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Aggressive Meyers parrot

AlexaC

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Hi!

I have a Meyers parrot named James who is very aggressive. He is 9 years old but we've had him about 4-5 years. In all this time, he has been very aggressive with us and I don't understand why. I'm the only person he actually let's touch him and hold him but he does try to bite sometimes and he does tend to rip my clothes because he bites them. Anyone else, he tries to bite which isn't fun when guests come over or really any time. I read that Meyers parrots are supposed to be easy going, but I don't really see it in mine.

Thanks!
 
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expressmailtome

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Featherluv

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I have a Meyers that's around 3 but have only had him a couple months. At first he was very bitey. We figured out that he doesn't like quick movements or a lot of busyness or he will get overstimulated leading to aggressivness. He's not really a shoulder bird, he tolerates touching but is most content to just be out & sitting nearby. Truthfully just having him out around us has helped him to settle down & become more trusting. Something you might want to try is clicker/target training. It's supposed to be great for aggressive birds. Plus Meyers are good problem solvers & learn tricks easily.
All birds are individuals with different personalities though so it's hard to generalize about any species. I hope with patience & training you will be able to bond more with your Meyers. I would have any & all guests just drop him a treat when they come over too. That should help too over time!
 
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Begone

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Anyone else, he tries to bite which isn't fun when guests come over or really any time.
When you say bite, do you mean bite when they are trying to interact with him, or does he attack and bite them?

I think somewhere it all went wrong, perhaps you don't understand his body languish.
And when you stop listen, he began to bite for self protection. That is the most common reason for a bite. And I would not accuse him to be aggressive by nature.
And Meyers are a one mans bird, so never force him to interact with people and friends.

My advice is to find someone that can help you with him IRL.
 

AlexaC

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When you say bite, do you mean bite when they are trying to interact with him, or does he attack and bite them?

I think somewhere it all went wrong, perhaps you don't understand his body languish.
And when you stop listen, he began to bite for self protection. That is the most common reason for a bite. And I would not accuse him to be aggressive by nature.
And Meyers are a one mans bird, so never force him to interact with people and friends.

My advice is to find someone that can help you with him IRL.
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He tends to bite when people interact with him. He won't go out of his way to attack people. I try to understand with the best of my ability, but I think I've got him down to a t by now, because he's been around for quite a while. I don't think he's a real problem, in the sense that I'd have to find a professional to help me, I just wanted a few tips.
 

Begone

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He tends to bite when people interact with him. He won't go out of his way to attack people.
Then he is not aggressive at all. He is just 100% normal bird. So don't force him to interact with people he don't want to interact with.
I read that Meyers parrots are supposed to be easy going, but I don't really see it in mine.
But I do see that. He sounds very easy and perfect to me. I think you expect to much from him.
 

Laurul Feather Cat

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He is doing the classic "I am going to get you before you can get me" behavior. His problem is he does not trust the humans around him and is operating on instinct alone. He needs socialized and that is a long and slow process. It starts with allowing him to be out and around as much as you can without him or the humans around him getting injured in any way. Slowly he will understand the humans will not hurt him or "get" him. When he starts to trust he will come closer and closer and eventually decide to trust you with his physical well-being. It sounds like he already does have some trust in you, but you are not adept yet at reading his body language and as a result gets bitten and your clothing ripped because of this poor communication. If you try and force the trust and relationship, he will become even more bitey and distant. It is slow and it is maddening, but for a good interaction with your bird, it is worth it.

Four years ago, I adopted a Red-Bellied named Oscar. He is just now coming to me and asking to share food, verbal and physical interactions and becoming more pet-like. I have had both cock and hen Meyers Parrots and can tell you the hens are much easier to socialize then the cocks; but once you have their trust they are like little bull dogs and will do anything to protect and be with you. My Meyers cock, Hobbs, attacked an Amazon parrot which bit me and continued the war on this parrot until one day he escaped from his cage, picked a fight with her and she broke his wing. He died under the anesthetic to fix his wing. I miss him every day.

Taming and winning the trust of a pet bird takes time and a lot of effort, but it pays off.
 

AlexaC

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Then he is not aggressive at all. He is just 100% normal bird. So don't force him to interact with people he don't want to interact with.

But I do see that. He sounds very easy and perfect to me. I think you expect to much from him.
So it's completely normal that he bites everyone who tries to touch him? No, I was just wondering if there's actually something in my bird's environment that is just making him as angry as he is.
 

AlexaC

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He is doing the classic "I am going to get you before you can get me" behavior. His problem is he does not trust the humans around him and is operating on instinct alone. He needs socialized and that is a long and slow process. It starts with allowing him to be out and around as much as you can without him or the humans around him getting injured in any way. Slowly he will understand the humans will not hurt him or "get" him. When he starts to trust he will come closer and closer and eventually decide to trust you with his physical well-being. It sounds like he already does have some trust in you, but you are not adept yet at reading his body language and as a result gets bitten and your clothing ripped because of this poor communication. If you try and force the trust and relationship, he will become even more bitey and distant. It is slow and it is maddening, but for a good interaction with your bird, it is worth it.

Four years ago, I adopted a Red-Bellied named Oscar. He is just now coming to me and asking to share food, verbal and physical interactions and becoming more pet-like. I have had both cock and hen Meyers Parrots and can tell you the hens are much easier to socialize then the cocks; but once you have their trust they are like little bull dogs and will do anything to protect and be with you. My Meyers cock, Hobbs, attacked an Amazon parrot which bit me and continued the war on this parrot until one day he escaped from his cage, picked a fight with her and she broke his wing. He died under the anesthetic to fix his wing. I miss him every day.

Taming and winning the trust of a pet bird takes time and a lot of effort, but it pays off.
He's a very sweet bird to specific people, and that's what gets me. I don't understand what I'm not understanding in his body language when he goes up to my shoulder and stays for a minute or two and bends down to tear my shirt. He's honestly not that untrusting, he just seems more angry, but I do like your advice and will try to do more of this.
 

Begone

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So it's completely normal that he bites everyone who tries to touch him?
Yes! :) That is normal for a parrot. You should never allowed anyone to touch him, that is your responsibility to make sure he is safe.
And like I said before, they are a one mans bird. They will often only interact with one. The rest they will bite for self protection if they don't listen to his body languish.
It seems like you don't understand that he isn't a "pet" or a "toy" that you can decide who he should want to interact with or not.
And also very sad that you don't understand that he is not aggressive at all. :(
 

Laurul Feather Cat

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What you are not understanding is a basic tenet of bird psychology, and especially of flock-forming birds; which parrots are paramount. IF THE THING TRYING TO TOUCH ME IS NOT A MEMBER OF MY FLOCK, IT IS POTENTIALLY LETHAL TO ME. THEREFORE, I MUST DEFEND MYSELF FROM IT AND FLY AWAY FOR SAFETY. A corollary to this is that people or things I do not know well and are not part of my flock yet, I may try and interact with until they give me a reason to feel unsafe, and then I also must bite and fly for safety. This is basic for birds as they only way they have of defending themselves is by biting and flying away while the predator deals with the pain of the bite. Most birds and all parrots are prey animals; that is they are regularly killed and eaten in the wild. Humans are predators and our very movement and outlook toward other species tells parrots we are a potential threat. Only flock members get a pass to touch them and get close to them. The first step in "taming" a bird as a pet is winning its trust, and to do that we have to completely supress our predatory actions and feelings and show them we are capable to being trusted and part of their flock.

As for ripping your shirt, he is reaching down and shredding the "bark" on his perch to express his stressful feelings and to mark you as his flock member. I suggest you wear only shirts dedicated to being worn in the birdroom. I have about twenty of these and if I forget to change my shirt before I go into the birdroom, whatever I am wearing becomes a bird shirt!

I had a Meyers cock as a much beloved pet. I went through a problem with him about thirty days after I bought him and brought him home and it took me two years to tame his aggression and turn him back into the loving pet I fell in love with at the bird store I met him. I had known him for over a year at the bird store before I bought him and it was a real shock when he became aggressive after I bought him. I had to consult a famous bird behaviiorist to retame him, but it was worth hit and I was truly devastated when he died. It takes a lot of time and attention to truly "tame" a bird, because in reality what we are doing is winning their unconditional trust. And that is very difficult to do no matter who or what you are interacting with. Hobbs is acutely missed to this day.
 

BirdBro

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Laurel Feather Cat is exactly right.

What you are not understanding is a basic tenet of bird psychology, and especially of flock-forming birds; which parrots are paramount. IF THE THING TRYING TO TOUCH ME IS NOT A MEMBER OF MY FLOCK, IT IS POTENTIALLY LETHAL TO ME. THEREFORE, I MUST DEFEND MYSELF FROM IT AND FLY AWAY FOR SAFETY. A corollary to this is that people or things I do not know well and are not part of my flock yet, I may try and interact with until they give me a reason to feel unsafe, and then I also must bite and fly for safety. This is basic for birds
My Sennie is a party bird who happily circulates around the room on the shoulders of her accepted & known human friends and accepts food from almost anybody, but she will absolutely bite any guest who is foolish enough to attempt to touch her without making friends first. This is completely normal behavior and its guest who are warned!

At my house we have all visitors give treats to the birds, which is thrill enough for most people.
 
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