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Can't keep newly flighted parrot off of me!

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

Can't keep newly flighted parrot off of me!

Postby Michael » Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:49 pm

I know this isn't the problem most people have with a flighted parrot. Usually they fly away from person cause they are scared or want to do their own thing. The first few weeks Kili was flighted I focused more on training and avoided freeflight because I wanted to set some boundaries first and also encourage the parrot to fly. For the last few days I've been starting to let her have real freeflight where I do not restrict where she goes indoors.

Well now I do need to make a restriction. Me. I don't mind holding her a few minutes, letting her sit on my shoulder a few and giving her some attention here and there. But she won't get off of me. When I send her to her perch she comes right back. When I give her toys to play with she ignores them and flies to me. When she takes a flight around the room, she comes back to me. I'm trying to do stuff on my computer but she keeps landing on me and being a nuisance. If she just sat on my shoulder quietly that would be one thing but she keeps nibbling my glasses, neck, ears, shirt, and overall being annoying. She's a little attention whore. When I toss her to go away she comes right back! I brought one of the training stands over and put it nearby and for a little while she sat on it, then she started flying onto me again. And she helps herself to landing on my shirt or shoulder and clings on. I can easily get her off and she steps up but unless she is sitting on my hand, belly, or shoulder, she keeps coming back!

And this is not that I don't want her to come to me during recalls or during portions of her indoor freeflight time. But cmon, I don't want her clinging onto me all the time! Suggestions?
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Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
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Location: New York
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Flight: Yes

Re: Can't keep newly flighted parrot off of me!

Postby Mona » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:48 am

Hi Michael:

Okay...she is newly flighted and just learning that she can go where she wants to go so she is probably still trying this out by being where she wants to be....which is on you.

The only thing that works is to find something more reinforcing than you are for her to be on. This can be done in two ways:

1) As she becomes more proficient and figures out she can fly to other places easily, the behavior of obsessing on you may extinguish. It's like a new kid with a new bike. They are going to be less likely to ride their bike alone or to new places until they have become very accustomed to it and confident. Once they become confident, they will explore more. She is probably a bit insecure PLUS she seems very affectionate to you. As an aside, the rainy season does seem to effect Senegals hens especially. I have noticed that Babylon is unusually affectionate right now. This does pass.

2) You will probably have to start conditioning Kili to hang in other places near you. One suggestion might be to move her cage near you. If she's comfortable on her cage, you can easily remove her and let her play on the cage top so she can be close, watch what you are doing and not hang on your shoulder. You can put the things that she seems interested on nibbling (maybe her own set of glasses, shirt, wooden object...whatever) on the cage top so she has something to do. You are working gradually to shape the behavior "play by yourself" someplace where she is comfortable and where she is near you until she gets past her insecurities. If she flies on you, you can simply remove her to the cage top....reinforce with something to occupy her and maybe also a treat.

I always look at it this way, if they fly....they need some place to fly to. When my birds are out of their cages, they really like hanging around me which is one reason why I do have a bird room and I can shut the door so they HAVE to find things to occupy themselves. At first, they tended to try to get out but after some time, they all started to realize that there were quite a few really fun things to chew up (like boxes, bird toys, wooden objects, etc) and they started spending time playing with those things. Of course, I have a flock so they also have each other for interaction - but Phinney and Babylon ESPECIALLY will fly out of the bird room as soon as I open the door to peak in and check on them. Half of the time, Babylon is in the kitchen with me snuffling around towels and placemats and the rest of the birds are in the birdroom exploring and playing......Senegals are very loyal and even with a boyfriend, Babylon prefers me.....it's the Ying and Yang of this species of bird. :senegal:

I will add a however; and that is HOWEVER Babylon doesn't really hang ON me, she hangs around me. She is a very busy bird and very seldom will sit in one spot. When she does decide to sit on my shoulder, I always enjoy it because she is a gentle, sweet companion and makes very sweet little whimpering noises that honestly, just melt me.

Believe me, Kili will get past those insecurities and then Look out... ;)

Thanks!

Mona
Mona in Seattle
Phinneous Fowl (aka Phinney) TAG
Babylon Sengal
Doug (spousal unit)
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Mona
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Re: Can't keep newly flighted parrot off of me!

Postby Michael » Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:39 am

She's definitely getting more and more confident. Yesterday Kathleen was enjoying a bowl of oatmeal while kili was freeflying. So Kili flew straight at Kathleen and about 2 feet in front of her started flapping hard in like a hover. We were afraid she was about to attack Kathleen but instead she landed on the bowl of oatmeal. It was really hot and I was worried about Kili burning herself (Kat was more worried about Kili splashing right into it) so I had to grab Kili off from there. She's definitely starting to realize that those flappy things are for getting around though! :flapping:
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Michael
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Gender: This parrot forum member is male
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Flight: Yes

Re: Can't keep newly flighted parrot off of me!

Postby Mona » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:21 pm

Does she like the oatmeal? Did she get a bite?

Mona
Mona in Seattle
Phinneous Fowl (aka Phinney) TAG
Babylon Sengal
Doug (spousal unit)
Jack and Bailey (Gremlins)
Kiri (CAG)
http://www.flyingparrotsinside.com

youtube: Avian Flyers
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Mona
Poicephalus
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 271
Number of Birds Owned: 5
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrots, Congo African Grey, Timneh African Grey
Flight: Yes

Re: Can't keep newly flighted parrot off of me!

Postby Michael » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:32 pm

Not that time. But this morning I had her flying recalls for oatmeal :thumbsup:

I got some video of that so maybe when I compile it you can see me offering her a spoon of oatmeal when she comes to me. Works GREAT!
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Michael
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Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6034
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Can't keep newly flighted parrot off of me!

Postby MandyG » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:25 pm

I hope this is the place for this post, but if not please feel free to move it!

I haven't been able to get Mojo to quit flying to me once I leave the room. I've never rewarded him, physically, verbally, or with treats, but 95% of the time he still will fly to me. He has plenty of toys that are new and old ones that are rotated, I've even tried filling his foraging toys with his favorite treats before I leave a room. This works sometimes, but most of the time it just delays him flying to me. I've tried to examine what I'm doing when he comes to me to see what's rewarding about it but I haven't really found anything. I put up my hand when he's flying to me then I immediately throw him to his perch. I thought this might be seen as a game to him, so I stopped catching him and he would fly over my head back to his cage, then fly back to his perch and do it again. In the last couple of days he's started landing on my sweater or my head when I don't catch him and I try to ignore him. I've shook him off of me, I've gotten him to step up and I've sent him to his perch and I've just plain ignored him while he's on me. Nothing seems to help! And he's been flying to me when I'm on the couch constantly.

I've tried finding things that he won't want to fly to, like Mona's broom idea but I can't find anything that he wants to avoid. I've tried to not make it like a game or have any 'fun' reactions to it, I've tried ignoring him but he doesn't get bored and fly away, he gets bad (chewing on me or other innapropriate objects). He's also started flying at my husband and then biting him, which forces a reaction from me because I need to get them apart before he gets hurt, although I try to do it calmy, and then put him in his cage after. And I've tried making his perch more rewarding than me.

I'm almost out of ideas! Right now I'm trying to leave the room, then quickly give him a treat if he stays. I'm hoping to be able to work on lengthening the time I'm out of the room using this process. If he flies to me when I leave he'll be put in his cage, and if he flies aggressively to my husband he'll be calmly picked up and put in his cage. I just started this last night so we'll see how it goes.

Does anybody have any other ideas? I'm trying to end this behaviour before it gets worse, especially him flying at my husband and attacking him to get attention. He's always flown to me uncalled to an extent since he's been flighted, but it's been getting worse in the last week or so. I've been really busy with work and I get home late then put him on his perch but he hasn't had much constructive one-on-one time. Maybe this is the problem? He simply wants more attention?

Any ideas would be appreciated, I'm just getting frustrated and my lack of time and energy isn't helping. Hopefully somebody outside of the situation will be able to point something out to me that I might be doing wrong!
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MandyG
Amazon
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Location: Manitoba, Canada
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Flight: Yes

Re: Can't keep newly flighted parrot off of me!

Postby Michael » Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:09 pm

Welcome to the club. ;)
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Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
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Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Can't keep newly flighted parrot off of me!

Postby MandyG » Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:11 pm

Ha ha, thanks Michael, that was really helpful! :lol:

Does this club not have a support group?! ;)

You said above that Kili flew to Kathleen and you were afraid she was going to attack her. Does she do that often? Or at all anymore? I've read that Kathleen has been involved with feeding her and that helps, but my husband is almost always the one to feed Mojo and that doesn't really seem to do anything. I want to try having him always be the one to bring Mojo out and to give him to me, we've done that a little bit but it hasn't seemed to help. They get along usually, but not always. He'll give Mojo a treat and most times he'll get bit for it. I want to get him touch training with Mojo but again, time isn't on my side right now. He doesn't seem too bad with stepping up for him, but when Mojo lands on him he almost always bites hard, so recalling between the two of us is out of the question right now. I have a few ideas of how to work with this but I just need more time to not only train Mojo but to train my husband as well! :lol:
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MandyG
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Location: Manitoba, Canada
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Yellow Crowned Amazon
Flight: Yes

Re: Can't keep newly flighted parrot off of me!

Postby Michael » Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:42 pm

Get a leather glove to reduce bite damage. First train the bird with you and glove (don't need your husband freaking it out with glove first time). Practice step ups, target, etc with you wearing glove. Then let your husband use glove until he has ignored getting bitten (cause he's wearing glove) enough times that the bird realizes that biting gets no reaction.

You said the bird flies after you when you leave the room. Why are you leaving the bird out if you are leaving the room? Obviously if you put it away in cage when you are leaving, problem solved. Or, why aren't you taking the bird with you?

The good news I will tell you is that it seems this clinginess is greatest when the parrot realizes it can come to you whenever it wants. Later on, it starts to learn other things to do as well. Kili is still pretty clingy but to a much more tolerable extent. She has learned to do her own thing too now. She has actually gotten back her interest of going on her climbing tree where I can hang toys.

As you know a good walking will calm down just about any dog, well similar seems to hold true with a parrot (possibly to a lesser extent though). Some things you can try to do is overwhelm your parrot with attention earlier on to the point where it doesn't care about much more attention from you, then you could walk away more easily. If you are letting your parrot out of cage and then walking away right away, it did not get to interact with you and gets jealous. But if you would let it out and spend half an hour with it first, perhaps it would find other occupations of its time more rewarding. Also you can shower the parrot. They don't fly good when they are wet and they have to spend a while drying off and preening so it keeps them naturally busy.
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Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6034
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Can't keep newly flighted parrot off of me!

Postby MandyG » Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:31 pm

I have two filleting gloves that I've used doubled up, believe me it still hurts to be bit by an amazon even with them on! I'll try to find a leather glove to put on top, maybe that will help.

Michael wrote:You said the bird flies after you when you leave the room. Why are you leaving the bird out if you are leaving the room? Or, why aren't you taking the bird with you?


If I'm leaving the room just for a minute, say to grab my phone, get a drink, let the dogs out, or just grab anything from another room I don't think he needs to come with me every time.

Michael wrote:Obviously if you put it away in cage when you are leaving, problem solved.


His cage is located at the other end of the house, it's not necessary to take him all the way to his cage, then go across the house to my bedroom or any other room, then go back and get him just to prevent him from following me. I'd rather encourage him to be able to stay put for a few seconds!

I'm finding that the clinginess is getting much worse as time goes on. When I'm in the room he'll usually be happy playing on his perch, but then he decides he wants to be with me and won't stop flying to me. I've tried sending him back, waiting for a little bit and then cueing him to come to me and then giving him attention, but he hasn't realized that coming when called is the only way to get attention. Well coming when called and attacking my husband is the only way to get attention. My husband is getting very good at not reacting when he's bit because he understands it will only encourage the behaviour, but I do have to get Mojo away from him. Any attention is good attention by that point so prevention is key here.

Michael wrote:If you are letting your parrot out of cage and then walking away right away, it did not get to interact with you and gets jealous. But if you would let it out and spend half an hour with it first, perhaps it would find other occupations of its time more rewarding. Also you can shower the parrot. They don't fly good when they are wet and they have to spend a while drying off and preening so it keeps them naturally busy.


Lately that's what I've been doing, him being jealous really does make sense. I'll try fitting in some intense one-on-one time with him as soon as I get home as time allows but I don't know how often I'll be able to do that. No, I'm not a bad parrot owner, this is just an extremely busy time of year for me.

Showering might work as I can stick him in there and still be able to get other things done. I'll try that tonight and see how it works. If I'm not in there with him though he might start to see showering as a bad experience and I definitely don't want that.

Thanks for the ideas! I'll try to work them in with what I'm currently doing.
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MandyG
Amazon
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 946
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Yellow Crowned Amazon
Flight: Yes

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