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Flying and Biting

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Flying and Biting

Postby felix11 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:51 am

My green cheek conure has recently developed a bad habit that I can't work out how to eradicate.

Every day I take her to a park nearby for flight exercise. However, whenever someone walks by she will fly off me and land on their shoulder. Then, when they put their hand up to her she will bite viciously.

I can't work out how to make this behavior go away. She seems to both like AND hate all new people. She will be happy to hang out on their shoulder, but will bite hard and repeatedly if they offer their hands (which they always do, in an attempt to get her off).

Any ideas? Because I have none!
Felix
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Re: Flying and Biting

Postby Mona » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:34 pm

Yes, Tell people not to try to handle her. When she's on your shoulder, that's her space. Let her have her space and her security.
I'd probably bite strangers too if their hands came up at me. I think what she is doing is perfectly reasonable.
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Re: Flying and Biting

Postby Polarn » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:09 am

Mona wrote:Yes, Tell people not to try to handle her. When she's on your shoulder, that's her space. Let her have her space and her security.
I'd probably bite strangers too if their hands came up at me. I think what she is doing is perfectly reasonable.


The problem however might be that she actually flyes to land on other peoples shoulders. Wich makes it harder to tell someone to not push her off or try and pet it or whatever. And someone elses shoulders isnt really her domain in my oppinion, and i can imagine some peoples kinda freak out when she does this, atleast a lot of people I meet is afraid of birds when they get too close.
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Re: Flying and Biting

Postby felix11 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:22 am

Yeah, our big issue is probably her flying onto other people in the first place. Yesterday she flew onto a man picnicking in the park - by the time I got to them he was holding her tightly but gently in one hand. Needless to say, she was struggling and biting him, but he was under the impression that she was my escaped bird that needed to be restrained. I'm hoping maybe this negative experience will dissuade her from landing on strangers in the future. It's always a lottery with strangers though - maybe the next person she flies onto will feed her cake instead, and strengthen the behavior.
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Re: Flying and Biting

Postby Cage Cleaner » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:08 pm

Have you tried a harness?
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Re: Flying and Biting

Postby felix11 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:26 am

Harnesses are kind of dangerous with free flight - get tangled in trees, wound around posts, etc. It's safer for the bird to be able to fly without any hinderances.

So far I've been dealing with the problem by rewarding her periodically for staying on my shoulder. It's not the best solution but it might be good enough!
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Re: Flying and Biting

Postby Cage Cleaner » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:32 am

Oh, I see what you mean. I didn't know this was about free flight.
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Re: Flying and Biting

Postby Michael » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:36 pm

This is one of the commonly had problems of outdoor parrot freeflight. They reactions of strangers are reinforcing to the parrot and encourage it to fly to them and ignore you. I don't think we can help you with this. Even the biggest freeflight experts have problems with this.
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Re: Flying and Biting

Postby Shelby » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:19 pm

Maybe you could go to a busy place like a hardware store and reward your bird every time a stranger passes by and she stays on your shoulder.

Also, you could try flying her in a small field (like a school sports field or something) and bring along some friends that your bird has never met. Then, every time she tries to land on them, have them duck out of the way. The Womachs (who run BirdTricks.com) did that in this video with their african grey and it seemed to work.
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Re: Flying and Biting

Postby Michael » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:36 pm

I'd caution about hardware stores cause they can have toxic fumes. As for parks and fields, the problem is that parrots like to fly over and meet strangers cause they find it reinforcing. I've read that Adel had this problem with Manzi, Roz had this problem with hers, etc. Let me see if I can get Adel to chime in how she dealt with this issue with Manzi. I think last I heard she didn't and was one of the reasons she stopped freeflying him outside.
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