1. Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

New BFA, tasting or testing? How to react?

Discussion in 'Behavior Byway' started by Pinktaurus732, 10/12/17 at 11:18 AM.

  1. Pinktaurus732

    Pinktaurus732 Moving in

    Joined:
    2/27/13
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Georgia
    Real Name:
    Alicia
    I have been absent from this forum for several years so I will start with a short background:
    My name is Alicia and I live in Georgia, my wife and I have a yellow parakeet (Ziggy) and a yellow sided GCC (Marley), also 2 dogs, a cat, 2 ducks and 2 rabbits. Ziggy came from petsmart about 5 1/2 years ago and Marley from a local breeder about 4 1/2 years ago. As a young child I also had a cockatiel named Baby.
    Two weeks ago we took in my neighbors blue fronted amazon (Ray, about 11-13 years old and we are told he is a male though we don’t have any DNA sexing papers) as he no longer had enough time to devote to the bird. I had offered to take him in about a year ago as I could hear him screaming and squawking on his back deck but my neighbor was not ready to give him up at that time. Also the first time I met the bird I noticed he was in a small cage with 1 perch, and baby rings for toys and had little food and water. Anyways we now own him and I had actually been researching the BFA’s and breeders before I got my GCC but decided to go with the GCC as I had only had experience with the smaller birds. He is in a much bigger cage with lots of toys that I have bought and made him and we are weaning him onto a pellet diet and got lots of different types of treats to try with him.
    Ray the BFA has chosen me as his person as he lets me give him lots of scritches through the cage and inside the cage and talks to me the most, he doesn’t seem to like my brother as he growls and sometimes snaps at him most of the time. He is slowly warming up to my wife, letting her touch his feet when he is hanging on the cage bars and trying to mock her laughing. Last night he came out of his cage and sat on top for a while and then decided he would walk over to me and step up on my hand, I have been working with him slowly to do this, he then put his beak over a few of my fingers and was licking my hand and putting slight pressure, im not sure if he was tasting my hand or trying to test me to see how much pressure he could use. So to be on the safe side I put him back inside the cage for a while and walked away for 5 minutes and about 30 minutes later let him out again. He stepped up on my hand again and did the same thing so I repeated by putting him back into the cage and walked away for 5 minutes then came back and talked to him through the cage. I had my thumb tucked in and made sure my fingers were touching tightly so he felt safe perching on my hand, I did tell him good step up and did not yell or anything because I’m not sure what he was doing or trying to do to my hand and I don’t want him to get the wrong impression and not want to step up. Do y’all think he was just tasting or testing me? How should I react next time?
     

    Attached Files:

    Tiel Feathers likes this.
  2. Familyof12

    Familyof12 Sprinting down the street I Can't Stop Posting!

    Joined:
    9/25/17
    Messages:
    434
    Location:
    Santa Clara, California
    Real Name:
    Liz
    He is in a new environment and it takes time for them to adjust (as you already know). It's wonderful you have him and can spend the time he needs. He didn't bite you which is an excellent sign! All birds use their tongues and beak to test, taste and explore. Sounds like you have a new BFF and he's tasting, testing and exploring you. My birds like to like the sweat off my neck if they are on my shoulder and I'm doing gardening and perspiring. I believe they like the salt. He/She is beautiful! Congratulations on the new addition to your family! :cheer:
     
  3. Pinktaurus732

    Pinktaurus732 Moving in

    Joined:
    2/27/13
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Georgia
    Real Name:
    Alicia
    Thank you! No luckily he did not bite which he easily could have, I just didn’t want to chance it or let it happen. We will see what he does today, I’ll let him lick me but any hard pressure I will do the same as yesterday.
    Funny you say that your bird licks your sweat, our GCC likes to like the oil off our nose! Silly birds!
     
  4. Laurul Feather Cat

    Laurul Feather Cat Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

    Joined:
    12/12/10
    Messages:
    10,574
    Location:
    Mechanicsburg, PA, USA
    Real Name:
    Lois
    My lovebird, Harley, licks the sweat literally from my brow after I clean in the birdroom. It is the only time he will allow me to touch him; he has a mate to preen him so does not want petted by humans. Yet he cannot ignore that wonderful salty, oily liquid we call sweat. When you think about it, two things limited in their natural wild environment are oil/fats and pure plain salt. In order to get salt they will eat mud or soil with salt and other minerals in it. Harley will chew the mineral block for the calcium and other minerals, but he loves the pure taste fix licking sweat gives him for salt and oil/fats.

    If he were "pinching" my fingers and was getting a little too hard, I would say something to him, like "Ray, that hurts. Ouch. Stop it, please." in a calm and normal tone. Let him know what is OK and what is not OK verbally. If that does not cause him to stop, then put him in the cage to end the situation. I am not one who believes one should "take the bite in silence" as a way to deal with a biting bird. His fellow birds in the wild would not quietly "take the bite"; they would react emotionally and loudly and move away from him to show him biting is not tolerated. This is why I use a two pronged approach with my birds; first the verbal warning, then the shoo away to relieve myself of the biting bird. If the bird comes right back and insists on biting again, then I cage them. But with my current flock, there is never this scenario; the shoo away is always enough reprimand and when they return the bitey bird behaves himself. So, if he is testing your limits, show him those limits as matter of fact and non-emotional as possible.

    He is a beautiful bird and I am happy he is accepting your wife; sometimes there is a jealousy that develops between the bird and the spouse which can be physically dangerous to the human. Looks like the odd man out is your brother. I caution you to never laugh or even smile when the bird bites your brother and to never allow the bird to mistreat your brother physically if you can avoid it. Some birds pick a person to bully and it can, again, get physically dangerous to the human.
     
    Pinktaurus732 and Familyof12 like this.
  5. Pinktaurus732

    Pinktaurus732 Moving in

    Joined:
    2/27/13
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Georgia
    Real Name:
    Alicia
    Thank you, if my GCC bites we yell “ouch!” and put him back in the cage and walk away for 5-10 minutes, with him he doesn’t put light pressure on our fingers except to step up so we know if his mouth goes near our fingers well after stepping up that he is going to bite. With Ray being new and a BFA we just weren’t sure what he was trying to do, still trying to learn to read his body language.
    I would never laugh, smile or encourage any bird to bite my brother and I make sure to let my brother know if certain things seem to upset the bird. However, my brother (4 years older than myself) acts like a big baby sometimes especially when it comes to pain so I would most likely laugh about his reaction away from the bird and my brother of course!
     

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)