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Meyer's Parrot Problems - scary biting

bol1923

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Michael Lewyn
My wife (who I met a year ago) has had a Meyer's parrot for about six or seven years. He has occasionally bitten her but mostly on the fingers and not very frequently. He has always been pretty well behaved with me, with one exception. (A week or two ago he was somehow startled by my fingers and bit, but did not draw blood).

Today something unusual and scary happened. Her daughter (who gets along quite well with the bird) was petting her. The bird then flew halfway across the room and bit my wife a few inches from her eye.

Of course, no bite is a good bite but this was startling for a few reasons:
1) often when I read about biting it involves young hormonal parrots and her bird is well past adolescence;
2) some stories of biting parrots involve jealousy of visitors, but my wife has spent more time with the parrot than the daughter (who has been out of town for most of the past year) or myself;
3) my sense is that when this parrot has bitten he has been startled by something nearby, but this time she flew halfway across a room to bite; and of course
4) this bite came awfully close to creating serious injury.

What's going on and is it solvable?
 

camelotshadow

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Meyers are usually pretty easy going with family members & accepts you. To me it sounds like the bird has chosen to protect your wife from her daughter or could be other way around. They do bite there chosen to communicate danger or displeasure. Prhaps the bird is jealous of her daughter or perhaps there is some rivary between the two.

I dod know Meyers can give a heart stopping vicious bite. I had one in the past & it would just be sitting on hand all nice & all of a sudden just chomp down & hang on like a pitbull/// Maybe I did something like try to use the computer or something they considered not keeping all my attention on her...I don;t know...

Maybe since the daughter has been out of town she is now seen as a threat to her chosen one of the bird is jealous.

Be on guard as a meyers bite is not fun & keep the bird away from the face,,,

Try not to react though hard it may be as it tends to make them do it more...Try to anticpiate any interactions that could lead to it...Try to set them up in a controlled way so you have the upper hand to try to promote some communication to reassure the bird...

Solvable with birds...slow & consistent are the key...

Sure others will chime in...
 

JLcribber

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camelotshadow

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Not quite hormonal time but guess it depends on light & food...Guess the bird is male...he sees the wife as his mate...
Sometimes we love them too much & make them too dependent on us...Its messes with their instinct as birds & is frustrating...

Birds are just not dogs or cats,,,Take alot..

Good Luck
 

bol1923

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Actually, our troublesome bird is a female! I don't know if that makes a difference...
 

camelotshadow

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M/F Hormone could makes a difference...My Meyers was female too but did not see any hormonal problems in her for 3 years. She was about 13 years old & raised in her own room by an older couple in a large house so she learned to call loud alotl She was out most of the day but I live alone. No eggs ever. Males could have more hormone related issues around spring but living in a controlled environment with light & plenty food could be all year round.
 

Monica

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Does your meyers have any clear preferences for one person for another?

How was the daughter petting her?
 

bol1923

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The Meyer's definitely prefers the daughter (who hasn't lived with her regularly for a year but visits now and then for a few weeks at a time) to my wife (who is the caregiver most of the time) so that might be relevant. I don't remember exactly how the daughter was petting her since I wasn't paying attention until I heard my wife screaming.
 

Monica

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Based on that info, it sounds like the meyers may be over-bonded with the daughter, despite her not being around full time. Improper handling *may* have lead to the meyers thinking your wife is a threat to the relationship and attacked your wife.

Birds do not go out of their way to attack their mates - but there *IS* attacking someone they feel is a threat to their current 'relationship' as well as displaced aggression. Displaced aggression would have been your daughter interacting with the meyers, the meyers sees your wife but is unable to get to your wife so attacks your daughter instead.



Unfortunately, it can be rather hard to change a bird's mind, however it is still possible to stop the attacks through training. If she (meyers) is not target trained, I would highly recommend starting there! If she's target trained, station trained and knows a few other behaviors, then brush up on them! Maybe train new behaviors, too!


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