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Old 01-30-2019, 06:48 PM
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

Quote: Originally Posted by Kiwibird View Post
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
I do fear that Izzy might never like us, but that's mostly because I don't want him to live in an environment where he can't be happy. And every time we look at him, we feel bad for what happened to him. He should be where he belongs and I wish I could do something to get him back home. But since this isn't an option, I want him to bond with us so he can be happy here too. He will get as much time as he needs to do that.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 01-30-2019, 06:53 PM
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

Quote: Originally Posted by Scott View Post
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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!

Interesting, I hear that most wild-caught birds never become fully tame and hate petting and handling. I'm glad there's an example for the opposite. From what I've gathered, seems like it's a lottery with the wild birds, they are all very different and I can't possibly tell how Izzy's going to turn out.
Any tips on how you managed to do all of that in just 6 months? How will I know Izzy's ready to take the next step?
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:56 PM
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
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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..
Let me know if you find out!
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:01 PM
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

I have a friend that got a wild caught adult CAG, fifty years ago ish....
He became bonded to her, learned to talk, accepted occasionally scritce from her. When she later married and had kids, he never let anyone else touch him. But enjoyed being part if the family and hanging out. Never plucked , but did scream a lot. Still going strong. I used to visit him a lot, because she is 20 years older than me, and thought I might be someone she could pass him on to. But we weren't a good fit.
I'm not sure how long their bonding took though
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:02 PM
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

Just texted him-- he said it was an estimate that the bird was around 1 or so based on eye color and some other stuff (a vet did the guessing). Apparently, AG's eyes change color as they mature...so in theory, his could have been 1-2 (based on the color that my uncle recalls, and based upon the vet's belief that his AG was 1 YO via eye color).
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Old 01-31-2019, 12:13 AM
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

Quote: Originally Posted by Amayaluna View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Scott View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Amayaluna View Post

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!

Interesting, I hear that most wild-caught birds never become fully tame and hate petting and handling. I'm glad there's an example for the opposite. From what I've gathered, seems like it's a lottery with the wild birds, they are all very different and I can't possibly tell how Izzy's going to turn out.
Any tips on how you managed to do all of that in just 6 months? How will I know Izzy's ready to take the next step?
While the hands-on period of taming took 6 months, she was accustomed to my presence for about 23 years. Once she was separated from her former mate and placed in a bird-room with 5 other tame birds, she quickly acclimated. Parrots are very keen observers, and she clearly noted my handling and cuddling of the others. I also believe she, unlike her mate, made a decision to embrace her humans.
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Old 01-31-2019, 01:15 PM
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Re: Scared wild-caught mealy Amazon

Quote: Originally Posted by Scott View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Amayaluna View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Scott View Post

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!

Interesting, I hear that most wild-caught birds never become fully tame and hate petting and handling. I'm glad there's an example for the opposite. From what I've gathered, seems like it's a lottery with the wild birds, they are all very different and I can't possibly tell how Izzy's going to turn out.
Any tips on how you managed to do all of that in just 6 months? How will I know Izzy's ready to take the next step?
While the hands-on period of taming took 6 months, she was accustomed to my presence for about 23 years. Once she was separated from her former mate and placed in a bird-room with 5 other tame birds, she quickly acclimated. Parrots are very keen observers, and she clearly noted my handling and cuddling of the others. I also believe she, unlike her mate, made a decision to embrace her humans.

Oh, that's actually a topic I wanted to discuss. My brother has Alexandrine called Ricky and lives in a different apartment but same building. The first 2-3 weeks Izzy was with them and I was hoping Izzy would see how friendly Ricky is with us and wouldn't be scared as much. Even now, Ricky visits us every now and then and Izzy sees us handling him and playing with him, but seems like it doesn't do much to reassure him. I hope we'll get there eventually.

P.S. Izzy is a bit afraid of Ricky
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