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Parrots/Help! My rescue Nanday loves to sit on my shoulder but will bite my hand.


My rescue Nanday loves to be out on myself or my husband and is so gentle when he grooms my husbands beard. The problem is that he absolutely hates hands and will attack and bite them if we try to get him to step up. He is fully feathered and tries to avoid being put back in his cage. I want to clip his wings so he can be out on his cage on his play gym but am afraid he will become even more hand aggressive. We have had him for 2 years now so he knows we are not going to hurt him. We have an African Grey and a Sun Conure who have been with us for 19 years, and a Blue Crown Conure for 6 months so we are experienced bird owners. He (Nanday) is about 16 years old, so should we just accept and love him the way he is or is there a chance we can train him to step up and also clip his wings so he can be out of his cage more?

-- You need to take the power back from your bird and not have him as your equal, which is what he is when he's on your shoulder.  Lowering him, taking him on hand is diminishing his status and he's not having any of that.

When he bites, firmly, but without yelling or threatening or being physical, tell him "NO biting" keep him held below your eye level and give him a firm, frowny look.

If he continues, put him in a 'time out'.  A perch somewhere out of site of everyone - dark preferable and quiet

 Take a look here for how to fully address biting  


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Rev. Dr. S.August Abbott


Certified Avian Specialist; Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council member; Own animal rescue org; National Wildlife habitat #66378; bird care, nutrition & behavior consultant; International Assoc. of Animal Behavior Consultants Associate; National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club member; published bird care, info and behavior articles and guides. Ongoing education in exotic bird behavior and nutrition I can answer behavioral, nutritional, environmental, characteristic/personality questions as well as general health and health care. No animal emergency can ever be addressed on the internet. We cannot see your animal, perform an examination, provide necessary care or medication. Please value your companion for the priceless, living creature they are; not for what you might have paid for them.


Certified Avian Specialist. For more than 30 years I've worked with veterinarians, protective facilities, nature centers, preserves and on my own in providing care and education with regard to multiple animal species, including raptors (hawks, kestrals, owls, etc) and marsupials. In recent years I've focused on parrots, usually rescued from abusive or less than ideal situations and helping educate owners as to proper care. Expert in behavior studies and modification of problem behavior.

4AnimalCare is the organization I run as an animal ministry; World Wildlife Association, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club and more

Bird Talk Magazine articles about rescued and problem macaws.

Doctorate, Ordained Minister

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