Tell Me About Your Parrot’s Random Biting

Tell Me About Your Parrot’s Random Biting

 July 22nd, 2007
Posted By:

White Budgies

This next week I’m going to be conducting a telephone seminar and providing a recording of that seminar, on the topic of how to stop random, freakish biting habits in normally nice parrots. And to make sure that call goes as GREAT as possible, I want your feedback!

So please share with me the challenges you’re having with your parrot’s random biting challenges, give details, and when I record the call I’ll try to include answers to as many of your questions as possible. Look forward to reading your questions and getting you back some EXTREMELY helpful advice on getting these issues fixed with your birds.


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463 Comments on “Tell Me About Your Parrot’s Random Biting”

Colleen Howard  07/23/2007 8:54 am

My Severe Macaw Lucy is the sweetest girl until my husband come near me. Lucy will climb or fly off of her cage, walk across the floor and rear up like she is going to tear him apart. If he walks in to the kitchen Lucy get crazy. Last night we were all settled in to watch TV and she was of course on her cage and when he came near me, she went after him, but instead got me. She goes from sweet to mean, what can I do to stop this behavior? I have used your cd’s before and they do work, so I am hoping you can help this time.
Thanks Colleen

Harriet  07/23/2007 9:45 am

I have a Blue Fount Amason, about 4.6 years old. This past winter he started to bite and draw blood. This was on my face,ears, neck and in my hair. I never knew what would set him off. He would bite going thouth doorway, in the kitchen, bathroom and twice just watching TV. Paying attention to him or not , he would walk up to me and want tobe picked up, be there on my shoulder or chest and then bite.
It is hard for me to trust him any more!
He loves to play with me, he really wants to be with me and I really don’t want him on me, it hurts me when he nails me. I do wrap him in a towel losely, but he does not really like it.

Charlotte Burr  07/23/2007 10:07 am

My macaw will tap on the cage and say “come here” and I can go over to stroke him and after the first touch or tow he can turn and try to take a chunk out of my finger.
Also, the past few months when he is on my shoulder, he too can out of no where, try to rip my ear off.
Always before, I could read him, when he was going to be naughty, but now I can not always. Just out of the blue, he decides to bite.(bite as you know is an understatement.

Vivienne Worth  07/23/2007 10:27 am

Hi Chet
I have a blue fronted amazon named Amazon aged 3 years What a delightful bird. He loves my husband I suppose that’s because he hand fed him as a baby. He has a habbit all of a sudden of telling me to come and when I do approach him thinking his going to kiss me like he always does he takes chunks out of my fingers or where ever he can can get hold of me. He has become so unpredictable lately but I put it down to hormonal change maybe. His fine with my husband and ok with me when his not around. Just to add fuel to the fire he has this awful scream which we are having difficulty in trying to figure out why he does that. Please help. Many thanks Vivienne

Laila  07/23/2007 10:33 am

Hi Chet,

My bird will be just sitting on his cage and loving a good careful scratch avoiding his new feathers that are growing in and out of the blue she will jolt her head and bite right into my hand. I try to keep the pain from showing on my face and I try pushing my hand into her mouth and telling her a short “no”. Day in and day out she will do this.

I also have another topic I would wish you would talk about and that is . Putting on a harness on a grown four year old amazon. Do you know if it is possible. I have tried but she screams and runs away. Won’t talk to me for several days if she sees that harnes. It is a aviator, they just show on their CD already birds that are used to these harness. Thank you, look forward to hearing from you. Oslo, Norway

Lorrie Meharg  07/23/2007 10:34 am

Hello Chet: I have a 2 yr old Conure who will sit on my shoulder and behave well, until someone comes near me and it’s me that gets bit!! Owww but that hurts! He will try to bite my Labs nose too if the dog is looking for affection from me. If he’s on the floor he will go after my son’s feet and bite their toes. In the beginning he was very friendly with everyone but now he has an attitude and seems jealous of anyone or anything that wants to come near me. I would love for everyone to be able to enjoy him. What can I do to help him socialize better? Thanks. Lorrie

Ann Marie  07/23/2007 10:41 am

I have a Pacific Parrotlet named Buka. He is 1 year old. He sits on my shoulder and goes with me everywhere in the building where I live and work. With no warning, he arches his back and begins viciously biting my ear, face, neck and shoulder. If I try to get him off my shoulder, he rips skin off my finger. If I try using a stick to get him off, he flutters down to the floor, arches his back and flares his wings and begins biting my toes. I walk away and in a minute he is his calm, loving self who just want up on my finger. When I put him back on my shoulder he starts kissing my cheek like nothing happened. Please help!

Linda  07/23/2007 11:01 am

My 2 year old conure, bites at the children and others who she does not want me paying attention to. True the kids have teased her in the past, but I have tried to teach them how to talk to her and how to act around her.Biting is not an acceptable behavior , nor is the squawking that goes on constantly when the children are here and she is put in her cage to keep her from biting. I would appreciate any help on this part you could give me and Lucy (my conure).

Maria Bush  07/23/2007 11:11 am

I have a seven year old yellow nape amazon. Smart as a whip, funny, talkative and headstrong. Her and I have had a few “moments” and i seem to be the one she bites the most. She won’t do it to my husband EXCEPT for those random times you are speaking about. I just had that experience the other day. She has not bitten me for behavioral reasons since your course but last week I was holding her, she was dancing, singing and having a time of it, we were in “deep conversation” as she calmly sat on my hand, when out of nowhere “wamp…she took a chunk out of my arm”….this has happened to both my husband and I with her and we can’t explain it. HELP!!!!!

Ben  07/23/2007 11:14 am

(first, conducting is not spelled with a u.)

Second, how do you deal with a bird that bites whenever your fingers (or any
part of your body) are close enough? 12 year old grey won’t step up (used to) or obey any commands? Been trying to find help for years. So far, all advice has failed.

marilee winkenbasch  07/23/2007 11:18 am

I have a cockatoo names Joey that I have had since he was 7. He is now 28. He was very sweet and always out of his cage until about 6 years ago. One day he was outside with me and I bent down to pick him up and he attacked my arm and would not stop bitting me. I had to shake my arm for him to let go.
I later put on cotton gloves to take him into the house. He latched on to my thumb and I though I had lost it. After placing him in his cage, he turned into a crazy bird trying to attack me from inside his cage. I took him to a bird specialist and she did blood work on him but found nothing and he was very loving with her. For years he was crazy and I could not even get close to his cage. I had many bad bits trying to pet him from outside.
After about 3 years I was able to take him outside again but he attacked me once again biting my wrist and I went to the fire dept to be checked as I could not get it to stop bleedning. When I have him boarded while on vacation he is very sweet with the staff and it appears the problem is only with me as he thinks I am his mate. It was not until two weeks ago that he bit someone that he as know for 11 yr. while petting him from outside of his cage. I still let him out occationaly but have to place a bath towel around my arm while putting him in his cage as he bits very aggressivly. He will never be on my shoulder again as I can not trust hm. I will never give up on him and hope to resolve the problem so he can be my buddy again.

Teresa  07/23/2007 11:31 am

I am so very lucky! I have a blue front amazon and they are known for their biting watch for eyes pinning and get out of the way!!!!! I was bitten severly in the lip huge chunk taken out of the center of my bottom lip, I was so mad at my parrot that I put her back in her cage and dident talk to her probably for 2 weeks or play w/ her just cleaned the cage and fed her, i KNOW THIS IS NOT THE WAY you should train a parrot, but this is my first parrot and @ the time I had only owned her for a short time
and dident know any better, well since then it has never happened again, I cant even remember when I was bit last I dont know what I have done right but I have a GREAT bird. She gets out of her cage every day loves showers usually once or twice a month eats an organic diet (harrisons) and an occasional sweet potatoe and some fresh fruit,and she sleeps when the sun goes down, I could ramble on forever, but I bet those key factors would help alot, btw a freakish bite out of the blue means your bird id trying to protect you from something, how to stop it? Chet?

Michelle  07/23/2007 11:34 am

I have a Blue Crowned Conure and he is very special to me. He is more like my child than a pet bird. He is well tamed and has even gotten more social with others in our household over the years. He is almost 3 yrs. old and is very attached to me, but like I said he will allow my 11 yr. old son & husband to pet him but not pick him up. Most of the time he is very talkative and happy go lucky but like you said of your macaw, after a while of sitting on my shoulder he will rear back & bite the mess out of my ear, and it seems like he does it more if my son or husband is talking to me and if he’s chewing on my shirt / button and I make him stop he will lunge for my whatever and nip, but sometimes his little nips really hurt and I don’t think he realizes that what he’s doing is a no no either. It’s like “he’s” the boss and that’s that, but I have always wondered if there was a correct way to teach them not to do that. I also know that they have good and bad days too so, I am very interested in learning what to do so I don’t hurt his little feelings or cause him to be afraid of me. Thank you so much!

Steve Tharp  07/23/2007 11:36 am

Nalani, my Blue and Gold Macaw, just had his 2nd birthday and so far I haven’t had this happen, knock on wood. He does have short, unexplained aggressiveness when I least expect it, but it’s fleeting and usually stops short of clamping down into a real bite.

The reason I write is because I’m trying to understand the whole “change things back to how they were before” the bird started the bad behaviour versus help the bird to become more tolerant and flexible. Otherwise, it almost seems like the bird is making the rules. Don’t like the red tub, bite until they move it. Am I being too much of a disciplinarian to suggest a compromise like moving the tub a little further from the cage and force the bird to “deal with it” until he gets used to it? Maybe bring the tub in for an hour or 2 without picking up the bird and then remove it and make contact? Am I totally out to lunch here?

Steve & Nalani

Cheryl Hindsley  07/23/2007 11:47 am

I am very interested in hearing the call. My blue & gold MacCaw is biting and screaming for no reason.

Sue Anderson  07/23/2007 11:50 am

Peppy is a 14 year old male sulpher crested Triton cockatoo. I’ve had him since he was 2 1/2 years old. He and I have really bonded. However since he became a teenager he has exhibited some more aggressive behavior and he does do some random unexpected biting! This summer the line of women’s clothing that I sell has 2 flared skirts and it seems that the flare is a moving object to be reckoned with! Peppy can be across the room on top of his cage when I walk in wearing one of these skirts and he can’t seem to get himself down off the cage and across the room fast enough to come at my legs just below the flare! It is more of an open beaked hit than a bite which sometimes results in a blood blister, sometimes broken skin! (At least I think it is the skirt that is triggering this!) Usually now when I return home from someplace where I have worn the skirt, I change into pants before I take him out of the cage!

Barbara  07/23/2007 12:17 pm

We have a sweet loving Umbrella Cockatoo she is really great most the time. She loves the great-kids,but and its a biggie she will bite them for what seems like no reason. She wants to play with them and loves them sooo much . Can’t have a bike go by without her thinking its them and she yells hello etc. So whats up with this. Also at nite she can’ become a demon bird to anyone that does’nt belong in her home. I love her but after 14 yrs is this spoiled and something we are doing. LOL I know the answer, can you tell me what to change, she has and I mean has never bite me. Love my bird hate what she does at times. Thanks Barbara

Mary  07/23/2007 12:57 pm

I have a green cheecked Conure. It’s at least 11 years old. I bought it at a pet store. Bandit wants to automatically bite because he/she is scared. He/she WILL get up on my shoulder and does talk a bit but (& I know I don’t spend enough time with it). Isn’t there anything quick & easy to teach so she won’t bite? She has always been like this but honestly is a good bird. Whe she/he has bitten me, if I get really mad and yell at her, she finally wil get on my finger and will be okay. OR if I trim her nails, because she’s scared & it seems I’m in control, she’s always nice after that too. She goes back to normal the next time I pick her up though.

Deanna Emery  07/23/2007 12:59 pm

I have a 5 month old african grey who always wants to bite first (not hard, just a nip) before she will step up. It doesn’t matter where she is stepping up from, either her cage or back of the couch, she always seems to want to taste first before she steps up.

Haya  07/23/2007 1:15 pm

Hey Chet,
I need some advice from you for teaching my parrot to stand on my hand and to obey my orders….
I’ve had my african grey parrot for almost a year or two now, but it doesn’t seem to get used to me or my family that much.
What shall I do?

Haya  07/23/2007 1:17 pm

Hey Chet,
I need some advice from you for teaching my parrot to stand on my hand and to obey my orders….
I’ve had my african grey parrot for almost a year or two now, but it doesn’t seem to get used to me or my family that much.
What shall I do?
Sometimes he bites so hard when I’m simply giving him a pat on the head!

Bonnie  07/23/2007 2:01 pm

My 28 yr old Yellow Nape, Screwie, is the sweetest, most affectionate, funny, smart bird I’ve ever known. I know she loves me, but perhaps too much. I adopted her 2 yrs ago from a home where she was well cared for but not handled and loved enough. In all her years, she has laid only one egg, until this past spring, when she laid 5, so I know she’s happy and content.
However, I cannot pick up my cell phone or wear a cap without having a piece of my ear torn off. What’s that about??

Eric Baron  07/23/2007 2:08 pm

My wife and I have a 3.5 year old white bellied Caique, there are times when we can handle him and stroke him and most of the time we have to handle him with thick winter gloves and not let him near our faces. A few times now when walking past his cage while he was on the top of his cage he darted out of no where and latched himself onto my forearm and continued to twist, all while hanging from his beak. Whenever he is about to attack his eyes get pinned.

Thanx, Eric

Edith Cargill  07/23/2007 2:23 pm

I recently got my sun conure back after 1 1/2 years. Prior to giving him up, he was loveable and we were best friend, even took showers together. He slept on the couch in a towel with me.

Since I got him back, he acts like he is afraid of me, backs off from me and bites me when I attempt to put him on my finger. He has bitten me on the finger, check and neck when he did get on me. He is friendly and loving with my husband. He has bitten him a couple of times but when corrected stopped. He was difinitely my bird when I had him before and closer to m e than my husband.

I am afraid that he was mistreated by some women who he was with the past 1 1/2 years and so got more attached to the man.

How can I overcome this fear with him and have him become my friend again???


Ann B.  07/23/2007 2:24 pm

I have an Indian Ringneck named Jessie. I received her when my neighbor was going to let her go out the window. I bought her a new cage which tured out to be zinc coated, so my poor Jessie was very sick. We did nurse her back to health. As a result of the zinc she has seizures,which medicine has helped.So my Jessie has quite a background. She has bonded with me,does not like anyone else.
I am in the midst of moving and my little friend is beginning to bite for no reason.Please give some help to my little friend.
thanks,Ann and Jessie

Joan Fish  07/23/2007 2:33 pm

HI – I have a 12 year old Blue and Gold macaw. Casey seems to go through periods where he is very crabby and aggressive, he is particularly aggressive towards my husband, but he has been know to be so mean I have to wait until he calms down to put him back in his cage. I tried to get him on my arm during one these times and he bit my thumb nearly half way through. There does not appear to be any inidication that would warrant this bad behavior.

Himanshu  07/23/2007 2:39 pm

Hi Chet,

We have a 2.5 year old African Grey. She is very sweet bird and loves to play. Just recently she started biting my fingers and toes out of no where. Everytime we sit down to eat at the table… she would come under the table and just randomly start biting everyones toes. Not sure what is triggering this behavior, but she is getting worse and worse day by day. It is to a point where she draws blood.
Any help or guidance will be much appreciated.


sammyz mama  07/23/2007 2:41 pm

my citron cockatoo loves to go for walks (on my shoulder) but will bite me if anyone stops to talk to me-

June Oldham  07/23/2007 2:48 pm

My Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Baby Bird (now dubbed Cockatoosaurus Rex), was the ideal, loving, playful and snuggly companion until my grandchildren paid a visit. After luring me to his cage with a cute little “Come here, baby!” he proceeded to bite my finger visciously three times in rapid fire succession bringing blood and yelps with each crunch. Thereafter, for the last 6 months, my hands, feet, ears and anything else he can get to have been nothing less than targets to him and I have the scars (mental as well as physical) to prove it. He will step up, then run up my arm to bite my ear. There is no doubt he wants cuddling, but only on his mysterious, demanding terms. I’ve tried all suggested right things and most of the wrong ones to no success. I am at least his third owner, so I have no idea as to his age or history other than his first owner made the mistake of bringing a new wife home. Unless I find the key to his displeasure we’re doomed to love one another unhappily from afar.

Randy Thompson  07/23/2007 2:51 pm

Mine is a three year old Sengal Parrot named Kiwi, he is a great little guy most of the time, evry so often he will try to bite and go on a real aggresive attack. I am his third owner, have had him for alittle over 18 months now. If he is out of his area, as in the shower I can do anything with him without fear of being bit. My wife can not get near him, he will come to the cage edge and almost dare her to pet her saying hello and tlaking to my wife, the from no where insint attack mode.

Thank you,

Randy T.

Mel  07/23/2007 2:53 pm

Hi Chet,

I would be interested in hearing a recording on how best to go about this problem. Our umbrella cockatoo will be having tickles in-front of the TV for 30-40 minutes then decide to go on the floor and run at your toes, if he gets you it hurts, so far having been using the *boring* “no” technique he does stop and run off but it doesn’t seem to cure the behavior completely. Additionally to my horror the other day he bit my sister on the chin after he’d just let her pamper him. He is a sweet little soul and has never bitten me, it seems to be the odd nip which can be very unpredictable which is why I am increasingly aware of him and strangers in the house. Be sweet as pie one minute and all of a sudden lash out. Very strange!

Pamela  07/23/2007 3:15 pm

I have a 22 yr. African grey (congo) who I adopted when he was seventeen. He was known to bite and had been abused. I have gained his trust as he shows no fear of me. He wants to be petted as he will stand as close to me as he can get and crawl up the couch to be with me and yet he will bite into any part of me he can get to and a really mean bite to. He chases my feet with or without shoes and has bitten through the leather. He will down his head and spread his feathers and enjoys being gently scratched and yet will suddenly turn around and bite as hard as he can. There is no way I can stand those bites in order to stop him. I also have a blue front amazon who tries a little nip every once in a while but is easily controlled by saying No bite which she repeats or by gently pushing her beak away from me. I love them both and feel really bad that I cannot be as loving with the grey because of his terrible bite.

Danielle  07/23/2007 3:27 pm

I have a 6 year old female Eclectus that bites me and my dad’s feet when where sitting on the couch. She Dose’nt just do it just to us but she does it our 4 year old male Eclectus too. Why does she do this?

Nelson  07/23/2007 3:39 pm

Hi, I have a Myers Parrot, whom flew into my house for hurricane Wilma, I do not know how old he is but he is very sweet 99% of the time but sometimes when I’m playing with her or rubbing her head she will all the sudden turn around and try to bite me for no reason what so ever, I think she is fine whit tuching her head, but once you start moving to the body he does not like it. Also when she is out of the cage and I try to get her to go back in if he is not ready, he won’t let me pick him up, and will try to bite me. Hopefully you can provide us with an answer. Thanks.

Lauren Grimm  07/23/2007 3:40 pm

My 10 yr old Blue and Gold Macaw was the sweetest bird on earth until he bacame an adult @ 7 or 8 yrs old. He would let me do just about anything to him and he loved to give me kisses. That is, until all of a sudden, he bite my lip for no reason. My lip was all torn up and swollen. From that point on, when he would bite (which was all of the time) he would bite like he was trying to break my bones. He attacks when I’m trying to emty his water bowl from his cage. Seems like he is possessive of his cage. He also, for no reason will be playing with my feet and then suddenly bite them. Not super hard but enough to get my attention. He is very spoiled and acts more like a dog than a bird. He doesn’t like to be stuck in his cage much so when I’m home, he walks around the house and plays with his toys. Believe it or not, when he has to “go poopy” as I call it, he will go back to his cage and go. His biting has somewhat improved. I can touch him on his back with my hand or I can touch him any where with my foot. If my hand is covered with a towel then I can touch him any way I like and he can be close without always attacking me but he still bites. I don’t trust him anymore even though there are times when he wants to give kisses. He seems to love rubbing his beak up and down my legs and seems to not like when I leave the room too long. I put up with his biting because he shows (on occasion) much love. If I’m upset or crying, he has on many occasions, come out of his cage and walk over to where I’m sitting and climb on to my lap. He will act upset as well. I guess you can say that we have a “love-hate” relationship thing going. Any suggestions on how to stop the biting would be greatly appreciated….especially to my body parts! Thanks, Lauren

Paula Monks  07/23/2007 3:52 pm

Hi Chet, I have a 3 yr.old Congo. He has a night/inside cage, and an big/day/outside cage. Every morning he lets me take him
outside to his day cage, Because he loves to be outside with all our other birds. We have Eight other species of birds, altogether
about 100+_ . My problem is that I can’t bring him in unless it’s dark and everyone,(the birds) are quite and settle down for the evening.
The other day I had an appointment to get his wings and claws trimmed, so I went out to get him, opened his door and he attack me and bit me. I knew it was not going to be easy to
get him out. His pattern of comming out of his cage was changed on that day, and he was letting me know that. Oh, by the way when he does let me pick him up to be brought in the house he will screech to let everyone else that he is being brought in the house; and they aren’t.

Cheryl  07/23/2007 3:53 pm

I have a black capped conure, about 1-1/2 years old, who will also go onto the floor and bite feet. Sometimes he will be playing and appear perfectly fine when he decides to lunge after one of the family to bite. Thanks for any help.

Lisa Marshall  07/23/2007 3:57 pm

Hi Chet-
I would like to listen in on a seminar. I have been trying to decide how to find a bird trainer help me reduce my injuries, which just recently began.

Trixie is my 8 year old Rose Breasted Cockatoo. She lives with me and my husband in the living room. She has a large tree with toys, a cage with more toys, gets lots of attention from both of us and plays by her self too. The bird has not been sexed & most groomers & the vet think it is likely male. I do not know if this changes the way I correct the biting behavior.

Trixie will be on my arm- then see my husband, and WHAMMO- I get a pirahna on my arm, collar bone hand- or what ever flesh is available to grab on to by Trixie.

She does not get to shoulder ride too much any more as a result- as I wish to keep my eyeballs in tact.

The bird will charge and bite anyone’s feet on the floor, we try to keep her from moseying around on the floor any longer at all, as that is trouble and danger for the bird.

Trixie puffs up like a feathered ballon & then strikes like a cobra.
We have nicknamed her Diablo since the last full moon.

Please, Chet, also if you have any recommendations of trainers in L.A. That I can work with, please tell me.



Libby Wadman  07/23/2007 3:58 pm

I have a 1 1/2 yr old green cheeked conure, Malabar, who is extremely docile most of the time. Occasionally, he (I don’t know the gender for certain) will fluff up his head feathers which we now know to be a sign that he is going to bite and bite hard. Most of the time this happens in the morning when we open his cage to feed him, but it can also suddenly happen when he is on our laps or shoulders. When he is in the cage, I just have to put something on my hand to protect it, and show it to him. This makes him a bit fearful, so I immediately remove the protection and he is his usual loving self. If this happens when he is on us we shake our shoulder or leg to get him to the ground and give him a few moments to compose himself. Usually within 30 seconds he is done with whatever it is and is happy to get back on our laps. This behavior is not limited to any particular person. We’d appreciate any advice.

Del  07/23/2007 4:02 pm

I have a 6 year old LSC who will attack any of my buddys that drop by the house. She has bite every one in my family at least once so I’m the only one to feed her or play with her. When I’m home she will not stop screaming until I give her attention. I’m looking forward to the call.

Del in Grand Cayman

Susie Good  07/23/2007 4:13 pm

Hi Chet,

My 17 month old Senegal, Georgie, is a sweetheart almost all of the time. We have been very careful to encourage his relationships with my husband and my son, who does not live at home, as well as mine. He adores both of them, but is “my baby”.

Most of the time he just gently nibbles which is more like kisses, and he uses his beak as an extra hand/foot which is a nibble too. I have identified most of what gets him actually biting, sometimes to the point of drawing blood. Usually it is because he doesn’t want to do something that I want, and it is his only way of letting me know. I have had to get a bit crafty with him, particularly with distraction or teaching him not to associate 1 action with another that he doesn’t want, such as:

1. He started biting when he didn’t want to be taken off his play perch to go back to his cage, so I used his blanket and put it over him & picked him up with that, keeping him wrapped up in it until he calmed down. Once he’s calmed down, I take him out of the blanket and take him for a little walk around, rubbing his head and talking to him, doing step-ups, before putting him in his cage, so he no longer associates being taken off his perch with being put directly into his cage. He doesn’t bite in that situation anymore.

2. At other times if he doesn’t want to go back into his main cage, he will give hard pinches & sometimes really hard bites, so now if he looks like he’s going to bite when I put him in, I get his beak occupied with the perch & take my finger away from his feet, leaving him hanging so he can’t let go with his beak & bite me. He has to hang on with his beak in order to get his feet onto the perch! I also often reward him with a treat when he doesn’t even try to bite.

3. If he doesn’t want to come out of his “outside” cage on the patio, sometimes he will bite hard, other times it’s more like pretend biting, just enough to say “I don’t want to”, but I can get him anyway by ignoring it. Once he was really attacking, so used his blanket the same way as in #1.

4. Every once in while, he will go for me when I go to bring him out of his main cage, which he usually loves to come out of, so I just shut the door & walk away, I figure he’s just not ready to come out at that time. Then by the time I go back, he comes out without a problem.

He has only bitten my husband on the lip once right out of the blue, for no apparent reason, he was just sitting on his finger while my husband was talking & Georgie was kissing. He may have been going for my husband’s teeth, since he sometimes tries to get at mine if I talk when he’s really close to my mouth, though he doesn’t bite me, just tries to grab & hang onto them. He must think they are a toy!!

He bit me badly on the lip once when I had the “big, black”, cordless ‘phone, which I forgot he doesn’t like, it was by my ear & he was too close to it & to me, so I think it scared him. It also seems that occasionally, if I move a bit too quickly, it will startle him & he’ll try to bite, but as long as I don’t get going too fast with him, he’s fine.

When we leave the room, he will often scream his “where did my flock go?” scream, so I always tell him I’ll be back & he stops. But recently he was screaming & screaming continually for no apparent reason, I was still in the same room, & although I tried to just totally ignore him, a friend who arrived during the middle of this tirade noticed that I was actually responding to him without realizing it. I stopped that and now pay very close attention to what my husband & I are doing and he has now pretty much stopped that continuous screaming.

Sorry this was so long, there was a lot to share!

Thanks & I’m looking forward to the tele-seminar.


Marissa  07/23/2007 4:16 pm

Hi Chett,
Love your website, your DVDs and audio CDs. My cockatiel Gwen is only 5 months. She we think she’s a female anyway, is the sweetest and most dosile bird. But when we bring her in to our den she bites like crazy. This happens at night, and only in this specific room. She bit me the other night when I was putting her in her cage. She hasn’t bitten hard yet, but she has a very strong beak. Please help. She loves everyone, and is wonderful with my parents and the rest of the family. Thanks so much!

Marissa and Gwen

Janet  07/23/2007 4:21 pm

I have a 3.5 year old conure. He is always well behaved, except around young children (up to age 5) — he bites their earlobes when they go by his cage.

Lately, however, my conure wants nothing to do with my husband. We are going through a divorce and I believe he really senses the tension in the house. My husband enters the room and the bird goes into a complete rage. He tries to bite him whenever he is anywhere near the cage or me. I have seen this bird climb two flights of stairs (when his wings are clipped) just to screech at my husband. He also bites me when my husband is near me — but I understand that this is a flocking/flight mannerism –> that those birds at the back of the pack bite the birds in front of them to make them get out of the way of danger. The funny thing is — he is my husband’s bird!! But it looks like I will be getting him once the split has finalized!

Crystal Curran  07/23/2007 4:22 pm

Wow, was this a timely email!!

I have a 1 1/2 year old sun conure (Shiloh) who has been my abolsute sunshine since I purchased him from the breeder. He plays peek-aboo with me, give me kisses continuously and, at times is absolutely glued to my chest (he loves to “ride” there).

I am a very fortunate woman who makes a good living from home and – for the most part – am able to spend lots of morning time with my flock (2 quakers – 1 rescued, 1 purchased, 1 CAG, 1 Sun conure, one Nanday – wild caught rescued, 1 cinnamon green cheek and a Starlight Dove ;-)). Everyone has their “issues” from time to time, however, not my Shiloh.

Yesterday I got him out of his cage for his lovin’s and he grabbed onto my finger, screaming and would not let go. Then he climbed to my head and would not get down. When I finally got him off my head (not an area I ever let him on), he grabbed my finger again and tried to fly away (I, of course had my fingers across his feet while I was trying to move to his cage to put him back). I knew better than to show the pain he was causing me (he did draw blood), but I imagine I did show some shock at first.

Now, as I am writing this, I am going over and over what I did that was wrong – and cannot find anything out of the ordinary. EXCEPT my husband had moved a cage of another animal into the front room to clean just before I picked him up (we used to be an animal shelter – nothing that Shiloh hasn’t been a part of since we brought him home). But now, am thinking that is the reason – the purpose behind his bites.

I realize that birds are very sensitive animals who pay attention to everything in their environment – all the time. Us humans forget that most of the issues are based on little things we really don’t pay attention to.

If I am on track, my little sweetie was just trying to protect his “mama” from what he viewed as a threat. If I am off track, please let me know.

Cynthia jacobs  07/23/2007 4:30 pm

I would be very interested in learing how to stop biting. We are new in the parrot world and need all the information and help we can get.

Mike Gallimore  07/23/2007 4:31 pm

My severe maccaw Robbie is 2.5 years old and can be a sweetheart. Recently she attacked my face cutting my chin which bled for quite a while. That was just out of the blue or perhaps b/c I gave her some banana and when she acted disinterested (had all she liked) ate the rest myself. I thought maybe she was upset about that. Otherwise she is very “nippy” with constant bites especially through a nylon mesh LS tee shirt. They are seldom enough to draw blood but on sensitive areas, they hurt. I spoke with the vet about her regurgitation routine that she’s been performing lately (only when I hold her) and he suggested it may be a hormonal thing, that she was demonstrating that she could care for chicks. I thought that perhaps this biting issue may be caused by some hormone issue. She spends a lot of time in the cage these days because of the biting.

Carole Garrett  07/23/2007 4:42 pm

HI Chet,
I have a Red Headed Amazon who is very gentle except when I wake him from a nap, when it is dinner time or when my husband comes into the room. He is in love with my husband who no interest in him. He also loves me when we are alone. He was a rescue parrot and at first he did bite some but has gotten over it to the point that he beaks me but not hard, just as a warning. When in doubt of his disposition, I have a heavy duty BBQ mit that is black and white striped. He will step up immediately. He is always receptive to me using it when needed.
Another comment is: He does not like red, especially when I am wearing it. He also will eat no red fruits such as red grapes, strawberries, Raspberries but loves blackberries, green grapes, etc.
I am interested in stopping all biting so will be anxious to see what you have to tell us.

Jim Sublett  07/23/2007 5:02 pm

My Grey will let my wife and I pick him up, pet him and play but it almost seems as if he thinks that part of the picking him up requires him to bite. He does it everytime we pick him up or put him back in his cage. Also when I’m rubbing his neck or head he will turn real quick and try to bite. It’s never very hard but with his pointed beak it still is noticeable.
Jim Sublett

Vicki  07/23/2007 5:07 pm

OK, the plelthora of replies you’ve received is enough to turn anyone off to having a parrot for a pet unless you come up with some really great tips and tricks here. I have a 20 year old conure who lost 2 mates years ago, bonded to my Amazon, and will only let me handle him. He used to be the darling of the pet store as a baby until the owner almost killed him feeding him hot microwaved food and burning a hole in his crop (so, he’s basically a rescue). My Amazon also gets in “moods” occasionally biting, and lures my husband in for the kill (so he’s stopped handling her altogether for years). Can’t wait to see your and others’ suggestions.

Buzz Radde  07/23/2007 5:15 pm

Skylar our 2 year old B&G Macaw nips some but basicly is an angel compared to Diago our 3year old African Gray. He was rehomed with us after 2.5 years with 6 young children and 2 adults that had their oun business and never home. Diago has calmed down quite a bit, but his bites are always severe in nature. We cant help but be afraid of him. He is just now letting us touch him, but only for 1 second & always on his terms. I will ask hijm if he wants to “Step Up” before I try. He may step up on my hand, or take a hunk out of it. Not sure what those kids did. But we try all pertinent tricks to asure him we are not going to harm him. Diago is quite & likes to stay close but not within reach. My reading states a few years is not uncommon before trust is given, or maybe never. We still love him.

Marsha  07/23/2007 5:27 pm

I have a 17 year old Scarlet Macaw. The bird came to me as a rehome about 5 years ago. She had previously been a “trophy bird” Very little handling and human interaction. We started out slowly. I was warned that she hated women. I was ok with that. Over the course of getting to know her and her adjustment to life in my home, she is now more of a womans bird. The reason I say this……she started out really liking my son and boyfriend and biting me to bits at every turn possible. Now, she doesn’t bite me but will playfully nip or give warning nips when a stranger is too close for her liking.
The real problem is her biting my boyfriend. She will play with him on her cage top and if she is on the sofa with him. But whenever he attempts to take her to or from her cage, many times she will with no provovation bite him.
We have tried stick or perch carrying her. She is deathly afraid of this, I am told this is due to the previous owner. We do not allow he on shoulders as she is too unpredictable with the biting. We have watched her closely and can find absolutely no reason for the impulsive biting. We always move slowly and queitly with her as to not frighten her. Her environment does not change…….so no issues with strange items in the room/house. She is overall a very good bird and has come out of her shell over the years and is quite playful. But this horrific biting with no reason is not good. My boyfriend has resorted to using a thick welders glove to transfer her.
Is this our only solution? I sure hope not!

Lincohn Pelegrini  07/23/2007 5:30 pm

Hi there,
I have a blue and gold macaw, he is 6 years old and I purchased him form his former owner which was never home, wouldn’t give him much attention, leave him locked up in his cage and he lived ever since he was born with a couple of vicious red macaws. He even have fight scars.

Well, I have him for about 1 year and a half, in the beginning he was wild and vicious, would scream for no reason, would stop talking, would not let us get close to him, if so, he would start bitting and do his challenge rituals in his cage (open his wings, go on the top of the cage, hang there, and start flapping his wings and calling us there. It took me a few of days of non-stop reading on the subject. So I learned that he needed to adapt with us, and trust us. It took about 2 months for him to slowly trust me and let me pick him up and pet him, that only after I stop being scared and I would just let him bite my hand until he would get tired and stop, so then I would pet him.

Anyways, now he trusts me, he lets me pet him, pick him up and all that, specially now he is 200% quieter. But, from no where, randomly, he would just bite while petting him, sometimes because of the growing feathers, but I would watch for that, sometimes because he wants to play fighting (since he was raised with two other macaws, they played fighting often, so I took the role). And while in my shoulder, form nowhere, with no warning, he would just bite.

Paula Lee  07/23/2007 5:31 pm

Dear Chet,
Funny you bring this up… I was watching your DVD on Taming, Training and Tricks with my African Grey. We had been enjoying a wonderful morning and I thought it would be fun to watch your DVD and try some of your training. I got his favorite treat and we began. I held the treat out and he gave me one of those vice grip nips on my finger then jumped to the floor. Luckily he got mostly finger nail, but it still hurts as I am typing this message. Undaunted, I put him on his perch and we learned the wave. To answer your question, yes, I would be interested in a “Why the heck did you bite me seminar?”

Jack A.  07/23/2007 5:52 pm

Hi Chet,
My 5 yr old grey congo gets upset when I try to put her into her cage before she wants to go. She growls and will grab my finger. She doesnt bite hard but her beak is pointed and it hurts.

The most aggravating habit she has now is chewing up my shirts. I love to take her outside on my shoulder but a t shirt is only able to last 3 days then its in shreds.
I bought a leather coat at the flee market two weeks ago and it is a shambles now—-How can I get her to stop destroying cloths?
Best regards. Jack

Liz Grubaugh  07/23/2007 6:01 pm

we leave our birds front and side doors open. He usually sits in thedoorway on the side about half way up the cage. Whenever we have male company he climbs down and gets between my husband who has cancer and the male company. And if they move toward my husband he bites their shoe/toes…He will also wait till no one is paying attention to him and sneak over and bite shoe/toe of the male visitor. I know he is territorial because I can only pick him up if he is on the outside of his cage. I can also pass him to my grand daughter at her house but he he bit her when I tried to pass him to her at our house. Please advise.

barb`  07/23/2007 6:13 pm

My African Grey Petrie has always been my darling: his original owner chose between him and a cockatoo, so Petrie was sold.

We had some “issues” concerning his consignment sale, and the tension over the bird was quite thick. Petrie started to pluck, and he still (ten years later) plucks himself downy, like a little chick.

After repeated interventions for the plucking, I decided to just leave him be–he was a smart, talkative, and sweet bird, so there didn’t seen any sense in making him crazy with interventions. But then he started doing the unthinkable: attacking me, his supposed favorite person.

These attacks are bizarre. At first I attributed them to separation anxiety, since he seemed to bite when I tried to get
him off my hand. But that never explained the bull-dog ferocity with which he attacked: he would chomp down and hold on, and “distraction techniques” didn’t dissuade him. And he would sometimes start fighting with my arm when we were simply sitting on the sofa–no other birds around, no cats, no strangenesses or newnesses in the room, just this weird brain flash that would cause him to seize on my arm.

I’ve been afraid to kiss him on the beak for years now, after he put a hole in my cheek on the morning of my church solo in the choir. Now I only pick him up with a stick, and keep same stick handy if he should happen to creep up on my knee.

I recognize the “strike” signs like the “Amazon foot” or the dilating pupils, but caging him before or after a putative assault does no good. He just looks abject, I feel sorry for him, and relent by giving him free reign.

Double-bind here: he plucks and/or he bites, but I’m the only person he ever attacks.

Makes me very sad–I used to sing “You Are My Sunshine” to him every morning. I still do it, but my heart’s not in it–I’m afraid of my friend, who’s turned abusive.

I’d love some printed or CD advice on this problem–I’m usually feeding animals whenever you hold a call-in session.



Lynn Grinage  07/23/2007 6:37 pm

I have a beautiful 17-year-old Umbrella Cockatoo. I have only had the bird a few months and feel very fortunate that he was so loving and well-trained when I got him. He had done some plucking before I got him, but now all his chest feathers have grown back and he isn’t plucking any more, so I must be doing something right! He showers with me twice a week and eats directly from my plate at mealtime. I have worked very hard to give him new and interesting experiences. He always goes with me any time I go to a pet store or any kind of drive-through and any outdoor function that has a lot of people is a great time for him. He simply rides on my shoulder and waits for the inevitable attention that he draws. What has me concerned is that sometimes, for no apparent reason, the bird will be near (but not on) someone and will suddenly run at them and lunge and bite. It is usually me or a family member. We will be sitting on the couch and he will be either running laps across the cushions (his favorite form of excercise) or playing peekaboo with the pillows. With no warning he will run at a person, lunge at them and bite. This only happens about once every week or two so I don’t think it’s caused by a change in his environment. Last night, I had him at a company picnic. He found a co-worker of mine that he was especially friendly with. He was walking back and forth on the picnic table between her and I, and suddenly he lunged and bit her on the arm. She’s now terrified of him. I know how much he loves going with me where there are a lot of people, but after he bit the co-worker I’m having second thoughts about the wisdom of this. What can I do to stop this behavior so I can feel safe sitting on the couch or having him around strangers again?

Barbara  07/23/2007 6:48 pm

I have a goffin cockatoo named ellie she is a very sweet bird and is 2 and a half the problem I am having is that she loves all the attention and presses her body against your chin then she will start biting your ear or any kind of flesh she could get to its mostly the ear. my thought is maybe because she is still a baby because being only two and a half years who knows but I just cant seem to understand it when we first got her she was even sweeter never a bite out of her then two months later approx. all heck broke loose and we cant shake the behaviour problem. I am her third home her first home was a lawyer then a pet store then me the pet store lied about her saying she was a male and wouldnt send me a picture when she arrived her toe nail was missing on her right foot and when I asked they didnt know what happend but other then her behaviour she is really sweet and fully featherd and beautifull what erked me was then the petstore asked if I wanted to return her since she wasnt a male now why in the would I do that I am attached to her and would never do that to this poor bird. I have three goffins including her I have two green cheeck conures and two parakeets I dont know chet but once you get one bird you cant stop most of my birds are from previous homes one of my green cheecks paulie is so mean that you cant go near him/her unless you got a towel handy paulie I saved from a pet store she/he had been there for three years and I couldnt take it no more had to get paulie I knew she would die there because no one would get her because she was not tame. I want to know also how I can change paulies behaviour. well got to go but one more question who can I complain to about this pet store paulie came from when I went to buy food the food bin had mold in it and diease has went through the birds dont know if its gone now or not and the dogs there keep getting parvo well thank you and hope to hear from you keep training your doing great to bad you werent on tv like the dog whisper you would be the bird whisper lol thanks again

Carl and Liz  07/23/2007 6:48 pm

Our sun conure is generally very sweet, but she does surprise us with theese random bouts of biting sometimes. As clear as I can figure it’s usuall when she gets tired and wants to go back to her cage. Maybe I’m wrong? It always seems to happen when she’s been on my shoulder for a while. Maybe she gets bored with whats on TV of she’s had her full of whats on the dinner table…


Deanna Warf  07/23/2007 6:50 pm

Hi Chet,
I have 2 African Greys. Thomas is around 8. He was given to me because the people who owned him kept him closed up in a bathroom for years and he cut all his feathers til he looked horrible. He seems to like both of us but he will bite sometimes when you are feeding him. He talks all the time and has all his feathers now. He got very scared when we had a screened in porch put on. Bit off 2 of his toes. He spent a month at the bird hosp. and wore a big sattelite dish and was fed by syringe for some time. That’s when we decided to get him a friend. The breeder said Serina is a girl. I don’t know. They seem very happy being side by side. She is 3. She’ll say Hello I love you and then try to bite you when she is being fed! I don’t take them out of their chages except for nice long baths, because we have 3 cats and Thomas tears up all the wood furniture in our house if he’s on the floor.
I wish I could trust them enough to take them out and love on them. We have alot of years to go!

Gail Runnels  07/23/2007 6:51 pm

I have a RainbowLory, she was the sweetest thing, then one day, this was two years ago she started biting me, and I mean attacking me any chance she got and she still is. She will go to my husband but I must put a towel on my hand to get her to step up. She is so smart that she will get on my toweled hand then jump to my toweled hand and attack that one. If she is on the floor she will attack my feet too. She will take treats from me and say “yummy” and not bite. I have to remove her from her cage to a different cage to clean it or she attacks me. She will go to any man that is around and loves them. I am her main caregiver and she would eat me alive if she were big enough!

Barbara  07/23/2007 6:52 pm

I wanted to say I was going to buy food there when I bought paulie when I saw that I ran out of that pet store faster than ever thanks again

Patti  07/23/2007 7:01 pm

I have my parents 30ish yr old crabby African Grey Congo parrot they named Clyde. They bought him from a pet store 30 yrs ago to be a companion for their other Congo Parrot. From the first day they saw him, he had his feathers puffed up and growled at anybody who came near him, especially strangers. He spent 29 years in my parents living room and never was friendly with anybody, not even the other parrot. Nobody dared put a finger near him. I’ve had him now for a year and we ended up putting him in a back room, out of the hub of activity, due to his angry growling and screaming. Since then I have tried some of the parrot taming techniques on your CD. I pet him with wooden dowls and he furiously bit them, but eventually accepted the petting. Since moving him to the back room, he is given treats and talks when we are in the room with him and he has become a different bird. He actually let my husband scratch his head and I can change his food and water dishes now without breaking out in a nervous sweat trying not to get bit. Until recently, when placing food in his dish, he gently mouths my finger and lets me scratch his head. My Dad spent a month in the hospital until 2 days ago and we have his 40 yr old Congo parrot staying with us temporarily. Clyde has started puffing his feathers up and acting like he did before we got him. I definitely don’t want my husband or myself to get a vicious bite from him. It hurts!

Beverly Rutt  07/23/2007 7:12 pm

I have a Blue and Gold Macaw with a bad attitude problem. He has had two previous owners and he is about 4 years old. He constantly attacks my husbands feet and sometimes bites him to get his attention. He’s bit me a couple times too and laughed about it. Sometimes he is sweet and sometime he’s a real devil. I’m afraid to hold him, because I don’t know if he is going to bite me. He’s so bad, but he’s funny and I love him so much. I really need help!!!! Thank You, Beverly

Judy Dugan  07/23/2007 7:13 pm

My Lilac Amazon (Rio)was very friendly when I bought her but immediately took to my husband and hates my guts. She views me as the “other woman” and is vicious. I have many scars to prove it. I care about her but have never been able to trust her for a minute. She’s drawn blood repeatedly. It’s very discouraging. I wish I would have gotten a Cockapoo as they seem so loving. Judy Dugan

Chet  07/23/2007 7:14 pm

Wow Guys,

Obviously I struck a chort with this topic. This makes me excited about doing the call… and keep the questions and feedback coming so I can make it as impactful a call as possible!


Kevin  07/23/2007 7:22 pm

I have an amazon named Ripley. He’s just over 2 years old and he started biting just after a year old. No reason, just started biting. I have had parrots for 15 years now, but all have been females by chance. he shares th Den with a Sun Conure and Caique. In the bird world, males are also much different than females. They’re agressive, more playful – AND when they play, they play rough! He doesn’t like to cuddle let alone play nicely or to be petted. Currently, I have him down to biting once a month, but he’ll chase anyone else that goes near him. Our kitchen oven mit is used more for him than for cooking. I’m ready to send him back to the pet store for consignment sale after over 2 years of working woth him. Any suggestions that work will be much appreciated as this problem will only continue with any new owner.

Penny  07/23/2007 7:24 pm

Alex is a yellow-collared mini macaw that I’ve had since he was 9.5 weeks old. I hand fed him for weeks. He is now 7 years old. We were well bonded and then wamo! he starts biting me. Attacking for no reason.

I have had a friend living in the house spending more time with him so I figured that was part of the problem. Okay, I learned,thanks to you, to watch carefully for signs of a coming attack.

We spent a week together about a month ago and he was much better. Now, he’s taken to landing unexpectedly on my shoulder. Hasn’t bitten yet but I’m not very trusting. He still lunges at me when my friend is in the room or when I walk my the gate (to keep the dogs out) to his room/my office. He runs towards me and starts barking like the dogs. He has attacked my feet. Not a good feeling. No reason for the attack.

Don’t understand why his behavior changed in the first place. He will take a shower with me but I can’t carry him in and while on the perch in the shower he will lung like he’s trying to bite.

The nasties started around age 3. He used to sit with me for hours, share my drinks and food.

Help, I want my sweet loving Alex back.

Cristina  07/23/2007 7:25 pm

Hi Chet,

I have a Dusky Conure that I’ve owned for about 7 months now. He is about 14 months old. He’s is the sweetest bird 99% of the time. If fact, his name is Sweetie!
Anyway, the other day he was on my shoulder, and then out of the blue he bit me on the shoulder. He has never bitten like that before! I held his beak and said, “no!” but then he did it again a couple more times. I have no idea what prompted him to do this. I was wearing a sleeveless shirt, too…ooouuuccchhh!!!!!

Amber K  07/23/2007 7:27 pm

I have a 7 year old black headed caique, I’m his only owner. We have a great relationship except for the occassional VISCIOUS bites. Then I become afraid of him and he is often toweled. He does not mind the towel at all though, he actually coos and purrs while in it. His attacks are completely random sometimes weeks to months apart. They can come from him while on perch, on the floor, or most recently he was laying on my chest (literally laying down) and I put him on my figer to get a kiss as we so often do but you know what I got instead, a very fat lip! !

Sometimes I can detect a possible bite coming by feather movement and dilation of eyes but other times I don’t see it coming at all. I am just wondering if this is just to be accepted and expected since I have expected something that is supposed to live in the wild to live by my standards now…or am I actually doing something “wrong” to get these bites. Should I just disregard them and continue our relationship as usual or do as I do and beat myself up for being a bad mom somehow, not know what I am doing wrong?!

Julie A. Wood  07/23/2007 7:31 pm

Hi! I think I have the perfect example of what you’re looking for:

I have a now 10-year old African Grey who is wonderful. I’ve been his sole caretaker. Should there be a visitor, he has no problems with either male or female guests in the room. His big cage, full of interesting toys, is next to that of a 12-yr. old B&G macaw named Cory; they’ve been together since my Grey, Cody, was born. They get along well and both receive an equal amount of attention. Cody speaks every word in the English language! He talks all the time and in complete sentences – not that are just mimicked, but that are relevant to the situation. He also sings, alternating verses with me on a song, and tells me when he wants to listen to the radio. I also have a small TV facing their cages that’s on all the time, tuned in to the Animal Channel, so he gets lots of stimulation. He keeps a clean cage and is no trouble at all, except that sometimes I find food on the bottom of the cage that he hasn’t tried to eat and I can’t figure out why he’s throwing out good (and expensive) Zupreem fruitblend! His cage is located in the living room where I pass frequently and he can see me in the kitchen and other rooms. Sometimes I bring him into my bedroom onto a play gym for a few hours or to spend the night so he gets personal time with me other than when I play with him near his cage. He often gets fresh fruit and vegetables and nuts only as an occasional treat. To me he’s got a perfect and well-balanced life. But about once every three months, completely out of nowhere, he bites me, and I mean hard! It’s not a “play” bite. His beak goes deep into my skin and he doesn’t let go! So I’m not only in pain and bleeding from his bite, but for instance, when he bites my hand, I’ve got the whole weight of his body also pulling on the bitten area! I try as quickly as possible to set him down on the floor to get him off of me. I have NO IDEA AT ALL why he would do this! He knows how much I love him by the way I treat him and take care of him, and I’m always in a good mood when I approach him. Naturally this behavior scares me away from being close to him for awhile. From what I’ve read, you’re not supposed to react a lot, so I try not to, but my hand continues to throb for days and sometimes I can’t help but ask him “Why?” when he does it. Nothing in the room or his cage has changed. I do know that I have to be careful of making any sudden moves around him that are unexpected, because he may react to my simply taking a feather off of his food dish if he doesn’t see me reaching out for it. I love my bird very much, and I’d like to have more hand contact with him, but I’m afraid of being bitten again. My macaw has never bitten me. It’s such a good feeling when Cody tells me he loves me frequently, but with all the good care and love he’s getting, why does he bite me?

Thanks so much,


Dennis Flanders  07/23/2007 7:33 pm

My blue and gold is a gentle soul and is well socialized. He goes into schools all the time and loves children. Anyone can pet him and he seems to welcome the attention. Periodically he will seem to want to show others that he is really the one in charge so he will run across the table or whatever and pinch me. Not a full-on bite, but he could escalate and I would like to stop the behavior. He NEVER bites when we are alone but reserves theis behavior when he wants to be in charge. I would love to here your solutions.


Wally Collett  07/23/2007 7:46 pm

My little 8 month old green cheek ‘Caillou’ is very tame, lovable and learns many tricks very fast. But he will not let anyone else have anything to do with him. He will bite them. Even if a person just comes into his presence he will bite me. Why me? A few days ago my brother-in-law came into the room and Caillou immediately attacked me by biting me almost to the point of drawing blood. Any suggestions you have would be helpful.

Linda  07/23/2007 7:50 pm

My Lesser Sulpher will randomly RUN across the kitchen to bite one of us.
This happens randomly, with no unsual changes in that area or the area around. Once he was kissing my grown daughter and then bit her on the lip just after the kiss???? I call him our bi-polar bird!! One i was comming down the stairs as normal every morning and he decided to bite my hand (the one he was standing on) Now I bring him down in the AM on a stick.


Terri  07/23/2007 7:54 pm

I have a 2 1/2 year old conure who at first was very close to my son and I – but did not like my husband and HATED my daughter. He has become more accepting of my husband but will bite when he gets close without a treat. We used your suggestion on limiting food and then giving him sunflower seeds for treats – and only my husband has been giving him the treats – thus the acceptance. Recently he has been turning on my son and biting him rather than coming to him and stepping up which he had done since we got him. He has gotten very jealous – very irritated when anyone talks to me or sits near me. He will start screaming and screaching until I stop talking with others. I now have to leave the room to talk on the phone. He gets lots of attention, loves daily showers and/or baths, has a good bit of time out of his cage playing on his jungle gym and with his other toys. He loves to sit with me by the computer as I type. In the past couple of months I have been bit twice – for no apparent reason as well. I’d love to hear what you have for suggestions for both the biting and the jealousy. Please help.

Esther  07/23/2007 7:58 pm

I have a 12 yo male umbrella cockatoo who I’ve labelled as a hormonal teenager. He can be friendly, loving and talkative and suddenly turn into a vicious attack bird. i don’t trust him enough to let him sit on my shoulder, but he has broken skin on my fingers.
The 14 yo female maluccan, has only pinched me once, but can she scream. She starts screaming, then my dogs start yodelling, HELP

Jenny  07/23/2007 8:00 pm

My Galah will be as nice as one thing but in the mornings he is as mean as one thing and lunges at me when I put his toast in his cage. He had stopped it but has started it again just this morning thank goodness he missed my fingures. Plus I have another who is as nice a pie but when I have a plaster on my fingures or different clothes on (e.g. raincoat) he attacks terribly every where that there is skin showing HELP regards Jenny

Jenny  07/23/2007 8:02 pm

My Galah hwss started lunging and biting me when I give hime toast in the morings which he had stopped for about a year. Now I also have another Galah who does not like plaster or gloves on hands (when gardening and giving him weeds) plus if I have different clothes on (e.g. raincoat or a jacket on) Help Jenny

cheryl echert  07/23/2007 8:04 pm

It appears most bird lovers experience some sort of spontaneous biting from our friends, do you really think it can be altered by a reaction from us, or will this not stop due to the birds having “bad days” and emotions like they do?

Wolf  07/23/2007 8:12 pm

One of our Sun Conures, Taco, the male, not quite two years old, likes to give my ear a chomp whenever I have both hands full (e.g. water container in one hand & seed container in the other). He seems to know exactly when I can’t retaliate and takes advantage of the situation. I know he’s only being playful but that doesn’t make the blood flow any less.

The other problem I have is with our Green Cheek male, Fagan, not a year old yet, who likes the taste of the back of one’s neck. Fagan rules the roost over the other eight birds, all fully flighted, with which we cohabitate. He draws himself up to his full height (3 ¾” ), puffs his chest out, and proceeds to terrorise all the others, even those four times as big as he is. And when he’s flying around playing Chicken Hawk, he’ll land on your shoulder, run around the back of your head, and CHOMP, right in the neck. Those little green guys have very sharp beaks – ouch!

Looking forward to some of your suggestions.

ljo  07/23/2007 8:18 pm

I have a Derbyan female who was always polite. Not warm & cuddly, but tolerant of me until her 8th month. At 8 months if a Derbyan is a male his beak will turn red. I knew this must be a hormonal month, so when she was cranky I left her alone. That was a mistake. She’s been like a pit viper. She puffs up, pins her eyes and strikes at the cage if your hands are near. In just a few months it’s chronic. She’s a witch. I’m told with sexual maturity they like to be handles more and become warmer. She’s a 13 months old now and I don’t know if this is a passing stage or if it’s her Character. I don’t know how to stop the lunge biting.

cori  07/23/2007 8:22 pm

Rio loves his family but isn’t so trusting of strangers which is ok for now. I have your videos and have linked on all the pages you have offered for info. Rio is a good boy now because of them. But… I have to walk through five rooms before we reach the room for our daily shower. I always liked to change things and add new things to my house. I have found out that Rio does not like it. The least little thing I change he knows and acts as if he is upset because he wasn’t consulted about it. It took me a few good bites, which is not like him since your videos to realize what the problem was. When walking through the rooms I explain anything new, and I tell him(exact words) I don’t want any of your piss and vinegar mood, you don’t make money from decorating cutie. For some reason this seems to work. I point out what is familiar and point out what is different. I never realized how much attention he actually pays. I have people that can come over for weeks and not notice a new item in the living room. Rio sees it immediately. In my experience talking to him about any upcoming change he seems to do better with. From now on I will check with him about my decorating issues. LOL P.S. I have noticed, which is a big issue all in itself… make the beak fun. If Rio is in one of his moods and wants to bite. I let him grab my finger, I bend his head down and kiss him on his head. I never let him think, that I think his beak is scary. Even though we all know that they are. Point is not to let them know we think that.

valentina atkinson  07/23/2007 8:23 pm

My 2 year old coockatoo start biting my husband and my sons same way, used to be swwet, now we dont trust him

Tammy Cline  07/23/2007 8:29 pm

I have a Mila Gold Macaw named Buster. He is usually very sweet and talkative, and doesn’t mind strangers. My parents were over, which the come over alot, so Buster knows them. He was sitting on my mothers arm, and when I came into the room, he bit her. I went to put him in his cage for time out, and he puffed up at me and bit me so hard it drew blood on my thumb and arm. He has never done anything like that before. I left him in his cage over night, and tried to let him out the next day, and he puffed up at me again and tried to bite me. He threw a temper tantrum in his cage knocking his dishes over, and tearing everything he could up. I left him in his cage, and would check on him every once in a while, talking to him to try to calm him down. By the next day he was fine. My Dr. Jekel Mr. Hyde Bird!!

Curt  07/23/2007 8:38 pm

Hi Chet,

We have a 6 yr old senegal. Actually he favors my wife but will only talk for me mostly. He is very affectionate to both of us but will not let me hold him without biting. He will let me scratch his head, neck, shoulders, beak and chin and I feel comfortable as long as he is “tonguing.” When he stops and gives that look I know if I don’t quit he will chomp and tear in short order. A while ago he climbed down off his tree, walked across the living room to the couch where I was lounging. He climbed up the couch onto my pants, up my sleeve and onto my shoulder. My wife went to get up and get him and as she came near he suddenly chomped on my ear. He wouldn’t let go until he has bitten through twice. I had blood streaming down my neck. As you can understand, I am very hesitant to have him on my shoulder as he had bitten me once before without warning on the ear lobe and made a mess of that. Boy did it hurt! He used to be so sweet and rode around on my shoulder quite a lot and still wants to jump on my shoulder all the time. If I stand too close to his cage with my back to him, before I know it, he’s on my shoulder. I just don’t trust that beak. He is difficult to train as his attention span is about as long as a fly but he is very, very smart! We still love him anyway.

Todd  07/23/2007 8:40 pm

This is one of the reasons i unsubscribed from you lessons. I have a 25+ year old B&G. I’ve had him for about 2 years. It didn’t take him too long to get used to me but after we adopted another dog his behavior changed and he started biting randomly. Nothing in your courses dealt with a change in behavior like this and no one on the forum could or would help. I would do almost anything to get back the bird that I can trust. I look forward to any advise in a recorded message or otherwise.

Elisa Southard  07/23/2007 9:00 pm

Hi, Our Umbrella Cockatoo Tory has been with us since 1976… he’s older than me – or so I like to think. We also have a dog, a Greyhound Fargo.

Recently Tory started biting me for the first time in, as you can see, 30 years… on my wrist. out of no where. Fargo wasn’t even home. He starts to bounce and then I know he’s ready to go off. Any help is appreciated.

Also he’s screaming again when we have company. Any words on that would be great too. Thanks, Elisa Southard

Donna  07/23/2007 9:01 pm

I have a small green Parolet that Is about 8 months old, he is a very sweet and affectionate bird, he will sit nicely on your shoulder and cuddle , but if you go to put your hands or fingers near your face while he is on your shoulder he will bite and attack them. What advice would you give to help me to stop him from doing this, he is a great little guy other than that. He learns things very quickly as I have found out, but I don’t know or understand what to do in the situation. I have trained dogs and even cats, but birds are very different as they don’t think anything like dogs or cats. Thank you Donna

Sami Gold  07/23/2007 9:01 pm

A little difficult to type, because my right hand is basically a bloody stump…due to the repeated attacks of my little, green Quaker demon from Hell.

A loving bird, sweet-tempered, affectionate, very interactive with me in gentle, loving ways…..until CHOMP, for absolutely no discernible reason, he turns his head and clamps down. No warning. No provocation. (That I can determine. I’m sure he feels justified, he’s not a stupid bird)

Any guidance at all would be deeply appreciated. I love this guy…as pathetic as that makes me…I love him. But I’m scared of him!

Thanx, Sami

Mandy  07/23/2007 9:05 pm

Le’le is a year old Senegal Parrot and has become a sweet and friendly bird. His friendliness does not extend to others, which is to be expected, but when I have others in the house (especially if they are male) with me he will come over and bite the back of my neck. This same biting takes place whenever I’m on the phone. They feel like little crabby pinches, and he has yet to take skin, but I’m worried it will get worse.

Joe Luino  07/23/2007 9:09 pm

My 12 month old Blue MaCaw’s eyes start to dialate every time I go near his cage. If he is on top of his cage he lunges and hisses at me and sometimes if I don’t act quick enough he rips a hole in my finger. He used to be very sweet and loved to be held but now he just looks to be in attack mode all the time….HELP me Please!!!!

Olivia  07/23/2007 9:10 pm

Hey Chet

I work with a number of birds, and the most frequent biting behaviour I come across, as described by many of the peops leaving their comments, is the one where you are giving them a nice head scratch and then……….they grab yer!! I have no idea what to do and can’t wait to find out.

Olivia, New Zealand

Philip (Keith )Monahan  07/23/2007 9:11 pm

Hi Chet, I have a blue and gold Macow his name is Sam. I have had him since he was 4 months old. He is now 1.5 yrs old.
I have used your training program on him and he has done very good with it. I can turn him upside down and hold him like a baby. I spend 1 to 2 hours per day with him in my chair. He to likes to strike out at me once in awhile. Not as much as he use to. But at times he will strike out at my face and I will scold him for it. He eats everything that I eat including van ice cream. In most part he is a loving bird, giving me kisses and hugs. I would like him to stop striking out. Also he will bite my wife sometimes when he goes to her. If you have any sugestions please let me know what I can do to help matters out.

Danielle  07/23/2007 9:12 pm

I have an adorable 6 year old sun conure. He was either abused or neglected in his old home and therefore is very cautious with new people and new environments. However he has greatly opened up with me and even takes naps on me and enjoys the outdoors. When he first came home with me he bit and drew blood. He mostly bit me. I think he was telling me to keep him safe from the men in my house. He used to randomly attack men who were in close proximity with him, but now he will give warning signs and grunts before an attack. His biting has stopped within the last few months, only small nips at me when he feels unsafe.
However He hates telephones! He will use all his body weight and energy to attack any phone that is near. I can not even answer the phone when he is on me. He does not give any warning signs that I can see before an attack. He viciously attacks the phone, while ringing or not. He attacks any phone not just one type. He screeches extremely loud when the phone rings. I have placed the phone in my room for a few days to see if he would calm down I have also placed the phone in his cage. He will attack it until he is tired, and the next day he will attack it again, and so on. I just wanted to share this with you, and if you have any advice?

Michael  07/23/2007 9:18 pm

I have a yellow nape, Cookie that’s 23 year’s old. Biting has always a problem but over the year’s now it’s only now and then. I know the main reason is, she get’s excited and doesn’t understand what pain is and sense it doesn’t hurt her, she doesn’t know any better. When she’s too excited I won’t play with her. Last April I had her on my shoulder thinking she was ok
when after about 5 min’s she bit my ear. If that’s not bad enough, it’s the laugh aftward’s. I live in Miami, home of the Parrot Jungle and they know bird’s, they have over 50 year’s training bird’s. They moved to another to another part of Miami
and on opening day a Macaw bit the trainer and laughed about it. So if they get bit it seem’s to me this bitting thing just might
be something that parrot owner’s just have to live with. But we’ll see what you have, I’m always open for suggestion’s. Not Cookie though, she doesn’t know there’s a problem.

edna j cintron  07/23/2007 9:25 pm

I have a blue and gold macaw name ruby. She loves to be on top of my head (I have some googles after a couple of scratches near my eyes). But some days not very usual she don’t want me to hold her. She will folow me around the floar and as sunes i pick her up, she will try to bite me. She just grab my sking but no blode have come aut. I can’t figuer out why she acts like that but on those days i just let here in the cage and ignore her. The next day she will be very lovely again. Any idea why she will act like like this. No change have been made on her usual routine or soroundings. Thank you.

Adele  07/23/2007 9:33 pm

My 1.5 year old Indian Ringneck is totally unpredictable. He can be sweet and loving, then suddenly bite (hard) for no reason. He is usually really good when he is just with me, but whenever my partner is around (even if he is in another room) he gets really aggressive and attacks both of us – he seems very jealous. He doesn’t seem to like it when my male housemate is around either – he is definitely at his best when I am the only one home.
He has had 2 previous owners, both male, and one of whom I believe mistreated him. It is hard getting him to step up on a stick as he is absolutely terrified of it.
He is very territorial of his cage and often tries to bite when I open the cage door and change his food and water. When he is being handled sometimes he flaps his wings and squawks aggressively, behaving in what I perceive to be a dominating way. He has also started lunging for our faces which is a real concern as he almost took out my partner’s eye the other day!
I work full-time and I think he gets angry at me for not being home much. Every morning when I drive off in my car he squawks incessantly. On the weekends when I can let him out and is free to fly around he is much happier, but the only time he is truly happy and friendly is when he has me all to himself and there are no men in the house, which unfortunately is a rare occurrence. What can I do, short of kicking out my partner and housemate?!

Eileen  07/23/2007 9:39 pm

I have an 8-year-old Nanday Conure. I just adore her!

My bird was adopted at 2-yrs old from a teenage boy that let her roam free most of the time, sleeping in his jeans on the floor, and cursing up a storm! He moved out for college and his mother couldn’t control the bird – so she went from person to person for a week before I got her. He named the bird Rocky, I had the dna sex test done and renamed HER Roxie … close enough so that she didn’t notice much of a difference being called.

She’s sooooo intelligent! She is constantly learning new words and has a cage for a bedroom, with an outside playarea, and next to that some Sesame Street toys that she clicks on to play music and dance! She puts herself to bed when she’s tired and tells you its time to “clean poopoos” – which is our routine before her cage is covered for the night. In the morning she says “take alook” (uncover the cage) and “wanna come out” – where she greets you as the door opens by climbing onto your finger and giving you a kiss! She tells you “eat cookie” which is for all pellet bird food that is served in the morning, sample veggies at dinnertime, and a small piece of millet or a peanut when watching tv. Plus there’s dozens of other words and activities to long to mention.

My problem is that she likes to be independent and only gets picked up when SHE decides she needs to be… However, 99 percent of the time I tell her to “go sit” and she walks into her cage on her own. It depends on the person visiting if she’s nice or not. She screams when she’s mad or doesn’t like something, and covering her cage does NOT help… she yells “hear me!” which started as a joke when I would say “Roxie, I hear you, now be quiet.”

Anyway, she started laying acouple unfertilized eggs last Spring and this Spring… My vet explained why (smile) and she takes car of them in a cardboard box at the bottom of her cage…

I understand she gets cranky right before this laying period in the Spring, but now she’s bored with the eggs, chewing up the box, etc. … and she bites randomly when greeted for a kiss or going to bed at night. I don’t see it coming and don’t know how to deal with it.

Is this because she’s mad about no babies with her eggs? She attacks when I try to clean out the cage and our vet said to wait until the eggs get no attention before pulling them out.

I also have three adopted cockatiels that Roxie’s lived with for years: A 16 yr old female that Roxie loves and calls to by name; a 7yr old female that also lays eggs at the same time now; and a new 1-2 yr old male that I recently found flying outside in a storm. Roxie is on one side of the room and the cockatiels are on the other – the cockatiels only come out when Roxie is in her cage – but I have never had any problems (knock wood!). All my pets go to the vet routinely, are cleaned daily, and get regular attention at night.

But I want to learn more about the unforeseen biting and screaming … What can I do for this otherwise wonderful pet?

Leo  07/23/2007 9:39 pm

My blue & gold macaw Tiki has the typical playful personality, but also has the tendency to just Snap out of nowhere for no reason. I’ve done research on this and found that it’s a very common thing for this breed to Lunge out of nowhere. Most of the time she doesn’t even bite, she’ll just lunge at you and hit you with her beak. My Congo grey Spanky has a similar personality. One second she’s putting her head down to be rubbed, the next she pinches the hell out of you and get’s very nasty. In both cases with both parrots, simply standing my ground and picking up the bird with confidence puts an end to this behavior. But it definitely falls under the “what the heck was that for” category.

Andre  07/23/2007 9:39 pm

I have two birds,a cockatiel,named corkette & a crimson rosella called corky.Corkette is somewhat tame ,bites a bit but don’t draw blood.Corky is another story,hes pretty wild ,don’t like to B manhandled but loves his freedom out of the cage,once out hes pretty tough to get him back in,& bites if cornered.Corkette shes a sweetheart likes to hang out on my finger ,hard to get her off once shes perched,corky don’t perch much and recently had an episode where he plucked his tailfaithers off,hes fine now,new feathers grew in,but same old same old.

Carolyn Hart  07/23/2007 9:54 pm

I have six birds all housed together in a large indoor flight in my den, an African Grey, Blue and Gold Macaw, Severe Macaw, Hahn’s Macaw, Blue Crown Conure and a Nanday Conure. I screened in half my den and made a giant playpen with windows and their very own light. The Grey seems to be odd man out as she is the only parrot, everyone else is classified parakeet. She and the Blue and Gold get along and groom each other, but she fears the others. They occasionally get on her stand and chase her just because she makes such a fuss, but when I tell them to stop it, they mind me. I also keep a water gun nearby just to startle them some if they are being really bad.

My Grey has always been a bit of a biter even while being hand fed. She was sitting on one hand yesterday just talking and suddenly leaned over and bit my other hand, drawing blood. I put her back on her stand immediately. I have had some family emergencies the past month and not been home as much, so she seems desperate for me to hold her. She will go weeks without biting and then suddenly it’s not safe to reach for her. None of my other birds bite at all. Three of them were rescues. They all get fruits and veggies every day along with their pellets.

My grey also takes spells and plucks feathers in a necklace style, but then they grow back in short order. She was in another home for a very short time and they decided she didn’t get along with their other bird. Before I brought her home from the pet store where I work, she plucked one entire side of her body nearly naked overnight. We never could figure out why and it took almost a year to grow back. As a result of being naked on one side, she would fall uncontrollably if she tried to fly, now she won’t even flap her wings when she jumps or trys to get away. I have tried putting her on my hand and running with her, but she just sits there. I really feel like she needs to know she can fly, but I can’t get her to try. She has hurt herself badly enough to go the the vet twice because she won’t try to fly.

None of her bites have been particularly vicious, but they are painful and it makes me want to handle the other kids who don’t bite more. She just seems to demand a lot more than they do.

Albert Hebert  07/23/2007 9:55 pm

We have been long lost friends since I got him 5 months ago, Apollo is 2 years old, My Umbrella “Apollo” has been like a sweet little puppy. A true Velcro parrot.

I even have him potty trained. Two days ago, he attacked his Daddy as I took him out of his cage as usual and was saying hello to him and he lunged off my hand and latched onto my chin. Biting very hard and breaking the skin with both upper and lower mandabuls. I though I was going to have to go to the hospital that’s how bad it was- plus I am on blood thinners. It was like someone was killed on my white tiled livingroom.

I immediately put him back in the cage to mend myself. I later in the day took him out and it was like nothing happened. Apollo has lost shoulder privlidges and cuddling under my chin for hours as I am not comfortable at the moment. He will have to earn my trust again. I have him out with me but don’t allow him near my face anymore.

I have no idea what scared him or freraked him out.

Al Hebert and Apollo-

Kathleen Wells  07/23/2007 10:05 pm

My 3-yr-old Sun Conure, Jaxon, is the joy of my life! We are together 24/7. When I first got Jaxon from a national pet store chain, he loved everyone and would sit on everyone’s finger without incident. Now that he is confined to just me, he has of course, made himself a “one woman” bird. Being highly protective, he will attack anyone who comes to visit.

At first, I realized he was biting me merely because he was trying to get leverage to pull himself up. Later, when I got to know him better, he would bite when he didn’t want to do something (like go to bed).

We have grown extremely close and have a REGULAR, HABITUAL ROUTINE of eating popcorn and watching TV every night for a few hours Then, he climbs in my shirt and I rock him to sleep.

It is RARE anymore that I get a freakish bite, but it happens. Since I know him so well now, I truly can anticipate potential problems. He, as well, does NOT like CHANGES to the room or atmosphere and it takes him awhile to adapt. So, I anticipate that and am prepared to take it slowly.

Jaxon has always only bitten my fingers. Of late, I’ve come to the belief that his personality demands its own way and that when/if he bites it has something to do with not getting his way. He DEMANDS ATTENTION and I think sometimes this is the only way he figures he can get it. It’s like “pay attention to me!” We have now developed a communication to where I know when he wants a drink or when he wants to go somewhere else.

It must be frustrating to birds to not be able to communicate verbally with someone they love so much. We have to remember they each have strong, individual personalities and we have to constantly TRY to interpret just what they are trying to communicate.

I don’t have many visitors, but I would like to know how I can socialize him again so visitors could enjoy him as well as I do.

Thank you for this opportunity to “bird talk”!

Stacey Vaznis  07/23/2007 10:08 pm

I have recently acquired a 6 yr old Blue Fronted Amazon named Scooby about 3 1/2 months ago. He seemed to adjust very well to a new home. He now has complete freedom to fly from his cage to his new perch in the livingroom and talk to my cockatiel thru his cage. His previous home he was mostly caged with no “playtime”. Plays with me with his toys, likes scatches behind his head then BAM! a month ago i was singing to him and he was singing along then he leaned as if to give me a kiss. I leaned towards him and he bit clear thru my bottom lip! I had my daughter cage him and cover him while i got stitches. And since, he has taken flesh out of my arm, finger and head. He will now fly at me and kick me in the head and fly back to his cage. Sometimes he’ll chase me down the hall! Sounds pretty silly but he hurts! I’m now apprehensive around him but try not to be thinking he senses my fear of pain and is just messing with me. He has since fallen in love with my 20 yr old daughter and will lay with her on her bed, he HAS to be on her always and won’t let her leave. Read your articles about rearranging house, new clothing, etc. but nothing is different other than the fact that he now likes the taste of my blood! HELP cuz i love him!

Barbara  07/23/2007 10:14 pm


Almost two years ago my moluccan cockatoo conrad was sitting on my shoulder as he always did and with no apparent reason leaned over and instead of cuddling as I thought he took a bite out of my face next to my eye and then started on my head tearing at my hair. I got him off of me and on his cage and left the room. Within just minutes he calmed down but I was till freaked out so i did not go to him until a couple of hours later when it was time to put him to bed. As i approached his cage he jumped on my chest and began biting me again. I got him in and now we have a situation where I feed him and clean his cage. I scratch his head through the cage bars and talk to him all the time. I do not handle him when I do let him out of the cage and fear that he will not go back in himself. On the couple of occasions that I have gone near his cage when he is out he jumps to my shoulder and tears at my hair. I miss the close relationship we had. I used to walk around the house with him on my shoulder all the time. I took him in the shower which he loved. I even had to put a mirror on the door to the garage to remind me to put Conrad in his cage before leaving the house I was so used to him being on my shoulder.

Sometimes he is very happy to have me scratch his head and talk with him and other times it appears that he would love nothing more than to tear me apart. We do travel and he loves the place we board him and they just love him. He has never behaved in an agressive manner there. I used to take him there in a travel cage and use one of there cages but since the attacks began I take his huge cage there in my van –I am that untrusting of him and unwilling to handle him.

I am looking forward to your phone conference and also am consoled to see there are so many others with similiar problems. Barbara

cowgirljudy  07/23/2007 10:27 pm

my blue & gold mccaw has started trying to bite I moved her out of the room with the cockatoo & she was ok for awhile thenall of a sudden she trys to bite me & she was getting on my shoulder then now she is just mean. help I got both the birds from a police officer t hey had taken them from a male because they were mistreading them. help I don’t want to give her back. the cockatoo is doing good he loves on me but I can’t get him to turn loose of t he cage. but help with t he wanting to bite first. thank you I really like you letters.
Thank you,
Judy Walton(cowgirljudy)

Davida Garvin  07/23/2007 10:30 pm

From the responses here I can see that i’m not the only one who’s stoked to hear the answer to our random problems! Mine is a one and half year old Green Cheek Conure and although we don’t have any unmanagable bitting problems, I’d love to be prepared if and when any bitting problems arise! Thanks in advance Chet!

Greg Bennett  07/23/2007 10:30 pm

We have a gorgeous South American Quaker parrot who is such a delight to be with. She constantly says “Hello” and “What you doing ??” She laughs often and arches her whole body right back giving her the opportunity to give it her best. Missy loves to sleep in her cage at night, and the occassional nap during the day but generally lives in our house free to enjoy the full comforts of home. She also barks like a dog, something that was inherited from her previous owners pet dogs. Whilst Missy sounds like an ideal pet, there is the issue of the biting. Yes, Missy has started biting the hand that feeds her !! It doesn’t seem to be any particular time but it seems to be around the time she would like a ‘cuddle’ or a bite to eat. We have owned, or should I say, Missy has owned us for close to three years and up until recently has always been very good or as good as a parrot can be !!! Chet, we would be interested in knowing your thoughts on why the biting has started and the best way to keep Missy away from human flesh.
Greg Bennett

Brenda  07/23/2007 10:41 pm

Tango is a love bird.Who is very playful loving and affectionate and love to share wih me. I found Him? so do not know His age or background. We have come along way THANKS TO YOUR DVD AND ALOT OF
PERSISTANCE in the last 8 months. I lthought maybe this nipping was normal that I would need to live with it.
His bite or…?? is like a love peck but comes out of nowhere. Like you say sitting with me 30 min… then nip. He knows to hold back and not nip hard but still enough that it hurts. It is like He has a bite meter I can go this far and no further. Or he will dash and attack usally my hands.
I thought this was His way of demanding attention which I then did not give Him BUT seperate Him from myself. This method worked to some degree. I am open to your suggestions.

Kathy  07/23/2007 10:42 pm

Hi! I have a blue amazon Parrot, Skeeter. She bites alot. Than when I say ouch, she says HUH!! She really does not talk too much, although we communicated with Skeeter daily. She will dance, to music, loves take me out to the ball game song. I purchased her from our local pet shop about three years ago. He could not tell me much about Skeeter, nor how old she was. He thought Skeeter was a female. We live in a small Town, so I was really excited to find Skeeter. However, I want to play with her, but she bites, she is very two faced Ha! Sad but true. She bites HARD TOO.. Please help us, help Skeeter enjoy her life as one of the family . Thank you, Kathy

Sherri Reis  07/23/2007 10:44 pm

My 1.5 year old blue crowned conure, Trey is a joy,and I love him very much. IT seems he has a mind of his own though. Sometimes I can walk up to his cage and he will step up onto my finger and other times he bites me, then other times I have to get a stick to get him to step up on. Most of the time if I tell him to be good he will listen and let me pick him up, just depends on his mood. Trey also bites anyone else who tries to touch him, and if I am holding him and my husband or anyone else tries to kiss me he bites them. I spend alot of time with him at the same time everyday and he responds well to me if he is in the right mood, but no one else can touch him. He is the same way when he talks if I talk to him or I enter the room he rambles on but will not talk for anyone else. I am looking forward to any advise I can get. Thanks so much!!

Kathy Bordeau  07/23/2007 10:47 pm

I have a pair of SI Eclectus Parrots. They are 2 years old now. He is as sweet as they come. She guards her man from all of us. She is to be touched first, played with first, talked to first. Everything must be to her liking. She would bite for fun. She would hunt a family member out just to bite them, & stalk away. She hates to go back to her cage on certain people. She will accept the offering of a ladder to step up on most of the time. We decided to get your program(s). Now I only get bit if I don`t work with them. The rest of the family rarely get bit at this point. They don`t do a lot of tricks but the love the time that is spent with them! I don`t touch her when she is on eggs. But spend extra time with him. I seperated them at this point because he ate her 1st egg, & was looking for the next one. They had to be in sight of each other at all times. But it was manageable. I haven`t let them on the top of their cage since getting your program, what a difference! You have a lot of great ideas in your program! I look forward to learning more from you in the future. Please keep in contact.

sherry  07/23/2007 10:48 pm

I am interested in listening to the seminar. We recently brought home a blue-fronted amazon. He is 6 weeks now and we have been hand feeding and he is starting to be interested in other foods. He is very sweet and for the most part does not try to bite. Sometimes it seems it’s puppy-like behavior discovering his environment with his mouth, but every now and then he gets a little wild and starts going after our fingers with determination. He’s young, but when he gets us just right- it hurts. Also, when we have guests over we get him out to show him off and sometimes he seems nervous and more nippy. How can we help him feel comfortable with our guests?

Michael Freeman  07/23/2007 10:51 pm

my aunt of 83 years had to give up her mini macaw of 5 years at her home. Spent the last 3 days with the bird and my to try to get aquainted. was able to pick it up with out getting but at her home , now i know the bird is in a new enviornment .it likes to be out of the cage but when i take it out on my hand it bites me as if to hold on to step up. i have tried putting me hand under its chest as far as i can but it insists on holding on with its beak and sometimes drawing blood . I still continue to pick it up and tell her no when she tries to bite what else can i do.
thanks you bird talk for all your good support and ideas

Alan Zukerkorn  07/23/2007 10:58 pm

Our 16 year-old female umbrella cockatoo will never bite me, as I am her bonded mate. Even if she were to fall off a table, she would do anything in grabbing on, but bite me. On the other hand, she will bite my wife on occasion, and for no reason. This has happened 4 times in the last 6 years. Kayla loves my wife and enjoys her daily cuddles. Each of these biting occurances happened during these times of affection. One minute Kayla is loving all the attention, then all of a sudden she will turn and take a chunk out of my wife’s finger. The worst was 6 years ago when she bit open my wife’s lip. Any help with this situation would be welcomed!!

Laura  07/23/2007 11:02 pm

My umbrella cockatoo loves attention but he will bite without provocation. He has bitten everyone in our family, I have a three inch scar on my arm where he bit me last. He is very loving, and wants to be picked up but you cannot trust him not to bite. I feel bad for him not getting the love attention that he needs. I can pet him while he is on the cage or stand, and he will put out his foot to be picked up but for no reason he will bite.

Casey  07/23/2007 11:08 pm

Hi Chet,

I have a male cockateil, among other birds, who puts his head down for scratches then just freaks out and starts biting you once he is being scratched. He is rather aggressive and attacks my other male cockateil.

Roberto Staricco  07/23/2007 11:18 pm

Dear Chet,
I owne a Severe Macaw called Max. He is 2yrs old now and I have had him since he was 4 months old. He has always bitten a bit every now and then but rarely and without hurting. His biting has always been sudden for no apparent reason but gets vicious toward me when some else in the house (a friend) approaches. This only does not happen with my partner whom Max knows very well. Also I have another problem: since Max was staying alone most of the day when I am at work (I spend 1 hour in the morning before going to work and 2 – 4 hours in the evening with him) I decided in January to take an Afrincan grey whose owner did not want anymore. His name is Teo and he is 1 yrs old. I thought because of the young age of both they could get well together and enjoy with each other.But no, it has been a nightmare. Max has always been very jelous and has attacked me several times quite viciously, especially at the beginning. Now things are much better, Max has accepted Teo a lot more. Still Teo cannot get near Max. Max has improved a lot and the vicious biting is not happening anymore however he has taken this habit to bite me at all times, without hurting, but this is very annoying behavoiur.
Please help. Also could you do an audio card instead of a telephone work?
Roberto Staricco

Bill  07/23/2007 11:24 pm

Mele is a Severe Macaw that I’ve bonded with for the past 6 years. She loves being with me wherever I go at home. She sits on my leg when I’m at on the computer. She sits on my shoulder when I’m walking around the house. She is so tame, friendly, sweet and lovable and then “Wham” bites for no reason at all. I tell her “bad bird, No biting” and I keep repeating it. I bring her to her cage and leave her there for hours. She seems to think it is funny, but funny it’s not and her bites break my skin and of course bleed and are very painful. I have been through boxes of bandaids.

She only likes two people in this world and that’s my partner and I. Noone else can get close to her without her trying to bite them. I can scratch her, pat her, put her upside down in my hand, hold her upside down and she seems to really like it. She hates when I’m on the phone she keep saying “bye, bye, bye” and if I am on the phone too long she start nibbling on my ear but doesn’t really bite me. I can’t understand why she attacks me for no reason.

She loves taking a shower with me but she has to be on my left shoulder and really enjoys the handheld shower spraying her under her wings.

When she is on the floor she thinks it is FUN to attack feet and socks that don’t even have any feet in them. She will attack bare feet also.

Please HELP me with this problem!!



Carol  07/23/2007 11:43 pm

Hi Chet:

We adopted a 7 year-old double yellow headed Amazon named Kiwi 7 months ago. He came from an elderly couple and I believe he was attached to the woman who had raised him all his life.

Much to our surprise, almost immediately he became attached to our 16 year old son. (Who does give him plenty of attention).

If my son is around, we all have to watch our backs, especially me! Kiwi, will take a nice chunk out of me, my husband, or other sons if the “chosen one” is in the same room. Once I was taking Kiwi for a walk around the house, and he spotted his boy outside the window. He clamped down on my arm and would not let go.

I am trying to be more aware of these type of situations and respect Kiwi’s space when his person is near, however, it would sure be nice stop this behavior!

Looking forward to your advice!!

Carole Bergen  07/23/2007 11:47 pm

Our sweet African Grey (Timneh) has never bitten me, but routinely bites my husband, totally out of the blue. We have no idea why. Husband is the one who feeds him. I train him and bathe him. When he became sexually mature, he would try to mount both our hands. Both of us redirect him, and have even made an African Grey-look-alike out of socks to sit beside him in his cage. He attacks her! It has gotten to the point that my husband says, “you put him back in the cage, I’m not taking any chances”.

Cindy  07/23/2007 11:52 pm

Wow…..there sure are a lot of people with the same kind of biting behaviors leaving messages here.

I have a Senegal named Harley. I think he is about 9 years old. He is very silly and fun most of the time but we have had numerous fights in which blood was involved and it wasn’t his. I have had to sling him off of me to get him to release his grip a few times…’s like he is crazed and it’s not just a biting grip but once he has broken the skin he starts gnawing…it’s almost like he is making sure that it hurts really bad. Sounds evil doesn’t he?

It usually happens if I am trying to get something away from him because he is very destructive and when he is out, he is on the prowl for something to tear up. He has a string toy that he spends very little time with and some other birdie toys that he has no use for. If he grabs something he is not supposed to have I try to distract him with something else that I know he likes and while it works for a split second…. he knows what I am doing and it seems to really piss him off. He is especially fond of the rubber grips on pens. Sometimes when he bites my hand it seems like he is enjoying that rubbery texture like the pens.

He will attack me toes as well. He will walk his little birdie self into the bathroom when I am getting ready to go somewhere and run when he gets within a foot of my toes trying to latch on….he especially hates my big toes….sometimes though I have thought that he thought they were other birds. I realize that some of this is probably to prevent me from leaving him alone but it doesn’t work….if I have to go out….I have to go out. He also occassionally gets me if I try to put him back in his cage in too big of a hurry… I have learned to slow down and pretend that I’m not trying to leave.

Why is he so crazy! He is in control and he knows it. I would be very interested in making him stop.

Val  07/24/2007 12:02 am

Hi Chet,

I would love some tips about my Severe macaw, Siren, and her occasional unpredictable bites. I’ll be at the teleseminar for sure


Lorri  07/24/2007 12:05 am

I’m an experienced parrot Mom, having had at least one parrot for the last 15 years. I currently have three. My latest adoptee is a 19 year-old Double Yellowheaded Amazon, Simon. His original parents had him since he was a baby, he hasn’t been sexed, but they thought he was a male. He chased the Mom around and would try and bite her, but was very attached to the Dad and a pet dog. The Mom was very afraid and would run from him. He is a beautiful and fun bird, terrific vocals, and quite entertaining. He is exceptionally aggressive with me. He hates me, and has gone so far as to fly off the top of his cage and attempt to attack my face. I’ve not shown any fear, and have not yelled or been aggressive back. I have pushed the bitten area into his beak and removed him and placed him on his cage on both occasions. The top of his cage is at an appropriate height so he doesn’t feel he dominates me. He also charges his cage if he’s inside and attempts to bite me or will lunge at me off of any of his perches. I’ve given him the evil eye on more than one occasion and have postured myself to indicate I’m “Alpha Birdy Mom”. He has been aggressive with my husband and son, but not to the extent he is with me. I love Simon, and I know there’s a really good bird inside, as he shows he knows better than to act that way. After he’s charged the cage, he’ll hang his head and turn his back to me and show remorse. But nothing seems to phase him. He does love to interact with me IF he’s inside his cage. He loves to play the whistle game where he’ll whistle and I’ll mimic him – he can play that for hours. He also loves it when I feed him if I move his food bowl up and down he’ll dance with it and just get a big grin on his old beak. Short of having his blood work done (check up is coming soon – we have to travel to our avian vet) I’m at a loss what else to try with him. I am committed to this bird as much as I am my other two, and really want to have a interactive loving relationship with Simon. Pleas help!

Greg  07/24/2007 12:07 am

We have a cockatoo named Elvis .He Is a good boy all of the time when my wife handles him .As soon as I try to pick him up he bites me and he does the same thing with my daughter when she trys to pick him up.he would get so much mre time out of the cage if he would let us pick him up. he also attacks the feet when on the ground .Thanks Greg

hi chet  07/24/2007 12:08 am

hi i got a quaker parrot he is a year old he was very sweet but then he started to bite when he was out of his cage now you cant do nothing with him he has bitten my husband on the face and got me a couple of time on the hand he is like in a bad mood all the time i thought about gettin a mate for him but i am afraid he will hurt it what should i do.

Susan  07/24/2007 12:08 am

I have a 2 yr. old Sun Conure, Salsa, I hand fed and raised from a baby and a 1 yr.old Goffin Cockatoo, Angel, I also hand fed as a baby. I love them dearly and they me. They are so sweet except for Salsa, and just recently at times, in the morning when I uncover him and open the cage to get him out, he will scream and try to bite me, which on occasion he has and has drawn blood. I now ignore him and he finally comes out of his cage ready to crawl inside my bathrobe and stay there, until I get my morning coffee, and he has performed this bathrobe ritual since he was a baby. He is so smart…he has never poohed on me or anyone else, if he needs to go, he will fly down off you to the floor and do it, honest! I also carry him on my shoulder around the house and when I try to take him off, he bites me. I gently put my hand around his little body to hold him to make him stop and out of the blue he covers me with kisses. I think he’s possessed! He loves my husband too but lunges and bites my 6 yr. old granddaughter if he’s on my shoulder and she gets too close. However, he doesn’t go after her if my husband is holding him. I absolutely love my little demon bird no matter what, but I’d like to control him better with his bites. And my other bird Angel is just that, an Angel. Help Chet!

Tuan nguyen  07/24/2007 12:14 am

i have a Sun Conure , he is about 3 years old now .. when i ever i do some thing around the house, he is always on my shoulder. lately for some reason after sitting there on my shoulder. The bird just randomly scream really loud and bite my ear for no reason .. or some time he i s walking on the floor all happy and whistling really nice and i tried to pick it. He would bite me and draw blood. Can you please help me thank you ..

Rosie  07/24/2007 12:15 am


My lovely, lovable, friendly, affectionate Indian Ringneck Parakeet Midori sometimes does a random lunge. Sometimes it’s when he’s sitting on my shoulder and I”m getting out vitamins from jars (does he think they are eggs)? He playfully chases the handheld vacuum cleaner and then if you go near him when he’s doing this he will lunge. Sometimes if I’m assembling the perch in his cage and he is on my shoulder he will lunge. And then rarely, when he is sitting what appears to be calmly on/near my hand when it’s typing on the keyboard. So those are a few of the consistency I can find across situations. Oh, sometimes to a friend if he is sitting what looks like calmly on their shoulder. But generally he’s very friendly with most people and has even been known to fly to the floor to play with some kids! Thanks! Rosie

Beth  07/24/2007 12:16 am

I have an African gray parrot named Peanut. He always bites. He will let you pet him but like a second after he tries to bite you and it is totally unexpected. When he gets off his cage he will let you pet him longer that usual. But then he tries to bite again. He bites for no reason no one is trying to hurt him or no one is in his way. When we get new toys for his cage he gets scared and doesn’t go near them at all until he gets use to them after a couple of hours. He is a little worse with the biting thing when we get new toys for his cage. But when he gets use to the toys he is still biting and he bits everyone in my family. Sometimes it is harder than usual. Also when he is in his cage he doesn’t let anyone pick him up only when he gets off his cage and is on the floor he lets you pick him up to put him on his cage again if he doesn’t walk back on his own. I really wish he wouldn’t bite and he will let you pick him up when he is in his cage. I really hope you can help me with this problem and I know you can so thank you very much!!
Beth :)

joanne  07/24/2007 12:36 am

My 4 year old grey has started biting the furniture i.e. my leather sofa and he wont stop I have tried putting him in his cage immediately he starts doing this but it makes no difference, Chet I cant ignore this behaviour as my sofa was expensive Please how do I stop him biting helllllllp

Ken Hadsell  07/24/2007 12:42 am

I am interested in this subject and would like to be included in the telephone teaching.
Thank you.

Meredith Greenwood  07/24/2007 12:43 am

I have a 1-year-old cinnamon greencheek conure. He can be the kindest most cuddly bird around and two minutes later decides that he’d like to attack fingers instead.
I adopted from a place where he was constantly on edge protecting himself from two grab-happy toddlers. I think that perhaps he forgets, on occasion, that he’s in a safe place and reverts back to his old ways. I would like to know how to prevent this so that my family isn’t quite as nervous handling him.
A CD on this topic would be a wonderful thing!

Barbara  07/24/2007 12:45 am

the bird that i am writing about is a male peachface lovebird. he is usually very sweet to me but occasionally he tries to nibble on my earlobes. while this does not hurt, it annoys me because he tries to bite my earrings. i should mention that he is less than 6 months old and very sweet and i love him dearly. i currently have my 14 year old grand daughter living with me and she was here before Keko the darling came to live with us. my granddaughter has played with Keko and taken him to and from his cage. she has fed him and changed his water and done all the things that i do for him. recently, just this past week actually, he bites her fingers if she puts them near the cage. Keko has made her cry because it hurts so much. she is now nervous about putting her hand in the cage to get him out. he is very good with me and wants to be with me even when my granddaughter used to take him out. should i be concerned or is he just growing up and having a bad day. i don’t want this kind of behaviour to get worse and grow into something i cannot handle and i want my granddaughter to be able to handle Keko again.

Ken Hadsell  07/24/2007 12:51 am

My African grey Einstein was a wonderful cuddly pet for the first year. Since then he will not let me take him out of his cage. He acts and sounds like I am pulling his toenails out — such a horrible racket. He has a huge cage. If I want him out for any reason I have to get behind him with something so that he will run away from it and out, all the time sounding like I am killing him. When I change the papers in the bottom of his cage he tries to bite me. Once he is out of his cage on the floor I can pick him up, does not bite, and I take him outside for sunshine or a bath. Away from his cage I can pick him up. I know the cage is his territory and he is proctective of it, but why bite the hand that feeds you? Either he is much smarter than me or he isn’t as smart as people say these parrots are. I hope you have an answer on this one.

Faisal Ahmed  07/24/2007 1:13 am

I have two parrots, a CAG and a ring-neck. The ringg neck is a sweetheart, but the CAG is just wild.

The CAG never bites me or anyone. I tried to feed him a couple of times by hand, he did take the food (this was when I first bought him 4 months ago). But now, it seems like he just hates to see anyone closer than 3 feet. I can get close, but then he just screams and jumps off his perch and takes off.

I am getting sick of his screaming and running away. This is making it impossible for me to train him. How can I have my bird trust me? He stays open in the house all day long on his perch. I sit with him in the evenings for at least 4-5 hours daily. He is playful, butt careful when anyone is around I feel he does let me closer now but will not let me put food in the trays.

Please HELP!



Laura  07/24/2007 1:16 am

Hi Chet! I can’t wait to hear the helpful tips you have for all of us. Living with pet birds is sometimes difficult enough without adding biting to the mix. Your suggestions will be appreciated by so many!

We have had a Lovebird for about 8 years. “Kiwi” loves my husband. Kiwi loves to be pet, kissed, cuddled and held by my husband. Kiwi hates me. Even though I am the one that feeds him, cleans his cage and interacts with him daily, Kiwi has never warmed up to me. I jokingly call him my little hate-bird. He actually lunges at my hand whenever I go near. He has bit me several times. Luckily being so small he’s never done much damage. I understand he has taken ownership of my husband and believes him to be his mate. I would like to be able to go near Kiwi without getting bit. Any ideas?

We fell in love with “Rosie” the moment we saw her in the pet shop. She is a Rose Breasted Goffin Cockatoo. She was also six months old when we brought her home…we’ve had her a year now. Rosie is very loving with us both. She loves to be cuddled, likes to play, eats with us, spends a lot of time outside her cage, takes showers with us, has lots of toys and is also content to play by herself. We have taught her to say quite a few words and has been quick to learn new things. As good as it sounds…Rosie isn’t perfect. Rosie has bitten us. It usually seems to be the same each time. She gets over stimulated with the attention being given to her by one of us and when the other enters the room she bites which ever one she is with. Unlike the lovebird, the cockatoo’s bite hurts! Any suggestions on how to stop this pattern would be appreciated.

Deanna Lammie  07/24/2007 1:18 am

Yes, my sweet cuddly brown-headed parrot suddenly becomes absolutely maniacal and bites the closest thing to him which is often me. I wish I had time to go into more detail. Yes, please address this issue!

Mary DelVillano  07/24/2007 1:27 am

My 11 year old Umbrella Cockatoo is a doll. While in his cage he will allow most people to pet him. He comes to me without a problem out of the cage. But… everytime we let him out he starts attacking my husband. Tony can pet him while he is in the cage but not out of it. Daphne is a rescue bird, his initial owner got a macaw and decided to give him to her mom, who abused him. She would lock him in the closet, put a bucket over him and hit it, hit him with a broom stick and give him cigerette butts to chew on. When he bit her she took him to the vet to be put down. The vet’s staff asked her if instead she would sign him over to them for rehab and adoption. Obviously she did do this, the vet tech took him home and gave him love and attention for five and a half years. Until the house she owned was lost in a flood last year. Daphne was moved to her mother’s
for the following year. During this time her young daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and their new house needed quite a bit of repair, so she decided to find him a new family and we were the ones privilaged enough to bring him home. He came with a grand caymin cage so i do not think the cage is the problem, and it only has in it those things that are his favorite. Can you help with this?

Jenny  07/24/2007 1:52 am

HI my Galah has been so good until lately he has decided to start lunging and trying to bite me only first thing in the morning when I try to give him his peanutbutter toast I don`t no why he used to do it but quietend down about a year ago now he is giving me terrible frights.( of course the eyes are half shut aren`t they first thing in the morning before I have a cuppa). My other on that is in the avery who is usually very quiet and loves to be handled doesn`t like it if I have anything unusual on my hand or fingers e.g. plaster, gloves etc plus if I wear a coat when it is raining. Thanks for your help

Peter Hofland  07/24/2007 2:01 am

My bleu front amazone named Borgani does get very aggressive when i use the vacuumcleaner and he tries to bite me when he gets the change. Lucky for me his bright orange eyes and wide spread tailfeathers give him away so I do not get to close :-)
He also is very cranky when he wakes up in the morning and tries to bite me or my partner. If you ignore him for about 5 minutes his mood changes and he will be nice again because he knows his food is on it’s way.
But most of the time it’s just a nice happy parrot!

Lizelle  07/24/2007 2:07 am

Funny enough we had the same colour problem with our green cheek conure. He is my son’s pet and loves him so much but when my son picks up a red block or anything red he starts biting. I always thought he sees it as a threat and tries to warn my son. My daughter’s blue ringneck likes to groom the rims of your ears but sometimes will do it for a while and then just suudenly give you a good bite. It hurts like mad and once he starts he won’t stop. He will wait a few moments after being told “no” and then start again.

Debbie  07/24/2007 2:20 am

Our 7 yr old cockatiel will bite suddenly and will also chase you to do it. The main cause has been a box, any kind. We caused this by giving him one to play in, an empty wine cask, first of all and now any box will set him off, no matter the size, he considered it his nest.
But sometimes there is no box. Why?

Dennis Isenhour  07/24/2007 2:20 am

I have a (congo african Grey) and a Timeth african grey both are good birds I can do anything with them put them on their backs in my hand I can even just reach in the cage and grab them they are fine with it.The problem is if I got eather one out and any one walks into that room they bite me or if they are on their cage and any one walks in.How do you stop this.Hope you can help.

Thanks Dennis

July 24,2007 at 2:20 AM

Tracy  07/24/2007 2:20 am

My 16 year old amazon was on my arm one day and as I went to hand her off to my 20 year old daughter, he bit into her hand it bled. So, I pulled him back off her and then he bit me in the crook of the arm. The bruise wasn’t bad, small orange in size, but the lump of swell was so I couldn’t bend my arm because it was actually the size of a small orange. Thanks for your help.

Deborah  07/24/2007 2:23 am

My budgie is really sweet but sometimes he will just bite for no reason at all. e.g. My brother, his girlfriend and I were sitting on the couch watching a movie. My budgie was sitting on my shoulder when he hopped of and walked along the back of the couch and bit my brother’s girlfriend’s ear.
I would listen to the seminer if i can. Thanks

YVETTE - SOUTH AFRICA  07/24/2007 2:26 am


liz marr  07/24/2007 2:58 am

hi my name is liz marr and i have budgie named freddy and he is olny about 8 weeks old and when i go to try and pat him and try to take him out of his cage,he starts to bite me. at first i thought that he was just doing because tired but now he does it all the time and it really hurts. please help me

Eugenia Beecher  07/24/2007 3:03 am

Hi there

We have two parrots. An African Gray and a Molluccan Cockatoo. The African Gray just turned one and she still likes to nibble at me but not bite. The problem with her is anyone except me she doesnt know she will lunge at them and try to bite. She has never hurt anyone but there will come a time I am sure. Now laughter, the cockatoo, We have realized the only time she will bite is if there is a towel or washrag around. She will let us have it. She loves everyone she comes in contact with except she does not like towels and washrags for some reason. I was wondering what your idea would be on how to break her from not being scared of them. Thank you

kathy  07/24/2007 3:18 am

Hi Chet
I have a 9 month old Crimson Rosella who has been hand fed since it was 2weeks old and she/he I don’t know which as it is hard to tell the difference was a very pleasant bird to be around until the last couple of months when anyone of us could go near her/him and then all of a sudden it started to bite each one of us and now we can’t get near it, i can still do some things with it as it wants what i eat and it even goes as far as regurgitating its food and feeding me with it only through the cage as it will bite otherwise, I know it is missing the personal contact we had but boy how they can draw blood for no reason. I have checked nothing is different where the cage is, we haven’t changed anyway we dress or get our hair cut or speak to it as it talks back to us now, she (I call it a she as she is too pretty for a male but you never can tell) she loves her veges as when i cook them every night i usually say to her yum veges and now as i go to the freezer i get yum veges from her they are a treat and i know she loves them. Sometimes she will take them or she will allow you to hold them so she can eat them and also other times she just snatches them and throws them to the ground. We don’t allow a lot of noise around her as it really freaks her out but sometimes when the kids are playing and she can see them and they run past her she just laughs with them.
Last school holidays we went away for a couple of days and left her with our neighbor and she was spoiled while we were away but when we got back she had quietened down a lot you would think she was herself except when you went to get her out of her cage you get attacked. I have covered her up at night since she was a baby but i have left her covered a bit longer so she doesn’t go through the hormone stage.
Please help as I am at a loss of what to try next.
thank you.

Natalie  07/24/2007 3:18 am

I have two scaley breasted lorikeets (native Australians) and one of them (the olive scaley) has attacks of what I have started to call “scary eyes” where his pupils dilate and he makes a belly groan and will cross the room to bite you! One minute he is snuggling and talking , and the next he is doing two-leg jumps with beak open coming for any bare skin!! Some days seem worse than others, like he woke up in a bad mood. I don’t know what to do since the other lorikeet doesn’t get upset by whatever is making the other one upset, and I am sure that the other lorikeet isn’t upsetting him either! And no one is excluded from his random behaviour, mum dad guests and the other bird all take turns to cop his aggro!! And as soon as he has attached himself to what ever piece of skin was available (faces included), he has a whistle that he does as if a warning that he will do it again!! (And sorry to be laughing at everyone else’s misfortune but I have had a wonderful time finding out that I am not the only one losing skin!!) But I would love to stop him from getting me.

Dieter  07/24/2007 3:24 am

As for the bitting, I have seen it, though he does not bit that badly, he does draw blood from time to time. it very sudden without warning. Afterwhich he is fine again. Strange little fella!

Ann Weston  07/24/2007 3:27 am

Hi Chet,
Thanks for the email, but living in Australia I don’t think a phone seminar is the answer to my 1 year old, female eclectus biting. But, if I lived in the U.S.A. then I would certainly be interested.

Tracey Travis  07/24/2007 4:08 am

We inherited a 7 year old female umbrella cocka-raptor-too, we have named P.I.T.A. short for pain in Tracey’s … I love her to much and I’m not willing to give up on her, as we are the 4th home that we know of. My husband on the other hand is a different story, as he is the one who showers with her daily and lets her out of her cage to play and cuddle. He takes her for walks and is the primary care giver since she doesn’t bite him. Dont misunderstand me Pita loves me or loves to bite me or something of the sort. She will do just about anything to get near me once she is out of her cage. She is the most determined little creature on the planet. When she sets her mind on mom she stops at nothing until she is on me. I am a sucker for her and she knows it, I give in and cuddle her knowing full well that at any second I may just lose an eye or ear. Usually 1 or 2 a week she gives me a chomp, but I keep trying. My husband teases me saying that pita knows that I have a rare blood type and sees me as a delacacy. Please help. After 4 years you would think I had enough but I am not the type of person who gives up easily but I admit I’m scared of her. I won’t take her out of her cage during the day when we are alone and this makes me sad for her. It seems so unfair to cage up one of Gods creatures that should be able to soar where ever she wants. Thanks for listening

Clara Hollins  07/24/2007 4:15 am

Hi, I just want to add that I’m a firm believer that a parrot will never bite for ‘no reason’. Just like what you were saying about your macaw, it did indead turn out to be something.

It can just be so difficult to know -why- they just suddenly bite. Any techniques or help in understanding this behaviour would certainly be helpful.

Just last night, my 19 month rainbow lorikeet was on my lap looking up at me fondly as I gave him kisses. Next thing I know, he is grabbing onto my lip and biting hard! Ow! Fortunately these random bites aren’t common, but they do happen now and then, and enough to be a concern.

Stanley  07/24/2007 4:19 am

I have a severe Macaw named Baby, I read the other comments and my problems are there, sitting on my shoulder then bite my ear, petting her then she turns and bites. After she gets a shower and I have her wrapped in a towel she is so nice and gentle I can love on her all day.

Claire Scott  07/24/2007 4:28 am

I have 2 birds with issues, firstly my beautiful patagonian conure, he’s still very young, not even a year and he barely bites me, we play and cuddle but sometimes he gets over excited and starts biting really hard, or someone in the family will hold him, which is a a normal occurrence as he’s a very affectionate bird and hates being in his cage for to long, but sometimes when they take him out he’ll just randomly bite them extremely hard, it worries me as he’s started aiming for eyes, is there a way to stop this apart from the occasional tap on the bum? Also, my little conure was a delightful little bird in the pet shop and as we brought her home, she started biting like a trojan, but i started learning how to handle her nd did so everyday until our ringneck took a shining to her and will barely let anyone touch her, we tried alone time with her, but she just cries for our ringneck and it’s terrible coz i want to cuddle her and shower her with love too, i can handle bites from all the others, but even though she’s the smallest, she bites the hardest, every bite she gives me she draws blood and the last time she grabbed onto my lip and i had to pull her off and now have a scar from her, she wants to cuddle and love and comes running whenever the other birds are getting scratches or cuddles but as soon as we try tickle her, she annialates us, we let her out the cage with all the other birds,she’ll only associate with the ringneck as my patti attacked her when she tried to come to me, aswell as any other bird, actually e even attacks my dogs when they come near me and he’s on me. really want to show my conure love too, but don’t know how when she bites so hard, noone else is willing to try.

Rein  07/24/2007 4:36 am

I have a 5mnth old Alexabdrian, Jojo. He has a wonderful temperament and is generally great company. For the last month or so he has started imitating all my whistles and spends a lot of time chatting to himself. He can imitate most birds sounds now ..but has not started picking up words from us.
Since me and my husband are both working he spends a lot of time with our other birds the budgies and also our maid at home.I notice everytime i travel on work for a few days , he is distant when i come back, infact he takes a day or so to get comfy and lovable with me again. Also I have noticed he has started biting sometime without any provocation, early mornings when we let him out to his space and call him on our hand , or evenings when he comes on our shoulders to sit and gets sleepy , he then ends up nipping my ear or biting my cheek as if something scares him. He generaly ends up biting when he feels any movment aroound him, I guess evenings when he cant see very well , he gets threatened with sudden movments even when they are my own hands etc.
I wold like to know if this habit will go away and also how can we make him learn that biting is BAD and he should not do it again. He is a lovely baby , I would just want him to grow up sweet and friendly and not become difficult to read.
Pls help!

Haim Oz  07/24/2007 5:24 am

I have a 1.5 years old Jakoo named Butch.
He liked me from the beginning but dislikes anyone else, including my wife. He used to bite her and anyone else that come near him.
Anyway, I got used to it, unfortunately.
Last month my wife gave birth to my new son, and two weeks ago he came home from the hospital.
That was the time it all happend. My Butch turned up side down and started screaming, biting, even me… bites that I could never imagine he can do (He pierced me in my nipple!!!)
He is screaming when I’m in my room, living room, balcony, walking out the door, with my son and without him.
I know that the reason for that behaviour is my new son, but still, I really don’t know what to do.
last week I was real close to a decision to give him away, but I realized that is was not a rational thought.
Please help, I’m helpless.


Imi  07/24/2007 6:12 am

I have a cockatiel that loves head scratches and will demand them by putting his head down…half the time he is fine but if he sees my hand leaving him he will attack it. Or if he gets the opportunity to bit it he will.
thanks for all your help. we love our bird more because of your info.

Anndwalynn  07/24/2007 6:15 am

I have a Quaker parrot that was sweet as pie. Then we discovered by the egg laying that he was really a she. She demonstrates “cage aggression” now that she is mature. She even nips now ever time we go to feed her. She gets lots of out of cage time and handling, but less handling right now because of the aggression. As long as I can get her away from the cage she is sweet as pie again. The problem with her biting is that once she gets ahold of you she does not let go!

Julie  07/24/2007 6:17 am

As I live in Ireland I won’t be able to listen in to the seminar.
I have a Jenday Conure (Spike), who I bought from a family who were afraid of him. He was the nastiest, noisiest bird ever, but I loved him and persevered and he is now very loveable, and quite talkative. He loves to sit under my chin when I’m cleaning up and chatter away.
However, he attacks our dogs!! so much so they won’t sit in the room if he is out of his cage!! He flies onto their heads and bites them!! He will also fly at my husband for no reason and bite him!!
Another problem we have with him is he HATES his cage. He will cling to the bars of it rather than sit on his perches. He has lots of toys, which he hates. It’s a nice large cage. Putting him away for the night can be very difficult!!
Thanks. Julie
I read through some of the comments above and read how other peoples birds play with toys etc, my bird doesn’t!! He chews the wallpaper and has started on the furniture. So much so that my husband won’t let him out of his cage unless I’m home, which upsets me as I know he loves to be out.
I know that I spoil him, which probably hasn’t helped!!

Kathryn Killingback  07/24/2007 6:43 am

Hi Chet,

My 2yr old Sun conure “Crash” who is very loving and playful has begun to bite me very hard whenever a new person enters the room, there is no warning at all and it usually draws blood. he never bites me that hard at any other time, many times he play bites when he rolls around but it is tolerable. He is disabled as he flew into a window as a baby and can no longer fly due to his brain damage which causes dizziness, I wonder if it could be poor sight that causes this reaction? The vet said he is very healthy and happy though. I love him and know not to get him out when people are around but I love to socialize him.

Styleygeek  07/24/2007 6:46 am

I realise this isn’t quite the sort of situation you are addressing, but I live in Australia, and I feed wild cockatoos in my garden. They have become tame enough to eat out of my hand and are generally very gentle, but occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, they will reach out and take a bite of me. Sometimes from the hand that is holding the seed, sometimes from the other hand, or further up the wrist, so I know it isn’t an accident. I don’t think there’s anything I do that causes this to happen, although they also do it when I go to leave and take the seed away. But sometimes for no reason at all.

I should probably also note that the bites, although they occasionally break the skin, mostly feel like the parrot is “testing” to see what happens, rather than being deliberately aggressive.

Barb Packard  07/24/2007 7:14 am

Random freakish biting .. oh let me count the ways.. so many to choose from.
My Baby is a 10 year old blue and gold Macaw that we have had for 2 months now. Wonderful bird!
When he is placed on the grass and only sometimes when he is on a floor. He attacks feet and bites REALLY HARD! he seems to having a lot of fun not upset at all.
When he is very vocal on a perch and very busy entertaining what or who ever passes by if you approach him he is very nasty. Sometimes it is just time to go somewhere and we have to get him down.. it is a fight to the end. We stand on chairs, upset what he is perched on, try distracting. We just end up getting bit.
For no reason at all he will be on a perch just sitting.. i always warn him before i ask him to step up, that has helped a lot. But even then he will just reach out for a big bite. Usually with that standing on a chair will work.
We have problems when my husband and i are together. That is when we get bit the most. We have done a few things here that have worked but it is a never ending battle.

Jennifer  07/24/2007 7:18 am

My normally sweet 5 year old Black Capped Lory started biting my hands after I wore a new watch while handling him. Since then He lunges to bite my left hand. I can take him out with a pair of thin gloves on but as soon as he sees my hands he tries for them. I let others pick him up without so much as a nip, but if I try with bare hands… out. He has plenty of foot toys, hanging toys, etc. I also let him out for at least 3 hours a day. I give him green leafys as well as the normal Lory nectar and powder. I have even tried a reward based system to get him to step up without biting. I don’t give him a drama reward when he bites. I just quietly put him back in his cage and close the door. (Yes the bites draw blood, I went for stitches with one) I am at my wits end with trying to figure this one out.

Thank You

Jennifer C

sarah hydes  07/24/2007 7:49 am

my blue and gold is an angel with me until either of my children ( 9 & 10 ) walk into the room. he’s fine with them if he’s in his cage and if i cuddle the kids he seems to want to join in, but he goes into a frenzy when we’re all together bitting me with true hatred.he sceams like mad if they are with me and he’s not involved and when i go up to him he acts as if i’m a total stranger.
he can be cute and sitting on my arm one minute and demonised the next…. terrifies me!

Tina  07/24/2007 7:49 am

I have e=mailed you several times before trying to get help for my bird. he went from being my best budy to having to put him in a cage and leave him there. Let him out in a week and he instantly walks out the demand bird from hell and have to use a wooden dowl to put him back in. Tried several experts advise, Specialist advice and tried several more times to contact you,still got no reply or results. Everything we tried made him worse with each passing day. Every time I would look at him in that cage it would break my heart,I would try to pet him in the cage just to have him dislocate the joint in my knuckle and almost take my finger off. I could feed him with a major fight to do so trying to jank the bowl out of the holder to get to me. My husband couldn’t go near cage he would go nuts. Tried new iEnviroment tried new owners nothing would help just caused more stitches and scars for others. These are physicall and mental scars. Have tried to help him for three years now and finaly had to call it quits. The last attempt to just let him out and walk away so he could play atop his cage,this was the ultimate, everything going fine talking up a storm lasted maybe five minutes happen to walk through room to answer phone and he attacked with feet first and beak ripped my face open from nose to cheeck bone, and several other laserations from beak and claws, couldn’t get him off and when i did he just come back faster and harder, I mean the most aggressive attack i have ever heard or seen was done by my litle buddy that used to set on my lap lay in my arms so he could be rocked like a baby. He is no longer with us we couldn’t afford this to happen again or stand the thought of him doing to someone else. Birds are the most satisfying companions but there are just some you can’t help.

Sarah Rowsell  07/24/2007 7:51 am

I Have a Blue /Gold Macaw called Suki…. who I love to bits. He (could be a she!)is 13 years old & is generally very good & normally loves his cuddles….just screams a bit!. He has always been a little pecky, but best with me. He has always had a tendancy to turn on others in a split second if they come near him when I’m close by. I spent hours of quality time with him trying to calm him & train him (ignoring mild bites with distractions)and was very pleased with the relationship & results we achieved….as my partner was giving up on his darling snappy, noisy bird ( he took a almost instant dislike to my partner who had so desparately wanted him).Recently though, if he is on me, when any unfamiiliar males (ie workmen/ friends partners) turn at home he viciously & aggressively attacks me for no apparent reason. I never shout or yell I just quitely & calmly put him back on a stand or in his cage….however much it’s hurt! I have just trained him to step up onto a perch for moving around – to save my arms, as he is now reluctant to come off his new play stand & he is not going to win! This seems to be working well but I wouldn’t now risk him out of a cage with a stranger around as I am afraid someone could get seriously hurt.
Even in his cage now he can go absolutely mental, screaming & thrashing his toys around if he doesn’t recognise the individual. Any advice will be gratefully received, they simply deserve for us to take the time to understand them & give them a happy fulfilling life, as they didn’t choose to put in a domestic situation in a cage!!!! Thanks Sarah.

Kathy Hankins  07/24/2007 8:18 am

I have two macaws but the scarlett is my challenge. She is very bright and entertaining but can turn and bite in a minute (and then yells, “Ow! Don’t do that!”) She is very nervous about anything new and prefers to be handled by husband. I am the one who works and plays with her.

Joni King  07/24/2007 8:20 am

Help 😀

I have a Pacific Parrotlet named Ziggy. One minute he is great and the next, a real “pit bull”, he attacks toes, bites at my shy little budgie and any one else with shoes off. He loves toes and wants to cuddle next to them, but then he will get like a demon bird and attack everything.

I don’t want to keep him caged, but when he gets out of control, I have to give him “time out” in his cage for half an hour. He will calm down for a little while when let back out and start again.

Thanks JMK

Kallie Abreu-Gonzalez  07/24/2007 8:36 am

My little yellow sided greencheek, Gabby (1 yr old female), is usually really sweet with me. She loves to get scratched behind the head or near her ears and lets me touch and pet her anywhere if I need to, although I try to limit petting to the head and neck area. She knows all the basic commands plus does some tricks. However, she will randomly squeal and bite down when she is with me. Sometimes it is while I am petting her and she is all fluffed up looking like she loves it, then wham. Other times it is when we ask her to step up. We’ll touch her belly and ask her “up, up” and she’ll do nothing. She is just stoic. Then the next time when we ask again, wham, she bites down and squeals. Its not all the time, maybe only 15% of the time with me. My husband has more problems with her random biting than myself. I very rarely get bit by her because I’m usually quick to move when she squeals, but she does get me occasionally and it is so frustrating because there really seems to be no reason for the rapid change in behavior. She often goes in phases of being “catty” like this. It doesn’t seem to be related to surroundings at all. She can be in the bird room, near her cage, far from it, in any room of the house, or out of the house completely while she is with me at work. Kona, my sun conure, doesn’t even know how to bite. I don’t know where she gets it from. I love her to death but she is wearing on my husband who can’t handle her without her drawing blood every other day. Just seeing him often makes Gabby puff out her chest and stare him down. My husband has tried working on step up with her, but she tries to bite him 50% of the time. He helps in all care aspects with both birds (cage cleaning, feeding, treat giving, etc.). Gabby can be nippy with anyone but especially with him. Any suggestions to stop this behavior would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Kallie

Kelly  07/24/2007 8:39 am

I have a 1 year old caique who will have temper tantrums for no apparent reason and while he is having one he will bite (very hard). You cannot touch him until after the tantrum is over. It only lasts a few seconds but is unpredictable. He’s had these for as long as I’ve known him and in different situations (even just sitting in his cage with nothing going on). Nothing seems to be wrong when he has them. When he is afraid, he acts a certain way (pins eyes, lifts wings so he looks larger), so I know it is not a fear reaction. When he is having a fit, he will attack whatever is closest to him – fingers, toys, even his own leg or wing. This is the only time he bites and there is no rhyme or reason to it.

John  07/24/2007 8:55 am

I have Harlequin Macaw that I rescued 3 three years ago. She is in here early twenties and has always been very sweet and loving. However, now she will bite me very hard when I try to get her from her cage when someone else is in the room. This is something new she has started in the past 3 months. She will also bite me if I try to handle her while she is around anyone else. If only I am around she will let me handle her in any way, even turn her upside down and lay her in my arm. It has come to the point that I can no longer let her out of the cage when someone else is around. The biting hurts and sometimes is kind of hard to srop the bleeding. When she starts acting this way, I can hold a dowel rod out for her to step up on, she will then climb up my arm and sit on my shoulder, it is only at this time will she be calm enough that she will not bite me. Any help with this problem will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Lynn Porter  07/24/2007 9:02 am

Hi Chet, please do us a miracle!(The letter above is also Gussie,seemingly- I feel the same way.)
I walked into a large pet store about 7 years ago to find a congo gray bappie in a clear plastic cage on the floor, seated and trembling in its foul water bowl, the only protection from the thoughtless jerks kicking the cage in passing, to see her tremble. I flipped open the cage, grabbed the dripping gray and shoved her under my t-shirt. She must have been a bit startled. Another customer tried to wrench her from me, to give her a mustard- covered salted pretzel saying that was HER bappie. Not while I am alive.
Great food, huh? My husband came into the store to pay for whatever riot I had started this time only to fall in love with her too. She was one sick bappie, so we hied her to the only vet in the world, and our favorite across town. She was terrified, paid for, checked out thoroughly, and while at the next stop, we purchased completely organic foods for her, we bought her a huge California cage with all the bells and whistles, plus weaning food (Harrisons) and organic tidbits. She was home, as far as we could see. (We were both idiots, please note that! We didn’t know birds, but could understand suffering.) For the first two years, she was a bit of feathered heaven. She LOVED to be cuddled, let out of her cage to run the house, be a young bird in a very loving house.(The house was also bappie proofed)
Then we/she found she was female and she bonded with my husband, who was always gentle and loving with her. He gives her much ambient attention, but not much direct attention, no matter how I nag or show him a magazine or book on the need for attention. She is a very depressed bird, I feel, and really deserves better. When he is in the house, I turn into the “ho” from hell, the hussy, the man-stealer, whatever isn’t too pleasant, thats what I am. He leaves and we get along fairly well. I can’t pick her up, I am afraid of her, as I have had about fifty stitches in each hand and those bites hurt like hell. She bites through my hand, then begins the painful grinding with the beak. At first I checked everything to make certain I or the house or the other bird, a Hahn’s mini-macaw, was not in any way scaring her, annoying her, but it was only me. I realized she had bonded with my husband so left her in her cage in an area where she was able to talk with me and do birdie things with company around her. She has the TV on during the day, starting at 2pm, (she adores the Jerry Springer Show, as everyone is excited and screaming too.) (I loathe it, but…) as she waits to be properly loved by him. He can play with her a bit, scritch feathers carefully, and in general get along with her. They really love each other.
I have been so badly bitten, needed so many stitches that when I walk into my doctors office, the call goes out “Gussie got her again!” and my hands are plunked into a large basin of Hydrogen Peroxide.Ya know, I might have a wart on a toe, but no one would even think of that. It’s a Gussie bite. Now, I don’t go to the doc unless I can’t cleanse the bite or it takes more than five stitches. Those bites hurt, and she seems to aim at the tendons in my hands. (I am/was an artist, a wood carver, of the european tradition, so if I loose another tendon, I am finished in the carving world.) I have NO idea of why she acts as she does. She did it before the mini-macaw arrived and is still vicious with me. When she sees the blood flow, and I begin to leave for the doc, she will say, and mean it, “I’m sorry”. She is in our living room so people do come in and see her in her enormous cage, begin to head straight for it. Both husband and I are adept at flying tackles now. NO ONE is allowed to be within range of her beak. She speaks kindly; when I drop her water or do something awkward, she says “oooooops”. When we have a meal, she sits on his shoulder and looks directly at me, saying “I want some of that”.If I am slow, I get “NOW!”.
I can insert a bit of food into her beak safely, but only then.
She is one vicious biter, and I really don’t want to hold her. She eventually suckers me in, steps on top of my trembling head, then pulls out one hair at a time. I loathe leaving her alone but what to do? On the other hand, my mini-macaw is a love and I take him with me whenever I can. He perches on a shoulder and off to work we go. He also does not like phones, but has yet to remove anything from my body to get rid of the phone, though we do argue. I feel terrible sorrow for this gray. Yet, when I try to love her or even be near her, she will bite, and I will just as fast send her sailing over my head in reaction. At first I made no indication of the pain she gave me, and only put her into her cage. That was several stitches ago, years ago. Now she pins, the feathers fluff, the feet darn near leave rubber marks on the hardwood floors (beeswax and mineral oil, by hand, no birdie toxins whatsoever) as she hurtles through space to get me. I am short and fatter than she is, so I wind up with a bird stuck in my hand, my blood dripping over her (I swear!) grinning, gripping beak. Someday I know I am going to lose it completely and she will be flung into the nearest wall, grinning still.
We are now divorcing, the tension in the house is building, and my mini, Honker, is at the vets, recuperating from having plucked out every feather he can reach. I don’t know why he is plucking, except that of course he feels the tension. I am less worried about the feathered chainsaw than I am about Honkers plucking. Gus, the Congo, will go with my soon-to-be-ex, I am sure, but Honker is my love and is going nowhere without me. He remains at the vets, where the tension is not high, where he has everyone trained properly for his comfort, sharing the lunches that the staff has brought for themselves.
He has that hospital well in talon, and they love him. (Doesn’t take him long to train his staff.)
Put poor Gussy in the same place and the staff won’t go NEAR the room she is in. What happened? What did I do?
Please, help, she doesn’t deserve the treatment she has brought on herself somehow. No one does. She acts as she does for a reason, but I can’t find it. Please don’t publish my website, for very clear reasons.(Honker is the one working on my eyes in the picture.) In my working life I have NEVER run across one like this. Thanks for letting me vent and please, help us.

Natalie Butler  07/24/2007 9:07 am

I have a Blue & Gold who is 15 months old. My husband and I have hand fed and raised her since she was 6 weeks old. During this year of raising her some days she’s sweet and some days she nippy. We’ve never been able to pinpoint what makes her aggressive. I would also like to work with her so that others can pet and handle her. Right now she will only let me, my husband and oldest son (15 yrs old) handle and pet her…other than us the only one who can handle her is a very experienced bird groomer.

Wendy  07/24/2007 9:09 am

My daughter has a Senegal which has been part of our household since it was a hatchling 6 years ago. I (mom) has played a major part of caregiver for his entire life. This bird didn’t like my husband for a long time but with persistence grew to “love” him. Now the rest of us have no interest to this little bird whenever my husband is around. Two years ago he began biting me really violently – holding on tight and continuing punishment to me until he was through. This was on my hand but he has caused some permanent nerve damage. After the third attack I no longer offer him my hand but use various items – stick, rolled martial arts belt, rope etc to pick him up. He will also attack my feet if he is on the floor so I wear shoes to protect myself. The attacks are random – sometimes I am the only one in the room however the latest surprise came at a moment I was not paying attention and I came between him and my husband. I was wiping his perch and he just lunged at my hand grabbed and held on while he metered out his punishment. Sad to say he has succeeded again in doing nerve damage. I might add that he lets me pet him with no problem at all but I never offer him a hand to step up on.
Looking forward to your ideas on random biting with anticipation.

Jaclin  07/24/2007 9:12 am


My male African Gray thinks of me as his mate. When I come near him, he wants to grab my finger and rub his vent on the cage. I won’t let him do it and I think he is just frustrated. He has no interest in my female African Gray which is okay by me because I do not want babies. Scooter, the male, will sometimes strike me pretty hard and I’m diabetic and can’t afford any wounds. Most of the time, Scooter is pretty sweet. I do not rub his head or his back as I know this is not a good idea and especially because that will encourage him thinking of me as his mate. As flattering as it may be, I do not want him to think of me this way and I do not want him biting me. In the last month or so, Scooter has become extremely territorial of the inside of his cage. I usually do not try to remove him but rather allow him to come out on his own. I’m not sure what to do about my situation. Thank you for any help you may be able to give.

Fred Ellison  07/24/2007 9:13 am

My double yellow headed Amazon, Oscar, is about 4 years old. I purchased him about 15 months ago because his previous owner could not handle him without being bitten. After a few months, I forced the issue of him stepping up onto my arm from the floor. After working with him over the next few months, I have determined that his aggressive behavior was ‘fear’ based, not meanness. He still will not allow himself to be touched. He prefers women to men. (I am male.)

Most of the time, he will step up to your arm very nicely; however, every once in a while he will start to step up and then reach down and bite aggressively (bruise and/or draw blood). We can get along great for several consecutive days and then it’s like he wakes up on the wrong side of the perch.

I will be interested to hear your ideas about why he does this.

DD  07/24/2007 9:16 am

My parrot will not let me pick him up or pet him anymore. When he sees me approaching his cage, he climbs back into his cage and stays there until I walk away. I want to bond with him but he will not let me get close to him. Help!!!!!!!

Eric Lavender  07/24/2007 9:16 am

Our B&G Macaw Bob will climb off his cage and attack my feet or shoes. He will bow out his wings and to look like Dracula and run under the coffee table. It is quite the challenge to remove him and put him back on his perch. The rest of the time he is good as gold!

Betty Kaiser  07/24/2007 9:37 am

I am a breeder of Exotic parrots and I have several different species that try to bite for varies reasons. But the one I am really confused about is my Africa Red Belly male (4 years). He loves to have you scatch his head or he will step- up and then he bites as soon as he is on your hand. Now, in the last several weeks , he attacks the bowls or anything you put into his cage. He does not have a mate, his people gave him back to a pet store because he started to bite everyone. I want to think he was not socializes enough but I don’t know his background.

Candice Kiefer  07/24/2007 10:01 am

My female Lovebird, Bushi, can be extremely loving and cuddly one day and suddenly biting the next. She has been very vicious lately ( drawing blood). I recently have had company and her routine has been messed up so I suspect that may be the problem. Also, I would appreciate help with addressing her hormonal cycles since that also affects her behaviours.

Marzanne  07/24/2007 10:06 am

We have a 2 year old African Grey call May-May. I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one with this problem. She will sit on my shoulder or on the back of the lazy boy and then just out of the blue she will rip my ear ring out or start biting me.
Sometimes she will atack my head and pull out hair.
I have noticed that sometimes she will bite once just to get attention and to have her head scrathed.
Sometime she will lower her head for a scratch and after a few seconds, she will bite me.

Valerie Logsdon  07/24/2007 10:10 am

Hi Chet,
I have a Congo African Grey that I Love dearly, I have had Him/Her ( I call him a him because he seems male in nature)since he was a baby around 3 months old. He is now over three years old. I am the only owner since the breeder. I named him Abu (Love in Swaheele) We call him Boo Bird. He is a loving sweet bird and has been since day one. He said hello with in the first 24 hours I had him and has let me pick him up all the time. he says many things and asks to go night night arond his normal night night time around 7:30 Pm. (so he can have his 12 hours) Just recently he started some stange acts. Even though Ihe asks to go night night , when I put him to bed at night (he has a night night cage) I always give him a snuggle and some petting. When I try to have him step up off of my shoulder to get him angled to put in the cage he starts to attack me and won’t step off my shoulder. He will attack my hand if I even act like I’m bringing it near him and he will reach out to attack my cheek if I don’t turn it away from him. When he first started to do this I had to wrap my hand in a towel and force him onto it then put him in his cage. He doesn’t do this as often as he did but he still does and his personality at this time scares me some. He isn’t the same bird at all. He seems mad and angry. We have a good relationship but other then myself no one else can pick him up at all. He will fluff up and bite them all. I hope you have a solution. If not I will learn what ever I have to to make our relationship a better and loving one. I wish he would let others handle him because I fear that if something where to happen to me he would not adjust to the sudden change in his life.
Thank you Chet fo all that you do for us.

Dylan  07/24/2007 10:15 am

We adopted a sun conure just before the holidays. She or he is about 2 years old, and supposedly starved for attention. Perfect for Dylan 12 years old, very quiet and affectionate, always wanting a bird. KiKi seemed to adjust fine after a couple of weeks she was being handled daily and seemed to be quite content. That all came to an abrupt stop for apparently no reason. Now if Dylan trys to handle the bird she hides in the back of the cage, if he persists and sometimes as soon as he opens the cage she attacks. We are now afraid of the bird, as her bites are quite painful. Please help, we now have a pet that the family is afraid of.

Mark Gund  07/24/2007 10:24 am

I have a Patagonian Conure that I’ve had for 10 years. I don’t know his age because he is a rescue. He is really sweet with me until my wife is with us then all he wants to do is bite me and be with her. He always liked women more than men, but his biting is very unpredictable. I also have a 2 year old Severe Macaw we hand fed that is a real sweetheart with both of us, and we would like to keep him that way! Thanks, Chet.

Mary Lynn  07/24/2007 10:34 am

Thank you so much for all of the time and effort you put into helping those of us who have introduced birds of various species into our families. All your instruction and tips are much appreciated.
We have a 1 1/2 year old Jenday Conure. My son actually purchased our little buddy, Keoko when he was three months old but given my son spends on average about 14 hours a day on his college studies, I have gladly assumed responsibility for the day to day care and time spent with the little guy. Just as others have described, Keoko can be very affectionate when he’s on my shoulder/finger however, for no apparent reason to me, will grab my finger or whatever. He “usually” just applies pressure but not enough to break the skin (although that has happened several times).
He loves to give kisses, preen my hair, my eyelashes, my cheeks, my ears and is most often very gentle at these times but can sometimes be a little rough. He is fine with myself, my husband and my son because we baby him so much, but will have nothing to do with visitors. He won’t attack them but will not perch on their finger or allow them to touch him. Understandable I guess….after all, to him they are strangers.
He “poops” in the toilet when we take him to the bathroom and will poop on the perch when we ask him to as we will not take him on our shoulder until he’s done his duty but he still has accidents on us. We just don’t know how to resolve this problem either.
He loves to shower with us, cuddles under our chins when we’re having a little cat nap or watching television and follows me around the house on the floor like a little puppy so I definitley feel that Keoko thinks of us as one of his flock. Just can’t figure out the nipping.
I would love for our little guy to be happy and “GENTLE”.
We have a house full of critters that are all spoiled rotten (as they should be)……they are all very gentle and affectionate. In fact, sometimes I think they listen better than some children do! I would like Keoko to be content and gentle as well.
Will stay tuned for your telephone siminar and thanks again for all of your assistance!

Audrey Miller  07/24/2007 10:34 am

I have a cockatiel who is now 13. He gets agitated if I go any where near his seed bowl. I scrabble my fingers against the bars up the othe end of his cage to divert his attention, before I can get at it. For some time I have had a succession of budgies (one at a time) who live in his cage with him, but for about a year he will not have the budgie near him. He’s frightened of it although the budgie want to be friendly. In time he calms down a bit. I let him get on with it all but don’t give him the opportunities if I see he is cross. He’s normally very affectionate.

Barbara  07/24/2007 10:36 am

My husband and I are the third owners of a senegal. The bird (Baby) seems to favor men. Baby will bite my husband at times. I cannot go near Baby…the bird will ferociously attack me.

Main diet is pellets with fresh veggies. My husband can hand feed pine nuts. I cannot hand feed anything – Baby will bypass the carrot or whatever and go for my fingers, hands, whatever he/she can get a hold of.

Tanmay Anand  07/24/2007 10:42 am

I have a blue gold macaw , Oscar(3 years old), he is the sweetest macaw you could find and does the cutest of things with me .He plays with me , talks to me everythin . He is friendly to my father only sometimes but othertimes when hes just sitin on the bed with me and my macaw is on my lap hell charge for him and goes to bite him. The case with him and my father is that hes sweet at times and suddenly he gets threatened i guess and wont be friendly to anyone when im around.He is often with my father but he does go to bite him without a notice and he bites hard. I hope you could help me to make him stop biting everyone and especially my father who loves him so much but he suddenly goes to bite him.

DARITHA LEWIS  07/24/2007 10:44 am


Vincent Houlihan  07/24/2007 11:13 am

Hi chet. I was laughing to myself because you must have a sixth sense.I sit here with a bitten face and chin after provoked attack from Raphy my 2 year old Congo African Grey.The only thing that coud be cheesing him off is he ate through his favourite perch and I havn’t replaced it yet. He only comes indoors at night and spends all day outside in a large avery with branches and swings and fruit trees.By night its a good size cage in my living room. Food is fresh fruit and veg fed outside .he hasn’t seen a seed in a year and a half.Yesterday he came out of his night cage on to my shoulder and bit my chin and cheek. I didn’t respond in any way as the blood streamed down my face.His eyes were pinned which kind of gave me the impression he wasn’t pleased about something and after the battle he calmly followed the cracker into the cat carrier for his journey to the Garden saying Bite Bold. Its been a long time since he bit and I was taken off guard the last time it was because I was petting the Dog

Anthony Vesco  07/24/2007 11:21 am

Have an African Grey, 2.5 yrs old and will bite whenever he feels like it. All furniture in the room is like it was when I brought him home. He lashes out at my girl friend. He has plenty of toys. He constantly throws his food out and I have to remove it for a brief time then put it back in. I don’t know if he knows he’s hurting us or not. Even when my girlfriend walks past his cage, he’ll lunge at her like he wants to tear her up. He can be awful at times.
Any help is very appreciated.
Thank you.

emily  07/24/2007 11:35 am

have a 2 yr old CAG. Most of the time very sociable. Only lets me handle him.(how do you get him use to being handled by others) I let him sit on my lap in the evening. Lately when i ask him to step up so i can put him away he bites me on the hand. I have taken to standing so he feels like hes falling, so he then gets on my hand so i can then take him back to his cage. I try to do this calmly so i do not let him know he’s really trying my patience. I do say No in a hard voice. I sometimes let him on my shoulder and when he starts this biting behavior I quickly make him get off my shoulder by stooping and he’ll get on a counter or chair, from there he is easier to make step up and put back in the cage.

Raza  07/24/2007 11:45 am

my parrot just bits all of a sudden when i am patting him or trying to pat him

JANET WHITE  07/24/2007 11:56 am


Cheri Yennie  07/24/2007 12:04 pm

Hey Chet,
I have 2 Double Yellow Amazons. My Female strikes out at me but loves my husband..Help, I want to be able to hold her also.

brenda  07/24/2007 12:04 pm

I have military macaw that’s very sweet and loves too to be held and be loved on. He’s 8yrs. old and I have had him for 5yrs he came from a home where never recieved any attention except to be feed. He have always nibbled and would bite if he got scared but not intentional. Lately when I try to get him off the perch he will lunged at me and has bitten very hard. This is not his behavior at all he will act like this to others but not me. My husband has an umbrella I did have to give him alot of extra attention one night to get him off his perch to go to bed & he was really mad I couldn’t get him at all, he went to my husband but not me. He is my baby and he knows it this not like him at all

DAISY FUENTES  07/24/2007 12:08 pm


Suzanne  07/24/2007 12:19 pm

On June 8th I adopted a 25 year old macaw and have been told he is a hybid mix of B & G and Military. He was raised in one home until 2 years ago and then given to a lady who left him in an attic for 2 years with no attention. I am told he used to have quit a big vocabulary but now only says “hello”, “momma” and “Gator” (his name). He has had a good vet check up, is now on a good diet, has a new cage (only had a perch before coming to me) and lots of toys. He’d never been bathed so now gets regular mistings (which he doesn’t particularly care for). He has gone from letting me scratch his head through the cage to whipping his head around and trying to bite me. He’s already drawn blood once. He is very aggresive most of the time. Tries to bite constantly. I spend a a lot of time talking quietly to him as I move about the house, and try to play gently with him but no matter what I do it leads to lunging and snapping. No one else can even go near him without him puffing up or screaming or trying to bite. At least from time to time, he will take food out of my hand or act like he’s half sane when it’s just him and me. Am I just not giving it enough time ? How do you learn to trust them when they constantly try to bite ? His bites mean business. Need help badly. I really want to have a good relationship with him.

Cassandra Burroughs  07/24/2007 12:20 pm

My 7 year old male Umbrella Cockatoo recently (just this past Saturday) bit through my middle finger hard enough to sever the nerves. I now have no feeling in my middle finger. The doctor said the nerve endings would eventually re-grow, but my main concern, surprisingly, is why my bird suddenly went crazy on me. I am used to his normal behavior, sweet and affectionate, giving hugs and kisses, and biting on occasion when he gets overly excited. I have never, EVER, experienced this type of madness from him before and now I am worried I will have to get rid of him. I don’t want to, but I’m afraid he will do it again and it just won’t be my finger next time. Please help me, because I am desperate. Thank you.

JANET WHITE  07/24/2007 12:25 pm


Audrey  07/24/2007 12:37 pm

I’m trying to get a senagal, and have been seeing the bird for the past three months. We were getting along really good, then it seems all of a sudden he acts as thou he has never seen me before. The breeder will sat the bird on my lap and when I move my hands if flys away (why)?? I do my very slowley. At times he just flys away and I don’t even move.
Can you help, why is he acting this way.

Thanks for your help,

Erin  07/24/2007 12:44 pm

AHHHGGGGGG!!!! HELP ME! Chet!!! I’ve read many of the Blogs & it seems like none of us should have ever gotten involved with these birds! Of course, we are all in Love with these Creatures & hope to resolve all the problems to get them to be the those perfect well behaved birds I always see with the bird handlers & take your picture from bird man.

I am Frighten as to what the future will hold if my problems don’t get resolved.

I have a Male Triton Cockatoo whom I rescued from the road, in the rain 9 years ago. After nursing him back to perfect health we fell in love with each other. I had always took him out & about to socialize him with people with no problem. Sometime later (2 years ago) I got a married to a man who had a child (now 4yrs old) & now we are in the process of trying to have more babies to add to the family. Currently, I do not let the child near the bird without super vision. The Child is sacred of the bird & cries also whenever bird screams on top of his lungs. Also, the bird does listen to my husband when he’s home.

Yes, when the Triton Cockatoo is Good he’s Amazing but when he’s Bad, he’s Horrible! Between the Piercing Screams of a Terradactyle ringing through the house & the viscous attacks from out of the blue to arms, hands & Face! I don’t know what to do besides stick him in the microwave on high for 2 minutes (just kidding).

I am currently trying to heal a bloody bite to my face (1st time)

Being a Diabetic I do not heal well and fear one day though he’s awesome at times, will attack me resulting in permanent damage or attacking the children in unforeseen ways.

I do Love him & want to be able to have him continue to live with us happily. Singing, dancing, playing with us & talking like he does when it’s all good. But the Jekyll & Hyde persona needs to go before something Horribly Bad Really happens.

Also, any suggestions you’ve heard from Dr.’s with tips on how to heal a bite wound safely without scaring would be helpful too. Thank you more than you know. I can’t wait to find our what to do & how we should be punishing the bird when he is bad as well.

Sabrena  07/24/2007 12:44 pm

My Congo African Grey parrot is 8 years old. He has been randomly biting me and my husband for several years now. He’s not one to be petted or cuddled with, but he loves to sit on my hand and doesn’t mind being handled in that way. Every once in a while he’ll quickly and viciously bite the fleshy part of my hand that is expsed and that he is sitting on. I’m not talking about a “nip” (which he also does)…I’m talking deep-tissue damage. I don’t know what I can do to stop this and I would be happy to hear your suggestions. Thank you.

Evelyn Alford  07/24/2007 12:46 pm

After reading all the problems, my Double Yellow Headed Amazon is a sweetheart, but I surely don’t want her to be more aggressive than she is beginning to be. She’s 1 year old and singing several 2-verses like a pro. She’s never bitten me… when she wants a kiss she sings “Give me a little kiss, willya huh?” and kisses me. Okay, besides the good, when we sit in the den for the evening tv, she’s on her stand. If I’m sitting
she starts yelling “Edd” (my husband’s name) She gets louder, until I pick her up and when I sit with her she begins to play… rolling over, but biting lightly. She gets put back on the stand.
On the other hand, when I lay down in the den for a nap, she’s in there with me on the stand and NEVER lets out a peep. Its as though she knows to be quiet.
How can I keep her from beginning to bite when she plays?
Maybe this doesn’t sound as important, but it is to me. Thanks for help.

Gary Hutchinson  07/24/2007 12:59 pm

Good Day:

I have two Umbrella Cockatoos who have their own 8 x 8 x 8 aviary and Babe the 5 year old is fine 99% of the time but will from time to time nip at females while she is out of the aviary but has never tried that with me.

Caesar the 7 year old is very affectionate most of the time but when there are other people in the bird room especially my grandkids he can get nervous and is liable to lunge and bite anyone and everyone.

He will also, if he is on the floor, when I open the door to the aviary run towards my feet.

I usually just stand my ground and that confuses him and he gives it up.

Both of them are rehomed and have been together for three or four years and Caesar just seems to be insecure and I am not at all sure there is much that can be done.

We also have an African Grey with a cage oodf her own and she will bite anyone who comes near her except me no matter how much they work with her.


Midori  07/24/2007 1:03 pm

My young rose breasted cockatoo runs across the kitchen floor each morning doing ‘laps’. There’s no new item that’s been put into the room, except in the last 3 days, when he runs across the floor, he screams and flaps his wings looking up at the ceiling and behind him like something invisible is chasing him. There’s nothing there. Very strange. Then he runs to me and speaks in a sweet lowered voice, which I use the clicker for that specific behavior and reward with a seed. I don’t knwo what’s causing this morning screaming on the floor. I try not to pay attention to the screaming, but give attention when he speaks in a sweet lowered voice. But it’s driving me crazy!

Judy Aufrech  07/24/2007 1:13 pm

I am very interested in your suggestions to this out of the blue biting problem. I have a blue front and an umbrella, the blue front can go from a real sweetie to a mangler for no apparent reason in a split second with no warning and the umbrella can become a pit bull, also with no warning and in a split second. I dont know how to make them understand this is unacceptable . I love them with all my heart but am very tired of getting ripped apart. Thanks, Judy

Cindy Berlin  07/24/2007 1:27 pm

I have a 4 year old Umbrella Cockatoo named Dixie. when we frist got her, she loved everyone. Over the last few years as she’s been spending most of her time with just my husband and I, she can only be trusted with us.
She had decided this month to make friends with my oldest son and he was holding her and petting her and they were both loving it. she even cuddled her head down under his chin. After about 30 minutes, she raised her head and her crown feathers and took a big bite out of the side of his face for no reason.
A week later my 11 year old grandson begged me to let him try to hold her. I warned him that she might bite, but he was adamant. He took her out of her cage and she sat docily on his arm and “talked” to him. He kept petting her and telling her she was a “pretty bird”. all of a sudden she reached over to the hand he was petting her with and put her beak right through his nail on his thumb.
I can’t figure out what could be setting her off. She’s in the process of alienating everyone.

Judy Emsley  07/24/2007 1:38 pm

I have a pair of Senagals approximately 10 years old, both males, and possibly from the same clutch. They have been housed together in the same cage since I bought them at 3 months of age. About a month ago one of the Senagals, Samson, started biting me on the hand (drawing blood and skin) and even flew at me and attacked me on the ear. Because they are hard to tell apart, I put them in separate cages so I would know who was who. Hercules is still as sweet as ever, but when I take Samson out he still continues to bite me and I am leary of handling him. Can you help? Thanks, Judy

linda  07/24/2007 2:06 pm

I have a senegal, age 5 that I believe is male (I never had the blood test to confirm).

Since he does bite at random a few times a year and his bravato is much larger then his 8-inch size, I have not allowed him on my shoulder since he was 2. Therefore my eye level is always above his which keeps me in better control of his random actions. I also feed him a good pellet diet which helped calm him down since the seed-mix diet.

For some reason when he is in the living area’s chage, close to the sunshine and the sight of outside birds through the multible windows in that room, he sometimes freeks. Meaning- he flys around the room in a spooked-panic and/or bites me in an extreamly forceful way. He basically grabs hold and cumps down multible times as hard as he can until I can get him off that finger. His grip is powerful and sometimes my reaction is an equally hard flick that sends him hitting the ground hard. I am more concern with him getting hurt by my instinctive reaction that at times overpowers my knowledge not to flick him off my hand like that.

Oh yes, he does draw bood on these occasions. Then he’s normal again for months.

I must mention that he does not get as much attention when he is in the livingroom cage nor do I let him out as much for playtime.

Addionally he sometimes acts normal cuddles up to me and sit on my arm or hand cleaning himself asking for his head to be scrached and just acting fine then…
WAMO! he takes a big bite! I then put him in the cage and do not play with him again until we move him back into his other cage. That is in another location.

Tony Rini  07/24/2007 2:07 pm

I have a rescue Sulfur Crested cocatoo. I’ve had him for 6 Years . He is a real pain !!! If he is in the mood He will come out of the cage. and once out is (nice) to a point. I’ve been bit more times than I’d like to admit. After about three years of working with him I made the mistake of putting him on my shoulder, because that is what having a parrot is all about, RIGHT? Well it looked cool and I felt like a real pirate for three minutes then he decided to pierce my ear, I guess to make me look more like a pirate. Well, it took all my strength not to finally kill him but I restrained. WhenI tried to remove him from my shoulder he bit my thumb. Well he found out I bleed red, alot.
He finally came around again after trying for three months and all was normal. BUT, two years later, this year 2007 I was cleaning his cage like always and he hit my head with his beak. I looked up at him and of course asked “what the hell was that for” so he I went back to cleaning and he latched on to my other ear and put the matching dime size hole in it.
Oh by the way he does not like the food You were sending and thats why I canceled it!

George M. deTreville  07/24/2007 2:19 pm

I remember way back 21 years ago where a friend’s greenwing macaw went from very doscile to very angry in no time flat; we were just chillin’ with “Rosie,” and we decided to put her in my car; she absolutely went off. She bit me on the arm, and bit my friend’s arm too, after which my friend fussed at Rosie, who continued to scream and bite as long as my friend fussed. I was scared. If I were my friend (looking back), I wouldn’t have fussed at Rosie; if you fuss at your parot, your parrot thinks you’re happy, and will want to keep you happy. I got bitten ONCE by Rosie probably because I remained silent when she bit me. Rosie had nothing more to do with me since then. My friend moved out of state that following August of ’86.

George M. deTreville  07/24/2007 2:30 pm

It’s my belief that if you play with your bird for an extended period of time, this may stress your bird. Also, if you allow your bird to mouth your hand or any part of your body, he may get the idea that mouthing is alright, which may lead to that unGodly incident! If your bird starts to mouth your hand, and if you point your finger at and touch his beak and say “Noooo” lovingly, but assertively, he may understand that mouthing, not to mention biting, is unacceptable behavior; be consistant.

milan kotlajich  07/24/2007 2:35 pm

I have a bli e crowned conure which I absolutely love.he refuses to come on my hand! If I dip my shoulder down there he comes.I would love to reach my hand for him.What do I do?

Theresa  07/24/2007 2:56 pm

I am definately interested in any advice you have. I have a 5 month old Goffin, and I want to be prepared for these types of things. Very sweet and playful. So far the only time I get nipped is when walking through low lit areas, like through the hallway until I reach the light. SOmetimes Bobbie will latch on and bite-nurse after doing that baby-feed me cry. If I place Bobbie on the floor, and say no, then a few minutes later, Bobbie is ready to be held and be sweet again. I do not know if Bobbie is a boy or girl.

Felicia Wagner  07/24/2007 3:02 pm

I have a 6 month old dusky conure. He is a treat. I just love him. He seems to be attached to me. He lets people pet him from the cage but that is it. I can hold him but no one else can.

I started putting my finger in the cage to let him climb up on it.
Since I started that he bites me to get up on my finger. I use to be able to pet him in the cage but now he just bites me to get up on my finger.

He also nibbles on my ears. But rarely bites when out of the cage. He does get nervous when anyone else comes into the room. It seems like the best time to communicate with him is late at night when no one else is around.

He climbs on my finger when he is in the cage but when I open the cage to get him out he will not climb on my finger without a lot of coaching.

I am glad that you are addressing this problem let me know when the phone call will occur.

madge  07/24/2007 3:23 pm

My african grey as never let me hold him hes 3yrs ive had him 6months he can be very loving but wont trust me i carnt trust him he bites when he wants to.he never stops talking i do love him but carnt get him to trust me, he doesnot let anyone else near him even my husband, i think he hasnt had good start in life, but i keep on trying i know he wants to let me love him but feels threatened when i open is cage.I hope in time he will learn to trust me, thats all i want take each step as we go.

Harriett  07/24/2007 4:18 pm

My husband has an African Gray female that we think has bonded to him. She is 19 years old and my husband and I have been married for 10. The problem is I cannot pick her up. She pecks if I get close and chews up my shoes when she is on the floor. The only time she will let me pick her up is when she feels threatened, as in falling off of her perch when outdoors. I am the primary person who feeds her, cleans her cage and make sure she has toys and treats. Nothing helps. Is this a relationship that can never be reconciled because we both love the same man?

Recently, we have gotten another African Gray (why?…well, that is another story). We don’t know the sex of the new bird, but now the 19 year old will at least tolerate a gentle rub of her head feathers. But, she still tries to bite me at every opportunity.

Barbara  07/24/2007 6:01 pm

I have a Meyers Parrot. Charlie would go to my boyfriend, let my boyfriend pet him, feed him and all, same as me. I went on vacation for a week in June and all was fine. He cared for Charlie while I was gone. After I returned, Charlie has now started attacking and biting my boyfriend. He will climb off my lap to the floor and walk across the floor to bite him. He fluffs all up and mumbles under his breath at him when he comes into the room. My boyfriend has been able to keep Charlie from attacking him by tapping a small rolled up newspaper on the table or the floor and Charlie will back off, but will try again later. Now when my boyfriend taps the paper, Charlie yells “Quit!”
He learned “Quit” when I’ve been trying to get him to quit chewing on my desk.

Sure would like to cure his biting of my boyfriend. There are times he bites me because he is after him and gets me because I’m trying to keep him from going after the boyfriend.


Phyllis Pelfrey  07/24/2007 6:34 pm

I have a 4 yr old female beautiful Electus (MayMay) who was raised since birth by a wonderful woman who sadly has recently been diagnosed with an illness and is no longer able to give MayMay the attention she was use to receiving. (Her family members were unable to handle her due to her ‘biting and aggressive behavior’). MayMay LOVED her previous owner and the owner could do just about ANYTHING with her… she fed her seeds thru her lips….swung her upside down by her feet…. she affectionately petted her beak…MayMay sat on her shoulder… let her walk around the house….and the owner held her close to her chest. MayMay NEVER bit her or showed any aggression. Well…..MayMay was given to me over 2 months ago and ever since the first day I brought her home she has been extremely aggressive and “blood bites” me whenever she can get ahold of any part of my body. Due to this I have had to keep her in her cage for the most part, but I continuously interact with her during the day and evening. The previous owner gave me her cage, her toys, her dishes, her food, her treats …EVERYTHING…so MayMay would feel more “at home” in her new residence. So far it has not worked. The only thing that MayMay allows me to do is hand-feed her treats “thru her cage bars”….but afterward, when I approach her empty handed, she ‘growls’ at me and becomes aggressive again. She has even gone so far as bite her cage bar so hard when I was talking to her, that she broke off a part of her beak!! (No blood, but I took her to a vet to get her beak filed smoother). Plus, she only whistles and talks when no one is in the same room. (Her cage is in front of my kitchen window, which she seems comfortable with). There HAVE been times when she will get on my finger, but I usually have to ‘dodge the lunges’ until she gives in. HELP! How do I get her to trust me and stop BITING!!! Oh! One other thing….. she “squawks” pretty frequently when I or anyone else walks into the kitchen.

Jodie Bourke  07/24/2007 7:22 pm

I thought this might be the only way you’ll notice me. I have emailed you a number of times and have had absolutely no reply. I think it is absolutely pathetic. I have bought two courses from you which I spent alot of money on, and you cant even acknowledge that Im here. Thanks Chet and Team, not a very happy customer.
Jodie Bourke

Justin  07/24/2007 7:27 pm

My Eclectus is about 4 years old. I hand raised her from hatching and she has always been around alot of people and there for goes to anyone and typicaly has no problems with biting. Well lately she has become aggressive over her food bowl and tries to bite when I reach in for it but she is fine out of the cage. I feed her in the morning and I just reach in and get it out of her cage but I have been having to reach around the cage ang get it from the food door. I have no idea what has sparked this aggression other than mabey puberty. Not much else has changed in her room or her time out of the cage. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Dianne  07/24/2007 7:27 pm

I would be very interested in hearing this call.

Lois & Don Benefiel  07/24/2007 7:52 pm

Our Congo grey Kermit (8 years old) gets on one’s hand quietly upon command of “step up” when he is sitting in his cage. However, if the hand is trying to deposit some food in a feeder in his cage he bites. Why is this and do you have a solution for the problem? Thanks for any help!

Wally Collett  07/24/2007 7:56 pm

Thank you for this opportunity. My very tame and easily trained 8 month old green cheek named ‘Caillou’ will bite anyone who tries to approach him or even go near me. A few days ago when my brother-in-law came in the room to visit ‘Caillou tried to bite him. When he couldn’t, he gave me a good bite on the finger almost drawing blood. Why would he bite me like that? Any answers you might be able to provide toward stopping this behavior would be greatly appreciated

Chuck  07/24/2007 8:09 pm

I have a 6 yr old African Grey.Unexpected he has bit me in the ear lobe and drew blood this has happened twice and I will not let him climb up past my elbow . Any advice?

Thomas Schofield  07/24/2007 8:16 pm

Hi, Chet!!
Thanks for this opportunity. I have a 3yr old conure named”Sonny”. He has owned me for almost five months and I love him to pieces. He actually picked me when I went to by a bird. He jumped on my arm and straight under my t-shirt. He popped his head out to see what was going on and stayed that way for the whole time I was in the store. The women in the store said that they had him for two weeks and he never took to anyone like he did me. He picked me. Obviously he stole my heart and I brought him home. We have a very good bond and the trust factor is only getting better. I think that is the absolute in a good solid bond. I read Kathleen Wells comments earlier on this page and couldn’t believe it. I have the exact same situations as she does with her sun conure. He won’t go to anyone but me. My wife cannot get close to me if I have Sonny. He will bite!! Lately, when we are just hanging out, he will start biting (not too hard but it leaves a mark, no blood) for no reason. He acts like he is trying to tell me something but, I haven’t figured it out yet. Could this be because he is molting right now or is he becoming frusterated with me as not being able to mate with him. He is so obsessed with were I’m at he is almost always moving around in his cage.He doesn’t hardly play with his toys unless he can see me. If I move out of his sight for just a few seconds he starts sqwauking (good thing I like his sqwauk). I’m not sure how to solve this. I’m trying to purch train him hoping that will help.
Tom Schofield

Susan  07/24/2007 8:42 pm

Hi there, i have a little budgie names Snowy. Since he has been flying which was only two weeks, he has been biting my mum, & on her lip. Mum & dad watch a movie every night & i let them have a play with Snowy so he can get use to everyone. She as well as i feed Snowy, clean cage & play but every now & then he has been biting mums lip. I have just gotn his wing cut & he’s a bit more cuddley i guess cause he cant fly up just glide downwards, but he is still sometimes biting my mum. & Me he has twice but its more im asking cause they would play with him more but he keeps biting mums lip. So thank you & i hope this helps you help me.

Evelyn  07/24/2007 8:42 pm

We have a harlequin macaw named Titan. We got him when he was about a year old. My husband and I were able to have him step up, sit on our arm and shoulders, play with him, snuggle him, etc. When he was 8, he suddenly bit me very hard on my forearm. A few days later, he bit me again. What had changed? We got a new dog, a rottweiler puppy. Titan was jealous. I emailed a parrot behavior specialist in northern California, near where we live. One of her staff responded and said maybe he is scared of me or maybe it is hormones. I did my best to talk and sing to him to get him used to me again, per her suggestion. I also only picked him up while wearing a long-sleeved jacket or shirt, not my bare arm, so I wouldn’t be afraid. Four years later, we still have the dog and we still have Titan. Titan hasn’t bitten me hard since. Then, four weeks ago, I tried having him step up on my bare arms every day. A few days later, July 4th, I had him step up and took him from one room to the living room as we were all going there and he would be alone, which he doesn’t like, if he didn’t come with us. I then tried to put him on his perch in the living room and he didn’t want to do that. He bit me very hard on my upper arm. I screamed in pain and dumped him on the floor. I ended up with a huge bruise. I don’t know what scared him this time. There were no changes in pets, furniture, items in the room, toys, perches, work schedules, house guests, food, clothing, family illness, nothing. The only difference was my bare arm. I again wear a jacket or shirt when I pick him up and he hasn’t tried to bite me since July 4th. He sometimes attempts to bite my husband but my husband just says, “Uh-Uh!” and he stops.

Sandy Bowling  07/24/2007 8:50 pm

I have a 3 yr old B&G Macaw, Jonathan. He is a male. Used to cuddle and snuggle, but now is nipping. Seems to be no rhyme or reason that I see. He used to “step up” without any problem. Now I see “the sign”. He will bow down , extend his head, and arch his wings, so I just shut the door and trun my back. I try not to let him out without stepping up, because he will run to top of cage and “be the king” screaming etc. I know I am supposed to “be dominant” but he gets pretty scary. He is terrified of a towel, runs and screams, so I do not do that. (The only time he has been toweled is @ the groomer for nail trim. He is very sweet and loving after that of course) Anyway, there are some changes over the last year, my Mother has come to live. She can’t touch him. He lunges @ her so she does not try. I had a cockatiel when he came and have since purchased a green cheek conure. He is very jealous of the conure. If she makes a sound he screams and I actually see her jump. I have a small house or I would keep them in separate rooms. I have 4 cats and 2 dogs, so I keep the birds in a separate room with 2 “gates” on top of each other. I bring them out when the other animals are confined. I probably have too many animals, but am a “sucker” for the homeless. Anyway, Jonathan sometimes lunges @ me even when on my arm. I do not let him on my shoulder or head anymore, because I read that is “dominating”. If I have him out and NO undivided attention, NO other animals he is pretty much sweet. He will say “hello” if the phone rings but I can’t talk long or he gets jealoous and will bite me or the phone. Is there a solution or is he just “possesive”??

Sarah  07/24/2007 9:04 pm

My bird is actually a lovebird but you help helps me anyway. My bird,Skittle loves to sit on my shoulder [I hate it] once he does he starts to bite my ears and earrings. He also loves to bite my fingers. I never paid any attention to it because i thought he was kissing me or trying to get a grip. But now I have other people complaining about it. I am experiencing many other problems with my bird. But this is only one of them. Please help.

Sarah  07/24/2007 9:05 pm

My bird is actually a lovebird but you help me anyway. My bird,Skittle loves to sit on my shoulder [I hate it] once he does he starts to bite my ears and earrings. He also loves to bite my fingers. I never paid any attention to it because i thought he was kissing me or trying to get a grip. But now I have other people complaining about it. I am experiencing many other problems with my bird. But this is only one of them. Please help.

Robert  07/24/2007 9:06 pm

I have a loving green wing that while sitting on my shoulder will turn and lunge at my nose check or hand if it comes near. She is 9 years old and we are still trying to stop her from plucking. When my step son is over she protects him form us by attacking until he leaves. The she becomes the nice loving bird that she was before. If you can help us we would love it.

David & Betty Webster  07/24/2007 9:37 pm

Hi Chet,
We purchased your tapes when we rescued a 15yr old mitre conure, Pollyanna, thinking that we would really need them to train a bird that was never out of her cage. Also thinking how fun to train our little 5 yr old Meyers, Jasper some tricks. Pollyanna is not yet the problem here, except she does like to attack the bars of the cage when my husband walks by. We have yet to really work with her. However, Jasper, sweet little bird has attitude ! Do smaller birds have the “banty rooster” syndrome? He can be a sweet as can be, just ask him and he’ll tell you sweet birdie. However, riding along on Dave’s shoulder if they pass me – Jasper will nearly fall off lunging at me. But then a minute or so later will actually want to ride around on me. Sometimes while on me for no reason I will get hit in the head with her beak. She may be trying to bite but with hair, skull. etc all i feel is a bop. (We purchased Jasper as a baby from a breeder in fact we had to wait until she was old enough to go home with us, so she has known us as mommy and daddy since then. We visited him often)
My husband had a thought, we have for many years, taken in wounded or orphaned birds, nursed them then released them. Does Jasper have the intelligence to realize that Pollyanna isn’t leaving or that big brown hairy thing called a dog isn’t leaving either? Most of the birds we have helped have stayed a short time, exception, a mouring dove he was here thru the winter (6 mos.) the vet had us keep him until spring. Jasper didn’t seem to mind the dove at all. She likes to attack the dog but she is smart enough to only do it when she is in her cage and the dog is looking at her. She will literally run across the bottom and try to reach out and bite the dog.
Jasper often likes to watch me get ready for work in the morning and sits in front of me as I apply my make up. Occasionally, reaching up to “bump beaks’ with me. One day out of the blue my “beak” was nailed good! I went to work with the reddest sorest nose and I still carry a little smilie scar on the tip. We have noticed that when Jasper is feeling territorial she becomes “puff birdie” and struts around almost daring you to come near her. Actually cute but we know she will bite in this situation, Eyes pin points and making herself as large as she can. She also hates phones, remotes etc. and will attack them as they sit on a table. Well, I could go on and on but ….. any help?

Shona Fitzgerald  07/24/2007 9:43 pm

We have a sulphur crested cockatoo who was abused as a a baby through to approx. one years old. We now her and she is my baby. (approx 2 years). She is lovely generally and has settled well into our house with my husbnd, kids and cats. I am her number one and can do just about anything with her. She is generally good with everyone else in the house, (although she torments the cats) and participates easily in our lifestyle. She does though have these one off crazy times where she will just start flying around screaming, I am learning from your web site this is attention getting if she is feeling left out (usually while I am cooking dinner). We are trying to ignore her through this, or put her in her cage in the room, so she can see and be in the conversation but doesnt get the opportunity to fly around.
The big issue is that she will be sitting quietly getting a pat and then suddenly start attacking the person patting her, usually me, my husband or my mother. If my mother is on the house, she will always go to her, some times lovingly and other times very savagely. She obviously likes the females and I think sees me as her mother as she will sit on my shoulder and try to search for food in my mouth.(I dont let her). But with my mother she just seeks pats or attacks her.???? Why does she suddenly start attacking after being patted for hours??even with my husband??? I have read some of the other stories with the sock attacking… what is that about??? She only doesit when she decides to start flying around and biting after being patted????
We keep her to a strict bed time and she usually tells me when she wants to be in bed by stepping onto my hand and then looking to the stairwell. She sleeps on our shower recess and will quite willingly go to bed there while we are downstairs, but hates to be downstairs if we are upstairs.
I am an animal lover but never thought I would have a bird till I rescued her. She has brought amazing love and comedy to our house and is the centre of attention with our family and friends. I also struggle with teaching her things, when I see her willingly do things in the house which she knows are naughty. She waits till she thinks you are not in the room(we have watched around corners) and then does things that if you were in the room she would not do as she knows she has been taught No. So how do I get her to not do things when she is making a clear decision to do them when we are not in the room. We dont run back in, so I dont think she is attention seeking, but I dont honestly believe she is smart enough to know right from wrong. She will even pretend when you come back into the room that she hasnt done anything, but when you show her she will take off to another room.
I have just bought your CD’s and look forward to teaching and understanding her more, as I have enjoyed my journey of understanding her and she has come such a long way from the frightened baby I took on, even to be more comfortable with being separated from me, which gave her great stress for 8 months. Makes it difficult to go to work, ad I do travel around the South Pacific with work. But I think she now feels safer, but still frets and a lesser level. My husband works hard to make her happy when I am away, but her excitment at my return is greater than my children! I ensure I spoil her when I first get home.
I would love a bit of help on her random biting and will look forward to your response.

Kim  07/24/2007 9:47 pm

We have a 3 1/2 year old male Umbrella Cockatoo. Up until about 1 week and 1/2 ago he was the most sweet, lovable creature on the planet. He loves to be scratched, stroked, petted and especially MUST have lap time under a blanket in the evening while we are watching TV. About a week and 1/2 ago I took him out of his cage and placed him on my shoulder and headed for the kitchen to decide what we were having for supper. (He doesn’t stay out there while I’m cooking) Anyway I opened a cabinet and the next thing I knew he had swung way out, looked in my face and bit me with his upper beak above and the lower beak below my jaw bone breaking the skin. I immediately circled his neck with my fingers (not choking) talked to him firmly (no yelling) and said “no Bites!) I put him on his perch and let him set a while alone. The rest of the evening went fine. Since then, he has bit me on the fingers for no reason, always rearing back, then darting without warning. Then 2 days ago we were getting ready for blanket time and as I was pulling his blanket up to cover him, he looked up and then bit me on the cheek. I held him out to my husband and calmly said, “Take him”. He did and put him out on his perch. After about 15 minutes we brought him back in the room and he was fine. We think part of the problem is he is going thru his adolesence and is dealing with hormones. It is just that typically he is a very sweet, good tempered bird. If we can stop the biting so we can enjoy him and not be afraid to get too close it would be great.


Shona Fitzgerald  07/24/2007 10:13 pm

Sorry – Bad typing. I Do honestly think she knows right from wrong.

Nina McDermand  07/24/2007 10:25 pm

Hi Chet!

My Quaker Albert (2years) was always biting and lunging after me every morning after I got out of the shower. After being put together (dressed/groomed) he was as sweet as pie. I finally figured out what it was…….my glasses! When I don’t have glasses on he freaks out trying to maim me. Then by magic, put the glasses on and he loves me. What figures??? So much for laser eye surgery!

Ellie May  07/24/2007 10:39 pm

Hey Chet-
I have a 30 year old Blue Fronted Amazon (Chi-Chi) and a 6 year old Myers (Joey). The two birds live in separate cages, They hate each other but love and are very protective of each other. If you give one attention before the other one the other one wants nothing to do with you. Chi-Chi was eating bird seed and people food and was very aggressive, since his diet has been changed to Harrison bird foods, he has changed totally his bitting and violent behavior has lessoned, but still lingers. And Demanding attention is more noticeable. Joey is still learning he is a bird, and who and what people are. All three of us are learning new things every day. But both birds have a special soft spot for my youngest daughter (teen-ager) who says ya-ya their birds.
Ellie May

deron blaides  07/24/2007 10:40 pm

I have an africangray congo and sometimes when i am scratching is head he try to bit me.Sometimes he just start bitting

Sandy  07/24/2007 10:57 pm

Thanks, Chet! I appreciate any and all info you share to make life with companion birds more enjoyable. My buddy is a 3 year old moustache parakeet. He’s active, playful, curious, opinionated; usually very good company. He does have moments where he’ll nip hard, seemingly out of the blue. I’m teaching him to poop at his cage instead of on me, and sometimes i don’t pay attention when he needs to go-he’ll let me know by nipping me hard. Other times I can tell if I move too fast, or startle him by something else I do. Sometimes I just don’t have a clue what changes his loving attitude to suddenly attack mode.

Denny  07/24/2007 11:24 pm

i have a green cheeked conyer (?) who love me and spends soo much time with me, but he nips (not bite) a lot. not to get attention i don’t think. i get his beak and slightly shake it, but i’ve gotten nowhere. please help. he also will not even sit on my grandchildren’s fingers (6,5 calm, steady). he justs wants out the there, and he’ll fly to a higher spot, then comes down back to me. i’ve tried and tried to have the bird make friends with kids and adults, male and female, all to no avail.

any help would be appreciated!


Anne Palyok  07/24/2007 11:30 pm

My Green Wing Macaw, Cody, is similiar to many I read above. He does not like to be petted on the head. If I get to pet him on head he will allow it for a few minutes and then will try and bite hard. He bites randomly for no apparent reason. He can be in his cage I come home, open the door to get him out he sill step and and then bite my arm. He will lunge at my hand when I am putting food in his bowl on his perch. He does this usually when I have something else in my hand like a spoon or fork. I am guessing now youa re going to say he doesn;t like the spoon or fork. Really enjoy the emails and all the info you supply.

Howard Kaminsky  07/24/2007 11:48 pm

I have 3 large birds 2 yellow head amazon and a blue gold macaw only one of the bird THE MALE yellow head amazon bites like your article describes. He has bitten me in the face 3 times with no alert or warning. When he is fluffed up, excited or talking and his eyes get narrow he is dangerous and we are scared to go near him and have to wait until he calms down and we feel safe enough to pick him up. When he is not like this he is a good bird and will generally go to anyone without any problem and even perform some tricks, we would just like to know if there is a reason he is biting/attacking us in this way.

Barbara Green  07/25/2007 12:50 am

My mother bought me a 6 mth old Green Check concure (Rainbow) last fall when we visited a pet shop to get seeds for her birds. Rainbow has been good with me and is friendly with my husband but will not go to my mother without biting(hard). My my mother lives with us in basement we made into an apt and keeps her birds there. We would like rainbow to like her so she can take care of him him when I travel at times with my husband. She can leave him in his cage upstairs to care for him but cannot let him out as she cannot get near him at all, he ruffles up and bites anytime she is close. So we have to take him to the Pet shop we purchased him from to care for him while we are away. My mother is sad she can’t be close with and enhoy Rainbow alwo.
Also, just recently in past 2 weeks he started biting me alot. I am thinking it i have spoiled him too much letting him be with me too much and sharing what I eat and snack on throughout the day. I give him strawberries on his favorite play areas to keep him busy when I need to do things not safe for him.
Though he is still attached and sweet with me he is also now being very demanding and bitey frequently. I’d love to hear how to correct the biting with me and especially the hard biting of my mother.

Billy Sin  07/25/2007 1:15 am

I have a blue eye cockatoo, which used to be a very playful, livingly and freindly baby to me, and he alway love to stick with me.
He got father problem 8 months ago, and I brought him to the Vete, and usually I will only let him stand on my arm no matter where we go, but that days is pouring rain, and I don’t want him to get wet, so i force him into a plastic box with breathing holes, and then I took a taxi to the clinic. On the way head to clinic, I found him is so panic in the box, and I want to comfort him by puting my figure through the breathing hole to scratch him, but then I got a bite and was bred.
I don’t take this serious and think that he may just lost his temper and so bit me. Then in the clinic happen another thing, doctor need to puck a feather form him for testing, and suggest me to be quiet and no need to help, but I am so confident of my relationship with my

Billy Sin  07/25/2007 1:18 am

My blue eye cockatoo used to be a lovely, playful baby to me, and he love to stick with me, but now he becomes so scare of me, especially for both of my hands.

Is there any way to save my relationship with my bird?

Annette Lloyd  07/25/2007 2:04 am

Hi Chet,Im glad you are doing you Tele-conference, but I live in NSW Australia so I think that I will be out of your area, but maybe someone else has the same problems that i am having and you might be able to help them.My baby Cockatiel has started to bite if he thinks my hands are going to touch his wings(he hates me now that i have clipped him), I can scracth his neck front & back and he even gives me kisses on the lips, he sometime tries to take food from my mouth. He is a very affectionate bird, but sometimes just freaks out if he thinks I am going to touch his wings. I hope there is something I can do to gain his trust back!

Kim Anderson  07/25/2007 2:24 am

Hi Chet, Hey Thanks for the refund on the parrot food. You didn’t have to do that but I thank you very much.

I have had my male congo African Grey Parrot, Humphrey Bogart since 1989. He was imported and I believe he was about two at the time. We have come a long way since I discovered your website thanks to all your good advise. He has adapted to our new lifestyle of my marriage of 5 years and my job as a flight attendant and being gone all week. He also knows his weekly routine with my husband. We still have instances where I’m not sure of his behavior. I use to open his cage on Sunday mornings when my husband would be doing his exercises. Bogie would fly down on the floor with him and start fluffing up and attacting him. My husband said he only behaved that way towards him when I was home. I just stopped letting him out on Sunday mornings. As recently as two weeks ago I had more time with him than usual and then went to work all week. I came home and was greeting him touching his beek in his cage and he was doing the normal little bite taste sort of thing and then deliberately chomped my finger. His bites are so deep it is still healing. So I figure it was his way of telling me he was ticked off because I had gone away again. We’ve figured out how to communicate quite well I just wish I could curb his bitting behaviors when he is ticked or for the times I haven’t learned how to interrupt his outrage. I hope you edit because mine is quite long for your blog… or not. Thanks Chet. Kim

Cindy  07/25/2007 2:51 am

Hi Chet!
I’m so glad you are addressing this problem. Usually, Pickle, my sweet Senegal Parrot, does not bite me, but, on occasioan, she will try to bite my nose (OFF)….It’s so scary! I’ll wait while she holds it in her beak, and then gently push her to the side, the timing and calmness are essential…then I put her in her cage for a time out. I’ve pretty much stopped having her on my shoulder :( I can’t wait to see or hear your solution. Pickle also lunges and tries to bite most other people (and animals!) My daughter is pregnant and I’m a little worried about future grandchild(ren) getting hurt :/

Jodi Shaw  07/25/2007 4:27 am

Funny you should bring this up when you did. On Saturday I was carrying my blue & gold Abbey back to her room (we have her on a perch in the family room while we are home, but her cage is in our rec room when we go to bed or leave the house). Anyway, I was on the phone at the same time as I was carrying her on my shoulder when she suddenly went nuts! She began wildly biting my shoulders and neck before I knew what hit me. I still have no idea what happened, but I have the biggest, ugliest black & blue mark on my shoulder and a couple of good gashes in my neck. It hasn’t stopped me from carrying her around on my shoulders, but I keep a closer eye on her and do NOT carry the phone while walking with her! I am also concerned because we are in the process of adopting a baby and and I am already the ONLY one who can go near her normally… she bites everyone else, sometimes drawing blood, even with my husband! I am hoping to break this before our baby arrives (another 5 – 9 months from what I can guess) :-{

Talitha Rabie  07/25/2007 5:14 am

Hi. My new baby parrot (1 mth old), Sahara was fine till I sold my older bird ( I figured I could never tame him cause he wasn’t hand reared so I sold him and bought another new baby parrot). Sahara never bit me but as soon as I took Dakota (the older parrot) away she started just attacking my fingers when I came near or if I came near the cage she would start attacking the cage bars where my face was. It’s strange because Sahara only does this when I pick her up but as soon as she is on my hand she seems quite calm as long as her attention is distracted and not focused solely on me. As soon as she focuses her attention on me again then she will randomly bite my fingers or attack me. The thing is she doesn’t bite me hard, it’s more of a stance than really going in for the kill and to hurt me.

Any advice please?!

Also, I know this has nothing to do with biting but my new baby parrot does not eat properly and I’m scared she’ll die. She seems quite weak but whenever I give her her babyfood she only takes one bite and then seem to try to get away from me but she still screams for food. She also doesn’t want to start eating seeds. I don’t know what to do. Would appreciate any help on this. Thanks.

ridwana  07/25/2007 5:33 am

i have two african greys the one is rather tame only bites when you iratate her. the second just keeps bitting no matter what you do trying to pet her is no option she will bite.if you putting food in her cage she strikes.she been so since a babby cant seem to stp it tried everything under the sun.just show this bird your hand and she wants to tak it off

Jaime Alves  07/25/2007 5:34 am

I’ve had a African Grey parrot for 23 years( female) and the other night she attacked my feet, something she as never done before. Took me completely by surprise, got no idea what came over her, no strange objects where nearby that I can remember, so perhaps could it be that she’s on heat.
No idea, any suggestions.
Thank you in advance.
Regards Jaime Alves.

Salliane  07/25/2007 6:04 am

I am the third owner of a 32 year old female CAG. She has been with me for about a year and a half now. Sometimes, when she is doing step ups, she suddenly bites the side of my hand that is being offered. A firm “no” and she immediately releases her grip…phew!
I think this would be an invaluable topic for us featherheads!

Carley Bansemer  07/25/2007 6:09 am

Hi Chet,

I have a yellow African ringneck parrot who is full flight and 2 1/2 with his full ring developed. ‘Sunny’ generally has the run of my house. However I am often away on extended field trips (usually 1 month at a time) conducting research and leave ‘Sunny’ with my Mum at her house where he is allowed to have a few hours flying around a day, but is in his cage for the remainder of the day. I think Sunny is obsessed with my Mum as both at her house and when she visits me at my house he must be on her and continually tries to land on her shoulder. While normally cute and he also does this with me, with mum and on rare occassion Dad he quickly latches on to her ear and also chases and bites her feet. She now won’t let him land as he is persistant on biting her ear or finger if she is feeding him. It is strange that he never does this with me.

Alexander Turner  07/25/2007 6:13 am

Hello from scotland – 3 year old african grey. sweetest bird but gets all workrked up if on my shoulder (i know she shouldnt be there) and the phone rings-she bites. i think hormones have something to do with it she thinks i am her mate. Please to a recording disk seminar. an overseas call would be difficult.

Karien Jordaan  07/25/2007 6:37 am

My one and a half year old Grey (Ghana) named Stoffel is a girl and i love her to pieces.I was the one who spoon feeded her since she was 6 weeks old and i am the only one involved with teaching her tricks etc. However, she also used to sit on my husband’s shoulder until one day when she bit his ear and at a later stage she also bit his nose (both times drew blood). She occasionally also bites my fingers and on my hands but i follow your advise and move back into her beak and i can tell you, she has a lot more respect for me after that.I asked my husband to do it as well but he is scared of her.She also stopped taking food from him.I do not understand this behaviour and would love to see your response-Karien from South Africa.

Helen  07/25/2007 6:54 am

Wow, after reading about 25 responses,I see I’m not alone and that there’s a common theme;the birds were trusting and loving until they decided to be aggressive. My 5 yr old Grey is the same. When he was about 2, my husband went on a 2 month business trip and my daughter & son-in-law moved into their own home. That’s when Jack went nuts. He seemed to be terrified of me and would bite to draw blood when I was changing his food and water. It was explained by the manager of the bird dept. where I got him that his “flock” had disappeared, and since I was left, I must be the predator who had “killed” them. O.K., but that was 3 years ago, and of course, he’s seen them since then, and he still hates me, ( and everyone else).
I’ve been very patient, but now I’ve got little grandsons who visit, and I’m afraid one of them will lose a finger if they happen to go near the cage when no one is with them.
Jack talks a lot and is very amusing,but a bad “pet”. Probably I can’t make him like me again, but tolerate at least would be good!

carolyn rainey  07/25/2007 6:55 am

My parrot loves me and has never bitten me, he is male and will not go towards any other male. When they enter the room, he will bash his toys to pieces. The other day, we were on our own, but I went to pick up one of his toys he bashes when with males and he started going nuts that I have touched them as if to say, these are my warning toys. I dont want him to start turning on me just because I have touched something which he does not like.

Linda S Gisladottir  07/25/2007 7:13 am

Hi Chet….
I always value your e-mails and keep most of them for future reading.
I thank you for what you are doing and will definitely check out this new seminar on parrot biting.
I have a lovely lovebird that hates hands but loves my face…but I don’t trust it because you know how sharp a lovebirds beak is…I want to keep my face intact:)
Thanks again keep up the good work!

barbara  07/25/2007 7:37 am

I have noticed the very thing you were talking about with the biting.The birds don’t like any foreign around them,and their reaction can be severe at times. I have one very smart bird,he is two years old and isn’t talking yet.He is a Quaker! His name is Squawky!

Jo  07/25/2007 7:40 am

My 13 year old sweet natured African Grey has turned into a terror at times. When I put food into his dish he rushes from the other side of the cage and crashes into the side of the cage trying to bite me he is incredibly quick. If I make small clicking noises he/she puts her head down and lets me tickle her Like other people I am getting too nervous to allow him/her to sit on my shoulder or knee as I don’t know when of if I will be attacked. I would love to know how to get my affectionate bird back.

Ann Wood  07/25/2007 7:44 am

I have a 4 year old yellow naped amazon. He will be loving then all of a sudden bite. He screams for attention or continually says hello. He gets jealous of me when my husband is around but bites my husband also. It has become intolerable. Any advise would be appreciated.

carole  07/25/2007 7:46 am

My quaker has become a tyrant. He lunges at me when I try to get him to “step Up”. The (now) rare instances when he does let me handle him, he’ll be calm very briefly, then bite my hands. Those bites hurt and I’m reluctant to try to handle him anymore. He’s (or she?) about 3 yrs old and previously has been irritable in the spring, but this year it’s worse and of longer duration. He still gives kisses but I’m nervous letting him near my face, and that only occurs when he’s out and on the top of his cage.

Ann Wood  07/25/2007 7:47 am

Hi Chet
I have a yellow naped amazon 4years old. Screams and bites and continually says hello. He is very human in lots of ways. He expresses different emotions when he is trying to get his way.

Brenda  07/25/2007 7:48 am

Hello Chet,

I have a 10 year old Sulphur Crested Cockatoo who will attack, severely bite (almost taking a finger off) and draw blood without reason. The other day, I was looking out the window, having my back to his cage, and he took a big chunck out of the back of my shoulder. He is a rescued bird, having been mistreated in the past, but I honestly don’t know whether or not I will keep him or give him to a zoo, as I am afraid he will seriously harm my grandaughter when I’m not watching. I have purchased your videos in the past and they work wonders, so I can’t wait to see this new one.

Thanks for all your hard work and for you sharing your knowledge with us.


Andrea  07/25/2007 8:04 am

Hiroshi is my Catalina macaw. She loves to cuddle and is very sweet to me only, most of the time. She bites fast and hard when she does not get her way, or when I am paying attention to another bird, dog or human. It is like she is a two-year old child throwing her tantrum when things don’t go exactly as she wants them to be.

Also, Commodore (blue and gold) and Hiroshi like to bite my hands and fingers when I hand feed them, they will purposefully bite the fingers and not the food, even when it is a favorite treat. I know they see better than that.


Laura  07/25/2007 8:42 am

I had bought a baby cockatiel a year ago, who was very kind and cuddly. Due to family situations, I had to move into an apartment that didnt allow pets at all. I had given the baby cockatiel to my friend to watch and i visit the bird frequently. Ever since I had to give the bird to my friend to watch, the bird only attacks me. I don’t understand what I’ve done to deserve such treatment from the baby I use to have cuddle to me. I’m hoping you can help me gain my sweet bird back.

Melissa Ballweg  07/25/2007 8:47 am

Hi Chet–
I have a very moody Indian ring neck parrott named Sammy. She was rescued from a family with kids that used to torment her by poking her with pool sticks and such. I have had her about a year and still trying to figure her out. She has gotten much better with the biting, but she is very scared of everything. She has a horrible habit of breaking her tail feathers in half, and also she screams alot. To be honest, I’m still learning how to take care of her and trying to learn how to understand her. So I just wanted to thank you for including me in your E-mails. I print them out and take them home in hopes that I can learn more about her. :)

Maureen  07/25/2007 8:54 am

We (my husband and I) have an 18 mth old blue and gold macaw – we think male. We got him at 16 wks old and he was so loving, we have always treated him good (spoilt him really, I think – but you know you can’t help it) and he was always fine back. He has the biggest cage you can get for a macaw so he has plenty of room when he has to be in his cage when we are at work. He used to roll over on his back and be cuddled by my grandson and then suddenly he became a ‘screaming banshee’, started nipping and sometimes it was a bit more than a nip.
My grandson (who is 12) has been scared to go near him as he always tries to nip him (probably bite him if I’m going to be honest).
When we get home from work we have a cup of tea and about half an hour to ourselves before we get him out of his cage. He was okay with this at first but now if you are about 2 minutes late in getting him out (I’m sure he can tell time) he starts this awful screaming to be let out and when you do eventually let him out (when I’m ready) he has to nip me, quite hard, to say he disapproves and I should have come quicker.
He also sometimes, without warning, bend from my shoulder as though he is going to kiss me and then nearly rips the skin off my face as he lunges at me on purpose.
We bought him a playstand to give him a break from sitting on his cage or with us and now when my husband tries to get him off to put him to bed he will not come down, and when we tip the frame over to get hold of him he has bit my husband hard a lot of times.
Please help because we love him to bits but there are times when I tell him I dont like him anymore and won’t talk to him anymore and to go away. I usually manage about half an hour before I’m back talking to him.

Sherry  07/25/2007 9:07 am

I have a Quaker who is 1 year old. He never used to bite and was the most loveable bird I have. However he now bites everytime you get near the cage. Nonthing has changed as far as adding things to the room he is in. The only thing that has changed is I now babysit my grand-daughter. His bite really hurts and brings blood. Help please, I want my baby back.


David Schall  07/25/2007 9:35 am


Let’s hope your recording will be a FREE download on the internet. Having bought several of your products and training courses, it would be extra nice to get a freebie for a change!

Kansas  07/25/2007 9:44 am

Sophie is a 14 yr old Indian Ringneck I got from a reputable pet shop when I was single and she was nearly a year old. After several weeks of me working patiently with her daily, she was still quite fearful and would bite fiercely, so I consulted the pet shop for tips on handling her only to be told that her primary handler had been fired for suspected mistreatment of the birds. After two years of me working calmly with Sophie one-on-one for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, she was still fearful and would still bite me to the point of bleeding.

When I moved back to Kansas with my now husband, I bought Sophie a new cage and new toys. Within two weeks, my husband was able to handle her without her biting him. I was amazed. Two more weeks, and he was able to successfully pass her from his hand to mine without her biting. Two more weeks, and she was fine with me but biting him as she had me the prior two years. She still will not step to his hand without biting him, and flies away if he puts her from the step-up stick to his shoulder.

Sophie has become less and less cooperative with me over the past few years and has stricken without warning several times, taking chunks of flesh out of my hand, arm, lip, and nose. Most of the time, she allows me to hold and pet her without incident if nobody else is around. She has nearly stopped talking or whistling, but she continues to screech loudly and persistently at certain times of the day or when company is present. I have two young grandchildren who would love to love her, but I can’t trust her to be out of her cage when they are around.

I think there are other factors that play into the whole biting and screaming scenario. We’re in a small town, and the vet here doesn’t trim bird wings. It’s not possible for me to trim them myself as she becomes so traumatized by a glove, scissors, or any foreign object and I would be eaten alive if I tried to do this without gloves. I can’t let her out of her cage unsupervised because she chews on and destroys everything in site.

If you can provide an affordable solution to this problem, I’ll be so grateful.

tereza griffiths  07/25/2007 10:12 am

hi we have an african grey called flash hes great with me but whenever my boyfriend close hell fluff up and try bite him,hes very talkativebut when hes on my hand hell try and do a forward roll and then try to bite

Frederick  07/25/2007 10:22 am

Well good topic! I have the sweetest Goffin cocatoo but sometimes when he doesnt get all the attention he wants he kind of bites fingers to let us know hey…not too badly but not very funny all the time, sometimes its the nose for I dont know what reason, its not a feroscious bit but a bite sometimes its more like tests try outs, and know does it hurt more than this one, he kind of puts a bit of pressure and so one until outch this one realy hurt! Our Senegal Youyou, he only loves men. Woman approach him and he bites oh boy! Sometimes my wife will be able to touch him but watch out if I can I will!!! The other recent problem is baby conures I had problems with. I had some red masqued conure and people told me all baby conures bite… ? So…I try my best to let the baby know that its NO, so he would understand a bit but not always…so when he would get the chance well…not as strong as the beggining but not very funny just the same it still hurts, and again not in a meanfull way but more of exploring his new abilities but just the same how to get the baby not to bite so that he can find a good family, people are not of great interest in buying a bitting baby even if it is not intentional. Of course we have a few untamed parrots and boy do not put your fingers through watch out but are the most clowny ones to talk to during the day and fully receptive but its like keep out but talk to them all you want they love it! Oh I forgot our green cheek conure, very nice but to approach our hand to rake him from one place to another, well, same story he bites and outch!!! Sorry I`m french so probably english grammatical mistake so dont bite me! :-)

Leanne  07/25/2007 10:34 am

Hi Chet,

Mango, our Blue and Gold Macaw is just coming on 10 months. She is beautiful and says hello when she is naughty and maybe an I LOVE YOU (think we are hopeful parents kidding ourselves). She is also learning to love me (not just my boyfriend). Through your helpful hints, I have gained more confidence with her which has really helped. She only seems to be aggressive when we make her to do something she doesn’t like, god forbid we put her back in her cage or to bed (great tip on the sleeping cage from your CD by-the-way).

I have the same thought as Steve (also with the Macaw) about changing our behaviour versus help the bird to become more tolerant and flexible. She can’t make all the rules even though she can yell louder… surly?

My question is on training. She steps up, will fly home on Q (but not in the cage) and will kiss. But it all seems a little random (whenever she wants). We can’t seem to get her attention for long enough. All she wants to do is cuddle my boyfriend and play. She’ll have a very short play with my, then wants to find my boyfriend (an’t love grand). Any tips on attention span??

Cheers! Leanne from Sydney, Australia

Guadalupe Neve  07/25/2007 10:42 am

Hi Chet!
I have a one year old yellow head amazon. He is very sweet, but he suddenly began to bite me when he is in my hand. I don’t know if this behavior is because he is happy to go around with me, but the bites really hurt. I obviously don’t know how to correct him. I can’t wait to see your video.

gemma  07/25/2007 10:55 am

Hi Chet

I have a sulphur crest cockatoo for almost 3 years now. He will let me do anything to him except clip is nails. Although he bites children who come near his cage and my parents. How can I stop him doing this as I want my nieces and nephew to feel safe around him not scared of him. He really is a gentle bird with me that is.

Lisa  07/25/2007 10:58 am

Chet, I am excited about the upcoming recording. We have a 3 1/2 year old cockatoo named “Tori”. She is SO sweet and affectionate…for the most part. :-) She is fine with the whole family (my boyfriend and 14 yr. old son). After reading many of the other bird owner comments here, it seems our problems are typical of female umbrella cockatoos. She always wants to be on me with my undivided attention. If I walk in the kitchen, she flies to the floor and bites my foot or shoe HARD! If I’m laying on my bed watching TV and not paying attention to her, she’ll charge at me and bite whatever she can get a hold of. She’s never bitten my face; usually fingers and toes. She never does this to others…only me. She follows me wherever I go. Now, if she charges me, I yell, “DON’T you bite me!!” and she backs off and gives me a “Peek-a-Boo” or “I’m a good girl.” :-) She just wants to be “cute” and get picked up! (And it works)

She gets PLENTY of attention from all members of the family. We’ve never had a screaming problem…until recently. I’ve always had a curtain hung in front of her cage. When she continues to scream after MANY warnings, I’ll tell her, “Do you want to be punished?” She knows that means closing the curtain until she stops. (It’s never very long, but she hates it because she can’t see us and it seems to work.) When she quiets down, I open the curtain immediately. Many times, all I have to do is say it and she stops.

I thought this sudden biting and screaming was her maturing and lashing out when she didn’t get her way. Am a correct? Are my tactics correct? I can’t wait to get some insight from your recording. Thank you for doing this!

Justine  07/25/2007 11:03 am

I just got your e-mail and thought i post about it ever since i got my cocatile she has been wonderful she lets my dad my sister and i pick it up( my mom dosent she makes us do that for her). anyway ya CJ (the Cocatile) let us pick her up off of andy thing tables the floor chairs out of er cage … the only place CJ wouldent let us pick her up off was the top of her cage she squacks and hisses and bites all really weard stuff and i dont know y its so weard!! And then one day I was trying to take her out of her cage and she started dooing the same thing flapping aroun hissinsg biteng and trying to get away and once i get her on my hand she wont come out of er cage and on the ocashon she will come out she flys off to wherever in the house and wont let me pick her up if i do she wont let me put her back in she flys of my hand and to the top of her cage. So as you can see she now all of a suden dosent like us dooing any thing to her. it is so weard and i need help coze i love that little bird and dont wanna give up on her …. HELPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!

marion  07/25/2007 11:03 am

Hi Chet
I have a yellow headed amazon, who is about 24. I got him as a baby when I lived in Venezuela. He was always very sweet and loving – and can still be so on occasions. Particularly if other people are there he loves to cuddle up. However, he has taken to biting me – quite badly on a few recent occasions (I had to go to the hospital and have stitches). Its quite frightening as he can be vicious and goes for my eyes.
It tends to happen when I want to get him to come on my shoulder to move from his large cage into a different cage so that I can either take him onto the roof terrace (he loves being outside), or to a friend that he might stay at when I am travelling. Maybe he feels I am rushing him – but I try not to. The problem is that I am now quiate frightened – and of course he can feel that….
AM not really sure how to go on with this
I have been away a lot and travelling and working long hours -and now can spend mroe time at home, so maybe that will help.


Dianhe  07/25/2007 11:08 am

We just rescued a Cockatoo that is 17 years old. It is a love spunge and makes little cooing noises when being petted. Such a love ….. but for no reason that we can figure BITES o my gosh … ouch. I know why he screams. He want attention so I am closing his curtain when it gets to much and then when he is quiet I open it. that is working. Also he screems when I have food and that is okay … I just give him some… I know that is supose to be wrong. But it is so cute.
But two weeks later I am still healing from two bites. I am taking him out three or more times a day, But I am afraid to do anything other than stay in one place with him, and to put him back is a frightening situation as that is when he has bitten my husband. I am really looking forward to your video.

Joan Miller  07/25/2007 11:12 am

Hi Chet,
When I received your email, regarding your B&G, I laughed so hard! My sweet Lola (2 year old B&G) is so lovable and gets along with everybody, even my 5 dogs….(I am a dog trainer)
But the other day I reached into her cage to give her some food and she nailed my arm a good one! She is allowed to come out of her cage 3/4 of the time, and so she wasn’t trapped or bored. (the door is open) I reach into her cage at least 5-10 times a day. I was shocked, so I couldn’t let her get the upper hand, so I did it again, immediately, she went for me again I pushed her off balance and said NO….so far it has worked, when she acts like shes about to go for my arm I say NO and she stops….I would love to hear how you handle it. It is so different training dogs, they want to please you!!
Thanks, Joan Miller

Dianne  07/25/2007 11:17 am

I do know of a good situation I thought you would love to hear. My friend received a baddy abused bird that no one wanted (double yellow). Women could not get near him without being bit, and men were in danger also. She has taken two years of puting him in the kitchen/frontroom area and touching his toes many times a day. Feeding him when she eats. Now she can get him out of the cage on her finger and he is a love. It took her two years and was such a specially case. This is her first bird. She is 70 (in good health) and the bird is 45.

Sandy  07/25/2007 11:24 am

My Congo African Grey is a year and a half. He has never been overly friendly to anyone, but I was always able to get him to step up onto my fingers or a wooden perch. He knows how to wave, put a ball in a basket, shake his head no, and he says about 60 words and phrases – even at appropriate times. He’s very smart! Although he seems very happy and content there, I can’t get him out of his cage now! He climbs, hides, bites and complains!

Terry  07/25/2007 11:35 am

I did have a Jardine, her name was Kitty, I got her from my girlfriend who is a breeder back in 2000. Kitty was born deformed, one leg was bad, so my girlfriend gave her to me as a birthday gift, cage and all. She was my best friend. Helped me through a divorce and other problems. She would sit in my lap, look up to me while I cried as if to say, mom- its ok, I am here. I had to cup her- she just couldn’t stay perched. I made Special covered dowels. Bonded to me and me only. I remarried 2005, husband called her the human can opener. Had her for 7yrs, then late one night she was on bottom of cage, next morning she was gone.

I have recently purchased a white cap. I had to mourn Kitty, then decided it was time. I got Missy…. she is bout 7 months old, was hand fed but not played with by same girlfriend-breeder. Missy does the stress panting. I am taking things slow with her. One day at a time, but biggest problem- cannot get her to even want to step up. Tries to fly away. I did clip her wings, but for life of me cannot get her to stay on any perch. Would rather fly away and possibly hurt herself than deal with any perching whether on finger or wood dowel. What is the normal time frame to acclamate a bird? Maybe I am pushing her too fast? Have had her since June 18th

My other bird, Vinny, blue headed pionus, is our destructive clown. He has his moments as well. All of a sudden out of the blue- he is possessed one second, sweet as punch the next. I attribute it to him being a baby too. I bought him for my husband as a Valentines gift (b/4 Kitty passed). He is now 13 months. He was somewhat finger trained when I got him and hardly ever tries to fly- unlike Missy. (same breeder).

I certainly would be interested in the random biting thing. Unfortunately- a call in thing just wouldn’t work for me. Audios aren’t as good either. Got to SEE what and how. I am a visual learner. Need to see and hear. Why not dvd? Just as cheap to produce and make copies as the others are.

CDs, DVD’s are cheaper to mass produce than was 8 tracks, records, cassettes, but yet charge same amount. Hmmmm. Well, like I had mentioned, audio and downloadable text just don’t cut it, need visual. Why not offer it as a dvd, or free downloadable video instead? Or IF need be at a discounted rate to all who have ordered from you for like $4.95- then others who have not ordered at a higher price? I guess just thought/suggestion. Thanks

Toni  07/25/2007 11:40 am

My jenday conure Gizmo has quite a personality. She doesn’t like anyone except my husband and I. She fuzzes up with the beak open and dare anyone to approach.

Sometimes, she turns on us. She’s about 2 years old but she just started the fuzzy aggression about 6 months ago. Since then, I am very careful because SHE CAN REALLY BITE. The pet store said it might be egg laying time, blah blah but I don’t understand how we can go so many years and then she acts like this.

mary  07/25/2007 11:41 am

i have a13 month old roese breasted cockatooo,,which i love dearly,,he actually is a very good bird, but when he is perched on my arm or hand he seem to like ti bite my knuckles, he hasn’t drawn blood yet, but i’m sure one day ot will be coming, very interested about this phone call.

LINDA K.  07/25/2007 11:45 am


Lucy  07/25/2007 11:53 am

Hi Chet,

Remember me? I’m Lucy The Talking Bird, a 5 1/2 year old African Grey. Mom promised weeks ago to purchase your CDs so that I could start training her. (We have a few issues 😉

She hasn’t yet kept her promise, so I continue to bite her at times, just for the heck of it. Mom told me about your upcoming seminar, so I thought I would send you a brief description of my ‘random’ biting habits.

Mornings at the Lucy residence go something like this…once the sun comes up, or the lights go on, I start ranting and raving making as much noise as possible. I tell Mom, ‘Let’s go take a shower’, and she comes to get me. She first opens the cage door, prompting me to immediately lift up my left foot. She still says it though, “Step up”. I am then placed on top of my cage, and Mommy asks me to ‘Do your poo poo’. Sometimes I’m real good at immediately responding, and other times I could care less what Mommy wants. I’ll grab the circle where a water dish used to be, flip upside-down and hang there staring at Mommy. She always responds with ‘She’s doin a trick!’.

Oops (I’m so gabby at times!) – back to the topic at hand – my biting. On my sweet days, I am totally mesmerized by the shower experience. When Mommy has finished, I immediately start cooing and making baby noises, and tell my Mommy, “I want some tickle”. She brings me near her face, and I say ‘It’s OK’. I tend to ‘nibble’ on Mommy’s fingers in between tickles, and that’s when she tells me, ‘It’s OK’. So I just say it for her now. Mommy loves when I am like this. I want so much loving that it’s hard for her to even get me back in my cage.

Helloooooo!!!!! That was yesterday!!!! Mommy thought I was being so sweet. But I was just fooling! The minute Mommy puts her hand on my cage door to get me ready for the shower – BAM! I hit that cage with my beak and yell ‘pkkkkkkkkkkk’ – the sound that Mommy makes when the kitties go flying by, chasing each other. Mommy gets me out, but has to be very, very careful. I fly around the room a few times before settling back on top of my cage, and I refuse to do my poo poo. Once on the shower, I’m extremely agitated, and when Mommy’s done, I refuse to let her take me down. I fluff up all of my feathers, and hang onto the towel, hiding behind the shower door. Sometimes Mommy calls Daddy, who is taller, and he gets me down. But if he’s not home, Mommy has to yell, ‘Up!’, which startles me. Even though I still have my feathers all fluffed up, Mommy waves a hand above my head which gets my attention, then quickly says ‘Step up’. She’s got me on her hand now, but she knows that there will be no tickle or loving today. She puts me back on my rope in my cage, and I immediately lunge for the cage latch, as I know Mommy is about to close it.

Needless to say, Mommy hopes tomorrow will be another ‘tickle day’.


Luis  07/25/2007 12:19 pm

Hi there !! I have a Sun Conure, 15 months old. She is very nice, but sometimes, she likes do bite my neck and fingers with no reason. I really don’t know what is causing that. I can say that when she was “younger”, untill 8 months old, she didn’t do that.
I couldn’t relate the action of bitting with anything.

mrs sue hartley  07/25/2007 12:28 pm

This is a wonderfull idea. My 19 month old male Eclectus, Peter has never (up to 1 month ago) bitten me or even atemted to bite. Now when I go in to get him up, (he goes to bed at 10pm and I get him up 10am) about 3 times in a 7 day period attacks me full on, with the attack screach and lurches forward to bite. Up to now I have managed to escape with only a few wounds lol, I keep a close eye on his body language and the look in his eyes usually warns me in time. The thing is that he only does this maybe 3 times a week and it is only first thing in the morning as I am letting him out his cage. There is nothing ‘new’ in the room and the routine has never changed. I listen at the door to see if I hear him in the mornings beore I go in the room, and always cheerfully say ‘good morning Peter’ as I’m opening the door. I’m at a loss. Help please Thanks, sue hartley

Sue  07/25/2007 12:38 pm

Hi Chet…in reading your email you mentioned a red tub filled with Christmas Ornaments. RED ~ I was told by my breeder that birds will react to the color RED! And I have found that this is very true. When I wear RED my Eclectus also reacts. You should see him go after my Mom’s red finger nails…to funny really. So, avoid the Color RED!!! So far I’ve been pretty fortunate with his behavior. But…he is just over one and he hasn’t reached the naughty years!! So I’m told. Ta Ta for Now!

Patti Plant  07/25/2007 12:52 pm

Howdy Chet,

My fiance, John and I are owned by Mali, our male (DNA) 15 year old CAG; Mango, male (DNA), 8 year old Toucan Amazon; and Merlin, male (DNA), 2 year old Goffin Cockatoo. His, Her’s and Ours! We added two Chocolate Lab puppies (sister and brother) to our family, Bonnie and Clyde who are now 6 months old.

This is our first public communication with you. We have learned much from all of your training aids and advice. Thank you!

We are amazed that so many other bird owners share the same problems, love and joy. We thought many of our problem behaviors were unique so we keep on researching, taming, training. treating, blaming (myself, environment, diet, cage location, cages, cage covers, toys, colors, clothes etc. … anything that may have caused our babies to misbehave) and have come to realize that many of the evil streaks that our angels sometimes exhibit are not at all unique to them. Seems to us, by reading all of the responses, that we are all in this together.

I have owned birds for the past 30 years and am constantly learning and changing my behaviors to accommodate a healthy lifestyle for my pets and myself. I could go on and on with problems, environments, diets and so forth but I am so in awe to read that I am not alone in this ongoing experience.

We feel blessed to share our home with our feathered and furry family. But mostly blessed to know that we, Chet and all of the subscribers together may find peaceful, kind, gentle, and loving solutions.

We are looking forward to further communication and seeing more suggestions and appreciate the support from everyone.

Thank you, Patti and John

Jennifer Blair  07/25/2007 12:58 pm

Hello Chet:

I have a 12 year old mollocan ‘too. Shasta came to me from a family that had moved from Alabama. He is typically needy, I think for his type. He loves it when I groom him but I cannot take him in and out of his cage because he bites me. Not my husband, he actually tries to mate with him but has not bitten him as yet. I have been bitten 4 times in the year we have had him. Any advise would be appreciated

Sue  07/25/2007 1:16 pm

Hi Chet:

I have a Blue Fount Amason, I had him for about 2 years, and I think he is about 17 years old. Pete came to me when his family didn’t want him any more and never was home to give him the love that he need. He comes out of his cage and like to play, sing, talk some few words, he like to be on my shoulder’s and walk me, and he love to wet, when I squirt him with water, but he still like to bit, and I don’t know what to do? I don’t what else to do, for him to stop bitting people and fecking the wall.

Bob Berg  07/25/2007 1:24 pm

I have a 4 year old Sun Counure. He hates females. When my wife or daughter come near him he rears back and starts biting. If he is to far away he will bite into the air or bit a toy. He is best friends with my oldest son & myself. When he was very young he was my wifes bird. After about a year this behavior began. Can this be fixed?

The Bird Guy/Bruce  07/25/2007 1:40 pm

Aloha Chet !!!! I am somewhat of a quite observer and enjoyed your videos and CDs in the past…. I have several fantastic birds but I guess I can say I’m blessed cause they mold themselves…..all I do is feed, clean and give them plenty LOVE !!!!! I am always hoping to meet you and your brother in person someday, so if you are ever passing through Honolulu please give me a shout !!!! :) I have over 100 Tropical Birds on my property….. I am a breeder too…. I have around 35 for touching…..I do Private Parties, and visit Schools and Libruaries etc with my Birds!!!!! Lots of Fun !!!! :) Love to hear from you if by chance you are reading this….. Aloha !!!!

The Bird Guy/Bruce  07/25/2007 1:45 pm

Please take a moment to view my website @ and look at the celebertys that have passed my way….. I am hoping to get The Dog soon….but I haven’t been too aggressive for awhile now !!!! I also need to upgrade the site…. and hoping to relocate to a better place very soon….. I am working on connectting with NCL that is Norweighn Cruise Lines !!!! :) or possibly Outrigger Waikiki !!!!Aloha to all !!!

Chris leonardelli  07/25/2007 1:53 pm

Hello Chet,
I have a total of 6 Birds in my home, Two being Cockatails,one Cherryhead-Conure and One mandy Conure, One African Gray and One Military Macaw. But the one bird that gives me the most problems is the Cherryhead Conure. I have had him for 2 years and he bites me every time that I pick him up, I cannot figure out why he doest this. He is about 2 years old I think someone must have been very mean to him. My wife doesnt pick him up by her hand because he bites too much. She has to use a Stick to pick him up, but after the bird is on her she can use her hands to pet him and to put him back into his cage. I just got the Militery Macaw and she is 10 years old I have only had her 2 weeks and My Cherryhead is very jellious of the Big bird and has tried to attact the big bird serival times in the past week. I think he is trying to protect me from the big bird because she bites a little but not in a Violent way. I love all of my birds the same . When I come home from work I kiss my Wife of course then I make my rounds to all of the birds to touch each and everyone. And that does my day untell I go to bed. 12- 14 Hrs at work then 4-5 hrs with My wife and Birds. But the Cherry really needs the most help of them all.I hope I will have the chance to get a Video from you showing how to stop some of the biting from all of the birds. Its really kind of funny to hear my birds when I get home. All at once they all start yelling DAD DAD !! DAD DAD !!All of the people that live next to me laugh and know when and what time I come home because of all of the birds go crazy!!

Mark  07/25/2007 2:11 pm

Hi Chet – I have a Sun Conure that I’ve had for 14 years (got her at 3 moths old) and just recently she’s started atacking and biting my feet. Nothing had changed (environmentally, etc) so I have no idea what triggered her to start doing this. She doesn’t bite or attack anything else, just my feet. Any ideas on why she would have decided that ‘feet’ were her enemy?

Susan  07/25/2007 2:31 pm

My Meyer’s parrot was (is) sweet and wants his head scratched constantly but is content to sit on my leg/arm/shoulder etc. But the problem is when I get on the phone he attacks (I’ve had a fat lip, scares on my arms and fingers, it’s a blood bath. So I’m thinking he’s jealous of my talking on the phone. But that’s too bad. I can’t run away to another room everytime someone calls on the phone. I am also getting a bit nervous having him out of his cage and near my face, arms, legs. You know, once bitten, twice shy.

Linda  07/25/2007 2:56 pm

I have a Grey who kisses me on the mouth and lets me pet him but won’t let me pick him up. Has drawn blood when I’ve tried. If he’s out of the cage he will let me hold him but starts picking at my clothes and trying to bite. He calls me over to the cage all the time for kisses but doesn’t want to be pet.

Linda  07/25/2007 2:57 pm

sorry – I meant he doesn’t want to be picked up.

Patty  07/25/2007 3:19 pm

We have a 2 year old African Grey named Tiki. He’s a good boy and we’ve had no problems with him in the past. We moved his cage from the family room in to a bedroom 1 month ago. We have perches out in the family room, in our bedroom, and on the patio. The move didn’t seem to upset him as he is with us on the different perches when we are home.
Every morning I take him his apples and we give each other kisses. Two days ago Tiki gave me a kiss then bit my lip and drew blood!! Perhaps he was too high up on the cage, and usually I don’t kiss him unless I am taller than he is. However, he’s not tried to bite me in the past, especially in the morning when he knows he’s getting his apple.
Your seminar on biting now would be awesome!! Thanks!

Debra  07/25/2007 3:22 pm

I have a 23 year old male blue fronted Amazon. When he was about 10 he started randomly biting hard. He bit me on the lip, since then I cannot trust him on my arm, shoulder etc. I will only take him off his cage using his training stick; he steps up with the ‘up’ command. I love him but I can’t totally relax around him because of this. He has tried to bite me through the cage bars while I am scratching his head, or chased my feet. Sometimes I think he does this because he doesn’t like something or someone in the room; other times I can’t figure out any reason why he would suddenly change from a sweetie pie into a demon birdie!

Timmi  07/25/2007 3:22 pm

Yet another biting bird tale…I rescued a B&G from a garage sale (of all places!) and he is HUGE! He has been at my house for approximately 2 months and still lunges at me through his cage. If I am very firm when I tell him to step up, he will get on my arm, but he is on alert (fluffed, wings out slightly, etc.) the whole time. I do have several other birds, but I try to give them all individual attention every day. Anyway, he is VERY territorial of his cage, but I’m sure that is because I bought him a Macaw cage, when he was used to being in a cage sized for an African Grey at most. However, he has now taken to getting down off his cage and coming over to me wherever I am and tries to bite my feet! As you can imagine, he has a HUGE beak to go with his huge body. I am not at all afraid of him, but I do get angry with him when he starts his Elephant yell on his cage and then starts to get down. I don’t dare let him out of his cage unless my husband is home. He doesn’t lunge, bite, or even threaten him. I actually had 2 other birds out one time and had to have him “rescue” me from the B&G because I had the other birds.

I do have your course and I have used it on my other birds very successfully, and I have started using it on him, but it’s practically impossible for me to actually get him out of his cage and on a perch without him at least trying to bite me. When he has gotten a hold of me (MAJOR PAIN), I did not react at all, just told him no. Throwing him off balance slightly helps a little at the moment, but then he gets madder and consequently gets worse. I know he’s frustrated and upset by something, but he came from a single bird home and he was even worse there. That’s why they got rid of him. He was allowed to “chase” them around the room on the floor, because they thought it was cute. Little did they know they were giving him the power to rule the roost. Ultimately, what I want to know is if he thinks he’s dominant over me and that is why he behaves the way he does. If this is the case, how do I reestablish that I am dominant? Any info would be great!

Jackie Walechka  07/25/2007 3:36 pm

Yes that would be a great thing to get . Myself I rescue birds and some times they have not been handeled in alot or locked in a cage for years. Or they have not been feed the right food and get them to eat right. Some times it maybe a color of clothing that you have on or it maybe that they do not like sticks/perches. People get birds and they do not think they can take them with them on a move a cross country they like to travel. Others get them and then they find out that they are going to have a baby and then they think they need to get sale them because of that reason. They need to think of these things before they get any pet.

Lucy Smith  07/25/2007 3:46 pm

My umbrella cockatoo named Cisco likes to attack our feet, whether we have shoes, sandals or barefoot. He also gets CRAZY when he sees our pomeranian dog, Petrie. The minute I let Cisco out of the cage he goes to attack! It does not matter if it is outside or inside our home. I can’t trust Cisco and having both in the same room. But he won’t bother our cats, probably cause they leave the room once he is out. We wish to be a one BIG happy family and sit together, but Cisco makes it impossible! Very frustrating!! Can’t wait to hear from you!! Thanks tons! :-)

Kathleen Howard  07/25/2007 4:03 pm

My 26 year old Amazon Mexican Redhead, Toby, started biting me ferociously this year. He bites during the spring, but this year was unbelievable. He bit me on the neck and latched on where I had to use my fingers to pry his mouth open. I have a red raised scars from it. He did the same thing to my cheek and another time right under my eye. He has clamped onto either wrist a couple of times to the point where I have suffered some nerve damage.

I took him to his doctor, Dr. Larry Nemitz (avian specialist in Santa Ana, CA). He said Toby’s brain was sending out a rush of male hormones and that we could shut it down or at least slow it down temporarily. He gave him a shot of Lupron. It is a drug given to men to stop male hormone production when they have enlarged prostates. The male hormone seems to be a factor in the enlargment of the prostate. The Lupron seemed to work on Toby. Dr. Nemitz said that if it didn’t work, he would need to check Toby for other things. He still has bouts of biting, but NOTHING like before the Lupron shot. You may want to ask your vet about Lupron.

Dave  07/25/2007 4:13 pm

Hi I have an 11 year old Grey that really hates me he likes my wife I also have a 6month old Grey that likes me but I am worried that he might start to bite me if he is around the older one is this possible Thanks Dave

richard  07/25/2007 4:19 pm

hi i have a rainbow lorikeet she doesnt bite but im bring this up cuzz i read about all you other people who get bitten and all that thres on simple thing to do tht helps when thy bite you yoiu just flck them on the beak and put them in their cage put a cover over them for 10 mins and do that every time they bite you it worked for me.

mr-ducky  07/25/2007 4:29 pm

dear chet:

i have to cockatiels that are mean.i want to buy your course but i cant afford it.if you sold it for 20 buck or something your would sell twice as much.please lower the price.


Lydia  07/25/2007 5:01 pm

Hi: I have 5 birds, Greenwing, Yellow shoulder amazon, senagal, female ecletus, rose-breast-too all are betweeen the ages of 3 and 4 years. I love them all. Recently I have experience awfull bites from all of them. I cannot figure out why they are so bitty. They want to be love and picked up and play with which I do but I could never tell when the bite is coming. I need help!

J. Thomson  07/25/2007 5:41 pm

Our African Grey will often lash out at us when we are giving her some of our food at mealtime. If you leave your hand near her bowl a few seconds too long when dropping in a slice of sandwich, fruit etc., she will try to take a hunk out of you! Almost like she thinks you are trying to take her food.

amanda goff  07/25/2007 5:48 pm

I have an African Gray that is nice and fun and the cutest thing you could ever imagine….until he is put back in his cage. He is fine with coming and going in and out of his cage on his own and will go when i turn the lights off for bed and he will even spend time in there when i’m home. But when I physically try to put him in there, he turns into a feathered can opener. He just will tear into the boniest part my hand and bite until the pain is unbearable and I pull my hand back and wimper. If I try to change his food and water it’s the same scenario. I have tried a bazillion tricks to thwart his flesh eating habits, but he figures them out within a few days and I again am left with a battle wound all in the name of quality pet care. And that’s a load of crap that I have to deal with that just to take care of the little sucker. I now have infused a towel (a very thick one) in my caging routine, much like that of the super hero and his cape (without it, I will not triumph). This charade has been going on for about 3 months and it must be stopped! So, Chet, how do i do it?

Karen Darr  07/25/2007 5:48 pm

One year ago, I got what I was told at that time was a 2 yr. cockatiel. I am second owner. Baby is now about 3 years old and enjoys having his head scratched or getting a kiss on his head.
For me – he will down his head but, one of two things will happen. He lets me gently scratch his head all over twisting so that I can get every part, but then will get frenzied and try to bite me, or as soon as my hand gets closed enough, he will pop up and try to bite me. Very infrequently, he will let me kiss him or tries to lure me into kissing him, then attacks.
My 82 year old aunt who lives with me can kiss him with no problem – in fact, if she would he would let her kiss him for hours. But he will not let her scratch his head.
Baby, whose wings are clipped, refuses to believe that he cannot fly and makes attempts which leave him sailing to the ground. If my aunt or I go to pick him up, he’s fine and quickly steps up on our fingers without a care in the world. It’s obvious, however, that all he wants at that point, is to get back to his cage. He will sometimes run to our shoulders, but once there, he won’t step up and avoids our hands by shifting to the middle of our backs where we can’t reach him. Once he’s back on the cage, in the cage, or on the open cage door, he becomes a little hellion again – stepping up is definitely not something he is going to do.
I might add that he talks and picks up new words/phase quite frequently. Does tricks when he decides to learn smething or do them (If you try to get him to do something for a treat, just forget it!) He is friendly with anyone who comes to his cage (as long as they don’t try to get him to step up), except me! But he is my baby and I (and my aunt) love him dearly. I know that we three could have a great time, but how??
Questions: Why does he “lure” me then attack? How can we get him to willing step up and get off the cage?

Cynthia  07/25/2007 6:08 pm

Hi Chet,

I have an African Grey named Oz. My husband purchased him for me from a neighborhood pet store about 10 years ago, I don’t know how old he was when I received him. I put him on my shoulder on the ride home, when I reach over to take him off of my shoulder to get out of the car, he latched onto my ear and it felt like he would pull it off!! Luckily, he didn’t and didn’t break the skin!! Since then he’s never let me pick him up. Come to find out he was 1 of 3 birds that were stolen from a pet store in my city and taken to CO by a woman. According to the news she was caught and the birds were returned to the pet store. I was told by the pet store owner that the birds were abused by this woman and as a result WILL NOT allow any female or young boy to pick him up. He will allow a male that has gone through puberty to pick him up once they’ve spent a few minutes with him. My husband and my sons can all hold him, but my daughter and I cannot. He. also, picks his tail feathers out. I assume because of the trauma that he sustained from the “birdnapping”. He’s very smart and a quick study for learning new phrases and sounds. He has quite the repertoire!!

I purchased a training series from you that included the video to help birds to stop biting. It, unfortunately, didn’t help. But, I do love the rest of them.

I feel horrible that I have been unable to tame this Gray for so many years. I have had and do have numerous birds, have raised them from babies, but CANNOT get by this problem resolved. This isn’t in line with your request for random biting stories, but thought I’d try anyway.

Most people would have returned him to the pet shop after not having been apprised of the bird’s background and personality. I, however, didn’t have the heart. I figured he would eventually be sold and re-sold if someone that really cared for birds didn’t keep him. Most people wouldn’t tolerate a biter for too long. I had a bird years ago that did bite and I was able to get him past it.

If you have any suggestions or help I’d really appreciate it!!! I’m teaching my other birds the tricks that are on your videos and I’d sure like to be able to teach him. Thanks for your help!!

Sharon Nykolyshyn  07/25/2007 6:21 pm


I have an umbrella cockatoo (Fred). He was very loving when we got him almost three years ago at the age of about 7.

It seemed like once he got ‘comfortable’ with us the madness began. He would be just as happy as could be and then all of a sudden the attack. Ears, fingers hands etc. bitten to bleeding and, as soon as he has done it he nervously says “hi Fred” (which is about all he says) repeatedly.

It does seem though that he gets more ‘excited’ around men; mostly my husband. It doesn’t get out of his cage much anymore because we just cannot trust him. I have taken him to the vet and everything medically is fine. I believe it is a hormone thing but the vet wasn’t too ready to give him anything.

The people we got him from said there weren’t any behavioral issues but he was given ‘Rescue Remedy” daily.

He also tries to ‘mate’ (rub his tail feathers on my hand) but only if I take him out and my husband isn’t around.

joe  07/25/2007 6:27 pm

We have a scarlet macaw named Marley. He is 12 years old. My brother gave him to us. He has really bonded with me, but doesn’t like my wife. If I’m around he will attack her if he has the chance. If i’m not here he is the nicest bird. When I’m around he only wants me. It looks like this is a common problem. On a side note, we have a problem with him picking his feathers. He had geardea a few years ago and developed the habit. Someone suggested we give a shower daily. Someone suggested we spray aloe vera on him. We can’t seem to break him of it. He is doing better, but is still picking. Thanks for your help.

Dave Byrd  07/25/2007 6:47 pm

I have a three year old male Quaker who is forthe most part loveable to everyone. Recently he has been attacking like you have talked about.
About three weeks ago while a friend was holding him and talking to the bird, and the bird was repeating him everything was fine.Then in a flash after my friend said hello, my bird said hello and proceded to latch onto his nose and to punctured it. He showed no signs of aggression and just snapped. Then just this week after three years he latched onto my lip in the same manner after talking to him. I thought it may be the word used that triggered this out burst,but they were not the same. He dose it after he repeats whot you say to him. Can you help me?

Marie  07/25/2007 6:59 pm

Hi Chet:
I have an African Ringneck 2 years old.(got him from my sister) he rarely bites me except for the other night I put him inside his cage for the night and he bit my hand. Shortly after we got him, he was on my husband’s shoulder and tried to peck his eye. Then a couple of times while sitting on my husband’ finger he bit him hard enough to draw blood.

Cheryl-Lee  07/25/2007 7:08 pm

I have had a male blue Quaker for a little over a year now. He was only 4 months old when I purchased him, for the first six months he was the friendliest fellow, was easy to train and would hop onto the hand of anyone who came near him. Then all of a sudden he became very protective of me and didn’t like other people as much – this wasn’t unexpected as I have had birds in the past become attached to just the one person. But now he will turn vicious and latch onto me for no reason whatsoever! We will be in a room together, he will be chatting away on my shoulder and for no apparent reason will latch onto my cheek or ear in a nasty way – and then act like nothing has happened! I also cannot get near him when visitors are around. When we are alone he is a sweetheart, but when I have company neither myself or visitors can go near his cage as he tries to bite us through the wire! I have had birds become completely attached to me before – but none have ever bit me in such a nasty fashion for no apparent reason?

Nee,Nee  07/25/2007 7:13 pm

Hi Chet, How’s it? We have a catalina macaw an african grey and two cockatiels, all bite when they feel the urge, we can read them pretty well, but not always! I enjoy every e-mail I get from you, and a seminar on biting would be a good thing!
hope to see it soon.

kris  07/25/2007 7:23 pm

may grey will throw up on me while I am holding him then he will bite me so hard I all most need stitches

paula  07/25/2007 7:53 pm

hi gang
I have a quacker parrott hes just 9 months old and learning fast. speech is great, sweet bird, a lover. just about 3 weeks ago he got nasty. yelling constantly, then he bit my friend
who the bird was friends with up to that day. he tore this person nose open badly. he had never bitten anyone seriousely.
I GOT UPSET and called my bird doc, said his little problem was hormons. A few days later he started pleasureing himself on every thing. trust me it was embaressing when you have friends over and “Bubba” is masterbating on the perch.
I called them again and told me no stimulation, keep him to himself and bitting will not stop till this passes.
well he has finally stopped and my lovely singing danceing
bluegrass loving bird is now back. but my friend and I wish someone would have told us that even though there was no girls around that they still go into a breeding type season.
they assured me that as he ages this time of year will not be so bad. gosh I hope he right? does this sound familiar to anyone else. I see mostly all large bird owners here, but this letter has helped with my little bubba’s training.

basmah  07/25/2007 8:02 pm

i have two cockatiels. they try to bite if i stick my finger in the cage but when i take them out and hold them, they dont. its pretty confusing iff they like me or not.

Chris  07/25/2007 8:39 pm

I was given a female Hans Macaw, she was very stressed when we got her. The person hat had her let her sit on non-fertile eggs for 6 weeks or so, she then plucked out her feathers on her legs ,chest and back. I have prayed her with cease and the feathers are going on her back., her legs and chest are still bare. She is fine sitting on my shoulder but when she see hands she strikes out to bite. She will charge the cage when I put food in her dish. To get her off my shoulder we use a perch. What can I do to a sure her hands don’t hurt.

Amazon Love / Hate  07/25/2007 9:14 pm

My dbl. yellow-headed amazon (Birdie) seems to love me more every day. She is about 4 years old.
She started as disinterested but tolerant of my boyfriend when she was young and has moved to balls-out hatred. She also goes from chirping and cooing and talking to me with her love eyes to vicious the minute he comes in view.
She stops everything and gives him the meanest, unwavering hate stare she can muster. And strikes at him as he moves anywhere near her cage.
Help! He feels is afraid to touch her or be near her in any way!

Elisabeth Sander  07/25/2007 9:26 pm

I have a lovely Pink and Grey Galah. She is lovely and affectionate, but randomly she will try to bite half your finger off. I will be giving her a love and scratch and she will just bite for no apparent reason. Or if she is on the floor or the table, she will sometimes jumpout and attack you when you walk past. It makes having her our of her cage like a game of Chance. I would love some advice on this, because she is a lovely happy bird, but the random biting is very painful.

Paula  07/25/2007 10:10 pm

I have an Orange-winged Amazon. He is approximately 30 years old and has been in our family a long time. He bites randomly and he cannot be trusted. I have been using some of your techniques and he is getting a little friendlier and nicer to be around. He is to the point where he is begging me for attention, however, we cannot trust him for very long. He will beg to have his head scratched, and while in the middle of a “trance” he will suddenly turn his head and bite. His house is lower than where we typically stand, and he has learned to use all of his perches because I have been working with him on the lower perches. He seems happier, however, he still lunges at us when we walk by and tries to bite. I realize this may be as good as it gets, but am hopeful you will come up with something that will help. I know to watch for pinning, and when he gets excited and fluffs up I don’t try to touch him, even when he begs for it. It seems in looking through the responses Amazon’s tend to have a biting problem.

Rosemary  07/25/2007 10:41 pm

Hi to everyone around the world from Australia.
I have two young cockatiels – (Piedi – 9 months and Bimbi – 12 months – both males (I think). Both are very affectionate, and playful, but the younger one (Piedi) is very definitely the boss. Piedi chatters away whenever he is with me, while Bimbi is very quiet and only chatters when he is alone. Both travel with me wherever I go, and as I live on a farm, they often come for long walks. Both wear Aviator harnesses, bird backpacks, and are able to fly, should they wish.
Every day they have access to all the native Australian plants around and spend lots of time in the trees searching for seeds and chewing on branches etc.
Bimbi never bites or shows any inclination to do so, but Piedi will sometimes lay back his crest and start tapping madly on my shoulder or hand, if I attempt to remove him from my shoulder, to reposition him, or put him back on his cage. I realize that this is because he is indicating that he does not want to be moved, but there are times when it has to happen!!!
The birds share a very large cage at night time which is kept in a separate room away from the house and they are always “in bed” before it begins to get dark, and they are not disturbed until 9am the next day. They have access to water, pellets, commercial seed, native seeds and branches, fruit and vegetables whenever they are in their room. Their cage is covered on 3 sides, but they are never shut inside, unless there is something around that is unsafe for them.
Both will happily come when they are called, and enjoy playing with anything they can get their beaks on!!!
My only issue with them is Piedi’s aggressive behaviour when he doesn’t want to do something, or I am paying attention to Bimbi.
I have appreciated your training DVDs very much, and have learnt so much from you. A recording addressing the issues that we all have would be very much appreciated.
Thank you Chet.

jessica  07/25/2007 10:54 pm

i have a bare eyed cockatoo who is about 4 years old and she has bitten two people in the face. and she hops and bounces up and down a lot and when she is sitting on my lap after a while she begins to do this. then she begins to try to nip at my finger out of what i think is excitement. i guess my question is how do i stop her from biting out of excitement?

Rose Mary  07/25/2007 11:10 pm

Very interested in ways to correct biting. My cockateil came to me through someone else from an elderly lady. Don’t know his background but that was the most freightened bird I had ever encountered. Hands & fingers reallly scare him as if he has been hurt or aggrivated. Some things I’ve read say to catch him with towel around him to prevent biting and sit and talk quietly for a few minutes every day and they will get over their freight. The two times I took him to a vet to have wings & nails clipped he screeched so loud continuiously that the vet said he couldn’t examine him. I decided not to do that anymore and have removed the top of his cage so he doesn’t freak out when I have to clean the cage. He has come a long way and will even millet held between my lips as long as he doesn’t see hands so I have hope for him. After reading so many of the other emails, maybe I shouldn’t ever let him on my shoulder because sometimes he gets mad at his “fuzzy-buddy” that he sleeps by and fusses at it and bites at it as if he is having a temper tantrum.

April  07/25/2007 11:23 pm

We have 3 birds. A Quaker, a cockatiel and a Meyers Parrot. All Males. The Quaker bonded with me and bites usually when I’m around and he wants me to handle him not my two sons. He’s quite a sight when I give either one of my boys a hug in his vicenity! He has lunged at Andy quite a few times if my son aproaches me when I’m handling the bird. He runs at him with his beak open and ready! Your video tapes on training have helped a lot with this bird. He very much enjoys his training sessions, and does not bite while being trained. And as long as I’m not around, it doesn’t matter who is doing the tricks with him. He focuses on whoever has the treats! We’ve had Verde since he was a month old. He’ll be three Aug. 1

Our second bird , the cockatiel was 4 years old when we got him. He’s a very timid bird, suddenly bites when enjoying a head scratch through the cage bars. We’ve started training him (retraining?) and he will sometimes step up from his cage. He mostly bites when he’s in his cage and doesn’t want to come out! When I do get him out he loves having his head scratched and only kind of nibbles at me to tell me to change what I’m doing. I really want this bird to bond with my son who picked him out, but he’s afraid to work on the pin feathers of this bird because of the nips he’s given. Suggestions?

The Meyers Parrot is a year old. His owner was a 15 year old boy who could no longer keep him. He was hand raised and very tame. He willingly goes to my son, but lunges at adult females. We’ve only had this bird for a couple of months. I can pick him up off the floor or my son’s head, but if he’s on my shoulder and I turn my head toward him I have recieved a bite. (his flight feathers came in and he was flying to my shoulder before we got his wings clipped again) He also sometimes squeezes my thumb hard–like he’s chewing on it when I have picked him up–it hurts! He is very docile in my son’s hands for the most part and other young people. At the breeder’s they said he was biting the women and fine with the men. I want this bird to bond with my son, but there are times when I need to remove him from his cage to clean it, or change his water (he likes to dip his food) when my son is not at home. He lunges at my hands when I’m trying to change the food dishes. I usually give him something to occupy him like a pea pod to shred so I can escape unscathed!

We are planning a big move soon. I’ve noticed our Quaker has usually given me what for (a bite usually) when we return from a trip that he wasn’t included in, and I’d like to make the transition as smooth as possible for the birds. (I don’t like getting bitten!) I have two boys 12 and 11. The 12 year old owns the cockatiel and Meyers, the 10 year old is supposed to own the quaker, but my son was too young when we bought the bird and since I was taking care of the bird it bonded with me. (we’ve learned a lot from this bird!)

I’m looking forward to your new recording!

Susan  07/25/2007 11:39 pm

Hi Chet,
I had a beautiful blue Indian Ringneck that was very sweet to me. One day my son came in to my room and plopped down on my bed. He was laying face down and didn’t move a muscle. Louie, my bird was walking around on my bed. He walked over to my son, gave a kiss on his cheek and walked away. He did this same thing twice, walked over and kissed. The next time, from the edge of the bed, he let out a war cry, ran over and took a small chunk out of my son’s ear, as he still was laying motionless. It was like Louie set him up and then attacked?!!! I witnessed the whole thing, and didn’t know how to handle it.

Shelie  07/26/2007 12:30 am

Hi Chet!
My new baby parakeet, around 12 weeks old, just started biting after I brought him home from the pet shop. How come? I tried to hand feed it to keep it tame, but could not keep up with the schedule, due to work. What can I do to fix this problem before it becomes such a habbit that it cannot be corrected? Help!
Thanks a million…

Lance Fitzgibbons  07/26/2007 1:14 am

We have an African Grey(10)(F) and a Meyers(3)(M). The Meyers is very aggressive towards the grey, where the grey just fends off the Meyers and goes on her way. The Meyers is normally very affectionate and friendly to both my wife and I, where the grey is mine and tollerates my wife.

His two biting times are:

(1)He will attack your hands if you bring a plastic container with his food or snacks in. It’s very fast and he growls during the attack. He also will attively seek out the plastic containers on selves and such, and attempt to open them to get the treats.

(2)He likes to sit on my shoulder while I am working on a remodeling project and seems very interested in tools. Sometimes he sits on my shoulder in the kitchen when he will start to fly back and forth from a perch to my shoulder and WHAM – lock on to my ear lobe – not let go-and draw blood.
It happens maybe once every 4-6 weeks, so I get lulled into trusting him. Then the trust is gone and bad feelings fill the air.

Maurine  07/26/2007 1:20 am

A two year old Quaker parrot. Can be a love but does have a temper. Bites very hard and also blood blisters. Also chases bare feet and nips them. So all your owners certainly make me feel better sharing their problems. Yes, we have bonded very well.
Anxious for your suggestions.

Maree  07/26/2007 1:47 am

Hi Chet,
Thanks for the oportunity.
I have a Quaker parrot that I reared from three weeks old (he’s now a year and a half) Until 3 months ago he was the sweetest baby ever. Now he’s the bird from hell, biting everybody in the family including me. Even though he’s kindda cute because he says “Don’t bite me” as he’s biting someones finger off he’s just getting too mean to handle. Nothing’s change, everything’s the same except for his biting. Please help!!!
Regards, Maree

Herbert  07/26/2007 6:40 am

Hi Chet,

I have two umbrella cockatoos, one male (9 yrs) and one female (10 yrs). I have had both since they were babies. Both are very sweet, wear harnesses and love long walks outside. We get many stares and friendly inquiries on our walks. My boy is extremely outgoing and friendly and wants to meet many new people. For years I was able to trust him to sit on other people’s arms for pictures or just to be friendly. Just recently he has bitten two people on the face and now I am very reluctant to allow him access to anyone but me. I see it hurts him to not have the close contact but I fear the liability. I wish he would bite me instead. That I can handle and correct. Thank you.

Rashmi  07/26/2007 8:05 am

Hi Chet,
I have an African Grey – Polly – she is the most sweetest adorable bird I have ever seen. She has been with us for 2 years and we used to leave her open even we go out to work. For past few weeks, she has started pecking at furniture and creating a big mess in the house. We have now started leaving her in the cage when we go out and while we are in, she is a free bird. I agree that must be very frustrating for the bird and she pecks me very hard every morning when I am trying to put her into the cage. How do we stop this. Sometimes out of pain, i hit her also (not very hard) but for her to know that she is doing something wrong! Help me pleeeeeeeeeeeeeese. I read al your newsletters very regularly.

Daryl  07/26/2007 9:32 am

I have 2 LSC’s and a Jenday Conure. The male cockatoo is fine – never moody. The female is another story. After owning her for about 8 years – one day she attacked my toes, nearly severing one of them from my foot. My house looked like a crime scene! To this day, I cannot walk barefoot when she is out of her cage. That is the only time she bites viciously-and only toes! Later in the year – she laid 2 eggs!
The Jenday aka Rottweiler went nuts. If there was a mental home for birds – I would have enrolled him. He spent 1 hour hanging onto my chaps and riding boots refusing to let go & biting whatever he could lay his beak on! He even rolls onto his back and throws a tantrum! He was doing the same things as Paula’s quaker. I was thinking of e-mailing Chet as I was getting desperate!

Trish  07/26/2007 11:05 am

This is just the sort of behavior I was seeking to curb when I happened upon your website! My eight yr. old Ducorps Cockatoo, Casper, is usually very loving, but occasionally just goes nuts! He will suddenly fly at my face (nailed me once, causing nerve damage to my lip) or running across the floor to bite my feet. In the mornings, he is exceptionally aggressive and it is a given that I cannot open his cage or even fill his food bowls without using extreme caution. EVERY DAY he is that way. I’ve just tried to accept the fact that he is not a “morning bird” and is a nasty grouch in the mornings. Any help you have to offer would be great!

Tommi  07/26/2007 11:50 am

You’re web site and tips are wonderful.

We have an ongoing problem with a Parrotlet named “Niblet”. Niblet was rescued from a pet store after being there only 3-days. Seems the clerks did not understand that a bird will use it’s beak to step up on an offered finger. When Niblet used the beak, the clerk freaked and as she shook her finger to get the bird off, he clamped down harder. Eventually, the tiny bird was sent sailing across the room. We immediately purchased Niblet when we saw this. Now, he has fallen in love with our male Amazon Smeagle. (He even cacks up to feed him.) Consequently, whenever Smeagle shows love to us, Niblet will attack. He will run at our feet and fly at our head and try to bite any available human bit.
He feisty little bird with a big bird attitude – he will go after the dogs. With him it is always “wanna bite”.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Jewel  07/26/2007 11:54 am

Hi Chet,

I have 2 birds. An Umbrella Cockatoo who has always been sweet to me and I never ever had to worry about her biting me. Until recently. She has for years been untrusting of my husband. and chews her feathers also. Lately she spends time on the bottom of the cage and runs from both of us as though we are going to kill her. She will not let me near her and it breaks my heart.

The other is a Senegal Parrot who to was real sweet until he got loose and flew into a tree in the woods. We eventually got him down by pushing him out of the tree so he would fall to the ground as he was tired by this point. I brought him in and ever since he bites me. Pretty ferouciously. He would lunge at me run at my feet even thrust himself at the cage to try to bite me. He has gotten to a point where he will let me pet him sometime but with the random biting. He stays very rigid most times.

I can’t trust either one of them now, or get them to cut claws and wings.

I want my sweet birds back.!

Pat  07/26/2007 12:10 pm

We have a four year old African Grey parrot. He is usually talkative and gentle and co-operative. He is out of his cage most of the day. Sometimes, often without any warning, he will bite. This has happened when my back is turned from him. Ii am the only one he has bitten.

Gina  07/26/2007 12:25 pm

I have 3 birds. One that screems alot, one that is pretty mellow and an African Grey that will attack for now reason. I have had all three for about 14 years, so they are used to each other. I can not blame the biting on the other birds being around, but the grey will attack for no reason. Sometimes he is the sweetest bird and just in a instance, draw blood. I do not pick him up with my finger anymore. I use a stick and have for years. That works as far as getting him from place to place but it sure would be nice to have him not attack. Let me know what you can out to help.

Marty  07/26/2007 12:44 pm

I have a 1.5 year old African Red Belly. He is very cuddly in the AM but comes the evening, 8:00 PM, he doesn’t want to be disturbed and will nip. Recently he began bitting a lot more often at random times for no apparent reason – a real Jekyll and Hyde. I have been told some of it may be sexual maturity. He unfortunately is a one person bird – I understand Afircan species are like that – and I have been able to recognize when he is about to bite and avoid the injury – for a little bird he can still draw blood. With the summer months upon us and the use of our AC I had to move his cage right in front of a window – I understand that is not the best thing for their behavior but believe it or not the bitting has subsided quite a bit with the move. Not sure it’s related but he does like the window better than the spot he was in before – more natural light and more activity by his cage. Comes the winter I am inclined to move him away from the window but not sure how now he will like it.

Kim Anderson  07/26/2007 2:23 pm

Hi Chet, I see I wasn’t published. Did I misunderstand what you wanted for an address? snail or e-mail?

My male african grey congo is approximately 20 years old. He is imported and I have had him since he was about 2. He has gone through all the child to adult phazes of life as we do and maintains a vocabulary and intelligence similar to a 2-4 year old. Humphrey Bogart still has outbreaks of deliberate biting. Such as he does not like to get onto my hand willingly from his cage. I will greet him with my hand petting his beek and he tastes and nibbles in his hello fashion. As recently as two weeks ago he turned that into a major bite that was so deep it is still healing. I do not know when I am home if let out of his cage he will deliberately attack my husband doing his exercises on the floor. I will be interested in knowing how you have learned how to intterupt these behaviors and how to curb them.

Thank you Chet, Signed Paitently Waiting To Hear, in Marion, WI

Vickie  07/26/2007 2:46 pm

Hi I have an African grey who will be the sweetest bird most of the time but out of the blue he will decide to take a hunk out of my hand. You can be getting kisses and all of a sudden bam he has gotten you. I am the only person he will let touch him and has bonded with me only. He will not let anyone else touch him but loves for people to stand in front of him and talk to him. He does not try to bite unless they try to touch them. Me he just decides that he needs some fresh blood every now and then and will chomp down on my hand arm head just what ever is close to him. Hope you can help

Brent  07/26/2007 4:34 pm

Hi Chet! I am a ten year old boy who uses your program. It’s really cool! I have 2 budgerigars named Molly & Sasha while I have an african grey named Tobi. She dosn’t bite a lot, but she does it HARD! i never used your tapes so I will try too. I love reading your emails! Tobi is a new bird & I think whenever I put my finger near her face & she bites, that teaches her to do it. Maybe she’s scared. ??? She is extremely intelligent. She always whistles & she is trained to step up. I got her from a breeder all the way in Georgia! But anyways, please email me some suggestions at

Thanks so much Chet! Cheers!

Michelle  07/26/2007 5:10 pm

Hi Chet,

I have an African Grey, 8 years hold and he is very nice, every night he is with me playing and fliying around free from is cage. When the phone is ringing he is scared and if he is on my shoulder or arm he bites me and goes away or he bites me for any reasons I cannot trust him anymore because I never know when he is gona bite me and where. When we start to play an having fun together he became to be very excited an then he decided to bite me for no reason. Sometime he fly and come on my shoulder and bite me hard on my arm or head and go away very fast. If I put my hand in is cage to feed him he can bite me very hard (blood). I love my parrot but the situation is not normal and painfull for my body(the bites), I cannot trust him anymore.
Thank you!

Rebbecca  07/26/2007 7:58 pm

I have a Military Macaw, I have had him for about 6 years now, he was abused at his last two homes, he was very mean when I first got him, no one could tell me much about him, but he randomly bites, he use to draw blood every time but now not so much. I let him take his time to come to me which he will do,he wont let me touch him(unless its dark)he will let my young nephews touch him, but he is always trying to regurgitate on them so they don’t like to hold him anymore. He will sit on my shoulder at times very quiet and content then all of a sudden pull my hair or startle me. He sits on the back of the car seat and randomly pulls the kids hair or bites their ears, or anyone sitting in the passengers seat where he is. Sometimes he will get on the ground when someone comes over he doesnt like and attack their feet, or climb on the sofa and bite with blood on his mind.
I also have a 9 year old female B&G and here lately she also has been biteing, she is my best friend in the world, and has always been a pretty good girl, she is spoiled, but loveing, she has taken to biteing my nephew which I live with, and my grandson, whom she use to love to death. I use to take her to their school for show and tell. And she has been traveling for years back and forth from Montana to Portland, and has spent alot of time in rest areas visiting with all the people. Now I am nervous to how far to trust her. I would love to hear your comments

Karen Travers  07/26/2007 7:58 pm

I have a red headed Amazon that is 18 months old. We obtained this rescue bird when its nest was cut down during clearing for a nearby development. We hand fed him, and he has been snuggly, very friendly, talking, etc. My husband and I just went back to the US (from Belize, where we live) for two weeks. Upon our return, Yoda is hissing, lunging and for the first time with any of our five parrots, drew blood. No more snuggles. Is he just punishing us for being away? Our housekeeper was here. She feeds the parrots every day, so she is no stranger.

John Tromp  07/26/2007 8:07 pm

Dear Chet,
ever since I bought your disk on parrot training I have been trying to get back to you. It really works! (Although I am a lazy trainer).
I sometimes play your DVD and he sits on my shoulder and watches too.
“he” is a plumheaded parakeet named, “Udy”, short for Hudini because in the beginning he was always trying to get out of his cage (and succeeding).
Udy is now in his third year and got his male plumage at the last mold.
I have him flying through the house from about 3 pm onwards, when it gets dark he puts himself to bed. I hope that this writing will find it’s way to you,
Kind regards,

I could not find any where to contact you.

Joseph  07/26/2007 10:31 pm

Hello Chet,

Just thought you might think about running the teleseminar for local subscribers and recording all the questions and answers as well as your recording for overseas subscribers. Your recording could then adddress issues that perhaps weren’t raised in the teleseminar. I know that I would get a lot out of hearing you answer other people’s comments as they probably have many of the same issues anyway. This way we would all have the best of both worlds. What do you think?

Lance  07/26/2007 11:25 pm

I think it be a good idea to set up an adio phone line for bird questions it would solve lots of problems

Alex Navarro  07/26/2007 11:28 pm

I have had a quaker parakeet given to me about 10 years ago. My friend had it for about 5 year before he gave it to me. His name given to it by my friend is THOR, thinking it was a male.

It turned out to be a female. When ever she starts laying eggs (unfertilized) she becomes extremely aggressive. The first couple of times I allowed her to lay a clutch and even made a next for her in the bottom of the cage, but she was just too agressive. Now as soon as she lays an egg, I immediately remove it from her cage and she remains sweet and docile.

The bird is extremely docile with me, but when I have it on my hand or shoulder and someone else (specially a female) approaches her to put it on their hand, she starts to bite ME!

When someone else approaches her cage, she will go on their hand without any problem. When ever I have her, she will not transfer to another person and begins to bite ME.

Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks.

kay daughtry  07/27/2007 12:35 am

My male blue pacific parrotlet has been a wonderful little guy since he was hatched July 9, 2006. That is, until about 4 months ago. Without warning he began taking bites and charging at me when he was in and out of his cage. I talked with my avian vet, and he told me to walk away from him when he displays that behavior. He will flair his tail and lower his head at the mention of “step up”. I followed the vet’s directions, but I am beginning to wonder if my cute and cuddly friend will ever return. I have wondered if he is hormonal since he has become “very good friends” with his swing. I have always taken him lots of places with me and he has always seemed to enjoy the attention, and loved to get out of his carrier to talk with people (wings are clipped). This whole phenomenon has made me very sad. I have tried to think of what might have started this as the behavior seemed to come out of the blue. It is something I am doing I want to fix it and fast. Otherwise his life should be fairly wonderful….. lots of toys, good food, heated perch, large cage, sleeping cage upstairs, lots of attention. Help!

Karen Sorensen  07/27/2007 2:43 am

Hi Chet,
Thanks for the letter! I have real big problems with my African Grey (Gracie). She is so moody and sometimes very mean. I got her at 3 months and she is now 6 years old. She was always loving the 1st 2 years then got mean. Lately she has gotten better again but has episodes like running over to attack my feet. She has never really let anyone handle her but me, lately she has had a very big crush on my daughters boyfriend and flys down to him everytime he comes over and sometimes lets him pick her up to let him massage her. This is totally weird for her!!! She is so hard to work with and scares me sometimes with the biting. Can a bird have mental problems? I love her but just don’t know what to do with her uncertain behaviors. I really need some serious help in figuring her out and how to work with the multi-problems she has. The bird tricks CD and the stop biting never worked for her. She tries to intimidate me which I don’t let her do because I don’t back down at all but she continues to try, even when I feed her (changing feed in bowls). I am completely at my wits end.

donna  07/27/2007 3:15 am

my cockateil is very unpredictable at times. he loves my hsband and always wants to play with him and wants him to love him (my cockateil) always but loves to come to me an sleep. he will be enjoying a stroke from me and suddenly bites my hand and then goes and pulls the socks or towel or any cloth on the chair or sofa. he has these times where he suddenly comes and bites me and my husband and makes these attacking noises with his beak open. he would not let anyone touch him. then after a minute he calmly comes and sits with my husband as if nothing happened. he loves any kind of cloth hanging on the chair or table and would not let anyone take’s all his. how do I understand his behaviour and make him stop biting us and attacking us.

Girish  07/27/2007 3:52 am

Hi, I had purchased 4pairs of common lovebirds & 1 pair of African lovebird & put it in a single cage. After 3 months there are 3 common lovebirds & 1 african lovebird(yellow one) left. Now i’am planning to give back these birds. I’am planning to buy cocktail. Is it noisy r silent bird. Which colour is good & attractive. Can we keep these birds out of cage. Can we train these birds. Here in India 2yr old Maccaw is costing around 1.5 lakhs(inr). What about the cost of these 2 birds. Can u give full details about cocktail.

Amanda  07/27/2007 4:35 am


I have a 20 year old Yellow Sulpher Crested Cockotoo. For some reason she will come galloping down the back yard and attack my feet. She has drawn blood on the back of my heel. I have tried to stand my ground to show her that i am not scard, by letting her bite my shoes, but she thinks this is funny and keeps on attacking my feet. It is getting very annoying as i can not go out in my back yard when she is out.
By the way she does have a broken wing and can not fly. It has been broken since she was a baby.

Jack A.  07/27/2007 8:44 am


I enjoy walking my dog and taking my african grey for a
wak on my shoulder. A neighbor recently stopped me on
the street and told me that placing the bird on my shoulder
was extremely dangerous. One inadvertant strike and I
could loose an eye.
. He said Parrots are very unpredictable and
should not be trusted so close to the eyes.

I never gave this a thought before his comment but now I
worry. Have you heard any pro or con experiences on
this subject?
Regards, JACK

Jan Haggerty  07/27/2007 10:30 am

Beau, my African Grey, has his own cage but also likes to sit atop Joey’s (my Goffin cockatoo) cage. Whenever I am filling Joey’s waterbowls, Beau slides down Joey’s cage and leans over and starts pulling my hair and, eventually, bites me. Beau’s wings are not clipped (because Joey is extremely aggressive and has to stay confined in her cage most of the time until “community” time each day or I take her outside for exercise). So, Beau is capable of flying throughout the room, primarily, to protect himself from Joey’s aggression and to increase his capability for foraging (which I understand is a need that Grey’s have). Both Joey and Beau seem to have bonded to each other in an odd way; however, Beau has started plucking himself for the first time since we’ve had him. He is 10 years old and has never had any type of problem of this sort but his entire neck is plucked. I bought him a new cage and he’s beginning to go in and out of it but anytime he gets onto my shoulder or my finger, he, eventually, winds up biting me—-viciously. I’m trying to spend more time with him and it seems to be helping but I think he’s mad about something. I have your initial training/tricks course and it has helped tremendously to gain more control over all three of my birds (one umbrella, one goffin’s and one African Grey (Beau). All three of them stay in one large room with their own space and I spend up to 3 hours a day with them, both individually and communally. They are my delight. Thanks for your help.

Makarand  07/27/2007 10:42 am

I have a 1 year old hand reared indian ringneck female(most probably),during her first three months she was very sweet and then i started putiing in her in the cage.Ever since she has become aggresive and has never regained that previous sweet behaviour.Although she is a pretty good talker but she no longer remains as friendly as before,please advise.
Regards,MAKARAND (India)

Margie  07/27/2007 11:05 am

I have 4 macaws. 2 Scarlets and 2 blue & golds. They all randomly will bite, and I’ve learned the signs to look for. However, Jasmine (6 year old scarlet) has become very aggressive to the other birds. She torchers them: chases them all over the cage and takes food from them, blocks entry to the water and has attacked the other scarlet pretty severely once. This has started to subside and get back to normal, but can you offer any advice as to why? I thought jelousy because she doesn’t want any of them to get close to me, but this happens when I’m not around.

Three females and one male – could mating have something to do with it?

me  07/27/2007 11:16 am

i have a yellow love bird. shes normally very sweet and affectionate but sometimes she reaches down and bites you so hard it leaves a mark. and it hurts!!! she likes to bite ears the most, and she does unexpectedly.

Jack Riccardi  07/27/2007 1:08 pm

Howdy Chet, hey, if you answer any three or four of the previous letters, I believe you will have addressed my Military Macaw’s issues. I am constantly taking parrot outside while I work and placing her on diffferent perches, and in her travel cage. She is always aggressive towards my wife, and biting me more than a lov nip since I have been cutting her nails. She doesn’t like baths,misting, or towels, but will play under a cover on the couch or bed or blanket outside.

I need to be confient she won’t bite others, and handle her for nail trimming without a vet.

I have been giving her your pellets, and she seems to have gotten more ‘frisky’.

Thanks for your time.

Sigrit Morghen  07/27/2007 1:58 pm

I have a double yellow head amazon who was wild caught. I have had him for 34 years when I rescued him off a kid that had him stuck down his sleeve. After all this time we are not friends. He’s unpredictable. I handle him only with a stick to move him about. He’ll come after me for no reason I can discern. I would love to know how to deal with that.

Sarah  07/27/2007 2:19 pm

I have a 12 month old cockatiel and she is the cutest thing ever! but lately, she’s been getting aggressive and biting everyone. she’s usually good with guests and lets them scratch her head, but now she’ll bite them and try to get to me. all of a sudden, she’ll be sweet again. A few minutes later, when I try to calm her down, she’ll nip me. she has weird mood swings. I really want to understand why shes doing this and how I can stop it.

walter teper  07/27/2007 2:55 pm

After reading the probelms everyone elce has I guess we don’t have it so bad but I don’t want my 6 mounth old Senegal to turn for the worse. He?? wil come up on my shoulder and after a while look for a skin tag and pinch at it. I gently srug my shoulder to cut him off where he squeeks a little then forgets it for a while. While watching birds in the wild they do seem to play with each other with bitting and pecking. Sometimes I think he is just wanting to play “bite”.

Rebecca  07/27/2007 4:46 pm

I have a 5 year old Galah and a 4.5 year old Sulfur crested cockatoo. Lately the sulfur crested will be playing and then he just runs at me and tries to bite me. We haven’t put anything new in the rooms where they play and they get about ten hours of sleep nightly. He has also started screaming when my husband gets home from work. HELP!!!

mary  07/27/2007 6:50 pm

I have a Blue and Gold. she just turn 3 on Jluy 5th. this last month when I take her from the porch to the T stand or to her cage in the other room she will pinch me . not bite but pinch, which is just as bad. and then tell’s me ouch. so she knows. so I tell her Im gonna pinch you back. and pinch her foot. not hard easly and tell her thats not nice stop pinching. But I notice that when I have the arcadia door open to the porch and she is playing on tree stand and bring her in she dose noy pinch me. but when I have the arcadia door closed because the air conditioner is on thats when she dose it. I cant bake in the house.. could this be the reason Mary

Kaleb  07/27/2007 8:03 pm

I have a nine month old grey cockatiel. latly he will sit on my hand or sholder and then sodenly start biting me for no reson at all! please help.

Cody Hargett  07/27/2007 8:05 pm

I have a sun conure, Angel, 14 yrs old, who is the love of my life but can be a real pill. I dare not approach her while wearing a hat or putting on a coat because if I do – I get bit. And she draws blood.

I worry about carrying her on my shoulder because I forget and pick up a towel or some piece of clothing and she will nail me.

Then there are times when we hold out our finger for her to get up and she will bite the finger for no reason. It is totally beyond our understanding of why she does this.

I certainly want to hear about your recommendations to resolve this biting issue.

Ann  07/27/2007 8:47 pm

My 2 1/2 year old Umbrella Cockatoo thinks he is a dog barking like both dogs we have. He goes to school with me where I am the principal. He loves to talk and dance for the children. The problem we are having is he will move fast towards someone to try to bite them on the neck. Yesterday, he saw one of the custodians coming in my office by his cage. He threw up his crown and lung at her towards her neck. Last week he had been loving and sitting on my nephew’s shoulder. Out of the clear blue he bit him on his neck.

Hannan loves to be held and enjoys being outside climbing around in the small trees in my yard. I have notice he will try to bite me on my head or hand when I try to get him down when he is not ready.

Any suggestions to stop this behavior will be greatly appreciated!

Eliza  07/27/2007 10:10 pm

Our triton is a very sweet bird. She really loves to be with me but gets along with my husband who does the daily chores.

For some reason, even though she loves me more than my husband, our triton will randomly bite me out of no reason.

It’s not jealousy or out of defence. She’ll be sitting quietly and all of sudden bite me. Even though she’s never drawn blood, I’d like to know why such a behavior happens.

Jodie  07/27/2007 10:44 pm

Dear Chet,

I have an Yellow Indian Ringneck female who is about 3 years old she was always extremely friendly until i started work, then she started biting i have had to put her in an aviary outside as i am too scared to play with her since she flew at my face, latched onto my lip and wouldn’t let go, she had already attacked many times before and drawn blood but that was the the last straw she really scared me. i have tried to contact you to purchase your videos in the past with no success. I would be extremely interested in receiving some help to stop the biting.

Ruth  07/27/2007 10:47 pm

I have a 4 month old Quaker Parrot who has been bitting my husband for NO GOOD reason. My husband recently got laid off from work so he is home most of the time. Today my husband let him out of his cage to feed him. Kiwi flew over and landed on my husbands shoulder. He started bitting on his ear and then found a skin tag on his neck, which he tore off making my husband bleed. This isn’t the first time he has been aggressive toward him. When my husband tried to get him off his shoulder and put him back in the cage, he became even more aggressive and bit his finger. Kiwi will get aggresive with me, especially when he is eating or I try to put him back in the cage. I purchased him almost two months ago and had to hand feed him for about 3 weeks. Kiwi gives me “kisses” but I am afraid he will bite my lip too hard.

Do I thump his beak? I am not sure how to control him. I tell him, “BE nice, don’t bite!” Although Kiwi is a small bird, he sure has a mean beak!

Barb  07/27/2007 10:47 pm

Our Sun conure will be 3 in November and is usually very friendly, but he just will dive at me and bite on occasion. He has also started biting when I tell him “up” to take him out of his cage. He tries to bite me at the same time he is getting on my finger and will almost act like it is a game to him. He has bite into my lip and cheek with such speed and force that it really scared me. He didn’t break the skin either time, but hit with force. Both of those times I thought he was just enjoying himself and then Bam! I know they are wild birds, but it just seems to come out of no where when it happens. I would love to hear your ideas on how to control this problem now before it becomes a major problem.

Cindy  07/28/2007 1:09 am

I have an 11 year old Black Headed Caique (ky-eek), I have had him since he was a baby and weaned away from his mother. I am his “human” … He has been attacking me like you would not believe. One of the bites were so bad I had to go to the ER and have my ring cut off of my finger, he doesn’t just bite, he shreds. I had him in the living room, but then I thought, well, maybe he is biting because it is too cold in the living room, so I moved him into my bedroom. I feel bad, because he loves to be out of his cage, however, I am petrified that I am going to be sleeping and he is going to attack me in my sleep – yes, he loves to be on my bed with me. I don’t know if he senses my stress and anxiousness or what, but I am very sad that he is acting this way. Also, while I am in my room, and Cooper is in his cage, he makes some really weird noises and I don’t know what the noises mean. Other than that, I am also very sad, because I am moving – it will only be temporary – and I can’t have him with me, so I am having a friend of mine watch Cooper and I don’t know how long I am going to be away from him for. However, Cooper is going to a person that I know is good with him and Cooper loves him – he watches Cooper whenever I go out of town, he is the only one that I trust to watch my “baby”.

Sandi  07/28/2007 1:41 am

My Sun Conure, Pepper, is a sweet little bird and is good to everyone (except kids until they feed her a few times, then she likes them too.) However, she does have “issues.” She will bite me if I try to drink from a plastic bottle or eat yougurt from the plastic container. I have a “reacher” to get things from the top cabinet shelves, and every time I pick it up she flies to me and bites me. She never breaks the skin.
She used to love laundry day. She would ride in the laundry basket of clothes. Then my husband got her her own small basket. Now she flies to our laundry basket and bites at whomever is holding it. We have to keep her in her cage on laundry day. At least I know when she is going to attack. But we don’t know why these things bother her.

Jim Saunders  07/28/2007 2:48 am

It is funny you would send this email right now. I also have a Blue and gold Mccaw and I have had him several months now and he is becomming more friendly every day. I am able to pull him out of his cage by his beak and pet him under his wings. I read an article a while back and it said that for the most part that mcaws threaten you with their beak and jump at you and when you stop pulling your hand back in fear they will stop.It took me a few days to get the courage to do this and it has worked. He no longer sqeals and lunges at me. His disposition is for the most part totally submissive. But just this last week I ran into the old owner that had him for a year and told him how the bird was with me and he could not believe how I had changed him.Barney has not bitten me yet. He has grabbed me with his beak with a lunge but does not clamp down. However this week the old owner that had him for a year came over and Barney was getting rough with me and did clamp harder with his beak. He would not act right while the old owner was around and was rough with him also. I did feel he would bite me while the old owner was here.Of course he lunged at the old owner also and probally would have bitten him. I have noticed when my wife is around Barney will fluff his feathers up. When my wife hugs me in front of Barney he will lunge at her.If I am not around he is very nice to her.It was just this week that this Bitting started and made me a little concerned. I had total trust of this bird before this old owner came over. It has been a couple of days now and Barney is back to his freindly self.

gayle mcintyre  07/28/2007 5:35 am

i have a african ring neck coco loco. i have had her for two years , and in this time i have tried every thing to get her to calm down but she will not . she would rather bite than be handled.

Rosario  07/28/2007 8:18 am

I have a white capped pionus parrot that was given to me 2 years ago. don’t know it’s age or gender but it’s name is Rocky. Bites alot and won’t let anyone near it’s cage – but I have talked to him in a quite voice that seems to calm him and he lets me change his food and water, and also clean his cage. He has even started to let me pet him on his head at times and will sometimes climb on my hand and up my arm were I than can walk around the house so that he can look all around. He will sometimes talk but not all the time. But there are times were he looks like he is going to be friendly and all of a sudden – bam – he starts to bite and attack like he is so pist off! I know for sure that the color dark teal sets him off so I try not to wear that color near him?? He does not like loud noices of any kind – voices people talking loudly, music that is loud, vacuum cleaner, lawn mower – etc. apparently he was abused with his previous owner – were the teenagers played very loud music and threw things at his cage to get him to stop making all the noise that he makes when he is upset. I had his feathers clipped so that he can’t fly around and get hurt – and I thought that would calm him some in the biting but that did not. Although if he lands on the floor – he will climb back up your hand so that you can put him back in his cage. I just want a nice friendly parrot that won’t bite my family or me for that matter all the time.???

Chong Lindsey  07/28/2007 11:31 am

Hi Chet,
Thank you very much keep send me your news letter. I read every one you send to e-mail enjoy them this is very interesting. today I read the latest one you send, your word means Christian words which I feel loved, I figure that you too a Christians. Let God Blessing you and all of your birds.
I have 7 Cockatiel in one Large Cage. Only one name we call Chita a boy has good and bad mood who has mixed feeling. when he becomes bad mood while sleeping or doze off? I try to change their food tray stick in my hand in the cage? he is the only one to bite me or bite everything that moves close to him.
he is very well tamed, understand words. do you know what I do? I calling him softly Chita Chita make him attention at me and say come to me!
stick my finger out to his chest first he run and i keep push gently he comes. at this time no bite. all other birds are pretty gentle not bite unless I try catch them forcely quickly not to wasting my time when time come take to bath once a week. when I stick my hand in to the cage to catch them this action cause them aware only couple of them like always to flee away from me at first, once I catch them put my chest hold them with my hand and they bite my finger, I always speak to them softly and kissing them to come down while transfering livingroom to bathroom then they try not to bite my lips but bite my cloths or buttons finger nails instead bite my lips. that’s only time when they become excited. I then set them in bathroom beside mirror 2 birds at a time with their shower stander they wait all 7 birds gether together in same rod of stander they all are calm down fine, they love to take shower, however before take shower they getting so excited make big deal of it, when they become quite I let start on spray shower put them in the shower tub for about 10 minutes. I give bath them once a week. I take an habit to believed this are the normal bites of their habit.

Linda Hobbs  07/28/2007 12:00 pm

I hve a ten year old Congo African Grey that has a strange habit. I can be sitting on the sofa watching TV and he’s on his perch next to the couch. All of a sudden without any provocation that I can discern he leaves the perch, flies over and lands on the top of my head and starts to pull my hair and bite at my scalp. My housemate often has to intercede to get him off since I can’t see where he is to offer a good step-up command! HELP!!

Linda Macias  07/28/2007 12:59 pm

My 8 year old Panama Amazon ( AleJandro ) who I hand fed, Taught to speak in Spanish and English decided he likes my husband better and lunges at me when he is in or on top of his cage. Sometimes when I tell him ARRIBA ( up) he will get on my hand butm most of the time he trys to bite me. When I first let him out of the cage he will let me rub his feathers on his head backwards.
Any stranger who comes in he either turns his back on them or will try and bite
I cover his cage at night but, don’t always get him to bed early enough.Could he just be tired and grouchy ?
Please Help!

Abbas  07/28/2007 3:55 pm

My Sun Conure plays with me, but suddenly rears back and bites me. What do i do?

Zoe  07/28/2007 5:10 pm

I have a 16 year old sulphur crested cockatoo who most of the time is a sweetheart, however several times a year,he turns into a satan version and is horrid. I have several scars on my face and hands where he has taken chunks out for no apparent reason. When he is like this, I can not dare risk taking him out of his cage. He flew at my shoulder a couple of weeks ago and bit my neck drawing quite a lot of blood. I presume he is hormonal, I have other birds that have never reacted like this. He is particularly fond of my little hahns macaw but even she has seen the brunt of his beak and I had to take her to the vets a few months ago as he bit her beak. I have had him for 4 years now, and every year this problem gets worse.
He is really a mans bird, and when I split up with my ex 3 years ago, my ex was going to keep him but then the bird bit him too close to his eye for his liking so the bird came back to me and the rest of his “family” My new boyfriend has been “accepted” into the clan and my bird loves him, probably more than me,but I tell the boyfriend not to trust the bird, just in case.
ANy tips would be really helpful.. thank you very much

Maria Zubel  07/28/2007 7:48 pm

From what we have been able to put together, we are at least our five and a half year old Congo African Grey’s sixth home. She has been with us for a little over two years now and is generally a very nice bird, although she does seem to enjoy petting too much. We praise Greylen when she lets us pet her, but she hardly lets our son ever touch her. Sometimes when my husband or I are carrying her to her roosting cage, she will just reach down quick and pinch our hand hard with her beak–even though SHE asked to go to bed. The only thing I can think of is that our 6 1/2 year old son may have been in the room at the time. Just in case that is it, how can I get her used to him? After all, HE will be her caretaker when he is older, and he has done nothing to her or around her to scare her. [Perhaps one of her former homes had abusive children.??] I have him sit in the room with her when she is in her cage and talk to her; he also carefully carries her to her roost below eye level whenever she seems calm. Touching though seems a bit out of reach, though. In any case, my son is very saddened by her behavior towards him, as am I. Can you help? I don’t want her to bite him without warning like she has bitten my husband and I. She can be fine and looking around one minute and then “BAM!”

Cathrine  07/28/2007 9:46 pm

I have a 12 year old Severe Macaw named Echo. I adopted him a year ago. It took me a day to tame him and by that night he was sitting on my shoulder as I worked on my computer giving me kisses. He is very affectionate with me He will bite my shoulder if my son or husband get too close to me. I have taken him in the car for rides to the store or to my son’s swimming class. He will talk to women and children. When he gets nervous he chews on his toe nails and attempts to bite, running towards you. He sleeps on the top of his cage on a towel with his lovie, a stuffed hedgehog, he calls his “baby”. I cover him with a sheet at night. He usually waits for me to wake him up in the morning and we talk for a little bit and I scratch his head and back. Usually, he can hardly wait to run and get on my shoulder to go into the kitchen to get his breakfast. If I am late, he will climb out from under the sheet and onto the top of his perch until he hears me and starts to squawk. This will go on until I come in. I bought a Quaker Parrot at the same time that I adopted Echo last year. She was still a baby and I didn’t take her home for several months. When they got together, Echo was tolerant of her. The Quaker started immitating Echo and eating all the same foods. She has now gotten to the point where she will actually steal Echo’s food and take it to her side of the perch. Echo, of course, let’s her know of his dislike of this by charging her. He has never actually hurt her. I take the both of them into the shower with me several days a week. They get wet and then spend the next few hours drying themselves. I take them outside to sit while I am out there or leave them alone. Echo will start to scream if he is left too long alone.

About 4 months ago, Echo started attacking me when I came into greet him in the morning. I am not sure if it was at the same time that I started leaving the sheet off his cage because it was so hot. He would come running up to the edge of the cage and attack me. If I bent down to get his water out of the cage he would hit me on the head with his beak. I spend 20-30 minutes playing hide and seek with him, talking to him, holding his baby hedgehog, but he still attacks. He has bitten me so hard on the finger that it is still numb. He took a chunk out of my arm on another occasion. It took me a week, onetime, to coax him off the cage to come out into the kitchen to get dinner. He will run to the back of the cage to hide from me. If I attempt to pet him he will reach up to bite me. I was told that it might be due to mating season or hormones and that they do bite their mates. He is fine once he is off his cage. He will snuggle with me on my chest as I ruffle his feathers and pick off the casing of his new feathers. He likes me to scratch his back under his wings. He eats pistacchios, almonds, fruits and vegetables, nutriberries, and Zupreem, chicken wings, pasta, and anything I pretty much eat. He loves to sit on my shoulder as I cook, letting me know that he is hungry and really interested. He always cocks his head when I offer him something and I have to take a bite of it first. He will also scream when he hears my husband come home and that, of course, drives me and him crazy. I have to shut the door to deafen the sound somewhat. I will go in during the day to talk to Echo to see if I can get him off the cage, but to no avail. Even when he is screaming for me, he still won’t come off the cage. Why would this behavior start so suddenly and continue for so long? When he is on the perch in the kitchen, he can hardly wait to go back to his cage. He leans towards the direction and flaps his wings telling me he wants to go back. If I try and force him to stay a little while to eat his breakfast or dinner he starts to scream. He will also scream when he hears that I am on the phone. I have to leave the room to speak. I hate to give up on him, but I am at a loss as to what might be causing it and how to correct it. He used to be near my kitchen, but the screaming every night got to my husband, and I had to move him into my office. I now have to leave the door shut when he screams. My local parrot expert says that this is typical behavior for severe macaws. The bigger macaws aren’t as mean. Not sure if this is true, but so far have not seen otherwise. He has a Blue Amazon, several B&G, Military Macaws, Cockatoos, African Greys, Caigues, Quakers, Amazons. I board Echo with him when I am out of town. The last 2 times, he hasn’t even wanted to come out of the cage when I show up to pick him up. Before, he paced at the door to get out and go home with me. What do you suggest I do differently to change this terrible behavior? Thanks.

Marisol  07/28/2007 10:16 pm

Hey Chet,
My 16 mth old Blue & Gold, Jay-lo has a chewing habit. It seems to me like it soothes her when she gnaws on my fingers. It’s strange because, she does’nt lash at me in a biting manner. She puts my fingers in her beak gently, and starts to apply pressure, almost as if she was a teething puppy. I’ve tryed using toys (stuffed animals) with different textures while she’s on my lap or my arm, but she always turns back to my fingers. I tell her no sternly, but it does no good. She also has a pinching habit where she starts chewing on my shirt, or kissing my lip until she grabs my skin and pinhes it. I usually end up with tiny bruise marks. She’s a great bird, very affectionate and she has learned a few of your tricks already. I just don’t know what I should do. Do you think I should put something on my hands that tastes bitter, and if so what do you suggest?
Thanx A Million and Thank God for: dedicated petlovers/specialists like you!!!!

Kristi  07/28/2007 11:10 pm

I have 2 small Rainbow Lorikeets. 1 girl- Meatballs (she like to roll on the ground like a meatball) and 1 boy Micky. They have always sort of nibbled at my finger but very rarely bitten hard. They have started to bite extremely hard, now they are only small but it is very painful. Please elp me to bring them back to their normal selves again..

Susan U.  07/29/2007 11:25 am

Chet, it looks like you struck a chord. My meyers parrot, Cosmo, is 12 years old. He has been a biter and a screamer for a few years and seems to be getting worst. He mostly bites my husband and will bite me when my husband is near by and talking really loud. I know that he is very shy on some levels, but he is interested in new people — especially men. I don’t really trust him with strangers. The biting seems to be a punishment when I leave him with the bird sitter or if I am not paying enough attention, that is, focused attention when I handle him. Or when my husband is around.

Caitlin  07/29/2007 11:50 am

My African grey Libby is about a year old now. I have hand raised her since she was 3 weeks old. She bites me a lot, but she would take treats from me and always wants to be out of her cage with me. I don’t mind and love having Libby with me all the time, but it becomes too much when she bites me all the time or nips me. I get really irritated with her and lock her in her cage.

Libby won’t let anyone else touch her, witch is weird because there were times when my brother had to hand feed Libby when I went to my classes, and my mother enjoyed having her “grand daughter” lay next to her on the bed.

There are times when Libby is soo loveable and just wants to be scratched on the head, then all of the sudden will bite. Even when I’m just sitting and watching tv and I turn my head to Libby, she would bite me hard on my lip or cheek.

I love Libby to bits, but there are times when I don’t want to take her out of her cage because of all her biting. This has been going on for a long time, and happends almost all the time.

Please help. I really want to be able to cuddle with Libby like I did when she was a chick

Jade  07/29/2007 1:08 pm

I have a almost 6 year old Blue and Gold Macaw which I have hand raised since he was 2 mo old. He used to be the sweetest bird. He has always had trouble with men but for the most part he was great with women especially me and my mom. Over the past couple years we have noticed a change in him that I first attributed to hormones or my going back to school and not spending as much time with him. I have since graduated and am free to spend time with him but frankly I don’t want to.
He is so unpredictable now that I never know if he is going to jump right up on my hand and settle in for a good pet or if he is going to lash out at me. I can’t trust him on my shoulder anymore because he will be fine for some time then out of the blue try to tear my ear off or peirce my nose. He will also bite me after several min. of peting. And when he is off his cage and can run around the room he will run over and bite my toes. I have been able to get him to stop being so rough (he still grabs my toes but doesn’t hurt anymore) by simply ignoring thie behavior but if anyone else is around he goes after their toes instead.
He has also started screaming, which again I thought was because he was feeling board or neglected but he has started doing it when I am in the room which he never has before. I love my little man and want to spend time with him but no matter what I always get bit when I hold him and darn it that hurts. Half the time I can’t even pick him up without him biting me dispite the fact that he holds out his foot and says step up. Please help!
P.S. I would also be interested in ways to get him to allow me to put a harness on him. We love spending time outside together but he has already gotten spooked and flown right into the mouth of a dog resulting in ruptured air sacks and weeks of antibiotics. So needless to say I am very reluctant to take him out without a harness. I have tried a flight suit and a normal harness and he wont let me get near him with either. Thanks so much!

Tarina Brown  07/29/2007 4:04 pm

I have a 4 year old green winged macaw named Reggen. Lately he has been biting and screaming. He has also moaned a lot when he alone. That makes me want to go get him, but then he will just jump down from the back of the chair and try to bite – ear, face, neck. The changes this summer have been that I have been absent more than usual and my daughter has brought a friend’s children over. He really does not like the children, maybe because they are so noisy. I need him to like children because my oldest daughter is going to have our first grandchild in January. What can I do to stop the biting, screaming, and help once my grandchild is old enough make Reggen like the baby.

Misty A. Faella  07/29/2007 6:01 pm

I have had Tori, my Senegal parrot, for over two years now. In March, She turned 2. I “adopted” her with my boyfriend when we lived together. Since then we have split and Tori lives with me. My ex-boyfriend, however, is at the house all the time visiting with her. She seems to favor him a lot more latley and we even wonder if she is trying to flirt with him. She will go out of her way to get away from me to go to him or she will cross onto my body to get to him. Previously she did not seem to favor either of us and this new “obsession” with him saddens me and even is becomming annoying to him. Most of the time, Tori does not bite but of course she will get into a mood and snip. Usually she does not hurt and has only rarely caused bleeding. Of course, more of these bites seem to be directed at me.
A few weeks ago, I was spending some one-on-one time with Tori lying together in bed talking and I was petting her. We do this almost every night. Brian, my ex-boyfriend, came into the room to say “hi” and when he went to stand up and leave, she whipped her head around to me and bit my lower lip so hard that she left a hole in it. Her turning on me hurt worse than her bite but I did bleed and luckily there is no scar. I don’t know what to do at the time this happens and I don’t know why she seems to love me less than before. It hurts me terribly since she used to always want to be with me. If I want her attention now, I have to be sure Brian is not in the room.
Waht is going on here and how do we deal with it?

Misty in Providence, RI

Ricardo  07/29/2007 10:25 pm

Hey Chet,

I have a 5 month old Indian Ringneck who is pretty tame, and can be handled for some time before he starts to bite. His wings are not clipped because we would like to teach him some flying tricks.

After he’s out of his cage for about 15 minutes flying around the house, he’ll come to me and then want to bite EVERYTHING. It’s like he’s teething or something. If he’s standing on my head, he’ll reach down and try to bite my forehead or nose… If he’s on my shoulder, my ear will get bit… if I want him to step up on my finger, he’ll bite it rather than step up.

But like I said, he’s fine when I initially get him out of his cage… he’ll step up on my finger, ride on my shoulder as I walk around the house, and will be especially nice if I have a treat for him like some apples.

What do you think the deal is?


Kerry-ann  07/30/2007 12:16 am

hey chet,
i have a 6 month old green cheek named Zookie who is such a playful happy go lucky lil guy ! i have no problem putting him on my shoulder to chill, he almost always comes off when he’s supposed to and aside from playing with my earrings and getting a little too rough he’s been great.

until recently. now he’s started nibbling on my ears, neck, cheek whatever he can get, it’ll start off as a tickle and then escalade into chomps ! he loves giving kisses but always goes for one lip to take a chunk out of should he feel too.

also, he could be in the happiest of moods and when my boyfriend goes to pet him or pick him up he starts to freak out trying to bite him, screeching and flailing about the place as if he’s going insane ! lol he does that same behaviour every once in a while with me but for the most part its with my boyfriend.

not quite sure how to stop it. no matter what i do these random behaviours jus keep happening. help please !

thanks a lot

ps. he seems to get a kick out of chasing our cats when they’re around him (not paying any mind to him and being good cats) and he tries to bite them… how can i get zookie to be a nice boy and make friends lol the cats love him (not in the yummy birdy way) but in a this is a member of the family, we accept u way.

Marti (UK)  07/30/2007 8:55 am

Hi Chet,
I am VERY interested in your random biting advise! In fact I was considering emailing you for some advice about my Timneh Grey Bob anyway. Every now and again he bites or pecks really hard without warning, usually on my neck in a fly-by attack. And last week he bit me on the lip really hard (drew blood – and tears!) and he’s NEVER done that before. He does sometimes try to bite my fingers if I’m asking him to do something he doesn’t want to do (such as go back in his cage when he’s busy playing!) but it doesn’t really hurt, there is always an explanation for this biting, I can see the warning signs in his eyes and he stops when I tell him to. But the neck attacks and especially the bite on the lip were a real shock – he’s such a cute cuddly parrot normally. Hope you can help. Will I be able to download your seminar cos I’m in the UK?

Catherine Crowley  07/30/2007 9:21 am

Hi Chet,

I have a beautiful rainbow laurakeet named Cracker Darling. She has always been very tame and eager to jump on my finger and out of the cage. She has never bitten. She is nearly one year old and just the last month I have noticed that she seems frightened to come over to my finger and come out of the cage. If I try to take her out by hand she bites – and hard. She has NEVER done this before and I very much want her back the way she was since I had her as a chick of 6 weeks old.

Connie Tuescher  07/30/2007 1:24 pm

We have a cockatiel he was approximately 1 1/2 years old when we got him from the pet store. His wings were clipped and he came on our finger right away he even said pretty bird.
Anyway he wants to be by us all of the time and we have spoiled him. He loves to sit on our shoulders but lately has taken to wanting to bite on our necks and face. He is going after moles and once he finds one he does not want to give up on it so he ends up sometimes going back to his cage when he gets a little to wild. We have parakeets also but they are in a different room Nacho is in this room only during the day and only while he is sitting on our shoulders as he is really not found of the parakeets. Nacho did not bite like this when we first got him and we have just got him to like getting scratched around the neck . He is going thru a molt so I’m taking wild guesses that either 1. he is uncomfortable 2. he thinks we are his birds and he is trying to groom us. 3. He is bored. 4. He wants to go back to his cage.
Anyway it is getting annoying and I would like to try to get him to stop.

Kim  07/30/2007 1:51 pm

Hi Chet,

There are 7 in my flock. All have the capacity to bite & over the last 8 years of my bird “addiction” I have learned to respect that each bite can have so many causes.

The lovebirds are totally territorial & would fight to the death to protect their homes.

The BH Pionus only has an occasional hormonal period, fluffs up big time & struts like she’s on guard duty (she has never bit anyone!).

The fiery-shouldered conure has nippy moments that are very easy to read.

My BF Amazon tries to be tough but if I growl @ her, she returns to her senses & becomes sweet natured without much grief. She is a total people bird and withdrawing attention breaks her heart. Raptor has bitten, yes & drawn blood but the reasons are very clear and having learned them so well by now, I can read her from across a room & take action before the warning signs push her into a possible biting moment. She’s 8 yrs old now & hasn’t bitten anyone for 3 years & counting. She’s gone to social events, i.e. garden centers, children’s museums & pet expos.

The biggest challenge comes from the macaws. I’ve a hahns/noble hybrid who can & does “hold a grudge”. If I’ve done something to get her beak out of joint, she will bite me…maybe right then…matbe the next day…or the one after. I think you get the idea. She knows how much pressure she can pack in any beak to skin contact. That being said, I trust her to not attack me, we treat each other fairly. She is shy with other people, some she does not like & will warn me of this by shaking a piece of my clothing violently. Again I respect her feelings & don’t push. She is 9 years old & has not bit strangers. She has attended the same functions as the Amazon, but prefers to keep close to me for safety.

Last is my Scarlet, age unknown, possibly 3. Malnourished & lacking muscle tone when i got him 1.5 yrs ago, he needed to learn to perch & how to walk when on the ground. he still has balance issues, may for life. He is grabby from this & relies heavily on his beak for security, still holding on far too much @ times, easily breaking the skin. We will always work on that. He does have aggressive moments, some times for a couple days. he can be jealous, I think. Still trying to figure out if it’s fear @ times. I try to get him out as much as possible, knowing what he’s capable of, making sure no one is grabbed by him can be a challenge. So far so good.

The one thing I have learned is to respect each one for their quirks and to keep working through the rough spots. The rewards of adjusted parrots are worth the sore fingers & occassional bout of wrestlemania.

MICHELLE  07/30/2007 2:25 pm

we have 2 macaws. A Blue and Gold (female 3 years) and a Green Wing (male 3 years). Both act agressive towards me and bite just about every time I am with them. The B/G is a bit dense and will not come out of the cage without trying to bite me even though she should know she’s coming out to play. The GW likes to act agressive like he’s a tough guy, when I want to take him out. They both act much nicer towards my husband but can still bite him at times. The GW will also look at me and defiantly chew on his cage bars like he knows that irritates me (he’s right, it does irritate me). I’m ready to find new homes for them if they don’t stop this agressive behavior

Dion  07/30/2007 5:17 pm

My Blue and Gold Macaw is just 2 years old ,he is very playfull but sometimes he gets irritated and bites. I take him out of his cage but i cant because of the irrtated behavior ,what can i do.

Karen Mooney  07/30/2007 8:54 pm

We have a moluccan cockatoo who is definitely attached to me.
My husband is blind and at one time she was his best friend- then the random bite on the neck ! Of course he can not take the chance with her again. She does hiss at him if he comes close, also, although she happily verbally interacts with him. He says he is ok a a member of the flock . She does get moody and pushy with me occasionally.
We are definitely interested in the info as we have grandchildren and I want her to be cared for by them someday!!

Michael Stanton  07/31/2007 5:44 pm

I am a retired clinical psychological physiologist. My experiences in this field of stress related physical and emotional disorders affecting the health of the human body has translated well into working with “difficult” parrots. Over a four year period I have taken over 60 various unwanted and distrubed parrot breeds in Alaska into my home for rehabilitation: emotionally, physically, nutritionally and/or all or various combinations of the preceding conditions mentioned. It is very hard to detach ego from a parrot’s behavior. I do not mean to insult you, but merely to point out that our love of bird or birds sometimes clouds our ability to develop a closer and clear understanding of bird behavior. I find just about all breeds of parrots extremely intelligent and far more sentient than is generally believed.

The most powerful tool you can possess in understanding your parrot is careful and detail observation of your bird behavior in its surroundings. I cannot emphasize how important this skill is.
Secondly, knowledge of parrot breed’s psychology in the wild and in captivity is mandatory. I have found even amongst a large flock of cockatiels that each bird has a distinct behavior and personality that sepatates that bird from members of its flock.
So, what am I saying? If you want to alter your bird’s behavior, carefully detail its behavior before and after the situation you find acceptable or unacceptable. What activity exists that promotes positive behavior. Similarly, what promotes negative.

Make an almost detailed exam of those situations. You will glean
a tremendous amount of information that will give you insight into your bird’s behavior (I have a female umbrella incredibly bright, very social, playful, with great vocabulary who is flight trained and goes for walks with me around the neighborhood).

Whenever you cockatoo does something unacceptable, don’t reinforce its behavior by doing nothing.

Take the bird immediately back to its cage for a time out. Say nothing to the bird or you may try admonishing the bird with your sternest frown. Try this several times to see if your bird makes an association between the unwanted behavior and stops that behavior.

Try firmly scolding, “That’s not the parrot way to behave.” is another method as you put him in time out. What’s important is consistency of your reaction to your bird’s unwanted behavior.

You can also try a small cage in a quiet room (no toys, food or water) for a timeout. Just see which may work the best. The timeout shouldn’t last for more that 5 to 10 minutes (we don’t want him dealing with abandonment issues!!!).

I hope you get the idea by now. Also, who spends the most time with your bird? Usually unequally shared time with a parrot a parrot by its owners can present a multitude of unwanted bird behavior situations. If your husband is blind, are his movements very controlled and deliberated around your bird, or are they more hurried and less restrained. My cockatoo dislikes, but tolerates, very small children who are very excited and tend to move a bit frantic. She will back away and seek other company.

Are you using a reward system to reinforce positive bird behavior? I usually give a one to two hour lecture on bird/owner relationships, so we are just touching upon a vast amount of subject matter that could relate to your bird behavior problems.

In any event, don’t tolerate biting behavior by inadvertently reinforcing it. Whether your bird is territorial around its cage can be affected by normal seasonal hormonal changes, reaching sexual maturity may affect its biting. Did you know there four kinds of biting behavior in parrots? And, not all of them are bad!

Carefully watching you bird may provide you will all the answers to your questions. Good Luck, I hope this gets you started on the quest for a happier bird-owner relationship. It just takes a lot of patience sometimes.

Cordially yours, W Michael Stanton
Palmer, Alaska

adelehill  08/01/2007 1:59 am

When my conure sits on my shoulder I like it. It feels cool. When he is up there he tends to nible on my ear, but sometimes he nibles to hard and it herts. Then when you try to take him off he gets ya, hard.When he gets ya, he gets ya. you would think you were bleeding.

How about when I have an other bird out or even hand feeding baby birds and he is just siting in his cage looking at you. then when you go to get him out he bites you and keeps biting until you get away I think it is jelousy buthow can I stop it
How can I stop all of this.
Please help me thankyou

Kathy Bordeau  08/02/2007 10:30 pm

This isn`t on biting, but playing with their prop toys. Your basketballs are white. My male si eclectus played with what he saw as a toy in the nest box, broke the egg after throwing it like a basketball. When he noticed it leaking something, he started eating it. Could you please color the future toys so other birds don`t see white basketballs in their nest box. All my thanks on your programs. They have helped us a lot.

Caroline  08/05/2007 7:31 pm

My goffins cockatoo, Kai, is a “second-hand” bird. She used to belong to a teacher of mine but the teacher became highly allergic to Kai. Kai was a “horrible” bird because she had lived in a classroom and didn’t get much human interaction. She screamed and bit a lot. The screaming is gone and so is the biting-to a point. I’ll be just sitting there petting her, and suddenly she’ll bite. She also will act sweet so my mom (who Kai is jealous of) will pet her, and then bite her. My mom wont even come near Kai anymore, and I don’t want Kai to randomly bite someone when we’re out in public. I know that all birds have their grumpy days, but she also randomly bites on days when she’s happy! Why is she randomly biting and how can I stop it? Also, how can I get her to leave my mom alone?

Diane Dellis  08/14/2007 6:30 pm

I have just adopted a cockatoo. He is fine with me, hower, when he goes on the floor he runs with his wings spread, and attacks my son who is 8. I would like to take him to my classroom this year, however, I am concerned about his behavior. thank you

Sarah  08/14/2007 7:55 pm

My Green wing macaw, Gertie, is obsessed with my mother, she loves her, but when she is with my mom she controls her my mother can not get her to do anything for her, she just always want to sit on her. If someone walks by my mom, she Bites my mom, hard too, she gets huge bruises from Gertie. When she is at my house she is so good, biting is never an issue. We are renevating our house so a few times we had to take Gertie to my moms for 2 nights. When she came back home, she bit my hand so hard when trying to pick her up, my hand was gushing blood. It has been a week now and my hand is still numb in between the bite (from her bottom beak and top beak). I now have a hard time trusting her, and she can tell. I am having a hard time with her listening (as she used to listen) What can I do, other than taking her away from my mother….(which is obviously the problem)

Jennifer Stubbs  08/20/2007 2:30 pm

I own 2 parrolets Dudley & Jay. Dudley hates to be caught but when you catch him he couldn’t be sweeter. He has bitten me several times over the 2 years I’ve owned him but no big problems.He was 6 months old when I got him,he wasn’t hand raised, & I purchased him from a Pet Store. He is now 2. The other parrolet I own “Jay”, he is 1.5 yrs. old, was raised in a home by a breeder who let J do as he pleased (out & in the cage) until I purchased him at 4 months old. Jay was hand raised & reared with Mom on site. J bit when I got him, and I just put that down to unfarmiliar territory/scared/met new bird etc. The biting would subside at times & get worse at others and I thought this was just from J going thru the normal hormonal chages, his maturing. I disaplined J by blowing on him, ignoring him, putting him for time-out and different disapline tricks I heard from bird meetings and of course I also used 1st thing, was your Training Program I purchased. J seems to bite when he & I play in the morning (routine)or should I say he plays, I watch. He has ALWAYS from day 1 tried to bite my freckles off. That used to be the joke “J thinks my freckles are raisins”, until he bite one right OFF!! Very painful!! This is not the family joke anymore! Mind you, we never reacted to J or laughed at this behavior because we knew that this could be a real attention getter and I wasn’t about to encourage it. J is the 1st bird to step up, come, fly to me, he listens well, (ha, ha) of course I’ve tried speaking with him about this!?? J is just an all around happy healthly bird? The other major bitting problem also lyies when J chases and bites my other Parrolet! I keep them in separete cages, they have known each other from very young ages and they seem to be close friends. I know when 1 is jelous of the other for whatever reasons, so I make sure they both get the same, same ALL the time. They love to cuddle & sleep together, play , they seem to be great friends? Jays bitting seems to just come out of the blue with no outside interferance, no food involved, no WARNINGS? I know Chet your wife had (sorry for your loss) a Parrolet so possibly you can help me with some different techniques!
Thank you so much

Ann Miller  08/23/2007 4:29 pm

My Blue & Gold Macaw, Ms Bonnie Jean is for the most part a very gently soul but last week she became another bird. Every time I walked to the front end of my house which ends in a corner, she would get down from her cage and walk towards me. Even though her walk wasn’t threatening, her facial expressions and body language said different. As soon as she got within 3 ft of me, she was getting into attack mode to attack my ankle. Ms.BJ did this for a week. She only nailed my ankle once and was timed out. This happens periodically and I would love a solution. Thanks for any imput ann

terri  08/27/2007 12:35 pm

I have a quaker parrot, about 7 yrs old, who is sweet most of the time. If she is sitting on my shoulder and I’m not paying enough attention, or am on the phone, she will bite me hard on the neck, usually drawing blood. I love having her with me, but this is really starting to hurt and I’m avoiding having her on me like she wants!

Lee  08/29/2007 6:35 pm

Hi Chet, I was recently in Ecuador where I met Bill Davis who told me about you. Wow, it really looks like this biting problem will take some research. Like maybe contacting every bird trainer in the world for thier input. Even so I would be very surprised if you find a simple cure of this problem. Could it be that wild animals should stay in the wild???
I own a 13 year old African Grey he has been a biter for 9 of those years. He was bred in America and I hand fed him myself. Makes no difference he bites me anyway. So he has become a cage bound bird. And that seems to be the way he likes it. I ordered your taming,training & tricks video but I think the old one I have by Steve Martin (not the movie star) taped in 1989 is better. Have you seen it? He used to do the bird show at the Wild Animal Park in California….uh, he sort of skimmed over the biting issue as you did. If you could cure that problem you could sure make a mint!!!

Eray Honeycutt  03/23/2008 11:53 am

I know I am late in responding, but my med. sulf. cockatoo has just started biting me when I take him out of his sleeping cage. nothing has changed in anything, but he is developing this bad habit. He will be 6 yr old on May 6th 08.

Can you help.


lidia portal  06/19/2008 7:20 pm

i have a loveing parakeet named Tweety whos normaly playfull and sweet before i started baby siting my nanas bird Tweety Bird. She will get on my finger and out of nowhere shel fly like crazy to the floor and scream. I’ll pick her up and she’ll bit me like im a pice of food. Can you fix this anoying act?
ps:shes very noiesy

Jaclyn  09/21/2008 9:41 am

my cockatiel is pucking we tried everything what do we do

Lynn Porter  11/15/2008 6:52 pm

I am sitting here, bleeding all over the keyboard, before I head to the doc for stitches. African Grey stitches. Not the first, nor the last trip I wil be making, I am sure.
I am sick and tired of being treated like raw meat in my own home.

Do you have a tape of the conversation? I was not able to make the time.

I also want a new set of bird training books, etc. as Gus has eaten the old books and tapes.

Please answer and I will send in the money.

Lynn Porter aka

Dan  12/27/2008 11:54 am

I have a yellow headed amazon and he is four years old. he gets on my hand fine but all of the sudden he just bites really hard where he takes chunks of flesh off. he will try to bite your face finger hand everything. what should i do?

Linda  02/11/2009 5:30 pm

I have a cockateil don’t know the age was found by a pond. He’s a male is very loving loves patting and sitting outside in the screened padio. But when we try to bring him in sometimes he turns vicious. He will come after you and bite. I just don’t understand why. We have to get him in his cage to move him into house and he goes nuts squaking for a about 10 mins. then he’s back to his loving self again.

mickey  05/12/2009 5:24 pm

yes i have a blue and gold macaw and he will just out of no where bite himself on his legs and then start to screeching and do this over and over again but he is a very sweet and loving bird to people.

katie drake  06/08/2009 8:20 am

We have a 3 year old cockatiel, Angus, who until recently was a lovable, playful, bird. Then he began flying to the bottom of cage and swaying back and forth and getting aggressive to the point of lunging at my husband and I to take a chunk out of our fingers. We’ve always loved him and would like to know, if it’s his age and mating season or has he become a “mean” bird?

Gudrun Wicart  10/15/2009 12:21 pm

My sulphur crested cockatoo is now 8 years old. Have had her (actually him – recently found that out)
since he was 1. Very lovable and cuddly but will randomly bite for no apparent reason. Different circumstances each time. No advance warning either. Does not happen on a regular basis but when it does it is bloody. Fresh veggies, chicken and fruit is the diet. He loves my husband as well but we cannot be in the same vicinity of each other when we handle him. So that is not the reason either as I am very aware of this. He will fly and attack me (I found out the hard way). Any suggestions about this problem. Chet please help!

Ashley  10/21/2009 7:50 am

My Cockatiel Pauly is only happy if theres music playing, usually, he attacks me if i havnt had music playing for a while. Also, if i leave him in the cage for days, he’ll behave, but i cant take him out every day, because he’ll attack me.

Bonnie Middaugh  11/01/2009 8:46 am

My challenge is one I am not sure how to handle. My catalina macaw and my military macaws are so loving and gentle with me until someone new comes to the house and then they turn on me TERRIBLY. The bites I get when trying to introduce new people are really aggressive. The blue and gold is fine with new people but not the other two. Is this normal behavior and how to I stop it?

Laura  11/01/2009 8:57 am

I have a 3 yr. old Quaker, he is great bird with me and total strangers. As soon as my kids 22 & 20 walk in he transforms into this maniac bird! Since his eyes are dark you can’t see the pinning but he has other signs (which are sort of comical) he gets this mushroom head and then starts to laugh like a mad scientist! If he is laughing like that and you go near him he will lunge and try to bite. I am sure if he was allowed to walk on the floor he would chase them- but when he was a baby I never allowed him to walk. When his wings grow out he flies, but he does not dive bomb them. My kids know better to approach him when he does that. I don’t understand why he is fine with strangers but viscous with his flock mates…my kids. He is never nice to them- ever!

Erica  11/07/2009 2:52 am

Hello Chet,

I have a 1 year old Double Yellow Headed Amazon parrot name “Ranger” who is very friendly and cuddlely with me! But when Ranger rough houses with me or if I play with him with his toys, Ranger starts to play alittle rough with me not knowing that his beak is hurting me!!! I really dont think he is trying to hurt me, I think its just he is getting over happy! What Can I do so we can rough house play but not letting him nipple harder then he should??? But he is a very loving, sweet, cuddly amazon!!! :)

I also want to say that Ranger learned 6 tricks in only 2 1/2 weeks learning the StickTraining, Spinning around, kisses, Shake/No, wave, HandShake! Ranger is a fast learner I tell you!!! I just want to say thank you for that and Ranger loves doing tricks now!!!!

But i would like if you can help me on the house roughing play with Ranger i love playing with him its just that i dont think he knows or means how hard he is nippling me :) !!!!

Thank You hope to hear from you soon!!!

Erica & Ranger Loria

Michael  12/06/2009 12:53 pm

My 6 month old ruby macaw is a return to the pet store. Not very vocal and can be very nice at times. Also some very serious biting unexpectedly. I’ve been around birds and had an african grey that fell inlove with my son. This macaw, Mel, does not like too be touched even when perched in your hand. I don’t know what happened to him in the one month he was with the original owner but need to get a handle on this random biting soon. I’m looking at your videos as option and must admit that they have a good guarantee I’m in need of a very good solution. regards,Michael

Shirley Davis  12/25/2009 5:26 pm

My African Grey was raised by me from an egg until about 5 years old (she is 15 now)…was very docile and minded pretty good. When I married, my husband was retired and spent more time with her than I and so he has her spoiled to whistle when she wants something. I.e.: moved to another spot in the house (mostly) and he even swears she doesn’t want poo in the tub when she is on the rod over the bathtub. He allows her to chew his chair, lets her play in drawers and cabinets and generally do whatever she wants too. Consequently, she very often attacks my feet when she is on the floor walking around or if I walk by her she will try to jump on me. I know she is mostly just trying to get on my shoulder, to be with me but she will bite down whereever she grabs ahold and make dreadful holes his my arms or back. The other day she got on my shoulder from the floor while I was sitting in my chair talking on the phone. When I didn’t let her turn my head with her beek, she bite my lip then knowing she was in trouble flew to her cage. Very seldom do I offer her my finger as I have been bitten too many times–i carry her on a stick. Sometimes when she is agressive she will run up the stick to try and bite me and I have to drop her and the stick to keep that from happening. I’ve told him she needs to be locked in her cage for a while when she is aggressive like that, but he will always let her out. She once was very soft with her feet holding on to your finger, now she holds tight. Many times she bites it is because she doesn’t realize how hard she is “holding on” and when I start to put her on her house she completes the biting process–especially if that isn’t what she is wanting to do. Short of filing for divorce, I am lost as to what to do with her. She is very spoiled, I think is the main problem.

Jessica Barnard  01/25/2010 12:02 pm

I have a re-homed green-cheek conure, about a year and half old now. In the beginning, she adored my husband and would only let him handle her. In time, she came to accept me, and now she even loves me, to the point of exclusion. Problem is, one random night, she flew over to my husband’s shoulder,as she usually does, but this time she attacked his face and ears – viciously – and that’s where their relationship pretty much ended. If he is in the room, she will fly over to viciously attack his neck, face and ears without acception. After months of trying to correct this, he has all but given up and for safety, she needs to be put up if he is home. For a long time, he couldn’t walk past her cage without her going nuts. Then, after awhile, he was able to offer her treats through the wire. My husband travels a lot, and so I am mainly her caretaker. In the past few weeks, she seemed to have come around to accepting him again, and he was able to take her out and hold her. Then, out of the blue, she flew to his shoulder and reached out to attack his neck, drawing blood. We’re really at a loss for how to handle this situation. Help!

Debbi  01/25/2010 8:50 pm

I have had my double yellow head for 4 mos. now- He was rescued from a tree and had no training or manners. He is a young bird according to the vet. Thanks to your tapes, I have trained him to step up on a stick 90% even without a treat and up to my hand about 50% but he will bite me after he gets up on the stick and keep lunging though the bites are not hard. When I am playing with him, he will tolerate touching but will then bite, though not hard. I allow him to “play nibble” on my hands as long as it does not hurt. I had another amazon for 24 years until he passed away. He was very loving most of the time, but also caused me to have 8 stitches on my lip. We gave him Lupron injections every 5 months, especially during breeding season to calm him. I don’t want to have to do that with my new guy. Help before it gets worse!

Lynne Miller  02/01/2010 8:25 am

My Jenday Conure chews on my lip, nose, whatever. She snuggles tightly into my neck and wants to be as close as she can be….until my husband comes home on the weekends. Then she just goes nuts. She fluffs up and starts screaming before she even sees him. She flies at him with her beak open and has bit him too many times to count. He doesn’t even see her coming. Whin I get her off him, her feathers instantly lie down and she gives me a kiss. I have clipped her wings and that doesn’t help much, she will go after him if she gets the slightest chance. If she’s sitting with me and even sees him, her feathers fluff up and she lunges. He’s tried to give her treats, etc. She ignores the treats and goes for his fingers. We’ve pretty well resigned ourselves that he just needs to stay away from her. He always leaves on Mondays bleeding.

Mel Vincent  02/01/2010 7:26 pm

I have recently added a 5 year old Eclectus male called Pepi to my flock. He is absolutely beautiful, -talks like you would not believe. Cuddles up, kisses…and then suddenly he’ll bite (and bite hard). Sometimes you can predict it (e.g. he does not want to go to bed), but other times it is kind of random. It’s like he is testing his limits?
I know, he knows it is wrong and not what I want because he always announces at the top of his voice “BAD BOY PEPI” immediately after. (Something his last owner taught him/must have said a lot.)
How do I teach a bird not to bite when he already knows not to but does it anyway?
Thanks and congrats on the baby!!!! Mel (in danger of losing my fingers in Australia)

Anna King  02/01/2010 11:51 pm

My one and a half year old African Grey, Zuri is very close to me, she will be on my husbands shoulder and leave him if I am near. She however will bite me for no reason, I have told her no and put her in her cage, The Breeder told me to do that and do not talk to her until the next day. This does not work, because now she will bite me and say ouch! and go on to say Zuri Bad Girl, We have a ladder for her to climb down and who does she come to is me, she will even climb up the bed sheets until she finds me. This does not stop her from biting me – she gets plently of affection, is feed properly has a huge cage but will bite me but not my husband.

teresa  02/09/2010 1:34 am

I have a green check and she is always trying to get in my mouth and she only dose it to me and gets real mean when i stop her from doing this

Kat  05/09/2010 10:35 am

My African Grey, Smokey, has only bitten me twice in the 21 years that I’ve had her (she was 6 months old when I got her). Both times, she went for my toes when I was barefoot. I think they must look like peanuts. She’s never bitten me other than that, but once I did wake up with her sitting on my chest, staring me in the face, with my bottom lip in her beak. She said “Don’t bite Mummy!” and released my lip. I took it as a warning and put a lock on her cage so she couldn’t let herself out and surprise me while i was sleeping. She’s good with me, but I know the warning signs. If her eyes start to dilate, I leave her alone. Loud noises can startle her, and she hates men. She didn’t always hate men; when I first got her I was dating a guy and she really loved him…until the day he yelled at me and raised his fist at me. Smokey flew at him and landed on him and flapped her wings like crazy and growled at him and bit him on the lip and the ear. She didn’t do much damage, but she sure was scary to see. I broke up with that guy, but she’s hated men ever since, and will growl at them and lunge at them if they go near her cage. She likes children and dogs, but she’s not good with other birds, which I learned the hard way when my lovebird flew into Smokey’s cage. She bit her and the bird died, despite an expensive surgery to repair the damage. I have a cockatiel that she loves from a distance; she even taught the bird to talk. I make sure that they’re never out of their cages at the same time. I read about Grey’s extensively before I bought her, and not once did I find warnings that these birds are territorial, or I would never have brought other birds into the house.

Xain  07/11/2010 11:41 pm

hello. i have White Cockatoo (miaky is the name of cockatoo).nd two green parrots (sid and olive) but the problem is miaky never let me touch him nd my parrot sid likes miaky alot they sit,eat and play 2gether.but i want to play with both of them. miaky never makes me touch him, but sid can.i get annoyed.sum tyms i think i should keep sid away from miaky but that would be unfair.all of them are what am i suppose to do? sid is really agressive bites sumtimes. n olive is realy luving. never bites nd sumtyms both the green one’s fight wid for eg. there are 2 cages in my home if olive is sitting on his cage, sid will attack him, he will never let olive sit out of the can i make the both parrots frdly wid eachother?

Angela  09/15/2010 5:25 pm

My Nandy Conure, Sunny, very rarely bites me….but she HATES my daughter. In fact, just today she went after my daughter AND her cat!!! (in sepreate incidents). I’ve only had Sunny for 6 months, but I’ve noticed that every couple of months for a few days she is more reluctant to be petted, and is just “pissy”. Also, I’m not entirely sure “she” is a “she”. I took her to a vet to have her nails and beak trimmed (and wings….NEVER again) and he also did not know her sex. So I’m wondering if her “pissy” days are hormonal?

Alexandra Gaudiosi  10/05/2010 12:01 am

Hello, i hope you can still answer this question for me.
i have a 3 year old sun conure. I got him when he was 5 months old. His name is Kava. He has always been the sweetest bird. I could take him everywhere. As he was turning 2 years old he started biting other people, but never me and never my mom. He gives me kisses and says “up up” when he wants to be picked up. He is a curious, smart, and fun little parrot. He turned 3 in january. A few months ago he started biting anyone who came near his cage, but never me. I just figured he was starting to become a one person bird. I play with him and hold him for very long periods of time everyday. But tonight I came home from class and took him out. My mom, me, Kava, and my dog went out on the porch, with kava hiding in my shirt. But as we were coming in side, he bit me finger hard, he pierced my skin. As i was taking him inside, he was on my shoulder and bit my face extremely hard again. This has never happened before. And for the past hour I have him on his perch and he has proceeded to bite me everytime i put my finger up to him. So i put him back on his perch, gave him fresh food and water and gave him a cheese-it. he ate the cheese it. I watched him for a while and then he started flapping his wings and repeated “up-up” over and over like he usually does when he wants to cuddle. I put my finger up to him and he steps up and then out of no where bites my finger again. He has never done this and I am clueless to why he is biting me. I am extremely upset please let me know what be going on.

Justin Basser  11/09/2010 9:03 am

Ever since I was a baby, I think every bird bit me for no reason that I saw. After learning 20+ year’s on parrots, mainly cockatiels – they have bad days just like we do. My new cockatiel is turning 2 and he is getting a little more aggressive than normal so I usually find switching cages and scenery help’s. Many say to get a 18x18x24 cage but a cockatiel’s wing span is longer causing it to injure himself and feel trapped. I moved my little booger to a new wider cage and aside from him wanting constant attention like all birds… he now begs to come out and follows me everywhere I go. It is a little hard when you own 13 birds trying to figure each out, but that is the fun of it. Check out my website if you would like to read my studies on my lifetime ownership of birds. Thanks Chet, your information is what I practice for the most part so I know you care about your birds and are always pointing people on the right track. Cheers!

Teri Abrams Maidenberg  11/11/2010 1:53 pm

Hi Chet,
I have an Amazon Blue Fronted Parrot he is now a little over a year and half we have not clipped his wings however he is getting very aggressive and I have your DVD’s but I can’t stop him from biting our face’s, ears and hands and he won’t “stay” on his cage when he is out of his cage he will either hop on our shoulders (me or my husband) or the stove which we are always trying to steer him away from or on top of the refrigerator which also isn’t ideal. Do we get him a mate? We have two parakeets and now he won’t stop landing on there cage! Trying to bite it- OY! He is generally such a good boy and he does talk, and sing with us and responds so well 80% of the time but that 20% really hurts a lot!!! So, do we keep on putting him in the cage and then take him back out when he calms down? Thank you, Teri

helena dennert  01/21/2011 10:35 am

please help me i have a 9yr old male umbrella cockatoo. we always have had a good loving relationship . one night he attacked me after we had spent the evening together and bit me several times i left him alone and returned in the morning he hasn’t changed even when i put food in his cage he came after me now i am afraid to even go near him what do i do just leave him alone awhile or try to talk with him he acts so different and just watches me

Susan  05/22/2011 3:56 pm

We recently got a 25 yr old green winged macaw, Calypso. While cautious at first, he seemed to become relaxed very quickly at our home, and wanted out of his cage during the day, off of his mobile perch, wanted to explore the house in just a matter of a few weeks. He was never made to feel “forced” into doing anything. He always was given the choice. Much patience, and time has been spent with him daily since his arrival, and he has been so gentle.
Then yesterday he attacked me quite violently. It was so shocking. He has always wanted to “be with the family” whatever room we were congregating in. I have 2 living rooms in my home, and we usually are in one, or the other together. And Calypso has a large perch in one, and his large cage with multiple perches in the other. He has moved back and forth, when he “requests it” between the rooms. For the most part, i only “move” him when he “asks” me to, if that makes sense, because i read that macaws like to have a choice and shouldn’t be “bossed around” all the time or they could become “nippy.”
So, he was wanting to move to the “living room A” when we all left out of “living room B” i THOUGHT, because in the past, he screams, “WHAT?” when he wants you to come bring him to the “group.” So i offered him my right arm, with the protective glove i wear. He appeared to normally and willingly step up as usual, which made me feel that i had assessed correctly that he was wanting me to retrieve him and bring him to the room where we all had moved to. Then suddenly as i walked through the doorway of the destination, he attacked me violently with his beak, just beyond the area where the protective glove ends at my elbow/beginning forearm area. He made SEVERAL skin breaks, scrapes, as well as full fledged strong large bites that ruptured vessels deep in the skin creating large swollen hematomas. It was just so shocking because he’s been so consistently gentle for weeks. Now, out of the blue, it almost seems that we are in a power struggle, and overnight, the very sight of me invokes extreme agitation and aggression. When he attacked me, I “sluffed” him onto the floor, and used a large pillow for him to latch onto, and i gently returned him to his cage. Blood was everywhere. It was a really nasty painful attack. I truly have no idea what set him off, why “me” or where the aggression came from, except it is spring/possibly natural mating season, but such an extreme attack? And, ever since he “attacked” me, he attacks me through his cage when i am changing water and food bowls and papers. I try not to react at all. I do not respond in any way. The problem is, i am the caregiver. I don’t know how I am going to manage. Is this a power struggle? Is he just now becoming comfortable enough to try to “take over” or something? If that is the case, what should i do? Or is this just part of a 6-8 week mating cycle induced behavior? Please help!

LOFELAWES  05/29/2011 3:33 pm


Jeanine  07/25/2011 5:58 pm

My 4 month old lovebird, Ollie has recently begun to bite. My kids love to play legos and Ollie will always jump into the legos and pick them up one by one. as soon as my kids put their hands down near the legos that Ollie is playing with he attacks and bites really hard. He will also attack if I have my phone in my hand or anything else that he wants to chew or play with. How do I stop this behavior? Right now I’ve just been putting him into his cage as a punishment (he hates being in there). I usually leave him in there for 5-10 minutes. It doesn’t seem to be doing anything, but I really don’t know what else to do to teach him that this aggressive behavior is no acceptable. thanks for your help in advance.

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Beatle Treadwell  11/19/2011 6:31 pm

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Monica Maestas  11/03/2013 4:02 pm

I have a Double Yellow Headed Amazon, he is about to be 4 years old, and he was such a loving ,funny and interactive bird and has started biting, what do I do??

Sheila Nunia  12/11/2013 3:57 pm

I have a rescue blue gold macaw who is approximately 16 years of age. The bird was extremely under weight @ 1000 grams and massive loss of feathers in the tail shafts, as well as abused physically with hands and objects, and its nails and beak were nearly 3″ over grown from neglect of vet avain care. Although the birds weight is back to normal, it is still EXTREMELY aggressive in that it will attempt to OR actually bite. I have done ALL that I can to assure this bird that it will no longer be starved, abused or neglected. I have tried using nuts, eggs and other things it enjoys as training tools, but to no avail.
Now the bird is still being highly aggressive, punching its self in the face all the time and screaming.
How do i get the babe to stop attacking, punching its self in the face causing redness of the eyes and to TRUST again ?
in all of my many many many years of experience with exotic parrots, i have never had one so vicious and hurtful to its self.

Más información...  07/31/2014 6:17 pm

Hola, Gracias por el post. muy interesante como siempre, ¡¡¡Enhorabuena!!!

Mel  10/15/2014 8:35 am

Hi I have a Indian ring neck that’s 8 months old I’m his second owner also
We have made some slow but steady progress in taming and training but my biggest problem is the random biting he could be sitting on my shoulder whilst watching tv and he will bite my ear really hard it comes out of nowhere no boast walks in a room nothing changes I just don’t understand why ???
Tonight I decided that I’m just gonna egnore the biting so throughout the night here and there he bit me a few times but I had some treats in a small dish letting him eat out of it and as normal he nipped my finger I didn’t pull away but he bit harder and harder until he drew blood I tryed to engnore that but he came back for more same finger biting it harder and actually licking my blood I had to draw the line at that so I put him in his cage and wrote this please help me ????

Mel  10/15/2014 9:02 am

Hi I have a Indian ring neck that’s 8 months old I’m his second owner also
We have made some slow but steady progress in taming and training but my biggest problem is the random biting he could be sitting on my shoulder whilst watching tv and he will bite my ear really hard it comes out of nowhere no boast walks in a room nothing changes I just don’t understand why ???
Tonight I decided that I’m just gonna egnore the biting so throughout the night here and there he bit me a few times but I had some treats in a small dish letting him eat out of it and as normal he nipped my finger I didn’t pull away but he bit harder and harder until he drew blood I tryed to engnore that but he came back for more same finger biting it harder and actually licking my blood I had to draw the line at that so I put him in his cage and wrote this please help me ????

Kass  09/15/2015 8:09 pm

I have a 2 mo old umbrella cockatoo. She’s very sweet with me but every time my husband tries to hold her she’s ok for a little and then looks for things to nibble and bite on like jumps to nip his nose or for his ears or his fingers. His body language is calm, he’s doing exactly what i do with her, she seems to enjoy his attention and will talk to him but then will just turn around and get nippy. I’ve tried redirecting her behavior to something else but as soon as the something else is over she b lines right back to him to nip. she doesn’t SEEM to be doing it to be mean. More like affection until it turns nippy. He hasn’t been around her as much as i have but she seems to enjoy when he comes home, talking to him when he enters. She isn’t showing aggressive body language either toward him. Just preens his beard a little and then will reach to bite. He doesn’t react to her doing it or say anything. More than looking at me wondering what he’s doing wrong. I can’t really do touch training with her yet, or get him to as she’s still on formula and just starting to explore her food dish but not really eating it yet. So my question is what’s the best way from early on, to redirect an unwanted nippy behavior?