Ask Lafeber


July 13, 2021

2 year old green cheek conure being aggressive randomly

Hello, I have a 2 year old green cheek conure that we have had since about 6 months old. We don’t know the sex however he/she will have a good day a few times a month where I can hold him and he will lay with me play on his perch with me. I will give him/her treats and try and bond as best I can. He/she seems very territorial of the cage and have even caught him humping one of his/her bells that hang in the cage. He/she also sleeps up against this bell. He/she eats great and is in great health(as per the 6 month vet check ups)and I just want to establish a great relationship with my bird. When I dony get the lunging crazy biting behavior in the cage. He/she can be so lovable pressing up against my hand or neck and eventually pressing into my neck and going to sleep. I don’t know if the cage is creating some territorial tendency or if it’s a hormonal response. Any information would be very much appreciated. Thanks!!


Hi Vincent,

A lot of birds are cage territorial, so this is a normal behavior. Do you let him come and go at will? When you open the cage door in the morning and leave it open all day, this can make a bird a lot more territorial and independent. If this is the case, you might try setting some boundaries. When he comes out of the cage, he needs to come out on your hand. Another option is to stick train him. If he isn’t interacting with you, it’s time to go back in the cage. If he is simply territorial, and it isn’t that he can come and go all day, then stick training is still a good option. Teach him to step up on a perch and then take him to another room to handle him. Most birds will behave better as soon as they are out of sight of their cage. It sounds like he has a strong attachment to the bell. If he is obsessed with it, where he mates with it a lot, feeds it, protects it and wants to spend all of his time with the bell, then you probably should remove it. It’s never good for a bird to be obsessed with a toy – often it will be a mirror. They tend to not exercise enough and they isolate from humans. When you do handle him, avoid hormone triggers, which means limit petting to his head and neck – when you pet him on the body, it triggers his hormones because this is something only a mate would be allowed to do. I’m going to give you the links to our body language and training pages, as well as to our webinar playlist of Heart to Heart, a pet bird behavior webinar series. You can learn a lot about behavior and body language so you can better understand why his behavior seems to change or be erratic. All behavior issues are linked to natural behavior, so you have to learn the signals they give us in order to understand him.

Pet Bird and Parrot Behavior

Teaching Your Bird

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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