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Author Topic: Foot stamping
ivanthenotsoterrible
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Is foot stamping an agressive behaviour in moluccans? We were playing with one in the bird store(Don't yell, I am not buying) and it was affectionate and polite, however, it jumped off my husbands arm on to the top of its cage and ran around and stomped it's feet. It then jumped on top of the finches cages up higher and stomped its foot on that. We tried to get it back in its cage but it pinched the jacket on my husbands arm hard enough to make him nervous, we have not handled a large cockatoo before. So I had to get the guy to do it. I can understand, what bird would want to go back into a small cage? By the way, I believe you jerry, they are soooo dusty!lol
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cockatoostreet.com
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I'm pretty sure it is a type of aggressive behavior. I have seen a male Umbrella do the same thing if he's allowed to climb to the top of a tall cage. Once up there, he gets a whole new dominant attitude and wants to let everybody know who's king.
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Arline
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Is foot stamping and pawing at the air (much like a bull does) the same thing? If not, what's with this pawing thing Gyps does when she's down at the bottom of the cage throwing around bark from her "toy" logs. She'll grab ahold of a bar of the cage and PAW!!!
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chris
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I experience a couple different foot stomps from my 20 yr old M2. The fast repeated type, accompanied by aggressive body posture and screaming...seems like pretty obvious territory staking. However there are more playful slower foot "taps". I often try to tap my hand on my leg in time to his taps or I can even get him to follow the beat of my tapping. Has anyone seen video of them doing this in freedom...?
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dachsie
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My U2, Charlie stomps and slaps his feet on our laminate floor, he just loves the sound. He looks so comical, almost as if he is doing a war dance. He never seems to do it in aggression. He saves his beak tapping for that, when he does this, boy he means business. Cheers for now Dawn
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Don_Bella
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Mine has always done something I've always refered to as the "Cockatoo Dance" She will sit on her perch, puff her feathers, spread her wings and make a sound hard to describe, kinda like quietly "haaaa...haaaaa" Almost a hiss but not quite. She will take her head and shake it from side to side then sort of attack the perch, not violently, but in some sort of ritual manner. She will take her foot and start slapping the perch, kinda like .."tap..tap..tap..in a steady beat. She then moves side to side on th perch and starts all over again. She's always done this, I have no idea whats going through that little brain but I have always enjoyed it when it's happened. [Smile]
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ivanthenotsoterrible
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Yah, I think it must be that territory staking that chris said, it was fast like he was playing a drum. It was certainly interesting to watch, because I decided to move back when it started!lol I have never seen that behaviour in a bird before.
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Miriam
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Hello Ivan,

We have that behavior in Jazz (our female M2) as well, and there seem to be several different behaviors associated with it depending on the situation.

Sometimes Jazz will stomp her foot and call and display to get my attention (Peter) so that I pick her up again. She will only do this if she is mad that I put her down when she did not want to get put down. And the speed varies with the call she is making at the time too.

Other times she will do it time to the music when she is in full dance mode. Usually this is when I have Jimmy Buffet turned up on the stereo for her. She likes to stomp her foot, then dance and strut, then stomp some more and sing.

Just so you know, she loves Jimmy Buffet and can whistle the margaritaville song, also knows the entire simon and garfunkle "mrs robinson". But mostly likes to dance to Jimmy Buffet, America, and the Doors. Now how did I get this lucky? She has the same taste as me. She also whistles some old Frank Sinatra and sings (??) them in the shower.

PS. What store here in Victoria has a Moluccan? I know the one in Sidney has one but it is the owners companion. Is it Fflocks?

Peter and Miriam
Victoria

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ivanthenotsoterrible
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Yes,(fflocks) It is gone now, it was a 14 year old male, and I got two conflicting stories from the employees, one was they were getting rid of it because it was noisy and threw tantrums, so I was quite upset about it, and then we read the sheet the owner sent along with it. It turned out the woman's husband was critically ill with diabetes and she had to move to go to school and support the family, and was quite upset about having to give him up. One employee told me it screamed all the time and the other said it was because the husband was ill, so who really knows? It was such a sweet bird, I just always wondered about the context of his foot stamping, I had never seen that behaviour. The guy in sidney has a 14 year old female named cuddles, it's his bird and he takes her to work everyday. He said she gets so loud you can hear her all the way to the next block. She is also a sweet girl, very friendly. The male that used to be at fflocks would clack his beak and make kissing sounds to intice you to give him kisses. When I had him out he stuck his head in my jacket and cuddled. No wonder people fall in love with them!!! [Smile] [Big Grin]
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Miriam
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Hello Ivan,

Thanks for the info, we have to laugh that we both know all the large birds and stores here on the island!

Yes I can agree with what the guy from Sidney says, ha ha ha. I met our neighbor from 2 houses away this aft. She was walking by with her son and Jazz was out with me, she was calling to the seagulls, and the neighbor (Kammie) and her son were totally amazed by her so had to stop to talk. They ALL heard her several times, and thought at first that it was a child, but the husband figured out it was a "parrot". They had never seen a M2 before, and were excited to have one in the same block, within earshot!

Jazz was really enjoying the morning, she loves to call to all the seagulls and crows that come by when we sit out on our front porch. I love to hear her call, and display to them. I think that she is just really happy to be able to act like a cockatoo again. I will update my pictures soon on our website as she is really getting her feathers back now and looking good.

If you ever get the idea that you want to get a large bird, but are not ready for a cockatoo, I have a friend in Saskatchewan that has Timnehs, she asked me if I would consider taking an adult female that she has, as she knew that I was looking. The timneh does not care for the new CAGs that she has, and enjoys being in a home with less "competition" I would have taken her but I cannot get one for a while as I need to devote all my time to Jazz, if you are at all interested let me know. Her family lives in Vancouver and she is would take the bird to meet us in Vancouver if you decide you want one. I do not think that she is asking much for the adult timneh, and she only charges $1000 for a baby, I am pretty sure that you would be able to pass her screening test, we would vouch for you.I can get her website address for you if you want to look.

Take Care,

Peter & Miriam

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ivanthenotsoterrible
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Sure, I will check it out if you give me the site. Actually, a timneh was the first larger bird I was looking at, I am not sure why I ruled them out. Perhaps it was because I heard they can be neurotic, and tend to be clumsy so can easily injure themselves. I had also heard they tend to be a one person bird to the point of agression towards others, but every bird is diffrent. I have also heard timnehs are diffrent from congos, and the one boarded at fflocks is a real sweetie, doesn't talk but makes a neat peeping sound. I really do love all birds, the only one I would never consider is an amazon(i know you guys love them)because I have heard they can become unhandleable as they hit maturity. You guys have bird experince, what are your opinion on the timnehs?
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dachsie
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I have a Timneh, and she is adorable, she loves everyone, is very comical, talks non stop and is so easy to care for. She will play all day on her play stand and is not destructive. I have had her from about a year old, she is now nine. I also have a blue fronted amazon, he is a joy. He talks, sings and dances. He has us all in fits of laughter with his clowning around. He will play on his play stand, he is fully flighted and loves to visit with the other birds. He has never been aggressive to anything or anyone. My U2, Charlie does not really like the other birds, but he loves to watch them play. He has started to try and mimic the amazons shadow boxing but as yet he hasnt quite got it, he is not as agile as the amazon but bops about trying to shadow box.
The Timneh however, has learnt to scream in cockatoo, not as loud but she has got it off to a fine art!!!
Dawn. [Big Grin]

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Amy Taveras
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Re: Foot stomping

I am very interested in getting the scoop on this foot stomping thing. I've seen Bitico do a couple of different things. One thing he does is that he flicks his wings really quickly, then makes a call that starts out high and ends low, then stomps his foot three or four times. He then repeats this 4 or 5 times. What is this?

Also, I've mentioned to Miriam and Peter (this is a little embarassing) pretty much everytime I get into the cage to play with Bitico he tries to ummm....'mount' my arm or hand. Why?????

Anyways, in-between pets and trying to 'mount' me he does this funny thing. I usually sit on the floor when I'm petting him and I sit indian-style. Well, he will perch on my calf and put his head down under my legs in the hole in the middle and do his 'kisses'. While he's doing this he paws my leg. But, I mean he really scratches like he's digging to China!! It's hilarious! What is this behavior all about? Do you think the stomping/pawing may be a sexual thing?

Please, someone shed some light [Big Grin] Thanks!

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Jeanne Harney
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posted March 27, 2002 06:53 PM
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Re: Foot stomping

I am very interested in getting the scoop on this foot stomping thing. I've seen Bitico do a couple of different things. One thing he does is that he flicks his wings really quickly, then makes a call that starts out high and ends low, then stomps his foot three or four times. He then repeats this 4 or 5 times. What is this?

First, I'd class foot-stomping as assertive, not aggressive. I would interpret your description as "hey, look at me! Hey, c'mere! Hey, I'm so full of myself, aren't I wonderful".

Also, I've mentioned to Miriam and Peter (this is a little embarassing) pretty much everytime I get into the cage to play with Bitico he tries to ummm....'mount' my arm or hand. Why?????

My U2 does this too. It used to be an every 15 minutes thing, now it's down to once or twice a month. It's (in Fred's case) a reaction to the isolation and abuse he endured. He's trying to connect with me(his mate). I was told by 2 behaviourists to let him do it, rather than distracting him, for his own mental health. Course, Fred was badly abused in the past, and had made no connection/bond to anyone for years. He was unbearably lonely and scared. Would any of this apply to Bitico?

Anyways, in-between pets and trying to 'mount' me he does this funny thing. I usually sit on the floor when I'm petting him and I sit indian-style. Well, he will perch on my calf and put his head down under my legs in the hole in the middle and do his 'kisses'. While he's doing this he paws my leg. But, I mean he really scratches like he's digging to China!! It's hilarious! What is this behavior all about? Do you think the stomping/pawing may be a sexual thing?

Could be...Fred tends to stick his head either down in the same position Bitico does or, if we're sitting in a chair, in the space on either side of me, as well. It's like any dark, enclosed space is good. He typically regurgitates then as well, and "feeds" me. Yum! Fred doesn't paw my legs, though. He bonks me with the top of his beak. Repeatedly.

I wish there was a body language book out for these guys. Would be much simpler sometimes.

Jeanne

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Amy Taveras
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Re: The Bitico Story

Let me give you a bit of history with Bitico, although most of his past seems to be a mystery. I honestly don't know what is wrong with people at this zoo!! [Mad] Anyways, from what I understand, Bitico (by the way he's an M2) is at least 14 years old. The head vet. told me that Bitico was there when he arrived and that was 14 years ago. Bitico used to fly freely in the aviary with several other cockatoos and I believe he also had a mate. Apparently, he killed three birds, including his mate, and they have locked him up in a small cage ever since. I don't know how many years he's been in this cage (I would say at least 4 years), but as soon as I saw him I knew it was not where he belonged.

I'm almost positive the zoo is at fault for all of killings (in that the birds did not have the proper environment), but they just didn't have the knowledge to fix the problem properly. In addition, the zoo is extremely understaffed and underfunded as well. I'm trying to help start a zoological society here to at least provide a stable income, but as for the education department...well, needless to say I am a bit annoyed and frustrated.

Back to Bitico...I don't think they ever gave him one toy to play with either. The poor guy must have been a wreck. He isn't a plucker though, thank goodness. I think he might have plucked his legs a little, though. I think I remember them being bald when I arrived. Well, since I arrived, he has been given coconuts and wood to chew on, gets songs wistled to him and now, as you may have read in the 'Parrots Behaving Badly' post, he has a HUGE new cage with lots of perches. Now I get to cuddle with him every day. [Big Grin] Yippy!!

Thanks for the advice on the 'mounting' thing. I really didn't know what to do here. My gut reaction was to let him do it, but I didn't know if that meant I was encouraging this behavior by doing so and consequently dooming myself to a dog that's always humping your leg, so to speak. Ha ha ha!

P.S. Bitico is not sexed, but is it safe to say that he is probably a male?

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Jeanne Harney
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re: Bitico

Yeah, I would assume he's a male if he's tail-down rubbing you. When a female "assumes the position" it's generally tail up, hunched over, glazed look in the eyes, panting, little moans, the whole 9 yards.

The words they used to describe Fred U2 were "isolation psychosis". He lived for 2 years in a 25x25x30 cage with 6 or 8 sleeping bags and blankets thrown over it, and just cheap seed to eat. NO contact other than being screamed at. I would say, though I don't have the depth of experience that Deb and Sam have (the behaviourists) that going from a flock environment to a small cage, with nothing to do and no one to see COULD cause the same thing.

Strangely, Fred wasn't plucked either. My vet and I couldn't believe it. It is amazing how resilient they can be sometimes. I wonder if it isn't because both Fred and Bitico had good beginnings to their lives, which made it easier to endure the hardship. For me, I think going from wonderful to horrible would have made me crazier...

Bless you for what you're trying to do at that zoo. BTW, is there a place we could send donations of toys, treats, or even money if we have it to help? I know lots of us make our own toys, and what's one or 6 more when you're having a toy-making evening? (My friends and I get all the parts out and sit around and drink beer and talk and make toys..it's sick, I know...but fun in a twisted way!)

Jeanne

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Miriam
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Thanks Everybody, [Smile]

I(this is Peter), want to thank all of you for the help that you give on this board. We have been talking to Amy for a while, but we are hardly "experts" with cockatoos. It is a great feeling to know that you are all available here as a resource for her, and all other cockatoo and large bird owners.

I was really happy to be able to refer Amy to the boards to get some help. And sure enough here it is.

We are going to be drawing on your expertise as well in the future, (I cannot believe we are doing this), as Miriam seems to have it in her head that we MAY be able to get the U2 named "cockatoo" that Ivan was talking about in her posts. Time will tell for sure, but she is talking about it, looking at where to put another cage, (we have a LSC2 and an M2) and is talking to the current owner. [Eek!]

And Ivan, the cat does do some pretty good tricks, he can make his cat food and your taco chips dissappear faster than you can imagine. Let me know if you want to trade us a cage in exchange for our cat. We would have do this before Miriam can find out. LOL [Big Grin]

As always, typing with my M2 on my lap.
Peter

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ivanthenotsoterrible
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Ha! No, I don't think my dog would appreciate a cat, and I can't trade a cage,lol [Smile] [Big Grin]
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chris
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The pawing that Amy describes sounds similar to what my M2 does when he's in his "huge box" (3x3x2) of goodies...He braces his beak on a hunk of wood or acrylic...and them kind of just shuffles (as if on a treadmill) through all the wood chips he's created...It seems like a nesting behavior.
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Amy Taveras
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That's so refreshingly generous!!! Thank you for asking about donations. At this point, we are still trying to legalize the Zoological Society. We have a meeting this week that will establish the founders and the board of directors. With this accomplished, we will be able to send our documents through the proper channels and get them approved. Until we are fully legal, I don't really feel right taking money donations. But, I promise as soon as we are up and running I will let you know.

Anyone is more than welcome to send toys and treats to my P.O. Box in Miami (If I ever want to see any of my U.S. credit card bills, I have to have my mail couriered here - the post office in the DR is pretty much non-existant. My grandmother tried to send me a birthday card last year and I still haven't received it. My birthday is in March. [Roll Eyes] ). My address is:

CPS #4028
1733 N.W. 79th Avenue
Miami, FL 33126
(for packages)

and

CPS #4028
P.O. Box 149020
Coral Gables, FL 33114-9020
(for correspondence)

I'm going to try to make some of my own toys this week. Wish me luck. This could get ugly. Ha!

Amy

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