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Pictures Anxiety/Mental Delay?

birdiebeeps

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Hello! I'm a fairly new Parakeet owner raising a couple birds, and I'm a bit worried about one of them. I apologize if this is the wrong forum to put this in, it's both a health and behavioral problem so I'm not sure!

He's a male, likely around 8 months of age, and to be quite frank he's rather dumb. Or at least he acts dumb, which I could also see being anxiety or a sight impairment rather than something mental.

First of all, he is not a graceful flyer. Our younger female is an ace at flying, she can sweep the room and return to her cage just fine. He, however... not so much. He can sweep the room. And sweep it again. And almost run into a wall. And land on a vent. Freak out. Land on the top of the window. Get on a shelf, the top of the door and the floor, whilst wobbling about. In addition to his generally bad flying, he can't seem to find his way back into or even onto the cage in most cases. It's got a flat top and a large door, which the female finds quite easily.

Going off of that topic leads into another, problem solving. He's not very good at that either.



The female (we assume, as her cere is sometimes pink and they act like a pair), has flown out of the cage and is on top of it with their playground. He's climbed around the door a few times, and is calling desperately for her. He either can't seem to understand how to get out, or he simply does not want to and just wants her to come back. This one could just be a case of him not liking being out of his cage, which is understandable considering his previous attempts to fly.

He also seems to be very easily spooked, frightened by things that I can't see. The female never seems to see these things either, and only begins to panic after he's started shouting 'DANGER' in her face.

Neither of them are fully socialized yet, but he less so than she. He's getting much better and will get there with time of course, and I don't think this really has anything to do with his possible sight/anxiety/mental problems, but I figured I'd mention it. If anything it's just the fact that he's older than her.

Regardless of what it is, we love him and want to give him the best. Does anybody have any input on why he might be so bad at flying and problem solving, or why he's so panicky? If so, do you have any tips as to how we could potentially a) narrow the problem down and b) help make him more comfortable? I really appreciate it!
 

Mizzely

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Do you know if was allowed to fledge as a baby? If they are clipped too soon it actually can make it so that certain neuropaths aren't made, and can permanently inhibit their flying.

Is it possible he just has poor eyesight? That would explain the rest.
 

JLcribber

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Sounds like the possibility of bad eyesight to me. Maybe a trip to the vet to check out his eyes would solve a lot of problems.
 

birdiebeeps

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Do you know if was allowed to fledge as a baby? If they are clipped too soon it actually can make it so that certain neuropaths aren't made, and can permanently inhibit their flying.

Is it possible he just has poor eyesight? That would explain the rest.
I'm unsure, he was a petstore bird and since we've purchased him they've switched to a different breeder, whom our female is from. I could ask the store about it and see if they can tell me who his breeder was, but they won't know anything about it themselves.

You'll get a lot of insight reading this.

Thinking on the Wing | The Parrot University, llc
Thank you! That's a lot of super interesting info, I'm gonna have to study up on this.

Sounds like the possibility of bad eyesight to me. Maybe a trip to the vet to check out his eyes would solve a lot of problems.
Will do as soon as possible, I'll update with vet details once he's gone for a visit.
 

Lady Jane

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I hope everything turns out ok for you male. You might have to re design the cage interior for a poorly sighted bird. Others do have blind birds and do this. In the meantime I would observe him carefully so there are no injuries. Please let us know the results of the vet visit and be sure to see an avian vet.
 

LaSelva

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Do you know if was allowed to fledge as a baby? If they are clipped too soon it actually can make it so that certain neuropaths aren't made, and can permanently inhibit their flying.
I've never seen a study supporting this but I have heard of studies supporting the opposite - that the neuro-mechanisms for flight are attained regardless of practice...

"Some instinctive behaviors depend on maturational processes to appear. For instance, we commonly refer to birds "learning" to fly. However, young birds have been experimentally reared in devices that prevent them from moving their wings until they reached the age at which their cohorts were flying. These birds flew immediately and normally when released, showing that their improvement resulted from neuromuscular maturation and not true learning.[10] "
 
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JLcribber

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I've never seen a study supporting this but I have heard of studies supporting the opposite - that the neuro-mechanisms for flight are attained regardless of practice...

"Some instinctive behaviors depend on maturational processes to appear. For instance, we commonly refer to birds "learning" to fly. However, young birds have been experimentally reared in devices that prevent them from moving their wings until they reached the age at which their cohorts were flying. These birds flew immediately and normally when released, showing that their improvement resulted from neuromuscular maturation and not true learning.[10] "

I believe Steve Hartman's point of view.
Thinking on the Wing | The Parrot University, llc
 

LaSelva

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...a retired construction worker of 30 years discussing neurology yet with no references to sources :meh:

"It makes sense that learning to fly adds an incredible number of neuropathways in the cerebellum."

The above quote is not science but represents only his "feelings" as expressed on his personal website.
 
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Ppoi

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Your male budgies looks younger. If I am seeing right, the stripes on its head goes down to the cere. If that is true your male budgie is young and still baby like. The reason for seeming dumb. It hasn't t gone through its first molt.
 

JLcribber

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...a retired construction worker of 30 years discussing neurology yet with no references to sources :meh:
Yes David. Based on my 37 years of bird ownership and experience and seeing these things for myself he pretty well nailed it on the head.

My mechanic runs one of the biggest and busiest car dealer service centers in the province. He is revered as being one of the most knowledgeable and skilled tradesman in the industry. He doesn't have a "ticket". He earned his credibility.
 
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LaSelva

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There are an innumerable amount of people who have attained expert status in the eyes of many simply by writing something on the blogosphere. As a general rule, and for the benefit of understanding birds, it would be nice if readers were more critical and asked for a level of academic credibility from authors. But...

I've read multiple Steve Hartman articles (that one's been around awhile) and remember them as pseudoscience. In other words he knows just enough science to mix in with his own anecdote to make it seem as though there is scientific support for his preferred belief. And by the way is he selling anything on his website? ;)

Remember, I never said that nothing in his article makes any sense whatsoever and is probably all false. Many average people, such as ourselves, can have great insights. But any specific claims about developmental neurology can only come either from scientific research or his own guesswork. And his quote above indicates that he is actually guessing.

Neural connections are formed in the learning process as in I learn to play the guitar or I learn to dunk a basketball. I don't have a genetic memory or physical propensity to do those things. That type of learning, in some cases, is called neuroplasticity and is well-known. Whether this (learning) is happening as a baby bird goes from fledgling to fully flighted is something he "feels" but has no proof of. Is flight a new behavior and unnatural to the bird (such as myself playing the guitar) or is it an innate behavior? Such as the building of complex nests by some species. A skill, unlearned, but refined somewhat through practice. Does neurology for flight develop just as do their hollow bones or feathers, or any other part of their anatomy adapted for flight? It would appear some studies (the only ones I know) say yes. Somewhat related, there are in fact scientific studies out there stating that dinosaurs had attained the brain mechanisms for flight well before birds ever evolved.
 
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Macawnutz

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I was not aware we needed to be experts to post our opinions.

IMO with 20 years working with parrots, a baby clipped before having time to practice flying well will have deficiencies in flight once allowed. I'm not selling anything. :)

Not that we know for sure that thats the problem with the OP's parrot.
 

Mizzely

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I'm sorry I didn't back up my statements. The anecdotal evidence I've seen over the years is hard to link to.

"It has been suggested that" if they are clipped too soon it actually can make it so that certain neuropaths aren't made, and can permanently inhibit their flying.

Better?
 

LaSelva

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@LaSelva - now that you have hijacked "one more thread", do you think we can get back to the original posters question?
The OP mentioned "studying up" in reference to the article by Steve Hartman. I think it's very relevant to point out (or even discuss) his credentials or lackthereof. Furthermore, I was initially responding to a point brought up in this thread in an effort to educate...also seems relevant to me.


@Mizzely I guess people are getting bent out of shape because of what I posted but I honestly wasn't out to offend anyone I was trying to post some objective information pertaining to the subject that I find fascinating which is Behavioral Neurology.
 
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Macawnutz

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Credentials are not what I look for when I link content. I look for well written easy to read material that clearly makes my point and shares my view. :) I also try to keep the content in the same expertise level as the question. ;)

@birdiebeeps I think a vet check would be a good place to start. :)

Let's keep the thread on track from here.
 

LaSelva

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I was not aware we needed to be experts to post our opinions.
If you would like to take me up on something that I did say you are more than welcome. But please don't insinuate that I ever said the above. I thought I made it clear that my point was to question some of the supposedly expert sources that people tend to cite (as evidence) or follow. Steve Hartman's article makes specific claims that would have to originate in a legitimate source. Otherwise he should state clearly that the article represents only his opinion - and his readers could take it as such.
 
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RandyMiller

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Did you take him to a vet? He might have some problem with his eye sight.
 

LaSelva

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Do you have a basic book on pet budgies? One that includes tips on how to tame them, or better yet, introduce a budgie to its new home. What you're describing does not sound all that unusual for a young budgie in a new environment.

Before we had large parrots, and while living in an apartment in Queens, NY, myself and my wife had budgies. I do remember pointing out to my wife how I one of them couldnt figure out how to get back inside the cage (with the flap down) and would get frustrated climbing all over the cage.

On another occasion we decided to add a beautiful yellow, young budgie to our home to live in a cage that had two already mature budgies. While purchasing him at the pet store he was incessantly calling to the flock mates back in the cage that he was kept in. Once home and before he had settled and he was very flighty and nervous.

Based on what you posted this seems to be the case with your young bird and it seems you also already suspect this. As a new owner you may not be experienced with this but your bird really just needs time to settle in. You need to create an environment where your bird is not experiencing any fear. Let him come to realize that his environment is a safe one and nurturing one, yourself included. How is he around you?

The most important thing to take away from my post is that the emotion of fear should be avoided at all costs. As a general rule fear memories are permanent. And any traumatic or fearful experiences leave a lasting and strong impression and if they are associated with either yourself or anything in your birds environment they will be very difficult to undo.

I would say that it typical Google search will probably yield great tips on how to tame a pet budgie. No need for complicated theories or DVDs, just a few basic tips, your own common sense and the idea that you should take it slow. And good luck!
 
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