Trained Parrot BlogParrot Wizard Online Parrot Toy StoreThe Parrot Forum

Pionus- incessant clucking/honking

Chat about general parrot care and parrot owner lifestyle. Bird psychology, activities, trimming, clipping, breeding etc.

Re: Pionus- incessant clucking/honking

Postby Pajarita » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:14 am

It seems your conure has an eating disorder common to birds that were not weaned properly. Namely, they always want more food even when they are full and this makes them not only overeat but also complain or beg all the time. I suggest you feed her gloop and lots of fresh produce in the mornings, instead of pellets. Let me explain why. Pellets are like astronaut food, dry and concentrated, so they occupy less space and parrots (whose 'hunger' is determined by how full or how empty their crop is) end up consuming more calories and protein eating them than if they were eating fresh food (because of the much, much higher water content in it -think of dry versus wet sawdust). Aside from this, parrots were created to eat raw food all the time (even the seeds they eat are fresh and not dried - their natural diet is 85 to 95% water while pellets are a maximum of 10%). Gloop is made of cooked grains and chopped produce and the cooking of the grains doesn't only make them easier to digest but it also saturates them with water (think of rice and how one cup becomes three after you cook it). I feed as much gloop to all my birds as they want to eat and even the ones that cannot fly are not overweight.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11143
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Pionus- incessant clucking/honking

Postby flappybird » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:53 pm

Sorry for the late reply.
The problem hasn't been resolved.

Bird age: approx. 10.5 years
Has been clipped her whole life, until we let her wings grow out last year, but then decided to clip again back in October. I requested a light clip, which apparently meant they only clipped two feathers on each side (3&4 primary), and that didn't really do much. It's hard to tell because she never really flies anyway. I will occasionally launch her towards the bed or couch if she is flapping a little because she wants to get there, and she'll fly over)

I think Wolf and Liz may have misunderstood, I was saying that the flesh around her keel bone was sticking out a bit more, which generally means the bird is gaining weight.
Most of the time she is always happy to eat, but at the same time, I don't want to just overfeed indiscriminately and actually make her overweight.

Michael isn't doing anything in particular when she does this noise. He is just present, and she is either sitting somewhere near him (windowsill, window perch, back of couch..) or on him. She just does it when she's around him for a while and not doing anything else (eating or tearing up some cardboard).

As for chop/gloop vs. pellets. She definitely eats more chop/gloop than pellets. In fact, she gets it every morning and most nights, and she always eats everything. The pellets are supplementary. I also give her some of whatever I'm eating when I'm around, as she wants it anyway and it's usually safe. Some examples are oatmeal before I add toppings, home-baked multigrain bread or sourdough, fruit, cooked grains/beans or lentils, veggies.

A related issue; I say related because it's related to her relationship with Michael as well.
As our time together progresses, she uses her contact call more and more. I haven't done anything to reinforce it as far as I know, and I've been trying hard to teach her not to use it. Her separation anxiety with Michael seems like an issue that just gets worse and worse. When she expects him to be home and he is not, she calls for him incessantly, which is normal I guess, but its AWFUL. Her whole existence is consumed with figuring out where he is. I am working from home a lot now, which I really expected to be a good thing because it would mean I would be home with her more, but it's really hard to work with her in the mornings and near the evenings because she's just wondering where Michael is. It's driving me a little crazy, to be honest, and there's nothing I can really do about it if he's not in the house.

If he's home, she's usually with him, but this is also unreasonable as she won't let him even go to the bathroom or step outside. If he does, she shouts for him intermittently until he comes back, shattering my ears in the process. I try to dissuade her by not "rewarding" her immediately: for example, if she's screaming for him he waits until she stops to come get her. I keep her with me or on her cage when he goes to the bathroom so she can learn that she can't always be with him when he's home. Neither of these techniques work.

I don't know how to quell this anxiety of hers, or how to prevent it from getting worse. She is certainly not being ignored and is not calling for attention. I try to give her plenty of attention an things to do, but she could care less. This is the only thing Luna does that I really hate.

ps. Pajarita: are Pionus considered conures? Nothing I've ever read indicates this..?
flappybird
Cockatiel
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 89
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Blue Headed Pionus
Flight: Yes

Re: Pionus- incessant clucking/honking

Postby Pajarita » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:45 pm

:lol: No, pionus (pionuses? pioni?) are not conures, that was my mistake. Yes, both Wolf and Liz misunderstood what you meant about the chest. When the flesh on either side of the keel bone becomes protrudent, it means that the bird has gained too much weight and, in the case of a bird that doesn't fly, it's even worse because, in fully flighted birds it could mean more muscle but in clipped birds, it's nothing but fat.

As to her calling getting worse... well, if Michael doesn't go to her until she stops her calling for him, that would make it worse. I know that a lot of people would tell you NOT to 'reward' a bird by going to him/her when they call for you but I don't agree with the premise. A parrot calling for somebody is the same as a baby crying for its momma - you do NOT ignore a baby, you go and pick the baby up and comfort it until it stops crying so why would you ignore a parrot? I hate it when people say things like 'don't reward a bad behavior'! Asking for what nature decreed you need to be happy is not a 'bad' behavior, and when you go to the bird and comfort it is NOT a reward, it's the bird's due! They did not ask to be taken from their natural habitat, tricked into imprinting to humans instead of to their parents, deprived of freedom and the right to procreate, made to live in a jail and made dependent on another species for survival! We created this unnatural lifestyle for them and then we punish the poor animals when they complain! I am not blaming you, I am just venting about all the cold-hearted people that don't understand them and try to make them adjust to something they can't...

I've had a few screamers and they all stopped once they realized that they were not alone. It takes months of having to put up with their screams and the slavery of always responding to their screams but, once they figure they will not be alone and they will be heard, they stopped.
More to come later, I have to go pick up my grandkids from school now.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11143
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Pionus- incessant clucking/honking

Postby flappybird » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:21 pm

I get what you're saying, but the thing is she yells for him when he's 3 feet away. Our house is REALLY small. She can see him all the time except if he's in the bathroom or in the bedroom for a moment. Her cage is against a huge window which faces a deck, and he might be working on something literally 2-3 feet away from where she is with only a screen dividing them, and she'll be freaking out because she is not on top of him.

We definitely don't really ignore her. We try not to come running when she screams (but do come immediately when she switches to loud chirping)- the thing is, 99% of the time we are not away from her. If we are home she is never alone, but she is screaming intermittently anyway because maybe Michael is not exactly where she wants him (on the couch with her perched on his chest or on his wrist-- this is a sneaky trick she does: if she perches on his wrist he cant use his phone or the computer, haha!) I might be right next to her and she might be screaming because Michael went to get something - and he does call to her verbally to let her know he is around and is coming back, but that doesn't help either. Sometimes she'll scream on my shoulder next to my ear which is NOT OKAY. And then the rest of the time she is either resting, chewing on something, eating, or cleaning her beak after dinner. She's a sweetheart after eating when she wants to get scritches a little, and a nightmare other times. But I guess that's all birds.

The point I'm trying to make is that I feel like we're REALLY good at not leaving her alone or ignored when we're at home, and it doesn't seem to help her anxious behavior. And again, it's not constant, but when it happens it just seems really uncalled for and I'm not sure how I'm going to fix it. It also really bums me out that I can't seem to offer any comfort when she is freaking out for Michael. It's like I'm not even there.

The other thing to think about it that this behavior has slowly gotten worse over the time that we've had her, not better. So I have no explanation for that, either.
flappybird
Cockatiel
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 89
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Blue Headed Pionus
Flight: Yes

Re: Pionus- incessant clucking/honking

Postby Pajarita » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:51 am

Ahhh, but you see? For a human (a dog, a cat, etc), being within sight would suffice but for a parrot, it doesn't. This is not true of ALL parrots but there are species and individuals that need to be right on top of you or it's not good enough. Needy species like GCCs, cockatoos and grays are like that: if they are not ON you, they are all alone even if they are perching within inches of you. Then you have individuals that belong to species that are naturally not so needy but because of circumstances have become so. Now, normally, with these individuals is not just one thing but a combination of them. I am not there and we don't know for sure what her previous history is so what I am going to give you is not really a completely informed opinion but, going by the video and what you tell us, it seems to me that your bird was not weaned properly (this has consequences in their behavior as adults, especially having to do with food and begging for it or attention) and the fact that she has never really flown makes her more needy (she can't get to where she wants to, she needs to 'ask' for it) if you add this to the possibility of her not getting enough attention in her previous life, you have a bird that seems never to be happy on her own for a reasonable period of time. I have a sun conure that begs when she wants to get on me. I think she must have not been weaned properly (she was also fed wrong and ended up with hemochromatosis because of it) and was neglected (her cage was in the laundry room!) - I was told she flew and it was true that her wings were not clipped but she obviously had never had the freedom to fly around for any period of time because it took her forever and a day to come out of her cage on her own and longer still to fly from point A to point B on her own initiative. She is much better now, she comes out of her cage as soon as I open the door and has not only gotten much more daring and independent in her flights (she now goes from the dining room where her cage is to the living room, the kitchen and the canary room) but also stronger and much better at it (she is still a bit clumsy -her flaps are too loud and she is not as good as she should be with corners or even landings). She also flies to my shoulder whenever she sees it 'vacant' of 'other customers' :D which is more now as my GCC is preoccupied with the season and her handicapped mate. All this has served to reduce her 'begging' tremendously! She still does it -I doubt she will ever stop completely- but only occasionally now.

Parrots are not the easy pets that people normally expect... they are VERY hard to keep healthy and happy. They know what they want and most of them will ask for it until they drive you crazy if you don't give it to them - and that's what's happening to your little girl. She wants (needs) to be on Michael - he is her mate and her mate needs to be right there 24/7/365 and that does NOT mean 3 ft away. She might also be hormonal right now (do you keep her to a strict solar schedule with full exposure to dawn and dusk? - Because that makes a HUGE difference!). I also think that the fact that she cannot fly is making things worse in more ways than one...
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11143
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Pionus- incessant clucking/honking

Postby flappybird » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:39 pm

I've definitely entertained the idea that she was maybe not weaned properly, which might explain why she's so crazy about food and why she makes that strange noise all the time (begging noise?). Her species is not supposed to be nearly as needy as say, a cockatoo or a gray, but you know, she's a parrot, so there's that.

I was never under the impression that caring for a parrot was easy- I knew that well before I got her as I'd spent time around parrots in the past (grew up with a few different Hispaniolan amazons that belonged to my dad, and also had a Parrotlet about 10 years ago that I didn't know enough about at the time), and this time around took my time trying to do as much research / reading as I could beforehand.

The thing about her wings, is, she CAN fly, and has been able to since she grew out her wings after we got her, but she doesn't try to. Even after we got them "trimmed" in October, she still could, because I asked for a 'light' trim and it didn't really do anything. I saw her fly just fine after that, and actually it seems like it's too soon, but at least one side grew back because she doesn't even have the gap where 2 feathers were previously missing and I've seen her shed a few cut ones. The point is, she can, and I know that she knows that she can, because I've seen her fly from her cage across the room to the other room where she sleeps because Michael was in there, and she's flown from the kitchen counter straight across the small living room to the couch. It's SUPER rare, but she can do it, she just never chooses to. She also has a ladder that she climbs down to the floor with from her cage to walk over to the couch if she doesn't happen to be on it already, or to search the house for Michael if he's in the bathroom (haha).

However, most of the time, she just chirps incessantly for someone to go pick her up (which we do) even though she can get wherever it is on her own.

The last few days I spent working from home she was actually quite pleasant. Totally happy to hang out on or in her cage, chew on her toys, occasionally get snacks, and nap a lot while I sat at the desk next to her cage working. She only got excitable and anxious at around 5 when Michael is supposed to come home, but I expect that, and there's no really getting her to stop calling then. She is on a dawn/dusk schedule, she sleeps next to a window and can see outside when the sun comes up as I only partially cover her cage, and she demands to go to bed around 8pm these days - there's no keeping her up past sundown.
flappybird
Cockatiel
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 89
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Blue Headed Pionus
Flight: Yes

Re: Pionus- incessant clucking/honking

Postby stevesjk » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:13 am

I wouldnt let a bird see out the window all night because it wont sleep. It'll be on high alert for predators and there might possibly be street lights shining down on it all night, not good because it needs pitch black to sleep.

Regarding cage placement for the day a good place would be half and half so what i mean by that is half the cage behind a wall and half with a view out the window. The part behind the wall will give him a place to hide if he feels like.
stevesjk
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 119
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal parrot budgie
Flight: Yes

Re: Pionus- incessant clucking/honking

Postby Pajarita » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:17 pm

Hmmmm, I don't know about them not sleeping worrying over a predator because they are next to a window, Steve. I certainly have never seen that behavior in my birds or read about anybody else's bird that did not sleep once it was dark. I do cover most but not all my cages now because all of them are either right in front or to the side of a window and they get light either from the street lamps or the stupid motion-sensitive lights my husband had the bright idea to put on the driveway which end up been lit half the night because of the ferals that keep on coming to eat from the food I leave out for them and make the night look like mid-day because they are so powerful but I don't cover the cages in the canary room and everybody sleeps very well in there...
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11143
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Pionus- incessant clucking/honking

Postby stevesjk » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:01 pm

I always shut curtains and cover cages pajarita to prevent nocturnal animals that lurk in the night interupting my birds sleep.
stevesjk
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 119
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal parrot budgie
Flight: Yes

Re: Pionus- incessant clucking/honking

Postby flappybird » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:05 pm

Both her cages (day and sleep) are half behind a wall and half next to a window. There are no streetlamps outside the window where she sleeps, it's pitch black when I go in there at night. She never utters a sound during the night and seems to sleep really well as she is never cranky or acts differently during the day. She's a very good sleeper :)

I'm not too worried about her getting spooked by anything she might see outside, the biggest things she sees are neighborhood cats in the yard all day and she doesn't react to them at all (at least not the way she reacts to bigger birds flying overhead). I think I would notice if she did because she has a very specific "predator alert" sound.
flappybird
Cockatiel
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 89
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Blue Headed Pionus
Flight: Yes

Previous

Return to General Parrot Care

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

Parrot ForumArticles IndexTraining Step UpParrot Training BlogPoicephalus Parrot InformationParrot Wizard Store