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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-24-2003, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow Dante- One Man Bird

I knew I might have a problem with Dante out of his cage while the love of his life was away! He's totally bonded to Jim (and my son and he accepts a lot of my male friends!) but - he's sometimes pretty aggressive toward me.

Last night I was feeding them. The routine is always to open the cage doors and let them climb around while I prepare the food, wash the bowls, give them clean water. Dante usually gets very excited and goes through his "routine". He waves, does all his tricks, yells all the words and phrases he knows, climbs around and does gymnastics all over...

Well - there I was with Dante perched higher than me! His cage is as tall as I am. Ugh! Now he has the upper hand- he's top bird and knows it! Every time I'd reach up to him and say "UP!" or "Step UP!" he'd tease me with one foot... lower his head as if he were coming at me to bite... then take a step back and he started to laugh like a maniac! "Hahahahahaha!" "HELOOOO!!"

He was pinning his eyes - which he does when he talks - but he also pins his eyes when he's about bite!

I trained him to accept being toweled (makes for less stress when wing-clipping or foot grooming- and he loves being wrapped in a towel after a bath and ga-ga'd over, cradled like a baby) - I was anticipating having to throw a towel over him and grab him that way and I didn't want to do that. The towel is supposed to be *nice*

I had to think!... Hrrrm! Peanuts!! Dante loves peanuts. He actually loves himself with a peanut! He takes it in his foot- and rubs it all over his face and head...

I showed him a peanut and told him "Back in!" "Dante, Back in your cage!" He laughed in my face! "hahahahahahahHAHAHAH!"

I put a few peanuts on top of his food... and took a step away from the cage. He looked at me, down at the peanut, back at me again... waved his foot at me, said "mmmmmmMMMMMM"
"hahahahaHAHAH" "mmmmmmMMMMM!!"

Score one for the peanut! He flipped himself upsidedown and hung like that - hanging by one foot - twisting his head to look at the peanuts. - Said "Hello!" "mmmmMMM!!"

The peanuts won and Dante went into his cage, grabbed a peanut- talked to it, then he loved himself all over with it...
I closed the cage. HA!

This entire time little Dweezil was having a good work out on top of his cage flapping his wings and saying "hello!" "woot WOOO!" (the wolf whistle) and "Doot dooo doot doot doo dooooo!" (the notes you usually hear on an organ at a ballgame and everyone yells CHEER! - it's his favorite song ) and "hello baby", which he says in a whispery baby voice...

I told Dweezil to "Step up" , he climbed onto my finger- I spent some time loving on him, scratching his head, giving him kisses...
and put him back in his cage to eat.

Later that night I went into the kitchen to check on them and there they were - both on their sleep perches... grinding their beaks.

I think I probably could have pushed the issue and gotten Dante to "Step Up"... and he might have given me a bite which I could have ignored and pushed him back, forcing him to step onto my finger... I have done it many times before. Once he's actually on my hand and in my control he's fine, especially if I take him out of the room and away from his cage. I wasn't in the mood to battle. *sigh* I outsmarted him and let the peanut win.

I wish I could re-bond with this bird! It makes me sad sometimes to think about how close we were, until he matured and left the proverbial nest. He's a total goofball! He's just more than 7 years old now, and I know that is still young- but he's mature. Is there any hope?

That was my bird rant of the day - any suggestions or advice on how to re-bond with Dante will be soaked up like a sponge!
Thanks you guys!!

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-24-2003, 02:41 PM
 
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I don't have any advice, but I was at your story! I could just picture Dante "loving himself" with a peanut !!!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-24-2003, 02:41 PM
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I am not a bird person but I would really take advantage of this time that your husband is away. Try giving Dante extra attention and bribe him with extra treats.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-24-2003, 05:49 PM
 
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Dante is such a character! Nuts are always good for bribing - I bribed Eephus to be my friend with nuts right away when he got here!! (be careful with feeding too many peanuts tho - they have so much fat and have a funky kind of mold that's harmful to birds)

Aww, you sound sad when you talk about wanting to re-bond! I don't have any advice either on how to go about that except for the obvious ways. Very interesting topic tho - I'm gonna have to go look some stuff up on it now!

I wish you had a picture or Dante lovin the peanut! (boy does that sound funny!!! )
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-24-2003, 08:00 PM
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Peanut love ... I'd like to see that myself ...

The bonding issue is something that really interests (concerns?)me too. Eephus just turned 4, so I know he has yet to "grow up". His first owner was a man, and as much as he loved me in the beginning, it was love at first sight when he met my hubby. He also evidently took to Kenny over Jodi ...
He doesn't just love Greg, he actually prefers him over me. He goes into attack mode, and has given me a few good bites when I've tried to intrude on his "Daddy Time". Otherwise, he still loves me. He can also be in the middle of playtime with me, and the second he hears Daddy even clear his throat, I turn into chopped liver, it's like someone flips a switch.

Did Dante start out loving you, then turn completely to his daddy ? Is that what I need to prepare for ? I always joke that when Daddy's around, Eephus sees me as a food source, and nothing more - I'd like to keep it a joke ...

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-24-2003, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by SharonM
He doesn't just love Greg, he actually prefers him over me. He goes into attack mode, and has given me a few good bites when I've tried to intrude on his "Daddy Time"
That is exactly how it started! I believe I played a big part in letting it go so far and progress to what it is now. At the time I really didn't understand a whole lot about parrot mentality and how complex it is. I started to back off and just let him prefer Jim. He totally bonded to my son too. Actually, I think he looks at Thomas as his mate! He'll do anything for Thomas. Thomas is the one that he gurges on, any and every chance he gets he tries to feed him

Back to the beginning. We got Dante from a breeder in Florida when he was about 2 months old. He was so tiny and adorable. It really was love at first sight. I'm the one who hand fed him round the clock. He was very bonded to me for a long time. I weaned him, trained him, socialized him. He was the center of the universe for a long time! He was great with all three of my kids. Lisa (my youngest) was 8 when we got him and she had a tiny little girl's voice. Dante loved her. His first phrase was "Come on!" in Lisa's voice! She'd open his cage door and coax him onto her finger saying "Come on!, Come On!" Most of the words he says he says in her little girl voice, it's really cute!

As he matured he started to get nasty with Lisa, biting her hard a couple of times. Being as young as she was, she became scared of him and interacted with him less and less. She'd always talk to him through the cage though and feed him treats.

Our family started expanding pet-wise and we got Jack. My attention turned to training the puppy-from-**** and Jim gradually took over more and more responsibility for Dante. He'd take him to the store (we lived in Charlotte at the time) in the car riding on his shoulder! Everyone up the road at the Circle K loved him

Eventually I got my first Dweezil (cockatiel) and took him practically from the nest. He was pin feathered! I hand fed Dweezil round the clock, devoted lots of time and attention to him... well the rest is history. Dante and I drifted apart

As Dante matured his preference was really strong - and we didn't do anything to change his mind. Weird thing... he loves my brother and several of my male friends that he doesn't even see on a regular basis! Me? Yeah, I'm the food source! The bringer of peanuts, treats, his favorite warm foods that I cook for him...

Long, Long, Long story summed up. He really rejected me! I know there had to be ways I could have prevented it...

I'm hoping there are ways to re-bond and have fun with him again

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-25-2003, 09:24 PM
 
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I certainly don't have any advice (I'm always looking for the advice )

I love reading your posts! You have a way of making your situations entertaining! I know you want to bond with him, and I really hope there is a way that you can reconnet with him.

I would love to see pictures like everyone else!

If it makes you feel any better, Floyd will attack anyone who does not take him out of his cage. He is wishy-washy and loves anyone who takes him out. Bottom line is..(you're his friend if you take him out)!
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