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"Untamable" Male Red Bellied Parrot

Go for it or Drop it?

  • Go for it

    Votes: 2 100.0%
  • Drop it

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    2
  • Poll closed .

CodaCola

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My new adoptive dad (who I currently don't live with just yet) has two Red Bellied Parrots. A female (who is tame) named Sarabi. Then a male who he deems untamable and aggressive named Evil.

Evil has lunged at me twice from within his cage but I do believe it's because I've gotten too close or possibly startled him. I was hanging out with both birds, just sitting outside their cages and talking to them for over 40 minutes. I've tried to offer Evil treats before but he always grabs and shreds them or throws them far away. That is today until I offered strawberry. The strawberry was a hit!

The strawberry started the positive interaction and after he seemed really curious as to what I was up to. Moments I stopped talking to him he'd bang his beak against the cage and make all sorts of calls to get my attention. When I told me dads this they both said he was trying to "kill me". I'm honestly unsure though? I've always been told to never put my fingers near the cage. Yet when I did today he hadn't bit me. It was sort of a rough preen? No nipping though. When I talked to him he'd pin his eyes and such. There were even times where he'd head bob? Which I didn't know what that meant.

My dad said that he was not a tame bird because he was parent raised and initially meant to be a breeder. He is housed next to a female Red Bellied Parrot.

I was wondering if I should try to tame him in secret? Or if I should listen to my dad and drop it?

He was also willing to take some dried fruit from my hand! (In the image shown)
 

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April

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He's a very handsome boy. Let me tag some folks that have male Red Bellies for advice. @saroj12 @iamwhoiam
I'd not give up on trying to at least be his friend,he seems like he may be curious about you and perhaps interested in some interactions.
 

cmor

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I don’t have any experience with Red Bellies but I have a very sweet Meyers who can get extremely aggressive when she is caged and I’m around her cage. I don’t think his cage aggression is a measure of whether he can be tamed or not. It’s very common with Poicephalus.
 

iamwhoiam

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My new adoptive dad (who I currently don't live with just yet) has two Red Bellied Parrots. A female (who is tame) named Sarabi. Then a male who he deems untamable and aggressive named Evil.

Evil has lunged at me twice from within his cage but I do believe it's because I've gotten too close or possibly startled him. I was hanging out with both birds, just sitting outside their cages and talking to them for over 40 minutes. I've tried to offer Evil treats before but he always grabs and shreds them or throws them far away. That is today until I offered strawberry. The strawberry was a hit!

The strawberry started the positive interaction and after he seemed really curious as to what I was up to. Moments I stopped talking to him he'd bang his beak against the cage and make all sorts of calls to get my attention. When I told me dads this they both said he was trying to "kill me". I'm honestly unsure though? I've always been told to never put my fingers near the cage. Yet when I did today he hadn't bit me. It was sort of a rough preen? No nipping though. When I talked to him he'd pin his eyes and such. There were even times where he'd head bob? Which I didn't know what that meant.

My dad said that he was not a tame bird because he was parent raised and initially meant to be a breeder. He is housed next to a female Red Bellied Parrot.

I was wondering if I should try to tame him in secret? Or if I should listen to my dad and drop it?

He was also willing to take some dried fruit from my hand! (In the image shown)
If I were you I would try to work with him. Start out just sitting near him and talking to him or offering special treats like you have been doing. Be very careful with him and go slow. Their beaks can hurt quite a bit. Small bird, big beak. I have a few scars from one of my red-bellied boys. Is he called that because of the aggressiveness of is he named after Evel Knievel (different spelling, though)? If it's the former that's sort of sad. BTW, I would remove that stringy thing that's hanging in his cage. He could get caught up in that and get injured or worse. He may be territorial with his cage and get aggressive if you reach inside but you should try to remove it and avoid getting bit.

Parent raised does not mean he can't become friendly and tame over time.

Here are two websites you might want to check out:
 
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CodaCola

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If I were you I would try to work with him. Start out just sitting near him and talking to him or offering special treats like you have been doing. Be very careful with him and go slow. Their beaks can hurt quite a bit. Small bird, big beak. I have a few scars from one of my red-bellied boys. Is he called that because of the aggressiveness of is he named after Evel Knievel (different spelling, though)? If it's the former that's sort of sad. BTW, I would remove that stringy thing that's hanging in his cage. He could get caught up in that and get injured or worse. He may be territorial with his cage and get aggressive if you reach inside but you should try to remove it and avoid getting bit.

Parent raised does not mean he can't become friendly and tame over time.

Here are two websites you might want to check out:
Unfortunately he is named Evil for the way he behaves. I was told he's bit the hell outta my dad. I assume it's because of diet, lack of trying, and cage set up.

Both birds currently have no toys. I want to ask to remove the rope yet I'm unsure how my dad will take it. Hopefully well? I planned on making them some toys once I can!

He'll only take some treats from me. I've offered before but he always threw them and seemed to get angry. After talking to him for 20 or so minutes he finally took a strawberry slice from me. I know he likes strawberry, yet I'm not sure what else!

My dad will likely disapprove of me trying to tame him- so I want to try to make some progress in secret then show him the progress? If it's a good idea please let me know!
 

flyzipper

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Unfortunately he is named Evil for the way he behaves.
Labels like that run the risk of becoming self-fulfilling.

My Oscar's previous caregiver didn't think he would fit with me because, "he doesn't like men".
That was his belief, so he treated Oscar as if that was true, and therefore that's the way it was.

I don't believe in the label "untamable".
The person who says that is placing the label (limit) on themselves -- their knowledge, their patience, their willingness to try -- it says nothing about the bird.

Also, please change the goal from "taming" this bird, to earning their trust.
 

flyzipper

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I want to try to make some progress in secret then show him the progress? If it's a good idea please let me know!
If you have more success working 1:1 in isolation, then that's a great thing to identify!

Don't be discouraged, however if you show progress to your Dad and there's some regression in Levi's behaviour (your Dad's presence may be a trigger).
 

iamwhoiam

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Unfortunately he is named Evil for the way he behaves. I was told he's bit the hell outta my dad. I assume it's because of diet, lack of trying, and cage set up.

Both birds currently have no toys. I want to ask to remove the rope yet I'm unsure how my dad will take it. Hopefully well? I planned on making them some toys once I can!

He'll only take some treats from me. I've offered before but he always threw them and seemed to get angry. After talking to him for 20 or so minutes he finally took a strawberry slice from me. I know he likes strawberry, yet I'm not sure what else!

My dad will likely disapprove of me trying to tame him- so I want to try to make some progress in secret then show him the progress? If it's a good idea please let me know!
Sounds like there is a lack of trying to work with him, gain trust and become friends. With no toys what do the birds do all day? Is there any human interaction with them? Why would your dad disapprove of you trying to work with him? I would think that it would make him happy if Evel (as in Knievel since I don't want to call him "Evil") could become more friendly. Evel needs to know that he is cared for and loved. Even if he continues to bite he still needs toys and interaction with his human family. If you can get that stringy thing out of the cage please do so. IMHO, it is dangerous. I would think you're dad would want that thing removed to keep Evel safe. Some of my red-bellies bite but they are still handled (carefully), have plenty of toys, and are very much loved.
 

iamwhoiam

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If you have more success working 1:1 in isolation, then that's a great thing to identify!

Don't be discouraged, however if you show progress to your Dad and there's some regression in Levi's behaviour (your Dad's presence may be a trigger).
Meant to ask you if that was a mistype or if you purposely changed his name to Levi. That's a much better name.
 

CodaCola

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@CodaCola How old are the red-bellies and how long has your dad had them.



Levi is a good name! I like anagrams, too.
Levi is a good name! I don't know if my dad will let me change it.
He has had Levi for 20 years. He bought him as a breeder when he was 3. I think he didn't try working to gain his trust because he originally bought him to be a breeder bird. The female, Sarabi, is a friendly bird but she does not like Levi at all. My dad has had Sarabi for 30 years or so?
 

CodaCola

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Sounds like there is a lack of trying to work with him, gain trust and become friends. With no toys what do the birds do all day? Is there any human interaction with them? Why would your dad disapprove of you trying to work with him? I would think that it would make him happy if Evel (as in Knievel since I don't want to call him "Evil") could become more friendly. Evel needs to know that he is cared for and loved. Even if he continues to bite he still needs toys and interaction with his human family. If you can get that stringy thing out of the cage please do so. IMHO, it is dangerous. I would think you're dad would want that thing removed to keep Evel safe. Some of my red-bellies bite but they are still handled (carefully), have plenty of toys, and are very much loved.
I feel like my dad will disapprove of me interacting with Levi due to him seeing the bird as a threat to my safety. I am fairly newer to birds! I've never owned one- most I've done is target train a blue and gold.
They are currently on an all seed diet with a whole veggie provided maybe twice a week?
I talked about diet conversation but my dad said he already tried. He has over 40+ years of experience with birds and I feel inferior when it comes to that.
I was talking to Evil and I move away for a moment to go on my device. He starts makimg noises amd banging himself against the cage.
I told my dad it seemed like he wanted my attention but both my dads agreed he was "trying to kill me"
 

flyzipper

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He has over 40+ years of experience with birds and I feel inferior when it comes to that.
Experience is great, but also runs the risk of making us think we know best.
We're all constantly learning from our birds and each other -- the challenge is keeping an open mind to new ways of doing things so we don't get stuck.

Try not to diminish the value that you appear to bring to the situation... asking questions, being open to new perspectives, a willingness to try, observing Levi's reactions... all great stuff.
 

iamwhoiam

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Ricky and Lucy are the red-bellied parrots I purchased for breeding and they have had a few clutches. They are now separated because Lucy was hurt by Ricky and she needed stitches. I spent a lot of time with them in the beginning and Lucy would step up but then I was told by someone not to work with them because then they wouldn't breed. Looking back I don't believe that 100%. Ricky does interact with me whereas Lucy is on the shy side. I've never been bitten by either of them. They are in separate cages, have plenty of toys and a variety of perches and I do spend time with both of them.

Doesn't matter how long someone has had birds because one can always learn new things. Doesn't matter that Levi/Evel is an "older" bird because he can still learn to trust and maybe become a friend, but even if he doesn't want to get up close and be friendly he still needs something to do, toys to play with, human interaction. Sarabi also needs things to do. If you've done target training then you are familiar with that and can try to start using that with Levi/Evel and possibly with Sarabi. She might like that?

Diet conversion...that's hit or miss but the thing is to keep trying. Never know when a bird will decide he/she wants to eat something he/she was unwilling to try before. My red-bellies get seed mix, pellets and mixed veggies, some fruit (not big fans of most fruit) as well as shelled and unshelled almonds, shelled walnuts, pine nuts in the shell, cashews. The nuts are treats and they don't get a lot of them. They also get avi-cakes and some get nutriberries.

Wishing you luck with Levi/Evel.
 

Spearmint

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I would say go for it, I can only imagine those birds must be pretty bored without any toys or interaction.
If your dad is worried about the bird being a threat to you, it might ease his mind if you ordered those 'bite-proof gloves'. Don't think they actually work honestly, but it might give you a better shot at being able to interact with them.

You could start off with every time you pass the cage giving a treat, maybe something like a blueberry, almond or a pea (if they like them). Gradually they will recognise you as the person who gives them treats, and then you can try working outside the cage from a distance.

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck :)
 

Spearmint

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Also wanted to add, that no matter how long somebody has been working with a certain animal, doesn't mean they're always right. I've had hermit crabs for 10 years, 8 of those they were in awful care because I didn't know anything, but assumed it was fine because they'd happened to last for a while.
 

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I am wondering how Levi/ evil bird is doing? I hope you’ve gotten them some toys; my poi likes chewable pine chunks and Sola balls, grapevine wreaths, wicker wreaths, coconut shell slices.

That bird is probably bored and crabby because he’s so bored. My poi has four or five toys in her cage; her big pleasure is in chewing things up. She really enjoys shredding cardboard “bird bagels” as well as chewing up small boxes and pine chunks.

If Evil/ Levi is acting like he wants your attention he probably does. My poi gets scared and conflicted and then bites out of fear but she likes to be pet and cuddled. She even likes having her beak kissed.

Anyhow I think those birds of your dads would enjoy chewing toys or big chunks of vegetables and some fruits. My poi really loves to chew and I bet your dads birds would, too.
 
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