My Quaker Parrot turned into a monster overnight

by Angela
(New York)

I have a two year old Quaker named Rocky (not sure if its male or female) and what was once a loving, fun, gentle bird literally turned into an aggressive, vicious monster overnight. He was a little cranky the night before, biting and charging at me and I thought it was because he was tired so I covered the cage and put him to bed.

This morning he did his usual good morning chirp from under the cover and I gave him breakfast and cleaned the cage like I do every day. He suddenly became aggressive, running around on the table and picking things up and throwing them like Godzilla and when I tried to go near him he was charging and biting me, he even tore a piece of flesh from my thumb.

I finally got him back in the cage and he stayed on the bottom and tore the place apart. He wouldn't eat anything and hung out on the bottom of the cage for most of the day. Everytime I went near the cage he would charge and try to bite me through the bars.

I am the one he bonded with and the only one who can pick him up but he does tolerate petting from my husband. Neither one of us can get near him now, it's like having a gorilla in a cage. I'm afraid to go near him because he attacks so ferociously and it hurts!

Any ideas what could have caused such a personality change overnight?

Comments for My Quaker Parrot turned into a monster overnight

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Jan 21, 2018
Quaker parrot is always mean
by: Anonymous

I got a Quaker parrot on kijiji the owner said he is nice but give him a chance .. at the time I didn’t hold him but it looked like she was scared of him we took him home and he was constantly biting us we’ve had him for about 4 years and he’s still biting us and always angry anyone have any suggestions??

Editor's note: Please visit our parrot training page for help.

May 25, 2016
The parrot doesn't have to be amonster
by: Lauren

I have two birds, a Quaker parrot named Freddy, and an African gray named Sidney. Sidney is gentle even though he is big for a domestic bird and he gets along well with my parents, my brother, and myself. But Freddy hates everyone in my house except my mom. We did research on this, and found out that Quaker parrots are like small dogs, you have to show them who is boss. My mom would hold Freddy upside down for a few seconds with the palm of her hand, held her beak and said "no biting". over time Freddy became nicer to my mom, but still hates my dad and brother. Quaker parrots are mostly for lonely people because they will choose a favorite and will only like that person. Also try moving you parrot's cage from time to time. They are territorial birds so they will act better if you move them sometimes. I hope i was able to help a little.

May 14, 2016
Quaker parrot aggressive
by: Angela

My Rocky passed away Sept. 3, 2015. I am still heartbroken because she was my constant companion and best friend. Smartest Quaker parrot ever. My advice to you is stick to the routine you had established. Be persistent but not forceful. Your bird will come around.

Now I have a bigger problem. Shortly after Rockys death my husband got an African Grey which bonded with him. This bird hates my guts and tore up my hand so badly I had to go to the hospital. On April 2 my husband became very ill and hasn't been home since. It's a nightmare trying to give her food and water. I feel terrible that she's cagebound but I can't let her out as I fear for my safety. Bites I got from Rocky were nothing compared to what this much larger bird can do!

May 12, 2016
What is wrong with my Quaker
by: Christina Whiteker

I have a Quaker Parrot named Corkie and had him for a little over a year. Got him when he was 3 months old. I was the only one he bonded with. I could pick him up, give him kisses and talk with him. Now he's biting at me and trying to attack me through the cage. He's never done this before and now he won't talk with me. He's bitten me twice and I don't know what to do.

Oct 15, 2015
Quaker monster
by: Laurie

We have an 8 yr old female Quaker, Ivy. She has been through at least 2 homes, finally ending up at a dog training facility where she charmed my husband (a trainer) and he brought her home.
We have had her nearly a year.

She bonded immediately with me and promptly laid an egg. Oops! We read and learned more and adjusted things to prevent that occurring again. She truly is a complete delight, she spends her days chattering in her cage and room while we work, at night she is with me, hanging out, talking, playing and she even eats dinner with me. (Yes crazy bird lady)

A few times, usually at regular intervals, she has a change of heart and becomes nasty to me and turns all her affections to daddy. This time, however, she is off the scales, punching the cage, running after me, biting hard and yesterday she began throwing food at me! I have never seen her so vicious before.

Honestly, my feelings are hurt, but I'm beginning to worry. Usually it's a 3-5 day period of angst, but this has gone on for a week. I'm actually afraid of her.

My husband is leaving on business for a week and I'm scared she will be living completely in her cage, since my touching her appears to be out of the question.

Is she hormonal? Nuts? Ill?
Any suggestions would be appreciated!

May 28, 2015
Mine also turned into a monster overnight
by: Karen

My quaker parrot "Jagger" bit me so hard he drew blood. I was just opening the cage as I Always do and he bit me. I thought at first it was because I had a bandaid on one of my fingers but nope. Later he was on my daughter 's shoulder and she asked me to move him to the back of the couch. When I went to move him he bit me again hard. Then later he was on my shoulder and bit me when I tried to move him it wasn't as hard of a bite that time more like a warning. The next day I take the blanket off his cage and he is trying to bite me through the bars! I opened the door and he starts hissing at me and throwing his head at my hands trying to bite me. It's crazy. I did some research and on this particular site it said that they reach maturity at three and become extremely cage aggressive. I haven't had time to research what I should do. I'm sure I will learn alot from the comments on this site. Tonight I asked him if he wanted to go night night he nodded yes. I have to admit I was scared but he stepped on my finger and told he was going night night and I was able to put him in his cage he kept giving me kisses. Man its like Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde. Lol

Editor's note: Please visit our Parrot Training page for help.

Sep 22, 2014
Quaker parrot
by: Angela

So happy to hear you got your Baby back. The first thing you should do is take your bird to an avian vet for a check up. There's no telling what he/she encountered after two weeks in the wild. You don't know if he picked up any diseases or mites from other birds and you don't know what he ate that might not be agreeing with him. Also, you need to do the same routine you had before with cage cleaning, feeding/watering, etc. Don't move too quickly around the bird and don't force it to come to you. After some time and patience, your bird should come around to be it's normal self.

Sep 22, 2014
My unrecognizable quaker parrot
by: Noemi

Hello everyone,I lost my parrot named Baby about two weeks ago, it was a very sad event for myself, I couldn´t stop crying. I went out looking for it (don´t know if it´s a female or male) through out the whole neighborhood, put posters up, but no sign of Baby. Before I had lost him I had him since he was about 2 months old. Well the good news is yesterday Baby came back!! My husband and I were so happy, but it was so hard to get him. We tried for about an hour, it seemed as he wanted to come with us, but at the same time like he was afraid. My husband finally was able to catch him but got a hard hard bite. He also started biting me. Now he is really really agressive. We´re scared to touch him. He was never like that, he loved being carried around. NOw he is just a wild parrot, and it really saddens me because I wish I had my old Baby back. Anybody recommend what we can do?

Jun 23, 2014
Quaker Parrot gets angry when I come back from vacation
by: Steve M

I've noticed my Quaker, JoJo become very aggressive whenever I come back from vacations. Normally he is sweet and gives kisses and cuddles with me. But the moment I come back from vacation - he is a monster. I figure he is showing me his displeasure in me being away so long (1 week). It takes him about 4 hours to calm down, and me giving him a sharp NO after a dozen bites. He will charge, hiss and fly at me. I even tried the towel routine - holding him in a towel until he calms down. Now he destroys towels. I know he is annoyed with me being away. Any suggestions? My other birds show no aggression upon me coming home.

May 16, 2013
Quaker parrot monster
by: Angela

I know exactly what you're going through. Rocky improved greatly after a day or two and I still don't know what caused the aggressive behavior but be sure not to use air fresheners, scented candles or cleansers around your bird. Since your bird is shredding newspaper and becoming hostile, I think it might be due to a hormonal/nesting behavior. I would replace the newspaper with clean paper that doesn't have any ink on it so your bird can shred. Also, leave the TV or radio on when you're at work to keep your bird company. Your bird has become territorial with his cage so just grin and bear it when you clean and feed. If your bird doesn't want to step up or come to you, don't force him by handling with a towel. If your bird doesn't improve in a day or two you need to take him to an avian vet for an examination.

May 15, 2013
rocky the quacker parroot
by: Anonymous

my quaker parrot is doing exactly the same as your rocky , hes very vicious with me too , i cant go any where near his cage when i get home from wrk , i try to calm him by picking him up with a towel , now that you have mentioned toxins , im wondering if its the news paper he chews it to pieces , which is new to him ,i was also wondering why he chews this paper ,hes never chewed it before also i am at wrk longer hours so hes on his own seven hours a day , he loves his bed time and asks to go , hes so sweet , but lately he is awful and nearly look a chunk out my arm

Nov 10, 2012
Biting Cacique
by: Angela

After the incident I wrote about below with Rocky he/she got much better for a long while. I wrote in again because Rocky started to come over to me ever so sweetly and step up on my arm or finger and take a huge bite out of me, taking chunks of skin. I would chirp loudly to discourage this but the blogger told me that was the wrong thing to do because now Rocky was playing a game and intentionally biting to hear me cry out in pain. It had become a deadly game and Rocky took humor in it. When Rocky misbehaved in this way, I was told to give a firm "no!" and put her back in the cage and walk away. This behavior has subsided a little but now she flies to my husband when he's on the computer and starts attacking his ears, neck and face. Of course he cries out in pain and she's playing the game all over again. I suppose you could try the "no" tactic, put the bird back in the cage and walk away. Rocky was okay with this until she taught herself how to open the cage. You could also get your birds' wings clipped so it can't freely fly around and attack. You mentioned that you have children, well you can count your bird as another child. You need to be firm and try to discourage this behavior before it gets out of hand. Birds need discipline just like human children.

Nov 10, 2012
Biting caique
by: Carol

We brought a black headed caique it was hatched April this year and was very tame for first few weeks ,we got it when it was three months old . But now he is biting on purpose I know they use the beak to climb up . But he or she will fly at people and attack there faces or land on your head and then lean over until he near my eyes and bite. If I put my hand I way he will attack that . I really would love to find out what's causing mim to do this as I have children in the house .

Feb 22, 2012
Monster Quaker
by: Angela

I am happy to say that Rocky is back to his usual self again. He was a little nippy yesterday morning but as the day progressed, he's back to normal. While I might never know exactly what caused his behavior, I will most certainly keep an eye out for anything toxic in the air or around the house. I also did think it might be a hormonal/puberty thing but that wouldn't go away overnight. It's great having my little pal back again.

Feb 21, 2012
Monster Quaker
by: Angela

Thanks Tracie. Rocky is never out of the cage unsupervised so I know he didn't eat or lick anything out of the ordinary. My neighbor across the hall always puts air fresheners in the hallway and sometimes the smell comes in under the door and now that I think about it, I do remember smelling it a couple of days ago. Rocky exhausted himself from his tirade yesterday and slept well. I did clean the cage and give him some food this morning without incident but I'm keeping my distance, don't want to push my luck!

Feb 20, 2012
Parrot turned monster overnight
by: Tracie

Yikes, that is terrible.

Usually overnight personality changes are either due to illness or something toxic either in the environment or ingested.

If things don't change today, I would Find an Avian Vet to examine your bird to make sure everything is okay.

Check your bird room. Did anyone spray something in the air, cook with Teflon etc. Have you fed the bird any table food or allowed the bird free in your home where it could lick or ingest something toxic? Have you added a new toy that could be toxic?

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