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Thread: Just got a 10 month old lovebird...

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    Just got a 10 month old lovebird...

    I just got a 10 month old lovebird from a friend who could no longer take care of it. When I got the bird, she only had one perch in his cage and a few home-made toys. Since then, I have got her two more perches and a hideaway place and a bath. She was really nervous at first and would not let me do anything other than change her food and water, and even when I would do that, she would nip. However, during the week and a half that I've had her, she has gotten more comfortable with me. She now eats from my hand and I have gotten her out of the cage, she even looks forward to playing now. I have trained her to pick up coins and put them into a little bucket. I always talk to her soothingly and she now comes to the side of the cage towards me. She looks at me with loving eyes, as if she trusts me. However, she has an obsession with my fingers. She always bites my fingers when I am not feeding her and trying to get her to perch onto my finger. She bites really hard and it is impossible not to pull away once she gets a good grip, because she will not let go of my finger but continues to bite harder. I am not sure if she does this because she is scared or not. I have been able to touch her beak several times, lightly stroking it. I have followed techniques I have read online to get her to perch on my finger. She would lunge at my finger, but now she lets me touch her beak from straight on, however thats the only way she allows me to touch her. Whenever I try to touch her belly, she suddenly clamps down on my finger, waiting until the last second to bite when I am fractions of an inch away from her feathers. I got her to come onto my shoulder once by pulling my sweatshirt over my hand. She still nipped a lot but it was not painful due to the protection of the sweater. How can I get her to stop biting my fingers? She is certainly comfortable with my hand in her cage, as she lets me freely play with her toys with her but whenever my hand comes too close she will sit still, then suddenly snap. I love her so much and wish she was comfortable with my fingers enough to perch on my finger however I cannot do this because whenever I put my finger parallel to her perch she clamps down. I am not sure if she thinks my fingers are food or if it is that she does not trust me enough. If anyone has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated. I am just confused that she lets me touch her beak but no where else. I feel like I have almost fully gained her trust, if not already gained her trust. She only responds to me positively, even more than her previous owner whom I think neglected her. I play with her about 3 hours a day spaced out throughout the day. Thanks in advance for your help!

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    Re: Just got a 10 month old lovebird...

    If it's a female be careful with the hideaway place - it will only encourage nesting behaviour. Sounds like you are doing a good job, stick at it. Some birds are simply not touchy birds and won't stand it - regardless.

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    Re: Just got a 10 month old lovebird...

    I think you have done amazing things with this little lovie in such a short time, they are head strong birds and you really have done so much in a short time. My lovie would bite your finger everytime you came near him with it sticking out if you gave him the chance to do it. If you came at him slow, he would get it and bite it hard. If you meant it and just fast stuck your finger under him he would hop right on it without any bites. I never was able to get boomer to stop biting me so I cant give you much advice on that.

    Without sounding mean I do have to say please dont let your bird play with coins, they have bad metals in them and also bad germs on them. Boomer loved coins too but we kept them away and instead playing with plastic beads and marbles for him to throw in cups. We had a metal poisoning scare here and after that I never let boomer play with anything made of metals except stainless steel.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Just got a 10 month old lovebird...

    good to know! thanks so much boomer girl. I'll have to get some beads or marbles!

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    Re: Just got a 10 month old lovebird...

    Yea, I think you were right about the nesting box.... she wagged her tail at me this morning and I've read that means that she likes me? Like, really likes me... weird.

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    Re: Just got a 10 month old lovebird...

    How can I get her to stop biting my fingers?
    The advice I've gotten off the Net is:

    Don't present your fingers for her to bite. Simple!

    That means, try presenting a closed fist (or wrist), or your hand tucked inside a sleeve instead. Or even an open palm, or the hand open but the back of the hand. Just dont have anything resembling a finger sticking at her. I bet birds react instinctively to fingers because they resemble sticks coming at them.
    We got lots of Ham here

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