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Stubborn

Zali_Jo

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I adopted an eclectus parrot in February and he is very sweet but very stubborn. He is already 15 years old and we don't know what sort of family life he came from. We have taught him to say hello but he wont say or do anything else now. I have budgie that was a very fast learner and Kirby is my first large parrot and I was trying to get experience in training birds but little Kirby is making it very difficult . In case this can effect them live in a family of 4 and I go to school for around 6 hours per day but always leave him with foraging etc. Please help!
 

expressmailtome

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Welcome! Eclectus are not known for being great speakers. What else have you tried to teach him?
 

Monaco

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:welcometrain:
I can answer more later, but I will tag some people for you. I also adopted an older ekkie. She picks up what interests her, and has practice sessions for a long time before she spits something out. Ernest seems to have the biggest success. My greetings to her, things with lots of emotion (whooo/whee!, c'mon, whachadoin?, you okay?)

@mythic55 @EkkieLu @Monica @Miss Annamarie
 

Monaco

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So, my first thought is that he's still settling in and getting to know you. Are you feeling confident in being able to read him and have you found good positive reinforcers? Most importantly, it's not stubbornness. It's likely he doesn't understand what you are asking him to do, and/or he's not interested in doing it. If they enjoy the thing, they will repeat the thing! I'm not sure about speaking or learning new words in terms of breaking it into smaller steps, maybe Monica will have some ideas about that.

It's taken months (7) to encourage chewing and foraging here, so all I really know is not to give up, be very patient, and be fun and genuine.
 

mythic55

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Ekkies have the ability to learn a massive vocabulary, however they do need to be comfortable enough to concentrate in their environment (they are masters of 'freeze' factor when they are uncomfortable they little shut down and block things out). I find that once Ekkies settle in and feel confident they start to open up quite a lot.

But let me ask you, why is it important he speaks english?
Maybe just learn his communication- start there. I personally enjoy the way Dimitri communicates with his eyes, talons and feathers. It warms my heart when he is intrigued by new objects, or when he gets excited over favorite foods. I know he is comunicating in his own way: 'oh wow, thank you'.

My green goblin started early speaking, now he talks more than my African Grey. We need to be careful what we say, and many days (when it is sunny outside) we cant even hear the TV over his chatter (sounds cute, but honestly). Currently he says: Hello, Kalimera, Ya Sous, Num nums, Mmmm, Thank you, Big boy, What are you doing, Good morning, Oopsie (everytime he/I drop something), Oh wow, Up, luv you and the 'kiss' sound.... HOWEVER unfortunately: MY LAUGH (non stop), barks like a dog, copies the call of my finch, woodie the woodpecker song (thanks hubby, ugh), sirens from fire trucks/cop cars, the whistle from my kettle, and 'Remy shut up' (what I say when my dog is barking).

We did not 'teach' these words over the last couple months, he just picked them up because we maintain continuity when interacting with him. I never ask him to do them on command- instead we have mutual communication that I enjoy. He does training (like target training, recall) for rewards to strengthen our relationship, and recently he started to throw in words because of the positive reinforcement.

Then there is also a few hours of indistinguishable chatter to him self, which im sure if we are not careful he will pick more up.
Just keep speaking to your bird with enthusiasm, spend as much time as possible with them and ensure they are healthy. I will stress 'healthy' because a healthy bird is a happy bird; be certain that you are not relying on pellets and seeds as a diet. Well balanced fresh food diet and proper enrichment will increase their desire for mutual social interaction.
 
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mythic55

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Here is an example from this morning. He really liked his bouqet- you can see his interest- he is communicating 'Wow... I dont know where to start, that looks delish!'... that alone made me smile and laugh... at which point he 'laughed' (mimics) me- and we laughed back and fourth for about 10 seconds before he grabbed some stuff and said 'Mmmm'.

(this was Dill, Basil blossoms, Nasturtium, Moringa and Lemon Balm). 'He need not say anything, It was all over his face' haha
Screen Shot 2020-06-26 at 7.16.55 AM.png
 

Monica

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You've received some great questions and advice already.

I agree, your bird is not being stubborn, there's likely some communication gap that you haven't figured out how to bridge yet with him, so perhaps you need to figure out how to take a different approach to training.


Do you know what his favorite treats are?
 

mythic55

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@Zali_Jo

I made a recording of just a minute of my gremlin talking to himself today. I hid the phone behind the finch cage, and he was about 10 ft away? (so the sound quality is not the best, I apologize).

He does this for hours and hours of fun each day on his top perches- You can make out a few words, but mostly he is just checking the tonation and rhythm of things he has heard. My phone ran out of data so you cant hear him speak in total clarity towards the end (which was about 30 minutes later)-

But it is extremely loud.... I know he is having a great time, even if I cant figure out what he is trying to say ;) He speaks most often when I am around, so I deliberately hid from him:
 
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