I have my partner’s Double Yellow Head Amazon (Hen) he had her 35 years, (he figured she was about 5 yrs old when he got her), I was with him the last 25 years.
He passed away on 1-14-20 Congestive Heart Failure.
I had never handled her I was afraid of being bitten, but I started just after he died I figured it was not would she bite me but when & how hard. In the last year, she has only bitten me maybe 7 or 8 times and only drew blood 3 times.
Things have been fine for almost a year but lately (last 2 weeks) while taking her to her play tree in the living room from her cage in the kitchen & back, she is trying to bite me again.
I know not to shake her, I have been tapping her on the beak just once each time she tries which disconcerts her for the moment but then she’ll try again, she is not drawing blood but leaving an imprint.
She was wild-caught & abused by her previous owner who handled her with leather gloves & would slap her.
Roger went to buy a Macaw from this man and he had her on the glove and she tried to bite him and the man slapped her & said this is what you do when she bites.
Roger said I’ll buy that bird if you want to sell her, so he did, he was not leaving her with that man (he had birds all his life he was 84 when he died).
She is afraid of hands, guards her food dish (our guess was she was teased with her food).
My question for you is how do I discourage the biting, she doesn’t like being tapped on the beak with my fingernail, I don’t use force it’s just a light tap, but I don’t think this is the way to discourage the biting.
What do you suggest?
Nope, no slapping, tapping or flicking the birds. (No matter how much you might want to bip the little buggers)
Parrots do NOT understand negative behavior/feedback/punishment at all.
Editors note: Parrots have thousands of nerve endings in their beaks do a hard tap is painful endnote
Parrots are amoral and as far as they are concerned, there is no NO.
Parrot see something they want, they want it.
There is NO deciding if it is good or bad, or is it okay to chew up this piece of wood because it is your furniture and not their stand.
When a parrot does something that you consider wrong. Be it biting or chewing up your furniture. They will NOT relate your slapping, hitting as anything other than a cruel attack, period.
They have already forgotten about the bite and the destruction of the chair.
You can only offer positive reinforcement and hope they decide they want it very much and begin to equate you with the good things.
You don’t want to just allow yourself to be bitten, so you have to keep yourself out of harm’s way during the process.
If you can’t move the bird without being bitten, then use a perch.
If you get bit while the bird is on your shoulder, then the bird does not get to be on your shoulder.
Get more stands so the bird has a place to sit and still be nearby.
Building trust with your bird through clicker training ~ Video
We highly recommend Parrot Clicker Training. It can help you develop a better relationship with the bird over time.
I hope this helps.