Umbrella cockatoo pecking

I just got an umbrella cockatoo from a friend about 2 weeks ago. the first time was probably fear, when she was scared of her perch, and bit my face.It was minor, but still bleed a lot! I’m only 14 so I can’t take bites well, I have fragile a skin.Anyway, she pecks me at the weirdest times. It is usually in the middle of cuddling, she decides to quickly strike at me. ( usually my arm of face ). I know this is not the hardest bite she can do, so I’m not sure why she does this… I’m sure it’s not aggression, because it is usually in the middle of some bonding moment, like cuddling, feeding ECT. I am trying my best not to be afraid, or forceful ECT. It’s barely hard enough to make me bleed half of the time, and if she was trying to hurt me it would be a lot worse. So does anyone know why she does this??? If you have any more questions, ask. I love her so much and need this worked out.

Are her wings clipped? Are you sure what feels like a bonding moment for you isn’t an unwanted interaction for her? Do you flinch or make any loud noises when she bites? Pinpointing the cause of the biting is going to be the first and most important step.You’re right in that she could do much more damage if she really wanted to. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to hurt you. A clipped bird, much like a declawed cat, knows that their first line of defense is gone. That makes them more likely to bite if they feel threatened or just don’t want to do something. All birds, clipped or not, will bite if they feel agitated and you persist. If they don’t want to be touched and you keep trying to pet them, they’re going to bite. If they don’t want to step up and you try and force them they will lunge and bite. Even the sweetest of birds have their bad days and as their caretakers we need to respect that. Pay close attention to body language. If you flinch or yelp when she bites (and this is what I’ve seen most commonly in birds) she probably finds it very entertaining! Larger birds in particular tend to bite and immediately say “Ow! No bite!” usually accompanied by a laugh. In this situation, the best thing to do is silently set her down on a table/counter/perch away from you or any toys and ignore her. She will learn that if she bites all the fun and attention stops.

Hello GMV,The first thing I would like to know is how old your new cockatoo is, because it affects why she my be biting. Young birds test everything with their beaks to see what it is, how stable a perch it might be, etc. They need to be told to handle things gently. Many people use the word “gently” as a cue. Slowly and carefully remove the injured member and repeat your cue and your bird will learn to back off on the pressure.If your cockatoo is more than a year old, you may be getting a warning nip to let you know that you did something she didn’t appreciate. You may have touched her somewhere inappropriate, or moved a pin feather. It could also be a warning that you are not behaving in a proper monogamous cockatoo manner. Did you talk to or show affection to someone else when she nipped you? What else was going on? I would avoid allowing her in reach of my face until you get this worked out. As you say, she is not trying to hurt you, but the potential for damage in that area is enormous.Good luck and keep us posted!

While I do not have cockatoos, several things come to mind about them. The first thing is that they love cuddling with their bonded human and can be quite possessive of them. The next is the amount of time required for personal interaction with them which is a minimum of 2 hrs. daily of personal one on one interaction. And lastly that they require plenty of mental stimulation if you are to avoid things like feather plucking, biting, excessive screaming and the like. You don’t provide enough information to help identify the reasons for the behaviors that your bird is exhibiting. the possible reasons include hitting a pin feather wrong while you are petting and cuddling with her, also she may not have enough toys on hand to play with so as to have an adequate amount of mental stimulation, not enough free time for her to look about and find things to do and/ or doesn’t feel that she is enough of a part of everything or getting enough attention from you. These are usually the main reasons but it could be something else entirely.

she is not clipped, she flys when shes scared. my parents say its like a cat when they get over exited and will love-bite. i wake up every morning and interact with her with coffee. and give her at least 3 hrs of interaction time every day. she has plenty of toys. she is 7 yrs old. i’m not sure it i don’t think its a warning bite. she doesn’t even clamp down. she just litterally pecks. she also goes right back to cuddling after she pecks me. so i doubt its me doing something inappropriate or scary, or she would not go back being a sweety. she loves being with you, and cuddling.

i just usually try not to do anything but quietly move my arm (what she usually gets) away and set her back in her cage. but sometimes i just go back to cuddling. i don’t know what to do in this situation, so im asking the forums.

When a parrot bites, nips or pecks you the are trying to tell you something and she only has a few ways to get your attention. It sounds to me a lot like you are cuddling with her and hit a pin feather the wrong way and her immediate reaction is to nip you ,because it hurts. Consider it like slapping your hand away. She gets your arm or face because it is the closest body part that she can reach. It is really like ’ you hit a pin feather she goes ouch that hurts don’t do that and nips to let you know what you did and resumes loving with you’. I do have a parrot that grabs my finger and holds it while being petted and believe me there is a world of difference between that and what you have described. When she does this to you it is appropriate to move the arm and quietly tell her to not bite. It is also appropriate to move her and set her down nearby and tell her to not bite. It is not appropriate to remove her and put her in her cage as to a parrot this is punishment and she has done nothing to be punished for. She is only trying to communicate with you, it is not her fault that as a bird you are defective and don’t have the protection of feathers and so her nip hurts you.

im not always petting her when she does this. so im not sure that its a pin feather.

GMV wrote:im not always petting her when she does this. so im not sure that its a pin feather. all well and good, I can only suggest possible reasons and solutions on the information that you provide me with. If you will give me a more complete description of what is going on, and when, I will be happy to look it over and give you the best answer that I can.

thanks, for answering all my questions. well, the first time we were playing with her favorite toothbrush, sitting on my bed. thats exactly it, until she pecks. about 3 times it happened when i was feeding her bread and sitting with her, and she decided to take the bread out of her mouth, and peck my arm, and go back to eating her bread, and then move closer to me.one of the most recent times, i was getting her to stepup on my arm, and set her down to cuddle, so she pecked my arm, then proceeded to cuddle.her name is lily, just incase you wanted to know.