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Old 01-28-2019, 08:49 AM
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

Time and consistency are going to be your best friends with regard to this bird. Some wild-caught birds take years, so don't overlook the little accomplishments. The fact that he isn't terrified of everything is good (and by terrified, I mean having strokes or slamming into cage walls all day--this can happen with really scared birds). Slow and steady....and lots of patience. Try to establish a routine and narrate what you are doing as you do it--- if you turn on a light, say "I'm turning on the lights"...if you start the dishwasher or take out the trash, tell you bird what you are doing and use the same key-words every time. This will help build predictability and familiarity.
Trust is like a bank--you build up enough savings, and hopefully, if you make a withdrawal, it doesn't bankrupt you or put you in debt. If it does, start back at square one and start saving up before making any new "purchases".
If you are feeding the bird from your hand, don't move. Let the bird do all of the initiating (because, if you are putting your hand in his cage, you are already initiating something that will stretch his boundaries).... Offer treats, but if he is scared, set it down and move to a more neutral location (for now). I would work on just letting him get used to your daily routine as a passive observer- yes, interaction is key, but it has to be done in baby steps. Take it day by day and read his signals. This is going to take a really really really long time, so don't let your human concepts of time etc influence the rate at which you feel pressured to move to the next step. Much of this should be determined by the bird.

Last edited by noodles123; 01-28-2019 at 09:00 AM.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-28-2019, 10:23 AM
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

Quote: Originally Posted by reeisconfused View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Amayaluna View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by reeisconfused View Post
Hello to you! Thank you for taking Izzy in.

Wild birds are VERY different from captive birds. Imagine living out in the open all your life and then suddenly youíre caged and kept with people you donít trust. Itís absolutely terrifying to them. I think youíre headed in the right direction with Izzy since sheís taking food from your hand.

I have a wildcaught rescue as well and boy, is it a challenge. Remember that this bird has spent all her life scared of humans and so, it is natural for her to hesitate along the way. The bond is there, but not as strong. Please take your time with her because wild caught birds are NOT easy to tame (ofcourse, there are exceptions). Iíve had Max for 6 months and there has been little progress only.

As for the crashing, Max did that a lot in the begining as well. He was crashing so much to the point he was injuring himself. Have you taken Izzy to a CAV yet? That might be a good idea. Izzy is not used to the setting of a household which is why she keeps crashing into things because she canít find another way.

I do think it is good for her to be out all day because keeping them inside only frustrates them further. If Max is in the cage for too long, plucking begins. However, please keep a VERY close eye on her. Because she is not used to humans and the house, she may fly into things she shouldnít get into. Example, in his first month home, Max crashed into a bottle of oil, knocking it over and getting it all over himself. I had to give him a VERY thorough bath.

I would suggest adding shredding and foraging toys in her cage and on her playgym as those are the ones birds take to quickly. Ofcourse, they may not understand it at first because theyíve never seen anything like this but they will get the hang of it soon.

Do you have a window by which Izzy could hang out and maybe sight see? This helped a lot with Max. I have a balcony next to his cage and it is meshed so he spends his evenings out there having fun.

Overall, I think youíre doing good with her. Bottomline: patience, patience, patience.

First of all, thank you for a calm reply, the first two scared me a little.
As for crashing, we never leave him unattended. He learned to clutch the curtains when he can't land anywhere else, so when this happens, we take his perch to him and he gets on it without a problem.
I got him toys that he enjoys a lot. Destroys a smaller one in half an hour
His cage is actually near a window (half of the cage is covered by a curtain, I read that if something outside scared him, he will be able to take cover), we live on the 6th floor and mostly he sees nature and birds flying around.
Oh I didnít mean to scare you, haha. One wild bird owner to other, I want you to know the hardships of owning one. Theyíre incredibly different in every aspect and it can be incredibly frustrating at times when you feel like youíre not making any progress and feel like they donít reciprocate the love you have for them. Sometimes their brains just hit reset button all of a sudden and its back to square one and you gotta start again. I think the best thing one can do is remove any expectations from their birds, especially wild caught ones, because it takes YEARS to build trust with them. Rescuing a wild caught is not for everyone. Although I did not know anything about wildcaught birds, Iím extremely glad to have Max in my life. Sure he doesnít like hands and other things, but he does love me a lot in his own way. Sometimes, you gotta be content with that.

I think Izzy should improve with flying in the house overtime! Sheíll get the hang soon enough.

Interaction is key with wildcaughts but also remember to give them space! Some days, Max hates everyone, including himself haha. Celebrate every small milestone you have with her because it IS a big deal.

Also, If you can stand *somewhat* near her without her freaking out, I think you should start target training her. Itís extremely effective and will keep her brain active. Look up videos of it on youtube.

No no! You didn't scare me, the others did a bit I guess it's going to be a long ride. I AM grateful for the accomplishments we have. One thing I love about our relationship is when I sit near him and start eating his favorite fruits (pomelos, to be exact), he looks at it and chirps and tells me he wants some too, I give it to him and when he's done and wants more, chirps again and so on and on.
I used to have a budgie that hated to be touched, he did perch on our hand and shoulders and whatnot, but absolutely hated to be touched. So I can deal with Izzy being distant to an extent, we just want him to be happy with his life.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 01-28-2019, 11:25 AM
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

Know that wild caught birds can, over time, become tame and comfortable in captivity. I have a pair of Goffins caught sometime in the 1970s. The male has no fear of people, takes food by hand, and can be head-scratched with ease. For whatever reason the female has bonded far more intently, loves to cuddle, sit on a shoulder, and is extremely gentle. Amazons are a different species with their own temperaments, but all things are possible with love and support!
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 01-28-2019, 01:22 PM
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

Quote: Originally Posted by Scott View Post
Know that wild caught birds can, over time, become tame and comfortable in captivity. I have a pair of Goffins caught sometime in the 1970s. The male has no fear of people, takes food by hand, and can be head-scratched with ease. For whatever reason the female has bonded far more intently, loves to cuddle, sit on a shoulder, and is extremely gentle. Amazons are a different species with their own temperaments, but all things are possible with love and support!
But you don't know how long it took them to become tame, right?
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 01-28-2019, 01:59 PM
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

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.

Last edited by noodles123; 01-28-2019 at 02:45 PM.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-28-2019, 02:00 PM
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

My mom has owned her wild caught amazon for over 40 years. While she will step up and come when you call etc... she is still very much a wild bird despite decades in captivity. She was an adult when captured and she simply has to be accepted for what and who she is (which is not a human raised pet). She does not like to be petted, she is not interested in most toys, not interested in learning 'tricks', doesn't talk and she will attack anyone she doesn't know (also goes after my dad, though she hates him slightly less than other men). She is very vocal and has been a free range bird during the day for as long as I've been alive/can remember, though I am unsure how long she was caged out of necessity before that became possible. A very strong willed creature with her own prerogative in life and pleasing humans isn't it. On a positive note, she is about as healthy as a bird her age could possibly be. Good, strong genes that allowed her to survive the brutality of capture, transport and quarantine. She was also gentle enough with me she'd sit on my crib as a baby and was my constant companion growing up, though even I couldn't really pet or touch her past stepping her up on my hand or arm. She's on good terms with my mom as well, though occasionally inflicts a nasty bite to remind her she's still a wild animal at heart.

Izzy may or may not eventually come to like you or want you to pet him. Either way, it is important you be patient with him and learn to accept him as a wild caught bird living in a very foreign environment. Imagine if you were abducted from your home by aliens 50X your size who gave you food and some things to do and medical care etc... WOuldn't you still long to go home no matter how kindly they were? That's how Izzy feels, and while he can't be returned to the wild at this point it's helpful to always keep in mind where he came from and that being with you was never his choice. Let him come around in his own time
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 01-28-2019, 03:43 PM
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

Quote: Originally Posted by Amayaluna View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Scott View Post
Know that wild caught birds can, over time, become tame and comfortable in captivity. I have a pair of Goffins caught sometime in the 1970s. The male has no fear of people, takes food by hand, and can be head-scratched with ease. For whatever reason the female has bonded far more intently, loves to cuddle, sit on a shoulder, and is extremely gentle. Amazons are a different species with their own temperaments, but all things are possible with love and support!
But you don't know how long it took them to become tame, right?
Actually I do! I purchased them in 1987 as a breeding pair that was unproductive the previous 12 years. Initially placed them in an outdoor aviary, moved 4 years later and housed them in a walk-in facility. They tolerated my entrance to feed and clean, allowing occasional head scratches. Peanut and Popcorn produced 3 live chicks the next 5 years, but abandoned each after roughly 4 days. Because the babies required feeding every 2 hours at that stage, the nest box was removed after the third. They remained together until male cockatoo aggression forced a permanent separation 23 years later, after at least 35 years together.

They were separated in 2010; Popcorn (male) remained in the flight cage while Peanut (female) was housed in a standard cage. Peanut suffered an upper respiratory infection requiring antibiotics, and I was amazed with her docile nature and willingness to be held, even when cured. I began to handle her a lot and decided to place her in a bird-room containing two of her adult offspring, a TAG, Moluccan, and Citron. All of these birds were/are tame and uncaged, and Peanut fit in beautifully. At this stage she would not perch on my finger, stand on a shoulder, or cuddle. Over the course of about 6 months she happily did all of the above. Popcorn has shown no desire for close contact other than accepting food and plenty of scratching. He is not afraid and I respect his reticence. Several months ago I introduced him to my female Citron, they've bonded and live together. No nestbox, have no desire for a frankencockatoo! He's smaller and has shown absolutely no hostility.

So, it has been a process with some unintended consequences. I understand you wish to tame your Amazon from the outset. Lots of superb advice thus far, take it slowly and be patient!
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Old 01-28-2019, 04:14 PM
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

My Orange Wing Amazon was a wild caught bird and my first parrot. I bought him in 1985.

I was able to teach him to step up(on a gloved hand) and eventually able to get him to step up on my bare hand cuz I lost the glove.

He became bonded to Pacho (female Red Lord Amazon) that I bought in 1989.
I tried to give him the best life I could but he never learned to talk and was never friendly with us. I did not want to stress him out. A trip to the vet would make him pant and get very frightened.
He died in December of 2016 of what looked like a stroke. I think he was an old bird but there was no way to be sure of his age.
I did not know anything about parrots at the time I got him.
Just take things slow, lot's of good advice above.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 01-30-2019, 06:42 PM
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

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.
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:47 PM
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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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