G2 Attack

Posted By: EchosMom

G2 Attack - 03/19/09 04:25 PM

I don't know what happened yesterday evening, but Max, my 40-ish, non-human bonded G2 brutally attacked my face.

Max Bite (This was taken about an hour after the incident.)

It was just before 6pm and right on schedule for passing out dinner to everyone. Max and my female G2 were up on the railing in the loft watching (as ususal) and Max flew down and landed on top of his cage, then launched onto my face, sinking his beak into my cheek. It was not a quick bite either, he had a good hold and had no intentions of letting go. I put my hand to my face in an attempt to get him off and he strengthened his bite. I walked 1/2 way across the familyroom, with him still attached to my face and grabbed a towel out of the basket of clean, folded laundry sitting on the loveseat and swatted it at my face. He let go and flew back up to the loft. I put the towel to my face and bent over the loveseat until I could see more than stars. When I made it into the bathroom, blood was running down my check, chin and neck.

Besides some superficial scratches from his talons, my cheek is punctured from both the uppper and lower beak, with the top being the deepest. I'm sure it could have used a stitch of two. It was bleeding profusely and the first few bandages only lasted a few minutes before blood was seeping through. My oldest daughter was out, so I asked her to stop on her way home and pick up some larger bandages. When she got home about 3 hours later, I changed it again, just before bedtime. The upper puncture began bleeding profusely again. This morning the scratch marks are gone, but the top puncture is still oozing blood, there's a nice bruise and the entire side of my face is VERY sore.

On the rare occasions that I am bitten, I know why, and it's always my fault. I'm sure that this time it's my fault too, but I haven't figured out why yet. Max wasn't protecting JoJo, because she was still upstairs hanging in the loft, and the food ports swing out, so I wasn't inside the cage threatening territory. It was just another usual night with the same usual routine. This may very well be one of those unexplained attacks that we talk about here everyday and warn others about the dangers of bringing these wild creatures into our homes. One thing I do know. I have never been on the receiving end of such brutality. A quick bite for Max wasn't enough - he was literally attached to my face and had no intentions of letting go willingly. I am thankful that it was me and not one of my daughters, especially my youngest.

I know that all of us are going to have to keep our guard up even more than ever and be cautious and cognizant of Max's whereabouts at all times.
Posted By: tristian

Re: G2 Attack - 03/19/09 04:50 PM

ooooooooooo lord janet i hope your ok and heal fast. it just goes to show you never know when it's gonna happen.
Posted By: ILuvMyBE2

Re: G2 Attack - 03/19/09 05:25 PM

Wow! I do hope you heal fast. Of course the emotional part will take time. My heart goes out to you and your flock!
Posted By: Phyllis

Re: G2 Attack - 03/19/09 05:34 PM

Ouch, I've experienced a nasty bite but usually it was my hand and once on my face. If your ever attacked again and hopefully not and near the shower. Turn the shower on and still you head in it. It startles them enough that they let go immediately.

I think this works even though I shower with my birds I never let the stream of water hit them but let the water spray off my shoulder so they are not accustom to the blast of water. In fact I don't think the water actually touched them, they let go immediately.

His attack is probably based on the fact he is very hormonal right now and that makes them unpredictable. Good luck and I hope you don't have to deal with that again.
Posted By: Beeps

Re: G2 Attack - 03/19/09 05:52 PM


A similar thing happened to my husband several years ago with our caique, but it had a slightly different ending as he was clipped.

Our caique launched at him, bit, and wouldn't let go, so my husband grabbed a towel and went over by the couch to gently swipe him off (we have hard wood floors so he didn't swipe him to the floor because he didn't want him to get hurt). Although my husband was very gentle (I witnessed the whole event), due to the way he landed (bounced off the couch and onto the floor), our caique ended up breaking his femur, which required a lot of costly vet work and my husband was just beside himself for what he had done, even though it was an accident. Our caique ended up healing OK, but he still doesn't completely trust my husband and it's been over three years.

I add my story because you knew you could swipe Max and he'd fly away, but I wanted people with non flighted birds to realize they have to be more careful.

Also, sending healing thoughts your way!
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: G2 Attack - 03/19/09 10:57 PM

Thank you everyone and yes Beeps, "swipe" is the better word. Max isn't afraid of towels, and is always prepared to do battle with one. I grabbed the towel in the hopes that he would release his hold on my face and go after the towel instead. I'm not sure if he actually grabbed ahold of the towel before he flew off or not. At that point my world was dark, except for the tiny flicker of "stars". I'm glad your little caique recovered and thanks for posting the word of caution for those whose birds aren't flighted.

ETA: Oh and Beeps, please pass my sympathies to your hubby.
Posted By: Chewy

Re: G2 Attack - 03/20/09 01:02 AM

Oh wow that had to hurt!!!!!!!!
Posted By: Brandy's mom

Re: G2 Attack - 03/20/09 02:07 AM

OH man! I know THAT was/is painful.....take care!
Posted By: Bird Mom

Re: G2 Attack - 03/20/09 03:04 AM

YIKES! I know that birds are wild animals but you as their primary care giver probably have to work at not taking it personally. Our sun conure was recently clipped because he was doing frequent flying attacks. I agree with Phyllis that it's probably his hormonal time of year. When either of us as adults have been bitten, we always think...glad it wasn't our children (& they have been bitten before!)!! My youngest son was bitten on his neck, shoulder, & both arms between the ages of 10-12. Our youngest daughter was bitten on both arms & shoulder about 1-2 years ago. She is 9 and adores Brewster! One of my adult daughters was bitten while getting something out of the refrigerator & was too close to the play stand. My husband has bite scars on both arms. I was bitten multiple times the first year we got Brewster, trying to establish "rules". Only once last fall on my index him a pet through the bars of the cage saying good night! I still have very little sensation on the tip of my finger! Not to defend our bird, but about 1/3 were bites where it appeared he was trying to get his balance. Another 1/3 were attitude problems like not wanting to step up or go to bed. The other 1/3 who knows? They can't tell us when something bothers them enough to attack. So we always need to be on guard! I hope you heal quickly! We should all learn from this!
Posted By: Charlie

Re: G2 Attack - 03/20/09 04:11 AM

We should all learn from this!

Posted By: anitamarie942

Re: G2 Attack - 03/20/09 04:26 AM

OMG - You poor thing EM!!! That must have HURT.
I have never been bitten badly before (just annoyed nips and one occasion when I was really stupid and totally deserved it) - but my birds are young still and havent reached sexual maturity...It is really scary that this is what could be coming up from my birds, I cant imagine about wild animals!!
And he was ATTACHED to your face, my God it could have been your eye, how terrifying for you!!!
I tell you what, I'm adding that photo to the bite section of my booklet for the protest...people just HAVE to know that this is what can happen, at random, even to the most experienced people.
Hope your poor face gets better soon!!
Posted By: Cleo's Mom

Re: G2 Attack - 03/20/09 12:29 PM

having a lot of trouble with Cleo biting when she doesn't get her own way. She gave me the twin of your face bite and it was very hard for me to trust her again. Just tried to think postive thoughts, admitted to myself that I was afraid but carried through on our normal routine anyhow. Yesterday she was sitting on my hand and gave me a nasty bite because she evidently didn't want me to lower her onto my knee. Sigh!
Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: G2 Attack - 03/20/09 02:34 PM

Last night Nikki bit me around my elbow. All bites have a reason. We may not know what that reason is, but they do have a reason at least for the bird. Last night, Sally was on Nikki's cage and Nikki was hanging off the side of her cage because she is afraid of Sally. I was in the process of feeding the birds their mash and Sally gets fed first. I walked up to her with the plate and phone in my hand. I never gave this any thought until Nikki bit my arm and then she had my full attention. The skin was only slightly broken but there is quite the lovely bruise this morning. If I had been looking at Nikki before this happened, I probably would have seen a difference in her body language but humans being what we are, I was only focused on what I was doing. Apparently, I need to stop doing that when I am around Nikki's cage. She is not going to politely ask me why I am wearing those dangerous rubber gloves or what is that strange black object (phone) you have in your hand. She is going to protect herself and since I didn't pay attention to her body language, she told me in a way I would understand (the bite).

My bad. LOL

Posted By: Ladyhutch

Re: G2 Attack - 03/20/09 08:44 PM

Janet, I am so sorry this happened to you. I fully understand how you feel. I hope you heal quickly with no scar. I know the emotional scar will take longer to heal. It is so scary when they attach themselves to you while biting.
Take care, Sharon
Posted By: LoriAnn

Re: G2 Attack - 03/21/09 03:47 AM

Janet im sorry to see you got hurt
when my daughter was 3 our Coco (u2) bit her right on the tip of her finger i got the phone call at work to take her to the hospital me knowing Coco didnt think anything about it got to the hospital told the doctors what happen they said just how big of a bird do you think you have there, well i knew what was about to happen i called my mother she came right up. cause they were thinking i done it to her yeah im gonna chew on the tip of her finger but anyway my daughter lived Coco never drew blood again i think in a small way Coco knew she did a no no cause she never offered to bit another child again
Posted By: Bogie's Buddy

Re: G2 Attack - 03/21/09 04:17 AM

That is one nasty bite, and it must have been a very unsettling experience. Knock on wood, Bogie has never bitten me on the face. There are just times that something gets into their heads, and they act on it by biting. I'm sure they have a reason, but in those few cases, darned if you can figure out why. As others have said, you just have to be on guard when you're working with wild creatures. I add my wishes for a complete and rapid healing.

Posted By: EchosMom

Re: G2 Attack - 03/21/09 05:53 AM

You guys are all great!!! Thanks for all the well wishes, they are much appreciated.

My cheek is healing very nicely and the initial shock has subsided. I never took it personally, but it sure did give me a painful (literally) reminder that cockatoos are wild creatures and do not belong in captivity. I've done alot of thinking and yes, some crying these past 2 days. Max was yanked from the wild somewhere around 40 years ago, housed in a crowded USDA quarantine station for 18 months, and lived at least 10 years locked inside a budgie size cage, 24/7 with no toys.

It's not his fault, nor was it mine. I love the little guy to pieces. Life goes on. Wounds heal. We move forward, remember the lesson, give them the best possible lives they can have in their captive world, and continue to fight the injustices they endure.
Posted By: Crossfire

Re: G2 Attack - 03/21/09 10:55 PM

Ouch! Glad your ok.

It's not his fault, nor was it mine. I love the little guy to pieces. Life goes on. Wounds heal. We move forward, remember the lesson, give them the best possible lives they can have in their captive world, and continue to fight the injustices they endure.

Well put! smile
Posted By: anitamarie942

Re: G2 Attack - 03/22/09 08:54 AM

My God...what an AWFUL life that poor little bird must have had...bastards that caught him!!
I'm sure he loves you for rescuing him, I dont reckon he could have found someone more devoted to his happiness than you. Or so forgiving of his 'wildness'.
Once again, impressed with your way of handling things Janet. Keep getting better
Posted By: Donnalee

Re: G2 Attack - 03/22/09 07:53 PM

Wow EM that was a nasty one. I'm glad your o.k. I'm also impressed with your handling of the situation. Another reality check for us all.
Posted By: umbimom

Re: G2 Attack - 03/23/09 01:33 PM

Janet, I just now saw this post. What a nasty bite. I had one that matched it on my head beside my eye. I never did figure out why it happened, it just did. I wish everyone who ever thought of getting one of these birds would read and realize it does happen and sometimes for no reason that we can figure out. Best of luck healing. Sharon
Posted By: vondooly

Re: G2 Attack - 03/26/09 01:09 AM

I am sorry for your bite and the pain you suffered.It will probably take you a while to get over the fear that I'm sure will be there deep inside you.You are right ,they are wild animals and it is very easy to lose sight of that.This is a good reminder !
Posted By: luv my Coco bean

Re: G2 Attack - 04/02/09 05:57 PM

OMG!! I'm so glad he didn't get hold of your eye!!!!! That looks sooo sore, I hope you heal fast and feel better soon.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: G2 Attack - 04/08/09 05:37 AM

I just wanted to let everyone know that the wound is all healed. At the sight of the scar were the upper beak penetrated (that one was the deepest), there is a knot under the surface of the skin. I'm assume it's internal scar tissue, which I am sure decrease in size over time. smile
Posted By: GregM

Re: G2 Attack - 04/18/09 02:26 AM

Originally Posted By: tristian
it just goes to show you never know when it's gonna happen.helen

This thread scares me...we speak as though an unprovoked and malicous attack is to be expected...and then when it happens, even though you have done nothing wrong, its not the birds fault...

I understand a bite...Buddy pinches me whenever he wants to let me know to do, or stop doing, something...he has broken skin on occassion, sometimes for no reason...but to attack like that and latch reason to add to my list for clipping a bird is going to attack me like that...hormones or no hormones...

I admire your dedication to the bird, but you do not deserve to have to live in fear for you and your children...if you have no idea why Max attacked, then you have no idea when he will again...I do not think I could live like that...
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: G2 Attack - 04/18/09 02:49 AM

Greg, Max is flighted, but that had nothing to do with it. Yes, he did fly down from the loft to the top of his cage, but there was no flight involved in the bite. He was on his cage and jumped onto my face, while I was putting his dinner bowl in his cage.

From my perspective it was unprovoked, but from his I'm sure it wasn't. What all of us have to remember is that cockatoos are not domesticated animals - they are only once or twice removed from the wild. Therefore, the will act like what they are - wild creatures.

My girls and I are not living in fear. This episode, as Charlie said was a lesson to us all. A lesson that we are living with wild creatures in our home and that we should NEVER forget that. Even if they are captive bred, they are still wild creatures.

No, I do not know what provoked the attack, BUT I have hightened security to try my damnest to prevent it again. I no longer service his food bowl while he is out of his cage. Once he retires to his cage for the evening, then his dinner is served. My girls have always stayed clear of him because he's never been overly friendly and whenever I have to approach within jumping distance of him, I keep a towel handy on my shoulder and if he so much as looks my way, I have the towel as a shield in case I need it.

As far as I (and many others here) are concerned, there is no such thing as a bad bird. I am sure that he had his reason/s. Perhaps he felt that I was intruding in his territory (his cage), I'll never know. But what I do know that is that I made a commitment to this wild creature, and it is one that I intend to keep. Sometimes it makes life difficult, and yes dangerous, but like I said, it's not his fault that he's not living in his homeland, free as he should be. While I am not his original captor, I am his captor now. That makes me very sad.

Oh, and BTW, if you look in this same forum, you will see a picture of where my captive bred, M2 that I have raised since she was 16 weeks old broke my thumb a couple summers ago. The reason for that is clear, but once again, it boils down to the fact that she's an undomesticated creature, forced to live an unnatural life in captivity.

Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: G2 Attack - 04/18/09 02:52 AM

Greg, just because you don't think you did something wrong, doesn't mean you didn't. Birds do not bite for "no reason". All behaviour has function which is why I am trying to teach Applied Behaviour Analysis. Humans teach birds to bite because we don't listen to what they are trying to tell us. A bite is a last resort that means I don't want to do that. I suspect Max was protecting his territory. I have never taken a bite that I couldn't figure out the reason for it and you can bet, it was something I did wrong.

The goffin I adopted in November jumped on my back and bit me on the neck a month or so ago. To most people it would have appeared that she attacked me for "no reason", when in fact I was wearing white non-latex gloves that she does not like. It wasn't me she was after but the gloves. She was actually trying to protect me from the evil gloves. Go figure. LOL

Feel better? LOL

Posted By: Janny

Re: G2 Attack - 04/18/09 03:03 AM

Well put to both EM and Bev!
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: G2 Attack - 04/18/09 03:13 AM

Perhaps he didn't like what was being served for dinner - LOL! Bev, I agree with you, he was most likely protecting his territory. Now what made that particular evening different from any other, who knows. But I guarantee you, he does.
Posted By: ZazuSally

Re: G2 Attack - 04/18/09 03:22 AM

And I forgot to mention, Greg, that Nikki had no feathers at the time except a bit of down so she could not fly but I can tell you, she is a good little jumper. LOL

I have to post the picture. It looks like a vampire bite. Will it happen again? Most likely, humans being what we are. Always getting distracted by something or other. I was very careful for a day or two. LOL I'm wearing those gloves tonight while I clean the cages but you can bet your butt, I put Nikki over on another cage - out of jumping range. LOL

Parrots are prey animals. If you never knew when something was going to eat you, you'd be hypervigilent too. Who knew that Mr. Clean gloves were dangerous. Learn something new every day. LOL

Posted By: GregM

Re: G2 Attack - 04/18/09 03:31 AM

"Oh, and BTW, if you look in this same forum, you will see a picture of where my captive bred, M2 that I have raised since she was 16 weeks old broke my thumb a couple summers ago. The reason for that is clear, but once again, it boils down to the fact that she's an undomesticated creature, forced to live an unnatural life in captivity."

I saw that, and while I grimaced it did not appear as malicous as Max...a single bite from a strong bird...I am not sure what "nesting" is that your interrupted...

I did not realize that Max jumped off the top of the cage and thought he flew at you...he actually flew away...maybe you are right and he felt you were intruding into his domain...I dont know...maybe I am failing to comprehend the distinction between domesticated animals and these "wild" animals...need to readjust my thinging...

"Who knew that Mr. Clean gloves were dangerous. Learn something new every day. LOL"

Now that is funny...

"She was actually trying to protect me from the evil gloves. Go figure. LOL"

Objection: Speculation, your honor may I be heard...
Posted By: Janny

Re: G2 Attack - 04/18/09 03:52 AM

Living with cockatoo's I expect to get bit once and a while. Sometimes we know why by observing things and thinking sometimes we don't but there is a reason.

I live with a previously abused and neglected Citron named Angie. She does fly by attacks and will actually land on my neck and sink her beak in. I never knew the reason for the longest time. I thought and doubted that I was the right home for her even...then all of a sudden after talking out some of my concerns about my caring for her.Someone mentioned the very reason she does this. I know now it is the reason. She attacks me when my hubby leaves for work. She doesn't really like him and won't let him any where close enough to touch her...I am the only one who can do that. But somewhere in her mind she feels it is upsetting her routine and I am the one who pays.

None of this means she needs to be punished.Nor do I for that matter. When he leaves for work I just make wider margins around her and really watch her. She changes back in a day or two again.Does it change the fact that I love Would I take away her right to fly because of learn to work around it and change myself and things I do instead.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: G2 Attack - 04/18/09 03:55 AM

Greg, regarding the "nesting" you can read the thread here, but the short version is that Echo was incorrectly DNA'd male and I was allowing "him" to "play" in the linen closet upstairs. "He wasn't playing, SHE was building a nest to lay eggs, and I not only interrupted her, but removed her from her nest. She became eggbound shortly thereafter, which is when we realized that her DNA results were wrong.
Posted By: GregM

Re: G2 Attack - 04/18/09 01:14 PM

Oh, wow...that makes perfect sense...and it WAS your fault! : )

Does that mean I should definately have Buddy sexed? From my reading it appears there are certain traits known that are particular to males and females and knowing for sure could prevent my error in the future, as you unfortunately learned the hard way...
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: G2 Attack - 04/18/09 04:17 PM

Gregg I had Cassie DNA tested not so much for me to avoid behavior but to know what to watch for in the event of eggs. Behavior on our part should be the same when interacting with the birds whether male or female. No petting below the neck or under the wings. Males will nest too and can become aggressive to protect the nest during hormone seasons. Nancy
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: G2 Attack - 04/18/09 04:45 PM

I know some people disagree, but I think it's important to know their sex. As birds mature there may be some tell-tale indications of the sex, but it is nearly impossible to tell in a young bird. And the foundation you are laying today with Buddy is very important. Aside from the fact that I got a bad DNA reading, I am still 100% for DNA testing. One person (not here) thought that Echo's being DNA'd wrong was "hysterical". (Speaks volumes for their mentality since eggbinding is a life threatening emergency!) I fail to see the humor. Besides avoiding the bite, had I known she was female, there is a good possibility that she would have never produced eggs. I wouldn't have allowed her in the closet, to play with plastic eggs at Easter, or play in boxes.

Posted By: Janny

Re: G2 Attack - 04/18/09 04:50 PM

In my home I find my females cockatoos to be more aggressive than the males. It could just be how things work and the personality of my cockatoos I don't know but you should be aware that ALL too's have the potential to be aggressive at some point.

I am a firm believer in the DNA test though. I want to know who to watch for when it comes to egg binding. I don't need any suprizes.
Posted By: GregM

Re: G2 Attack - 04/19/09 01:01 PM

I know this is probably covered somewhere, but are the dreaded "hormonal" changes seasonal? Can they be anticipated at any time of year?
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: G2 Attack - 04/19/09 01:13 PM

Normally they go into season twice per year in the late fall and early spring. Other birds can be hormonal at different times of the year, while others still can be hormonal all year. You'll hear people referring to broody hens. This is when either the hen is hormonal and nest building or it can be used for a hen that is constantly nest building and laying. A very dangerous thing for a hen. When excessive laying occurs it can cause a drastic decrease in calcium levels and egg binding.
Posted By: buttons51

Re: G2 Attack - 04/21/09 04:31 PM

how do i know if she is egg bound.she laid one egg yesterday and how many do they usually lay?
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: G2 Attack - 04/21/09 04:39 PM

Buttons please see this post from yesterday.
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