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They are comfortable with me and like to snuggle but freak out when I try to pet them ?

Azelf

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Hi all!
Ive had my conures just under a month now (kiwi the pineapple conure) (durian the green cheek) as of late ive been getting mixed messages from them. For example they love snuggling in my hoodie, playing with my hair, and are comfortable perching on my hand, etcetera however when I try to pet them (only around their neck of course) they lunge at my hand and latch on with their beak and bite pretty hard before my hand even touches them, im not sure if they have some kind of trauma, as the man who handled them for us at the pet store was quite aggressive and would wear these bulky gloves and I had to tell him to be more gentle, im starting to wonder if that is the case as I never force them to do anything, they come to me when I open the cage, they are all ways eager to see me, and they are very good with going to their cage at night for bed, so I don't know why they behave this way, are they both just not the petting type?

Please If anyone has any advice that would be amazing, thanks a bunch in advance !
 

Tazlima

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Sounds like you're getting pretty clear signals, actually. They like initiating snuggling with you, but they're not comfortable with fingers near their neck. It's a personal preference, same as I'm fine with my birds riding on my forearm, and sometimes my head, but not my shoulders. They probably find that strange, but I'm leery of putting my neck and face within biting range and no way to monitor whether they're getting wound up enough to chomp.

(I also let my dog lick my feet, but not my face, even though she really REALLY wants to lick my face).

My quaker does the same thing as yours. He's a total velcro bird. Steps up no problem, will ride my forearm around the house like a cowboy, hanging on for dear life as I do dishes or whatever. He even likes being near my hand. I've worked out, through trial and error, that what he wants is for me to set my hand next to him (but not touching), and we'll sit there "together" while he preens himself, but if I try to actually give him scritches? That's a "nope."

I just write it off as a Gus thing.
 
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Mizzely

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My Hahns adored me and would snuggle with my neck and face, but I was never allowed to pet her. She had a lot of trauma in her life before me though! Your birds are still new to you and may just need more time :)
 

Zara

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I have a male lovebird that is like all the birds mentioned by everyone in this thread. He´s all over me, true velcro bird, but try to scritch him and he makes the angry sound and opens his beak while scuttling off like an angry crab.
 

Peachfaced

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I agree with everyone above.

I'd also like to mention that you can definitely still work on your relationship with your little flock. :) Rupert (GCC) was deathly afraid of hands. I would take an acrylic chopstick (same one I use for target training), and gently scratch my face with it. Play it up. Make it look like "oh, this is nice!". Then offer the stick to your bird. If they back away or give you signs that say "no thank you", respect that choice. Several times a day, show them that the stick gives scritches, and then offer it to them afterwards.

Once one of them decides to try it out, give a quick, gentle cheek rub (and praise them!), and then pull back. If they look like they want more, give a couple more cheek rubs, and praise them again.
 
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