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  1. #1
    Brand New Egg nlucas3020's Avatar
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    Nicole
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    african grey mannerisms

    Hello. We have had our grey for about 2 months now, and she does a few things that I dont totally understand.

    Sometimes, it seemes when she is all riled up, she'll hit her beak against the cage over and over again. Is this just because she is excited?

    Also, she will bob her head up and down a lot. Sometimes she'll do it when I try to introduce her to my cockatiel, other times when she's playing. Is this also just exitememnt?

    Finally, she LOVES my boyfirend (we live together). He'll go over to her and she closes her eyes and rubs her head all over him ad makes silly little wimpering noises. She accepts me, but would rather bite me than give me a kiss. Is ther any way to win her affection, or has she just picked who she is gonna like and thats that?

  2. #2
    Fledgeling Aviennda's Avatar
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    Re: african grey mannerisms

    I am not sure about the hitting her beak on the cage thing. It sounds like excitement though.

    The head bobbing is totally a gray thing and means they're excited and "into it", whatever "it" might be. I love when they do that!

    You need to try to balance your relationship with her. What's her name, by the way? Anyway, I'd suggest you pick up Guide to a Well-Behaved Parrot and there are a few other good books out there that maybe some other members can suggest. Basically though, whomever is the "least favorite person" should do all the BEST things, whatever the bird really enjoys doing or eating or whatever. The "most favorite person" should do the things the bird enjoys least, i.e. getting put back in her cage or whatever it is that your bird needs to do but doesn't particularly like. The favorite person should never EVER laugh or make light if she bites the other person. It should result in an immediate scolding and disapproval OR putting her back and ignoring her for a little while, or whatever works best with your bird. (My gray got riled if you scolded him, but hated to be ignored.) If she knows the favorite person finds it funny or even accepts it, she will continue and probably escalate the behavior. If she knows that her favorite person disapproves of this behavior, she'll be far less likely to continue it.

    Grays frequently change loyalties, so you may flop back and forth from favorite to least favorite person. As long as you continue to rotate the fun and non-fun activities appropriately, all 3 of you should be able to maintain a friendly and affectionate relationship. This is especially important to cement now before she starts going through her hormonal teenage years, which are difficult to deal with even in a well-socialized bird. She could become a real terror to you in a couple/few years if this behavior is allowed to continue now.

    Grays are challenging, but so incredibly rewarding. Make sure that both of you put in the hard work of keeping her well socialized to both of you, keep plenty of band-aids and patience around for her "teen years" and you'll have a wonderful life-long companion.

    Hope that helps.
    - Aviennda, Bunji and Henry (Meyer's and Senegal)


  3. #3
    My room is an aviary Chick Flight's Avatar
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    Re: african grey mannerisms

    My tiel does the same thing with the head bobbing and hitting the beak along side the cage. This probably means that they are content and happy.

    As far as the one person thing... well, what is your birds gender? Do you know for sure?
    - Kaitee
    - John McClane (lutino cockatiel) and Holly McClane (pied cockatiel)

  4. #4
    Brand New Egg nlucas3020's Avatar
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    Nicole
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    Re: african grey mannerisms

    Well, we dont even know if 'she' is a 'she'. I need to get her gender tested, we were just taking things one step at a time. I do know, however that she is about 9 years old, is she still considered a teen at this age?

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    Fledgeling Aviennda's Avatar
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    Re: african grey mannerisms

    Oh, ok, she's just getting out of her "teen" years then, though if she turns out to be a he, there might be some summertime grumpiness as the hormones surge, and some general moodiness in a female. My gray got past his "teens" and really only gets crabby during the summer now, but doing things such as rearranging his cage periodically and making sure to take him around to different places in the house and such tend to make that a little less. He lives with his "father" since we split, but I get updates on him and that's what he's like at about 9 years old.
    - Aviennda, Bunji and Henry (Meyer's and Senegal)


  6. #6
    Moderator Tailfeather Community Moderator notredamebird's Avatar
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    Re: african grey mannerisms

    The head bobbing is definitely excitement, though it can be positive or negative excitement. Tolkien does it when happy or engaged--but also when he sees Wesley coming toward his cage or is riled up to see me (but hasn't decided yet whether to step up or bite!)

    Hitting the cage with the beak I am not sure about it. Again, it signals excitement--though sometimes Tolkien gets really excited and does this as part of his "attack" on everything around him. It's almost like he gets overstimulated and grabs what is around him.

    I second what everyone else said about loyalties. I don't think it is predetermined that he will always like your boyfriend more. But even if he does, the important thing is to encourage him to spend time with you too: all the good things in life now come from you, and you should try to spend as much time with him as your boyfriend. Even if you are always "second fiddle" you'll still be in the orchestra.
    Atrus---Wesley---Tolkien
    Catherine---Lúthien---Elwing---Tipti

  7. #7
    Hormonal
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    Re: african grey mannerisms

    i was told that the beak knocking is a sign of ownership...this is mine!
    we have actually used this natural behaviour to teach the corella tricks
    we say knock knock and he will knock on command
    i have also been told that its more of a male behaviour
    spreading the wings is also an ownership thing..almost a display of affection for particular people in the birds life
    the corella gets along fine with me but loves his owner and only does his elvis act for him...he looks like elvis in his white suit when he spreads his wings ..almost like hes slurring //"thankuuu verrrrrrrrrrrrry much ladiesngentlemen"
    lol

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