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Thread: ya'll are makin me jealous

  1. #1
    Egg's Cracking...
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    Nancy Dubin
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    Question ya'll are makin me jealous

    Gees, just looked back at a few of the messages and it seems like all of you have birds that make noise !!! In the meantime, my ET is so quiet that I have to check on him and make sure he's ok !! Also, (and I hope its just the way the pics are comin across, all of your tiels look so much bigger than mine. Oh yeah, my tiels body looks like a pear--small chest and big butt--

    I did buy him a mirror as someone suggested--for the first two days he kept trying to kill it. Now he pretty much ignores it just like the rest of his toys. I did move a couple of things around in his cage but it didn't seem to make much difference, and as for rotating in new toys--gees I'm going broke trying to find anything at all that he might find interesting.

    I finallly had to make-up a "timeout cage' to try to stop the incessant, monotonous, chirping mode he gets into no less than once a day. It seemed to be working pretty until yesterday when he kept chirping for 15 minutes after I put him in timeout.

    I am absolutely sure that this chirping stuff is not his calling to me as when he wants me he screams his little lungs out.

    I almost got the idea that this chirping had something to do with food or eating, but I'm really not sure about that concept yet. I eat just a few feet from his cage and I always make sure he has something to eat when I do, but he comes to the side of the cage and stares at me and starts this dull monotonous chirping thing, and no he doesn't stop when I'm done eating. As a matter of fact this can go on for 30 minutes to 2 full hours.

    The other day, in hopes that I could quiet him down, I took him out so he could share the table with me like we do for breakfast but he just flew back to his cagetop and started chirp chirp chirp--so much for that idea.

    On a good note and more recently , I see him stick his head under his rope swing, (letting his crest touch the bottom of the swing), and then he starts to mumble to himself. This was what he was doing when I heard him say "pretty boy" but that was quite awhile ago and he's never said anything since. It reminds me of what my parakeets used to do just before they took their nap. Hopefully he's practicing. Still haven't heard him whistle though.

    A couple of people I know that have/had tiels can't believe it when they come here. They tell me, that their birds have always whistled and/or talk. As a matter of fact, just the other day when my friend came over she asked me what happened to my bird--(it was so quiet when she came over, whe thought maybe he had died). YIPES

    Well, hope I didn't ramble too long and thanks for listening--

    Nancy
    Last edited by akapetlover; 06-29-2005 at 09:07 AM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Banned Tailfeather Squawk and Howl's Avatar
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    Re: ya'll are makin me jealous

    Quote Originally Posted by akapetlover
    Gees, just looked back at a few of the messages and it seems like all of you have birds that make noise !!! In the meantime, my ET is so quiet that I have to check on him and make sure he's ok !!
    hmmm. you may have a hen. i also think you are sending really contradictory messages to your bird. on the one hand, you say he's too quiet. later in the post you say you give him time outs for chirping. you need to decide which you want. punishment for communication is not OK, and it will end up with a frustrated bird & a frustrated person.

    also, birds who are able to talk & whistle do so when they are exposed to it as a form of communication in their human flock. it could be your tiels is not seeing you name items, behaviors, places, etc for him & doesn't understand all that "gibberish" coming out of your mouth.

    by chirping, your bird is trying to tell you something. you need to figure out what it is. most likely he wants to be with you. why not give your bird more cage-free time?

    my tiel is a hen. she does not talk or whistle, but she is an active member of the household. when she does chirp, it is to tell me something. like, "get back here!" or "are you OK? i can't see you" or "i'm hungry". i've learned which is which, and how to answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by akapetlover
    Also, (and I hope its just the way the pics are comin across, all of your tiels look so much bigger than mine. Oh yeah, my tiels body looks like a pear--small chest and big butt--
    it could be he was stunted. where did you get him? a store? a breeder? a rescue? small tiels and budgies usually come from places that underfeed at a crucial time and result in permanent smallness. your bird is fine- don't misunderstand me. he may just be small.

    also- if your bird has no muscles in the breast area (resulting in the pear shape), you need to get him more exercise. in and out of the cage. when out of the cage, start doing flappies. buy him a gym that requires climbing and effort.

    in the cage, move the food cups so that he has to climb to get to them. make the set up of the cage harder to get around. when you put him back in the cage, put him somewhere weird, like the floor, so he has to climb up to get to a fave spot.

    Quote Originally Posted by akapetlover
    I did buy him a mirror as someone suggested--for the first two days he kept trying to kill it. Now he pretty much ignores it just like the rest of his toys. I did move a couple of things around in his cage but it didn't seem to make much difference, and as for rotating in new toys--gees I'm going broke trying to find anything at all that he might find interesting.
    there are all types of toys, and it could be you are getting all the same kinds. for tiels, a destructable toy would be palm, agave, vine, balsa- softer textures, not really hard woods like for other parrots. preening toys are good also- frayed cotton or hemp twine tassles are popular. manipulative toys need to be simple for tiels- something that demionstrates simple cause and effect, like pegs that get pushed in and out or a bell. my tiels loves acrobatic toys, she loves a climbing challenge. but she's an athlete, and i started slow.

    sounds like you need to introduce the toys, too- and show how much fun they are. toys are not an instinctual thing- you need to ring the bell & laugh (over & over), rip up a shredder in your mouth, etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by akapetlover
    I finallly had to make-up a "timeout cage' to try to stop the incessant, monotonous, chirping mode he gets into no less than once a day. It seemed to be working pretty until yesterday when he kept chirping for 15 minutes after I put him in timeout.
    timeouts for communication are not OK. it's like punishing a small child for saying, "mommy, where are you?" when it's tied to the sofa and you are in the other room.

    and time outs should be no longer than 15 minutes, but more like 10. otherwise, it's neglectful/abusive. i know you are trying to do right, which is why i am answering the question. i do not think you are a bad person at all. otherwise, you wouldn't be asking for help. but i think you have misinterpreted your bird's effort to communicate as misbehavior. you have also misinterpreted advice given here on the board & applied it to your situation, which is different. so i am posting a long reply in the hopes that the information will help.

    Quote Originally Posted by akapetlover
    I am absolutely sure that this chirping stuff is not his calling to me as when he wants me he screams his little lungs out.
    no bird starts by screaming. they chirp first. after the chirping gets them nowhere, then they scream. it should never get to that point. why can't you tiel be with you when you are in the house sometimes? if the bird is chirping, come over & say hello, give it a treat. or put him on your shoulder as you go about your day. spend time every day with the bird. your bird needs cage free time every day for at least an hour, hopefully more.being stuck in a cage all day with no human companionship & toys he doesn't understand sucks.

    Quote Originally Posted by akapetlover
    I almost got the idea that this chirping had something to do with food or eating, but I'm really not sure about that concept yet. I eat just a few feet from his cage and I always make sure he has something to eat when I do, but he comes to the side of the cage and stares at me and starts this dull monotonous chirping thing, and no he doesn't stop when I'm done eating. As a matter of fact this can go on for 30 minutes to 2 full hours.
    this is a plea for companionship. you are eating in front of him, but keeping him in the cage? eating is a flock activity- a social time. you are in essence saying he is in exile. please take your bird out more often- tiels are quite content to do whatever it is you are doing- eating, sleeping, hanging out while you read.

    Quote Originally Posted by akapetlover
    The other day, in hopes that I could quiet him down, I took him out so he could share the table with me like we do for breakfast but he just flew back to his cagetop and started chirp chirp chirp--so much for that idea.
    no, that was the right idea. but did you give him a place to be with food of his own at the table? a perch with a cup? try that. he was probably like, "yeah, let;s eat together! my food is here!"

    in short, your bird needs more social time to be an outgoing, talkative, fun bird. you need to stop "punishing" him for being a bird (chirping) and encourage it more. chirp back. or better yet, whistle, sing, or say "hello!" back. take him out more. make a goial of 2-3 hours a day. talk to him constantly, as if he was a toddler who needs to learn human language.

    it will make both of you happier.

  3. #3
    I shouldn't let Dan change my title...he's not very creative Found a Mate flyingduster's Avatar
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    Re: ya'll are makin me jealous

    just one note for Dani, this boy has been DNA sexed as male, so is very unlikely to be female...

    I do agree with Dani on most of everything else though. Tiels don't just sqwark and scream for no reason. Although by now he may have formed it into a habit, but probably only because when he first tryed to do it it didn't work, so he kept asking. He's quite possibly now at the point where he's not even really asking for anything with his sqwarks, but has formed the habit of it and it gets him some attention by being taken to the other cage...? I dunno.

    But anyway Nancy, I hope you don't take anything we suggest badly, we think it's brillient you are posting and asking, and we are trying our best to help and suggest things...

    I agree that you are sending mixed messages saying he's quiet but does the monotonus sqwark too much... Like I said in the other thread, he is quite easily just not a very talkative boy, and theils have a natural single call that is what he's using. I know with my girl that same call can mean a varity of things, depending on it's context, but it does always mean something.

    I agree that he shouldn't be punished for doing it, as it won't solve anything (as you've found) until you find WHY he's doing it...

    I can't remember how much out of cage time he gets...? It might be the idea of sharing the table with him was such a new and wild idea it got him a bit worried so he went back to the security of his cage. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't ever offer that to him again! When you are home open the cage door and let him come out and be around. Have toys for him ontop of his cage or somewhere where he can 'hang out', give him some millet or something to nibble on there too. Do you read? Or spend much time on the computer? Put him near you, next to you, or on you when you are sitting down and doing things there. At home Fleck's cage and playgym are next to my computer, so she's always hanging out where I hang out the most.

    Tiels are very social birds. Think about how they are in the wild; flocks of hundreds if not thousands of tiels together at once. If they didn't like being social they wouldn't live like that! Try to make your boy a part of everything you do around at home. Obviously sometimes it's not suitable, but when you're folding the washing, or watching tv, ot on the computer; bring him out and have him there. Even if he goes back to his cage, brining him out and inviting him to be a part of it might be enough to help him feel like he's got something more to do than sit in his cage.

    His toys, you say your'e going broke with buying them (hehe, I know that one!!) so you must have several now. Have 2 or 3 in the cage, and the rest not. Next week when you wash out his cage, rearancge the perches and swap one or two or all of the toys with different ones. Make it so his cage isn't totaly the same alllllllllllll the time... Even just move one or two perches...? Something to break the monotony of it.

    hehe, oh I know exactly what you mean sticking his head under the swing!! My old girl did that with her swing, and Fleck does that with her bell; he's demanding scritches from it!!!! Does he let you scritch him? If not, maybe you can use the swing to help show him that you can.

    Usually they will object rather violently if you just try to scritch them, but with Fleck, before she was even tame, I spent heaps of time playing with her bell gently, as I knew she loved it and tryed to get it to scritch her. She of course wouldn't go near me or the bell for a long time if I was playing with it, but I'd pull back and let her play with the bell, then come back in again. She soon learnt that me playing with the bell didn't do a thing to her and so wasn't anything to really worry about. It took a while, but eventually she was happy enough with my hand beside her and her playing with the bell, for her to bow her head to the bell like she did when my hand wasn't there. I took that oppurtunity to scritch her with my finger gently. She thought it was the bell, and was in absolute bliss, but over time I got her more confident and started pulling the bell away when I scritched, and slowly but surely showed her that I can give better scritches than her bell!!!! LOL! It might be something you could end up teaching your boy if he gets to demanding his swing for scritches lots!

    Don't give up on him. I know you're dissapointed, and that's probably what is standing in the way of creating your own relationship with him. It stood in the way of me and my old tiel too. He is great in his own ways too, it doesn't really matter if he's not like all the other tiels, it just means he's extra special and amazing!!!

    Don't give up, make him a part of your life.

  4. #4
    Brand New Egg Janine's Avatar
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    Re: ya'll are makin me jealous

    Hi, Nancy. You have an unusual problem-- most people are trying to figure out how to get their birds to be less noisy! I just wanted to make a couple of suggestions from my experience with our Eliot, and maybe it'll help you out a little.

    I know what you mean about that monotonous chirp, Eliot does that one too. For a while he used to do it every morning when I would spend time in the room with him and it would drive me crazy. I thought he was trying to drive me away or something. I think it can be just as hard for people to learn to communicate with birds as it is for birds to communicate with people. When I stopped being annoyed by the chirping or offended by it, that's when I learned how to talk back to him.

    Maybe instead of trying to quiet him down, it could be the best time to help him learn to say other things! (By the way, I often refer to whistling as "talking" even though some birds actually learn real words.) If he's already in the mood to communicate, it's a good time for you to take him out of his cage and whistle back at him. It sounds like maybe he wants to talk but doesn't know what else to say.

    My boyfriend told me that when he got Eliot, the only thing he knew was a loud screech. He had to teach him different whistles. I know that Eliot loves to talk in the morning when he wakes up, so I always spend a little time with him taking turns whistling. It's been a great way to bond with him, and he seems happier during the day after having this interaction in the morning.

    You could try doing this first thing in the morning. Take him out of the cage and whistle a tune to him...a song you know or just a short whistle you make up. Try being consistent with one for a while so he can learn to repeat after you. You can learn his regular chirp too, I usually get Eliot to start going by whistling that at him for a few seconds.

    It's a good way to get better at whistling too! I've always been a terrible whistler, but since I've been trying to talk to Eliot I've gotten a lot better. I like to say that the birdie taught me to whistle.

    And again when he starts in on it himself, you can take that opportunity to take him out of his cage and whistle new things at him. Don't be discouraged if he doesn't pick it up right away, because he'll still LOVE having this interaction with you every day.

    Another idea I had came from where you said in another thread that your apartment was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Usually when a bird is being very noisy, it's recommended to make sure the environment around it isn't too loud because the louder the environment, the louder the bird. So, if you're saying your apartment is very quiet, maybe it needs to be louder to encourage him to talk more.

    For example, maybe you could find a CD of song birds (or parrots or cockatiels?) and play that for him while you're not in the room. It would give him something to listen to and maybe pick up on. Eliot loves calling out to wild birds he hears in the morning.

    Also, you could leave a radio on...jazz, classical, talk radio...maybe you can find a station he really likes! heh.

    He sounds like a great little guy. Good luck to the both of you!

    Janine.

  5. #5
    Good Bye Tailfeather WolfRyder's Avatar
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    Re: ya'll are makin me jealous

    I play cds for my flock when we're gone. I have one of those 60 cd changers and have 16 in there (yeah, 60 was overkill, but it was on sale!)

    One of Vader's favorites is Native American Flute. I have the Carlos Nakai "Canyon Trilogy" that is just the flute being played in the Grand Canyon. Vader has picked up parts and will actually whistle along with the cd! It's awesome!

    And I sing to all the birds. They love it. and act goofy and dance, even when they're on my shoulders

    I've found when my tiels do that over and over "churp", they want out. Just open the cage and let him play! Give him some toys that are for out of cage time. Pretty much when I'm home, the birds are out.There are foot toys for parrots that are good for tiels too. I bought them at petco and they're like little jacks and stuff. They love them and popcicle sticks and all sorts of stuff.

    He could be churping like that because he's very very bored. They have the intelligence of a 2 year old and need to be occupied. Yep, it's like having a child in your house


    marlsy's daughter, Kelsi(age 13) made this sig for the contest

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