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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there!
My parrotlet Pearl is very sweet 90% of the time. We have a close bond. But sometimes, when I pick up or touch certain objects, she gets very mad (I’m not sure if that is directed towards me or towards the object), and often goes for the object, biting me in the process occasionally. It means I struggle to do things with her other than cuddling, training, and feeding her. I would like to teach her to not react this way. Has anyone else experienced this with their parrotlet? I have two other parrotlets who are bonded together but are very tame, but they never react this way. Are there any training techniques that I can use to prevent this behaviour?
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum! Consider starting with target training. It is a great technique to desensitize your bird to things they hate/scared of. And it helps to get your bird to go/do what you want because birds will rarely turn down a favorite treat. Food motivates them! Just make sure she hasn’t eaten a meal before training! If/once she is target trained, you can put the water bottle/pen down and target her near it. All throughout this training, whenever you are touching the water bottle or pen, and she is not attacking, give her treats. Just take small increment steps to get her used to you handling the bottle/pen. Once she is okay with one step, move on to the next. Some steps you may have to do a bunch of times. That’s okay. Let Pearl go at her own pace. Do not rush her or else she will shut down because it is no longer fun for her. It may take a while. It could take a day, a few days, a week or longer. It depends on Pearl. Maybe just 5 -10 minutes training – twice a day? You don’t want to overload her with too many treats! Lol I hope this works. If it doesn’t, you may just have to drink out of a glass! lol A happy bird. A happy life! :) Keep us posted on how it is going! Good luck! And we would love to see some pics of Pearl!

Here is a video I like about target training.

 

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Wow!! They’re gorgeous!! Joyce was my beloved mother’s name. I love that there is a parrotlet out there with her name!! Which one is it?
 
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I am so excited that Joyce is the green one - just like my Kiwi! My mother loved Kiwi but was terrified of her - haha! They had a beautiful relationship as long as Kiwi was in her cage while she was here.

I love the human names and that is so funny that they’re like an old married couple!! In the photo where they are on your shoulder, Norman totally looks like a grumpy old man! So cute! I like that they are bonded to each other. I mean, it’s such a privilege that they bond to us, but it is heartwarming to see them bond with their own kind too. And they are such a beautiful couple! How long have they been together? Did they ever have babies?

None If this takes away from beautiful Pearl of course (another great name). It was just the name that tugged on my heartstrings a little more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hahahaa I agree!! He does doesn’t he?
I bought Normie and Joyce bonded to eachother and I’ve had them for about 2 years - they are about 3 years old? The breeder never told me their hatch date 😢.
They once had some eggs!! Unfortunately they were infertile, and poor Joyce diligently sat on them for a whole month. Norman would go in the breeding box at night with her and help. She went through the ringer though with them, and I’m glad she made it through because I was worried she was going to be egg bound. She wasn’t very well, so I’m kinda scared to encourage breeding - but maybe one day? I’m sure they would have gorgeous babies!!
Your Kiwi sounds very cute too!! I would love to see a pic 🥰🥰
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Oh wow! That’s so amazing! Those tiny little eggs! It is too bad that they never hatched 😞 but she sure showed awesome Mommy skills (just like my mom 💕). They are an absolutely adorable little couple and I would be fascinated to see what their babies would look like! But it is a bit worrisome with Joyce having had such a hard time, bless her little heart. But they have you and each other and Pearl! That’s a pretty impressive flock already!!

You take amazing photos. Are you a photographer or just really good at taking photos? I have attached a few of Kiwi (she is 18 now, if you can believe it) but they kinda demonstrate my lack of photography skills! Haha! They’re pretty good for me though!

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This is her on her actual 18th hatchday. She takes the fall for the mediocre photo because she would not cooperate! The other ones I took were just blurry heads or her back. Haha! The one in the tea box is is playing “peek-a-boo”, her all-time favourite
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Omg!! Kiwi is adorable!! And 18! I hope my parrotlets can have such a long life too. Have you had her since she was a baby? I’m not a photographer, but my secret is to just take pictures of them in natural light. It really brings out their beautiful colours 🤩🤩
 

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Thank you! I think she’s pretty gorgeous too but I am a little biased. She doesn’t have those fresh green feathers that I see on the young birds now, hers are a bit more dull, but she wears it well. Two bright yellow feathers appeared in the last couple of years, much to my surprise. One in her wing and one in her back. I will post a photo if I can actually get one. It’s so cute!

Yes, I have had her since she was a baby, about 3 months old. I actually got her from a pet store, not a breeder, and took a week going in to be sure. I originally thought I wanted her sibling instead but ended up bringing her home. Good call in my part! I do wonder how her sibling fared though.

You have a good photographer eye for light. It would be an interesting hobby for you!
 

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I wish I did! Let’s see - she has always come everywhere with me and loves loves loves car rides. My husband and I used to go to car shows on the weekend and I always brought her. We sat in the shade and people would come over to see her all the time. Our cottage is 2 hours away and she always got super excited when we would pack up Friday night. I think she enjoyed the change of scenery.

Speaking of which, in the warmer weather, she was always outside in her cage, out of direct sun and wind of course. She is consequently very comfortable in new environments. She used to love the excitement of lots of people around, but now she goes to the bottom of her cage and squats in the corner - alarming the heck out of me when I first saw her do it! I think it’s just a bit overwhelming for an old girl. Now I move her to a quiet room when people are here and she is quite content to nap peacefully.

I did allow Kiwi to be full flight and she really was an expert. She lived in the same house her whole life so the layout was very familiar. Sometimes I think allowing her to do what birds do in the human world in which she found herself contributed to her overall contentment and health. It was a risk for sure, but I think it paid off. She is unable to fly now (and I think her vision is pretty bad) but she will often grip my finger really tight and flap her wings like she is flying. It’s so cute! She hangs on for dear life and only launched once where she sort of crash landed on the floor but wasn’t hurt.

I also had her out for relaxation time, not always play or excitement. We used to love watching American Idol together years ago and I swear she chirped along with her favourites every week. It was a bit uncanny. I always joke that she should have been a guest judge. It was so insulting when she would be chirping to the singing then someone would come on and she would just stop. Haha!! Same person every week.

Did any of that contribute to her longevity? Who knows. I guess like anyone, she likes her routine and to shake it up sometimes. I have always had her cage in areas where she is part of the family so even if she isn’t out, she will be present where all the action is, even just watching a movie. I balance my time with her - I can’t have her out all the time and while she probably would like to be, she is very comfortable in her cage and can self-entertain for awhile.

I guess I would sum this long, rambly post up to making her part of my life and family while doing my best to let her be a bird at the same time. I have never lost sight of her being a wild bird (not a domesticated pet) and I think it helped our relationship enormously and her sense of self. And I adore her and she adores me too. It is such a gift for both of us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow! That’s beautiful - it’s amazing how these little birds become such important parts of our lives. I’d love to take them outside - they always look out the windows with interest. However, I think I will use a harness? I’ve seen some parrotlet owners just take them outside with nothing on. In Australia at the moment, the noisy miners like to swoop down across the big glass window they sit next to in their room. It spooks the bejeebers out of them. I think the miners would likely attack them if they were outside (something about exotic birds that they hate?). Anyway, I’d love to hear more about you and Kiwi. Your relationship is goals 🥰. And I love how you understand their needs as birds too.
 

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@ginzipiti - I loved reading that too. If I was a parrotlet, I would want you as my mom!🤣Seriously, you have given Kiwi a great life! 💚

@poppy - Awesome that you live in Australia with so many great birds!🦜Yeah, be very careful taking your bird outside. I have known a few people that sadly have lost their birds that way. Even if your bird is in a cage, you should never leave them unattended.
 

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Awww thanks Anya and Poppy! What very kind things to say! The privilege of having her as part of my life and having her trust is really all mine. After all this time, it still makes my heart swell when she falls asleep in my cupped have. What an incredible honour. Such trust. I love it.

I have never used a harness on her. Everytime we are outside, she is in one of her cages. I wouldn’t even open the door of her cage to do anything when she was outside. I also have a hard time imagining how a harness works with a bird that can fly so I have never tried it. Tell me about it if you go there!

She once had a beautiful male yellow finch woo her when she was outside in her cage. He spent about half an hour singing to her from the apple tree branches, landing on top of her cage to peer in, flitting about making these little chirping sounds. It was springtime too so he was showering her cage with apple blossom petals as he moved about. It was like a Disney movie! I am sure she was the most beautiful apple green finch he had ever seen LOL! He didn’t even mind that I was sitting right there. She peered at him a little, charged him when he deigned to land on her cage and then just ignored him. I think he left with a broken heart and likely never forgot her. Probably told his grand babies about the beautiful green finch who had been a fleeting part of his life - the one that got away. Haha!!

I confess I have recently gone outside with her snuggled into my hair, mostly because she can’t fly anymore and rarely comes out once she’s in my hair. But it has always made me uncomfortable so it is not long before I come back in. I am like you, worried about the grackles and a pair of Cooper hawks who are building a nest nearby. It is better in the summer when the hawks have fledged and the grackles aren’t nesting so less abundant.

Thank you both for asking about her! It has been fun for me to take a walk down memory lane with her. One tends to forget what it was like when she was young and active. It has been sweet to think about it (and not the biting - se was quite a bitey bird in her life…but we won’t go there today! 🤦🏻‍♀️)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hahahaha what a cute story. That little yellow finch must have been heartbroken.
As for me, taking them outside is probably not going to happen for a while. The outdoor cage idea is good though - I’ve seen some good carry cages as well.
Thank you all for the great discussion!! I love hearing about these special moments. I will keep updated on the progress for Pearl - I confess I have not started the training yet but I hope to this weekend!
 
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