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Parrot Behavior, Bonding and Training Discuss parrot behavior, parrot training, parrot bonding, and other psychological aspects of parrot care.
Thread Description: Nippy Sever Macaw

 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Any advice?

I have had Myka for 5 days and he pinches me all the time. The first night I brought him home he was trying to regurgitate on me,so I think he liked me but he hasn't done it since then. He wants to be on me rather than on or in his cage. Whenever he pinches I have been putting him in time out but that doesn't seem to be working. Last night he actually bit me. I know I haven't had him for very long and I am very patient. I really want him to be happy and I don't want to make any mistakes. If anyone can please help us in any way I (and I'm sure Myka) would really appreciate it. Myka is 15 months old and I am his second home. I will never give him up as long as he is happy...please help me make him happy.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 01:08 PM


 
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Congratulations.

My bit! It sounds like he likes his new owner.
What are you doing when he nips you?
I would guess the bite is because you are asking him to do something he is not happy about.
I know there is a lot of information around here about training.
But I would point you to this vid on You Tube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbhhA...ature=youtu.be

And Barbara Heidenreich has some very good DVD's on Positive Reinforcement Training.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Im just holding him when he pinches(which is what he keeps asking for me to do, he just wants me to hold him) I've tried distracting him when I know he's thinking about going In For the pinch and that didn't work so I started putting him either on or in his cage and givin him a time out but it doesn't seem to matter...after the time out he does it again:-(
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 04:17 PM


 
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you can try this and see if it works when you notice he is going to bite or if he does right when he does it try to move your hand so he has to stop what he is doing to get his balance. after a few mins and if he will you can give him a treat for not biting you can use a clicker when doing this and when he is on your hand go slowly but longer and longer before he gets the treat eventually you should not have to make him off balance when he is about to bite and he will be looking for the treats each time he is on your hand instead of looking to bite

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so very very much Lisa! I don't have a clicker but I will pick one up ASAP but I will try it without it until then:-)
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 05:11 PM
 
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Let us know how it goes! I had a bird that pinched all the time, but the problem was never resolved while I had her, unfortunately. We would love to see pics of your bird.




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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 05:25 PM


 
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you are very much welcome let us know how things go and when you can post some pics we all love pics

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 04:01 AM



 
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Hello and welcome to the forum. If he is regurgitating for you then the nipping is most likely love nips don't show him anything, don't change your face, nothing. If he doesn't get a reaction out of you he won't bother after a while

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 12:00 AM


 
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I agree if they are only nips after regurgitating he is trying to get you to take notice and reward him.
If you do as Catalinadee has suggested he should settle down.
Love is a magic thing, don't knock it.


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 01:32 PM
 
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0R0yWp5ogM
This is play behavior, play biting with growling, if hes nipping when excited, he likely wants to play because he is still technically a baby. Also, I am a Severe owner, and kc was NOTORIOUS for testing her boundaries at every opportunity. Jenny might also chime in here, she also has a Severe. I love KC, but she could be a mischievous little brat at times, trying to push what she was allowed to do. A true I-want-you-dead bite, is usually accompanied by threats first, puffed up feathers, lowered head, pinned eyes, and then a false lunge, and if the intruder does not heed the signs, a very painful bite. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhrVcktQSBs

Also, young birds bluff a lot, just ignore it. here is a bluff bite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3X2jm6-bNQ
This bite is SO SO SO important not to react to, if you do, they know they can manipulate you.



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


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all again so much:-) Myka is doing great or maybe I should say I am doing great,lol...having spent a lot of time with him I have learned to read him pretty well already...I haven't received a pinch at all in two days:-) He is still getting used to the surroundings but seems to be pretty confident with me. He has not done the regurgitating thing since the first day I brought him home. I don't know if that is a bad thing that he stopped but it doesn't appear to be bad as he still wants to be with me. His personality is really coming out and I just adore him...he is so funny:-) You can tell when he wants to bite someone because he will just stare at them and mutter real quiet,"no bite" lol. I'm sure I will be picking everyone's brain again but for right now it is going great!
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 05:21 PM
 
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Glad to hear Myka is doing better! Severes, and macaws in general, are very mouthy birds. When my severe, Goober, is on me and getting pet she's pretty much always gnawing on my hands and fingers and that seems to be pretty common behavior in macaws. I let her gnaw on me as long as she's being gentle and if she pinches, I make a somewhat sharp "ack!" sound, similar to the noise she makes when she's grumpy or if I hit a pinnie on her head, and say "gentle, Goober, gentle" and she usually lets right up. It probably makes me sound like a little bit of a bird nut, but I've had a lot of success with getting the point across on being too rough by mimicking their 'ouch!' noises - it certainly gets their attention!

I wouldn't roll or shake your arm for pinching unless he's doing it aggressively or being pushy trying to get his way... if he's just chewing on you and pinches along the way it may confuse him. The biggest key is consistency and not confusing him by sending mixed messages. With macaws, severes specifically, keep a close eye on their eyes - when angry, excited, and likely to pinch or bite their head will duck down a little, pupils will dilate and pinpoint rapidly, and they may even blush, usually just some redness around the eyes but the whole white of the face will sometimes turn red as well. Goober ducks her head down, sort of suddenly and pinpoint at the same time, often vocalizing along the way "hi!" or "hello?" You'll learn to read Myka's individual behavior

If he regurgitates on you, just gently tell him no and put him away. While it's the ultimate birdy compliment it's a precursor to hormonal behavior which is something you do not want, especially in a male. It'll often lead to displaced aggression and frustration. If you notice any regurgitating on you or his toys discourage it and take the toy away, rubbing his vent on anything (perches, you, toys, many parrots have aweird foot fetish :roll eyes: ) take those away and discourage it too. You may have to limit his daylight hours if it continues. Goober does not get hormonal often, but now that she's in her teenage years and reaching sexual maturity it's worse when she does get hormonal. I couldn't get her out of her cage for a solid week without a serious bite and attitude Severes are a LOT of fun but are a handful! Hormone-based aggression is a really common problem in them and something most owners go through, especially when they reach 4-5 years old.

I don't check in on here very often anymore, work and life are keeping me really busy, but if you ever need anything or have any questions feel free to shoot me a PM! It'll show up in my email that way I hand-raised my severe when I worked at a specialty parrot store and have worked with birds for over 20 years, handfeeding, raising, and behavior modification, and have worked with several severes along the way with a good deal of success (I like a challenge and brat birds, what can I say? I'm a major sucker for 'he bites everyone, don't touch him!' and winning them over ) so I'd be happy to share any tips or advice you need!



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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 01:35 PM
 
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hahaha I knew you would chime in sometime Jenny Fellow severe lover.



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


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-24-2013, 12:12 PM
 
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Itís amazing how similar and consistent behavior is among birds of the same species. I recognize each of the behaviors Shanon has mentioned but Iím not clear if what she is calling pinching is what I call ďthe beak of correctionĒ, a gentle bite that rapidly escalates to something more painful if whatever is annoying the bird is not removed. More likely it is the aggravating teasing nibble/drilling pinch that a Severe does with the very tip of their beak. My hen simply canít resist drilling on the back of my neck while Iím changing out her fruit cabob in the mornings. Lately, being the considerate girl that she seldom is, she will get off my shoulder and climb to the perch on top her cage and sit there until I have hung the new cabob then immediately return. I had been physically placing her there and she always resisted. I was surprised when she began going up on her own as I began the routine. She seems to have a distinct perception of what she is being forced to do as opposed to what she chooses to do. Human logic would be stop drilling on the nape of the neck but thatís not the way bird logic works. Go figure. The bird is smart, she often amazes me with the complicated things she figures out how to do on her own. People think Iím embellishing when tell them the problem solving steps I have observed, but still she refuses to acquiesce on simple things like not being aggressive towards my wife and family members. Itís frustrating because she has demonstrated the intellect to understand but it seems the instincts are just too strong to overcome and instinctual behavior seems very programmed into this species.

I also notice that she operates on two different levels, one when she is calm and sedate in a quiet setting and the other when there is a lot of activity going on and she is excited, even playfully excited. I think it goes against the nature of these birds to be gentle. I think they are rambunctious by nature and it requires self control on their part not to be rough but they definitely learn their handlers threshold of discomfort through frequent handling. They also go through a period of testing where they will lunge, often at the face, thankfully without biting or take a beak full of arm flesh and slowly bite progressively harder while locking their eyes on yours until you respond physically in some way. Ouch, stop, had no effect except to increase the pressure of the bite, I would generally pinch my fingers between her beak and liberate myself. I definitely think they are checking you out.

I have had my Severe for just under a year now and handle her two or more hours daily so we know each other pretty well. Much of the initial biting and rough behavior is behind us. I donít hear people mention it much but just having a Severe perch, hang, dangle, flip flop and in general use you as a play area is enough to make your hands talon scratched and raw. Itís a give and take and unless you have a bird that simply refuses to bond with you, within a short time the two of you will find a happy medium.
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