Birdie Bickering

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mmarteen:
This is actually a spin off from the 2nd cockatiel thread on alt.pets.parrots.cockatiels, as I thought it more appropriate here.
How much bickering do you let your birds do? We have birds that generally do not mix but are kept in the same big room, each with their separate area: a cockatiel, a white bellied caique and a hahn's macaw, all males, all apparently alpha males from what we have been able to gather. The Emile the tiel is a good sized, square shouldered magnificent crested specimen, he knows that the other two are bigger than he is and will not pick a fight (thank God!) If Rocky, the adventurous caique gets into his business, Emile will generally scream his head off, extend his wings and crest so he appears twice his size but he will also back away slowly.

A couple of times Emile has ended up on Simon, the hahn's cage after a sudden scare and for some reason, he feels compelled to try to fight simon or stand his ground. (Simon is a younger bird but being of a different species, could he know that?) Simon is of course bigger than him and could probably kill him if he wanted to. Simon sometimes antagonizes Emile by reaching for his tail if he can get to it.
Our general idea with Emile is just protect him, get him away from the other birds when he accidently crosses paths with them.
With the bigger two birds, it is a bit more complicated. They are about the same size, we would never put them together but again, they have gotten together on their own. One day I went outside to check on something and I came back in and both Rocky and Simon were sitting on the couch, on opposite ends. Another time, in a similar situation I actually observed them flying to the couch, one after the other, "beaking" eachother breifly in a fairly aggressive way, but before I could intervene, something was settled between them, because Simon started walking away to the other side of the couch.

My husband says I should stand by and let them do this, that once they get a "pecking order" established they will remain comfortable with that. I am concerned about the consequences of a fight. Rocky, although slightly smaller has a seriously sharp beak. Although he is a wonderful little guy, we both have puncture wound scars on our hands from when he got just a little too excited or misunderstood a situation. Then again, we aren't birds and the contact with the other birds has been pretty much beak to beak.
I recall Old Molly and Marc Marrone seem to have the luck of lots of birds that get along or were all raised together. Does anyone else have my kind of situation?
mm
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Toucanldy:
[nq:1]My husband says I should stand by and let them do this, that once they get a "pecking order" established they will remain comfortable with that.[/nq]
There is no such thing as "pecking order," among parrots. There is only the more aggressive bird, as the bully, that the others try to avoid. Caiques can be killers, toward other birds So far you have been lucky. This is an accident waiting to happen. Emotion: sad
Regards
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oldmolly:
[nq:2]My husband says I should stand by and let them do this, that once theyget a "pecking order" established they will remain comfortable with that.[/nq]
[nq:1]There is no such thing as "pecking order," among parrots. There is onlythe more aggressive bird, as the bully, that the others try to avoid. Caiquescan be killers, toward other birds So far you have been lucky. This is anaccident waiting to happen. Emotion: sad[/nq]
You have to firstly know your birds. I would never mix birds which a/ didn't know each other
b/ were of widly different sizes
c/ of a species that were territorial or naturally stroppy. I would not mix most poicephalus, caiques or lovebirds with other species, and even with thier own species, very carefully. I would never have a situation where one bird was able to land on top of another birds cage unless all birds were out of their cages.The post rferred to was about mixing tiels, and I stated that I simply place the newcomer into the cage/aviary with the flock and they like the borg simply assimmilate. There may initially be some squabbling and I do firmly believe that in birds which normall live in hige flocks communially, there is some kind of heirachy. I called it a pecking order for lack of a different term.I cited the case here where I have recently, placed into a large new cage, a patagonian ('jessibelle') a mitred (doddy) and a nanday (charlie).

The birds knew each other although they had never shared a cage. 'doddy' was a slightly bolshy boisterous character, although not aggressive, Jessibelle was quieter, and charlie the nanday the oldest of the lot,who had never been near other birds until he came to me. I put them all into the new cage, with 3 feed stations, lots of perches and toys and sat and watched. Initially doddy tried to chase jessibelle away form 'his' feed pot, but backed off when I told him off, jessibell now happily shared a pot with him.

I'm not going to go into the mechanics of how they all reacted together on day one, or how they now react together, but I will say that I know my birds, I would not put certain birds together, but these I had a feeling would be fine.They are all of a similar size.The bickering I referred to was not out and out fighting or bullying, and I did say that on first introductions, the bird owner must* stay within earshot just in case. I don't advocate people putting different birds together willy nilly but it *can be done.

You have to know your birds, and follow certain ground rules. Even the amazon and african grey who live together occasionally swear at each other, but ultimately are happier living together than seperate and will groom each other and Cuppy will mutter endearments to Piper. I would never* allow pandora the U2 to be with another bird. I *know* she would kill or maim, there are several other birds I would never mix, but the ones I *have mixed, have been introduced carefully, and picked because they are of a size and character.
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mmarteen:
That would be Rocky probably. Although sometimes Simon seems to be the instigator of aggression. They are of a similar size. We tried to introduce Rocky to another male Caique once (a freind's) and he immediately chased the bird away from his own cage and started eating his food. The other bird tried to preen Rocky but Rocky would chase him away. We quickly put an end to that little social experiment.
[nq:1]You have to firstly know your birds. I would never mix birds which a/ didn't know each other b/ were of widly different sizes c/ of a species that were territorial or naturally stroppy.[/nq]
They are all territorial.
[nq:1]I would not mix most poicephalus, caiques or lovebirds with otherspecies, and even with thier own species, very carefully. I ... one bird was able to land on top of another birds cage unless all birds were out of their cages.[/nq]Maybe I should explain their areas. They all have cages in an upstairs room where they sleep at night but during the day, they spend their time in 3 separate hanging trees about 2 feet from eachother. Actually, Emile's is a boing, but we have hung food and a water bottle off of it, as with the hanging trees for the other birds. They have lots of toys and things to chew hanging from the separate trees. Generally, they are fine there, all day playing and Emile only flies off if startled.

Sometimes the other birds accidently slip and flutter to the floor or the back of the couch but only Emile can fly across the room. All are clipped. I only leave them out like this if I am at home during the day, which is 90% of the time since I work at home. They have considerable freedom, they chatter back and forth to eachother. (Simon has taken to immitating Emile) but they clearly stay in their defined spaces. For showering, sometimes we put all three in at once.

we have a large shower and all three are on separate perches at different heights. Rocky and Simon are so into water they pay no attention to eachother.
[nq:1]The post rferred to was about mixing tiels, and I stated that I simply place the newcomer into the cage/aviary ... never mix, butthe ones I have mixed, have been introduced carefully, and picked becausethey are of a size and character.[/nq]
From this advice I guess I should just continue to carefully watch all my birds to try to learn what is harmless bickering, versus dangerous agression.
Sometimes I wonder though, if my reaction to their getting close to eachother doesn't encourage their aggression. I remember the first time Simon and Rocky interacted. It was simon's first day at home and when my back was turned, Rocky jumped down from his cage and walked over to where Simon's cage was. Simon, also curious, jumped down from his little trap door balcony on to the floor. They were on the floor gently beaking eachother when I discovered this and without thinking said "No Rocky!" Both birds became agitated and started beaking eachother more agressively and I pulled them apart. Maybe the gentle beaking was just a prelude to that anyway, or maybe once I was on the scene, they became jealous or felt threatened and took it out on the other bird. Anyway the dynamics clearly changed.

mm
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oldmolly:
I see a similar thing with dogs. When I have a foster dog or a new rescue here, I simply open the hatchback of my estate car (station wagon) and the newbvie jumps out. I walk to the back door and sort of ignore them all. My lot simply welcome the newcomer, or, if it is afraid, will nose it, and leave it be. Other people will have their dog on a lead, when they come, and are terrified that there will be a fight.

Ten to one there will be. The leashed dog feels the owners nerves, and knows he cannot run away because he is leashed, he knows he canjot fight because he is leashed and right away shows aggression because it is afraid, then my lot see the aggression as a threat. I expect it is a similar thing.
I have a lot of birds, a lot of species, but I am home all day with them and know their personalities.I know someone who keeps everything from macaws to cockatiels, fully flighted loose in a bird room. It can be done, but you must be careful.I don't recommend or advocate it.
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Max:
[nq:1]How much bickering do you let your birds do?[/nq]
None, unless it is the parakeets who all live as flock. I have heard of too many instances of injury to the small or less aggressive bird to let difference species any where near each other.
Years ago my grandmother's double yellow-head decided he didn't like her pionus. They had lived together for some time and seemed to get along okay. One day the pionus landed on the perch next to Charlie and got his face bitten so severely that he died in my grandmother's hands. I remember her warning me never to trust them because you never know what they are thinking and something like this can happen in an instant.
I was at the vet this summer and a sobbing woman brought in a parrot wrapped in a towel. She told the receptionist that the birds had always gotten along fine until they got into an argument. I never did find out the species but from the size of the blanket it was not a small bird. I was sitting next to the exam room and heard the doctor tell her that the bird's neck was broken and that he had to be put to sleep. She cried so hard that I ended up in tears.
Your husband's idea of a pecking order is apt to get one of your birds injured or killed. Pecking orders are generally for members of the same species. Another species, with some exceptions, is regarded as an outsider to be driven away or dominated...or killed. Don't risk it. Your birds trust you to keep them safe.
~Max
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Max:
[nq:1]The post rferred to was about mixing tiels, and I stated that I simply place the newcomer into the cage/aviary with the flock and they like the borg simply assimmilate.[/nq]
Old Molly, you had a fit at me on the cockatiel group for saying that it wasn't a good idea to just put a newcomer in with other birds. You said that I didn't read your post thoroughly. Well, I did and you are doing it again here.
[nq:1]During the quarantine period, they will be familiar with each other becausethey will have >been callling to each other.Surely nobody would be so stupid as to buy a tiel, bring it home, and bung it right into the cage of their current tiel?[/nq]
Why is it that when you talk about putting a new tiel in with others, you keep leaving this important piece of information out? Is it because you don't do it?
What you posted both here and on the cockatiel group is missing this critical bit of information. If you insist on acting the expert, you might at least bother to give someone asking a question the whole story.

~Max
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Anonymous:
[nq:2]My husband says I should stand by and let them ... a "pecking order" established they will remain comfortable with that.[/nq]
[nq:1]There is no such thing as "pecking order," among parrots. There is only the more aggressive bird, as the bully, ... can be killers, toward other birds So far you have been lucky. This is an accident waiting to happen. Emotion: sad[/nq]
Agreed. I own a caique, a rainbow lory, and a conure, whose cages are next to each other. When I let them out to play on top, I have to supervise because the lory and caique (who are feisty competitive birds by nature anyway) always try to infringe on each other's particular play space. They've only gotten into it twice since I've owned them, but I always break it up because they make it plain they will fight to the bitter end.
C.
**
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Rick:
[nq:2]There is no such thing as "pecking order," among parrots. ... been lucky. This is an accident waiting to happen. Emotion: sad[/nq]
[nq:1]Agreed. I own a caique, a rainbow lory, and a conure, whose cages are next to each other. When I ... owned them, but I always break it up because they make it plain they will fight to the bitter end.[/nq]
Ditto that. We had our own episodes last week with a recently purchased caique and our GCC. Luckily I talked my roommate into returning it before anything drastic happened, but boy those two sure wanted to get at each other. Our GCC isn't afraid of anything, even though the caique was twice her size & probably three times her weight.
Rick
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