Rio is submissive to new and younger bird

by Sheila

Kai on right and Rio on left

Kai on right and Rio on left

I have a question.....I introduced Rio and Kai face to face for the first time today. Rio is a 1 1/2 yo Pineapple GCC and Kai is a 7 month old pineapple GCC. Rio is fully flighted but Kai is not.

Kai is very beaky....I don't think he/she is actually trying to bite hard but just trying out his new world. I can work with this. Kai has not been around other birds and socialized but Rio has.

My question is that when they get close, Rio squats down and acts submissive towards Kai and stays that way until Kai gets a little too rough and then Rio squawks and flies away. Kai can't follow.

I don't know the sex of either. Is this possibly a sign that Rio is a female when he/she acts submissive and squats like that? Kai will have to learn to be gentle with both of us either way. Just curious if anyone has any thoughts.

I am comfortable introducing them so soon because healthwise, they have both been seen by a vet with a complete check up. They are both perfectly healthy. Kai definately has a bolder attitude than Rio. Everytime he/she bites I say "No bite" and move him to a different spot. When he/she gets aggressive and purposely bites too hard I tell him "No bite" and put him back in his cage. This worked for Rio, who no longer bites.

Being young, I believe Kai will learn but not sure what to think about the way Rio acts towards him. Rio also acted this same way with my friends PGCC, Sookie, but they got along perfectly from the first minute. Just curious...Thanx!

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Oct 06, 2011
Rio is submissive to new and younger bird
by: Linda

I don't think this behavior has much to do with male/female issues though it would be a good idea to have them sexed to make sure.

I DO suggest you keep them in separate cages until the younger bird has been taught how to play well with others, and sounds like you have a handle on this.

If you are not interested in breeding, keep them caged separately all the time. As Tracie said, when they do bring babies into the world, many birds do not want to or know how to feed their babies, and it is the world's biggest job feeding tiny babies with a pipette every two hours until they are large enough for syringe feeding.

The reason some birds don't know how to feed babies is some of the commercial breeders take fertile eggs and hatch them in incubators. Babies hatch and are fed from moment one by trained employees. Birds are automatically imprinted to humans and do not know they are birds. This causes problems when time to breed or when accidentally bred. These birds will not feed babies because as far as they are concerned, they are humans, and these featherless little pips do not look human to them.

This can happen with any species of bird, and if it's the male, not so much of a problem. If it is the female who is imprinted human, then the problem is that she will not recognize her babies as hers and will abandon them either to you or death. The breeders who do this are performing a dis-service to anyone who takes their birds, and they do it so the money comes in faster like any other kind of commercial enterprise dealing with animals.

Thanks for writing and for being a caring, intelligent person who knows how to properly care for the birds. We welcome you and hope to hear from you anytime you have a question or just need to send pictures of your two gorgeous birds.


Oct 05, 2011
New bird being submissive to other bird
by: Tracie

I am not a breeder, and so I won't venture a guess about the gender. Hopefully a sweet lady named Linda will know more about this. She is an experienced breeder that answers questions too.

I do suggest you take them to an avian vet and have them do a DNA test to determine gender before allowing them to spend time together.

If they are male and female, then you risk breeding and boy if they lay eggs and don't feed the bird or try to kill the bird you will have your hands full trying to feed them 24/7 until they are weaned.

Our Green Cheek laid eggs even though it did not have a mate. Conures have a reputation for doing this. If you are not feeding them 80% quality pellets like Harrison's or Roudybush, then I suggest you switch them soon just in case.

Our avian vet has never seen a case of egg binding in a bird that was on Harrison's pellets.

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