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Old 07-13-2019, 11:47 AM
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15 year old green wing macaw. Winston
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My bird is biting all of a sudden

Good morning. I have a 15 year old rescue Green Wing....Winston. I have had Winston for 4 months, after getting familiar with each other I thought we had complete trust. Winston rolled on his back for belly rubs loved being petted showed no aggression whatsoever. Three days ago he became aggressive and started biting me. Nothing has changed in his environment. He has a large cage and spends hours outside of it. I was very comfortable with him now I am cautious. When he bites I am careful not to react just a firm no and walk away. I am at a loss as to why this is happening. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:00 PM
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Re: My bird is biting all of a sudden

Welcome to the forum terrijohnson and Winston.
Petting on the belly is a huge no no for parrots. Parrots have specific hormonal triggers that essentially uh...turn them on. Often times they get very cranky because then their sexual urges have no where to go because you are a human and not a parrot. Then their sexual urges become sexual aggression which can result in biting and screaming.

Some common indications of hormonal behavior are
  • Screaming
  • Biting
  • Territorial over a certain location or thing
  • Regurgitation
  • Their butt/tail feathers going upwards especially for females
  • I'm unsure about macaw mating behavior but male cockatiels put their wings together in the shape of a heart
A few things to change which hopefully will help,
  • Petting only on the head. This is very important because then you send a very clear signal. In the wild, preening on the head any flock mate can do because they're helping them out. They can't preen their own head. Only mates preen each other else where. Petting lower on the body such as the back or tail is indicating you're ready to mate. Depending on the bird, the beak may also be a sexual place for them.
  • 12 - 14 hrs of uninterrupted sleep at night for at least a few weeks. Essentially you're rolling back the hours to indicate it isn't breeding season.
  • No snuggle huts, hides, or letting your parrot in dark quiet locations. Even underneath furniture is enough to do it for parrots. They might think it's a good nesting location and get particularly aggressive around there. Depending on the sensitivity of the bird, even being under shirts can trigger hormones. Each bird is different.
  • No warm mushy foods.
There are other triggers of course as well. Some birds get triggered by air being blown on their face, extended petting sessions, or certain toys. You just need to observe your parrots behavior.

Last edited by munami; 07-13-2019 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:07 PM
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Re: My bird is biting all of a sudden

Sometimes you get a honeymoon period , then it's over Then it seems like they are testing you, will you stay true, are there rules, do you behave honorable? Lol that's what it seems to me..
That doesn't mean you can't get back to happy well adjusted times with your bird. Patience, consistency, plenty of activities to burn off energy.. I hope you get there soon! Mac owners can weigh in with species specific pointers hopefully. Read up on past posters in your forums
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