How to tame a mature Eclectus?

by Jennifer

I have a 12 year old Female (what I believe to be) Solomon Island Eclectus. I have had her about a year. She is not what I would call tame. She is not aggressive either. She will sometimes step up but she will bluff and act as if she is going to bite you. Sometimes she does strike but she never latches on. However, she recently made an attempt to get back to her cage, like she usually does, and she fell. When I caught her she grabbed my finger to steady herself and accidentally broke it. I know that this was an accident but I don't know how to stop her from being so fearful. She is so sweet, she talks and will take food from my hand.
For the first 11 years of her life she was housed in a cage where she could not even stretch her wings. She was not handled a whole lot either. I got her a HUGE 6 foot cage and she loves it and hardly wants to come out. My room is "bird proof" so I leave her door open when I go to work. She is always sure to scurry in to her cage when I walk in the room like she is running from me. I try to hold her all the time but she just looks for a place to fly.
If I am in the same room she will fly back to her cage (even though her wings are clipped), if I go into another room she will try to fly onto or into another birds cage (where I am afraid she will get hurt). Sometimes I will take her into the bathroom so she can't fly anywhere but she is just try to get away, I feel bad forcing her to be with me but I have worked and worked with her and there is still no progress. She will except treat in or on her cage from me but not when I am holding her. AND SHE WILL NOT TAKE A BATH!!!! She refuses and I want her to get a regular bath like our other birds so I will set her in the bath tub with the shower on low, or mist her. She hates it but I feel she needs to bathe. If anybody can give me any advice about how I can handle this situation that would be so helpful!!!!!! Or even a website where I could aquire the info myself.
Thank You

Comments for How to tame a mature Eclectus?

Click here to add your own comments

May 20, 2009
by: Linda

Females are Scarlet Red and males are Green.

I would just keep working with her and gaining her trust as it will take some time. It sounds like she came from a neglectful if not abusive home, and it will take a great deal of time to win her trust. I've rescued these kinds of parrots in the past, and they remain fearful for a long, long time. Don't give up on her as you are her hero and must try and undo what the others did to her.

As for baths, she is probably afraid of the bathtub and thinks you are going to hurt her.I use a regular plastic plant mister bottle to give my Amazons a bath. When it is time to clean their cage, I can wash them and the cage at the same time. I use plain warm, not hot, water,and they will get very wet and love it.
She will continue to try and get away from you, so keep working with her. Don't close her up in the bathroom, but you might consider taking her into your bedroom or some other larger place to work with her. Also take a standing perch in with you and start getting her used to sitting on a perch if she does not do that now.Do not leave cage door open when you are not at home. That way, YOU WILL BE THE ONE to let her out to play when you come home. She will look forward to you coming home then and may stop running from you. As for your poor finger, when we offer a fearful bird our hand or finger and even slightly pull away, they will reach out and grasp it, sometimes very tightly, to make sure they won't fall. Parrots are wild animals, so there are always going to be times when you may get bit for many reasons. The most tame, handfed baby, will, on occasion, bite. I don't understand how your finger could have been broken unless you tried to pull it AWAY from her. Move gently INTO a bite or hold, moving into (toward) the bird will usually cause them to let go. Pulling away from a bite is a good way to make sure bird's grip gets tighter.

I used to tame wildcaught parrots coming from quarantine in the old days, and they would have been treated very badly every step of their trip to the US. Lots of trauma, and it took lots of time to get them to feel safe and trusting. Think of your bird in that way, and you will not become frustrated. She has been traumatized in some way, and it is going to take time and patience to win her trust. Trust is NOT a given, it is always earned, and it can take a very long time.

Let us know how you and she are doing!

May 20, 2009
Thank You for commenting
by: Jennifer

Thank You for commenting my question. I know she is a female, I run a bird rescue actually. She is the only bird that I have had trouble with training. I have tamed down aggressive birds no problem but she is a mystery. She is so shy and timid.
Thank You again!

May 20, 2009
by: sue

I have a female solomn island eclectus, they love a lot of attention, just keep talking and handling her, she will be said you believe it is female. Is the bird green or does it have a bright red head, a breast that is so blue it looks purple, blue feathers around it's eyes. if so, it is female.

Click here to add your own comments