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#13913 - 12/28/04 06:33 PM help understanding behavior  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 64
SamSam Offline
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SamSam  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
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Florida
Hi! This is my first post. I recently got an Eleonaora from an unfortunate situation and was looking for some help in understand ing him better. He's about 10 years old and is somewhat unpredictable. My husband can handle him now but couldn't at first(seemed he didn't like men but is doing great now). My husband just sucks up the bites and has been bitten countless times but it is paying off. I am the one SamSam originally connected with and I'm not as brave as hubby only because of the things I have read and not experienced. I have been bitten by him about 8 times but none of them were as nearly as bad as hubby's.

I'm wondering if thats' why his behavior towards me has changed some. For the first 3 weeks I could scratch him all over with no problems, the bites came mostly from trying to get him to step up. In the last week though he will call me over for scritches and while I am giving them will lunge at my fingers. He hasn't bitten me yet while doing this but has brushed my fingers many times. I am beginning to think he is doing this on purpose for some reason and that he is purposely missing me but it's starting to get pretty scary because it happens so fast. Does anyone know why he does this? I have read so many ways to help correct this like walking away, giving them a dirty look, saying no firmly or putting them in their cage. I'm not sure which is the best but I've been walking away and spending time with the other birds and it seems to help some but he's still doing it. I am not so sure he would bite me or that's his intention, is he trying to tell me something? I don't think it's to stop because he will do the beak lickety thing and call me over again and when I walk away he calls for me almost like he's apologizing.

I am afraid of him but not completely and I am sure he knows that but would the best thing be to just dive right in. I'm thinking he may be starting to bond with my husband because my husband takes him down and puts him in his lap and can pet him all over and pretty much do whatever he wants to him because he doesn't mind the bites. I am more cautious and maybe its starting to hurt what I have built with him because he wonders why I don't do the same to him? It's hard though because when you take him down he gets very overly excited and attacks your clothes and tries to run up them. I know he's just excited but I also know that he is more prone to bite when he is like this and is generally when hubby does end up getting bit. Any help would be appreciated. He's a great bird, he just has some issues that need to be worked through and we just want him to be ahppy and make sure that what has happened to him in the past won't happen to him again. He ahs improved greatly in the month we have had him and we are very proud of his change already and we know it will take more time but this lunging while petting him has me concerned, it was my way of showing him how much I loved him and I felt so comfortable around him and I don't want to lose that. Thanks!!!

#13914 - 12/28/04 11:19 PM Re: help understanding behavior  
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Charlie Offline
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Covington, LA USA
Hi, welcome to the board. We have a Nominate Greater Sulpher Crest, your Eleanora is similar in size but I have never heard much mentioned about differences in the two. Ours will be 6 in March. She was bought as a one year old chick. I can tell you that it took almost 2 full years before she accepted my wife. She doesn't bite me, much! Now they have a good relationship but I am gone a lot and I think Baby figured out that she eats better if she's good to her Mom!

Personally, I think you are doing quite well. You mention other birds so you know a thing or two about them. You have only had the bird a month and have made progess. These birds take time. I do think that too many 'Too owners try to actually have their 'Too on their bodies too much. We don't "cuddle" much except to transport from one place to another and feather preening around the neck and head.

If I were you, I would just go with the flow and let time work. You do have to establish your "higher" place in the flock however. You can't be showing much fear. Maybe don't use your hands as much. Wrap your arm in an Ace bandage or towel under a long sleeve shirt and present your arm. Once he realises that you're not worried about bites, he may give up on the testing.

Go up to the search engine and type in 'biting" and "aggression" and read other people advice and experiences. At any rate, welcome and let us know how things go. smile

#13915 - 12/28/04 11:25 PM Re: help understanding behavior  
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db Offline
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Sarasota FL
My Eleanora will nip at me without really connecting during scritches if he has had enough of one area being scritched - Maybe your bird is trying to tell you something. Do you preen his head and crest feathers and remove the waxy sheath off new feathers for him? Mine will sit like an angel for that.
I found that having a routine helps with behavior. I use a stick to move him around - we have outside time (literally outside in a huge cage), inside time, time on the couch with me getting scritches and playing etc.
All my birds know they go outside in the morning unless its too hot or cold and come back in at dusk, have dinner, playtime with me, then bed.
I think you need to have a routine and be confident about handling them and not let them call the shots. Then its just a matter of time. db

#13916 - 12/29/04 12:27 AM Re: help understanding behavior  
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SamSam Offline
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Florida
Thank you for responding! I am very pleased with the progress he has made because we don't push any of our birds, most of them are rescues or previously owned and have some sort of issue, he is just our first large bird and I was hoping to understand some of his behavior a little better. Sam Sam is really the one who has made most of the effort and has initiated most of the contact and we couldn't be happier about the progress he has made.

I noticed this morning that when we first got him all he wanted was scritches, all you had to do was look at him and he was calling you over for them. Every day though he asks less and less. It seems that all he wants to do is play. He's been out for eight hours now and has not stopped playing, he hasn't even stopped yet to take a cat nap or anything. He's playing by himself and his cage is right near the couch and before he would go sit on the door and call us for scritches when we sat down but he came down to get some of my lunch and went right back to playing. He also used to watch me like a hawk , had to know where I was at all times and would call whenever he couldn't see me. Now I'm noticing that he's not doing that much anymore and I can leave the room without him even noticing. Please tell me that this is a good thing and not because I am failing him in some way. I just wonder because he doesn't seem so needy it's kinda weird. LOL. Hopefully it's because he's starting to adjust and he likes his new home. I try and keep him busy the best I can.

Can I just ask too, what is with the wing over the head thing. He is always doing that when he gets scritches.

Thank you for your help!!

#13917 - 12/29/04 12:40 AM Re: help understanding behavior  
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db Offline
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db  Offline
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Sarasota FL
Sounds like he is settling in - you will eventually get to understand him more - and his idiosyncrasies...mine (Foster)doesnt do anything like a wing over the head so no idea on that. The fact he feels confident enough to play alone and not care if you are there or not is a good sign...an independent well adjusted bird is a better one to have than one that is neurotic, needy and clingy...
Foster whips his head around like a maniac when he is happy or excited (about 20 times a day....)and hangs upside down and does it when he is very excited!!
He enjoys acrylic puzzle toys which involve a ball or something inside something else - he will try for hours to get the ball out, or the ring off or whatever...maybe you could try some of those for him.
Foster loves toast, mango, a chicken leg and cherries!!
db

#13918 - 12/29/04 01:02 AM Re: help understanding behavior  
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SamSam Offline
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Florida
Thank you db! I meant to answer your questions from before about the preening. He hasn't had any on his head yet but he is a plucker and all his feathers are growing back beautifully, every day he looks better and better. He does snip them sometimes when he doesn't get his way but it's better than plucking. smile

Would you mind telling me some of the names of the toys that your guy likes the best. Sam Sam isn't too fond of wood toys and it's hard to find toys for large birds that aren't wood. He likes more acrylic, plastic, cotton type toys.

Sam Sam swings his head too but no swinging upside down yet but I'd love to see him do that.

Your guy sounds great too and Sam Sam managed to get my finger today when I was scritching him, he just grabbed it lightly in his beak although he acted like he was gonna rip it off before he got it. smile So maybe he's really not trying to hurt me. Thanks for your replies!


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