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My parrot has started lunging at me and moving away?

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SophieMylene
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My parrot has started lunging at me and moving away?

Post by SophieMylene » Mon May 12, 2014 10:52 am

Hi
I am a new owner and I have had my parrot George for 3 weeks. I also have 2 budgies which I have had for a year. George was aviary bred and not had any human contact (apart from being caught when I bought him) so was pretty much wild. I started slow with him and offered him treats through his cage and talked to him a lot and he was learning really fast. After only a week and a half he was touch trained (based on the BirdTricks DVDs I bought) but had not stepped up yet . However now he is lunging at me when I offer him treats and nocking them out of my hand/ taking the treat and dropping it, or lunging when I put my hand in his cage and fluffs up his head feathers. He is not interested in being trained at all now. He will touch the end of the stick but not accept a treat (takes it and drops it or just knocks it from my hand) and then gives up touching the stick all together..

IS THIS BLUFFING?? The place that I got him from said he was about 1 year old.. He has the ring around his neck..

The other thing that may play a part in this is that he had no tail feathers when I got him.. The place that I got him from had him in an aviary, but they said where they got him from had him in a cage that was too small so his tail feathers got damaged and fell out.. Yesterday I noticed that 2 had started to grow and today there are 2 more.. Could the irritation of the feathers growing back be putting him in a bad mood? All of this started about 2/3 days ago..

I did have to clip George's wings as he kept flying into my window and falling to the ground as he is not yet used to my rooms boundaries. BEFORE ANYBODY COMMENTS ABOUT ME BEING A BAD OWNER FOR CLIPPING HIS WINGS, PLEASE NOTE I DO NOT LIKE CLIPPING A BIRDS WINGS AND I WOULD NOT HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT HIS BEST INTERESTS IN MIND. I HAVE NOT CLIPPED THEM FULLY I ONLY TOOK THE VERY TIPS OFF. HE CAN STILL FLY THE LENGTH OF MY ROOM (approx 15 ft) EASILY FROM HIS CAGE TO HIS PIRCH. I AM NOT GOING TO CLIP THEM AGAIN, IT IS ONLY THIS ONCE SO HE CAN SAFELY GET USED TO THE BOUNDARIES OF MY ROOM. I did have to chase him to catch him and swaddle him in a towel to do this but I felt as though It was the right thing to do just this once so that he can safely get used to the boundaries of my room without injuring or even worse killing himself.
He hasn't fully bitten me yet, he has only nipped twice, all the other times he just kind of knocks me with his beak while it's open..

Could his I'll temper be due to me catching him? Or maybe his tail feathers coming through irritating him? Or could it be that he is bluffing?

Any helpful advice would be welcome

Thank you

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Donovan
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Re: My parrot has started lunging at me and moving away?

Post by Donovan » Mon May 12, 2014 4:33 pm

well...
maybe he's upset about his wings being clipped.. not angry but a little scared and less in control of himself than before.

Aside from that I would say it has to do with the treat you're offering. He was willing to take it before but not now. It's not motivating enough.
Also, when he does that.. just leave him be. He has done it before and so he'll remember. It's really his way of saying No Thanks. Give him a minute or two after he does it and offer him a foot toy.. something he can hold on to and tear up. He might go for that.

Getting your bird used to you is all a matter of being subtle about things and extremely patient. His whole world has been turned upside down so it will take him a while to adapt. Be consistent as much as possible.

MissK
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Re: My parrot has started lunging at me and moving away?

Post by MissK » Mon May 12, 2014 6:09 pm

I just have one or two little thoughts, and I apologize in advance for not putting them into a nice, tight essay format.

First thought is that with a full ring he is older than one year. If the ring is still developing then 1 year could possibly be close, maybe more like 18 months or so. Each bird is an individual, but the ring tends to develop over the course of 18 months to 3 years. It does have to start somewhere, sometime, though, so at 1 year I feel he certainly could have something to show, just not a full ring.

I feel that if he is knocking you with his beak instead of biting, this is a nice behaviour. It may be that he has not yet learned to bite defensively, so even if he has not been handled, that is still a plus. Better no handling than bad handling. On the other hand, if he came from a situation with such little supervision and also his age may have been mistaken/misrepresented, some possibility exists that he has had different handling than what was told to you. Beak knocking is a nice middle of the road communication, one my bird did not seem to learn until he was actually de-escalating his bite. Just interesting.

With regards to not being interested in the treat, don't push the treat. Offer, certainly, but if he's not in the mood then he's not in the mood. If you persist that knock might become a bite. Far better, I think, is to have and enjoy a really great treat a foot or two away and offer to share it if he shows any effort of approaching you. Here you may be doing something too much too fast, so consider what else is happening at the time he is rejecting the treat. Did you annoy him in the recent past, that he might be remembering it?

Obviously, since your clipping is done you won't be chasing or catching him anymore.

Regarding the tail feathers - they could have molted out, been pulled by another bird, been pulled when the human tried to catch him, even been pulled by George himself. All the tail feathers missing at the same time really points to physical damage done by another party or disease. Every bird is an individual, but some are crankier during the molt than others. Mine seems not to care about shedding the tail. Watch and see if there is any further molting. Tail feathers should be the last to get replaced. If he has more molting ahead, then you may be able to scratch molt off the list of where those feathers went. Also, once the molting is done, if the tail feathers come out again and he is caged alone, you can investigate to see if he is pulling them himself or suffering a feather disorder. I don't think a small cage would pull feathers out, just by virtue of being small. It might break feathers, shred feathers, but pull them? I don't think so.

So, here's something interesting -
George was aviary bred and not had any human contact (apart from being caught when I bought him) so was pretty much wild.
After only a week and a half he was touch trained
The place that I got him from said he was about 1 year old.. He has the ring around his neck.
The place that I got him from had him in an aviary, but they said where they got him from had him in a cage that was too small
Taken together, these snips suggest to me that George may well be older than represented and have more experience dealing with humans than he was said to have. Further, the people who sold him to you appear to have gotten him from someplace else - where he may have history and experiences they either did not tell you or did not know.

Try and You Tube some video of freshly adopted Ringnecks who have never had human contact. They make a godawful racket and try to escape from humans at nearly any cost. Your boy sounds maybe not tame, but certainly not wild as if straight from a life in the aviary without people. I guess if the aviary had been located, say, right next to the people and he could observe them at close range all his life, then maybe he would not be so wild...... The story just doesn't sit well with me as I look at these little bits of it.

This does not mean I think there is anything wrong with George -- far from it. Give me an adult bird who knows what humans are about any day. I don't know why George is rejecting your advances, but I caution you to proceed with care. Don't push him. Don't rush him. Remain calm and considerate at all times. Respect him. Also, by all means, have your Budgie model behaviour for your Ringneck every day. You may one day get a pleasant surprise! I think George will turn out to be an excellent guy to have around.
-MissK

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ellieelectrons
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Re: My parrot has started lunging at me and moving away?

Post by ellieelectrons » Mon May 12, 2014 10:10 pm

I support what MissK has said and would like to add that I think foraging will make a big difference to the lunging behaviour. At least it did for me with my girl.

Here are some links for you on the subject:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11701&p=69400
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=13466
http://www.parrotenrichment.com/ - this site has some free ebooks to download

I haven't seen the video you talk about but some bird training videos do use coercive techniques that work in the short term but may not work to build trust with the bird in the long term. We'd have to hear more about the technique to know if this is the case. However, any technique that doesn't give the bird a choice in how to behave is using some form of coercion.

Best wishes.

Ellie.

SophieMylene
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Re: My parrot has started lunging at me and moving away?

Post by SophieMylene » Tue May 13, 2014 12:25 am

Thank you everyone for the feedback..

The training technique is based on clicker training (click and then give him a treat) so he gets used to expecting a treat after hearing the click. I then used a chopstick and offered him the end and when he touched it gave him a treat, but every time I did a training session they were maximum 2-4 minutes to prevent him from getting bored. I did them probably twice a day. I tried to post a link on YouTube to me training George but it said my post was too spammy for a new user lol
I only proceeded to train while he was enthusiastic and happy and excited to learn. I didn't push him over the edge or anything. In fact he was so excited to learn he would find the chopstick and fly to his cage in front of where I was sitting and just hold it looking at me, as if to say 'can we do more???' Lol

You can see the ring in his neck in the video..

Thank you again for all of the advice everyone, as I said I'm new to larger parrots and I really appreciate any advice I get :)

Sophie

SophieMylene
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Re: My parrot has started lunging at me and moving away?

Post by SophieMylene » Tue May 13, 2014 12:30 am

Also I forgot to mention, it seemed strange to me how quickly George came around to me considering he was 'aviary bred' it just seemed odd

He screamed for the first day, then every now and then on the 2nd and 3rd, and now he has pretty much stopped

It's so difficult when you don't know their full history.. He was with a female when I got him, she also had a pretty much featherless tail, she had a few feathers

Thanks :)

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ellieelectrons
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Re: My parrot has started lunging at me and moving away?

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue May 13, 2014 1:25 am

I can't see anything coercive in the clicker training methods you've used, so that's good!

I really think foraging will help. I suspect your bird is getting all the feed he wants and isn't hungry when you offer him a treat, so he's just getting annoyed with you for shoving food in his face when he doesn't want it.

I started a companion parrot club with Claire in the Air and Redzone from this forum this year and we had a meeting on foraging. Thought I'd share some of the information I had on my slides with you:

Why forage?
The research says:
- Need to use & develop birds’ natural skills
- Wild birds spend 4-6 hours a day foraging but in captivity spend only 30 –72 min a day feeding on a pelleted diet (Engebretson 2006, Lumeij & Hommers 2008, Meehan & Mench 2002)
- Foraging can reduce fear responses to new objects and new humans (Meehan & Mench 2002)
- Foraging can reduce some captive problem behaviours such as spot picking (Keiper 1969, Engebretson 2006) and feather picking (Lumeij & Hommers 2008)

What my avian vet says
- Without foraging everyday is a “bad day at the office”
- Foraging helps build your relationship with your bird: Treats from you (and other people) become the “easy” way to get food

What foraging has done for my birds and me
- Reduced Janey’s snatching and biting when giving treats (happens almost never now)
- Less scared around new people (still scared but less so)
- Charlie loves going to his cage in the mornings to forage

I hope that helps!

I have a couple of videos of my birds foraging here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBt0lTJ0 ... NQ&index=1
http://youtu.be/vD33-skPpmw

Ellie.


References
- Engebretson, M. (2006). "The welfare and suitability of parrots as companion animals: a review." ANIMAL WELFARE-POTTERS BAR THEN WHEATHAMPSTEAD- 15(3): 263.
- Keiper, R. R. (1969). "Causal factors of stereotypies in caged birds." Animal Behaviour 17: 114-119.
- Lumeij, J. T. and C. J. Hommers (2008). "Foraging ‘enrichment’ as treatment for pterotillomania." Applied Animal Behaviour Science 111(1): 85-94.
- Meehan, C. and J. Mench (2002). "Environmental enrichment affects the fear and exploratory responses to novelty of young Amazon parrots." Applied Animal Behaviour Science 79(1): 75-88.

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ellieelectrons
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Re: My parrot has started lunging at me and moving away?

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue May 13, 2014 1:27 am

P.S. You'll be able to post links once you've been a member for a certain amount of time and have contributed a minimum number of posts. This is done in an effort to protect the board from link and image spam. We've had pornographic images posted to the forum before and this has done a great deal to protect the board for that... although it is annoying for genuine new users.

SophieMylene
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Re: My parrot has started lunging at me and moving away?

Post by SophieMylene » Thu May 15, 2014 5:53 am

Ok so Tuesday George seemed to be back to normal, eager to come out and happily practiced target training, this may have been because I was out all day so was excited when I came home? However over last night and today he seems to have started lunging again and doesn't want to come out.. I left the door of his cage open most of the day yesterday and he came out for probably about an hour and then went back in.. I wish I could understand what he wants..

eckythump
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Re: My parrot has started lunging at me and moving away?

Post by eckythump » Thu May 15, 2014 7:48 am

a little tip for u m8.... you have had the bird 3 weeks right, well to start with birds dont see glass so when they fly into it its a bid for freedom..... solution.... put nets up on ur windows, if that dont work put the lights on and close ur curtains while the bird is out, do not move ur cage as the bird will remember where it and its food is, ..... dont worry about the tail feathers they will grow back in time, i think my pennie was an aviary bird but she is coming along very nicely, ......... when you clipped the parrots wings was it done by you or a vet? becoz if you done them your bird will connect you with bad things ( i wont judge you on clipped wings its got its benefits and downfalls ) as u said the bird could be in the bluffing stage.......remember to be very very patient you may have to regain his trust, good luck and enjoy :)

MissK
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Re: My parrot has started lunging at me and moving away?

Post by MissK » Thu May 15, 2014 10:20 am

Sophie, you are really going to have to be a detective here. I feel George is reacting to something. It could be anything. Here's a list of things a bird might react to, either favourably or unfavourably.... -I just present it so you get an idea that it could be *anything* the bird notices that makes him react in whatever way:

something in the cage - a toy, a perch, even your interest level in one of his things
something on you - a hat, a certain colour shirt, different grooming (hair, nails)
something in the room - a different person either present or missing, a guitar you left there, curtains placed differently, presence or action of other pets
something in another room - the tv, the vacuum, any object he can see not in the usual place, other pets
something outside - another bird, a cat, neighbor moving around, a truck, a particular time of day, sun going behind a cloud

You see? *Anything*. Recently my IRN was on a little tree in the living room, his room, and I was giving him treats. Suddenly he froze in place, just stopped moving, like turned to stone, never saw him do this before. I looked all around. Because he's a bird he was not facing his fear directly, but seeing it from the side (due to eye placement on the head). It was a pair of helium balloons, smiley faces, that I brought in the day before. He was now closer to them and they were more overhead to him. I think he just noticed them!

So be very observant and detail oriented. You can probably solve this mystery.
-MissK

zoeylove
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Re: My parrot has started lunging at me and moving away?

Post by zoeylove » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:03 pm

Hi I just got 3 month old blue ring neck parrott when I got him from the lady she said the bird was scared and was bitting so I bong the bird home abut a week later he is still trying to bite only in his cage when trying 2 get him out of the cage he bites when I get him out he's fine any info would be great I hate to get rid of the little guy th a nks kerri :x

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