clicker and target training and if he is too scared to sit on your hand then work with a perch first. Bourke's are a very flighty species, so if you can it would be great if you let him have his wings too. Not being able to fly can make a bird anxious (being a prey animal) and when a big hand from above comes to grab them (like a predatory animal) they become very frightful. You may also find that if he can fly he possibly will return to his cage easier too. Most of my birds put themselves away when they're ready. You could also work on food management. I give my fresh foods in the morning so they pick at that throughout the day and then the seeds/nuts etc. comes in the afternoon and/or during training sessions. That way he will have some motivation to work with you. Millet spray works excellent
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
 
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That you so much for the tip. I do have a clicker that I initially got to use with my Parrotlet Melody, she's so stubborn I quickly decided not to care but she's a very bonded bird and I don't have a problem handling her. She's a sweet and spicy little girl (LOL)
Melody will eat treats from my fingers, but the only way I can get Jasper to eat a treat is from the spray, usually while he's in the cage. Do you have suggestions on how I should go about the clicker training? Should I just hold the spray out and see if he bites as a reward? What should the exercise be?

I tried a perch when he's on the floor but the hand was attached to the other end so that didn't work. I've been offering my arm with the same sweatshirt each day and my hand tucked in, occationaly he will get up the nerve to step on it from the door of his cage. I could use a perch too and see if I can get that to work. Or I read a rope perch held in a loop, he has one in his cage so maybe that would work?

Oh boy, he is really working me. I'm not very good at handling a scared bird, I was better with the biting hormonal molting Plett. Ha-ha
I absolutely agree about leting him be flighted. His wings were very heavily clipped, and he came to me that way so it's going to be a while before the poor little guy can get some lift. Right now he falls pretty fast and only gets about 8 inches up off the ground. Seems to be made luck with babies, Melody came to me severely clipped too.
What are your thoughts on being currently forced to pick him up to put him away? It just dosent seem like having to chase him down could possibly be helping. The rare time I moved at .01 foot per hour to get him on my finger he jumped off as soon as I moved.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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Here's another pic, I just can't help myself he's so cute :P
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 12:09 PM



 
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Oh man he is adorable haha, I love those Bourke cheeks!

I have written a few times on clicker and target training because quite a few people don't know where to start. I 'charge' the clicker and give it value first. Literally just click and give the treat. Click and give treat. Click and give treat. Do this so many times that you get fed up of it but only keep your lessons to about 2-3 minutes long so he doesn't lose interest. I do this until the bird anticipates the treat. So if you click and don't immediately reward the bird should be looking for it. That's when you can move on to working with the target (which I can give you more advice on when you get to that point)

The absolute best perches for stepping up are 'finger saving' perches. They're like a T shape so the hand is actually not on the end of the stick but underneath. Something like this would be ideal Pollys Finger Saver

Right now, as sad as it may sound, I wouldn't be letting him out of the cage so you aren't doing more damage by keep picking him up. I know it's really bad but if you can work on him while he's in the cage and then start to get him to come out and being more comfortable with you and his surroundings. He doesn't seem to be overly freaked out if he will step up on to your arm occasionally and I do think he could be worked with with just a little bit of prompting

Hope this helps
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yes it helps! I know what you mean about taking him out, its so hard because be just loves to come out and run around. He climbs in the door like you saw in the first pic and hangs out there. I will try very hard to keep him in for a few days and see if it helps.
So just to clarify, to start I hold the millet sprig just away from him and click, and then let him take a bite. Click, then give him a bite, yes?

What are your thoughts on getting a second Bourke that IS hand tame? Do you think it would be a good example for him or do you think it would badly encourage the tame one? (I'm not opposed to having two, )

About the cheeks, yes they are adorable. My husband and I call it the bird beard.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 12:47 PM



 
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Congrats on your new adorable baby bourke, I'm with catalinadee on offering a perch or branch so your bird can step up from the floor or from the cage door to the perch which allows you to lead him in or out of the cage. They usually learn to perch or step up this way fairly quickly so it should help you get the little guy back to his cage.





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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 03:46 PM



 
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I think another Bourke would be awesome to have around for him either way! And birds are very monkey see and monkey do. It has helped a great deal with some birds I have had (ie. a very phobic OWA who would copy my Alexandrine and eventually flew over to my shoulder completely out of the blue haha). Plus, birds thrive off company as I can imagine you know. Only issue is it could go either way. Does he ever see your parrotlet on you?

Don't even hold the millet away from him. Just give him some and click the moment he eats it. It just tells him to associate the click with positive interactions
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ok, great! Click away!!
I'm kind of glad to hear you say that, because I know that Bourks are many times kept in aviarys, and he goes nuts when he hears the birds outside I feel so bad.
He does see my Parrotlet on us, but I don't think he really recognized her that much. He Chirps at the birds outside, but when she Chirps he dosent care. Likewise Melody is totally uninterested. I don't think she even knows she's a bird she's so attached to us. I'm glad because I had no desire for them to interact.
If I get a second one, should I cage them separatated for a time to form a bond with the tame one and then introduce them to the big cage slowly?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 02:04 AM



 
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I would keep them apart anyway for quarantine so during that time with proper hand washing etc. you could work with the newbie And I don't blame you for not having him interact with your parrotlet, they can be very nasty to more passive birds!
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
 
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I would keep them apart anyway for quarantine so during that time with proper hand washing etc. you could work with the newbie And I don't blame you for not having him interact with your parrotlet, they can be very nasty to more passive birds!
LOL ...They can be quite nasty to their humans too! But the sweet makes up for it.

My friends over on Talk Pletts. Are doing a good job of talking sense back into me. I don't think a second bird is an answer, I'm being awefully impatient with my little Jasper. He may not be socialized as I had hoped but I believe he can come around, I just get so easily discouraged!!
Last night I pulled out the clicker and clicked and clicked while he ate away.
He climbed up my arm from the cage and I was too happy to stop him so he jumped out. I did however let him free roam untill he settled under the coffee table (his fave. place) and then I put his cage, open door on the floor near him. He was willing to step up on a rope perch I made into a loop to eat and he even eventually accepted my arm as an elevator lift back in the cage. It was a pretty good night, I really needed it I was feeling like I hit a wall.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 05:15 PM


 
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Bourkes are notorious for going through a flighty stage after weaning.
You may find he never becomes the tame bird you want or you may be lucky and he will tame down.

My bourkes are happy to climb all over me but they live in an aviary in a small flock.

I suggest getting him a friend. They love the company of their own kind and its very entertain to watch two of them making mischief.

Be mindful when they moult their flight feathers back in as they dont fly like other parakeets. They sort of flutter so do need a lot of flight space.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-14-2016, 02:52 PM


 
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Hi Mrs.JP3,
I like Jasper, he looks so adorable.
I would suggest you to buy him a friend of his species and let his primaries regrow.
That will make the bird more self confident.
I personally don't mind when birds are not tame. My linnies are not although we are bonded to each other.
They just don't like hands and I accept it.

Meanwhile you could help Jasper by hanging a rope from his cage down to the floor so that he can return there without help. I had a disabled linnie unable to fly, and that worked.
I hope Jasper will settle soon.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys, ...boy you all are not good at keeping the Multiple Bird Syndrome under control LOL

I really want Jasper to be somewhat tame, I realize Bourks as a specie are not cuddly or don't like to be held but I do know its possible for them to be quite friendly and like to sit with/on their humans. Everybirdy is different though so it's possible he just won't have that type of personality. Either way I love him. I'm definitely going to give him more time to get acquainted with us, and if after a year or so hes just not all that "in love" with us I think I will get him a buddy.

I really got him with the intention of a mellow little "companion" that could just enjoy hanging out and sitting with me.
(My Parrotlet is plenty cuddly and kissy and loves scritches so I get to experience that with her, however as you can imagine she rarely stops moving and chewing and makes too much trouble to not moniter her every move constantly, and shes a total Daddys girl so I get the boot sometimes)

I can't wait for his wings to come back, I hear from my girlfriend who has a Rosey they are very Swift and beautiful flyers, making pretty flutter sounds. Our house is very bird-flight friendly so he will be happy.
I absolutely ADORE listening to him sing, I never get tired of it it's so sweet. I think he's going to be good at mimicking, he already mimics a bird version of "pretty pretty" and "pretty bird".
I've been picking him up with a towel and he seems less freaked by that. He sat on my shoulder and my knee a couple times while I held my breath.

It's so hard not to want another one. ? LOL
Shame on you guys for encouraging an addict! ?
Here's my baby on my knee getting sleepy.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 12:38 PM


 
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So cute, and you tell us the little guy is not tame!

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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ha-ha! He's a sweetie. Hopefully he will become more comfortable like this. I call him my little road runner because normaly he's running across the floor as fast as he can, he looks so funny.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.JP3 View Post
Thanks guys, ...boy you all are not good at keeping the Multiple Bird Syndrome under control LOL

I really want Jasper to be somewhat tame, I realize Bourks as a specie are not cuddly or don't like to be held but I do know its possible for them to be quite friendly and like to sit with/on their humans. Everybirdy is different though so it's possible he just won't have that type of personality. Either way I love him. I'm definitely going to give him more time to get acquainted with us, and if after a year or so hes just not all that "in love" with us I think I will get him a buddy.

I really got him with the intention of a mellow little "companion" that could just enjoy hanging out and sitting with me.
(My Parrotlet is plenty cuddly and kissy and loves scritches so I get to experience that with her, however as you can imagine she rarely stops moving and chewing and makes too much trouble to not moniter her every move constantly, and shes a total Daddys girl so I get the boot sometimes)

I can't wait for his wings to come back, I hear from my girlfriend who has a Rosey they are very Swift and beautiful flyers, making pretty flutter sounds. Our house is very bird-flight friendly so he will be happy.
I absolutely ADORE listening to him sing, I never get tired of it it's so sweet. I think he's going to be good at mimicking, he already mimics a bird version of "pretty pretty" and "pretty bird".
I've been picking him up with a towel and he seems less freaked by that. He sat on my shoulder and my knee a couple times while I held my breath.

It's so hard not to want another one. ? LOL
Shame on you guys for encouraging an addict! ?
Here's my baby on my knee getting sleepy.



Gak! SO CUTE!
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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He sure is isn't he? You should see him when he runs across the tile, he goes so fast his feet slip out from under him and his little tail wiggles left and right. It's a hoot!
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 05:11 AM



 
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It's great that you've decided to work with him! I don't think he is overly uncomfortable with you, he looks pretty content there. They're ground foraging birds, so you may find that even when he's flighted that he'll still enjoy waddling from time to time. They're also somewhat crepuscular so I imagine he gets that little bit more active at dawn and dusk. Maybe that would be an ideal time to work with him on an evening
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