Birds bite to get a reaction. Since it can’t talk, in order to say, “Leave me alone.” Or “No”, it naturally bites.
As tough as it is, don’t react to the bite. If you react, it will learn, “Hey, if I keep doing this, they’ll go away.” If you go away, you’ll never be able to bond with them, and birds are social creatures. They’re scared of you at first, but they will open up if you don’t give up.
In the case of Elly. (This is actually recent) She didn’t want to leave Dad. She would back up, puff her feathers, and open her beak, ready to strike if I put my hand too close. I’ll have none of that, so she bit me.
Depending how fiesty she is (and since it’s Spring, she’s hormonal/PMSy-like) I can choose to pick her up with my hand, or get the towel.
I recommend using 1 particular towel, so they’ll know, this is the 1 towel that means trouble. They’re less likely to be afraid of all towels.
Anyhoo, I take her, saying in a low tone, “Bad Elly Bird”, and I put her back in her house/cage - Where she didn’t want to be.
I did this instead of going “Ow” and giving up on her.
I love Elly, but that wasn’t cool, and that was her punishment. I didn’t give her the reaction she wanted.
Then one day. She did this cute shaking of her head as to say no. So I took my hand away. “Elly wanna go with me?” She’d back up, and instead of opening her beak to be bitey, she shook her head again. So I encouraged this expression by every time she shook her head, I’d take my hand away. So Elly shakes her head, “No” instead of bites.
Pako was bitey in the beginning. He was 8, I just took him home. I learned he hated paper towels the hard way. Why does he hate them? I don’t know, but I know him, and I won’t use them around him. Gotta bend for the bird sometimes. Bit the crap out of me when I was cleaning up poops. O_O Something like that is tough to break them out of, so I just respect his birdy wishes.
Anyhoo. He would bite me. I’d put him in his house. He’d poop on me or Dad, I’d put him in his house. It’s like humane punishment. They’re so smart they’ll register it. They are expressive creatures, in turn, you need to be expressive.
He started to love on the family with time. I would never yell at him, I would never be aggressive. Be assertive and calm. Stern, not angry.
Eventually, he was reluctant to be bitey. He would step back and lower his head like “Don’t make me bite you”. So I observed his movements and realized. I rewarded him with his wish for “No.”
Even so, he will not want to step up for meds, that’s when I say “Shtep up!” Low and loud. He knows he’s not going to win that battle, and he’ll reluctantly step up.
It’s very much about expression and reading your birds.
Pako will bite over nail polish and jewlery too. So I reccommend having nekkid hands before doing any of this.
Georgie was afraid of hands all together, so I cover them with a towel. That was interesting figuring that out.
They don’t act without reason. So just figure out the reason…!
Feel free to ask more questions..! <3 <3 <3