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Old 02-27-2016, 12:17 AM
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Re: Big Beak O Phobes Guide to Understanding Macaw Beaks...

Birdman is it okay I post this on one of my blogs on my website, and maybe on my crazy birds vlog/channel YouTube to help understand more because I do have a lot of people ask me questions. Our birds have kind of given me a "niche" as a musician because I post something about them all the time so people who want pet birds have started asking g me all kinds of things.
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:19 PM
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Re: Big Beak O Phobes Guide to Understanding Macaw Beaks...

Sure the purpose of doing this is to educate.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 02-27-2016, 03:39 PM
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Re: Big Beak O Phobes Guide to Understanding Macaw Beaks...

Thank you very much. If more people know the reason birds "bite"
I believe less would be rehomed. So many people think a bird is mean if they bite because they're used to dogs, and cats and how mean ones bite hard. At least that's my opinion
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 03-20-2016, 07:38 PM
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Re: Big Beak O Phobes Guide to Understanding Macaw Beaks...

As a brand new Hahns parront this is very, very good advice. Thank you!

Thankfully I had a tiny bit of experience with a "bitey" conure and learned some of these lesson via trial and error. Marz has a much bigger beak than Prim did, but I didn't flinch and allowed him to bite and so far his worst pinch isn't all that bad (I'm sure he's holding back though). We're working on the "set him down and walk away for a minute" when he bites method. It's hard to get a bird off of you that is attempting to glue itself to you via beak! But we're getting there.

Cage aggression is also a problem we are working on. It's funny how he doesn't want to be on it or in it but he wants to lunge if you come near it! I'd say this is related to his years in the pet store prior to his first and second homes, but who knows!

(I'm probably going to be seeking more advice! Hope you don't mind!)
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Old 04-02-2016, 07:37 PM
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Re: Big Beak O Phobes Guide to Understanding Macaw Beaks...

I've noticed that the Scarlets have a reputation for being super divas/beaky. Do the Catalinas usually carry this on? I've heard the B&G are supposed to be laid back, and that this kicks in.

Sorry, still trying to navigate everything, and for the longest time I thought the two were just color morphs.
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:24 PM
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Re: Big Beak O Phobes Guide to Understanding Macaw Beaks...

Quote: Originally Posted by RatAtaT2693 View Post
I've noticed that the Scarlets have a reputation for being super divas/beaky. Do the Catalinas usually carry this on? I've heard the B&G are supposed to be laid back, and that this kicks in.

Sorry, still trying to navigate everything, and for the longest time I thought the two were just color morphs.
All the catalina's I've played with were fairly docile, but they've all been owned by experienced macaw people, who socialized them properly, which is the key...

Scarlet's are probably the "beakiest" of the big macs. Where a greenwing just gives you the tongue, a Scarlett explores his world with the entire can opener. It's not that they're divas... It's that they put their beaks on quite literally everything. And that often makes them pinchy as well...
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 04-10-2016, 08:56 PM
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Re: Big Beak O Phobes Guide to Understanding Macaw Beaks...

I concur with this. It's a behavior trait that they are prone to and can be passed in hybrids as well. My girl is a Shamrock (military/scarlet). She is bite pressure trained, but still most of our play times have painful moments. She seems very intrigued by the texture and substance of things, so there's the initial grab, then pinch, then grind. She never breaks skin, but I have gotten blood blisters. Imagine a toddler without arms and hands, the only way they have to explore is with their mouth, and BAM you have a macaw!


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Old 07-07-2016, 01:11 PM
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Re: Big Beak O Phobes Guide to Understanding Macaw Beaks...

I read this thread when I first signed up to take a Harlequin Macaw from a rescue.... and it was all I needed. I used every bit of it. He is 9 years old. He was a resident of the rescue 2 different times and I'm his 3rd owner.

I had him stepping up pretty consistently after a week.

For flinching - When I hold my arm out, sometimes I look the other direction. This prevents me from flinching if I get "tested". He's mostly bluff anyway and this takes away some of his intimidation factor. Otherwise I keep eye contact.

For lunging - He only did this for a few days. I would move quickly and then move right back to position. It was my way of saying, "I'm not looking to get bitten, but I'm not backing off either."

I listened to the bird. He is nice enough to shrug me off when he is done with me. In the beginning, it was a quick tap of his beak which was scary. But I learned and paid attention. Now, its a shrug motion. He has learned that I pay attention to his gestures and now he is more subtle with them. He is smart and perfectly willing to communicate if I listen. (I'm trainable, in other words)

I got him away from his cage. He isn't cage bound. In fact he is quite happy to run across the floor and explore his toy basket. But he is a little different close to his cage and far away from it. He is more different when I have him out of the house and out in public. He becomes less independent out in the world. He has to trust me more. It is good bonding. It is great for his confidence and our communication.

We sometimes forget how serious they look. They can't smile because of the way they are shaped, so we have to search for their non-verbal cues that will give us an idea of what kind of mood they are in.

Excitement - wings out slightly, bobbing up and down
Fear - climbing up on my shoulder, seeking higher ground
Irritated, Grumpy - flinching away
Love - Getting in my personal space. Leaning close to my face.
Chattering / Macking beak - That is good scratching.... right there - that spot

A week after I had him he ran across his cage and clicked his beak against my glasses. The room went quiet. All the color drained out of my wife's face. "He tried to bite you in the face." I looked back at the bird. He bobbed his head up and down. "Nope, he was joking around." I bobbed my head up and down. He knew what glasses were and I wasn't paying attention to him. His joking Blue and Gold nature came out.

We are 6 months or so into it and getting along great. Thanks again for the post. It should be required reading for anyone getting a Macaw.
CD
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 07-07-2016, 05:09 PM
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Re: Big Beak O Phobes Guide to Understanding Macaw Beaks...

And that's exactly it.

People think they're going to get bit, when they're actually playing, they over react, and provoke their own bites.

GOOFY BIRDS AREN'T THEY?!

I'm glad it helped.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 07-07-2016, 05:23 PM
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Re: Big Beak O Phobes Guide to Understanding Macaw Beaks...

I LOVE this thread - even tho Gracie is a CAG not a Mac it absolutely helped me understand a lot & certainly gave me a ton of insight into dealing with her "aggression". Once I began handling her with total confidence, no flinching & control never another bite. Combined with your posts on pressure training... it was super successful.

You had a huge hand in her training without ever laying a hand on her
We thank you much for that!
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