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Charlie Parker

Oliver is attacking me

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Well, the newest member of our flock, Oliver, has started to relentlessly attack me. He is really good with andy and Andy can do pretty much anything with oliver. I on the other hand... I used to be able to get him to step up and down on my finger but now I am really nervous about him biting me. Today I was changing his food and water and he literally flew on me and bit my neck and my arm before I had to make him go to the floor because he was so intent on not letting me go. All day today he has pursued me when he was on the floor to bite me. I made him step up on a wood dowl and he started to climb that to get to my hand. I know this is a behavior problem but genes! Oliver is 8 yoand I know nothing about his past, neither does the person from the pet store. Time and effort will be needed I know. Oh, he has a new cage as of 2 days ago so maybe that has something to do with it.

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I have never had to deal with this particular problem but I know there are others here who have and hopefully they will chime in with their advice. I know this is frustrating for you since you know nothing of his past but you will get past this, hang in there and be patient.

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I'm afraid I haven't had to deal with this situation either but I do feel for you. It may take some time to build trust and any kind of relationship with Oliver. It may always be the case that Oliver is "Andy's bird". Without knowing where Oliver has come from or the reasons for his rehome, it's impossible to guess what the problem might be caused by.

It may be worth taking a step back (to avoid any more nasty bites) temporarily and letting Andy be the main caregiver. Maybe Oliver needs to get used to you slowly- perhaps start with keeping your distance (but still being in the room with him) and just get him used to your presence and your voice. Talk to him, read to him, tell him about your day... all from a distance. Don't try to approach him until he seems to accept you in the room. It might be that it takes a while for him to tolerate you. It may be easier to do this whilst he's in his cage as opposed to having the ability to fly at you as well. Prepared to be patient!!

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Thank you for your encouragement, I really appreciate it. I know it's going to take awhile for Oliver to get used to literally everything around him. Andy is very good with him, Andy got a good bite today on his arm as well. Andy was trying to hang a new toy in his cage but Oliver seemed very impatient and bit him as to say look out I wanna see my new toy man. I honestly think that Oliver needs some time to adjust to all these new things around him, I can't blame the poor guy. Charlie does his best to make contact with oliver but I am not letting that happen at all, one bite from oliver and Charlie could be gone forever, no way do I want that to happen. Oliver is a good boy, he plays and for the most part pretty well behaved.

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Neoow gave you just the advice I would. Let Andy be his caregiver for now. You want to try to make every interaction with Oliver a successful one. That means, for now, setting a chair as close as you can to his cage before he fluffs up & shows signs of fear or aggression, then, from that distance, read to him, talk to him, interact with him the only way you can right now. Give him lots of praise, talk in a happy voice. A piece of advice I got when I was trying to establish a relationship with my rehomed boy was to approach the cage and treat him as if he was already the bird I wanted him to be. They are very adept at reading our body language so the way you approach him is important. I know it's hard not to fear the bite, so the best thing to do is to not put yourself in a situation where you can get bit. Since you don't know about his past you don't know, maybe something about you reminds him of someone that abused him in the past. You have to help him unpack his baggage and settle in his new home. I know you an do it.

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You have been been given great advice, and with time Oliver will become more accustomed to life with you and Andy. So often our natural tendencies is to want to make friends right away, handle as soon as possible, surround with new and wonderful toys, change to new food etc. All of these things while well intentioned are stressors for a new companion.

 

Just allow Oliver to be what he is....a bird. Hang out around him and go about your day. If he attacks you when you are not trying to interact with him, then only be around him while he is caged and don't approach his cage for awhile. Just give him a nice whistle when you come in and out of the area and have it be the same one every time so that he begins to identify that sound with you. Always move calmly and slowly (but not creepily slow) when you are around him. Fast movements trigger escape instincts.

 

Most importantly, relax. Oliver is a long term commitment and over time, and it may be a long time, he will become used to you. For now it appears that Andy is his guy so just enjoy watching their interactions and don't take it personally.

 

Eventually in a few weeks start dropping a wonderful treat into Oliver's dish when you walk by and give him your personal whistle when you do that. He will start connecting good things with you and your whistle. Allow him to interact with you in his own way and time. It will pay off. Adjust your expectations and enjoy living beside this wonderful creature :)

 

Kudos to you for welcoming Oliver into your home and lives. We are all here to help you, and any advice or opinions comes from our hearts so never feel nervous about asking. There are many excellent books and articles on bird behaviors on Amazon or from your library as well as tons of great threads to read here in the forums.

 

Keep an open heart, don't take Oliver's behavior personally, and know that time goes a long way with our companions.

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I agree more time in his cage when you are available to attack and let Andy be his manservant for now. The suggestion to spend some quiet time near his cage moving slowly and speaking softly will help you work towards a safer interaction. It may be too much all at once for Oliver.

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With our flock there are some that only I can handle and some only my husband can handle and it really is what it is, lol. For 3 years now I have been trying to get his little girl Gabby to tolerate me and she will now, IF she needs me to carry her somewhere or I am peeling potatoes. Cotay, she will only step up for me if I have a towel over my arm, it can be a towel so thin and full of holes most people would deem it useless but as long as she doesn't have to touch my skin she is just fine with me. If I approach her without the towel I WILL get bit. Then we have my love bugs who totally hate my husband and 3 of the 4 will take full on flight attacks at him. Chacho, yellow nape, it seems I am the only person in the world he has let handle him. Vincent, goffins, liked Pat at first then the first time they were playing together (Vinny will get on your finger and throw himself backwards) he flipped himself backwards and it startled Pat which cause Vincent to lose trust and bite the snot out of Pat. Forgiveness has not been given and Vincent will fly to Pat's shoulder all cute and sweet then crawl down the front of his shirt and bite at his chin and cheek. Marley, military, she just flat out right hates men, strangers and his former owners. Pretty much leaves me that she loves! Kane, blue throat, not sure why but hates for Pat to pick her up, once she is on him she is fine but it is a total blood bath getting her there.

 

It is hard for me to give any advice about this because I am torn on a approach. On one hand I feel we should give them the time to adjust to us and let them move at their own pace to build the trust. On the other hand, if we don't "show" them what they are missing out on like the head scritches, hugs and taxi rides on the arm (or shoulder) then they won't ever know. I say this last part because with Chacho, Pat gave him the time, sat and still sits beside the cage talking, singing and giving him his favorite treats. We feel now that after a year of this, attacking and trying to kill Pat is his game that he plays. That the window of opportunity for Pat to form any relationship with him has passed. Not that we will give up and stop trying but we have moved on to acceptance now. It is the same with the others, they have taught us our boundaries with them and it is okay. Happy and healthy is what matters most because each gets their love from the chosen one, the other person just has to love from afar. :-)

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I would suggest, parking the old cage next to the new one. That is their home and all they have ever known. Their security blanket! That is the best way of offering a new cage. They get to jump back and forth and get to explore new cage. Eventually with trust developed... they will jump into any new cage you offer. For now... your birds original home is very important.

Your bird will pick Andy as his favorite, so it is important you get involved with feedings and play. Spend time reading with him in front of cage routinely. Establishing pack leader, can't be done right now until the trust is there. I NEVER put my fingers in their cage until we were comfortable with each other. Cleaning and toy adjustment was always when they were off their cage. I can put my fingers in my birds cages now because Sophie trusts me. It took awhile... but once she trusted me and kids, we can put our fingers anywhere in her cage. Now she just holds on so we pick her up! PATIENCE and DETERMINATION! Nancy

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