Thursday, May 3, 2012

Breakthrough with Raptor!

When Raptor first came home, he was pretty neutral and would let both my bf and I give him scritches.  Within a month of him being with us, he chose my bf as his "person" and refused to let me scritch him at all.  In fact, he would lunge and try to bite me - he even would try to trick me into giving him scritches by lowering his head for me and then lunging at me when my fingers came close.  He eventually started seeing me as competition and would get very jealous whenever the bf and I got close.  He wouldn't actively attack me, but he always made his presence known and would try to get between us. LOL  While my bf loves our birds, he's not a true "bird person" so he always asks me how I could have so much love for a bird that tries to bite me.  He doesn't understand that I take the relationship for what it is and I don't take his behavior personally.  

In the couple of years we've had Rappy, I've done my best to slowly build our relationship.  I'm the primary treat giver, I spend way more time with Raptor than the bf does, etc.  Still, the bf is the chosen and preferred person and that's okay with me.  The relationship had gotten a little better back in December during my Winter Break.  I was home the whole time so I was able to spend extra time with the birds.  It was during this time that Raptor allowed me to give him scritches using my wrist.  I kept a closed fist so that he wouldn't try to bite my fingers.  This was HUGE and I was so happy that our relationship had started taking forward steps!  Unfortunately, once Winter Break was over and I went back to spending my normal amount of time with him he regressed and I couldn't bring my hand/wrist near his head without his eyes pinning.

Well, I've been able to spend a little extra time with Raptor these past couple of weeks.  I've also been home for the past two and a half days from being sick so I've been spending a ton of time with the boys.  Today, I was laying in bed with Mika in his cage and Raptor on the living room playgym.  I definitely can't have them both out when I'm sick in bed.  I heard Raptor leave the playgym and head for the bedroom.  As usual, he sought to get to Mika's cage so he can kill.  I intercepted him while he was still on the floor and brought him on the bed with me.  

After a little while of just hanging out on my chest, he lowered his head for me.  I decided to take a chance and extended my wrist to scritch him - he allowed it!  After a while of that I decided to use the outside of my thumb, balling the rest of my fingers to prevent possible damage, to scritch him - he allowed it!  After a while of outer thumb scritches I decided to try to use the rest of my fingers - AND HE ALLOWED IT!!  I was amazed and ecstatic!  What a huge leap forward!!  I kept the scritches to short bursts just in case and, each and every time, he would lower his head again for more.  I would say I scritched him for a total of over five minutes before his attention turned back to wanting to kill Mika.

I do hope he continues to allow me to give him normal scritches, but only time will tell.  He seems to require a TON of extra time with me in order to be fully comfortable with me and, unfortunately, I can't quit my job just so I can give him scritches. LOL  Also, if I get any other job besides the one I have now, I'll have to be away from home at least an hour more a day and I won't have huge breaks (my current work schedule is 7 hours as full time with all holidays and school breaks off).  We seem to always take a step forward and a step back and I'm alright with that.  It can't be helped.  No matter what, I will continue to build our relationship at his pace and am willing to take forever if necessary.  :)


  1. Replies
    1. So far, so good! When I go to give him scritches now, he lunges at me with open beak really quick and then lets me scritch him. He needs to stop the lunging!! :P

  2. That fantastic news! What a cutiee!