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New GCC. What counts as a bite vs a nip?

Hotpockets

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Hi, I'm new to the forum but have lurked quite a while! The reason being that I had met a lovely 6 year old GCC at a bird specialty shop and after a few weeks ended up taking him home with me.

I felt confident in his temperament because we spent a lot of time together in the store, which they let us do in a private corner outside his cage. The staff let me know that he was a quiet little guy (no squawks but no talking either) and hand-shy, because of that nobody really wanted him. His history was that he'd been surrendered because his previous owner suffered from dementia and her son had no idea what to do with her flock.

I really had worse expectations for how a 6 y/o raised with someone else would adjust to a new family. He's been home about a month and he's pretty much the most chill bird ever. He's adapted so fast! He came out of the cage on day 4, was very into shoulder snuggles right away, and now he trusts me enough to try what I'm eating and let's us stroke his whole head and back.

So to get back on track, he doesn't really do what I'd call biting either. He will put his beak on everything and try to nibble my fingernails off (I think he's try to groom me) but he doesn't lunge or do any angry bird displays. He will warn us if he doesn't want to be touched someplace or be moved by doing this weird little bird bark, and if we persist then he holds my finger in his mouth and applies a firm pressure. The pressure is not bad, no bruising and no bleeding. If he gets really irritated he'll attempt to throw my finger away like a bad seed. I'd hardly call that biting though.

So I guess I'm a little confused because I hear so many GCCs bite. When does a nip become a bite in your opinions? Am I just lucky with him being so chill?

Obligatory bird gif/video of him making a mess: 20180212 093317 GIF | Create, Discover and Share on Gfycat
 

Lodah

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Welcome... hopefully you will take heed of his warnings and avoid more agressive behaviour!

Sounds a tad like the honeymoon phase and he is trying to warn you of his likes and dislikes!

Lots of great info here!
 

karen256

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Congratulations on your new GCC.
You might still be in the honeymoon phase, and you'll see more of his real personality as he settles in more. But it sounds like you got lucky and found a well socialized, well raised bird. Not all GCC's are nippy birds, but you tend to hear about the problem ones more as that's what people look for advice about. That's one great advantage of adopting an adult - you know what they will be like with more certainty.
Young GCC (males especially) are most likely to start to be nippy around adolescence, and if handled right, it's just a phase they go through and then they sort of settle into their adult personalities. If not handled right (i.e., they are neglected because the owner is afraid, or are mistreated, or are accidentally taught to bite for attention), then that biting my escalate and they can be bitey adults, too.

You asked what counts as a bite vs. a nip. For me and my GCC, a bite's something hard enough to be painful, whether its from aggression or in fear/self defense. A nip is a something she does to express displeasure but with no intent to cause any pain. It sounds like yours is doing that, too. If I'm petting my GCC and hit a pinfeather wrong, she will give a squeak of pain and nip.
The nibbling is your GCC being affectionate and trying to preen you. Sometimes it can be quite uncomfortable, but they're trying to be nice.
 

Hotpockets

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Thanks, you guys. I've read a lot on bird behavior. I've got the book My Parrot My Friend and I've lurked most of the posts here. Most of the time I respect his warnings except when I have to remove him to do something important. He's a shoulder hog, and he loves to hang out on the screen door looking at other birds.
 

Lodah

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Get the guy a window perch... Pilo loves his and its a great poop station as well!
 

Mizzely

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Nip is more like...a pinch.
A bite is like a pitbill latched on :lol:
 

Donna turner

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I've taken to keeping a piece of wadded tissue paper handy for those bite and grind days. I just "wipe " her off
 

Mike

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To me a nip is the equivalent of a human pinch. Yeah, you feel it but it doesn't hurt much or last long. I believe conure nips are signs of displeasure or warnings. And if you don't get the message, a bite may follow.

A true bite hurts a lot more, lasts longer and is sometimes accompanied by a the bird equivalent of a dog's growl or bark. I think conures bite when they want some behavior or other to cease IMMEDIATELY.
 

JLcribber

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A bite bleeds. A nip doesn't. :)
 

Lesley Yeung

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Bird latched onto my husband's neck and kept chomping as hard as he could. Because he didn't appreciate my husnand talking on the phone. It will probably scar. It bled and swelled. That was a bite. His nips are always hard enough to draw blood. But his also gives warning when he feels like it.

All in all, you seem pretty lucky. Wanna trade?
 

Love My Zons

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I am going to get to the punch. A nip in my world is a pinch. A pinch is a test, or a warning of displeasure. :blahblah:

A bite is meant, no longer a warning and given with enough power to break the skin or, really make you go #$^&! That hurt! :sad11:

Best of luck with your new bird. You will find a wealth of knowledge here with some of the best around:hood:
 

Hotpockets

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@Lesley Yeung LOL My partner is not as forgiving as yours! His dad was a dog trainer so he expects a level of tameness from his pets.

I've read some of your posts about Bird before where you said you're better at establishing boundaries with him. Do you think your husband gets bitten worse because he is more permissive or is something else at play?
 

Mike

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Bird latched onto my husband's neck and kept chomping as hard as he could. Because he didn't appreciate my husnand talking on the phone. It will probably scar. It bled and swelled. That was a bite. His nips are always hard enough to draw blood. But his also gives warning when he feels like it.

All in all, you seem pretty lucky. Wanna trade?
Lesley, your conure looks dangerous. Do conures get rabies?

Screenshot_2018-02-16-02-51-06.png
 
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Ankou

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Nip is more like...a pinch.
A bite is like a pitbill latched on :lol:
That's how I measure my lovebird bites too, if she lets go it was a nip regardless of how hard it was or if I am bleeding. She knows how to do damage if she wants to and if she let go it was a clear warning without real intent to do harm.
But once she's latched on... I'm being bitten and oh God why is this still going on and the grinding please stop I'm sorry I'm sorry! :lol:
 

Peachfaced

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That's how I measure my lovebird bites too, if she lets go it was a nip regardless of how hard it was or if I am bleeding. She knows how to do damage if she wants to and if she let go it was a clear warning without real intent to do harm.
But once she's latched on... I'm being bitten and oh God why is this still going on and the grinding please stop I'm sorry I'm sorry! :lol:
This. God, Sherbie has wicked grinding bites. And she will NOT let go.

Rupert is much more kind about giving warnings for the most part. Sherbie just goes from 0-100 in a split second.
 
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