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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly about Senegals

ashbirdlady

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I love my sennies. The good and the bad is their personalities. It did take me a while to learn each one then we were fine.
Gotta love/hate learning curves! :wacky:
 

GuineaPigster

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So the general idea is that many sennie's are one person birds, but how about other birds? Do they get jealous or aggressive when you give attention to your other birds?
 

Shade

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So the general idea is that many sennie's are one person birds, but how about other birds? Do they get jealous or aggressive when you give attention to your other birds?

Depends on the birds.

I can't say Shade acts that way, she's generally pretty good and if she wants attention, she'll come and claim it. Her brother, on the other hand, has been known to get aggressive with other birds.
 

thekarens

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I have 2 sennies, brother and sister. I got the female last September and the male this February. Anyway, they don't like each other, but are fine when I'm paying attention to the other one, but I do have to make sure if I give one attention I have to then give the other one at least some attention.
 

Tailfeathers

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How loud are Pois/Senegals?
I'm considering a Senegal as my first bird. Currently in the running with a GCC. I'll probably get whichever I find first (Either a pretty GCC mutation or a Senegal when a breeder I watch has some available).
 

txdyna65

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Mango isnt really loud but does some calling out in the morning and late evening, but only lasts a cpl minutes. He is learning new whistles all the time and does alot of different sounds but they arent loud. He has become a 2 person bird to my wife and I, but we dont get many visitors out where we live so he hasnt been around other people to see how he does. He tolerates my 14 year old daughter and will step up for her, but he really doesnt want to be with her. He doesnt like my 20 year old son at all, but he is a big boy and loud when he comes over is probably why lol. He is also the first bird my wife has been around and she just loves him to death. He is very active, uses every inch of his cage (32X23) and is very comical hanging upside down and playing with his toys. He loves anything that has a bell (he has several) and with go to each one of them ringing them all day long. Ive also built him a couple of play areas that he hangs out on, we try to have him out 6-8 hours a day and try to share our time with him. He loves to hang out on either of our shoulders giving us kisses or preening my wifes hair or my mustache and doing his sounds. As for his diet, he eats pretty much anything we give him, he loves green beans, sprouts, sweet potato and will search his cage for hours trying to find the raisins Ive hidden from him. (He always wins and finds them) When its time for him to go to bed, we tell him its nite nite time and he gets on his favorite perch and we cover his cage up. I could go on and on with the good things :)

The Bad? Some people might see him and think he is nippy, but we think he is just using his beak to test everything out. He has never bitten either of us hard or broke the skin, but he will grab your finger and hold on a second but not to the point of it hurting. He likes to give himself baths in his water bowl, but hasnt really taken to us bathing him yet and will use those big feet of his to hold on for dear life when he gets near the sink.

We havent found an "ugly" with him other than he thinks he is big as a condor and shows no fear of anything, except for the small orange shoe toy we got him, he is scared to death of it lol We have 2 mini dachshunds that Mango is not afraid of at all, so when he is out we keep them in another room. He will nip on you if you are changing his toys around or messing with "his" stuff in his cage, so we've learned to have him out playing when we move things around in there.

Overall he has been a blessing to us and we are glad we chose a sennie :)
 

apollosparents

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In short...get the Senegal. If you would like to, you can always search my posts and read about our Senegal named Sophie. We usually call her "Sopha Pee Ahh" or "Soaf"
 

Bird_lover6

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Thought I would add a bit about my sennie, Mango, since we've had her
for about 4 months, now.

Mango is still very young - about 8 months old. When I got her (small hobby breeder) I knew then that she was the shyest of the clutch and also the smallest. However, she is everything I wanted in a senegal.

Mango is playful and a real acrobat, and I am constantly amused by her antics. Although she is as acrobatic as any bird (hanging by one foot on her swing), she also moves with great deliberation and gentleness - a bit more linnie-like and less caique-like! She definitely likes to chew wood and destroys more than the gccs. She is still somewhat hand shy (doesn't like sudden movement), but does step up and loves to be with me and on me. And she loves head scritches. If she is in the bedroom with Harry and George (my two gccs), she won't usually call for me, as their companionship is comforting to her even though they don't play together. If she is alone in the kitchen, she will frequently call for me when I walk out, although her call isn't very loud. Mango doesn't like to be away from her flock! While she is shy around other people, she doesn't appear to have any real phobias.

Mango is a good eater, and will readily try new foods. After some experimentation, I have determined that she much prefers larger pellets - she eats Zupreem pellets for African grey sized parrots. :)

Thus far, she's never bitten me, and I absolutely adore her. It's been a real joy to watch her personality emerge over the last few months.
 

sierraecho89

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Now that I know Ozone better, I think I'll add my two cents about my senegal! We don't have any real idea about how old he is, though we suspect he's at least ten years old. He is a rehome who came from a situation of suspected neglect; he was owned by a little old lady, and we think that, as she became more and more frail and less able to care for him, he didn't come out of his cage very often; he came to us when she moved in with her son, who told her she couldn't keep her birds anymore. =( Some of Ozone's behaviors are probably directly related to that moreso than the species as a whole.

The Good -
Our little man is so playful. He will play with just about ANYTHING and is extremely curious; he adores simply hanging out and spending time with us--as long as he has something to destroy or a bell to mess with. He loves getting his head scratched; if we don't get to him fast enough, he'll scritch his own head with his claws! He must have been neglected at his last home for a bit, because he pulled out all of his feathers on the top of his head, probably replicating the scritches he loves so much. He will play with bell toys in his cage for hours, acrobat all over the place, and is generally a goofball. He needs lots of things to chew, but can entertain himself happily for hours; he is happy to simply hang out with the flock. Very easy-going and SMART! He also warbles in excellent imitation of speech patterns... but somehow, hasn't picked up any words. xD He loves both my husband and I; he is definitely not a one-person bird and does not get jealous when we show other birds attention. That might be different if we were holding him, but he does not become aggressive when we handle, coo at, or otherwise love our other birds.

The Bad -
He is LOUD, by far our noisiest bird. If he wants attention, he makes this piercing, shrill call over and over again. We're working on breaking him of that habit, but... progress is slow. xD
Additionally, he is pretty destructive to satisfy his need to chew; if we don't provide him with something appropriate, he'll find something else, usually something he shouldn't, to chew on. It makes quite the mess, but he's so darned entertaining while he does it that we don't really consider it a negative. Definitely cage aggressive.

The Ugly -
When faced with fight or flight scenario (such as just being startled), he will choose FIGHT every time. And he is FEROCIOUS when he wants to be; he doesn't just bite hard, he clamps down and GRINDS like there is no tomorrow... and doesn't let go. He will attack bigger birds and win. We ultimately decided to stick-train him; he lost shoulder privileges pretty quickly, and now we don't pick him up with our hands (only the stick) because if he doesn't feel like sitting down, he will control-bite like the dickens.
 
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juliashmulia

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The attributes listed in this thread are the experiences of each individual and your experiences may differ with your individual bird.

The good - Paris is very affectionate and loyal. I can do almost anything to her without complaint. She is happiest when she can be with me getting attention. She is an excellent eater and will eat almost any food I give her. She is very playful and really plays with her toys. She is a great acrobat and is very entertaining. She loves to bathe too. She is very quiet. My most quiet bird in fact. We communicate with soft whistles and clicks, which is adorable. She is a one person bird but I believe this makes our bond stronger.

The bad - Paris is a one person bird. She is scared of everyone else, despite my efforts to socialize her as a baby. She freaks out if anyone else approaches her. If they persist despite her warnings (fluffed head and clicking beak) she will bite out of fear. I think due to their nature of being one person birds it can take a lot of time and effort to earn their trust. Patience is very important when it comes to creating a bond with a Sennie, but in my experience it is an incredibly strong bond.

The ugly - Paris is extremely jealous and aggressive towards other pets. She knows no fear and will go after my 40 pound dog and Alex my Macaw if given the chance. And she can be very persistent, especially with the dog. I just avoid them being in the same room. I have no doubts that she would seriously injure or kill one of the smaller birds if given the opportunity. She is also very protective of her mommy and will attack anyone who dares to touch me while she is on me.

This is just my experience, and Paris is only one year old so a lot may change as she matures. I hope others will add their insight regarding the good, bad, and ugly about Senegals.
Your description sounds exactly like my Silas. He's now 3, and the best bird I've ever owned, hands down.
 

juliashmulia

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I would add (sort of as a good, bad, and ugly all at the same time) that Senegals are very intelligent, maybe even close to being up there with Greys--in fact they have a lot of the same sensitivities IMO--and thus can be pretty manipulative. I find them extremely stubborn and strong-willed. They do not take no for an answer. They can be phobic and fearful of strange objects, situations, and people. They are sensitive to change and even the slightest stress, and will pluck or self-mutilate if they aren't getting their needs met.

Mine doesn't travel well, and is afraid of new people. It takes a long time and lots of patience to earn a Senegal's trust. My husband has only just earned the privilege of getting Si to step up after nearly 3 years of utter and absolute patient persistence.

They are little clowns--at least mine is--and love to play and be acrobatic, roll on their backs, hop around, and just be generally silly. Mine reminds me a lot of a caique in that way.

They can be very aggressive around bells and anything that rattles or makes a clanging noise. So far that's the only way I've been bitten out of misplaced aggression.

They are very expressive of emotion and their body language can be easily read. Because of this, I've only been bitten out of fear or anger twice--once when I painted my nails blue and went to pick him up, and once when he crawled inside a bag of peanut M&Ms and I went to remove him.

The people in my Senegal group on Facebook find Sennies unpredictable and "bipolar", but I haven't found this to be the case at all with Silas.

The biggest negative in my opinion is their aggressiveness towards other birds and animals. This is why I have only Si, and no other birds. When we did have more than one, he attacked them relentlessly and we had to keep one or the other caged at all times. If given the chance, he would try to kill even my Galah, who was nearly 3 times his size.

They can be incredibly mischievous, especially if kept flighted, and will spend their time searching for trouble to get into. Bird-proofing your home is an absolute must. They have large beaks for their size and can do serious damage to a house or apartment.

They need large toys for their size and can chew through pretty thick wood pieces. I usually buy Grey-sized toys for mine. He isn't intimidated by them.

They can be pretty territorial and possessive of their chosen person, and as others said, form an intense bond and are very loyal.

On the whole I'd say that Sennies are one of the best small birds out there. They have the complete package of being a manageable size and quietness, but also having the intelligence and personality of a much larger bird. Because of this, I don't think they make good first birds, but if you're prepared to deal with all their quirks and stubbornness, they're an amazing addition to any home.

One of my favorite things about Silas is how much he loves to fly. I clipped him when I first got him as a baby and almost immediately regretted it when I saw how much he wanted to fly. I let his wings grow out and now he darts around my house just for the pure joy of it. It's so healthy for him and makes him so happy, which in turn makes me happy.
 
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NaomiY

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Hi all. I was googling, looking for some help and advice with my Senegal, Ziggy, and found this thread, and felt compelled to join the conversation. Perhaps some of you have some advice to help me with my problem. I'm so shocked to see so many people in this thread talk about the low biting frequency of their Senegals. Is it because they were purchased from a breeder, and not rescue parrots? Or because they're younger and haven't gone through a hormonal phase yet?

I have a six year old Senegal who is extremely extremely aggressive. I'm his second home, and his previous home couldn't keep him because he was too loud, though they also told me he was occasionally aggressive. I've had him for a little over a year now.

When I say aggressive, I'm not just talking about him full on lunging across the floor at our feet, hands, the dog and cat, or at anything that may pass by his cage. Or even lunging from our fingers up towards our faces, or just generally biting when we pick him up. He only bites AFTER we have picked him up, giving no warning whatsoever. When he does bite, there is zero warning, and blood is always drawn. He removed the top of my husbands finger once while he was being held. He managed to open the food bowl lock on his cage, escaped, and managed to get into one of my smaller cages that housed my English Budgie, who died shortly after from wounds he received. He is food aggressive, and has to be removed from his cage with a perch stick in order for me to safely change his food. He bites at the stick too, and has destroyed several already. He does NOT play with toys, despite the many many toys he has in his spacious cage. He's also on a low fat pellet and veggies diet to help minimize hormonal factors.

My GCC is a rescue, and I got him from an environment that was abusive, and taught him aggression. I thought I could deal with a Senegal, since I've worked with many birds much larger than him, and in general am not afraid to be bitten. I've tried many techniques to tame him, not reacting to his bite, blocking with my hand, laddering, picking him up with my wrist or arm, treat training, stick training. He's so smart, and he knows how to shake and will yawn on command, I can't teach him anything else because he lunges at everything, especially treats. After a year of constant biting, some stitches here in there, and welts and scars from him randomly flying down from his play stand to attack me, my husband, my other bird, or my dog or cat, completely out of the blue, we're all anxious around him and I don't know what to do. I have NEVER been an advocate for surrendering animals, and I certainly don't intend to with Ziggy. But no one is able to get anywhere near him, and I know by now he must be lonely.

To adhere to the title name:
The good: Ziggy travels really well and loves car rides. He looks amazing, and his feathers are beautiful, and is in generally great health in spite of his behavioral issues. He talks often, and has great speech and imitation capabilities.

The bad: He is quite loud, though not really a concern for me, except in the mornings around 7am when he starts imitating a smoke alarm. I am lucky to be in a very pet friendly apartment, with other neighbors who have birds and understand the noise. Don't think a Senegal won't get you kicked out of an apartment, because they will.

The ugly: He bites everything and anything, with full force, and no warning whatsoever.
 

featherdown

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My senegal is polite with most people, I can hand her to anyone or put her on their shoulder. But she nips when she doesn't get her way or gets sent back to her cage for bad behavior. The bad behavior includes terrorizing and attacking birds both larger and smaller than herself... so she only comes out alone and misses out on the 'nice bird party' when I let all the others out to play.
 

Bird_lover6

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Thought I would give an update on my year with Mango (right about 16 months old now).

The good - she's my dream bird in size, personality, and volume, so far. :) She's the bird that always wants to be near me, although she exhibits no bad behavior if she isn't. She's playful ands loves, loves, loves to hang upside down. She likes to chew wood, but isn't particularly destructive. She doesn't bite. She's very quiet. She makes the absolute cutest gibberish sounds. She's starting to talk - saying "step up," "good bird," "hi, baby" and attempting to say a couple of other things. Her speech isn't clear, but that's part of her charm. :) Due to her size, everyday expenses are at a minimum. Nine times out of ten when calling me, she will whistle. (And I whistle back!), so I rarely hear her "senegal call." She's generally quiet, and when she is making "senegal noises," she's not loud.

The bad - well - not really bad but she's not the enthusiastic eater that I read about other senegals. Her diet is quite varied, though, so I'm not worried. I wish I could give her boiled egg every day because it's her favorite food. :) She's not a good flier, since, she came to me clipped. Now that her flight feathers have grown out, she's improving. She's a bit shy but not at all phobic about anything. She does see me as her mate, and attempts to do her little wiggle neck thing fairly often.

The ugly - absolutely nothing, yet.

Notes about her setup - Mango has a large A&E cage (30" wide) in our family room where she spends part of the day with me. She also has the same cage in our master bedroom next to Harry and George. The two cages provide her with different toys and interests, and an ability to be around me, even though she's only cage free for two or three hours a day (due to safety reasons). She seem quite content with this arrangement.

And, yes, I adore her.

Yesterday, I posted here about a cherry head conure that I like. Well, last night I worried about any bird interfering in our relationship even though I had no plans to get the cherry head. Obviously, Mango is my heart bird. :sennie::swoon:
 
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theocnoob

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George, my senegal, is my first and only parrot. We have had nothing but good experiences together. I contacted his breeder, a very nice lady who I am now good friends with, in 2008 asking about adopting a parrot and she suggested George for his personality. He is a multi person bird, always willing to meet new people, and he loves me, my mom, and the lady that bred him, and has different things he says to each of us

The Good.

George is adorable and hilarious. Always wants to be with people. Loves to give kisses and cuddle, and will eat pretty much anything. And a lot of it. He loves baths and car rides (with the windows up obviously) and generally enjoys being alive

The Bad
Nothing much. He's messy, but so are all birds. I'd say the messiness is the only bad thing about George

The Ugly
Nothing ugly has ever happened with George. He is an angel in parrot form. My dog passed of old age when George was 1 year old. He used to fly over her and poop on her on purpose. This was the only ugly thing but it was also funny. Not for my dog though.
 

Caerus the gcc

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Old thread but wanted to add as my sennie is full of everything haha. He is only 7.5 months so he could easily still chage but here goes -
The good: He is so sweet with me, a great mix of really playful and full of eneeen, but also will relax and just love scratches. He is also not picky at all. I can give him anything to eat and he will generally eat it all up. He was weaned very well aswlel which probably helped. He seems decent with my cockatiel aswell. At first he hated her but now they are out together with little issues as long as she respects him. In general I love the little guy for all his quirkyness. He is also an amazing flyer and has perfect recall indoors. I am very happy about this because my favorite part of owning possibly is our recall training. It's also a good way of bonding together

The bad: As others have said, he is also very very 1 person bird. If majority of people try to touch him, he will scream at them and threaten to bite. Usually will fly off unless he's outside and on harness, then he just yells. I'm lucky he doesn't mind my bf lol. I also got a bit of a screamer. He will call me as soon as I'm out of sight and wakes me up in the morning if I try to sleep past 8 or 9. Which isn't bad at least. He is also kinda nippy depending on mood. I've only got a semi bad bite once and maybe twice out of my 4 months with him, but still annoying haha. He also likes to bite and HD onto my ears so I have to keep him away

The ugly: It's hard to find anything really ugly other then going back to biting. Luckily no one really tries to touch him so I haven't had him bite anyone but me, but it does hurt quite a bit and I worry for anyone who tries to go past his comfort zone! Also kinda how easy he spooks, it's not all that bad but sometimes it can be annoying outdoors. Usually it's just other people but little things will do it too.
 

Lydia Deetz

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I'm pretty new to the Avenue and parrots in general so I suppose there'll be huge differences between the two, but how would you compare a Senegal to a Cockatoo? I know there are several different species of cockatoo and only one Senegal species but from what I've read, they both seem to bond very tightly with their owners and tend to be one-person birds. Apparently Sennies are usually waaaay quieter but what else is there?
 

Mizzely

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I'm pretty new to the Avenue and parrots in general so I suppose there'll be huge differences between the two, but how would you compare a Senegal to a Cockatoo? I know there are several different species of cockatoo and only one Senegal species but from what I've read, they both seem to bond very tightly with their owners and tend to be one-person birds. Apparently Sennies are usually waaaay quieter but what else is there?

You will have better luck getting the type of answers you want by starting your own thread :)

Cockatoos are a family of parrots with many species. Senegals are just one parrot species in a family called Poicephalus.
 

juliashmulia

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FWIW, I’ve had both, and much prefer my Senegal as a companion. But again that’s subjective especially because there are dozens of species of cockatoo and Senegal is only one species. Sennies are definitely mich quieter, almost without exception compared to a cockatoo, but I think it’s a myth that they make good apartment birds. Mine has a very high pitched, shrill screech that he does quite frequently. Not only can neighbors hear him but I can from my car outside the building. It’s all relative and parrots in general are loud compared to other pets.

Sennies bond super intensely to their person, are super smart and pack a lot of parrot into a relatively small body. They are very jealous and territorial and will generally not tolerate competition whether it be other birds or people. They have large beaks for their size and need a variety of toys to chew, enrichment to keep their minds occupied, a large cage to explore, etc. No matter what, a parrot is a huge commitment and you’ll be devoting lots of time and money to them. I hope some of this helps.
 

Lily’s mom

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Lily bird is a rescue and I was told she’s about 25 years old.
I love her to pieces, she has a lot of personality for her small body. She loves head scratches (and she’ll close her eyes when I do it) and demands them by bowing her head when I’m trying to give her a piece of food lol. She also loves when I baby talk to her, she gets all happy puffy and grinds her beak. She always steps up for me and lets me grab her with my whole hand and flip her over on her back. She’s not crazy about being belly up but if I scratch her head at the same time she’ll tolerate it for a little bit :) she loves to make birdie soup by taking a pellet, crossing the whole cage to dunk it in the water bowl, and then eating it :)in the end there are chunks of pellets swimming in the bowl and I have to change the water what feels like every five minutes lol. She tends to eat when I eat and is always interested in what I’m having. She’s also really quiet or has pleasant vocalizations - chirps, clicks, other cute noises. When my Meyers was still alive, she would mimic his adorable WAAAH noise. Once in a blue moon she makes a very piecing sound when she’s worked up about something but it’s rather rare. She does contact call me when I leave the room but it’s not very loud and does not last for a long time.

The bad, but not really that bad, just something to be mindful about:
She’s totally fearless and will try to attack our cat. Thankfully the cat is rather terrified of her but I do worry about both of them. She is also jealous so if I pay “too much” attention to the other bird in the household she might bite me. When she is in her aggressive mode (the cat is somewhere close or sees some other perceived danger) she might also bite me. Thankfully I can read her body language pretty well and kinda know I’m gonna get bitten so... oh well. Unfortunately she is a one person (or one gender? Our female bird friend got along with Lily fine) bird so for several years she would try to bite my then boyfriend and now husband. She would lounge at him like she does with the cat. Three years and many many treats later she lets him scratch her head when she’s in the mood )
Finally she does try to feed me by regurgitating (which is adorable) but I worry about her being too hormonal and try to discourage that.
All in all, she’s my baby <3
 
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