The best way to stop Green Cheek Conures from biting is to understand the mannerisms of your bird as much as possible and learn what may or may not upset them and then avoid that behaviour in the future.
Though every bird has a unique personality, green Cheeked Conures are known for being cheeky and outgoing with their owners. They require toys and entertainment to bring out the more intelligent side of their personality. This includes things like chewable toys, jingle balls, and baths, which green cheeked conures especially love.
One of their downsides is that they require constant attention from you, the owner and dominant person in your bird’s life. If this attention is denied then your bird may respond in various ways, usually this starts with screaming during the day, and if nothing improves in your bird’s mind then they will resort to biting.
It’s not your Bird’s Fault
It’s a common misconception that biting means your bird has a fault in its personality and therefore needs to be punished. Do not punish your bird for biting, instead, ignore it completely. But, if this is a constant problem, leave them in their cage by himself for 10-15 minutes, if they scream do not interact, really emphasize the fact that biting doesn’t affect you.
Because, to a bird, or to most animals really, a negative response is better than no response. Whilst you do this, try to think of reasons that your bird is biting you.
Biting you does not mean your bird is just bad, it means your bird wants something to change or improve.
For example, imagine you just took on a hobby, outside of work or school, which took up a large chunk of time out of your day. This means that your bird is left by themselves more often, but, when you do try to handle or spend time with your bird, they bite you. This means that your bird is upset and wants something to change.
But, sometimes, it’s a really petty reason. imagine you want your bird to step up onto your hand, but you decide to do it with your left hand instead of your right hand for a change, and, when you decide to do that, you get bitten.
Honestly, you can’t really change the fact that your bird has a inexplicable grudge against your left hand.
The smart way to deal with it would to take note of your bird’s peeve and correct yourself.
Though, if you know what to look out for, you can prevent biting before it happens. There are certain types of aggressive behaviours your bird will do before biting, if you know what these signs are, and correct your behaviour, your bird should never bite you. Read the three main paragraphs below for more information.
Screaming is the most common way of parrots saying I want this! get rid of this! no, it’s not time for bed yet! It’s important to see what makes your bird scream, because in some ways it can be more annoying than biting. Screaming is caused by boredom, hunger and lack of exercise, which, you need to make sure are all under control, because they are vital factors in your bird’s wellbeing. Or, screaming can quite literally go the other way and be an expression of joy. But, if screaming annoys you can stop it completely by putting a dark sheet over your bird’s cage, speak quietly and avoid sudden movements so you don’t get your bird worked up, entertain your bird for a while, and let them have some time out of cage, this should calm them down for some time, but, the most affective way to stop screaming is to get to the route of the problem.
Pinning is when your bird’s pupils dilate constantly, it’s a sign of unhappiness and stress, or can mean the complete opposite, your bird is happy. But, pinning along with panting and screaming is a definite SOS from your bird. It’s hard to notice unless you look closely but is as much of a distress signal as screaming. You can’t really prevent your bird from pinning, you can only stop it at the core, get rid of the reason your bird is pinning, this could be caused by an unacceptable different type of food or neglect.
Panting, or open-mouthed breathing is also a sign of stress., No, it does not mean that your bird is hot, unless of course it’s an unnaturally hot day, which happens a lot in Australia. But, this behaviour along with screaming, pinning etc. is a definite sign of an angry or stressed bird, which can definitely lead up to biting issues. It’s quite easy to recognize the difference to your bird being hot or your bird being distressed, though. If your bird’s hot, you would probably find them under some sort of shade or near a water source, and in that case mist your bird with a squirt bottle. A stressed bird will not only pant, but also scream and pin, so it’s not hard to separate the two.
These factors are all signs leading up to your bird having biting problems, but sometimes it can out of the blue. In this case it’s probably just your bird taste-testing you or just using his mouth to get a firm grip on you. Not all biting means bad. For example, I’ve had cases where a bird has bitten my ear because of my earrings, because he wanted to steal them.
Also, keep in mind that birds are known to be playful and comedic creatures, so they play bite as well when they get excited.
Birds biting strangers or house guests
One of the problems green cheek Conure owners face is the irritating quality that means your bird will only really bond to one or two people. I’ve commonly heard cases of birds biting house guests because of the unfamiliarity. And, yes, this is very annoying. This is because your bird fears that this intruder will interfere or ruin your friendship between you and them. This is a problem most green cheek owners will face, and, really the only way to stop this problem is to let your bird know that you prefer them over your guest (even if you don’t.) you can do this while holding your bird while you and your guest interact. And, try to let your guest hold your bird. Unfortunately, sometimes you can’t create a forced friendship between guests and your bird, and you will have to deal with the occasional bite that means go away! You’re not welcome! I hate you! But the situation can improve by itself depending on your bird.
List of reasons your bird will bite
Some birds are very petty and will act like a princess if they don’t get their way. If biting is a real problem for you, it’s a good idea to observe what makes your bird bite and turn it into a list, and you will often be surprised at how long it can get to. But here is a list of a few of the main biting causes.
A new food type, some birds are very petty about their food. They love nuts and fresh fruits, though it’s not a good idea to use them in a regular diet, because birds love them as training rewards. I recommend keeping your green cheek on a south American diet though, because that’s where their kind originates from.
Boredom, I would say the number one reason for biting is boredom. because Green cheeks are intelligent, they need constant new stimulation. This could be rotating different toys in their cage or spending more time with your bird out of the cage. Another lovely side effect of boredom is non-stop screaming. So, keep this factor especially under control.
Some non-aggressive, unexplained reason that doesn’t make sense. Green cheeks are well known for their comical personality that isn’t always completely logical. And, it’s not uncommon for birds to bite in no aggressive way, like when they play, or when they just feel like it. This should be an occasional thing, and the bite shouldn’t feel very hard.
You took dared to touch their food, Birds, being incredible petty and unjustified creatures follow their own set of rules. These rules are: if I touch it, it’s mine, If I want it, it’s mine, If I want to scream, I will, If I feel like throwing seed everywhere, I will. So, naturally, you have to expect some very petty behaviour. This involves having a hissy fit when you touch their food or refill their water. This is understandably ridiculous and cannot be stopped. But, you can purchase special cages in which you can refill the food and water from the outside, tantrum-free.
In conclusion, birds will mainly bite for a reason, no matter how petty it is. And if your bird does bite you, I’d recommend observing what you’re doing wrong and readjusting your schedule to fix this problem.