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Welcome Home Poppy!

EsJ87

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Hello everyone -
Seeking some general guidance on how to "tame" my new baby. She is a ~4-5month of Solomon Island Eclectus that was hand-fed. She was very cuddly/tame with her owner. However, she's bitey with me. I brought her home Tuesday afternoon and she appears to be settling well in her new cage. She bit very hard when i first took her out of the carrier, and a few subsequent times when I was handling her to situate her in her new cage. However- I don't believe she is a SCARED or AGGRESSIVE bird, simply inexperienced as she is still so young - and probably weary of her new home surroundings. Totally normal I am assuming. She seemed relatively content as she was eating, and playing in her carrier on the way home, and took to her new toys without fear in her nice big new cage.

I've been warned in Eclectus Alley forum that these parrots may be very scared and stressed out while not outwardly showing it, and that i should essentially "leave her alone" for several weeks while she acclimates to her new home. I am not sure what to think right now, as she beak grinds, and comes towards me in a curious manner while I speak to her in her cage. She's even taken to cute gibberish in front of me, which is adorable since I thought they were usually closet talkers!

I've been able to successfully give her treats through the cage, and she will even take them nicely from my open hand with her cage door opened. However, when I present my hand/fingers on their own (sans treat) for a step-up opportunity...She will gingerly approach, gently take my finger to inspect, and proceed to crush it without actually drawing blood. (OUCH!) LOL SNEAKY REDHEAD... She never backs away from me, but also doesn't attack... like I said She seems relatively comfortable to me... but again I'm being told I'm probably stressing her out and should avoid all attempts at handling her for a long while.

I just want to make sure i do everything correctly from the get-go :)
I would LIKE to clicker-train her as soon as appropriate. But not sure how long that would be as she already seems comfortable with my presence. Should i attempt target training with her IN the cage, as a step towards training her to step up without biting? Currently I will sit next to her cage and chat with her while I work & occasionally offering a sunflower seed here and there... I know this can take days, weeks or even months.... but What are clear signs that she is ready for the next step???

PS - Here is a picture of her contently taking a ball to play! Her first night home (Tuesday)
 

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sunnysmom

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She's a cutie! Congrats on your new baby! I don't know about Ekkies specifically, but generally it's a good idea to let any bird have a couple quiet days to adjust to a new home. It sounds like you're doing things right- giving her treats, spending time with her- sit with her, talk to her. I think you have to try to read the bird and see what they're comfortable with. Some birds are ready to be held and played with right away. Others need more time. It's normal for birds to be a bit wary of hands. You can try seeing if she will step up on a perch rather than a hand, at least initially. And you can encourage her to come out on her own but putting a perch on the outside of the cage by the door with a treat or toy that likes by it.
 

expressmailtome

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Barbara Heidenreich is an amazing behaviorist, and has several DVDs on training parrots. Here is a link to her website: Parrot Training DVDS | Good Bird Training DVDS . Her DVDs are very clear, and show you how to do things properly, as well as how to read body language. They are well worth watching.
 

EsJ87

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Thank you - I'll be renting whatever is available to watch online immediately. :)
 

zoo mom

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Welcome. No Ekkie experience but she is a pretty girl.
 

Tyrion

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She is very cute :)
 

schnitzle

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Hello! I'm new to the parrot world, but I've been watching a lot of videos. I agree that Barbara Heidenrich is amazing! I also thought this was such a simple, but good video:
from a rescue in Montana. It's such a simple idea to give a treat from a spoon to a bird that might be afraid of hands, but I'm going to remember it for when i get my bird. I thought maybe you'd be interested! Good luck :)
 

EsJ87

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Great video - Thank you very much. Poppy doesn't seem to be afraid of my hands, she takes sunflower seeds nicely from between the cage bars as well as an open palm at the threshold of her cage. The issue arises once the treat is gone, she will start to nibble at my fingers. It is not a lunging attack, and she doesn't peck at me furiously. It is more of a "what is this?" vibe that I get from her. She's stepped onto my forearm 3x for a sunflower seed treat, but again, starts to pinch my skin once she doesn't have food to occupy her time lol.... It is quite painful though and not sure how to break this habit of hers... I'm very careful to NOT react. So far i try to simply rotate my hand to have her focus of repositioning her feet, or I'll simply step away from her cage to remove myself from her immediate area. I'm sure it will take time and am in no rush.
 

Milo

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Clicker training would be great to start now. If she's willing to come to you for a treat you can start by "loading" the clicker now and going from there. This is a great, low stress way to interact with your bird that will build trust. Since she's still nibbling on you, target training may be the place to start. That way you could target her onto a portable perch and then go from there. Rosco does something very similar to what you're describing, and I will gently grab his beak when he does it and nudge him away to indicate that I don't like it. By now I know he's being ornery sometimes, but I think you are interpreting correctly in that she is testing you out.

The tough part about the internet is that we can't be there to see exactly what you're seeing. If you feel like your new kiddo is ready to progress to bigger and better things that's great
 

EsJ87

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Murrieta, CA
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Esther
Clicker training would be great to start now. If she's willing to come to you for a treat you can start by "loading" the clicker now and going from there. This is a great, low stress way to interact with your bird that will build trust. Since she's still nibbling on you, target training may be the place to start. That way you could target her onto a portable perch and then go from there. Rosco does something very similar to what you're describing, and I will gently grab his beak when he does it and nudge him away to indicate that I don't like it. By now I know he's being ornery sometimes, but I think you are interpreting correctly in that she is testing you out.

The tough part about the internet is that we can't be there to see exactly what you're seeing. If you feel like your new kiddo is ready to progress to bigger and better things that's great
Thank you! Last time I clicker train a GCC it went REALLY great she was so smart (and food motivated) that she had learned about 5 tricked by the end of 2 weeks. My only goal w/ Poppy at this time is to associate touching the target is good. I will likely go purchase a clicker this weekend, and go eat Chinese for a free chopstick which is what I used las time :) . . . Yesterday she did the step-up to my clothed arm several times. I was even able to take her for a short cruise to the kitchen counter a few feet away. The way she went exploring and then would quickly run back towards me when I presented a treat was SO STINKIN CUTE. She even explored the scale i purposely left out there.... Believe it or not, She stepped onto it for a treat !! I was so impressed. After that I had her "step down" back into her cage for so well deserved Mommy-Free time.

How does everyone feel about shouldering??? Is it always a big No No behavioral or bird-dependent??? . . . Personally, not something I am comfortable with new birds - My GCC however used to burrow in my hair and sleep leaning against my neck, and she never showed any aggression. As cute as Poppy is, I am not sure I trust HER not to chomp my ear off though. Her much bigger beak is definitely a factor LOL... The lil bugger scurried up my forearm onto my shoulder yesterday and definitely mouthed my ear - which was a little scary for me... She played nice and I was able to gently coax her back down to the counter shortly after.
 

Milo

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I think shoulders are an earned privilege. There's no way I'd let a new bird in my life up on my shoulder. Especially not one that doesn't readily step up and may accidentally chomp you
 

EsJ87

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so true - will have to make sure i don't wear anything long sleeve to facilitate that for her.
 
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