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Crazy bird

Gribouille

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In the last weeks, Pichu has become very vocal. He can scream excitedly for hours if I don't stop him, sometimes I have to cover his cage for him to stop, and it is to the point where my son takes him food and eats in his room because Pichu is so noisy... I don't know exactly when that began, he has always been able to make that sound but it was occasional, and shorter. Now each time he is in his cage and we do anything in the kitchen (which he can see from his cage) he hangs on the side or stands trembling like crazy on a branch and screams... It is just unbearable!

At some point I was considering that he was talking with a flycatcher outside, but he also does that when the window is shut and it is mostly related to our kitchen activities. He is 4 y.o., we've had him for 3 years, so I don't think it can be a sexual maturity thing, can it?

He loves being in the kitchen and he gets very excited when we prepare food or handle any plastic bag.
If he is in the kitchen then, he knows to stay away from the food. He gets excited but makes a different noise, make himself bigger/fluffy with his tail open and to the ground, walking back and forth and trying to come closer like he wants to take over. If not allowed he coos to try and make himself irresistibly sweet but he moves away when told so (sounds like Linus at 2.00 here:
)
If he is in the cage he gets mad and yells. I see on some videos that this sound is what they call the alarm call, but he is definitely not alarmed/ scared/ annoyed. I really think he is excited but I have no idea why he is so much more excited now than he was before for the same things... (alarm call here: 9 Parrotlet Sounds and Their Meanings (With Audio) | Pet Keen).
 

sunnysmom

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Maybe it's that time of year. My birds have been a little crazy too. It sounds like he's screaming for attention- he wants out. It's hard but you can't reinforce the screaming- positively or negatively. Covering him is reinforcing it, I think. You're going over and giving him attention even briefly by covering. You have to ignore screaming completely and reinforce the good behavior. Barbara Heidenreich is a good resource if you check out her website.
 

Gribouille

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Thanks for your answers and sorry for the delay! I've had troubles with my PC, then we were away on vacations. I didn't know birds had a "time of the year", I can't remember Pichu having such melt downs before and my budgies are quite stable too.
Pichu stayed home with the budgies while we were away, and hasn't been calmer in the meantime. He probably needs lots of cuddles now after such a long time without us too! As for dinner time, I think I'll just have to close the door when I am in the kitchen and he is inside his cage. Hopefully that will slow him down a bit.
 

fashionfobie

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I may also try to rearrange his cage a bit. Rotate toys and perches. From how it was described it may be territorial behaviour. Is Pichu still getting a lot of fresh veggies and foraging challenges? If he has more work to do he may also calm down a pinch. My parrotlets have their warrior moments too, but normally only in short bursts. Hopefully some of these suggestions help Pichu relax a bit.
 

Gribouille

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He has toys and his own favorite places around the house but he knows all the foraging caches now so no much of a challenge anymore ;). I'll follow your advice and add a couple extra toys in his cage though, he has some he loves thatI wouldn't touch, but others can definitely be exchanged for some new ones :)

We were gone for 17 days, he was home with the budgies but never came out of his cage during that time. They had short visits from 3 bird-sitters who came at different times of the day since some of them could only come after work while others slept late. He was probably stressed out, feeling territorial with those new people entering his cage (tried to bite me this morning while I gave him food, something he had never done before). Doesn't want to be touched, he goes into attack mode if I offer to screech his neck and won't climb on my finger either. The shy cozy little bird has become an angry frustrated one :(. We definitely need to work on getting back to trust and fun so the shrieking, while still very annoying, isn't the first priority anymore. I hope it goes down when the rest is back on place too..
 

fashionfobie

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Yeah pet sitters can be very stressful for parrotlets. They are not the kind of birds who warm up to new people easily. I am sure he will find his confidence again. From what you explain, with that, I think he is probably overwhelmed. Many times what looks like aggression, is actually fear. Poor little frustrated Pichu. Sending warm vibes his way, he should feel safe again soon.
 

Gribouille

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Yeah pet sitters can be very stressful for parrotlets. They are not the kind of birds who warm up to new people easily. I am sure he will find his confidence again. From what you explain, with that, I think he is probably overwhelmed. Many times what looks like aggression, is actually fear. Poor little frustrated Pichu. Sending warm vibes his way, he should feel safe again soon.
thanks, yes I talked to one of the bird-sitters tonight, she was the one taking the first days and the last one. She said it was all fine the first days after we left, then she was gone for 12 days, another person took over for 10 of those, so one last one for 2 days. When my friend came back for the last day she said the budgies were fine but Pichu was all over the place, climbing up and down his cage like crazy and he pecked her when she changed his food. Definitely didn't enjoy being stucked in his cage for so long, poor lad.

Four years ago we left for 3 weeks and I had the birds (Merlin and Pichu's brother Twitter, I didn't have Pichu yet at that point) at a guinea pigs and rabbits breeder. She was used to take care of my guinea pigs and accepted to take the birds too. They were in the barn for the whole time and were SO glad when I came back to pick them up! I had no trouble at all afterward, they were just happy and loving. I thought being home with bird-sitters coming in to feed them would be less stressful this year, but I am beginning to wonder if it was such a good idea after all?
 
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NorthernGannet

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Has there been any improvement? I was thinking about your comments, and my girl who has always acted like yours is now.

A few months ago I was able to change things around which opened up a larger cage for my p'let.

I was worried that the change of location in the room would really stress her out.The three years she's been with me she's always been by the window and front and center in the room's activities. She's also gotten progressively more aggressive. But this bigger cage is near the door rather than the window, and in a less 'in your face' kind of spot. It also has artificial light rather than the window.

Well, she still doesn't utilize all of the bigger cage, which I find curious, but upon moving her she instantly became less cage aggressive and less angry-vocal! I presume it's either getting away from the window, or getting out of the main line of activity.

I thought once she got used to the new spot she'd go back to her horrible self, but she hasn't! She's not suddenly a friendly sweety pie or anything, but she seems more content, and I can even service her cage while she's in it.

Just some thoughts since I think you mentioned yours is near a window.
 

Gribouille

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Has there been any improvement? I was thinking about your comments, and my girl who has always acted like yours is now.

A few months ago I was able to change things around which opened up a larger cage for my p'let.

I was worried that the change of location in the room would really stress her out.The three years she's been with me she's always been by the window and front and center in the room's activities. She's also gotten progressively more aggressive. But this bigger cage is near the door rather than the window, and in a less 'in your face' kind of spot. It also has artificial light rather than the window.

Well, she still doesn't utilize all of the bigger cage, which I find curious, but upon moving her she instantly became less cage aggressive and less angry-vocal! I presume it's either getting away from the window, or getting out of the main line of activity.

I thought once she got used to the new spot she'd go back to her horrible self, but she hasn't! She's not suddenly a friendly sweety pie or anything, but she seems more content, and I can even service her cage while she's in it.

Just some thoughts since I think you mentioned yours is near a window.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I have actually been considering a bigger cage, sine he seems so reluctant to stay in his now and he definitely was "traumatised" by the time he was locked in his current cage so maybe it could help with a different cage... Before our vacation it was no problem to put him back, but now it is a camp every evening. I can see he is trying not to be aggressive but he definitely doesn't want to go back in, and I just have to have him locked in to begin preparing dinner and eating, he is just a plague and a danger to himself if I let him be in the kitchen at that time. I have re-watched Flock Talk's videos about aggressive behavior, and the importance of giving our bird a choice. Point is, he can't have a choice when he HAS to go back in his cage. He can choose to go on his own instead of on my finger that is, but he has no choice about going inside, and he doesn't agree with that...

Isn't your girl bored if she is not by the window anymore? Pichu loves to spend his day watching the activity in the street. But it is also true that he is not in the calmest place in the room, he is always in sight and nearly "with us" when I prepare the food and while we eat. He used to like it, now it seems to be a source for frustration.

Point is, Pichu was just sweet and nearly shy until recently, he has been very vocal since May-June while I made dinner and he was in his cage, but the aggressive behavior has only been there for about a month, after being locked in his cage for 2.5 weeks. I hope I can train him back to a calm and social little bird, however for now he seems to have decided he won't cooperate.
 

NorthernGannet

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Yeah, I think there needs to be a balance between choice and "this has to happen". Lol. It's like walking a fine like with these p'lets. Sure, it could be something he deamed unpleasant happened in his cage with one of the pet sitters (even inadvertently), who knows. Have you rearranged the perches/toys like someone else suggested? Oh, any chance something outside the window really scared him??

I was worried about her missing the window, since she did like to watch the birds and sidewalk outside. But she has been fine! In fact she's been more active with her toys since the move. She has the opportunity to perch by the window when she's out, and sometimes she does and sometimes she doesn't, so I guess she misses it less than I thought she would. She also spends much more time perching towards the front of the cage, whereas in her old "front and center" spot she was always by the back of the cage.

Good luck with little Pichu, maybe just moving his cage to a different spot could help, who knows.
 

Gribouille

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I really think it was being locked inside his cage that made him made and refusng to go back inside in the evening. But I am just starting it all over, removed all seeds from outside of the cage, so cage will be the only place where he'll be able to have some, in addition to training, which we also start all over again with "sit on my finger = seeds" before we go further to click and target.
Yesterday he went into his cage on his own to eat and I just had to lock the door. He got a sunflower seed though, so he wouldn't feel cheated too much ;)
 
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