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Bonding with a rescue African Grey (while at the rescue)

Discussion in 'Behavior Byway' started by birdfamiliar, 4/20/17.

  1. birdfamiliar

    birdfamiliar Meeting neighbors

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    Good morning, everyone! :) It took me an evening to gather my thoughts because I was so excited when I got home. So, I don't have pictures because I was a derp and forgot my camera, but I think I've fallen in love with a rescue bird. I went in thinking I would get a Poicephalus of some sort, but nope, it was their African Grey (no idea what type because it didn't occur to me at the time). Unfortunately, I don't think this bird returns my feelings. I can spend two days per week volunteering for as long as I need to before I take it home. I want to make sure it considers me a friend before I change its living space, especially because of its species.

    Here are some personal traits:
    • Cage Territorial - but loves hanging out on the door to his cage. At the rescue, all birds are allowed out of their cages unless unattended. The smaller birds have a little aviary all to themselves. This Grey, along with a strange Cockatoo and a Caique, are the only ones that don't wander around.
    • Plucker - I have to ask next time I go, but it looks like he's a plucker. Thankfully, most of his down feathers are intact. I don't know if that means he's stopped plucking while at the rescue, or if he hasn't advanced to that stage yet. (I can't address this medically until I adopt him.)
    • Old Grump - He just gives off that vibe. I don't think he's a cuddly one. The other Greys interacted with at least the birds around them. I will say that he imitated a popping noise I made--too cute!
    • Age Unknown
    I plan on sitting down near his cage and making him some simple paper foraging toys (so he knows there's something inside), and once I know he tears them up, putting them outside his cage. It seems like peanuts are a bad treat for Greys, so I might go for dried fruit instead...unless someone else has some suggestions? All of the birds seem to have company--this bird was in close vicinity to two other greys and a cockatoo (with their own cages). He also has food and water outside his cage and a play stand nearby that he doesn't touch. Maybe he hates other birds, or...? I don't know what his home situation was like.

    Any other suggestions on how I can befriend this Grey would be very helpful. I am not looking to 'tame' him--just to prevent his plucking and gain his trust.
     
    Last edited: 4/20/17
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  2. alshgs

    alshgs Rollerblading along the road

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    Find out more about him if the rescue knows anything. Continue to talk to him, and find out his favorite treat and bring that every time you walk by his cage/come visit. Maybe take a book and read if you can? But definitely try and find out more if possible. If he has a leg band, you may be able to track down the breeder and get an age if no one else knows
     
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  3. WendyN

    WendyN Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month

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    Do you have any birds of your own?
     
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  4. jmfleish

    jmfleish Cruising the avenue Celebirdy of the Month Premium Vendor Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Greys are usually fairly easy to crack the first layer of...they tend to love to eat...find out what his favorite treat is. Skip the peanuts and the dried fruit unless you get something like Just Veggies (it comes in fruit varieties too). I would guess that he would like almonds. You can use the slivered kind that take less time to eat and you can give more in a shorter period of time. At first he is probably not going to take them directly from you...just put them in his food dish but make sure he sees you doing it. You want him to put yummy food together with you. Eventually, he'll probably take them from your hand. Talk to him gently and repeat any sounds he makes. The hiding of treats in paper is a great idea. See where this takes you!
     
  5. birdfamiliar

    birdfamiliar Meeting neighbors

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    I sent an email to the rescue, the next time I see the bird is next Wednesday. I like your idea about sitting nearby. There's not much space in the rescue, but I will see if I can sit nearby without getting in everyone's way. He does have a leg band, so if the rescue doesn't have any info, I'll try that. I think he is fully mature, though.

    I do not, this would be a single bird, and I have no plans of adopting more afterwards. I considered another bird--a dusky conure--but I don't think I would be able to give it a better quality of life than it already has. It has a fairly big aviary and lots of companions. On the other hand, I think I could provide the grey with a better life.

    Glad to hear that! I know the rescue already gives him almonds in some basic foraging toys (where they pull the nut out of a hole in the wood block), so I want to find a more novel treat that would catch his interest. I imagine I will put a few in his food dish before I start cleaning the rest of the place, and then return to see if he liked anything. They also get fruit snacks and pellets, so I'm waiting to hear back about any favorite treat he might have.
     
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  6. Tyrion

    Tyrion Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month

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    I would try several different tree nuts Brazil , pine , cashews , walnuts ..I get mine from the bulk store ...all natural ...spend time with him as much as you can ..talk to him make noises with him ..mine loves clicking and kissy noises whistling ...greys are just the best birds ..best of luck with this guy :)
     
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  7. MARILYN CEDENO

    MARILYN CEDENO Meeting neighbors

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    Greys are simply the best! My girl has been with me since November and wont allow me to handle her but she loves to play. Shes a silly bird. Her favs are 'catch' with a colorful wiffle ball and she seems amazed and is very attentive when I place colorful blocks into her shape sorter (the one designed by Fisher Price for babies) and count them one by one. Of course, her all time favorite is chewing wood blocks and small foot toys. Does he have any colorful toys nearby? Maybe that would cheer him up :D
    Sometimes Roxie and I will just sit quietly and she'll whistle softly and I'll return the soft whistle and we go back and forth. He may seem grumpy now, but I think if you continue to talk gently to him, play with him and maybe sing softly to him, he'll come around eventually. It just takes time. Good luck! :)
     
  8. birdfamiliar

    birdfamiliar Meeting neighbors

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    Don't get me wrong, grumpy personality is a good thing to me :) . I adopted a grumpy stray cat before; She was forever grumpy, even when she allowed you to pet her. She would always stop your hand, readjust it with her paws, and then make sure the hand was clean. She was a goof! I just want to cut back on his biting and make sure he is a happy grumpy bird when I take him home. I will be sure to get him some colorful toys after he gets used to (destroying) the paper foraging ones I give him.

    Here's a secret though...and the Amazons at the shelter picked it up right away...I can't whistle at all. I can make pitch-perfect cat noises, though.
     
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  9. JLcribber

    JLcribber Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    Trust me. If you spend time with this bird because you want to and you do it with your heart. That bird will see your heart. Don't make any demands. Always offer choice. Earn that birds trust and respect. Don't give him a choice but to love you. When he gets to come home with you he will be eternally grateful. They know.

    All that other stuff doesn't matter because it was in the past. Healing and a new life start as soon as you get him home.
     
    Last edited: 4/20/17
  10. Tiel Feathers

    Tiel Feathers Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    I hope it all works out!
     
  11. faislaq

    faislaq Rollerblading along the road

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    :waitsws2: I teared up on that one. I believe it 100%.
     
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  12. rocky'smom

    rocky'smom Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award

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    with the Grey at the clinic right now, we have found that plain popped popcorn is huge treat. if you can find that keep some in your pocket in baggie, every time you pass his cage, call his name and put a treat in his food dish. make sure to ask the rescue be/4 hand if he can have that treat. remember patience is the key to building a good relationship.
     
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  13. birdfamiliar

    birdfamiliar Meeting neighbors

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    Update: the response to my questions about treats, age, plucking, and history was...I am unsuitable to volunteer there due to my method of transportation (public). I also made the mistake of hinting at my religion (not-Christian) in a place literally surrounded by churches, since it also relates to my job, so I think that had a heavy hand in it as well...I'm kind of heart-broken. Not sure what to do from here, they were the most accessible rescue...
     
  14. JLcribber

    JLcribber Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    Sorry to hear that. There are bigots everywhere.
     
  15. Tyrion

    Tyrion Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month

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    AWWW...so sorry to hear that :(
     
  16. Laura729

    Laura729 Jogging around the block

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    I'm so sorry to hear this - that's really terrible. I wish you were closer to PA (where I volunteer at a rescue), we'd love to have someone who's as obviously caring and dedicated as you are to volunteer with us! :)
     
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  17. Cynthia & Percy

    Cynthia & Percy cockatoo mania Super Moderator Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Veteran

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    i am so sorry
     
  18. Tiel Feathers

    Tiel Feathers Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    That's terrible! I'm so sorry, they are missing out. Unfortunately the poor birds are too.
     
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  19. Lady Jane

    Lady Jane Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    The way you were treated does not sound like a good bird rescue. Bird people are not usually closed hearted like that.
     

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