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Taming Parrot By Touching Beak

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Taming Parrot By Touching Beak

Postby Michael » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:49 pm

Taming Parrot By Touching Beak

A little discussed technique that I find very helpful for taming parrots is to touch and scratch their beak. This is the safest place to touch, even on a biting parrot, because it is the one place the parrot cannot reach to bite. I demonstrate how I do it on my birds and even though they are tame, Ive done the same on biting birds at a store with similar success.
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Re: Taming Parrot By Touching Beak

Postby rebeccaturpeinen » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:34 am

this is very very interesting and i will definitly be trying this :mrgreen:
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Re: Taming Parrot By Touching Beak

Postby Kim S » Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:33 am

That is so funny you should mention this in an article! This is exactly the way I got Kika used to me and me petting him. He got scared when I tried to touch his neck or head for a scratch but he did let me touch his beak. For some reason he always calmed down when getting his beak scratched and let me move on to scratching other areas.
And it is exactly how I always let non-birdpeople aproach him. I know he is comfortable with it.


I thought it was just one of Kika's quirks, or mine.
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Guus: Cockatiel, Yellowcheek, cinnamon, pearl, pied.
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Re: Taming Parrot By Touching Beak

Postby Rrrma » Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:11 pm

I thought it was funny that he posted this too. This is what I'm trying to do with Hardy(rescued wild caught LCA) to get him used to hands. When I give him a seed I try to sneak a beak touch in there. He is FAST as lightening though and knows that I'm trying to touch him. I've landed a few swipes here and there and have also moved from using a stick as the target to my finger. I felt like we made awesome progress when they other day he took a moment to lick 3 of my fingers before taking the seed!
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Re: Taming Parrot By Touching Beak

Postby lzver » Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:30 pm

I have done this for as long as I can remember with Lucy and Jessie. Even to this date when I'm handling them and they're being nippy, I lightly grab their beak and gently move it back and forth and say no.

I've never really seen it discussed and not sure how I really figured out how to do it, but the technique works very well for me.
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Re: Taming Parrot By Touching Beak

Postby pyrrhuraphile » Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:21 pm

Hey this article is perfectly timed for me as I work on getting to know my BCC. He is so far very gentle with me, but his beak is HUGE and very pointy. This is such an awsome confidence and trust building excercise. Thank you for posting it!
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Re: Taming Parrot By Touching Beak

Postby Michael » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:01 pm

Yeah, this is a technique that I've used since I can remember. But yet I've never seen it discussed anywhere. I think it's pretty obvious and possibly a reason why I've never written about it before. But I figured I'd put it out there for newbies still learning just to touch the parrot initially. I think this method is so effective because it builds confidence not only for the parrot but also the handler.
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Re: Taming Parrot By Touching Beak

Postby GooseBlossom » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:31 pm

GooseBlossom likes being scratched on his head, under his beak, over his ears and between his beak and eyes, so this afternoon I decided to try his beak. He loved it! Thanks for a new idea for bonding with my bird.
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Re: Taming Parrot By Touching Beak

Postby Shonta » Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:46 pm

I have a 14 y/o gcc that when I first got him he would sit ok on my finger and you could pet his head with your nose. Not a big fan of hands but wouldn't bite. I've had roommates in the past and they've messed with him. The only way I can hold him is with a cloth. If not at some point he will bite. I'm sitting still, nothing is going on to startle/scare him... just for no reason you get bit. When he does that I say no with a glare and he goes back in the cage which he usually prefers not to be in. He likes hanging near me, always looks at me from afar, likes exploring his blanket's crevesses near me. I don't know what to do. He has a buddy gcc in his cage with him. They used to live apart but now are together in one cage since I moved to a smaller apt. She is a snuggler when she feels like it. I try to show mr biter this and you can tell he'd like to be in my hands too but I can't take these hard bites so toughing it out without response for a period of time to maybe get him to quit doesn't work for me. I feel bad for him. He doesn't realize he's creating his own world of a little wall with me. Any suggestions? I put him in the cage after a bite and have done it forever now. Doesn't matter. This behavior is so ingraned in him. It's not just hands either. When I put the cloth out for him to come out on bite! I would like to have him on my finger like the old days or under my hair by my neck but I don't see it. :( Help?
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Re: Taming Parrot By Touching Beak

Postby pyrrhuraphile » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:36 pm

Michael wrote:Yeah, this is a technique that I've used since I can remember. But yet I've never seen it discussed anywhere. I think it's pretty obvious and possibly a reason why I've never written about it before. But I figured I'd put it out there for newbies still learning just to touch the parrot initially. I think this method is so effective because it builds confidence not only for the parrot but also the handler.


I think you are absoloutely correct about why it's effective. I disagree that it's obvious though... most people who fear being bitten will NOT find it obvious to reach for the beak, far from it! This method also takes away the urge that most novice bird people seem to have, which is to poke at the bird and jerk the hand away when it turns; which is the quickest way I know of to CREATE a biting bird.

Anyhow, it's important to have somebody in every group who is in charge of the totally obvious :) Of course I'm used to handling my bird's beaks, but to approach a NEW bird this way is something I will use the rest of my life.

So I put this into practice with Louie as soon as I read your article, and we've moved past that into full-on cuddles now. Last night before bedtime was the first time he has ASKED me for a cuddle, after exactly a week in my home. My cheeks still feel the softness of his feathers :)
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