My question is to those of you who have experienced living with a sexually maturing cockbird. How do I deal with the sudden onset of agression? He's never agressive out of his cage but when it comes time to fill up his water bowl or nectar dish he puffs up starts screaming and three times he has bitten me, twice rather painfully. Is Sparky going to be like this for the rest of his life or like humans will his hormones therefore his behaviour settle down? And for the last three months -ish I have had to chase him to catch him! Is he scared of me outside the cage or is it that he just doesn't want to be caught? I can catch him eventually and then he'll quite happily step up onto my finger. But quite often he'll fly off and I'll have to go through all the rigmarole of catching the little bugger again. Is the fact he's always out of his cage a factor? Do I let him free fly too often? And quite often when he was younger he would sit on my head all day and not move and now he'll only stay there for a nano second before flying off! Is it because he's becoming an adult that his behaviour has changed? He never used to be cage territorial and even now I can put my hand in his cage....WAAAAAAAAAH! HEEEEEEELP!
Ive had cock birds myself, and they do tend to pose like this. Not sure why, but they grow out of it.
When his out of the cage, he probably thinks its a game of chaseys. Harritte my little girl does this as well, wont go in her cage when shes told, so what I do is bribe her with her favourite food in the cage. I make sure I do this all the time when shes out so she knows she gets a treat when its time to go in.
Judy's right he thinks your playing games with him when you try to catch him. Lorikeets are very inquisitive and get into everything so just sitting around isn't what they normally do especially as they mature. His hormones should settle after breeding season and he won't be so aggressive. He's a lil cutie, just love his expression LOL
I'd also suggest putting him away for a couple of hours during the day too. Buy yourself a soft fish net, you can get 6 inch ones for about $3 at The Warehouse. This will make catching him less stressful on him and you.
Thanks everyone for your advice. Sparky has been like this for three months when should I expect him to go back to where he was before he started going through puberty? Loribabe you said he would settle down after the breeding season but when's that? It's weird one time I am too scared to put my hand in the cage because his bites hurt and the next minute I can put my hand in there no problem. I find though that I'm only really scared to put my hand in the cage when I am filling up his food recepticals. And he plays the run away game in his cage too! I used to be able to dip my head at the front of his cage and he would hope out onto my head but he doesn't do that any more! And how do I stop him screaming? I had him outside the other day with the intention of leaving him out there til the sun set but his screams/whistling(Mainly the high pitched 'Bow Keet' screech)was so loud I had to bring him in for fear of annoying the neighbours! I find the only effective way of keeping him quiet is to drape his cage in dark coloured towels and then he's quiet or at the very least only whistles or mutters 'F@#king Hell Sparky'(Something he learnt from me unfortunately...but I didn't teach him that on purpose!) Obviously I can't leave the towels on him all the time but what do I do? He's quiet out of his cage but goes mental in it(Not mental mental just whistles excitedly and hangs upside down on his panda bear and little four sided mirror). Do you think he's quiet out of his cage and excruciatingly loud in it because I let him spend too much time out of his cage? Please help the noise is starting to drive me nuts and his sister Sam arrives soon I want to rectify any problems with him before I get her so I don't have Sparky's problems twice over!
Breeding season won't end until around February I'm afraid. Sparky is growing up and may not want to play the same way he did before when he was a baby. Keep him in his cage at least 3-4 hours during the day. If his screeching really bothers you, get a heavy blanket and put him in a spare room and cover it and pull the blinds. Leave him outside during the day, his screeching is just saying "hey world, I am here". Surely there are noisy wild birds around you? Goodness, I've got 4 Green Cheek Conures, 2 Moustache Parrots and over 40 budgies - my neighbour actually loves all the bird noises!
Thanks Karen for your help. Yes there are wild birds around where I live. Hundreds or 'Bow Keets sometimes Musk Lorikeets hundreds of Galahs and Short Billed Corellas sometimes Sulphur Crested Cockatoosand the usual collection of Honeyeaters Noisy Mynahs and Spoggies and there's a family of about 12 Rosellas that live around the train station. I know I shouldn't really be annoyed at the screaming it's just he never used to do it til about three months ago! How long does the breeding season normally go for? Are 'Bow 'Keets year round breeders? If the breeding season is til Feb next year will a pattern develop? Like will Sparky be a little turd for say four months of the year then be not so turd like for the rest of the year? I'm still learning about Sparky even though I've owned...no he's owned me for 16 months!...he he he.
I reckon he should settle down soon. He is of an age to be going through puberty - he's acting like a bird, I know it's not what we like with the screeching but screeching is part of what a rainbow lorikeet does. I'm afraid you'll never stop him from doing it but he should grow out of biting. Is he clipped? I'd suggest a thick set of gloves and snip the 4 longest flight feathers on each wing. Him becoming dependent on you may just settle him down a bit.
you might think of getting a female for him as well - this might also settling down, the screeching may mean as you have said, he is ready to mate. Also birds tend to get to the aggressive stage when they are going thru a moult as well, all my birds have done this and have grown out of it thankfully.
Harriette can be rather loud at times, and she is also starting to lay her eggs, I put her outside near the kitchen door in a large cage and have put a nestbox up for her, and am getting her a mate pretty soon. He is also going to be handreared, so that harriette and I dont lose the bond we have between us.
I did the wrong thing of putting a mature male in with harriette a couple of years back and I lost the bond between us and it was so down heartening I couldnt go near her and the male would do his little song and dance everytime I entered the cage, as if her were protecting her. I let him out to fly around abit with her, but he did the same thing out of the cage as well, he wouldnt let me near her. In the end I put him in his own cage (very thick gloves lol).
Harriette settled down and became my friend once I did this, and Jack my male was a happy camper with Jill.
I will add, lorikeets are a noisey bird specially when a flock of them fly over head, this is just because they tend to answer one anothers calls. They become noisey in the mornings, and in the evenings around 5ish. Hope this has helped you ratgirl. Let us know how things go
ps..... lorikeets tend to mate all year round, but usually slow down thru the winter season.
I think Femles go throu this also, for Mylo(My Indian Ringneck),used to do what you have mentioned with attack's ,then settle down with only a few outbreaks of beak attack once here and there in a month.It only lasted a few months as well..What l done was close the cage door and walk away for ten minutes (making sure she couldn't see me also).Then when l came back she was happy to jump on and be my bird..he.. Clipping say 4-5 secondary feathers, will help you also in retreaving him.He will still be able to fly just not a fast...
Thanks guys for all your help. I know Sparky is being Sparky and I love him whatever foibles he has but the change happened so suddenly! He went from a Mummy's boy to a hormonal turd! When I got him only one wing was clipped and I let them grow out before I decided about two weeks ago to re-clip it. I really don't want to clip the other wing as he manages to get around okay it's just he has the speed and agility of a quarter horse! If he can't or won't fly he runs! The thing that puzzles me s he seems to run away from me He's like a yo yo in his behavious. One minute he'll be this hormonal 'I am Sparky hear me roar' then the next minute he's the Mummy's boy and will sit on my head grooming my scalp!
Loribabe I am getting Sparky a female not for breeding purposes though. Sparky's breeder tol me breeding 'Bow 'Keets is a pain in the butt as you have to hose down the aviary they are in every day or ants wil go after the sugary residue of their poo and go after their nectar. I was so enchanted by Sparky I asked his breeder if she had another one and the one she did have available just happened to be Sparky's sister Sam. he's about six months younger than Sparky. I hope that some company will help him a little. Do you think it's a possibility he's lonely?
Lonely .hmmm well yes and no all depends on how much time is spent with the Lori.Hard to put a good time as well some only require little time others more???It 's a hard one in my opinion. Might be a seasonal thing also..either way they ajust well to all changes and make the most of what they have.. so l won't worry about company to much if your spending time with him..You are doing well by he sounds of things
When I had my girl Bo, she didn't have a friend except for the wild ones and she didn't care. Personally I wouldn't get another as Sparky will bond with his own kind & ignore you. Just have patience and if he runs away then don't chase him. Sit on the floor and gently call him back to you. You will have to clip the other wing - an unbalanced bird is a danger to his own health and safety.