Author Topic: Behavior questions from a newbie!  (Read 2064 times)

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Offline MamaofaMaxi

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Behavior questions from a newbie!
« on: July 18, 2014, 03:01:09 PM »
Alrighty! I hope it's alright that I post this, but I have quite a few questions regarding Pionus behavior as I'm not familiar with them at all. I did my best to research before we brought him home, but the resources I found were quite lacking!

So I have a Maximilian, and he's 10 years old! We adopted him from a rescue here in the Midwest. Conditions weren't 100% great there, but they did the absolute best they could with being non-profit and they really are quite knowledgeable about birds. Not so much pionus, though, since they don't get them often.

This might be a long list of questions, so please forgive me!

- Molting! I think he's currently going through this, as he's losing quite a bit of down feathers and he's lost two large feathers from his wings. He's been sitting fluffed up most of the time, sleeping on one foot and his droppings have been looser than normal but I talked to a vet and they said this could just be due to stress of being in a new environment and molting. Otherwise, the color is normal and his behavior is totally normal too. I've read Pionus are particularly bad with hiding illness, but I honestly see no signs of illness at all. He eats, drinks, plays, talks. Nothing that would signify being sick, so could molting and stress of a new place be causing the constantly loose droppings? Sometimes, they are firm too. It depends. Though, to edit this slightly, I've found a few times today, his droppings have been nothing but clear liquid which just doesn't seem right to me at all.

- Some of the noises he makes, I'm not familiar with at all due to the fact that they have their own unique sounds as I'm sure all of you know! He does this whistling noise that sounds like "whooooo!". I'm not sure if that's something he's learned or if it's an actual pionus noise. I'm familiar with the wheezing, he does it when happy or scared, but there are some clicking noises he makes that I can't ever tell if they're happy or not because he's done them in situations that could go either way. He also does this little squeaking noise, that I think might just be happy noises. If anyone can tell me how your parrot acts with sounds, that might help me a lot!

- He bows a lot, and raises his wings by bouncing them up and down. I was told this was begging, which it seems to be true! And I did say this above, but he's fluffed up a lot but no tail bobbing save for the usual bob you see when parrots are breathing in and out naturally. He went in for his physical and they listened to his lungs and heart, which showed he was really healthy so I think it's just molting.

I think that's it for now, thanks!

Offline Dartman

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Re: Behavior questions from a newbie!
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2014, 10:14:18 PM »
The WOOO! is probably his version of a flock call, the weeze when excited is pretty normal and when they get really wound up it can sound like they are going to vapor lock and freaks out vets that have never worked with them.
Nerd did the tiny whistling when happy or comfy and getting ready for a nap.
Give him time to observe and get comfy and he'll start to blossom and come out of his shell but read his moods as if he's upset or prissy he might bite, then again he may decide fairly quickly your his soulmate. Let him go at his pace and you'll earn his trust and undying love with time.
Lurch does the clicking thing and it goes both ways, he's either really happy, or really pissed. They are fairly easy to read when upset so if he's all fluffed up, growling, and his tails flared probably best not to touch.
Nerd bird was with me for 31 years and we trusted each other enough he would look at my eyes then reach out gently and preen my eyelashes, that is not something I'd recommend without total respect and trust for each other if you like your eyes. Lurch we are still coming to terms but he likes us now.
Keep us informed and ask away, we love pictures.
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Offline MamaofaMaxi

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Re: Behavior questions from a newbie!
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2014, 10:26:28 PM »
Thank you for the information! That really helps me out! And that's very sweet! I don't let him anywhere near like that, but he likes to play with my fingers sometimes. Haha, and give me kisses on the cheek when I'm moving him to another spot. He is a total sweetheart, but as with any parrot, gets his moods.

Do you know anything about the molting, though? I'm still very concerned over the fluffing up and the watery droppings (especially the two today that were completely liquid and nothing more). I'm fairly certain it's just stress and molting, as he's losing so many down feathers, but due to having lost my past two birds to illness they were unfortunately born with, I'm now paranoid and finding it hard to remain calm. He needs to get the initial blood check work up, as my vet didn't do this. I'm hoping to switch to an actual avian vet, which took forever to find. We live in such a small area we have limited resources. ):

Thank you again for your help! I really appreciate it!

Offline Dartman

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Re: Behavior questions from a newbie!
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2014, 10:48:46 PM »
I think they molt in stages so as not to loose to many feathers so they can continue to fly and be safe.
Lurch took about 6 months to molt out the clipped flight feathers he had when we got him, which was good as he could get very upset and go into full battle mode and not being able to fly probably saved a few attacks.
If he's not eating a lot but drinking more his poops can be watery, if he starts squeaking and straining to poop he's probably dehydrated and should get a drink right away as Nerd used to do that so we'd give him ice water or his favorite drink and that would fix him up. Find a good avian vet and get a exam with the usual tests and make sure everything's OK but yes, he's probably a bit stressed so might be a bit off. Nerd always had smaller poops that varied depending on what he'd been eating or drinking and both he and now Lurch can have very watery poops if they've just slugged down a big drink recently, then go back to normal when everything balances out. Lurch is a LOT bigger then Nerd was even though they both were/are Maxis like your guy. Nerd weighed 214g average, Lurch weighs 250, and both were healthy but Nerd was always very skinny and smallish.
Jan used to breed and raise these guys so when she sees this I bet she have more info and there are a lot of folks on here that I'm sure will jump in with good stuff too.
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Offline MamaofaMaxi

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Re: Behavior questions from a newbie!
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2014, 10:51:30 PM »
Okay, that's good to know! Thank you very much! I never really thought that their droppings could fluctuate through out the day, but I suppose it makes sense! And yes, I do want to bring him in for all the work up he should get. We weren't ever able to do it for cockatiels, so all of this is still pretty new to me, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it. (:

I think he is drinking a lot of water right now, because he really is eating normally and quite a bit too, I might add. I think it really is just stress, but I just have a tendency to worry about my babies. ):

Thanks again!