Cockatiels/Is this a form of aggression?
Hello Hani. I know that you're a cockatiel expert, but I have a question regarding my parakeet's behavior, and you are currently the only expert that I could find that could possibly answer my question. I am still in the early stages of hand taming Andy. He isn't yet too fond of coming out of his cage, however, he is comfortable doing a few things. He knows how to say a few words, mimic whistles, and is comfortable eating out of my hand. This past week, I discovered that every time I put my hand in his cage, (without food), he likes to hop on and gently nibble me. It's like he's tasting me or something. He'll walk all over my hand, exploring every inch! As for him being the first bird that I've ever tamed, I thought this was a pretty big breakthrough and was rather excited....Now for the problem. For the past few days, every time he hops on my hand, he starts off by 'gently tasting/preening me', but then he starts biting really hard and running back and forth fast! When this first happened, I tried to ignore it, because I thought maybe he just didn't know he was biting that hard (being one of the first times that he's ever willingly gotten on someone's hand), and I figured that it would stop. It didn't...he just got more rough. The next couple times that it happened, I decided to say a firm "NO'', to make him stop, but he never listens. I usually have to end up saying it really loud to get him to stop long enough to hear me. And if I don't jerk my hand out while he's distracted, then he starts biting even harder. The whole time that he's doing this, his feathers are ruffled out. I thought that when birds' feathers are ruffled, it meant that they are content. Nothing happens to make him upset whenever he decides to bite really hard. He just goes from nibbling easy,...then he seems to get more comfortable and he does it faster. After that, things seem to escalate pretty quickly. I really don't understand it. He is defiantly the sweetest bird that I've ever known. I just feel like I am doing something wrong....Or maybe he's just trying to play rough? How do I teach him to stop biting so hard? I really love the gentle 'bird kisses'....just not the part that always comes after. If you are unable to answer this, I am terribly sorry for wasting your time! I've spent the past week researching the web for answers, but I can't seem to find an article explaining exactly why he's doing this. Usually I can easily tell whether he's happy/lonely/sad/etc. However, at this point, I'm not sure whether he's doing a friendly gesture or mean one.
P.S. Not sure if it really matters, but I got him from a pet store about a year ago...and he is almost 2 years old.
Thank you so much for your time!
Best regards, Shelby
Hi. Im absolutely glad that u have come to the right person. I have experience with budgies, parakeets, ringnecks, cockatoos, cockatiels, canaries , umbrellas, african greys, congos, timinehs and more. Thank u so much for supplying all possible details to me including the age and personality which are practically important in the case of detecting problems. Guess what? After i read ur question i have comprehended ur problem and i know the cause and solution to it. Searching on the web has only limited help and sometimes not at all. Anyhow, you seem to care a lot for ur parakeet and know a lot about it which makes u take the right steps to develop great strong well-structured bonds with ur bird. All bird lovers face this same problem u are facing even myself have faced it before. My galah begun nibiling my ear and then it went to excessive rough biting and here is the reason to why this unwanted behaviour is happening :
Your bird is now in the maturity stage at the age of 2 years. This happens to most birds between 2-3 where they become very moody. When placing it on your hand, it nibbles your hand as its playing then it suddenly feels dominant and powerful and bites you and this can go to a worse level which we ought to avoid by the following way:
Make sure that when u take ur bird out the cage , your face is at a much higher level than the bird. You should always be at a much higher level and ur bird should always be lower than ur eye level by at least 20 cm or otherwise it will feel that "it is the boss" and will become very dominant. If it bites u on ur shoulder then never put it until it has passed maturity. Try letting it step up on your hand with ur wrist (hand) and figers fully flat so it cannot bite you in a way it cannot climb ur arm. Make sure that as soon as it steps up, you take it out the cage very carefully and slowly while speaking gently with love to it. By keeping it in the cage it suddenly feels that ur breaking in its house and it will bite you. This will solve ur solution in no time. Saying a firm no does help but not everytime. So if it bites you still after u follow these instructions then you can follow the " twist " trick which i have in my channel on youtube. My channel is called Parrot whisperer. In my videos i have several training tips and taming procedures.
Kindly subscribe and like my facebook page called bird tameness which supplies u with unlimited tricks...training tips...answers qs ...and much more
Expert trainer hani