• Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

Constant contact calling

Lepsy4

Moving in
Joined
9/3/23
Messages
14
I got my first cockatiel in September and she contact calls non-stop and I am struggling to understand what I am meant to do.

I live next to a school, and I think when the kids are playing outside and screaming she thinks they are other birds but it is just a theory. And I wonder if she is contact calling them when they are not outside. I just dont even know what the solution to that would be.

She is obsessed with my budgie, so I feel like she has company. They stay in the same cage together which I know is frowned upon but she would just yell when they were apart, and my budgie didn't act much better. Their cage is big, they have lots of toys and places to sit. Shes on pellets, seeds and chopped veg. The cage is often open but she rarely comes outside. I can't get her to bathe at all. I play music but it doesn't help.

She pretty much despises me, she hisses at me, and goes for my hand when I go in to get the bowls. I try talking to her but she is terrified whenever I am near. I am finding it so difficult to bond with her, I feel like I am starting to dislike her and it is making me sad.
 

Xoetix

Biking along the boulevard
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
6/12/22
Messages
7,028
Location
Southern VA, US
Real Name
Meghan (she/her)
Oof, that sounds rough all around.

What have you tried so far to bond with her?
 

Lepsy4

Moving in
Joined
9/3/23
Messages
14
I usually speak to her when I get home from work for a bit. I answer back if she is making noises because I feel like she is trying to get my attention. Sometimes I sing to them cause the music is usually on.

Right at the beginning, I hand fed her millet and then she even started standing on my hand. But she has completely stopped doing that and after I moved her cage to clean it and she got spooked. And now I slowly working up to that again.
 

Xoetix

Biking along the boulevard
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
6/12/22
Messages
7,028
Location
Southern VA, US
Real Name
Meghan (she/her)
Sometimes it takes a lot of patience. What you can do is take some time each day and sit next to the cage and just either read out loud to them, or talk without looking directly at her at first. Some birds seem to get nervous with direct eye contact. It might take a good few months for her to relax a bit.

You can also set a bowl in the cage and every time you walk by, drop a treat (like safflower seeds or something). She'll see that good things come from you, and that can help too.
 

Lepsy4

Moving in
Joined
9/3/23
Messages
14
Thank you for the advice. I have never thought about the eye contact thing before. I usually get quite close when I speak to her and look directly at her. Probably terrified, poor thing!
 

Xoetix

Biking along the boulevard
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
6/12/22
Messages
7,028
Location
Southern VA, US
Real Name
Meghan (she/her)
Thank you for the advice. I have never thought about the eye contact thing before. I usually get quite close when I speak to her and look directly at her. Probably terrified, poor thing!
Not a worry! You don't know what you don't know :) just keep trying, she'll come around
 

sunnysmom

Ripping up the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
9/16/13
Messages
29,195
Location
Pennsylvania
Real Name
Michelle
You can try target training. There are some really good youtube videos on how to do it. Also goodbirdinc.com has some good training advise. As for bathing, a lot of birds won't bathe themselves. Have you tried misting her with a water bottle?
 

Fuzzy

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
10/30/10
Messages
4,373
Location
Jersey, Channel Islands
Real Name
Roz
She pretty much despises me, she hisses at me, and goes for my hand when I go in to get the bowls.
Many birds don't like hands in their cages which is why a lot of cages have feeders that swing out and latch from the outside. She doesn't despise you, she is just frightened. :heart: You've only had her two or three months and it's more difficult to train if she prefers to be with the budgie. I'd work by doing all you can to keep her body language relaxed... which might mean sitting quite far away from her at first. Then gradually over time bring your seat closer. This might take days or it might take weeks. As soon as you can get close enough, try feeding millet spray through the bars of the cage. The bars will give her a feeling of security. Then gradually shorten it to 2 inches. Then offer the 2 inch piece through the open door. As soon as she is happy eating the millet from you again, you can use it as a reinforcer for, as sunnysmom suggested, target training which can easily be taught inside the cage. And eventually stepping up on your hand. If you do manage to lure her onto your hand with the millet, let her get off again immediately. That way she is in control and won't panic. A moving hand is very different to a stationary one - much more scary. Again all this might take weeks or longer. Just go really slow in order to build trust.
 

Lepsy4

Moving in
Joined
9/3/23
Messages
14
Hi,

Sorry I didn't get a notification that others had replied! Just came online to say thank you to Xoetix as I have been talking to her without eye contact and a but further away and she ia starting to eat millet from my hand again.

Sunnysmom, i have tried the misting but she doesn't like it either. I eill try the target training, thanl you for the suggestion!

Fuzzy, I will also give this a go because my hand is in the cage a quite alot cause by budgie likes head scratches. She has started eating fron my hand again but has a very aggressive about it like she wants to attack but she also wants to snack. I will do the try through the bars a bit more.

Thank you for your suggestions, really appreciate it!
 

Elizabeth

Jogging around the block
Avenue Veteran
Joined
7/1/11
Messages
614
I would consider separating her from the budgie at least for a while. Her primary bond is with another bird right now, and you are an intruder.

it’s surprising that she both contact calls and doesn’t want to be handled. Does she stop when you come into the room?
 

Pixiebeak

Biking along the boulevard
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
6/18/22
Messages
8,111
Location
USA
Real Name
Laura
I would be getting her out of the cage , or in courage her to come out. With lots of places for her to let h attach to outside and top of cage. I find it easier to work with birds out of cage
 

Lepsy4

Moving in
Joined
9/3/23
Messages
14
Thank you for he responses!

Elizabeth, she (Marbles) calls when I am in and out of the room. When I am out of the room, it is rare, but I believe she is calling me because it is usually
when I have gone to wash the food bowls and there is nothing in the cage. She calls when I am at work because I can see her on the webcam.

When I am in the room, she calls during the day (rarely at night unless she is spooked by something) and it is mostly around when the children are playing outside during their breaks. The kid's screams sound so much like her call and I wonder if she thinks they are her flock and is also calling them when they are not around. She is the furthest I can move her away from the school now.

I am also apprehensive about separating them. My budgie (Mayday) didn't come from a good place, he is very timid, barely moved, and my old budgies bullied him to the point I had to separate them. Unfortunately, my old budgies died and I got a cockatiel to keep him company as I thought their personalities would match more. He's like a different bird, he is more active, grooms her, plays with toys now, and has far fewer night terrors. I would rather not bond with Marbles if Mayday is happier. But do you think this could cause me problems in the long run if I don't bond with her?

Pixiebeak, do you have any advice on how to take her out of the cage? If my hand goes near her she goes into full panic mode and starts bashing around the cage. I tried used a towel a few times but she really does not like me for it.
 

Emma&pico

Biking along the boulevard
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
1/9/22
Messages
8,172
Location
Uk
Real Name
Emma
Thank you for he responses!

Elizabeth, she (Marbles) calls when I am in and out of the room. When I am out of the room, it is rare, but I believe she is calling me because it is usually
when I have gone to wash the food bowls and there is nothing in the cage. She calls when I am at work because I can see her on the webcam.

When I am in the room, she calls during the day (rarely at night unless she is spooked by something) and it is mostly around when the children are playing outside during their breaks. The kid's screams sound so much like her call and I wonder if she thinks they are her flock and is also calling them when they are not around. She is the furthest I can move her away from the school now.

I am also apprehensive about separating them. My budgie (Mayday) didn't come from a good place, he is very timid, barely moved, and my old budgies bullied him to the point I had to separate them. Unfortunately, my old budgies died and I got a cockatiel to keep him company as I thought their personalities would match more. He's like a different bird, he is more active, grooms her, plays with toys now, and has far fewer night terrors. I would rather not bond with Marbles if Mayday is happier. But do you think this could cause me problems in the long run if I don't bond with her?

Pixiebeak, do you have any advice on how to take her out of the cage? If my hand goes near her she goes into full panic mode and starts bashing around the cage. I tried used a towel a few times but she really does not like me for it.
Do you leave door open for her ? Put a perch rope perch outside of the door so she doesn’t have to fully fly out but can hop onto perch or a perch on the door that’s swings inside when doors shut outside when doors open

do not grab her to come out let her come out herself have lots of perches around outside of cage so she can play climb on the safety of her cage to start with
Put millet on outside perch so she’s comes out for that first just sit chatting to her with cage door open see how she reacts

@Pixiebeak right it’s so much easier to interact and train them when they are outside there cage

also there cage should be a safe place for them I don’t put my hands in only to change bowls move toys clean etc but it’s normally when they are out playing
 

WillowQ

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
2/4/23
Messages
1,955
Real Name
Heather Gerbyshak
Agreed. Maybe put a perch on the outside of her cage and wait for her to come out. Then quietly give a treat. In the beginning, maybe even put the treat ON the outside perch. (Or drawbridge-style cage door).
Another option with shy birds is to play a quiet game of peekaboo or blink back at them. This is a non intrusive way to make some eye contact and set up a beginning rapport with your bird.
My Willow gets angry if I approach his top sleeping perch in his cage. I wait for him to come down from there. I have also put a towel over my hand for him to step up on since a covered hand is less scary.
If you can get her to perch on your hand you can try to pet her head with your nose or chin. I used to win over my wild budgies like that (when I was a child).
i think that the small less aggressive birds can sometimes be cagemates especially if they’re grieving the loss of a same species friend or mate and there’s enough room in the cage.
 

Lepsy4

Moving in
Joined
9/3/23
Messages
14
Thanks both! I will get a rope perch, that is a good idea. I will try the nose/chin thing too.

I have the cage open at least 6 hours a day if I have to be in the office, or all say if I am at home. In a bit of a unexpected turn of events, they have now both been out of the cage for two hours even with the option to go back in. This is the most they have both been out since September, not sure what has brought it on.
 

Attachments

Top