Remembering Raspy: Biting

When Raspy was in the mood, she had a killer bite. 

During her “teens” she went through a biting phase.  When I say “biting” I mean the kind that really hurts!  It can break skin, or if it does not, it will leave a dent & this can also happen through clothing.  I tried several methods to stop her from biting:

Raise finger & tap bird on the beak & say “No” firmly

  • To Raspy, a raised finger just meant an opportunity to bite was being handed to her on a plate.

Make hand/wrist go floppy so bird falls off

  • Raspy just clung on, with her beak digging deeper into my finger…

Gently blow on the back of bird’s head

  • The first time I did this Raspy did not react.  Perhaps I was not blowing hard enough or near enough?   I pursed my lips & moved in to blow on the back of her head again when Madam Raspy turned & bit me on the lip!  Yes, drawing blood!

Put the bird back in the cage, i.e., stop interacting with the bird

  • I would do this, but Raspy would just come out the cage a few seconds later & pick up where she left off.

Be firm

  • One time I was getting annoyed with her for biting so much so I shouted, “THAT’S IT, I AM NOT PLAYING WITH YOU ANYMORE!”  I then left her at the cage & stomped off back to my computer.  As soon as I sat down, she flew directly to me, landed on my head, stopped for a few seconds, then flew back to the cage.  If that was not Raspy having the last word then I’ll eat a pot of avian seaweed!  That was the first & last time she ever did that.  I cannot say it was the last time she was biting though!

In the end, I gave up trying to be the boss of Raspy & decided to be grateful she wanted to be close enough to me to bite. From then on, when she was in a biting mood I would start twiddling my fingers & then it turned into a game, albeit a slightly painful one for me!

Here are a couple of my favourite videos of Raspy in biting mood….She looks really happy to me!