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Old 06-16-2012, 08:35 PM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
26,427 posts, read 62,653,352 times
Reputation: 30210


I have two sulfur crested cockatoos. One o fthem bites, but only me. Here is the background.

Number 1 is a male. I bought him 25 years ago. He has a defermed (or mangled0 wing and cannot fly. For about 8 years he went eveywhere with me except work. If resturaunts did not allow us in, we just went elsewhere. Certina places loved him and did nto mind breaking a few health codes. As I got busier with work after college and then had kids, he started screaming. Whn I left, he woudl scream endlessly all day until I came home. Occaisionally the little kids would stick their fingers in his cage and he woudl bite them. When I to go away for any length of time, when I came back, he was thrilled to see me. Super sweet and affectionate. Then out of no where, he would bite me really badly. He never bit anyone else that badly. He not only drew blood, but did some serious injuries on one or two occaisions. When I had to get 8 stitches in the emergency room from him biting my face, my wife had enough. Between screaming all day, biting the kids and seriously biting me from time to time she could nto take it anymore.

We gave him to a friend who did bird shows for schools. He was the star of the show and never bit and rarely screamed. He and a female became attached but she would not let him get too close. However if they stayed in the same room together he would not scream. The only time he screamed is when I visited after a year or two, when I left he screamed non stop for five hours and then stopped.

Fast forward about 10 years. The people I gave him to contacted me and asked if we wanted him back. They stopped doing shows, and were dosnwzing their flock. Since the kids are now much older, and since he no longer was screaming we said sure. They suggested we take the female as well so he woudl not scream.

After a few weeks the both became very sweet and affectionate. The male (my old bird) loves to be with me and will climb, jump hop whatever he needs to perch on my hand. He does not like me to pet him, but he tolerates being petted by other members of the family.

He does not scream much at all. The female screams a lot. However her larger cage got tied up in shipping and she is stuck in a pretty small cage, so that is probably why she screams so much.

However the male has bitten me twice. Both times there was nothing going on and no reason for it. He was just sitting on my hand being sweet and lean over and bit me. He not only bit, but continued trying to dig his beak into my hand, grinding back and forth. I had to push my other fingers in between the top and bottom of his beak to get him to let go.

First time we were in the kitchen walking outside. He lost his balance and grabbed my thumb to catch himself. That was all fine and then he suddenly decided to dig his beak into my thumb. That day was a bit unsual in that we were outside most of the day and had a lot of guests. He had been on top of his cage for an hour and then wanted to go with me, so I was taking him back outside. Maybe he was stressed.

Second time, no stress. He was sitting on the shower curtain rod while I took a shower as he does every morning. as soon as I was done, the started pacing ont he rod and bouncing toward me telling me it was time to pick him up. I did and he was sweet and funny for fifteen minutes. Then he suddenly lean over and bit my hand, grinding his beak in as mentioned. When I got him off me, I put him in a towel and then into his cage and covered him.

He does not bite anyone else except the normal warning nip once in a while that all of them do. When he bites me, it is not a warning nip like the female does, he digs his beak in and grinds it trying to get throught eh skin and hurt me.

He prefers to be with me over anyone else, but he also bites only me. No stitches yet, but some pretty nasty bites. He desperately wants to sit on my shoulder all the time, but I am not going to let him near my face until I figure this out.

When he is with me, he mostly wants to put his face as close as possible to mine and make a clicking with his beak as fast as he can. If I click back, he clicks faster and gets really happy. Not sure what this means.

He is super sweet 99% of the time, and I still take him everywhere with me, but when he starts getting really bouncy on my hand, that is when he bit me the last two times, so I put him away from me.

Maybe he is just mad for my disappearing for 12 years. If so, will he get over it?

Any bird behaviour experts out there?
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:35 PM
Location: Minnesota
336 posts, read 1,251,247 times
Reputation: 140
Cockatoo's can get wound up when they are bouncing and happy...sometimes a bit too much and bite. If this behavior has been recently it could be hormones. This was a funny winter and I have noticed a big change in their behavior due to hormones. Its hard to say - but sometimes they can just be unpredictable.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:09 PM
16,487 posts, read 21,012,959 times
Reputation: 16171
I have no doubt that he remembers you and that may be what this is about. Maybe you can work hard to discourge him getting all bouncy or make sure he is away from you when he behaves that way and see if the biting stops. Sounds painful!
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