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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just recently got a blue pacific parrotlet (named Blu) and he is about 3 months old now (born in August). When I first got him he was very sweet and timid, not biting and quick to step onto my finger. He was also cuddly and enjoyed sleeping on my shoulder or in my jacket hood. However, in the last two weeks he has suddenly become extremely aggressive, to the point I can no longer hold him at all. I know they are supposed to go through this phase as adolescents, but this seems extreme and I'm not sure what to do about it. He will step up as usual onto my finger, but then proceeds to reach for the nearest finger, latch on, and bite hard enough to draw blood. I've tried telling him no and even offering millet immediately after he steps up but to no avail. He will simply choose the nearest finger, and occasionally he will fly to me, crawl down my arm, and bite the nearest exposed skin. He has even flown to me while I am sitting at my computer and then lunges at my hands trying to latch on. He makes an angry screaming noise while doing it, unprovoked. I don't leave him alone often, only working 4-5 hours a day. I let him out frequently and I used to be able to go about my daily tasks with him on my shoulder. But the bites have gotten out of hand and every bite draws blood and pierces skin, on my fingers/hands/wrist/neck/shoulder. I give him the option to stay in the cage or step up, and then he will do so and seem happy and then begin biting anyway. He gets plenty of sleep, 8 pm to 8 am usually, and a good diet with fruits and veggies and occasional seeds. Any ideas?
 

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Is there anything in the environment that has changed recently that he might not like? That's usually my first thought.
Second thought is hormones, but he seems a bit young. This doesn't seem like normal exploratory biting (young birds sometimes bite too hard when testing stuff).
Have you tried gentle beak? Sometimes that has worked for some forum users (I don't really use it but I know it can be effective).

This could just be a phase. He may stop and grow out of it in a few weeks, if you cannot work out what has changed. He could be molting. Does he have a lot of pin feathers?

Try cutting out the fruits and including only veggies for now. Sugar can sometimes set off hormonal behaviours. Try feeding some hemp seeds/hearts. I find my guy is nice and calm after he's had some. If you have a play area for him, I would let him sit there rather than on you for now (doesn't help with the flying to you and biting though). My last suggestion is to increase the foraging in his environment. Try grabbing some foraging toys, or make a foraging box. Yucca wood is great for stuffing seeds into to forage for. A foraging box doesn't have to be complicated, ours is just a tissue box with the front cut down with some paper shreddings and wood pieces in. I sprinkle a little bit of seed in there and Monty spends ages foraging through it. It might help with distraction.

Let us know how it goes!

EDIT: My additional question is about the sleep - it's 12 hours but is it in the dark/covered and is it in a quiet space? Quiet space is less important than total/mostly dark, IMO. You can also try upping the amount of sleep to 14 hours. I sometimes do this in spring during hormonal season.
 

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I recently polished my nails. My guy flies away instead of stepping up.He clearly is not happy with the change.

I have heard of birds who dislike changes, nail color new lotions or smells. Is that a possibility?
 

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I recently polished my nails. My guy flies away instead of stepping up.He clearly is not happy with the change.

I have heard of birds who dislike changes, nail color new lotions or smells. Is that a possibility?
This too - my guy hated when i changed my nails and when I got a new watch he was really mad for a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update! I tried the things everyone suggested, gave him only veggies with a few seeds. But the biggest thing that worked for me was gentle beak surprisingly!! I went and looked into that thread and after teaching him a couple days, he became responsive and would stop biting me immediately and fluff up to let me pet him. He hasn’t bit hard enough to draw blood in over a day now. Thank you so much! I really thought I was a lost cause as a bird parent lol.
 

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Update! I tried the things everyone suggested, gave him only veggies with a few seeds. But the biggest thing that worked for me was gentle beak surprisingly!! I went and looked into that thread and after teaching him a couple days, he became responsive and would stop biting me immediately and fluff up to let me pet him. He hasn’t bit hard enough to draw blood in over a day now. Thank you so much! I really thought I was a lost cause as a bird parent lol.
Great news. Gentle beak has been helping bird owners for years.
I have seen cases of parrotlet lost causes. Some pets (parrotlets) seem to be just untrainable. But they are few and far between. Our little ones want to love us and be loved by us. Most of the issues are misunderstanding on our and the birds part. Work at it, try different things and you can usually figure it out mostly. They are ever changing puzzle boxes but they have solutions. The real interesting thing would be to know what they thought of us from their perspective. How would we deal with being a 5 inch tall prey animal that most things want to eat or casually hurt and then be presented with a large predator that keep trying to play with you. Our little bits of fluff are very brave creatures to want to have anything to deal with us at all.
 
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Update! I tried the things everyone suggested, gave him only veggies with a few seeds. But the biggest thing that worked for me was gentle beak surprisingly!! I went and looked into that thread and after teaching him a couple days, he became responsive and would stop biting me immediately and fluff up to let me pet him. He hasn’t bit hard enough to draw blood in over a day now. Thank you so much! I really thought I was a lost cause as a bird parent lol.
Gentle beak were Papi’s first words! Lol
 

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I just recently got a blue pacific parrotlet (named Blu) and he is about 3 months old now (born in August). When I first got him he was very sweet and timid, not biting and quick to step onto my finger. He was also cuddly and enjoyed sleeping on my shoulder or in my jacket hood. However, in the last two weeks he has suddenly become extremely aggressive, to the point I can no longer hold him at all. I know they are supposed to go through this phase as adolescents, but this seems extreme and I'm not sure what to do about it. He will step up as usual onto my finger, but then proceeds to reach for the nearest finger, latch on, and bite hard enough to draw blood. I've tried telling him no and even offering millet immediately after he steps up but to no avail. He will simply choose the nearest finger, and occasionally he will fly to me, crawl down my arm, and bite the nearest exposed skin. He has even flown to me while I am sitting at my computer and then lunges at my hands trying to latch on. He makes an angry screaming noise while doing it, unprovoked. I don't leave him alone often, only working 4-5 hours a day. I let him out frequently and I used to be able to go about my daily tasks with him on my shoulder. But the bites have gotten out of hand and every bite draws blood and pierces skin, on my fingers/hands/wrist/neck/shoulder. I give him the option to stay in the cage or step up, and then he will do so and seem happy and then begin biting anyway. He gets plenty of sleep, 8 pm to 8 am usually, and a good diet with fruits and veggies and occasional seeds. Any ideas?
My baby loves her scratches, when she starts to bite my fingers, it’s all her time, took some time to figure it out, but doing the beak thing either made her squawk really loud and be naughty or put her head down and get puffy. She hates my computer and phone and will bite them both until she gets her scratches. When the molting starts, adolescents, scratches begin, plus I keep it pretty quiet, loud noises seem to scare my bird.
Bird Parrot Beak Neck Cockatiel
 
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