Angry Bird

by S Lloyd

I have a male African Grey that is about 14 years old. I got him about 4 years ago. He used to get on my finger and was easy to handle. About 6 months ago, he started being violent. When I hand him something to eat, (something I know he loves) he grabs it and throws it down and lunges at me trying to bite me.

His cage is open most of the time and he spends most of his time on top of the cage. If anyone goes near his cage, he literally hops and runs to chase you off. Lately, when I am going to hand him food, I hold it out of his reach and say "be nice". Then he will calm down and take it gently and eat it.

I don't know why he turned so violent and he seems so unhappy. He gets alot of freedom and a good variety of food. When I got him, his whole chest was plucked and he still plucks. The former owner let him out alot too but discovered the bird was the source of his allergies.

The only thing I can think of is I started giving him boxes on top of the cage and he goes inside and sits there for hours totally still. He chews out holes like little windows and if he sees you too close, he comes flying out of the box to attack. Maybe the boxes made him territorial. What can I do to improve this birds life for him to be happy again?

Comments for Angry Bird

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Jan 28, 2012
by: Anonymous

Allot of times z bird becomes agressive is due to boredom, and not enf socializing. Or even worse, bc they are ill.

I would suggest a trip to the vet to rule out illness. If the bird is in good health, then it's a matter of behavioral issues.

The bird should have plenty of toys. Not just boxes. They need different textures. I try to interduce my birds to one new item perday, (only if it is bird safe), or a new room.

Your bird sounds to me that he's become protective of his cage, and unsocialized. Not held enough.

Rather then opening the cage door for him to wander out, only let him on the top of the cage if you pick him up and put him there. Also, maybe change a toy or two in his cage.

Sometimes a new thing in his environment will cause them to settle down. I had a bird who was agreessive, I changed her cage around 1ce a month (as my vet said to) and changed her toys. This would stimulate her the way she needed. It worked. Prehaps Your bird needs a change!

Also, I have a baby grey, she becomes nippy. As some babies can. Rather then pull my hand away, teaching the bird that it has power over me by bitting, I quickly show the bird the back of my hand. They cant bite a flat surface. Just make sure youre fingers are balled into a fist so you dont lose one. The bird will try to bite it, find it cant, and its unsuccessful, and will evetually stop. Learn your bird's body lang. SO you know when to react by NOT pulling your hand away, but by balling it up, and showing him the back of your hand. Let him "try" bitting it then.

Once the bitting stops, you should work on training exercises. This stimulates your bird mentally. I use a dog clicker to train my birds with. I start by clicking, then handing seed. I do this several times through out the day for a cpl days. Bird hears it, he gets a treat... from there, teach him tricks when he does what YOU want, click, give a seed. eventually you wont need a clicker or treat, he will respond to the command, and a voice praise. Trainging should be done in 10-20 min sessions. Otherwise they get annoyed.

First tricks I start with are to wave hi, and to give a high 5. Took me 1 day, with 3, 10 min sessions and had my bird giving high5's on command to anyone.

GOOD LUCK, hope this helps!

Jan 28, 2012
Nesting behavior
by: Anonymous

With providing him boxes.. Sounds like you have begun encouraging mating and nesting behavior. Put an end to this right away and take away the boxes and never let him have another. When birds go into mating mode... Their natural wild instincts take over to protect their territory, nest, and young.. Regardless of sex. If he likes to chew cardboard keep the fun by just giving items like paper towel rolls. But no more boxes!!

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