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Old 12-06-2017, 11:15 PM
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New Owner Questions

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Hello, I recently adopted a blue fronted amazon. She is about a year old. We call her Bobbi. I'm learning as I go here and trying to become a good parrot owner.

We've had her for about a month now. We have kind of a crazy house....wife and I plus 4 kids, a dog, and a kitten. There's never a dull moment, lol. Bobbi seems to be bonded with me. She will be quiet most of the day but when I get home from work, she starts yelling and bobbing around. I can "yell" to her and she will respond to me. When I walk up to her, she will come right up to me and start cooing and talking to me.

I have 2 questions so far. First, she HATES when anyone puts a hand anywhere near her, including me. Is this normal? I'd love for her to perch on my hand but she growls and retracts if a hand moves towards her. Yet, she is totally comfortable with having my face next to her.

That said, I've been trying to get her comfortable with just sitting with me on the couch. I can cover her with a small kitchen towel and set her on my chest. She will just kind of hang out and chill. Again if I raise a hand, she will growl. But otherwise, she's pretty content. Tonight she climbed up right next to me and was "nibbling" on my ear and face. Not biting at all, just kind of nuzzling my ear and face. She is very gentle but I'm very careful to keep the kids/pets away and make sure I stay very still. Nonetheless, I'm wondering if I'm crazy to let her get this close to me.

Generally, she does seem to be much more trusting of me...she is mainly calm when I cover her and move her (she wasn't at all the first few weeks) and she has continued to seem more and more attached to me. So, my main questions for now are:

1) Will it just take more time for her to trust me and allow me to hold out a hand to perch?
2) Am I being a total idiot for letting her sit on my chest and nuzzle my face?

Thanks in advance! I'm looking forward to learning from you all
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:31 AM
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Re: New Owner Questions

I have 2 questions so far. First, she HATES when anyone puts a hand anywhere near her, including me. Is this normal? I'd love for her to perch on my hand but she growls and retracts if a hand moves towards her. Yet, she is totally comfortable with having my face next to her.

She could have very well had a bad experience with hands, so does not trust them. If that is the case, then yes. It could also be true that she's never been handled, so doesn't trust hands.


I can cover her with a small kitchen towel and set her on my chest. She will just kind of hang out and chill.
How does she react when you cover her with a towel to move her? Is she really calm or is she tensing up and looking for a way to escape?


1) Will it just take more time for her to trust me and allow me to hold out a hand to perch?
Using positive reinforcement training techniques, you can teach her to warm up to you and to step up. I would recommend trying to start out with target training. This requires deciding on what you want to use as a target and figuring out what her top 3-5 treats are, then teaching her to reach for the target for a reward.

Now, she may be afraid of whatever you decide to use as a target, but this can be worked around - trained.


2) Am I being a total idiot for letting her sit on my chest and nuzzle my face?
Do you trust her there? Or is she biting? If it's a positive way for the two of you to interact it may very well be fine. However, if she's biting, becoming hormonal or there's any amount of stress on her getting to that point, you may need to reconsider how you are interacting with her.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:57 AM
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Re: New Owner Questions

Thanks for the reply! For the first week or so that we had her, she was very tense with the "towel" handling. However, I was only moving her from inside the cage to the perch outside so she could roam freely. She definitely didn't like it at first but she is much better with it now.

We're still trying to figure out her favorite treats. She will let me hand feed her sometimes. She's a little timid but when it's something she really wants, she will allow it.

I actually had a big breakthrough tonight, just after my post. I let her sit on my chest again and just talked to her for a while. Then she let me start rubbing her neck for several minutes. It seemed like she really liked it and started to relax. This was the first time she's allowed me to put a hand near her (other than giving an occasional treat) so I guess she's starting to trust me. And I do trust her to be there but I also don't really want a lip piercing either. I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning to see if she will continue to let me pet her.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:26 AM
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Re: New Owner Questions

I would not recommend toweling her if you don't need to. Personally, it's better to just leave the cage open and allow her to come out on her own than put her in a position where she feels threatened. This constant stress could either escalate into aggression or lead to her merely shutting down. Neither is good.


The petting will probably be touch and go. Although she allowed it tonight, she might not tomorrow. That doesn't mean that she wont allow it again in the future, just, she's still learning to trust. Just go at her pace and what she's willing to give you. If you use Positive Reinforcement Training, you can help guide her on how to interact with you and teach her to step up without biting. It will take time, but done right, you both will be happier because of those techniques!
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:50 AM
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Re: New Owner Questions

Welcome and be welcomed. Go to the Amazon sub-forum, and read, aloud, several times, the stickie at the top , on body language for amazons. Just pull a chair up next to the cage and read aloud to her, Amazons love being read to. Also read the other stickie by Sailoats, our resident amazon expert. I would nix the toweling, You'll want to train her to step up to your hand, on command, its a primary training aim. There may be times you need her to e moved, quickly, and you want her to step up without fail. And go slowly, at your parrots pace, ot yours. Some birds 'get it' quickly and some are stubborn. Oh and we love pics here of your new baby.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:58 PM
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Re: New Owner Questions

Thank you guys very much. Got it....toweling is bad! I'll try to be patient. We've been hanging out again this evening with lots of petting. Here are a few pics of Bobbi. Thanks again for your help!
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:43 PM
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Re: New Owner Questions

He's a stunner!
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:36 PM
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Re: New Owner Questions

Bobbi is definitely young...you can tell by how dark her eyes are,they will turn a redish/orange as she matures.
Indeed the toweling should only be used in emergencies.
The growling she is uncomfortable with your hands (as previously stated,may of had a bad experience). Try offering Bobbi her favorite treats between two fingers..move slowly with your hands,and be patient.
I love all the blue on her face! Such a lovely BF




Jim
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:49 PM
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Re: New Owner Questions

Adorable!!

Our BFA will ONLY let me pet him (and I always tell him "cuddles" before I come in for a head scratch) and refuses to let my wife, but he will do everything else for her. Just no petting. And it's touch and go for me too, so don't be discouraged by Bobbi's selectivity.

Also, what diet are you feeding Bobbi? Hard to tell by the pics, but a healthy pellet diet is a must for a healthy Zon liver!
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:48 PM
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Re: New Owner Questions

Quote: Originally Posted by AmyMyBlueFront View Post
Bobbi is definitely young...you can tell by how dark her eyes are,they will turn a redish/orange as she matures.
Indeed the toweling should only be used in emergencies.
The growling she is uncomfortable with your hands (as previously stated,may of had a bad experience). Try offering Bobbi her favorite treats between two fingers..move slowly with your hands,and be patient.
I love all the blue on her face! Such a lovely BF




Jim
Interesting...didn't know that about the eyes. We seem to be making progress much more quickly than I had anticipated. She letting me pick her up now and pet her neck pretty regularly. She constantly licks my face and ear which is pretty funny. I'll have to share a video of that.
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