Sengal - has gone from my best friend to terrified of me.

by Cathryn

I bought my senegal parrot at the age of 3 as a hand-reared bird and have had him for 12 years. We've always been very close and I'm usually the only person that can deal with him.
I've tried very hard to keep him out and well socialised with others and, apart from being protective of me and easily annoyed or spooked by others, he's been the perfect companion in several homes over the years.
Since moving 3 months ago, into a shared house (2x adult couples), his behavour has changed completely. The first couple of months were as normal he came out and met everyone and I fed and played with him in the usual routine, but he was possibly out of the cage for slightly less time (normally out all the time I'm in the house). Also his cage is now in our bedroom rather than the living room.
He now appears to be terrified of me, I can ask him to step up but any movement sends him screaming and fluttering away. The only person he willingly goes to is the other female member of the household.
He hasn't even tried to bite me, something he was prone to in the past with other people.
Just wondered if it's something that I've caused, if I can rectify it and what the best cousre of action might be. He's likely to injure himself through these panic attacks.

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Sep 09, 2011
Sengal - has gone from my best friend to terrified of me.
by: Linda

Sounds like he is not adjusting well to the living situation you have. Birds are creatures of habit, and they do need their space and plenty of rest. Make sure he's not being kept up all hours, because he needs close to 12 hours darkness in which to sleep. This means peace, quiet and dark for that period.

The other issue to consider is when birds drastically change their habits it can point directly to illness, so I recommend having him checked out by an Avian Vet for infections or other physical issues he may be experiencing.

Once this is done, make sure he is not being upset by the other members of the household and make sure they know what they can and cannot do around a parrot. Toxic products can be a concern if they are not trained in what to use and not with birds. Fingernail polish, remover, perfume, hairspray, scented room deoderizers and even perfumed dryer sheets are a real cause for concern as all these products are toxic for a bird. Most house cleaning products are also toxic including bleach, pine cleaners and much more. There is a bird-safe cleaner found here that kills as many bacteria and viral agents as bleach does without the toxic smell and without damaging ground water supplies. It's called Focus and can be found under the heading for cleaning products.

Also, carrying the bird around a lot can be a problem in that bird is exposed to all kinds of possible infectious agents. Birds have only gram positive bacteria in their bodies while humans and other animals have lots of gram negative. Birds can tolerate some gram negative normally found in their own homes, and will not be able to stay well when exposed to many different kinds and strains from being taken everywhere. You are inadvertantly exposing him to many harmful agents and when the gram negative bacteria is in too great a mass in his body, he will become ill. Birds have to be diagnosed and treated for infections as they do not just get over them.

Find an Avian Vet in your area if you don't already have one and have him thoroughly examined. Also make sure he's eating 80-85% organic pelleted diet to help keep his immune system up and functioning properly. There are several kinds found here. It does take time for the change from seeds or junk pellets to the good ones and here is a link to article about that:

Switching Birds To Pellets article

Make NO changes in diet until bird has been examined by an Avian Vet because dietary changes are stressful as is moving and all the new stuff he's experiencing.

Find an Avian Vet

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