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Sun conure doesn’t like to be touched

Discuss the methods and techniques of clicker training, target training and bonding. These are usually the first steps in training a young parrot.

Sun conure doesn’t like to be touched

Postby Jesse100 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:50 pm

Hello, my name is Jesse,
I recently got a sun conure named Sunny about a month ago. She is approximately 2 years old. She loves to be near people and will sit on shoulders. If we try to put our fingers near her when she is on our shoulder, she begins squawking and then bites. Whenever we try to pet her or get near her, she runs away or leans away from our hands or fingers. She says “stop it”, makes kissing noises, and laughs (I assume her previous owner taught her those noises). I just don’t understand why she doesn’t like our hands of fingers if she loves being near us. She even will fly to me when I try to leave the room. Any thoughts on why she does this and how to fix it? I really am wanting to cuddle and pet her, but she won’t let me or anyone. Any advise or thoughts would be much appreciated!
Thanks
Jesse100
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Sun conure
Flight: No

Re: Sun conure doesn’t like to be touched

Postby Pajarita » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:35 am

Welcome to the forum, Jesse and Sunny! She needs to have company and that's why she wants to be with people - but she doesn't trust you or love you and that's why she doesn't want you to touch her.
A month is nothing to a rehomed parrot, it takes them about three months to come out of their honeymoon period and two years to actually feel completely at home in its new home but this doesn't mean that it will take her two years to love you. How long that takes and whether this ever happens or not is up to you because it is up to you to gain her trust and love. They are not like dogs that would love any human that treats them with kindness, they need to be won over. It's really not that hard, it just takes time, patience and understanding them. And the first thing you need to do is to stop trying to touch her immediately because all you are doing is aggravating her and teaching her that you cannot be trusted to respect her wishes or that you are not 'listening' to her.

Let her do what she wants without interfering. Open her cage at dawn and walk away so she can come out on her own if and when she wants to. If she flies to your shoulder, just let her ride it without asking her for anything. You now need to prove to her that your insisting on touching her when she did not wanted you to was a misunderstanding, a fluke that will not be repeated. Keep her at a strict solar schedule with full exposure to dawn and dusk, feed her a fresh food diet (do not free-feed any protein food), spend as much time as you can in the same room as she is, talk, sing, whistle to her and, every now and then, offer her a treat but, if she doesn't take it from your fingers, just leave it where she can reach it and walk away because this is not a reward or a bribe, it's a gift from you to her.

Now, I need to tell you one more thing. Going by what you write is her usual reaction to hands near her (the hissing, backing up, biting and, most telling, her saying "Stop it!), I am afraid that the person who raised her had really no business getting a baby bird because, obviously, she was not treated right and was taught that people's hands are not to be trusted (I am not saying the person was mean to her or that he/she did not love her but loving a bird does not mean you will be willing and able to care for it the right way). This was made worse by your trying to touch her when she did not want it because this reinforced what she had learned about humans in her original home so you are now starting from a negative position instead of just zero BUT it does not mean she will always feel this way, it just means that it will take longer. Sun conures are very affectionate birds (although I am afraid that, in my personal experience, not big cuddlers) and if you do everything right, she will love you (or whoever she chooses in your household as her human) to pieces for many years to come.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15519
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: Sun conure doesn’t like to be touched

Postby Jesse100 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:17 pm

Thank you so much for the reply! I didn’t realize that a month isn’t very long for them to get acclimated. I have a bearded dragon as well as dart frogs and turtles so I’m very new to birds.

I’ll try to learn her behavior and moods as well as respecting her space so she feels more comfortable. I don’t want her to feel afraid or anything negative so I’ll do my best to make her feel at home.

When she does bite, what do you suggest that I do? I’ve read online to just walk away and come back later.

Thank you again for the reply. All I want is for her to feel comfortable and at home.
Jesse100
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Sun conure
Flight: No

Re: Sun conure doesn’t like to be touched

Postby Pajarita » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:22 am

Well, in all honesty, if you do not want to get bit, all you have to do is not ask her to do anything she doesn't want to or intrude. I know it sounds simplistic but it is correct. Parrots are not aggressive animals. They do not belong to a hierarchical society and are not predators which are the two reasons why nature gives aggression genes to animals. Parrots don't hunt other animals or fight to be the boss (leader, alpha) of the flock so they do not need aggression at all. They only bite out of fear or to defend themselves, their mates, their babies or their nests from danger. Pet parrots bite because people taught them to do it. This bird was taught to bite by its prior human insisting on intruding or insisting she did something she did not want to do and, although I am sure that she tried real hard to let her previous human know her/his advances were not welcome, this person did not listen and kept on bothering her until she had no other choice but to bite her to get her point across. The whole idea behind your proving she can trust you to respect her so she does not have to bite is never to make her do anything she is not comfortable doing so, as long as you let her come and go as she pleases, she won't bite you.

But, if she did (there are birds that have lived so long biting humans that they have the habit so ingrained into them that they do it 'just in case' - but your bird is very young so I doubt that is the situation here), make an exclamation of pain (like OUCH! or whatever) and tell her in a firm voice: "NO! No biting! Bad bird!" or whatever phrase is more comfortable to you and don't pay attention to her for 5 minutes.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15519
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


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