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Adult Female Ringneck Sudden Biting

Serena

Checking out the neighborhood
Joined
1/1/20
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4
Hello! So I have two Indian Ringnecks, a male and a female, and I understand the whole bluffing stage in IRNs. My female of 3 years has suddenly turned from a sweet, slightly bitey and aggressive bird to a vicious biting machine and she's already gone through the bluffing stage! I put my birds in a smaller sleeping cage at night and she is territorial of it, but lately, I've had to quickly close the cage door before she comes and bites my fingers. She then attacks the cage all angrily if I put my hands near it or if she doesn't like the way I breathed nearby. Then the next morning is the worst. I used to have no problem getting her out. She would be all grumpy, and possibly might bite a small mad bite but come out fine, and then once she was fed and in her normal cage she would be fine. But now I am terrified to get her out, because no matter how sweet and careful I am, once it comes to stepping up on my hand, I get viciously bitten to the point where it draws blood. Sometimes she could act all sweet and then bite me out of nowhere. I also get bitten sometimes just putting her in her normal cage. This is so sudden and abnormal for her that I have no idea what could possibly be the reason for this behavior. It gets me concerned for my sweet little male because she influences him a lot. When she bites mad, he sometimes copies her and gets mad too. I have no idea why she's so mad at me, but if anyone has any insight on how to fix this behavior and save me from bleeding hands every morning I would really appreciate it!
 

fashionfobie

Rollerblading along the road
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1/4/19
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2,643
Location
Qld, Australia
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Natalie
If the days are getting warmer or cooler, depending where you live, birds can become hormonal and start wanting to nest. First step, take a deep breath, and know that she isn't doing any of this behaviour against you. She probably still very much enjoys your company and your friendship. The behaviour is something she cannot control, her body telling her, YES PROTECT THIS ONE, THIS WILL BE OUR KINGDOM! Her hormones are in control here and with that understanding it will help you support her during this time without taking it personally.

If she is looking for a nest. The smaller sleeping cage may be what she has identified as her safe zone. IRN are very protective of their nest. I am not sure of your overall set up, but perhaps you can allow her a larger cage for sleeping. Remove the stimulating "sleeping cage" from her surroundings.

In terms of bluffing, it is an outdated way of labeling a natural behaviour in some birds. The old fashion approach of handling them anyway and "ignoring" the bites is not a good way to deal with birds. I hope you find the sources below informative. Barbara is a professional animal behaviourist and she has written very constructive articles on parrot behaviour and how we should manage it.
Do Animals Bluff?
Parrot & Bird Training Terminology | Good Bird Training
 

Serena

Checking out the neighborhood
Joined
1/1/20
Messages
4
Thank you for the input and I did read the one article about bluffing!
That makes sense that she is just being hormonal for nesting because a month ago she started to get territorial over our couch and liked to go stick her head inside the cracks in the top and would attack anyone who came near her "spot". I will keep that in mind then. So you think I should just leave her in her regular cage and cover it for the night? She is usually the first one flying upstairs to her sleep cage all excited to get in and then is territorial with me and my male IRN. My only problem with this is that they sometimes scream for each other when one is upstairs and the other is downstairs. My male IRN likes to follow her around a lot too and they have regurgitated to each other, could this be reinforcing this hormonal behavior?
 

fashionfobie

Rollerblading along the road
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Qld, Australia
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Natalie
So you think I should just leave her in her regular cage and cover it for the night?
My male IRN likes to follow her around a lot too and they have regurgitated to each other, could this be reinforcing this hormonal behavior?
For the first question, yes I would try letting her camp out in her larger cage. I am not sure of your setup, but you don't need to cover her necessarily. Covering also creates a nice little hide area. I don't cover my birds. Though it depends which room etc. Clearly she needs a good nights sleep.

Second question, they most definitely are reinforcing each other. I would do what you can to reduce what could be considered a nest hallow. I would also try to increase their foraging games and foraging behaviour. If they are busy working for food it will cut into their flirting time.
 

Faun

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4/9/18
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63
Real Name
Faun
Wow that sounds like a difficult situation hopefully she settles down. I have heard they can get nippy and territorial. I guess if its a smaller cage makes sense she views it as a nest. Sounds like a good idea to try and remove it. Or divert her attention from it.
 
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