Why are these birds biting me? - Talk Parrots Forums

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

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
 
Charis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 30
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Why are these birds biting me?

I will admit - I have had budgies my whole life. However I am ready to take the plunge and acquire a much larger bird - an eclectus. This will not be for another few years (after we get into a house of our own). I am curious how similar training/taming a larger parrot is to taming/training budgies.
Fluff actually does not know the commands "step up" - his is "c'mere" and if he doesn't feel like it he isn't about to listen. I tamed him with time and slowly increasing interaction. I would bait him with food for positive steps in the right direction and for interacting. He is clicker trained which has helped immensely.
I am curious about parrot body language as I am trying to figure out how to keep a larger parrot from biting me - I have been bitten by all the parrots I have interacted with except for the eclectus (which is not the only reason I want one). All the parrots I interact with I wait for them to come to me. I just wait. The last one was a little green cheek - it came running over to me when I was over two feet away, climbed right up on my hand and bit the snot out of me. I tried to put it down and it would not let go (with its feet) and rubbed its little head on me and then bit me again and again and again. I don't know if it needed a chew toy or I was in its shop (I was not near its cage) and therefore must be bitten. I was bitten by the lorikeets that flew to me from across their enclosure, climbed onto me from their branches and then bit me.
Why are these birds biting me? What am I doing wrong? Is it body language? Is it just that these birds are in the habit of biting and I happen to be there?
Either way I want to figure it well before I get an eclectus because I don't mind being bitten by someone else's bird but I don't want my bird to bite me everyday.

P.S.
With the biting I do not panic, I don't yank away, I don't scream. I just say a firm "ow" and attempt to put the bird down and end the interaction. In the case of the green cheek - it was not about to let go (and I didn't even have food or a toy).

Charis is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 11:06 AM


 
lisaowens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,618
Thanks: 393
Thanked 251 Times in 183 Posts
Rep Power: 12
   
well they could be hormonal or if young just be testing you. my little green cheek has bit but she is only 3 months so she is testing her bounds. i blew in her face when she did and she stop then. also if you are thinking oh no i am going to get bit the birds can sense that keep positive in your thinking, my grey has never bit me on purpose he just turned a year when i say on purpose it is because he has grabbed me when he lost his balance and was scare of falling but that is it. you are doing good with not reacting but you also have to keep it in your head the birds will not bit and learn to read body language on their part

lisaowens is offline  
post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
 
Charis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 30
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
I do take each new bird I interact with as a "he won't bite" - I'm not nervous when handling them and give every bird a "shot."
I do think that may have been the green cheek's problem as it was very young.
The lorikeets - I have no idea.
Are young parrots like babies - exploring everything with their mouths?
How do you break this habit and how do I discourage birds from biting me when I am not their owner?

Charis is offline  
 
post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 11:33 AM


 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,245
Thanks: 325
Thanked 620 Times in 487 Posts
Rep Power: 34
                     
Parrots in general explore everything with their beak... The trick is teaching them when they are too rough... Mouthy is ok... Touching , holding , nibbling is ok... Nipping is not and biting is most definatly not. They do not automatically understand they are biting to hard... They need to be taught to be gentle ... That being said they also learn to control and bully by biting if you do react the way they want.
ParrotletsRock is offline  
post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
 
Charis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 30
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
How do you teach gentle mouthing?
How do you teach a bird that isn't yours?
Is stopping the interaction the best way to stop the biting?

In the long run would clicker training (clicking and rewarding mouthing only or not mouthing at all) be the best way to prevent this behavior?

Charis is offline  
post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 12:49 PM


 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,245
Thanks: 325
Thanked 620 Times in 487 Posts
Rep Power: 34
                     
You have to find what the bird wants and use that to your advantage.... If he wants to be in his cage , then time out in the cage would reinforce the behavior not curb it... But if he enjoys being with you then time outs work... I set my conure on the floor in a safe spot and turn my back on him when he nips . When he is picked up a moment later he is very mellow and sweet, he does not mind the floor it is being ignored that gets to him. I don't know how to stop someone else's bird.
ParrotletsRock is offline  
post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 03:46 PM



 
catalinadee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 17,637
Thanks: 1,593
Thanked 2,007 Times in 1,575 Posts
Rep Power: 99
                     
Yes birds use their beaks for everything and anything, especially to test you if they are young. One of the members on here has recently had a baby ekkie and she's already testing out her beak!

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
catalinadee is offline  
post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 07:06 PM
 
MikeLK's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 27
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Birds are easier to work with if their wings are clipped. Budgies tame so much easier this way. Start with him on your finger repeating the step up command again and again and he will learn this and that you are his leader. With the biting, if he is on your finger and takes ahold, quickly turn your finger slightly unbalancing him and he should let go. Best of luck with him and future birds.
Mike
MikeLK is offline  
post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
 
Charis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 30
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeLK View Post
Birds are easier to work with if their wings are clipped. Budgies tame so much easier this way. Start with him on your finger repeating the step up command again and again and he will learn this and that you are his leader. With the biting, if he is on your finger and takes ahold, quickly turn your finger slightly unbalancing him and he should let go. Best of luck with him and future birds.
Mike
The birds biting me aren't mine. My bird is very, very tame. All the birds I have been bitten by belong to others and I am curious how to best prevent this as I intend to continue to interact with parrots as much as possible as I work towards acquiring my own (eclectus). I own only a budgie - the birds that bit me were lorikeets, green cheeks and quakers. I am looking for a generalized training technique that I can apply to birds that I do not own but I can interact with without loosing skin every time.
I am also trying to learn if there is something I am missing in their body language that says they are going to bite (I don't think there is because the birds make a point to come to me from several feet away).

Charis is offline  
post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 10:18 PM



 
catalinadee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 17,637
Thanks: 1,593
Thanked 2,007 Times in 1,575 Posts
Rep Power: 99
                     
Honestly the key to handling a bird is confidence. When I went to pick up a baby military macaw I didn't know what to do when he chomped my arm because he wasn't my own bird! Somebody quickly ran over and pulled his beak off me, lovely bruises

Most birds give a little warning, except cockatoos. With most birds they poof up, get fluffier. Their voice will often change too. The Quaker I looked after daily at college up until I left was the sweetest bird. She'd fly over to you and quake, but if she made a slightly different one when sat on you it was a big back off! Different species have different signs. But I find cockatoos can give signs but 95% of the time they can lash out without warning, as my hands have found out

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
catalinadee is offline  
post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 12:58 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 27
Thanks: 2
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
I'm looking for tips as well and not nips. We've just started forstering a GCC who is blind in one eye, so we do approach her from her good eye so she won't be startled. I get her out of her cage with a perch (that's IF she WANTS to come out), or we leave the cage door open so she comes out on her own. When she does, it isn't for very long. She's drawn blood on me one time and now I admit, I'm a little nervous with her. I was more confident with the Red Lored Amazon we were fostering last year than I am with her. You think being a smaller bird I wouldn't be so nervous with her but I am. Looking for suggestions please
dianeac is offline  
post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-07-2012, 12:34 AM
 
Big_bird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Burnaby, BC
Posts: 541
Thanks: 0
Thanked 20 Times in 15 Posts
Rep Power: 11
     
Send a message via Skype™ to Big_bird
I know its obviously not the same bird, but my Severe when she wants to take a swing at me, would pin her eyes, turn her face away from me, puff up her back feathers, and if you didn't heed those warnings, look out because she bites hard. But usually a bird that bites, is testing, fearful, or dominant. I also knew when not to bug her, like in the early mornings, and in the evenings when its bed time. A fearful bird wouldnt come over to you, so that strikes that one out. Dominant is likely, because if you are afraid of them because its the first meeting, they take control. Sounds like the possible biting from the Green Cheek. Green Cheeks from my experience, tend to try to dominate a new person they are meeting. They can be very stubborn little birds, but their owners love them lol Lories are also very stubborn and dominant for the most part. Usually though, like everyone always says, some birds will bite, others wont. KC to test me would whip her head down, and clamp me with her beak. Not hard, but enough to really startle you. Then she would swing those innocent gold eyes up at you, saying with her expression "what you gonna do about it?"



A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
- Lou Holtz


Big_bird is offline  
post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 06:10 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 85
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charis View Post
I will admit - I have had budgies my whole life. However I am ready to take the plunge and acquire a much larger bird - an eclectus. This will not be for another few years (after we get into a house of our own). I am curious how similar training/taming a larger parrot is to taming/training budgies.
Fluff actually does not know the commands "step up" - his is "c'mere" and if he doesn't feel like it he isn't about to listen. I tamed him with time and slowly increasing interaction. I would bait him with food for positive steps in the right direction and for interacting. He is clicker trained which has helped immensely.
I am curious about parrot body language as I am trying to figure out how to keep a larger parrot from biting me - I have been bitten by all the parrots I have interacted with except for the eclectus (which is not the only reason I want one). All the parrots I interact with I wait for them to come to me. I just wait. The last one was a little green cheek - it came running over to me when I was over two feet away, climbed right up on my hand and bit the snot out of me. I tried to put it down and it would not let go (with its feet) and rubbed its little head on me and then bit me again and again and again. I don't know if it needed a chew toy or I was in its shop (I was not near its cage) and therefore must be bitten. I was bitten by the lorikeets that flew to me from across their enclosure, climbed onto me from their branches and then bit me.
Why are these birds biting me? What am I doing wrong? Is it body language? Is it just that these birds are in the habit of biting and I happen to be there?
Either way I want to figure it well before I get an eclectus because I don't mind being bitten by someone else's bird but I don't want my bird to bite me everyday.

P.S.
With the biting I do not panic, I don't yank away, I don't scream. I just say a firm "ow" and attempt to put the bird down and end the interaction. In the case of the green cheek - it was not about to let go (and I didn't even have food or a toy).
Last year I rescued a triton cockatoo and for the firsy 9 months i COUldnt get him to stop biteing people....For some reason she never bit me but anyone who would come over or who else lived in my home was fair game and I mean she bit hard enough to pierce thru the bone.....I personaly dont know the life she had before me but I personally believe that someone mistreated her some how I spent alot of time loveing her and making her comphertable and tried to get her use to other people but what damage was done was permenetly done.....She is now with an elderly lady that came around alot and was one of the lucky ones who didnt get bit........good luck with your bird its gunna be a hard habit to break

Umbrella cockatoo lover
newbee is offline  
post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 07:13 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 16
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
I feel your confusion. I have a green cheek that loves to chew on me and bite me. It's not out malice or anything else, he just has to have SOMETHING in his beak. He chews on my collar, my fingers, my neck, my ears, my arm and sometimes quite hard. I've learned to practice self preservation and keep foot toys around to shove in his chomping beak so he attacks something that isn't me. So far so good, I haven't had any problems recently at least.
TextsFromParrots is offline  
post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 11:34 AM
 
Wingz4Thingz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: England
Age: 22
Posts: 358
Thanks: 0
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Beaking is a natural behaviour in young birds, as they want to see and feel everything with their beaks. They will also try to test your limits, so be firm if a young parrot is trying to dominate you. Stay calm. However if the bird gets too rough when beaking, especially with a large bird such as a macaw, this can be an undesirable behaviour, so you will have to set boundaries early on.
Wingz4Thingz is offline  
post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 02:08 PM
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
 
I have a little two year old Pineapple Green Cheek who is as mean as he is pretty. He aggravates and bites everyone in the family and seems to delight in it. He appears to have a death wish and constantly tries to get to my Severe who would bite his head off. He aggravates my Sun Conure to the point she will retreat into her cozy hut and not come out until he is gone. He bites me when I feed him and clean his cage, when I open the other bird ages, feed or clean them, when I wipe up his droppings, anything I do that he can predict where my hands will be at a given moment. If my wife, son or I look at him or say his name he will come from across the room to bite us. He makes a funny little cheerful sound when he is climbing up to bite you. He has a sharp little beak and frequently breaks the skin. The only thing I have found that seems to work on him is to “towel” him in my shirt and hold him in time-out for three or four minutes which he endures patiently. After letting him go he will climb up on me and behave for a short period or fly to my wife or son and start aggravating and biting them. If the Sun Conure has something she is playing with he will go take it away. The toweling does not seem to frighten him at all, just moderates his biting for a short period. We were warned by the breeder that he was a biter, she said he would probably out grow it which he most certainly has not.

My son calls him Joe Pescie which defines him pretty well. He has tons of personality and seems completely fearless. He is smart and devious. If he were not so cute and likable in his buggery we would have already sent him on his way. We are fortunate that he is so small. Are other male Green Cheeks like this? Is it a byproduct of the Pineapple characteristic breeding? I don’t know, perhaps others have insight into why this particular Green Cheek has the personality that he does but whatever it is he's an aggravating little devil.
PiddlinRob is offline  
post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2013, 11:43 AM



 
catalinadee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 17,637
Thanks: 1,593
Thanked 2,007 Times in 1,575 Posts
Rep Power: 99
                     
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiddlinRob View Post
I have a little two year old Pineapple Green Cheek who is as mean as he is pretty. He aggravates and bites everyone in the family and seems to delight in it. He appears to have a death wish and constantly tries to get to my Severe who would bite his head off. He aggravates my Sun Conure to the point she will retreat into her cozy hut and not come out until he is gone. He bites me when I feed him and clean his cage, when I open the other bird ages, feed or clean them, when I wipe up his droppings, anything I do that he can predict where my hands will be at a given moment. If my wife, son or I look at him or say his name he will come from across the room to bite us. He makes a funny little cheerful sound when he is climbing up to bite you. He has a sharp little beak and frequently breaks the skin. The only thing I have found that seems to work on him is to “towel” him in my shirt and hold him in time-out for three or four minutes which he endures patiently. After letting him go he will climb up on me and behave for a short period or fly to my wife or son and start aggravating and biting them. If the Sun Conure has something she is playing with he will go take it away. The toweling does not seem to frighten him at all, just moderates his biting for a short period. We were warned by the breeder that he was a biter, she said he would probably out grow it which he most certainly has not.

My son calls him Joe Pescie which defines him pretty well. He has tons of personality and seems completely fearless. He is smart and devious. If he were not so cute and likable in his buggery we would have already sent him on his way. We are fortunate that he is so small. Are other male Green Cheeks like this? Is it a byproduct of the Pineapple characteristic breeding? I don’t know, perhaps others have insight into why this particular Green Cheek has the personality that he does but whatever it is he's an aggravating little devil.
You sure he is definitely a boy? I have found my female GCCs to be devil birds!

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
catalinadee is offline  
post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2013, 02:06 PM
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
 
That's what I was told but I'm not positive that the Green Cheek was tested or how the elderly lady that sold him and the Sun Conure (cage mates since birth) came to that conclusion. Although I initially kept the two them in the same rather largish cage, he began terrorizing the Sun Conure. She, (once again I'm not sure of gender), was in a panic one evening after I returned home. The two birds are generally obsessed with each other and can't bear to be apart. That evening she would not come out the hut and screeched when I tried to coax her out. Her tail which poked out the rear of the hut was chewed up and mangled. He kept going from the front to the back trying to get at her. She is a significantly larger bird but she was terrified. I had another cage which had been the home of a dear Sun Conure that I had owned for almost eighteen years which had passed away a few months prior and I put him in there. They are a really funny pair. The Sun Conure does not want to be apart from him but does not want him coming into her cage. I had to put a special latch on her cage because she can open the stock one at will or lift the feeder slots if they are not tied shut. When he's out she will not open the door. If she has already opened it she will use her larger body to try to body block or shove him out the doorway. She wants to be with him when they are out but does not want him visiting in her cage. He wants to be with her constantly and does not want to be alone in his cage. Maybe it's the cage itself that he/she wants. It's really funny.

We should be going to the vet for checkups in the not too distant future and I will probably get them tested. My wife says if he is a female it will destroy everything she admires and holds dear about the female gender.
PiddlinRob is offline  
post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 08:42 AM
 
Juli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Oregon
Posts: 9
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
 
What I want to know is why my GC bites me with a vengeance when I offer her apples.
She does love apples. I just don't get it.
Could it be her age? She is 14 months old.
Any ideas?

Juli
Juli is offline  
post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 11:06 AM


 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,245
Thanks: 325
Thanked 620 Times in 487 Posts
Rep Power: 34
                     
I have no idea.. My green cheek bites me also some times when offering her a well loved treat... But she now knows when I say ... Et et et in a sharp voice it means , cut it out what ever you are doing...lol so as soon as she eyeballs my finger I warn her off... She is ussually very sweet and gentle.
ParrotletsRock is offline  
Closed Thread

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Talk Parrots Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome