Green Cheek Conure strange aggressive behavior

by Anessa Curtin
(Los Angeles, CA)

For about 10 days now, my 5.5 year old GC Conure Passion fruit has been extremely moody. I do not know if it is a male or a female at this point. Passion rips the paper at the bottom of the cage, bites, attacks, won't let me get her out of the cage and screams A LOT!!! Passion seems extremely irritable, raised neck feathers and draws blood if I try to pick her up.

Before this phase, Passion was sweet, lovable, kissable and cuddly. Now I am afraid of her. She attacks my feet when I put on shoes and it scares me. I have to use my slipper to pick her up. I have not changed anything other than not putting her outside every morning on her perch due to the rainy cold weather.

Please help. I really hope that it is just a phase. Any ideas? Is this normal?

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Aug 19, 2012
by: Anonymous

My green cheek has acted the same way and steps out of line from time to time. I can even tell before I open the cage when she's upset. I have tried every common way in the book to solve this problem before I had to invent my own.

She seems to get upset with me and make a demand as if she's the boss. My goal has always been to treat her as an equal. Sometimes this isn't possible and you need to show that you're the boss. When her feathers are fluffed and she's chewing on things in a violent rage I do these steps.

1. Speak calmly and see if she's just playing around.
2. Get her to say a phrase to earn a treat like "pretty bird". This helps alleviate tension and shows her that good behavior gets rewarded.
3. Let her out and let her do what she wants to do. She'll often come to me anyway so on to the next step.
4. Point my finger at her beak very slowly and calmly. Her beak cannot pierce my nail and often won't do any damage no matter how hard she tries. The bottom of her beak will dig into my finger but it will only leave a mark at most.
5. If she bites out of anger I find what she fears. She absolutely HATES a glove I own with cut off finger tips. She will fly in fear from me as soon as I slip it on. I calmly follow her around the house until she gets tired of flying.
6. She'll either fly to her cage knowing she's been a bad girl or will let me pick her up being too tired to fight. I put her in her cage.
7. After a short time out she's my baby girl again. All nice and seems apologetic.

It's tough love and some might say that fear is a bad thing. My thoughts are that if I can't handle her, she won't be able to come out and play. Which I believe is much worse than having to show her that I'm not a push over once in a while.

Dec 23, 2010
Green Cheek Conure strange aggressive behavior
by: Linda

Well, sudden changes in behavior usually mean a bird is getting sick. I'd err on the side of caution and have her examined by an Avian Vet in your area. Since you are in LA, there are plenty of Avian Vets to be found.

Anytime we see sudden changes in behavior, it is an early warning sign that something may be physically wrong. Birds hide their illnesses until they are too sick to eat, drink and sometimes stand, so your bird needs the expertise of an Avian Vet to make sure no infections or other physical problems are present.

Birds don't just change from sweet brds to attack birds overnight. They ARE exotic wild animals and so are somewhat unpredictable in their behaviors, but not normally to this extent.

Let us know what the Avian Vet has to say and use a perch to pick her up until you've got to the bottom of this because a shoe is filthy and in itself can make a bird sick. The floor is also not a good place for a bird to be and neither is flying freely through the house. Parrots stay children all their lives, and our jobs are to protect them sometimes from themselves.

Let us know what Avian Vet has to say.


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