We’ve had Trixie for five years now. During all this time she has been the most gentle, soft-spoken and loving bird we have ever experienced. Always friendly to strangers and people she barely knows, never bites (except when playing and never hard), just a gregarious bird that everybody enjoys visiting with - well almost everybody. She HATES my sons girlfriend.
We noticed it when they were sitting at the dining room table. Whenever she would rub his head Trixie would get agitated and emit little squawks. She’s never really been very loud and to this day doesn’t talk, but she has a few sounds she makes and she was acting irritated. As soon as she’d stop rubbing his head she’d calm down. If my son returned the behavior with his girlfriend, she would start back in again.
From that point on, really a little before that, Trixie want’s nothing to do with the girlfriend - will peck aggressively whenever she tries to pet or get near the cage, and generally acts agitated whenever she spots the two of them together.
Yesterday, though, she launched an attack! She literally leaped from the cage onto her back as she stood and started BITING her! We had to pull the bird off and lock her into her cage, something we’ve NEVER had to do!
Literally, as long as the girlfriend isn’t around the bird is her normal, mellow, loving self, but something about the girlfriend just turns her into a completely different pet.
I doubt there is much that can be done about it, but is this behavior jealousy (she really loves my son), or is it something else?
Last Edit: Jul 27, 2020 17:11:48 GMT -5 by Aardman
Yes, it most likely is jealousy, probably accompanied by hormonal issues. Trixie thinks she has to protect your son from his girlfriend. Sometimes in this kind of situation the parrot will also attack the person she loves and is trying to protect. It can be difficult to deal with and hard to change this kind of behavior. Some people have had success with having the person under attack interact with the parrot while the bird is inside his/her cage-- sit and talk with the parrot, offer treats and so on. Unfortunately, it isn't always successful. Maybe another Forum member will have some suggestions for you.
The whole episode is just completely out of character with the way she’s acted basically her entire life. We’ve had other birds that had biting issues, but she’s just never been anything but mellow. The whole episode happened after the girlfriend HAD spent some time talking to her and whistling (which means nothing to Trixie) at her through the cage. It was almost as if her trying to pal up to the bird pissed her off even more!
I thought by five hormonal issues were pretty much over.
Unfortunately, we feel like the only way to keep the girlfriend safe now is to lock Trixie in her cage (which we never do) whenever she comes over, and it’s a safe bet that’s just going to make her even madder at the girlfriend!
Last Edit: Jul 28, 2020 11:06:14 GMT -5 by Aardman
Unfortunately for us parronts, hormonal issues can continue well into a parrot's old age. Hormones can turn a normally gentle bird into a monster. My QP Ralph is known on the forum as "the gentleman Quaker," but when the hormones kick in the gentlemanly behavior goes out the window.
It could be that confining Trixie to her cage when the girlfriend is around may be the best approach, at least temporarily. In time, the aggressive behavior may end just as abruptly as it began.