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Discussion Starter #1
As you can tell from some previous posts, we're having some real trouble with Pip. He may be hormonal, or he may just be developing into a generally aggressive bird (he's never been an easy bird). I was attacked again today. He ate breakfast with us on my shoulder, no problems, then was returned to the top of his cage. 10 minutes later I walked into the room and he flew to my shoulder and attacked the **** out of my ear. It hurt, badly. He proceeded to fight with the hood on my hoody, then moved onto my neck and ears again.

Then of course, I could not get him off my shoulder, as he attacked my hand/finger while trying to return him to his cage. After finally getting him back inside, he paced around the cage, following me all around it, very agitated. He pecked at me through the bars while I closed his cage.

the most pressing question right now is HOW I HANDLE MYSELF when this happens. Being a former longtime owner of well-trained and well behaved dogs, my instinct is to express my disappointment with a firm "NO. NO BITING. NO PIP!"

When I do this, he hisses at me and lunges so that clearly isn't the answer.

SO. When my bird displays aggressive/territorial/dominant behavior, how do I handle it? Because the little dude is about to spend a week in his cage with no out time. Grounding a bird ... ha.

I've removed a small mirror that he was friendly with and a disco ball toy that he has played aggressively with ... and also masturbated with, hoping that might quell some of the aggression/hormones. But it is a shot in the dark.

I understand that patience is required, but I do not feel that aggressive behavior should be tolerated, and I do not want to be attacked anymore, and I do not want him to attack my wife and kids.

So I don't know how to react in the most productive way. That's my first step. How should I be reacting to his behavior?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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There seems to be a lot of disagreement on this. The biggest consensus I've heard is definitely don't hit the bird or flick him on his beak.

Some people say that a firm "no" can get across, but frankly, my birds don't understand verbal commands whatsoever. I think what's key is to make sure that the bird doesn't "get what he wants," hence validating the bad behavior. What do you think Pip is trying to do or get when he attacks you? Might be hard to figure out especially since it sounds like he may well just be a cranky adolescent.

Is he clipped? My birds' flights are still growing out, and they go bonkers when they want to be moved because they aren't comfortable flying from place to place on their own.

(oh and removing the mirror was definitely a good thing, we took Elvis' away months ago and his hormones basically vanished.)
 

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If he is not clipped I would suggest a light clip. At least that will stop him from flying over to you and biting.. you don't want him clipped so hard he drops like a stone either.
 

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This article on bird psychology may help. Tiels don't have a dominance issue like a lot of people think. One of the biggest challenges I had was getting by boyfriend to understand that my tiel isn't a dog. They don't have the leader of the pack mentality, etc. that dogs have. Once my fiancé started treating Sunny like a bird, and not a dog, their relationship improved. I'm not saying that you're treating your bird like a dog but better understanding Pip's psychology may help.

http://www.littlefeatheredbuddies.com/info/gen-psychology.html

P.S. I also think his attacking is coming from him being hormonal.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think what's key is to make sure that the bird doesn't "get what he wants," hence validating the bad behavior. What do you think Pip is trying to do or get when he attacks you?
As far as I can tell, he only wants out of his cage, and more urgently, on my shoulder. He gets lots of out of cage time, sometimes spending much of the day on top of his cage. When I come into the room, he starts pacing as begging to get on my shoulder. And then sometimes he bites my face. Don't get it.

Is he clipped?
He came to us clipped, then clipped himself in a series of night frights, but they are mostly grown again and he is becoming a pretty adept flyer ... which has its pros and cons.

Funny, now that I think of it, he was a much nicer bird when he wasn't fully flighted.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This article on bird psychology may help. Tiels don't have a dominance issue like a lot of people think. One of the biggest challenges I had was getting by boyfriend to understand that my tiel isn't a dog. They don't have the leader of the pack mentality, etc. that dogs have. Once my fiancé started treating Sunny like a bird, and not a dog, their relationship improved. I'm not saying that you're treating your bird like a dog but better understanding Pip's psychology may help.
Thank, you. And I try to remember he is not a dog, but when I am in the aftermath of a biting fit, it'd hard to know how else to respond to him. Can't pretend like it didn't happen as it is very, very unpleasant and my temper is rising because of it, I admit.

Birds are a different kind of crazy than dogs, for sure. :)
 

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Thank, you. And I try to remember he is not a dog, but when I am in the aftermath of a biting fit, it'd hard to know how else to respond to him. Can't pretend like it didn't happen as it is very, very unpleasant and my temper is rising because of it, I admit.
One of my hands is so covered in bite scars thanks to the tiels' recent decision to get more and more aggressive (both with us and with each other) that one of my friends asked me if I'm cutting myself. You're not alone!!
 

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This could be a random question but is Pip getting the right balance of food (healthy diet)?
 

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The thing that struck me here...do you normally wear a hoody? Sometimes things just scare birds for no reason, whether its a funky colored shirt and a hat or sunglasses. He may have been afraid of your hoody.

Also, if he wont get off your shoulder when you want and he's biting your hand, tilt your shoulder to make it unsteady, to the point where he almost falls off. It will throw him off and he'll probably want to step on your hand at that point. Also helps with biting (this is usually done on the hand but since he's always on your shoulder you'll have to try it there.)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This could be a random question but is Pip getting the right balance of food (healthy diet)?
He has seed/pellet mix all night long. It gets removed in the morning, and replaced with a veggie mix or a scrambled egg (maybe once a week). The veggies stay until lunchtime when I replace them once again with the seed/pellet mix. That's pretty much what I do everyday.

He certainly doesn't eat much of the veg mix, but he is clearly nibbling on them.

This is pretty much what I understood I was to do with his diet.


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I don't think what you are doing is totally wrong - everyone has different meal plans.

I make a couple of different types of vegie mixes; one based on beans and one with a pasta base with vegies like capsicum, corn, peas, chilli, sugarsnap peas etc. They both have wild rice, chai seeds, and quinoa in them.

I give them the vegies for brekky but I also leave there seed/pellet mix all day and night. At night they get some fruit or fresh vegies (or part of my dinner if they can, LOL!.)

Hope this may help.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The thing that struck me here...do you normally wear a hoody? Sometimes things just scare birds for no reason, whether its a funky colored shirt and a hat or sunglasses. He may have been afraid of your hoody.

Also, if he wont get off your shoulder when you want and he's biting your hand, tilt your shoulder to make it unsteady, to the point where he almost falls off. It will throw him off and he'll probably want to step on your hand at that point. Also helps with biting (this is usually done on the hand but since he's always on your shoulder you'll have to try it there.)

Thanks!

I wear hoodies occasionally. He's been fine with them so far. Until he went all psychotic on me. ;)

Thanks for the balance tip, I'll give it a shot.


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I found some dried greens at the pet shop and an herbalist who lives here, who also happens to be a bird expert, hooked me up some loose "peace tea", that she can't get enough of!! Try dried chamomile and bee pollen. I also added a fresh sweet basil pant to her cage and she munches on it all day. Honestly, I don't know if that has made a difference in her, but she has settled into such a calm and sweet disposition...happy all the time :)
 
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