Trained Parrot BlogParrot Wizard Online Parrot Toy StoreThe Parrot Forum

Lovebird bitingOn

New to the parrot forum? Introduce yourself and your flock to us.

Lovebird bitingOn

Postby rainalynneve » Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:40 pm

I just adopted a healthy 2 year old lovebird who will step up, eat from my hand and sit on my shoulder. But she also nips my ear for whatever reason I cannot figure out. She has access to food and chewing toys. How do I get the biting to stop and stay in good terms with her?
rainalynneve
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 3
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebird
Flight: Yes

Re: Lovebird bitingOn

Postby Pajarita » Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:38 am

Hi, Raina and lovie, welcome to the forum! First of all, are you sure she is biting your ear and not just nipping it or an attempt to groom it? Second question: is she, by any chance, clipped? Let me explain why I am asking these questions. People with no experience with parrots often confuse their actions when it comes to things they do with their beak. To a parrot, the beak is another hand so they use it to preen (groom, clean themselves, even 'comb' feathers) and to lean on when they move from point A to point B (as when they go from a perch to a hand, for example, and reach out with their beak before they do with their foot) or to 'hang on' when they feel insecure (as in perching on a shoulder when the person is moving so they grab whatever is nearest -like a person would do with a pole in a subway, for example). Then you have biting versus nipping - biting being when they break the skin and nipping being when they just squeeze a bit too hard but do not cause damage. And the difference is not only of pressure but also of intent because they know -or should know- very well the difference.

The second one is because clipped birds are insecure birds - most especially for aviary species (like lovies are) and even more so when they are clipped (because flight is the only predator avoidance mechanism they have). Birds that are not clipped have the option of flying away when something startles/scares them but clipped birds do not have that option so they tend to scare more easily and bite much more than flighted birds.

So tell me, is it a bite or a nip? When does it happen? -like, when you move or when somebody approaches you or when she gets startled by a sudden movement or a noise? And is she clipped or fully flighted?

Also, how long have you had her? Because that makes a difference, too, as newly rehomed birds do not know, trust or love you...
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17163
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: Lovebird bitingOn

Postby rainalynneve » Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:16 pm

Hi Pajaraita,
Thanks for your reply. We have had Bebe now for almost 3 weeks and her behavior with me has improved dramatically. She will eat from my hand, perch on my shoulder or head and lower her own head to be gently touched. We seem to have a good bond. The problem now is that she flies to my husband ( without being asked to) whenever she sees him, calmly perches on his shoulder for a couple of minutes, and then without warning or provocation, suddenly bites him on the ear or neck. We don’t understand why; does she love him or hate him? Now he’s scared of her and waves her off so she won’t land on him but that doesn’t seem to deter her. He’s insisting that we get her wings clipped to prevent her from flying onto him but I don’t want to. If he’s not around, she’s gentle and calm with me or my daughter. We can’t figure this out!
Thanks,
Rainalynn
rainalynneve
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 3
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebird
Flight: Yes

Re: Lovebird bitingOn

Postby Pajarita » Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:12 am

I am afraid that her behavior is pretty normal. Parrots are NOT family pets, they are one-person pets - it's the way nature made them. Having said that, they do get used to tolerating and even befriending other members of the family. It takes time and it takes patience but it does happen. I have several birds that, when they first came to me, bit my husband in EXACTLY the same way. Zoey is one example - she is a Senegal female and loved me while not liking my husband at all. She would fly to his shoulder and bite him every time she saw him. What he did was cover himself... he would wear a hoodie or a towel around his neck to prevent her from reaching his skin when she perched on his shoulder and, in time, first she stopped doing it and, later on, she became his friend. He can now ask her to step up, scratch her head, etc. She does not tolerate much more than this from him but this is the way it is with them. What would speed up the process would be to give her a mate (not a companion because you can't put two females together). She will then love her mate and be a friend to everybody else in the 'flock'.

Clipping has never solved anything with birds. You cannot change a natural behavior and not damage the bird's psyche... it's as simple as that. If you clip her so she cannot fly to your husband, you would have to do a VERY severe clip and that is plain dangerous to a teeny tiny little bird as well as unhealthy both from a physical (atrophied respiratory system) and emotional (frustration, stress, etc because you are, in effect, taking away the ONLY predator-avoidance mechanism and mode of transportation they have). And it would not make her love your husband either but what it might do is make her pluck or resent you (they are smart and they know who does what to them).
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17163
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: Lovebird bitingOn

Postby rainalynneve » Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:13 pm

Thanks for your reply! I’ll get out my husband’s hoodies and instruct him to wear them!
rainalynneve
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 3
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebird
Flight: Yes

Re: Lovebird bitingOn

Postby Pajarita » Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:43 am

There you go! :thumbsup:
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17163
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


Return to Introductions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests

Parrot ForumArticles IndexTraining Step UpParrot Training BlogPoicephalus Parrot InformationParrot Wizard Store