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4 yr old Amazon with biting behaviour

anuska

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Anuska
Hi all ,
I write seeking advice. My 4 yr old Amazon has recently started showing biting behavior. I have tried addressing the cause of the issue , but cannot seem to arrive at it. At first I thought it was due to hormones but I'm not completely sure. There is not any particular time at which he does it and he usually does not show any signs of pinned eyes or flared tail feathers , I usually just turn my back for a quick second and he plunges at me, or I bend down to pick up something from the floor and before I know it he is sinking his beak at full force. It does not occur at any particular time of the day or anything that I can think would be related to it's cause. He perfectly playing and happy majority of the time and then one second he ups and just decides to attack. It couldn't be that he's protective of his territory because he lunges from across the room when I'm not even near his cage or food. The issue has become very concerning as I've endured so many excruciating bites within the past few days.I've tried dealing with the issue by letting him know his behavior is unacceptable by saying No sternly , and I've been looking out for any body language that would tell me to step away, but again the issue is he shows no signs of these right before he decides to lunge . What should I do ?
 

msplantladi

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I would carefully go over his diet-some foods are very high energy. Someone please correct me if I am wrong but I believe Amazons should be on a low energy diet. Also have you tried Avi-calm or Avitech'srelaxation & calming formula ? They are both all natural & have worked wonders on two of my rescued macaws.
 

JLcribber

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I've tried dealing with the issue by letting him know his behavior is unacceptable by saying No sternly
That is a "drama reward" which will actually increase the behaviour. A reward does not have to be good or bad. Just a reward. Whenever you draw "any" kind of attention to an undesired behaviour you are rewarding the bird. The proper response is to "withdraw attention" for a few minutes (not longer). Put the bird down right where you are and walk away for 2 minutes and return. They "want" the attention. Taking it away is very effective.

Having said that. A bird can only bite if you provide the opportunity to do so by the way you handle them. If your flesh is in (target) range you can expect to get bitten.

He's showing signs. You just don't recognize them. He's also going to from juvenile to adult. Things change.
 
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MommyBird

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I had a 35+ yr old flighted BFA male with an OWA female mate who showed the same behaviors when it was hormone time. Your guy at 4 is a bit early as they usually hit about 5 yrs old but it could well be hormones and they always hit hard at first.

It was never really a problem for me but I did have to watch not to do things that I knew would set him off. Two of the big things indeed were bending over to pick something up - if I kept eye contact he would stay put. Also if I turned my back within a certain distance, so again, eye contact.

When my husband was alive and I was still the BFA's "mate" we did have to clip wing feathers as my husband took it personally. You may want to consider clipping to slow him down so you can dodge. It isn't permanent.
After mine was flighted again I became very fast at dodging him the few times I'd "cross the line". I'd bet there is body language, you just aren't seeing it. Sometimes if people don't see the signs, they give up showing them and just go straight to attacks.

I would suggest clicker training. It is very important to do positive things together. This is a great one and food motivated Amazons are super easy. Sometimes when I'd see him getting antsy, I'd call out "circle" and, well, you just can't mount an attack when you are turning in a circle for a food treat. Worked great.
It will also teach him that you are now paying attention to his body language.
 

jmfleish

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I agree with Debbie, this very much sounds like hormonal behavior. I also suggest clipping and clicker training. The whole telling him no probably isn't going to do a whole lot of good. What species of Amazon is he?
 

anuska

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Trinidad
Real Name
Anuska
I would carefully go over his diet-some foods are very high energy. Someone please correct me if I am wrong but I believe Amazons should be on a low energy diet. Also have you tried Avi-calm or Avitech'srelaxation & calming formula ? They are both all natural & have worked wonders on two of my rescued macaws.
I've never tried those but I will seek to source them out immediately, thank you !
 

anuska

Meeting neighbors
Joined
4/12/13
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Location
Trinidad
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Anuska
I had a 35+ yr old flighted BFA male with an OWA female mate who showed the same behaviors when it was hormone time. Your guy at 4 is a bit early as they usually hit about 5 yrs old but it could well be hormones and they always hit hard at first.

It was never really a problem for me but I did have to watch not to do things that I knew would set him off. Two of the big things indeed were bending over to pick something up - if I kept eye contact he would stay put. Also if I turned my back within a certain distance, so again, eye contact.

When my husband was alive and I was still the BFA's "mate" we did have to clip wing feathers as my husband took it personally. You may want to consider clipping to slow him down so you can dodge. It isn't permanent.
After mine was flighted again I became very fast at dodging him the few times I'd "cross the line". I'd bet there is body language, you just aren't seeing it. Sometimes if people don't see the signs, they give up showing them and just go straight to attacks.

I would suggest clicker training. It is very important to do positive things together. This is a great one and food motivated Amazons are super easy. Sometimes when I'd see him getting antsy, I'd call out "circle" and, well, you just can't mount an attack when you are turning in a circle for a food treat. Worked great.
It will also teach him that you are now paying attention to his body language.
I will definitely give clicker training a try , thank you !
 

anuska

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4/12/13
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Location
Trinidad
Real Name
Anuska
I agree with Debbie, this very much sounds like hormonal behavior. I also suggest clipping and clicker training. The whole telling him no probably isn't going to do a whole lot of good. What species of Amazon is he?
He's an orange winged amazon.
 
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