Sun Conure Fear Biting

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by ODEY587, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. ODEY587

    ODEY587 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2011
    I have a recently (2 months ago) adopted a Sun Conure, Pontias (After Chris Pontias from Jack Ass, not the bibical Pontias)
    He only liks me. he will only step up to me. take food from me etc.
    Only issue with him is he fear bites.
    When he gets startled, or someone even walks past him other then me he bites, me, his cage, toys etc. he can be sitting on my shoulder and just start biting me over and over when my husband gets up and walks across the room.
    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get him to stop? I like the husband so hes a keeper, but if the bird keeps attacking me just casue he gets scared all the time hes gotta go somewhere else.
    Andreana (Odey587's one and only)
  2. AquaEyes

    AquaEyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:This doesn't sound like fear bites -- sounds like possessive-aggression bites. Birds that are afraid will move back and away from that which is fearful to them. Birds that are aggressive will rush the cage and lunge at the object of their aggression, and often "take it out" on whatever is nearby out of frustration. He may have decided you are his mate (or her...but I'm assuming because you said "he" that it's a male). Does he seem genuinely afraid, or aggressive at "intruders" onto his territory (i.e. you)? If you ever observe how parrot pairs interact, you'll see a lot of bickering between them whenever a potential "intruder" on the pair bond becomes present. One bird may lunge at its mate, but before the beak makes skin contact, it makes feather contact, and the receiver of the lunge moves reflexively in response. The bickering is sort of one bird's way of telling its mate to get away from the potential intruder. If you're not moving fast enough, that lunge can become a bite or series of bites. And without a layer of feathers, the beak makes direct contact with your skin -- and it can hurt.

    I think you should start by convincing him that your husband is a good thing to have around. How do you do that? Find a treat that Pontias really loves, and allow only your husband the privilege of offering it to him. Don't let Pontias have this specific treat fed to him in his dish -- only fed by the hand of your husband. Have your husband offer the treat when Pontias is in the cage, just as he's passing by, and whenever Pontias is behaving nicely. Too often, we seek to "stop" the bad behavior but forget to reward the good behavior -- have Pontias associate your husband with the reward.

    Also, figure out if you are encouraging sexual behavior in your conure. Be wary of petting him on his back or belly, as this can be perceived as a sort of "foreplay" by the bird, leading to misdirected behaviors. You want to let Pontias know that he's a member of the flock which includes you and your husband, not that he's your mate and your husband is an intruder on your bond. Also, try and show Pontias that you know your husband is coming by -- bring attention to your husband's presence or soon-to-be presence before Pontias realizes it.

    And if you still encounter the bickering, try bickering back -- don't hit Pontias, by any means, but sort of use your fingers to "bicker" back to him the way another bird would. You can easily "bicker" without hurting a bird, but in a way that shows you're the boss, and in a way that the bird understands -- because you're using his language. When Pontias opens his beak at you, respond with an extended finger raised just above the level of his head, gently and quickly tapping his beak if he continues the threat.

    See some examples below of bickering. See how they sort of "fake-lunge" with open beaks at each other, dodging each other's jabs, and sort it out. This is how Sammy (my dyha in my avatar pic) have sorted out our early quarrels, and how I get to know any new parrot who feels the need to challenge me. I always win them over.


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