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Old 01-30-2019, 07:47 PM
noodles123 noodles123 is offline
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

Quote: Originally Posted by Amayaluna View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
I know you are asking about a very different bird species, but here is my experience with wild-caught birds:

My uncle had a wild-caught African Grey that was acquired as a young (but not baby) bird in the 80s (things were sketchier then--he got him at a pet-store and it was the norm in many places)...I want to say he was about 1-2 years old at the time and my uncle was 20ish and knew very little about what he was getting into (he got the bird, the cage for $100 HAHA). He turned out to be a good "parront" but it was a labor of love and way more expensive than he ever expected. The bird was a huge part of the family---a constant fixture.

He bonded with my uncle rather quickly (given his situation)---I want to say within a year or so, but they didn't have kids at the time and he spent a ton of time with him. I know he did get bitten early on, but the bird was probably overly bonded to him, so he could get away with murder 90% of the time once that bond was established. In hindsight, there was some hormonal behavior that probably should have been discouraged and was not due to lack of knowledge (aka regurgitation).

He allowed my aunt to handle him over the years, but it was more like a snarky boss-co-worker kind of relationship (bird being the boss). She got lots of warning bites when putting him back in his cage etc (but he still loved her 2nd most to my uncle). You could tell the bird liked her in his own way.

About 20 years in, we (teens at the time) got more confident and he simultaneously mellowed out a bit (I was able to hold him after spending hours just sitting in the room talking to him---had to ease into it even then and still got bitten a couple times). We also just were more accepting of the idea that we might get bitten and had better self-control in terms of our own reactions/expectations.

As kids, we were all pretty intimidated by him because he was kind of jealous and he would swoop around unexpectedly and bite if anyone other than my aunt or uncle tried to touch him. He never attacked us or anything (although he reportedly dive-bombed my cousin at some point and literally pierced her ear when she had him on her shoulder)--it was just understood (especially after the ear incident) that if you tried to invade his bubble he would react (unless you were in his top 2 people list). It wasn't like the adults forbid us to go near him---but in the background of videos (when I was 2-3) you can always hear someone saying "remember, don't touch the birdy". We played in the same room and rough-housed around him and he was fine with it (actually, he probably enjoyed it) but we all had a healthy understanding of what could happen if we pushed the limits too far. I never felt scared when I was respecting his rather small bubble (regardless of my age).

I make him sound terrible, but we were all obsessed with him by the time were were old enough to appreciate him and there was a ton of respect there (even as kids, we loved him). He was super chill and fun to hang out with (he just didn't want to be touched by us and he did learn not to fly everywhere whenever he felt like it). He died of PDD (never sure where he acquired it) but in his 30+ years of life, I know that he had a huge impact on all of us (there was good and bad, but looking back, it was all for the best and certainly a valuable lesson in trust and commitment).

I forgot to add- he was always weird about toys and very easily spooked by unfamiliar objects near his cage (but not in the general environment). He also HATED puppies and enthusiastic/energetic dogs (would hiss and growl at them if they entered the same room) lol.

Thank you so much for sharing the story. If I get to bond with Izzy as much as your uncle bonded with his african grey, I will be the happiest. My biggest fear is, Izzy will never get comfortable enough.
You did mention that your uncle's bird was acquired as a young, but is there any way to know this? I have been researching all over the internet, but seems like there is nothing you can do to really know the age, even approximately.

Yeah- I have know idea how they guessed that age as he wasn't a chick when they got him. I guess he could have been older...I wonder...may need to text uncle..
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Laurasea Supporting Member (01-30-2019), Scott  (01-31-2019)