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New owner confused over sudden behaviour change #385650 09/28/09 08:17 AM
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Dev Offline OP
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Hello, I recently bought my first parakeet from a store, meet "Echo" smile


When I first brought Echo home and put him in his cage he was disorientated and confused, which was to be expected, he just sat on his perch for a couple of days, then all of a sudden he broke out of his trance and immediately had no problem stepping onto my hand to peck at some spray millet.

Just 4 days after I got him I felt it was time to let Echo out of his cage, it seemed like he trusted me and wanted to explore a little so I let him out and he wandered around on the floor for a few minutes before trying to climb back to his cage. It went really well.
The day after that I got back from work and Echo was really excited to see me, he jumped to the floor of his cage and ran back and forth asking to be let out and as I approached the cage he would climb on his door and hang there until I opened it and put my finger near him which he would grab with his beak and pull himself onto. This became a frequent ritual.

This behavior went on for a couple of days, he was extremely friendly and asking to be let out all the time but there was never any doubt that the cage was his home.

Then all of a sudden on a Saturday morning I let him out and he decided to explore, he found my patio windows and decided to hang out there for a few hours, I noticed him pecking and chirping at the window occasionally and eventually I realized it was his reflection he was socializing with.
I put him back in his cage where he stayed for an hour or so before being asked to be let out again, I let him out but not before closing the blinds. He immediately headed for the window and paced back and forth trying to find a way through the blinds but of course couldn't get through so he decided to go back to his cage.

Ever since then he has not been the same, he never wants to leave his cage, he never wants to socialize, if I ask him to "step up" now he will side step away along his perch, turn his back and try and bite me. The best he will willingly do is step onto my hand for spray millet but if i try and move him out of his cage while he's eating the spray millet he will immediately head back in.

This dramatic change in behavior is a huge concern to me, for the first 5 days of ownership he was perfect, extremely sociable and very playful. Now it feels like he wants nothing to do with me, almost like he's annoyed that I took away his friend in the window.

It has been exactly 2 weeks now since I brought him home.
This behavior is extremely upsetting, it has been 9 days since the incident and I will try absolutely anything to have him see me as a friend and like me again.

Has anyone got any suggestions for how I can bring him back round?

Re: New owner confused over sudden behaviour change [Re: Dev] #385674 09/28/09 12:46 PM
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cyberbud Offline
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This is pretty normal behavior for a new keet. At first they seem to want to socialize. Once they feel comfortable and aren't so worried they retreat back and then you have to work at gaining their trust.

He is probably sad to at having lost his bird friend. Are his wings clipped?

Be patient and kind. He will come around.

Kathy


"Many have forgotten this truth...You remain responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
Re: New owner confused over sudden behaviour change [Re: Dev] #385676 09/28/09 02:02 PM
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Love My Budgies Offline
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Budgies are usually stressed for a few days/weeks after bringing them home. They will usually step up right away and seem like they are really tame, but this is not the case. They are not used to their new home, you, or the surroundings and are scared and want to be out. What your bird is doing is normal, training and socializing takes a long time. Some birds take months to train. Have a lot of patience and realize it won't happen overnight.
What you explained is very normal and has happened to many bird owners. Your bird will seem to turn and will bite and no longer step up. Many books suggest leaving them alone during the first week or two so they can get used to their new environment, and then start training. Be patient, loving, and consistent and your bird will come around. Good luck!

Re: New owner confused over sudden behaviour change [Re: Love My Budgies] #385685 09/28/09 04:29 PM
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Thanks! That is very reassuring to hear smile

My good friend who visits almost every day and has owned parakeets before told me I should replace Echo if I can since he isn't being social. I would NEVER do that but her comments and the very sudden change had me spooked, so thanks for the reassurance.

Cyberbud, to answer your question; Yes, Echo's wings have been clipped. He came from the store that way.

Re: New owner confused over sudden behaviour change [Re: Dev] #385698 09/28/09 07:44 PM
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Hi and welcome! Echo has such pretty coloring!

I must say, I'm relieved to read that you don't plan to replace him merely because of his recent strange behavior. I agree with the posts above that he's going through an adjustment period.

Since he enjoyed his reflection in the window, I wonder if he would like a mirror or reflective toy in his cage? Some people say the bird can become obsessive about the reflection, but other people say he might find it comforting. (My Pudgie ignores mirrors -- no reaction at all! Haven't tried one yet with Raina but I might just do that this evening... smile )

Re: New owner confused over sudden behaviour change [Re: ] #385708 09/28/09 09:17 PM
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Thanks for the welcome! Me and my friend were immediately drawn to Echo because of his colors, the yellow, white and baby blue seem very unique. I have been searching for a parakeet for many weeks now and he is the only one that I have seen like that.

Even though I have only known Echo for a couple of weeks he is family now and he could grow horns, find a pitchfork and turn into devil bird and I will still be his best friend.

I have actually been warned against mirrors by the shop manager and my friend who say that if I get him mirrors then he will likely bond with them instead of me, and to be honest after what happened with the patio windows that seems very likely. It makes me feel selfish though so I might get one for him down the road.

I am planning to pick up another 'keet in a few months anyway to keep him company, but for now I have lots of spare time to spend with him smile

Re: New owner confused over sudden behaviour change [Re: Dev] #385716 09/29/09 12:40 AM
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DaMostLoved Offline
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Your baby is absolutely beautiful! He gives me a pretty good idea of what Cutie will look like after she's done molting.

I'm glad you didn't give up on Echo. Cutie used to be slightly social when I got her and now would hardly step up, even to a perch... But slowly you start earning his trust again... Best of luck!

By the way, they told me to stay away from mirrors too and I didn't but I think that if you gain your keet's trust, he'll bond with you. They look so cute playing with the mirrors! And mine are not really obsessed with them either, so maybe that's why I haven't regretted that decision!


Re: New owner confused over sudden behaviour change [Re: DaMostLoved] #385733 09/29/09 01:44 PM
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IceCube doesn't even look at mirrors. It kinda scares me


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