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Terrified and Leaping


Meeting neighbors
Vancouver, BC
I have recently rescued a young female IRN. She was found outside. Has a broken wing that has healed over which vet does not think is worth re-breaking so she is flightless. I've had her a little over a week, and she is absolutely terrified of me and any other human. Come too close, and she literally throws herself off of or out of her cage when possible. She falls like a rock, doesn't flutter at all.

I'm familiar with special-need birds, my Quaker is a plucker/self-mutilator who I brought back from the brink of death. He is also flightless, but if he falls, he flutters down to break his fall. He is doing great now.

My IRN - Kiwi - eats well and is calm with my Quaker and me if I'm not too near her. She takes treats from my hand and seems to like it when I talk to her. But when I'm in contact with her physically (I have to take her out to clean her cage and get her back in it if she jumps out) she is in full panic mode. Eyes shrink to pin-pricks and she screams (usually silent) and she just keeps trying to jump away. HOWEVER, she can step up and will, but then just frantically wants back in her cage.

I know you'll probably tell me what I already know - time, patience and treats, but as I'm not familiar with this bread, I thought I'd ask. Is it normal for them to jump like that?


Rollerblading along the road
Parrotian Castle
Real Name
I'm sorry. :( I adopted a bully of an IRN (male, ~18yo, blue) :rpg6: who is a flighted self- mutilator on antipsychotics. Off his meds, he tries to break off his beak, tries to chew off body parts and literally bangs his head on the cage or wall or window, etc. :mad:

I found he was most comfortable in a TINY transport cage. The other birds live together in a birdroom, but he lives separately. Everybirdie is aware of Glenn and knows not to disturb him.

He loves looking out the window. With the climate change, I made a fake window with fake birds for him. (He's not impressed.)

I was working with some behaviorists who recommended something that is working for my disabled pionus as well. To avoid additional stress caused by swinging toys :scared3:, attach them at top and bottom.

The most important things are love, trust and patience. Often this is hard as I deal with him and my pionus. A member put it perfectly when I was at my breaking point, Glenn knows you love him :heart: and trusts you enough to show you his real self. He knows you'll love him when others have given up on him.

Please feel free to PM me anytime. Times will get harder, but you know this. We all just need a break or a soft place to land ourselves sometime!:hug8:

Fergus Mom

Rollerblading along the road
Mayor of the Avenue
Real Name
I just wanted to say I hope she will become more comfortable as time passes. She's such a pretty girl. I have no experience with IRN's, so hopefully you will get some tips from the experts here.


Joyriding the Neighborhood
Avenue Veteran
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The valley of the sun
Your right,,,time and patience. :hug8:


Walking the driveway
Real Name
The IRN probably broke her wing throwing herself against the walls of the cage it was in previous to you finding it. If there is a tight corner or covey to squeeze in, under, or beside they will try to do that too to escape capture.

You need to buy a book on taming birds. You should remove everything in it's cage except perches & feed/water cups. You can tame her if you withhold food for a few hours and then, wearing thick leather work gloves, feed her out of your hand multiple times per day. You have to be still as you can. And patience while it builds up the corage to eat from your hand. You can ease the transition by feeding it out of it's feed cup by holding the feedcup in your hand as it eats. Many times per day and multiple weeks. After a week of feed cup in hand feeding, switch back and forth in the same day between feed cup in hand and seed directly in palm of hand.

Hint - use only moistened pellets in feed cup and only peanuts & sunflower seeds in palm of hand.

Hint - does that sound if you will be patiently sitting on the edge of the couch by the arm with the cage by that arm of the couch with your hand just inside the cage about 10 - 15 times a day for 5 minutes up to 30 minutes per visit to the cage? That's what it amounts to. The first times you try you can expect to sit there longer, 30 minutes per sitting and wait for it to come to you to eat but fewer visits to the cage. As it gets tames shorter visits but more of them. Move slow as you can. Stay steady as you can. Talk so it will learn also not to fear your voice. It'll eat and make sure if they eat everything out of the cup or all the seeds that you immediately go get more, moving slowly, so that the bird notices you getting more food immediately when it see it has ate all you had.

My 3 year old thrashing female IRN is getting tamer every day like this. I only started a week ago using this method.