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Flight & Biting

Discuss indoor freeflight and managing freeflighted birds around the house. How to live with a flighted parrot.

Flight & Biting

Postby Michael » Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:12 am

Does freeflighting a bird generally lead to more, less, or the same aggression issues as a clipped bird? I could see the answer going both ways. More because it could fly to someone to bite them or feel more free and bite people wanting to touch it. Less because it could fly away rather than be forced to do thing it didn't want to (choosing flight instead of fight in fight or flight mode). Could be same if the personality doesn't change from flight.

In your experience does flight lead to more or less biting issues?
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Re: Flight & Biting

Postby Mona » Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:53 pm

I think flighted birds (if they know that they are flighted and that they can fly) tend to be "more comfortable in their skin" so bites may happen less.....because the bird can take the initiative and doesn't feel like they are forced into a situation they do not want to be in it is easier to read them and know how to avoid getting bit.

I think learning how to read the bird is the best way to avoid the bite. It is alot harder to read a clipped bird than it is to read a flighted bird....

Just some quick thoughts on this...Thanks!
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Re: Flight & Biting

Postby Michael » Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:23 pm

How is it easier to read a flighted bird than clipped one??
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Re: Flight & Biting

Postby Natacha » Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:46 pm

Michael wrote:How is it easier to read a flighted bird than clipped one??


I don't think it's easier or not to read them.
As you spend time with them, you just get to know their body language better, clipped or not.
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Re: Flight & Biting

Postby jojovaliente » Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:29 am

I just got my hahns macaw a week ago and taught her to step up and recall. The problem is that when she sees me walk a distance away, and turn around she automatically flies to me for a treat without me calling her. How do I get my bird to fly on command vs having her fly when she chooses to?

Second, when she lands on my hand or steps up, once I give her a treat and she finishes it, she bites me with a death grip asking for more treats. I'd have to give her a treat and put her on her perch asap before she attacks my hand. Why can't she just hang out on my hand for a few seconds/minutes without biting my hand for treats? Shoud I use a glove to protect my hand? What options do I have? When she's busy eatin her treat, I can rub the back of her neck until she finishes her treat. When she's inside her cage, she let's me rub her beak and everything else my pinky finger could reach between the bars.

How do I get her to not bite my hand after she finishes each treat?
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Re: Flight & Biting

Postby Michael » Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:59 am

First of all, you've only had the bird a week and you're expecting everything. Definitely have to slow down a bit. Be grateful for the progress you've already made.

Never, ever, ever reward the biting. No treats, no attention, no ows, nothing. Completely ignore the biting. Better yet try to prevent it from happening to begin with.

One thing you can do to prevent the post eating treat bite is to do recalls with a second person and have them immediately recall your bird when it finished for another treat. That way it won't have a chance to bite. If you have to do it on your own, you can send the bird back to the perch to eat the treat or be close enough to the perch so you can reward it for going back. Something like this:



Finally, as for recalling prior to cue, I had a similar problem with Kili when I was practicing "come here" which is a recall but not to my hand but just in front of me. We were practicing it so much that the moment I would sit on the floor, she'd be on the way. In order to stall her and prevent her from coming too soon I did two things. First off I never rewarded coming before being called and always rewarded after being called. So with every flight she'd be learning that called = treat, not called = wasted effort. Secondly, I stalled her by cuing other tricks while she was on the perch prior to cuing "come here." Sometimes I would cue one trick, sometimes two, sometimes four. This way she did not know when I would cue come here and she would have to listen and pay attention to each one. Also this would prevent her from coming too soon.
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Re: Flight & Biting

Postby jojovaliente » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:45 pm

Thanks Michael for the tips. I'll definately try to recall her back to the perch. Do you think that it's even worth trying to teach a bird to "stay"? I've never seen anyone taught a bird to stay on cue. Have you?

As far as taking it slow, I do agree with you. The only problem is that she loves to step up or come to me and when she does perch on my hand or shoulder, shell start biting me after a few seconds of being on me. Any thoughts on this? What should I do or can do?
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Re: Flight & Biting

Postby Michael » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:47 pm

I have only sort of been able to teach stay. It's not on cue. However, since teaching "come here" Kili would come at every possible opportunity. But I would not reward these and ignore her. So now she may still come too soon but usually, when she knows I will want her to come soon, she will stand on her perch ready to go waiting for the call. So if you teach to exclusively come on cue and show that coming not on cue only delays treats, they will learn to wait for the cue.
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Re: Flight & Biting

Postby jojovaliente » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:05 pm

Good point Michael. Thanks again!! ;)

Any tips about when she bites me after a few seconds of being on me? I'm pretty sure she's biting because she wants me to give her a treat. I ignore her and never give her a treat but how can i get her to perch on me without biting? What do you think I should do in this case?
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Re: Flight & Biting

Postby Michael » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:35 pm

Change the situation before she has the chance to bite. Let's say what normally happens is land on you, get treat, eat treat, wait 5 seconds, bite. Then distract her, get her off, whatever at 3 seconds. Then at 4, then 5, 6, 10, 15, etc.
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Michael
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Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6225
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Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

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