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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I've read lots on the forum but haven't posted before. I've had all sorts of pets my whole life and currently have everything from reptiles to an Eagle owl. My wife is confined to bed due to an illness so I thought a parrotlet would be perfect as she would enjoy the company and bonding and he would have out of cage activity all day every day. Unfortunately he bonded with me pretty much instantly and didn't particularly like her. After a few months of leaving him with her more often than being with me he would sit with her and seemed to be bonding but the second I come in he's on me and isn't interested in anyone else including my wife. We're working on that with slow improvement but right now the biggest problem is his random aggression. He will be happily sitting in the room with us just pruning himself or whatever and will randomly fly on to my shoulder and bite my ear really hard. It's definitely not playful as I do get a lot of affection from him so I know the difference. With any of my other pets I can see what the trigger is if they act in any way aggressive although they generally don't but with him it's so out of the blue I really can't see any reason.
Does anyone know why he might act like this? He is about 8 months old at the moment . Thanks in advance for any advice
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We've definitely been watching for what he's trying to say and reading him better, it's the times it's kind of sporadic that really confuse me. Like he will go and start biting my tree when he wants to go back to his cage or he'll fly more around the room when his food or water are low but the times he goes from just sitting being chill to immediate bite with no warning and nothing having changed baffle me
 

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He is eight months old? He could be starting to go through "The Terrible Two's" - puberty. They become very hormonal and it makes them aggressive. My previous bird at eight months old started getting aggressive with me out of the blue - just like what your experiencing. It was the terrible two's. With her it was attacking my bare arms. Is he still biting you for no reason?

If it is the terrible two's, the good news is that it will pass. The bird I have now is seven months old and should be going through puberty in the next few months. I am hoping he is one of those birds that sails through it nicely. My last bird turned into a little demon! (A little greenie meanie!) lol It was so nice when it was over and she went back to her sweet self again! (I think it lasted about a month). If it is hormonal behavior, your little guy should stop the out of the blue biting once it is over!
 

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Hi - welcome to the forum. Parrotlets are notoriously feisty little birds and tend to bite more than some other birds, but this is definitely the case around puberty. It can be a very difficult phase for them - and for us - when they are hormonal like a teenaged kid. Except they bite. And hard. The vast majority of us have gone through this - in my case, my girl Kiwi brought me to tears on a number of occasions. It is really important to continue to handle them during these periods. As Anya said, this period does pass but it is an important time to help them to develop bite inhibition (basically the power of their beak and what is too hard of a bite). Many people find the “gentle beak” technique a good one for helping their little biters - I am attaching a link to a good post on it for you.

It is good to work on this because parrotlets are biters and really do explore the world with their beaks. Getting a bit of a handle on it will allow you to have a truly wonderful relationship with your little one that is so enriching for both of you.

Not to scare you, but I do want to say that you also desensitize a little so the bites don’t hurt as much - LOL - unless they are intended to hurt, which happens. I have had my girl for almost 19 years now and have had my share of good chomps. It is rare that she will bite now as an old lady but I find my tolerance so much higher when she does.

As for bonding, the (un)fortunate truth is that they do tend to bond to one person and it isn’t always the one you intend. It is good that he will still hang out with your wife when you’re not around. She might want to try giving him special treats when he’s with her, like millet or sunflower seeds. It may encourage him to be comfortable hanging out with her even if you’re present. They are often called Velcro birds because of their desire to be on the person they have bonded with so it isn’t particularly surprising that he insists on being with you when you’re there.

My best advice is to always remember that parrotlets are wild creatures despite being raised in a human environment. They have their wild bird instincts and react and explore their environments as they would in the wild. In the wild, you would be a predator to them so the fact that he bonded with you and will hang out with your wife is an incredible gift. Think of the wonder you would feel if a little bird in nature began landing on you and hanging out around you. It’s very similar, we just tend to label them as “pets” and expect more, in part because we have “bought” them. I am not saying this in any negative way at all - there have certainly been days I questioned my investment - but rather just to help you understand how important it is to relate to them as wild birds rather than expecting them to relate to us. It really helps in the more challenging times we all experience with these feisty little fluffballs.

I look forward to hearing all about your progress with him!

 
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