Who are you and what have you done with my bird?

I can admit when I need help and now is one of those times. For some time now, perhaps the past 1-2 months or so, Nani hasn't been herself. Normally she entertains herself for hours and rarely screams. But lately it seems as if she doesn't know what she wants or needs. Screaming has become a real problem. She loses interest in new toys almost immediately, usually within a day or two. I have purchased numerous new toys of various types and nothing seems to do the trick in the long run. I thought perhaps she needed more one on one time but she gets bored with me as well. I'd say about 75% of the time she just beeps desperately. Beeping has been her way of saying she wants something whether it be food, to be let out of her cage, or general displeasure with where she is at the moment. Trouble is, no matter what I try it doesn't seem to be what she wants. It's like trying to figure out why a baby is crying even though it's been fed and changed.

To make matters worse she has started being more aggressive than normal. In the past few days I have been bitten several times. Usually it's when I try to remove her from some sort of trouble she's getting into. I will not go so far as to say the bites are for no reason. Each time I can identify why she's bitten but the strange thing is the frequency of these incidents. Usually she will do "warning bites" which consist of a soft nip and an annoyed noise. These don't hurt at all or break the skin. If you insist with whatever you're doing that she doesn't like it is only then that she actually bites to do damage. (there are a few exceptions when she will bite right away but her behavior lately in uncharacteristic) It is possible the aggression is related to the new cage but it doesn't explain her other behavioral changes over the past few months. Are the two even related?

I can't figure out why her behavior has changed. She's healthy, eats well, and has plenty of stimulating toys. Could it be the change in weather/daylight? Is this just a new personality trait? Is it something that Caiques go through at 3 years of age? How will she react the the new Caique? Does she need a friend to play with? Will it make matters worse? I'm at a loss and need answers.

6 comments:

Michelle said...

My conure, Zeek, has exhibted some of the same behavior lately. He has become aggressive and restless and very moody. I'm wondering if they are in a breeding mood. I, too, have been seaking answers to my questions.

Zeek is guarding his cage like he is hiding something extremely precious within its walls. I take my life in my own hands just reaching in and getting his food dishes out to wash and refill.

Let me know if you find any answers and I'll do the same.

DoodleBird said...

I'll definitely let you know what others have to say. It's a relief to hear Nani isn't the only one. :)

Martin said...

I think it's probably a combination of spring arriving and your bird reaching an age of sexual maturity, which for caiques happens a little earlier than the bigger birds, usually around 3 or 4.

My amazon always gets a little feisty at this time of year, yelling for no reason (or at least, no reason I can figure out) other than just being generally frustrated.

Martin said...

I suspect it's hormones. Your bird is just reaching sexual maturity and spring is coming. :-)

My amazon gets pretty feisty at this time of year. She will scream for no reason (that I can figure out at least). It lasts for a month or so, maybe a little longer, but then should pass.

DoodleBird said...

Last year, when she turned 2, I noticed a change in her behavior as well. She decided she didn't like my friend and bit her in the face! I was shocked but at the same time realised that she was hitting that sexually mature stage. I guess I though we had seen the worst of it but perhaps I was wrong. I'll have to try harder to ease some of her tension, poor hormal thing lol.

Lola G. said...

Definitely seems hormonal and/or seasonal to me. These can be trying times indeed.............

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Nani's Vocabulary To Date:

Pretty Birdie
Pretty Girl
What Are You Doing?
(variation) Whatcha Doin'?
I Love You
Thank You
Look At You!
Peek-A-Boo
Chickie
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Hop!
I Don't Want You.