18 Year Old Greenwing sullen and moody

gadlaw

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Jan 2, 2018
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Greenwing Macaw, African Gray Timneh
Hi forum. I've been puzzling about my Greenwing's recent behavior and it occurred to me that there might be a Macaw forum somewhere so a bit of Google and here I am.

My boy, Hiro who you see in my picture has become withdrawn and sullen. It's been happening for a few months but now he's refusing to come out of his cage even though he always comes out of his cage. I'll leave the door open, he'll come out and sit on the top of the door but when I approach he'll go back in. He's taken to sitting on the floor of the cage in the corner covering himself with his wing. Had him since he was a baby and he's only recently been acting like a teenager with an attitude. Anyone seen this behavior or any sage advice? Thanks for the read.
 

itzjbean

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Jan 27, 2017
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Hello and welcome! Sorry to hear of your GW's change in behavior. When was his last checkup with a certified avian vet? Sudden changes in behavior could mean illness, he may be trying to hide it, especially if he seems lethargic or sleepier than usual.

A bit of his background may help us determine better what may be going on. How is his diet, and changes in his intake or what you've been giving him recently?

Any recent changes in household (moving, a roommate moving in, new significant other, etc.) that may have caused this behavior change? As you probably realize, some parrots, especially the larger species, can be very sensitive to change.
 
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gadlaw

gadlaw

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Jan 2, 2018
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Greenwing Macaw, African Gray Timneh
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Thanks for the reply! I appreciate the chance to bounce ideas and such. He's not sick, I'm familiar with the signs of being sick with the possible lethargy and perching behavior and he's not doing that. Now we did have family visitors over the Thanksgiving holidays and we've never really had that number of people in the house and it's been a good number of years since he's gone to an avian boarder because we would have gone anywhere and we haven't moved in a good number of years so he might be getting set in his environment and might be still reacting to changes hence the desire to not come out. He accepts stroking from inside his cage, letting me stroke him and will let me reach in and scratch him on the head but has no desire to 'step up' and come out. I am aware of his territory and don't impose or try to insist on him coming out. I let him retreat.

Food wise, we eat the ZuPreem fruit mix with seed/nuts in the shell/ as our dry food in the cage and out of the cage it's fruits, veggies, table food that he likes when he comes out on the perch. I don't like to feed wet food inside the cage but have been breaking that rule a bit since he's become so moody so he can still have his variety. He's always been in good feather and has no feather picking issues cause you know, he is or was out every day including personal time that he shares with his 'brother' Timneh. I recognize the issues of having more birds than can be interacted with and so stopped at two.

Haven't been to the vet. There is one and I've recommended him to other bird people I know in the area. That would be the vet who put his chip in 17 years ago. If the big guy doesn't get less moody I might have to take him in. My strategy right now it to be patient and interact with him as much as I can now in a nonthreatening soothing manner thinking maybe this might pass. I did have a cat who has since passed away of old age who went totally bonkers for a couple of years but mellowed out eventually so there's no chance of us loosing patience. He's still sweet when I can persuade him to come out. I moved his cage to a different place and working on keeping him interested. Of course as I think about it, my son is back from college and goes back to school at the end of the week. That could be an issue for him as well. Bah, so many things to consider. :)
 

GaleriaGila

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I'm no macaw expert, so I'd LOVE an avian vet opinion. As you say, just so many possibilities.

Our avian vet is great to discuss non-medical issues with, too. He's so wise and experienced and caring...
 

Kentuckienne

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Oct 9, 2016
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Welcome to the Forums, and I hope your greenwing snaps out of it. Even though he doesn't seem classically sick, you never know. A parrot's survival can depend on them being able to pretend to be healthy until you find them dead on the bottom of the cage. If he hasn't been in for a checkup for years, it's not a bad idea to take him. Get the full bloodwork, make sure there aren't any latent problems. Who knows, maybe he got scared recently and flew at the side of the cage and hurt something. Covering himself with his wing seems very red-flaggy to me.
 

Scott

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Aug 21, 2010
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San Diego, California USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Welcome to the forums, thanks for finding us!!

There are several components to a bird's well being; physical environment, the "parronts", and health. It seems the first two are rather stable, leading me to echo the concerns previously stated. As birds of prey, they tend to conceal illness to a very advanced state. Having a series of blood and excrement tests may uncover clues to Hiro's behavior change. Some illnesses progress over a rather long period, and avian medicine is capable of wonderful therapies. It is most important, if you pursue this course, to seek a certified avian vet. The standard "mammal" or jack of all trades/master of none "exotic" practices are typically one step above clueless.

If you rule out a physical malady, it will be possible to pursue behavior modification strategies with a clear conscience!
 
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gadlaw

gadlaw

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Jan 2, 2018
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Greenwing Macaw, African Gray Timneh
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Well, I had lost this forum link in the maze of forum links I have but found it today. What we are doing with Hiro is not forcing him out. I've been making his evening outside meal and showing it to him and when he refuses to come out I close the door, say goodnight and turn out the lights. Last night I took his food out, leaving his water in his cage when I did this. Speaking fluent Greenwing Macaw as I do I could hear in his morning squawks that added note saying 'hey my food dish is not here'. In the morning when making oatmeal - old fashioned oatmeal with cinnamon and diced apples cause that's how I roll, I pulled his perch over near his cage and showed as he watched me putting his mix in one of the bowls and some diced apples, and some oatmeal with diced apples in the other bowl. Offered him the finger perch to come out. He declined but as usual let me pet him while in the cage. Third time I came back - while eating my oatmeal with diced apples he easily stepped up and out to his perch which is near his cage. Easy as can be. Looks like it's to be a long term thing dealing with his acquired phobia.
WxVom
 

MacawMomma

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Jun 27, 2017
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Bay Area, CA
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Katie the Catalina Macaw
The whole sitting on the floor really concerns me [emoji33]

Have you been able to weigh him to check if there’s any changes?

I would take him in the Avian Vet, moodiness like that could be a sign he’s not feeling well. [emoji174]


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Our rescue birds~

23 yr old Katie - Catalina Macaw
39 yr old Max- GW Macaw
1 yr old Nibbles- GC Conure
ADOPT DON’T SHOP [emoji172]
 

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