Hello everyone. I suspect it could be a common problem, but a brief search here and on other resources didn't help, and I'm too angry right now to dive into it patiently.
I have a budgie about 8 months old, he is very smart and energetic, he already speaks Russian and a bit Romanian, and we have bonded pretty well due to the quarantine and stuff. But about 2 months ago he started becoming a bit too friendly. I mean, sometimes he suddenly jumps on my face and just hangs on my nose or my eyes.
I know it's a friendly gesture, but it's the second time his toenail got between my eyelids, you know? The distance between my laptop and my face is too short, I don't have time to react. I really thought he scratched my eye, but it looks okay so far.
I'm afraid (for my eyes as well as for my budgie, coz I have never felt such anger in my entire life), I don't know what to do, and my little friend will be locked in his cage until I figure out how to prevent this kind of behavior. If I won't, I'll give him away.
What I tried:
- Talking to him only while he is behind the bars and letting him interact with my hands and ears when outside.
- Toys, music, anything to prevent boredom and distract him from my face.
- (Just once) putting some mint oil on my eyebrows. He was so disgusted that he went back to his cage and sat there for an hour, but nothing changed after that. I don't think it's a good approach, is it even safe?
I'm probably too afraid of my budgie being bored, entertaining him too much, and he gets overexcited, could it be this? Or is it just a phase? Should I buy him a budgie friend?Is there a certain way to solve this at all?
Thanks in advance for your help. I'm not an experienced bird owner, I just wanted a cute parrot. Don't take me wrong, I'm ok with him chewing on my ears, ****ting on my head and whatever, it's just I love my eyes a bit more than my budgie.
Last edited by Teluer; 08-14-2020 at 05:02 PM.
Sorry you are having this problem, however do not be angry with your bird, it will not help matters. Is the bird hand tame, will he sit on your finger? You said he is about 8 months old, how long have you had him?
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Hi, your budgie is behaving perfectly normal, he sees you as his mate, partner.He doesn't understand he may be scratching you with his behaviour.
I would advise to start training him the step up command onto your finger as soon as possible, also not having him out when you are using your device may be of benefit for a while.The stickies on training will be a huge help to you in this regard as advised.
In the event he lands on your face, calmly, and gently place yoyr finger in front of him and say up or whatever command you are going use for step up.
Good luck and enjoy your friendship.
All good advice above. It would be a real shame to get rid of your bird so quickly. With a little training, you can probably get this behavior to stop. Plus it's still a young bird, they often just change their behaviors on their own as they mature. At least I've noticed that with my birds.
Please reconsider getting rid of your bird, that almost certainly won't be necessary! It sounds like you have an otherwise great relationship.
My 2 cents.
Sometimes we put out face close to the cage when talking to our budgie. The budgie will mainly associate your face as "you" if you do that, instead of your hand, and will jump to that.
Try to talk to him with your hand on the cage, not your nose. Interact with him with your hand, by playing with your fingers and his beak, and in general try to make your hand more interesting than your face.
At this point though, it doesnīt matter how it started, he has already learned the behavior. If your buddy wants your attention, he has already learned a fool proof way of getting it, and that is something to deal with. Budgies are smart but only associate immediate consequences to learning. He doesnīt know that his confinement is because he jumps to your nose, but he does know that he gets short term attention whenever he does fly to your nose. If you are keeping him in his cage for now, you may want to teach him (and I mean drill quite hard in him) a more effective, better alternative to get your attention, like jumping on your hand or hitting a bell. It will made you a bit of a slave of the new method for a while, since it has to be super effective for your budgie, to hopefully substitute what he is doing.
That said, it isnīt fully uncommon for budgies to jump at your face. Fae did it on occasion. Glasses looked like good perches to him.
I suggest you also train him to step up on your finger VERY reliably, so when he does you can get him out quickly and without stress.
And the most important thing, birds donīt "stop and think". There must be triggers, or situations, that make him likely to jump at your face, like being on the laptopīs screen looking at it. Make sure that the pre-conditions for the jump donīt happen, and the jump wonīt happen either. Donīt allow him on your laptopīs screen?. That is a risk area, avoid the danger. Have a perch or jungle gym near your laptop, and each time he tries to climb to the laptop make him go on your finger, put him back in the jungle gym and give him a treat. Give him treats when he stays where he should and move him away when he is in "risky" places. That will teach him that the laptop screen is not his place.
If you are desperate you may get him to associate him jumping on the laptop screen with something unpleasant, like a loud noise(drop something to the ground each time he does). Iīm not a big fan of this, but it is much better than re-homing the poor thing!
Last edited by aliciagnieto; 09-11-2020 at 03:42 PM.
Thank you all for these useful replies. I will consider your advises in the future!
The problem is mostly solved. He still jumps on my face on occasion, if he gets overexcited or when I ignore him for too long staring in my laptop. But I learned to recognize when he is about to do it.
While I was waiting for replies, I decided to start putting some mint oil on my face to repel him. It is not too unpleasant for him (i think he got some oil on him that first time and this is why he was so disgusted), but he learned and became less enthusiastic about jumping now.
I'm also interacting with him using my hands more. He is tamed and sometimes even tries to hide under my palm when he gets cuddly. I also offer toys when he looks bored.
I still have to be careful when I'm talking to him, because he understands where the sounds are coming from and starts getting closer But if he tries to jump on me, I silently get up and leave the room. It seems he recognized this pattern and now tends to stay where he is.