Please help me!

Hey guys, a few years ago my Solomon Island Male Eclectus became quite aggressive and my family stayed away from him for a while which looking back on was a major mistake. He now loves my mum and hates my dad who spent years training him.For years he has been living in his cage, which don’t get me wrong, is an insanely huge cage but that’s no excuse for the cruelty of keeping him confined all the time. My name is Dane and I’m a 14 year old year 9 student so I can’t be with him 24/7 but from when I get home from school I can spend time with him. People say kids shouldn’t be looking after parrots but I believe I am capable and mature enough.My problem is that I have no confidence around him. I’ve taught him words, tricks, such as wave and turn around and I’ve spent months at his cage spending time with him but I am too scared to ask him to step up. I get incredibly nervous and this makes him anxious as well, I am just scared of his powerful beak to be flatly honest.How can I build up confidence and be less scared around him so I am able to actually handle him as I have dreamed of doing?Thanks for your help!

The most he can do it bite you. If so it will be a scared bite. Don’t react. Keep in mind “poor little guy is scared”.Don’t stick your hand in to get him. Instead open the door and invite him out. Let him fly and check everything out. He will come to you because he knows you. You are young and you will learn from him how to be friends.

I know what you are talking about, my dear. There have been two birds that I was scared of and one of them was a SI female ekkie! That bird bit the little web between two fingers in my right hand so hard, she severed nerves and I had half a finger completely numb for almost 2 years (as it is there is still a patch where I have no feeling). Ekkies can be MEAN MEAN MEAN and the worst thing about them is that never show any signs they are going to bite you so you can’t dodge it.Now, having said that, you are absolutely right that the life that poor bird has is terrible. No animal should live in a jail all their life. And we can help you do something about it. What you need to do is identify what we, in the bird world, call a high value item. This is something that the bird cannot resist. For almost all my birds is a peanut but I have a picky one that would only do it for a teeny tiny piece of cheese because it’s something that she used to get in her previous home and never gets with me (the little rascal is a smart cookie!). So, first thing is to select a number of things you already know he likes (I assume nuts like an almond, a pistachio, a peanut, or maybe a piece of bread or a cookie -my birds love Nutty Almond from Arnold’s and graham cracker - stuff like that) and offer him one of each put all in a row and watch which one he goes for first. Once you identify this, you will not give him any on his new training sessions (you will reward him with another kind) until the very end of it because this is the major prize of which he will get only one and only when he is all done. The new training sessions will be for him to step up onto a perch. This perch will be a regular straight one that you can put between the bars of the cage so he learns to do it without you risking getting bit. But, once he is doing this for you consistently (sessions should be 10 minutes each twice a day) when you let him out later on, you will use a T perch instead so he can’t walk up and bite you. You will wait until one hour before sunset (he needs to be put at a strict solar schedule with full exposure to dawn and dusk and on a very low protein diet -ekkies CANNOT eat a lot of protein so no free-feeding the protein food, it doesn’t only make them very aggressive, it destroys their liver and kidneys) and making sure the room is safe and that there is a sign on the door(s) to it saying DO NOT OPEN, you will open the door to the cage and step back. Let him come out on his own and roam around (it would be great if he would fly but he might not the first day) then, when the sun is about 1/4 about the horizon, put his protein food in his bowl (he should never get protein food during the day) and offering him his high value item, ask him to step up to the T perch, put him in his cage and give him the reward.

Thank you so much for your replies I really appreciate it. I will just keep trying and use a perch to get him out. Thanks for the high value item idea I will definitely try that. His cage lives outside so we decided to keep his wings clipped but my guess is that they are grown out right now. His cage isn’t a normal bird cage in fact we built it ourselves. It is build from thick glass not metal bars. No cold air can get in (at night because in the day the slabs are taken down so he can get fresh air and climb on the bars. He also has a light bulb heater. But like I said a huge cage is no substitute for a life if company.This is him http://i62.tinypic.com/1imst5.jpghttp://i62.tinypic.com/2yws8b9.jpgI hope those URLs work, he is a really beautiful bird and right now his life is going to waste. Thanks for all the help!P.S He really loves sun flower seeds which I give to him if a trick is performed well, maybe if they are his favourite I should save them?

There’s a little problem I have encountered. His cage is a meter or so off the ground and he has clipped wings. The last time I stuck a perch into his cage he became very defensive and backed off, he would only come to my hand but by then I’m getting really nervous like I said. I can try get the table outside near his cage so he can simply walk out so I dont have to stick my hands into his cage which by now he might think of as his territory, would this be a good idea with unclipped wings?I will perch train him but I don’t think it is fully necessary, he was a fully tamed bird for years and years, he just kind of became aggressive and as I said we stayed away from him. He knows how to step up and lived a normal bird life inside with the family on my dads lap and shoulder at what ever chance he could.So don’t get me wrong that I’m scared at an untamed bird, he is completely normal, but after his shown aggressiveness which he hasn’t shown to me yet, I’ve became paranoid.One last thing I would like to add is that when ever I walk away from his cage from a session he kind of whines and goes “wehh”. To my understanding he wants me to come back to him. So I understand I shouldn’t go back and enforce that whining gets my attention, but wouldn’t walking away teach him that if he whines I’ll leave?Thanks!

Well, a life outside is no life for a lone pet parrot. I don’t know what prompted your family to put him outside all by himself but it’s a terribly cruel arrangement for a parrot, they need constant company. It’s like tying a dog to an outdoor dog house to live his entire life this way (a practice that is outlawed in some states and which should be illegal everywhere). Please ask your parents to reconsider because what they are doing to him is terrible! And no sunflowers, use a small piece of a tree nut (almonds, walnuts, etc) instead.

I’ve tried and tried and they can’t brig themselves to let him inside and to handle him. It’s pathetic really. It’s all up to me pretty much which is why I need help.Also whats wrong with sun flower seeds?EDIT: I asked them to let me take him inside and they answer me by saying that they are scared he will fly away from me, (as his cage is outside as explained before)…

My dear, the problem is his cage IS outside so he is, in fact, isolated from the family (he is imprinted to humans so, to him, humans are family) and these birds live surrounded 24/7/365 by their family from birth to death. It’s no wonder he bites, he is completely despondent and utterly confused by their rejection. As to bringing him inside, you can always towel him but that would be stressful to him. You HAVE to convince your parents that what they are doing to him is WRONG. I am sorry I am so harsh but I can’t find another word that fits except maybe animal cruelty… He would be better off rehomed to somebody who would take better care of him because, obviously, your parents don’t love him or even want him and keeping him as a garden decoration is nothing short of inhumane. He deserves a life (and note that I don’t say ‘better’ but just ‘a’ life which he doesn’t have now).

Thing is, I don’t think he would bite me nor anyone in the family except maybe my Dad, I’m just scared as I’m inexperienced. My parents love him but can’t bring themselves to handle him probably out of fear as well.I can’t think of anyway to explain it really, they know it’s cruel and they want to change but they aren’t exactly taking much action.Anyway, thanks for answers Ill see what I can do, I don’t think I would be able to handle it emotionally if we gave him away, but maybe it’s the only choice. (I’m a fanatic bird lover).Thanks.