Hello, Been a while

denzarki

Regular Member
Hi guys,

I'm sorry I've not been around for a long time, I usually use tapatalk app for this forum but it logged me out and I can't get back in so I've had to come back on the browser.

Wanted you all to know we're getting on well during the pandemic although as I'm sure a few of you have found, it came during hormone time so echo has been very aggressive of late (kind of why I logged in I guess for a little advice which I'll ask later)

Me and connor are well, although gained lots of weight during lockdown. Connor is furloughed and facing redundancy, my job has been unaffected as I work in insurance software.

Echo's tail briefly grew back and she's back to having one feather again, I guess that's just how she is, she doesn't pluck but maybe she either overpreens her tail or has heavy landings because if you separate the feathers you can see she has them but must are cut in half.

Anywho she's healthy and I think she's happy. We have her on a fully pelleted diet now, I tried pellet mixed with dried fruit to begin with but she ignored the fruit lol.. We have a little stand for her on our desk now so she sits with us through the day.

So I was just looking for some advice on her aggression this hormone phase. She chose Connor as this years mate and she will not leave him alone, if he shrugs her off she'll jump straight back on, she gets anxious when he leaves the room etc.. She'll only come on me if she knows he's not in the house. However she keeps attacking him, these are the worst and most frequent (and as far as we can tell) unprovoked attacks we've ever had from her. He was lying on the couch and she went for his face, just today he was cleaning his desk and she flew over to him and bit his neck.. She bit so hard today her bottom beak broke the skin too.. When she attacks I put her in her cage and cover her up to let her calm down but yea i don't think it's anything we're doing I think it's just her hormones but is there anything we can do to keep her calm? I'm not a believer in keeping her locked up all day so she's back out the cage now but everytime she flaps I'm scared Connor is getting attacked again.

Anyway hope everyone is well, members I know and new ones since I last logged in.. I'll drop in some pictures for you all
 

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Ooooh i know how you feel i have just had to rehome my ammie to Captain Howdy for the same reason i felt that he needed someone with experience that will train him, but i am sure you can tame your bird with help from other members i was just too frightened of being bit to help my Charlie i did not trust him.
 

JessCheekyMia

Regular Member
@RoyJess knows exactly how you are feeling!!!
My OWA is such a little Diva and will attack Roy all year round. She only will step up on him if I am not in the same room as her.
I do feel that if Connor shrugs Echo off then she could be getting annoyed wanting attention and getting frustrated. This then can be seen as agression towards him but really what she wants is him and his full attention.
Aggression towards you unfortunately is normal as you are not her chosen one.
You can try and get a mutual relationship with the three of you. That means no one should stroke her back, wings and under. All have equal time etc. I am not saying this will work for you but it has worked well with someone I know that keeps parrots.
 

denzarki

Regular Member
I should stress she's usually very tame, we've been through years of getting her to where she is. But yea this spring has been a bad one and seems to be stretching on longer and longer lol
 

plumsmum

Regular Member
" However she keeps attacking him, these are the worst and most frequent (and as far as we can tell) unprovoked attacks we've ever had from her. He was lying on the couch and she went for his face, just today he was cleaning his desk and she flew over to him and bit his neck.. She bit so hard today her bottom beak broke the skin too.. When she attacks I put her in her cage and cover her up to let her calm down but yea i don't think it's anything we're doing I think it's just her hormones but is there anything we can do to keep her calm? I'm not a believer in keeping her locked up all day so she's back out the cage now but everytime she flaps I'm scared Connor is getting attacked again. "

I feel she is getting frustrated that her chosen mate isn't doing what he is supposed to in her eyes. Look very closely at how he reacts and interacts with her. Ask him to do something with her, play, teach her something, we have some folded cardboard with holes in and have placed wooden balls/beads in and Lou will take one, play with it and then place it back, this continues for ages. She is kept occupied and therefore not getting all clingy with me or hubby. * If Connor just gives her what she asks for ie cuddles or tickles then she will expect more from him. Make the interaction interesting; toys, read a book, magazine, the paper etc or even peek a boo from behind the couch! Keep things low energy and terminate if getting to excited, bring it down with something else. Good luck!

* my girls tend to direct their frustration onto themselves and especially with Lou it's the feathers that get it so we do stuff to try and avoid it.

Good to hear from you btw! :)
 
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Roz

Regular Member
Hi denzarki! Good to see you and the lovely Echo!! She is beautiful despite the tail. Wonder why she breaks them?

Just some ideas:

Forget the label "hormonal" for the time being. There is always something that sets the stage for the behaviour (the antecedent), and then something that immediately follows the behaviour which either keeps the behaviour happening (reinforcing consequence) or lessens the behaviour (punishing consequence).

See if you can change the antecedent - even if it means caging her if she is really bad. I don't mean caging her as punishment, but just not letting her out at the worst times. Otherwise see if you can identify what sets her off. With Kobe, it is me walking towards him, so I try to arrange things so that I walk towards him as little as possible in the mornings (because that's when it is worse). It means that he comes out of his cage a little later than the others when I've done all the walking to and fro that I need to do!

Don't meet aggression with aggression. This can be disastrous - a lot of birds fight back if they have no fear of humans and you can end in an awful downward spiral with loads of aggressive reactions.

Right now it sounds like you are trying to punish the behaviour by putting her into her cage. Punishment works in the short term, which is why we use it, but as you have discovered, doesn't work long term. So grab every opportunity to reinforce an acceptable behaviour rather than trying to punish unacceptable. Of course make it easy for her... choose a time when she is most receptive. Then hopefully the acceptable behaviours will crowd out the unacceptable.

For example, tonight I wanted to get into the fridge. The top of the fridge is Kobe's territory. As I open the fridge he often starts aggressively biting the acrylic sheet and tea towel on top. It was interesting. Instead of rolling my eyes and ignoring it, as I approached the fridge I started cue-ing words he says and then reinforcing his words by repeating them gently and laughing (both reinforcing to Kobe, but careful not to over excite him) and then showing him the item I brought out of the fridge - result? No aggression - I could open the door, get the item and close the door with a happy Kobe. I changed the antecedent by approaching differently. He was also earning reinforcement from our interaction. The reinforcement for the acceptable behaviour outweighed the reinforcement for the unacceptable (biting the acrylic sheet and tea towel).
 

denzarki

Regular Member
Thank you all. Brilliant as always.

I have talked about how he plays with her because she likes destroying tissue but it's reinforced into her that any tissue is fair game and there's been times she's flown at my face for instance when blowing my nose.

Ive found it over the years to be almost impossible to train her. I don't think we do a bad job with her and she is very tame compared to when she arrived though I would love to see an expert come in here and see if he can get her to be receptive. If she's scared of something she will attack it instantly (eg. If you try to do touch train with a stick she will lunge at the stick then fly away) if you hold her favourite treat once she knows you've got it even if you hide it, it's all she can think about. So id love to get a behavior expert in to get us over the final hurdle lol.. But as I say other than this spring she's a completely different parrot to when we met her :)
 

plumsmum

Regular Member
Ah hun little steps. Rome wasn't made in a day. Leave new things lying around to be seen before they are used or given. Use a slightly less favoured treat that she likes but won't go totally nuts for? I am sure you can master this.
 

RoyJess

Regular Member
I should stress she's usually very tame, we've been through years of getting her to where she is. But yea this spring has been a bad one and seems to be stretching on longer and longer lol
All our parrots (except our love birds) are all very tame, but unfortunately this don't stop their hormones taking charge.

You can't stop their natural behaviour, but you can encourage positive behaviour using positive reinforcement. I can't go in the same room as some of Jess' birds without having to resort to wearing PPE :pancarta:

We know Zoo keepers that won't go any where near certain parrots as the parrots have bonded with other keepers.
 

Roz

Regular Member
Thank you all. Brilliant as always.

I have talked about how he plays with her because she likes destroying tissue but it's reinforced into her that any tissue is fair game and there's been times she's flown at my face for instance when blowing my nose.

Ive found it over the years to be almost impossible to train her. I don't think we do a bad job with her and she is very tame compared to when she arrived though I would love to see an expert come in here and see if he can get her to be receptive. If she's scared of something she will attack it instantly (eg. If you try to do touch train with a stick she will lunge at the stick then fly away) if you hold her favourite treat once she knows you've got it even if you hide it, it's all she can think about. So id love to get a behavior expert in to get us over the final hurdle lol.. But as I say other than this spring she's a completely different parrot to when we met her :)
That's actually great that Echo is so food motivated!!

Tissues - yes the behaviour has been generalized to any tissue which isn't surprising. You can easily work on desensitizing her to them, but it would mean no more playing with them.

I remember what she was like when you first gave her a home. You have done so well with her. This has come about through training. With every interaction you make with an animal you are training her.

Target training is not only about touching a stick. It is about touching anything - your hand, a favourite toy, food bowl, etc. When you give her a treat she is targeting your hand/the treat. Stationing is targeting feet to your hand or perch. With children, stationing can be targeting their butts to a coloured mat on the floor... easily taught to dogs and other animals too. Step up is targeting the bird's feet to your hand or perch.

What behaviour do you want to teach her? You need to be clear about the goal. Think about the end behaviour and break it down into tiny manageable steps towards that behaviour, and be sure to reinforce each step along the way. Make it easy for her to be successful. She already takes treats from you, so use that as the reinforcer:

She takes a step towards your hand - mark it with a "good!" and immediately follow it with a treat.
Then she takes two steps towards your hand. "Good!" and immediately follow with a treat.
She takes three steps towards your hand. "Good!" and immediately follow with a treat.
You are beginning to teach recall!

If you break the treat down into tiny pieces (big enough that she will work for them) you will get more repetition of the steps before she becomes satiated. Repetition = learning. And keep sessions really short - a few seconds here, half a minute there.
 
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