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Aggressive male Red bellied parrot

Hoender

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Hi all. Sorry for the long post. I am fostering a 15 year old male Red bellied parrot. He was surrendered after his owner's circumstances changed and came with very little information other than he bites. He seems confident and is definitely used to people. He will happily step up and cuddle and solicits attention from anyone that comes in the room by insisting on sitting on their shoulder. BUT he will for no apparent reason bite down hard on whatever part of me is nearest at the time and refuse to let go. To the point where he once literally took a beak sized chunck out my ear. This happened after he had been quitely sitting on my shoulder as I was reading a book. No sudden noises, no sudden movements, no apparent trigger. My problem is that I don't want to permanently confine him to his cage but at the moment I don't feel it is safe having him loose. Help! 20230131_173845.jpg
 
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SunTruth

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Have you noticed you were doing something when he bites you? Like wearing glasses, doing something…
My family has a senegal parrot. Sometime he bites but after a while we are more used to the circumstance leading to it. He usually bites when he get excited because someone is doing something he is interested in, for instance when I manipulate small objects he wants to see… Also we learned that he does not recognize people when they wear glasses…

I just try to mean that eventually there is something you do, it can be anything, that induces his behavior. On the other hand he is with you for a very short time now so maybe he is still stressed.
 

Mizzely

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Is there anywhere he can hang out (playstand, etc) away from the cage near you, without being on you?

What do you do as soon as he bites? Yell, put him in his cage? It could be he is ready to go back to his cage and he has learned that this is a fun, quick way to do that. I would try and put him back to an open cage or playstand nearby before he gets a chance to bite, or not allow him on your shoulder at all.
 

Hoender

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Thanks for the responses so far. The only thing I can think of that triggers him is boredom. It is usually when he has been on my shoulder for a while that he bites. He also bites when you try and get him back in his cage but he will use a T stick so my fingers are at least now spared. I try and stay calm (not always easy when he has you by the nose, or ear, or cheek, or..... :roflmao: ) Getting him to let go is often the difficult part but I have learnt to have a ice cream stick ready as an alternative. I then put him back on his cage and leave the room. When he is out the cage he keeps returning to my shoulder no matter how many times he gets put back on his cage.
 

Mizzely

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If you have a place next to you (like a stand/end table) that you could put some foot toys and treats, you may be able to set him down next to you and keep him occupied?
 

MnGuy

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I say don't let him sit on your shoulder. Let him sit on your hand only, so if he goes to bite you have more control and forewarning. If he keeps climbing up to your shoulder, wear something like a travel pillow to block him!

I fostered a super angry 17-year-old Meyer's (see my profile pic) several years ago. She came from a hoarding situation and was being bullied/rejected by two other Meyer's that were paired up. She bit me all of the time!

I know some people don't like "the wobble method," but for a long time I only let her perch on my hand when she was out of her cage. Whenever she went to bite me, I'd wobble my hand to throw her off balance, which stopped her from biting. It worked over time and she permanently stopped biting.

I ended up adopting her, and she was an amazingly friendly and cuddly bird who loved to sit on my shoulder. She passed many years ago.

Good luck and don't give up!
 

April

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iamwhoiam

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I think you have already received some good advice. He should have a play stand where he can hang out. Make sure there are interesting and fun toys attached to the stand to keep him busy.
Do NOT let him sit on your shoulder. I don't allow that with any of my red-bellies except Sophie. Keep treats nearby and if he is able to sit with or near you (not on shoulder) without biting give him a treat.
Treat him when he goes back into the cage. In addition to the treats also verbally reinforce the good behaviors with positive statements such as "Good boy" , "Good job", etc.
Seems like he is biting you to get attention rather than as an act of aggression. Try not to yell at him when he bites, just move him back into the cage or onto a play stand. Keep the t-stick nearby at all times.
 

iamwhoiam

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How is your red-bellied doing and what is his name?
 

Hahns0hmy

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with this species parrot its a little harder to grab the beak to correct an attempted bite. its more of a slippery narrow beak. what someone said above helps throw them off balance while held on the finger, over time it will stop. I also wouldnt put a biting bird of any kind on my shoulder. I dont put my parrots now and they dont bite ever. hormones are still going for most species as well. they are capable of some severe damage with that beak. mine have cut things like scissors. including clothing in an instant. dont assume its a small harmless beak ever. during hormonal stages specifically try to avoid touching anything but the birds head. even that can excite them during this time. I try not to touch them too much during breeding season things get crazy. You dont want to ever excite them to the point they pluck, thats a habit oh so hard to stop. but easier prevented. i do my best to let them fly out and run out of energy daily. so when returned to the cage they are tired, hungry and more calm. less angry. the anger is usually from wanting sex. we humans have them in a cage its no surprise lol
 
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