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Discussion Starter #1
Life with Pip has been a challenge.

Pip is about 17 months. Always been a skittish bird. He is an unpredictably biting bird. Several months ago, his terratorial/hormonal aggression got bad enough that I didn't really want to go near him. He came with his wings clipped and I let them grow because so many people said that was the humane thing to do.

Pip is also a one person bird. Hates everyone in my family except me. A few months ago, he became addicted to my shoulder. As soon as I let him out of his cage he'd immediately fly to my shoulder, and he never wanted to leave. Eventually, if we were in his cage room, he'd fly immediately to my shoulder and start biting my neck and ears, drawing blood. Getting him back to the cage was hard enough, but doing it while he was attacking my ears and neck was next to impossible. He is very cage/food protective. For 15 months, he has attacked the food dish every time I replace it or fill it.

I've gotten better with getting him on my hand first, and taking him immediately out of the room. He seems less aggressive outside of the cage room.

I also know that he is deeply hormonal, and he seems to have been this way since early summer. He gets weirdly attached to certain toys and masturbates on and in the cage ... a lot.

I can't have a bird on my shoulder all the time and especially one that wants to mate with me (sorry, Pip, but no) and tends to bite, hard and and without provocation or warning.

So, on advice of many people, including a few here, I have decided to clip his wings. If he is going to come to me, I need him to cooperate. He cannot fly to my shoulder any more. His behavior is not improving. He isn't singing anymore (he knows at least 5 songs but no longer sings them). I don't know what else to do.

After weeks of hesitation and research on how-to's, I decided that tonight was the night. He came to me, and we sat down on the couch next to his cage and he perched on my shoulder. Within minutes, he was biting and blood was drawn on my ear. I tried to take him off my shoulder with the towel, and he screamed bloody murder. While trying to get him into a position where I could hold him, he escaped and flew back up to his cage. He was not happy (of course), and I couldn't go near his cage for awhile without him spreading wings and hissing at me.

I hate to take the steps of removing his flight to calm him down a bit and remove some of independence, but at this point, I do not know what else to do. And the catch-22 is that I can't seem to figure out how to towel him without him escaping and without trauma to both of us.

I am so envious of everyone else's stories about their sweet-tempered and affectionate birds. Mine seems to love me too much and hate me at the same time. It's exhausting and heartbreaking.

Does anyone have any advice on how to towel and clip a skittish, aggressive bird?

I'm at a loss, with just about everything. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I am so sorry about what you are going through. It sounds very difficult.

Have you tried 14 hours of darkness to reduce his hormones?

I was having a lot of trouble with Emma when I first got her. I had to take her to the vet's to get her clipped. To do that, I had to take her food away until she was hungry enough to go into her travel cage. She's still kind of difficult--will not step up, cannot be caught in a towel, etc. You are not alone.

Some birds are much easier than others. My Silver is a much easier bird. But, I wonder if that will change as he gets older and becomes more hormonal. He is nearly a year old now.

Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Dianne. It's rough.

I do worry that he just will not be happy with us. Perhaps he is just meant to be a mating bird in an aviary.

We'll see.
 

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"Perhaps he is just meant to be a mating bird in an aviary."

That sounds like my Emma. I am having a problem with her laying eggs. She seems to really want to be a mother. If we could get them together, we could start a breeding program.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Some insight into Pip: took him from his cage and brought him to the dinner table with us (we do this sometimes for socialization). I have him a small plate of peas and corn, and scattered a few sunflower treats in the table for him to nibble on. He could have cared less about the food. He was too busy cooing and chirping at the reflection of himself in the tiny metal band of the salt shaker. He does this obsessively with any reflective surface he can find, including tiny bells on the end of toys. He's a little Narcissus. This has led me to believe that Pip is obsessed with the idea of a mate. Here's an example pic.




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It is natural for a bird to want a mate, but another bird may not fit into your life right now. I think taking more steps to reducing hormones would be a good way to go then and adding toys he can take his aggression out on. Does he have any leather or wooden toys that he can chew on to do that? Toys made of easily shreddable wood like balsa that you can get at pet stores is really fun for 'tiels. As well as wooden blocks you can get online from bird stores to create toys for them.

Here is a thread sticky on the taming of aggressive birds: http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=33824

AviCalm is good for calming down the aggressive behavior of hormonal birds. Here is a link to it but you can find it cheaper in other places: http://www.amazon.com/Avitech-AviCalm-Calming-Supplement/dp/B00I2LT1YK

I hope you can bond with him soon. :)
 
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