• Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

Sun conure biting/screaming when playing instruments. Seeking advice

CaelumScot

Checking out the neighborhood
Joined
2/25/23
Messages
1
Real Name
Caelum
Hey everybody! New to this site. My girlfriend and I just adopted a rescue sun conure from the SPCA and we adore her. She is extremely cuddly (especially with me) and loud (to be expected from a sunny).

We've had her for about 3 weeks, and one issue I have noticed with her is that she acts very strangely when I play an instrument. I play the banjo and have been for about 7 years now, and play almost daily, so it's not really something I can give up. As soon as I pick up my instrument, she will instantly fly over to my shoulder without fail and proceed to scream constantly into my ear, as well as start furiously biting at my shirt collar, which has resulted in 2 hard bites into my neck. She will also crawl down my shirt and try to bite my hands/instrument as I play.

It doesn't seem to matter where I put her, as she will IMMEDIATELY fly back onto my shoulder and continue biting/screaming if Im holding onto my instrument. This almost always results in me having to force her into her cage so that she cannot continue flying to me and screaming.

I know that she will always be loud, and I know sunnies are the absolute loudest. I am perfectly fine with her making her calls from her cage or even my finger, but I can't allow her to scream as much as she does while on my shoulder. It is physically painful for me.

I am sort of at a loss for what to do at this point. I don't want to always have to keep her in her cage while I play, because I play so often. I read online that other people's conures seem to enjoy it when their owners play an instrument. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to accustom her to the sound to the point that I can allow her to be out of her cage when I want to play?
 

Wardy

Rollerblading along the road
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
4/12/21
Messages
4,706
I play the guitar my birds dont like it so i play in a different room when they are caged, they dont attack me but they can get loud.
Its not something i have tried to work as if im playing i dont want any distractions i just want to play and focus on the music.
My birds do love music and will dance whilst listening to the radio my guitar no dancing.
 

BluJay

Sprinting down the street
Joined
12/22/22
Messages
356
Location
Eastern US
Real Name
Jay [he/him]
I play violin and viola. My goldcap is caged when I play then. It's not because he attacks it's because he will randomly fly over to me, which startles me when I am playing and I am afraid of dropping my grandfather's violin or my Romanian viola. He likes when I play though, it's the only time he does the classic conure calling because he's excited. Otherwise he is the quietest conure I have ever met. He only talks in a small voice to tell me how he is feeling or if he would like something. Usually he lets out two conure calls a day! Except when I am singing or playing an instrument, then he calls and calls. If it's a piece I know I don't mind. However if I'm sight reading I do need to be in another room.
 

Icey

Biking along the boulevard
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
2/29/16
Messages
5,749
Location
Wales, United Kingdom
Real Name
Ann
Can you play the banjo in another room?
You'd more than likely still hear her, but it would deter her from flying to you and biting you.
You haven't had her long either, so she may be scared from the noise of it.
She's just getting settled in to her new home, which is stressful enough for them.
She needs time to adjust to everything.
 

Mizzely

Lil Monsters Bird Toys
Super Moderator
Vendor
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Avenue Concierge
Joined
8/9/11
Messages
40,032
Location
Northern Mitten Michigan
Real Name
Shawna [she/her]
She may think she is saving you from the Banjo as silly as that sounds. "There's danger! Move it!" But you aren't listening so she bites to get your attention.

I would work on desensitizing by only playing while she's caged. Start in another room, then if you want to try doing it in the room with her, try to do it as far from her cage as you can, but in view. Don't move closer until she is no longer reactive.
 

Pixiebeak

Biking along the boulevard
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
6/18/22
Messages
7,462
Location
USA
Real Name
Laura
you can also work on postive associations.

Have her out next to you in a calm good mood. Pick up your banjos and start handing her treats. Or place your bango on the couch, go get her and walk towards it while handing her treats and telling her she is a good bird. Sit next to and give treats . Hold it and give treats
Repeat this lots and lots .

Set her up for success by fist giving her a hugh value treat before you start playing. Like an apple slice.

My GCC had a real jealousy of my phone. She would attack me attack the phone. So we did lots of postive associations snd treats with phone. Now whenever I'm on my phone, she loves to sit right ne t yo it and snuggles up. I don't have to do treats anymore.
 

Spearmint

Rollerblading along the road
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Joined
9/14/21
Messages
1,285
Location
Australia, Sydney
Real Name
Elk [He/They]
I would work on target training her around the instruments maybe, she might be biting as she's unsure of what it is.
As for screaming, birds are always wanting to be louder than anything else happening:arghh: so maybe play in another room.
 

Wardy

Rollerblading along the road
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
4/12/21
Messages
4,706
There are a lot of variables when considering playing a instrument with a bird about.
Noise, even an acoustic instrument makes coniderable amount of noise. When playing i am pretty much focused on what i am playing and how i am playing it, so the birds could be doing what they wanted where they wanted. For me its to much trouble messing about trying to get the birds onside and wasting practice time, will be interested on seeinng how you do.
 

AussieBird

Rollerblading along the road
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
7/23/20
Messages
4,661
Real Name
Call me AB
Mine are always in a different room and caged whenever I am playing. I've honestly never considered what their opinions on my playing/instruments is :huh:
 
Top