I’ve been pretty lucky with our birds. I have bold little canaries and a wonderfully adapted parrotlet. Mishka is a little more… subtle. She’s become braver with a lot of attention and training, but night time shows a different side.
I should note that when she first came home with us, she clung to the bars of her cage for two days straight, unmoving. We sat by her, talked to her, did all the things we could, but it took her nearly two months and a new, enormous cage to adjust. In that time, we moved flat and then I went home to the states on holiday. My boyfriend managed to train Mishka a little while I was away. He’d figured out that her daytime bites are feints. (Nighttime? She’ll go for blood.)
She spends her night huddled on the chinchilla perch I gave her (it’s
her favourite the highest up). Even passing by her cage causes her to hiss and lunge at you. Should you dare put a hand inside – however innocently – she will lunge and attempt to bite.
The only thing I’ve figured I can do is leave her to it. We cover part of the cage with a heavy towel and provide a night light. We also used to wheel her into the bird room to sleep, but the move terrified her even more – so she stays put. There’s not much traffic where she is at night, so it’s not that.
I suppose I should mention that she has her ‘moments’ during the day, too.
Truly she wants to be a sociable bird. Unfortunately, she bites, screams, and sometimes gets territorial while eating millet on your lap. She has times where she appears to be overcome with irate energy and flaps around the ceiling as fast as she can. Don’t stand in her way, or she will fly into your head. Once in awhile, she’ll be singing on top of her cage and pick up a foot, grab it in her beak, and make this horrible squealing noise (gotta ask the vet about that one). Some days, she looks at you with the look that says, ‘Put that hand in here and see what happens.’
All we do is leave her alone until she calms. Her door is open pretty much whenever we’re home, and she is free to join us as she pleases. I plan on beginning some more trick training with her soon (she’s already familiar with touch-training and will ring her bell for treats), and will be swapping out her toys again for new ones. Another of my goals is to try some home-made foraging toys.
My idea is that increasing her confidence in the daylight hours will improve her night time behavioural issues.