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#261226 - 08/07/18 02:03 AM Neurotic Triton  
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U2x2 Offline
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Guido
20yrs old
2nd/3rd home?
Little history, couple had him, divorce, husband took him (to spite ex wife?) lock him in closet (we were told), ex wife rescue him, put him up for adoption, my wife and I (suckers for a pretty face) adopt him.
Has been to the vet, thru a quarantine period at our house, and now lives in our living room with our two umbrellas.
Problem: sudden lunging and nipping/biting. has not drawn blood yet. Example..today, from outside to his cage, on my arm, suddenly lunges and nips.painful yes, no blood.
Suspect mental abuse, not physical abuse.
Says Guido is a good boy, Guido is a bad boy, step up, hello, come here, egad. And seems to used them in context, like today when he bit me , he said Guido is a bad boy.
Likes to sit on me and get skritches, constantly lifting his wings (no petting there) and chews on my shirts.
Have heard Tritons are neurotic is that true?
Any ideas to deal with the nipping/biting issue??

#261227 - 08/07/18 02:36 AM Re: Neurotic Triton [Re: U2x2]  
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noodles123 Offline
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It's hard to say without more info- obviously the little guy is probably feeling insecure.
That having been said, you would do well to chart behaviors:
Antecedent (what happens right before, including who is present and anything that is done)
Behavior:what the bird does and to whom (including any vocalizations/movements)
Consequence: NOT PUNISHMENT, but what happens directly after---aka laughter, moving the bird, yelling, running, leaving, bribery etc,

The ABC chart will help isolate the potential reinforcer for the behavior and once you know that, you can manipulate it..This is just the first step. Also, consider any environmental factors (AKA "Setting events") that could feed into odd behavior---sickness, lack of sleep, over-stimulation etc).

Based on your description alone, there is a possibility that this could be sexual---stick to petting on the head only. Under the wing petting can over-stimulate and lead to mate aggression etc. Additionally,he sounds like he is very confused due to past abuse....time will be important here...move slowly and be patient.


Last edited by noodles123; 08/07/18 02:39 AM.
#261229 - 08/07/18 11:53 AM Re: Neurotic Triton [Re: U2x2]  
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What noodles has said is great advice add to that though the antecedent is not just what your bird and the people in the room are doing but also what might be happening out side of a window or door. Example Cassie my girl will go into full blown display screaming, feathers fluffed, wings extended and swaying. I have learned over the years to first look at her gaze, where is she looking then on to the direction of her gaze to the window. More than likely when she does this there is a hawk outside the window in the trees or some critter like an opossum wandering by. When Cassie gets like this she will give nips to move away.
One thing to not do is get into a habit of attributing behavior to hormones. It's an easy out often times and prevents you from objectively observing the birds behavior.
Until you figure out why he is biting/nipping I would limit the length of time he is sitting on you. Does he begin to nip right away when he is on you or does it take a few minutes to start. Is he flighted? Is he able to return to his cage without you bringing him over to it? He may just want to return to the cage when he begins nipping. Right now he is living in a room with two much larger birds. A bird who lived in a closet and possibly never lived with other birds may not even be aware that he is in fact a bird. This is I'm sure very scary for him or at least making him uncertain. How are his interactions with the other birds?


Nancy & Cassie BE2
#261230 - 08/11/18 01:12 AM Re: Neurotic Triton [Re: U2x2]  
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Been reviewing my Guido log and trying a few things over the the two past days.
It SEEMS that Guido doesn't like left arms/hands. I been moving him around the house on my right arm and hand. he doesn't lunge or bite me when sitting on my right arm/hand. Not sure why or even if I should try to correct the situation. I am open to suggestions.

BE2Cassie in answer to your questions: When he does lunge/bite it is few minutes after he is on my left arm/hand. He is not flighted, His wings are clipped, a very bad clip in my opinion. He was like that when we adopted him.
Flock dynamics have changed in the 4 months he been with us. After he came out of quarantine and we allow interaction (closely supervised) he would chase our two U2s. Neither would tolerate Guido. BTW...Guido is bigger than our U2s. NOW...Otis, our 40 y/o U2 goes into full display and squawking loudly if Guido comes near and chases Guido away. Tiki, on the other hand either looks toward my wife or I to shield him from Guido or take the long way around. The only time that all three are in close to each other and behave themselves is when I have food and they want a bite of it. They "shared" bites with me and wait their turn, quite well. He hasn't bit me while sitting on my lap in awhile since I am closely monitor him and move slowly around him.

Noodles: Thank you for pointing out the "ABC"...that has help with my Guido log. When Guido has bit me, I stay very calm (hard to do when he is has bit me) and I put him in his cage for a "timeout". And no, I don't pet under the wings, back, or tail. I keep his petting to his head and neck. And yes I now move slowly and being patient. I do have some experience with TOO time....It took me a year and 6 months to gain the trust of our first bird, Tiki. I still working with him. At least Tiki isn't biting me and I am his chosen mate. Another issue I am working on.

Noodles mention of ABCs got me reading the ABA forum. Kind of understand it..still reading all the posts, however the link to ABA is no longer valid for me. Need to find another place to look for it. Does anybody know a bird behavorist in Arizona? My learning style is hands on, touchy/feeling. Not theoretical. Also thinking of starting clicker training. The first part seems easy enough, get the bird to associate the clicker noise with a positive reward. However, have no idea/plan what the next step might be.

#261231 - 08/12/18 01:45 AM Re: Neurotic Triton [Re: U2x2]  
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You will find clicker training to really be easy and common sense. Think about once your bird targets what is the most important thing to you that your bird can do. Is it stepping up if so think about the steps. Clicker training is ABA Applied Behavior Analysis made easy. If you are able to target train your bird to a stick next step would be to target train to where you want the bird to go next. If you want the bird to step up on your wrist that is the next step. There are no set in stone next steps for Applied Behavior Analysis. Think about what you want your bird to do and break that down into doable steps for you and the bird. The most important thing to keep in mind is to not make the step too big. I learned to break down a task way back in the 70s when learning to develop learning plans for individuals with special needs. I was given a shoe and told to break down the steps to shoe tying. It may sound like it doesn't pertain to a cockatoo but it does. It really shows how to break down the steps to get to the end plan. I was sent back at least four times to break down the steps even further.
Before you get started you will need to figure out what the most rewarding item or action is for your bird. If it is a food item remove it from the diet completely and use it only as a reward. You may even want to find a couple of items if using food so that they don't tire of the reward. When rewarding with food break the item into tiny pieces example would be to take a sunflower seed and break it in half.

Last edited by BE2Cassie; 08/12/18 09:32 AM.

Nancy & Cassie BE2
#261233 - 08/12/18 03:59 PM Re: Neurotic Triton [Re: U2x2]  
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What part of Arizona are you in? There are two possible people that may be able to help you out. One is Theresa Roman she is located in Yuma. You can reach her by calling her at xxx xxxx. Phone number listed publicly with permission.

Last edited by BE2Cassie; 08/14/18 10:12 AM.

Nancy & Cassie BE2
#261234 - 08/12/18 04:06 PM Re: Neurotic Triton [Re: U2x2]  
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Hi! Theresa here! I hope I can help! I have 2 of my own cockatoos. A U2 and GSC2. Both in their 20s. By the way everyone I know its been a while since I posted but everyone is doing great! I also run a rescue here. With mostly cockatoos in rescue right now. So in total we have about 7 toos here now ranging from M2 to G2. I have a few questions but would be easier to talk over the phone then type it all out. Please give me a call when you get a chance.

Last edited by LuLuRoman; 08/12/18 04:09 PM.

Theresa & Lulu
"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~ Immanual Kant

#261235 - 08/14/18 03:28 PM Re: Neurotic Triton [Re: U2x2]  
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Thank you BE2Cassie for helping getting in touch with LuLuRoman. We had very nice conversation last night and I am using her suggestions. Will report back in a few days on how its goes.
Thank you LuLuRoman for the suggestions and taking my call.

#261237 - 08/15/18 11:09 AM Re: Neurotic Triton [Re: U2x2]  
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Awesome I'm so happy Theresa is able to help.


Nancy & Cassie BE2
#261239 - 08/18/18 05:12 AM Re: Neurotic Triton [Re: U2x2]  
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Clicker training basically uses what they call "task analysis" via "forward chaining". Think about what you want your bird to do, and list the steps in order. Remember, each step is its own entity (because your ultimate goal is a chain of sequential behaviors).

A lot depends on your bird and how much they already know.

For instance, to step onto a target, the bird has to, A) attend to your presence A2) listen to your verbal (or visual) prompt, B) recognize what that prompt means, C) walk over to the target (potentially a stick, but maybe not right away), D) touch the target (eventually the stick), D2) Possibly follow another command, like "step up" E) Step onto the target/stick, and F) stay on the target/stick when you move it.

See how a simple task is actually quite complex? This example assumes that the bird is used to sticks, but if not, you will want to have the stick in the bird's environment before putting it in the cage. Then you gradually might start holding it in your hand while speaking to the bird. Then you might move it closer to the cage until you eventually try putting it through the door etc etc. Rewarding as you go to build positive associations with the stick.

When you know what you are using to reward (or reinforce) the bird (based on what the function of the behavior is), then you can start providing rewards when the bird does part of the task. You want to try to work in order (step by step) and you will want to master each step before moving onto the next. If using food, during the teaching phase, you might say, "come here" while pointing to a location and holding the food near the bird, but just out of its reach. When it moves toward the food (with the goal of eventually getting it to go to where you are pointing w/or w/out food), click and hand over the reward (moving towards the target accomplishes steps a-c). Do not move on to teaching more steps until you are certain that they have mastered the earlier steps in order.

You don't need to reward for the completion of each mini-step unless the bird needs to learn each step....so if the bird automatically comes to where you are pointing every time you point and say "come here", then you don't need to break it down as much and you would just consider that (walking to the target) as step 1, since they clearly get it already. At that point, you would start working on trying to get the bird to touch the target and reward using 1 treat after the bird both A) walked over and B) touched the stick (or got closer to the stick etc). Does that kind of make sense----it's sort of intuitive when you are doing it. The less a bird knows, the more you will have to break it down and the more rewards you will have to give until eventually you only reward for completing multiple steps in the chain IN ORDER.

Again, let's say you walk over to the cage and say whatever it is you plan to say (e.g., "come here"). That will cue the start of the chain/task, so from that point, if the bird does step 1, click the clicker and reward immediately . You will practice this until they have it down. Initially, if trying to get them to move to a target, you may literally have to bribe them with food that is in their line of sight (gradually moving the food farther away and inching them closer to the target). Over time, you would want to try to get the bird to walk over when the food is not in sight and then click+ reward for walking to the target. Then you will try adding the next step (attend, walk over, touch stick etc). You will need to thin out reinforcement over time (maybe treating every-other-time), but that will come much later. During the acquisition/teaching phase, you definitely want to reward all approximations of progress toward your goal, but stop teaching sessions BEFORE the bird satiates (becomes full and no longer desires the treat). Also, when you add steps, don't reward for the previously learned mini-steps in between, because if you did add steps, then the assumption is that the bird already knew/mastered these and should have to work a bit harder to get the reward as time and learning progress.

Last edited by noodles123; 08/18/18 05:16 AM.
#261241 - 08/25/18 04:39 AM Re: Neurotic Triton [Re: U2x2]  
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U2x2 how are things going ?


Theresa & Lulu
"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~ Immanual Kant

#261242 - 08/27/18 02:47 PM Re: Neurotic Triton [Re: U2x2]  
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Sorry for not replying sooner. Wanted to give the suggestions from LuLuRoman a chance to work. Really no change. I am thinking it is a "trust" issue. He and I dont trust each other yet. Guido has been with us for only 5 months and I know it can take a lot longer than that.
So for now, I am backing off and limiting my personal interaction with him. You might say I am in S.M.S ( save my skin) mode. Will still interact with him while he is on his cage and keep the personal time periods very short.
Want to thank everyone here for all the help/ suggestions. Will try to keep you all up to date on our progress

#261243 - 08/28/18 12:17 AM Re: Neurotic Triton [Re: U2x2]  
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