New Sun Conure biting

Hello everyone, My husband and I have recently adopted a four year old Sun Conure from a couple who didn't have the time for him. We've had him for a bit now but he still seems to be having trouble adjusting to our home. My husband has always had birds in his life growing up but has never adopted a bird older than a couple of months. He trusts my husband and lets my husband handle him but when I go get him to step up for me he tends to bite me. And I understand that birds naturally bite as to understand their surroundings but when he bites he tends to break skin. I'm just wondering what can I do to make him more comfortable and to get him to trust me.

Thank you for any help

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Aug 26, 2012
New Sun Conure biting
by: Linda

There are many factors involved here, and I'll try and get you going in the right direction. First of all, parrots can decide to bond with a certain human. In this case, bird may be a female and has bonded with the human male in family. Also, there is the issue of how bird was treated in home it came out of. If the man did most of the feeding, cleaning and such, the bird will naturally lean toward your husband as best friend. Parrots do not give their trust easily, and you will need to continue working with this one until that trust has been gained. If bird is not used to females, then it will take longer.

I suggest you use a small perch to pick bird up until he stops biting. Just put stick gently above feet and below stomach and tell him to "Step Up" or "UP" is easier for you and for the bird to understand. Work with him this way for a while and keep your hands away from him for however long it takes. Also, be the one who cleans cage, perches, toys and who feeds and waters bird while you're gaining his trust. It takes time for birds to be comfortable in their new homes, and if this one has been neglected, it will take that much longer because he has not been handled enough.

The other issue is how healthy he is overall. We recommend all new birds be examined by an Avian Vet ONLY to check for infections and have blood drawn for basic blood tests to see how organs are functioning and if any problems show in the blood. His wings will need to be clipped as well. Just have the 4-6 Primary Flight feathers clipped, and these are the long ones at ends of each wing. If he is fully flighted, he will be much harder to work with.Do not let them cut up any higher as this causes chronic pain in wings.

Any small children in family will also scare the bird as they become nervous because small children move too fast and erratically. Even older parrots who have not lived with small children are very fearful of them.

So, sounds like all you need is time. If bird is a female and has bonded with your husband, your job will be more difficult but not impossible. Just show bird in all the above mentioned ways that you love him/her and that you are as trustworthy as your husband. I believe this will work itself out in time.

Keep us posted on progress and don't expect too much too soon. Your bird needs to time to come around, so give him that.

Linda

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