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Why is my lovebird panicking all off a sudden?

Blub

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My lovebird (male, about 4.5 months old) has been acting weird lately. He's acting very paranoid and panicky in his cage when it is bed time (online time when he is in his cage). First I thought it was Night fright, but it also happens when it's still light. This has been going on for like 2 days now. He is also a little bit more aggressive (tends to bite my fingers when I'm just chilling behind my PC). What could cause this panicky behavior?? I checked if there are any bugs in/around his cage, but found nothing. When he was outside of his cage he was almost falling asleep because of his tiredness and now this. Is this because of his hormones? If someone has an idea, please let me know!
 

April

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Is it possible you could have a mouse in the house?
@Zara @Emma&pico @TikiMyn any ideas since yall have Lovies.
 

TikiMyn

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Poor boy. He only does it at bedtime? Have you tried putting a dip light on before turning all lights off? has anything changed at all? Maybe outside, I think there is a window to the left if I see right. Perhaps construction of something? Could it be he wants to come out? My birds would only do this when really afraid, trying to get away from something. I don’t see him focusing on anything specific though just general panick like you said.
 

Zara

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(online time when he is in his cage
Was this supposed to say ¨only¨?

I believe this is the problem.
Your bird is not used to being caged and it is making him nervous. Even when we can let them out all day, it is a good idea to always cage them in the afternoon for some independent cage play time and a snooze.

The pacing and hopping around non stop are both signs of a bird that wants out of their cage.
If he were spooked by a bug or mouse, he would be making high pitched peeps and more flapping and scrambling.
 

Donna turner

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I agree that he doesn’t looked panicked, but more like he’s restless and wants out
 

Shezbug

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He wants out of there. How often is he allowed out to fly and play?
 

Emma&pico

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He definitely wants out that’s a let me out as @Zara said I would try having him in his cage a bit more a few foraging toys to keep him busy entertained
 

Zara

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Shezbug

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I think that´s a typo and they are saying he´s out and about all day, and caged only for bedtime.
He seems desperate to be let out to me. Could be from being in there too long or not being comfortable in there in my experience.
Squeak does it in the travel cage, once out of there he’s happy and relaxed.
 

Zara

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not being comfortable
I agree.
He´s used to being uncaged, so at bedtime being caged makes him anxious.

@Blub If he is a male, I would include a "¨hide¨ for him. See if he likes that. My male had a small wooden nest box as a youngster, until he was a few years old. No bedding in it, just a box to hide inside to sleep. Another option, one of those perches with a hide over, but you have to monitor him with those carefully as they´re fabric (be sure he doesn´t chew and ingest the fibres), I´ll upload a pic in a sec from my phone.
IMG_20230328_112703.jpg
The cage isn´t very big, its´quite narrow. And there isn´t much in there to do, no toys. Include some shreddable toys, or some of his fave toys. Mine love cork platforms to pick at. An empty cage is no fun. Even though it is bed time, cage him a little before so he can eat, drink, play a little and wind down for bedtime.
 
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Blub

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Was this supposed to say ¨only¨?

I believe this is the problem.
Your bird is not used to being caged and it is making him nervous. Even when we can let them out all day, it is a good idea to always cage them in the afternoon for some independent cage play time and a snooze.

The pacing and hopping around non stop are both signs of a bird that wants out of their cage.
If he were spooked by a bug or mouse, he would be making high pitched peeps and more flapping and scrambling.
Yes sorry, this was supposed to say "only". He useally goes in his cage around 07:30 PM and goes out around 10:30 AM.
Useally when he goes in his cage around 07:30 PM he is tired and ready to sleep. But the last few days he acts like this.
Something else pretty important, this behavior started to happen after he woke up from (what looks like) a nightmare a few days ago (see video).

When he is out of his cage he is the happiest little Lovie, he has lots of space and toys/perches.
 

Blub

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I agree.
He´s used to being uncaged, so at bedtime being caged makes him anxious.

@Blub If he is a male, I would include a "¨hide¨ for him. See if he likes that. My male had a small wooden nest box as a youngster, until he was a few years old. No bedding in it, just a box to hide inside to sleep. Another option, one of those perches with a hide over, but you have to monitor him with those carefully as they´re fabric (be sure he doesn´t chew and ingest the fibres), I´ll upload a pic in a sec from my phone.
View attachment 425910
The cage isn´t very big, its´quite narrow. And there isn´t much in there to do, no toys. Include some shreddable toys, or some of his fave toys. Mine love cork platforms to pick at. An empty cage is no fun. Even though it is bed time, cage him a little before so he can eat, drink, play a little and wind down for bedtime.
That's not a bad idea. I could get him a cork platform to pick at and maybe one of these cork huts to hide 1680001297094.png in?

ps, I also reward him everytime he gets inside of his cage in de evening, by giving him some millet seeds.
 

Blub

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I agree that he doesn’t looked panicked, but more like he’s restless and wants out
Yeah, the last few days he did not sleep that well. I'm happy to say that he did sleep pretty good last night (around 11.5 hours).
When I left the room last evening, he stopped this panicky behavior. Like he is telling me to let him out when I'm there.
The problem is when I let him out, the chances are pretty big that he does not want to go back in. And he does not sleep wel outside of his cage.
So for his own sake, I did not let him out of his cage that evening (he was already out the whole day).
I let him sit alone for like 30 min so that he could calm down. Later when I returned he was calm and tired, so I put the cover over his cage. A few minutes later he went to sleep.
This morning he looked a lot more relaxed. I will check this evening if his behavior is still the same inside of his cage.
 

Blub

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Poor boy. He only does it at bedtime? Have you tried putting a dip light on before turning all lights off? has anything changed at all? Maybe outside, I think there is a window to the left if I see right. Perhaps construction of something? Could it be he wants to come out? My birds would only do this when really afraid, trying to get away from something. I don’t see him focusing on anything specific though just general panick like you said.
I slowly turn the brightness of the lights down untill they are dimmed, not off. I turn them off whenever I go to sleep myself (useally a few hours later).
So maybe like 30min at 70% brightness, 30min at 40% and then dimmed till I go to sleep.
There are no changes (as far as I know) outside of his cage, that's why I'm so confused with this behavior all of the sudden.
Some say it could be because of his hormones?
 

Zara

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In that video, that is a clear spook. Something did scare him. I didn´t hear anything or see anything, so it´s quite the mystery to what caused it :(

Yes, a cork tunnel could work, put it in a high corner, and see if it helps him. Hidey spots can help with feeling secure. As he gets older you will have to wath they don´t make him overly hormonal (possessive over the spot, lack of coming out etc)

lots of space and toys/perches.
Maybe move one of his fave toys into the cage for him to play with before bed?
 

Blub

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UPDATE:
So today my lovebird seemed to be better. He was very much himself, as he usually is.
But when it became bed time, his whole mood changed. He is very afraid of being in his cage now:sad10: .
At first when it was still bright out, he was checking out the area around his cage very panicky. I even tried putting on the cage light, putting in a toy he likes and putting in treats in his food cup. And also putting down his perches outside of his cage.
But he kept resisting going into his cage and was very unsettled, because he knew what time it was.
After almost 1.5 hour I gave up, because I hate seeing my sweet Lovie like this :sad10:.
A few minutes earlier he was sitting on his favorite perch/rope outside of his cage. He was pretty relaxed and tired right. But something triggered him again and he is back into being paranoid (hiding above my window).
I'm going to let him sleep outside of his cage tonight, hopefully he gets to sleep well.
I ordered the cork perch and cork tunnel mentioned earlier by Zara (thank you!). Hopefully this will work once I put it in his cage.
You can see his behavior from this evening in the video below:
 

Parutti

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My Quaker went through this after I was gone overnight with a pet sitter.

Up until then he liked being covered at night, but he had his first night fright the day I got back and would make lots of scared squeaks and peeps and not want to go in his cage at all for bedtime.

So I started leaving his cage uncovered, and put a lamp on in the next room so that his room had some ambient light but wasn't super bright. That's seemed to help.

With it being springtime and him not wanting to go to bed anyway because it's not totally dark outside yet, I've also made sure he has some time inside the cage during the day. I work outside my home but even on days I am home I've given him a little quiet time around noon with some food and foraging toys. I think that part, him practicing being in the cage during the daytime while I was still there and not leaving him alone has really helped with his reluctance at bedtime (his reluctance is more FoMO than fear now but the first few days after my trip he was definitely scared at bedtime).
 

Zara

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Aww :(

Some other ideas to try, buying a boing like the one you having hanging in the room and putting it in the cage.

You could also try moving the cage.

I hope you are able to find something that helps him settle :fingerscrossed:
 
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