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Scottj 10-12-2016 01:17 PM

Bringing home a blue and gold macaw
Hi everyone! I'm very, very new to the site. Have yet to introduce myself formally but will soon. I'm bringing home Diamond tomorrow and I have a question. I have read a couple of books and watched videos on utube. Everything I have read or seen regarding bringing home a new bird is just that, how to handle bringing home a "new" bird. I have spent at least 8 months getting to know Diamond. He is at least 27 years old. He's been in an outside cage/small aviary for at least 15-20 years. Very little interaction that I am aware of. He's smart, speaks with cognition when he wants to. I have his new home almost done on my deck that is about 12'6' and angles to 7' (twice the size as his current home). A few moths ago he began saying "get out" and "go Diamond go" on occasion. He is always poised when I come out the back door at his current home showing me his "pretty wings" and looking coyly at me.

Over the past couple visits I have asked him if he wants to "go home with Scott?". Yesterday I was in the front working just out of what he thinks is earshot and I could hear him saying "go home with Scott". I mention the earshot thing because when I'm near or in his cage he usually only says one word at a time. When I'm working a ways away from him I often hear him speaking quietly in sentences.

He hasn't stepped up on me but seems to want to. He's hung on the side of his cage and put out a foot, he will touch my arm but removes his foot quickly. I've taken this aspect very slowly. He actually has attacked his owner once. We are both very nervous about touching. He's made me bleed several times and grabbed a knuckle once so hard my finger hurt for almost a week. I've gotten to a point where I no longer flinch when he reaches out with his beak to feel me and he's allowed me to touch him once which he really seemed to enjoy but then got nippy. I'm not quite as brave when I'm reaching out to him.

Ok, to my question, when I get him home should put him in his new home and leave him alone for a day or so with very little interacton or do I spend as much time withh him as possible?


itchyfeet 10-12-2016 02:21 PM

re: Bringing home a blue and gold macaw
Argh that was so cute! No advice sorry, but it sounds like you've got a good thing going with him :)

Allee 10-12-2016 02:21 PM

re: Bringing home a blue and gold macaw
Hello Scott, welcome to the forums! Thank you for sharing Diamond's story. After 15-20 years in an outside aviary, the transition to a new environment may be a little bumpy but it sounds like he's highly intelligent. "Go home with Scott", that must have melted your heart. If he hasn't had a lot of interaction with humans in the last years it will probably take time for him to build trust but it sounds like he wants to. I would follow his lead when you get him home. Make him as comfortable as possible, offer a good diet, lots of toys and he'll let you know when he feels safe enough to build a stronger bond. I wouldn't leave him alone but I wouldn't push him. Some birds readily adapt to a new environment, others need more time. Try to make every interaction a positive experience, reward him with praise or a favorite treat.

Scott 10-12-2016 04:07 PM

Re: Bringing home a blue and gold macaw
Welcome to the forums! Seems as if Diamond is about to enter a great new chapter of life. I don't have any experience with adopting older birds, but you'll find many members with helpful advice.

wrench13 10-12-2016 04:46 PM

Re: Bringing home a blue and gold macaw
Bravo, ScottJi , Bravo. Lots of great advice on the Macaw board, read it to him, seriously, a few times, out loud right next to him. Blue and Golds are my personal favorite macs, and if it werent for space ( and Salty picking me) i'd have one too. Again, Bravo Scott Ji.

skona 10-13-2016 11:41 AM

Re: Bringing home a blue and gold macaw
Hi, I am new to this site also and just brought home a 13 year old B&G about a few days ago! I read a lot about making sure to just interact with them through the cage without directly handling when I was doing my research to allow the bird a while to settle in, but when I brought Kona home I almost immediately (a day or two) began handling him. Now your situation may be slightly different because Kona is extremely well socialized with strangers and is already letting me pet him and etc, but I would really try to see how Diamond reacts to the new environment as it will probably be very scary for him. See if he looks on edge and before you begin attempts at handling especially try giving treats through the cage bars and just watch his body language, and since you seem very familiar with him he might actually feel safer when you are with him. Now other than handling make sure you only interact with him as much as you will be able to on a regular basis, but make sure you give him as much time as he needs to settle down by watching how he reacts (is he moving away from you when you approach the cage and etc), and if he seems comfortable then you can start attempting more regular interaction like talking through the cage and handing treats to him, and eventually get to handling. You should seek to interact with him, but dont overwhelm him, and if he seems stressed give him some time to relax. Base your interaction off of how you feel and how he feels that is the important thing. I read a few stories of people going to the cage and reading books to their birds in the first week they are home and etc. I also have heard very good things about target training and have begun that with Kona and I think it is really developing a trust between us. I think after you have begun interacting with Diamond try target training with him and see how that works out for you!! I hope this helps! Feel free to message me because we are both new B&G owners so we might be able to give each other some good advice.

Scottj 10-13-2016 07:23 PM

Re: Bringing home a blue and gold macaw
Firstly, thanks for all the welcoming and tips/advice. I got Diamond home and in his new home. He was silent all the way. He only said hello just before I was about to put him in the cage. He made quite a ruckus when I went away so I stayed away until he quieted down. When I'm out there he's been preening much more than usual. He was fluffing, scratching all over. At one point he put one claw on the back of his head while preening which I've never seen him do. I did go in and give him some treats. He usually will come to me and take the treat and move away. This time however he stayed very close and was acting like he wanted to step up on my hand, something he has yet to do. It's killing me to not be out there in his cage.


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