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GCC personality trait?

birdashes

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hey, I'm new here and I've got a question!

So I've got a pineapple GCC named Gigi - she's about 4 years old and I got her a year and few months ago from a breeder who got her back from someone who couldn't take care of her and another pineapple GCC anymore.

I love her a lot and I'm pretty confident she's bonded to me ;). She's been instrumental with helping me through my depression and she's definitely stuck with me for life. Having her has been a wonderful experience.

But, she can be very aggressive- and to almost everyone ( other birds and humans).

She viciously attacks my budgies,cockatiels and other conure ( peach fronted) through their bars .She has made them bleed before but thankfully she hasn't severely hurt anyone. Because of this, the other birds are never out of their cage at the same time as Gigi for their safety.

Gigi is also more or less really mean to everyone in my family & friends that have met her.

And last of all she can be randomly aggressive with me?

Out of nowhere while she's sitting on me sometimes, she does this strange lunging thing where she'll fluff up her neck and walk funny ( almost like a chicken hehe) run up to my hand and bite down hard- often not letting go. Thankfully she doesn't do this too often but it still leaves me perplexed. I'm aware parrots bite for many reasons, but I can't seem to find a reason for this behavior.

Is all of this a GCC trait- as I've heard GCCs and other small conures can be nippy ( but nippy seems like a understatement here) - or rather my Gigi's personality? I don't think there's anything that is a stressor that could be causing it, she gets lots of out time and healthy foods, and she's used to being around other birds ( both at her breeder and her first home) so I doubt that's the problem. So, anyone got an idea why she's like this? Either way I love her and wouldn't trade her for the world, so it isn't really an issue, just a curiosity :)
 

rockybird

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My maroon belly conure can be nippy or bite, but it is ALWAYS for a reason. The hard part is figuring out why. One thing about my conure is that she will hold grudges. If I dont take her out of the cage immediately when she expects it (ie when I come home from work), she will bite me. It may not be right away, but she will let me know at some point that she is angry at me. The other day I was singing to the the birds as I took them out of their night cages. My two other parrots joined in. I took Rocky out of her night cage and she proceeded to bite me on the nose. I was perplexed but then I remembered that she hates it when I sing (she's a good judge of tone). It may also be that she was tired of waiting for me in her night cage. When I first got Rocky, she was also territorial of things. Shiny scissors were hers and if i dared to touched them, she would nip me. I was also not allowed to touch plastic grocery bags. If I put her on my shoulder, and tried to get her to step off, she refused (why would she want to come off of such a high soft warm and snuggly place?) and would nip me to let me know. I have to trick her by playing with her favorite toy and she will come running off my shoulder to claim her toy.

Rocky has also in the past been very jealous of other birds. She will try to attack them and sometimes me as well, I presume for bringing them into the house. When I got my caique, 13 yrs. ago, it took her a good year to accept him. This behavior does seem to have diminished with age.

Rocky is my most stubborn of my three parrots. When I come home from work, the nanday conure and caique eagerly step up on my finger to be taken out of their cages. Rocky refuses to step up on my hand. She will only step up if I offer my shoulder, which she now has me trained to do.

Rocky will also nibble on my lips if she is thirsty. If I dont get her water fast enough, she will nip. Now I offer water frequently to all three of them, or have water available, when they are out of the cages.

I am amazed at Rocky's intelligence. Rocky's nips have definitely decreased with age, but I think this is because I have learned to alter my behavior to avoid them. I love the fact that she always has reasons to nip me. It is never pure randomness. She is trying to communicate her anger, displeasure, etc.

You have to really analyze the situation to figure out why she is nipping you. I am sure there is a reason. Were you talking to someone else or to another bird, when she wanted your undivided attn.? Both of my conures know when I am addressing another bird by my tone and will become jealous (it is fascinating!). Using a pen that she wanted? was she thirsty? Hungry? Had she been begging to come out of the cage for awhile and now she is angry?

You have to remember that parrots cant always verbalize what they want and nipping can be their way of communication. I'm glad your little bird found a great home with you. These little birds sure are endearing little things!
 
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birdashes

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thanks for your reply, Rockybird! :)

The only thing I know does set her off is my phone. 9 times out of 10, if I am using it she bites.
You bring up a really good point about it being jealousy , though. I've been taking my newest cockatiel out before her turn for the past week ( I can't help it- he's so cute! :) ) and she has been biting/attempting to bite quite a lot since then.
I also keep forgetting she's getting hormonal again ( she got hormonal last year this exact month too ) , and that would also make some sense to her aggression.
I have speculated that unfamiliar people/people she doesn't see very often make her uncomfortable. I had a friend hang out at my house yesterday and she became very volatile and wouldn't let me touch her. I'm not sure if that's a good theory tho...Would that make any sense?

These birds really are amazingly intelligent and sometimes I underestimate her haha! Having parrots have been such an interesting ( and occasionally perplexing ;) )experience !
 

rockybird

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Oh yes! I forgot about the phone! She hates it when i use it. Both she and the caique used to push it off the table or counter whenever they could. Now that I play music on it, she loves to stand on it to hear the beat. In fact, anytime she hears music from any source, she runs to stand on the iphone. Theyre such cute little characters!
 

karen256

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Mine can be aggressive around phones, too, most of the time... as well as certain objects like scissors. The aggression is directed at the object, not a person, but if fingers get in the way, they may get bitten.
This may be somewhat reinforced with attention as it's hard not to laugh at a little GCC dragging a pair of scissors twice her weight off the edge of a table.

She can be unpredictable with strangers. She usually likes when people visit, IF they don't try to hold/pet her. She may choose to fly to someone but doesn't like the stranger to be the one to initiate handling. If someone she doesn't know tried to reach out and pet her, they would get bit. But she does love to be the center of attention.

I don't find my GCC to be aggressive to other birds at all, but that's very much an individual thing. Mine was an only bird for about 4 years before I got a budgie. She didn't like him at first - but wasn't aggressive - but they eventually became good friends. Later after that budgie passed away, I got a linnie and another budgie. Both of them like her and she is patient and gentle with them, but they aren't really friends either.
 

birdashes

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ohh that is so adorable, rockybird!
I recently discovered when I play music, my two conures start chattering away and saying all the words they've learned :D

and karen256, that is a hilarious image with the scissors. Recently mine decided she was dead set on having my slushie ( and don't worry she never got any of it ) and I was juggling it from hand to hand so she wouldn't chomp into the straw. She actually managed to grab onto the bottom of the cup though ( it was a foam cup) , and as it was above her head, she was hanging from it for a moment before I realized what she was doing. Not sure where I was going with this, only they do a lot of adorable stuff they really shouldn't and as you said, it's so hard not to laugh and inadvertently reinforce it.

I'm sorta coming to the conclusion that some of her aggression is normal GCC/parrot stuff (like the kind she shows me) and that she just doesn't like strangers or other birds (she really is a little jealous bird lol)

Thanks for your reply !
 

VictoriaVague

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Mine are both phone aggressive. The evil device that tries to eat my ear.

Yup, they can be jealous little green monsters, are often a bit on the nippy side and very very determined. Just do your best to keep her away from the other cages, as even through the bars, she could do some real damage to the other birds.
 

birdashes

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Thanks, VictoriaVague! It's nice to know my Gigi isn't the only birdie that despises phones XD

And oh yes I do keep an good eye on her to make sure she doesn't hurt the others. There have unfortunately been a few times I couldn't get to her fast enough though :( . Since she bit my other conure really badly on her foot ( we did contact our vet & sent a picture but fortunately she didn't seem to think it warranted a visit and just said to keep it clean and make sure it doesn't get infected) I've been doing everything I can to keep her away from the other birds' cages as soon as she starts to head towards them. Another saving grace is that most of the other birds have learned that when she's out to stay away from climbing on the side. One of my budgies is a feisty thing though, and has tried brawling / instigating a fight with Gigi through the bars. I've gotten her away from the budgie cage as soon as she climbs near it but man, that budgie is fearless.
 

Laurah

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Lol this is all normal conure behaviors! And I love both my birds to pieces. :) Try dancing with them, my birds love it! Kinda like the dogs(going for walks) it helps with anxiety and they have fun. I swear they sleep better and are more behaved.
 
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