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Thread: Kakariki calls only in the evening for hours on end?

  1. #1
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    Nov 2019
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    Kakariki calls only in the evening for hours on end?

    Hi, I have a 5 month old hen kakariki named Maia. She is for the most part very sweet, very loving and, being a kakariki, very active! However recently I've been having a few issues with her, especially in the evenings.

    Due to the current situation I've been working from home since late March, so I've been in all day to spend time with her. She's out of her cage all day, she doesn't play with her toys but she does entertain herself with exploring as well as getting plenty of interaction with me. We do have a very strong bond, to the point where I can't leave the room without her or she just calls for me non-stop, I even have to shower with her!

    The main issues happen in the evening, right around when I finish work at 5pm and can go all the way until I put her to bed (putting a stubborn kakariki in her cage is not an easy task!) For the last couple of weeks, every evening she will just sit and continuously call out for hours on end. It's not chattering, it sounds like calling out, like the noises this kaki is making at the start of the video except even louder and continuous for hours - it's nearly impossible to distract her and quiet her down and even if I do, she just starts back up again. When she's in this mood, she will generally fly away if I go near her so it's nearly impossible to even put her back in her cage for her to chill out. It's driving me mad, and being on my own there's not enough background noise going on to even start to drown it out!

    I wondered at first if she was after another companion, especially as she likes to sit in windows and call out to the birds outside. However we tried introducing my mum's hen kakariki (from the same clutch) to see if she would accept another bird, but Maia would become really territorial and just chase her around everywhere so she didn't accept her at all.

    She has also taken to waking me up very early in the morning. She usually goes to bed around 10:30pm and her cage is fully covered, but is now waking me up at around 6:30am. This morning when she woke up, as soon as I let her out of her cage she went flying round the room doing the screaming call again - my poor neighbours!

    Another strange thing she does is with my hand. She will perch on my hand and pace around on it, she'll hang off my hand and kind of pull herself back up trying to rub the underside of her tail on me? This is something she has done since she was around 2 and a half months old. I do try and discourage this when it happens by putting her in her cage but if a kaki doesn't want to go in her cage, she ain't going in! She also absolutely hates my mobile phone, and will fly across the room to attack it if she sees me pick it up - this is something she has done for months as well. She's never intentionally bitten me but when she's attacking my phone, she has caught my fingers quite a few times.

    I did wonder if maybe hormones are to blame but I don't know how early female kakis start with hormones - it's hard to find much info on them online, especially in relation to pet kakis as it seems most are kept in aviaries. She's also never been aggressive with me, she's an absolute gentle sweetheart with me, it's just the screeching and calling out every evening that's getting to be a problem.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    USA Midwest
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    Re: Kakariki calls only in the evening for hours on end?

    Hi, and welcome to the community. I do think it is her hormones. She is beginning to have those feelings, and quite honestly, especially the first time, it is difficult for them because they have not experienced it before. The constant screaming in the evening is a mating call. It is very normal behavior. In the wild this happens all the time. If you were to go to a forest, where many parrots live, you would hear these sounds in early evening until dusk.

    It is difficult to stop the calling. My thought would be to put her to bed, and cover her cage about 5 pm each night. During hormone time hens need alot more sleep hours each night. 10-12 hours is a good night. And feed no soft foods, or, eggs or egg food. The hand thing you describe is homonal behavior. They like to rub rub the tail area on your hand, as though it was their male partner. It is important you do not touch her body any place but the top of her head. Touching other places upticks the hormones.

    At first, she may still scream after you cover her for the night, but you will need to ignore her. And anytime she trys the hand thing, distract her, with a new toy, a treat, or, put her in her cage.

    It is a difficult time for her and for you. I do not think right now is the time to get her a mate. I think she would be very dominate, controlling, and aggressive with a new bird in the home or cage.

    I think she is a little too young to lay eggs as yet, but do watch her carefully for nesting behavior. They can get egg bound, especially the first time laying eggs. So feed plenty of fresh green veggies, and cuttlebone/calcium to her, beginning immediately. The next few months will be challenging. At about a year old they have a first hard molt. That signals they are an adult bird. And, for awhile, the hormones should be in better control. Hens do not need a mate to lay eggs. Many single caged hens do lay eggs. Once egg laying starts it cannot be stopped. And it is much better for her, if she does not begin laying eggs. So, all that I wrote above, to give her longer hours of sleep, etc., are very important. Do not provide her with a nest box, or any happy huts or tents either. Your goal now is to discourage egg laying, and get her through this first hormone experience.

    Attacking your phone is also hormone behavior, as well as dive bombing your head, biting you, being aggressive, etc. She probably thinks the phone is a bird. And considers you to be her mate. Hormones change their personality, there is no doubt about it. Time and patience are on your side, but the next few weeks will be challenging. I hope this info is of help to you. Please keep us posted.
    Last edited by maxollie; 05-21-2020 at 06:16 AM.

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