3 1/2 months now. Good progress but those micro nips! OUCH!


New member
Apr 25, 2015
GW Macaw, CAG, eclectus (Kiwi- RIP)
I’ve been making very good progress with our GW, especially in the last three weeks. After our daily session of ball fetching, it’s always a looooonng “scratch my head and neck please” session, then she usually grabs and holds on to one of my fingers and begins exploring my fingers with her beak and tongue.

After making sure everything is ok she usually steps up on to my arm and starts nibbling gently at first but it soon turns into painful “micro nipping” the skin...hard enough to draw a little bit of blood.
Probably some kind of preening behaviour but when she starts it’s hard to make her stop. I tried the “beak grab” trick as suggested by Birdman but that just makes her more intent on continuing her work! Gotta find a way to discourage this behaviour...

All in all, I’m quite happy about the progress we’ve been making as the aggressive behaviour seems to have almost completely vanished. She is full of personality and I just can’t imagine how anyone could have put her up for sale...but hey, we’re GLAD they did! :)


New member
Apr 5, 2013
Middlebury, VT
CAG Quincy - BD 3/27/00. Gotcha 6/00 ~ GW Macaw Savannah - BD 6/21/93. Gotcha 4/13 ~ B&G Macaw Coqui - BD 9/3/03. Gotcha 10/13 ~ Blue Crown Conure Sidney - BD Unknown Approx 5 Years Old. Gotcha 6/15/
I would suggest when she begins to do the "micro nipping" return her to her play stand or perch for a "time out". Letting her know if she bites she gets no attention. You got to treat them like toddlers. LOL! ;)


Well-known member
Sep 18, 2013
San Antonio, TX
Presently have six Greenwing Macaw (17 yo), Red Fronted Macaw (12 yo), Red Lored Amazon (17 y.o.), Lilac Crowned Amazon (about 43 y.o.) and a Congo African Grey (11 y.o.)
Panama Amazon (1 Y.O.)
Yep. Trying to open your pin feathers...

But since you don't have any, let's chew off these hairs instead. She thinks she's helping, and returning the favor for opening her feathers... Sweepea does the same thing with me.

You end up with "needle tracks" like you've been shooting up... little pinholes. The good news is that this is a "bonded bird" thing. It isn't really biting, she's trying to groom you.

The best way to react to it, is the way THEY react to you when you're opening a pin feather and it hurts them... let them know you don't want those opened right now.

If you find something that works, let me know. I just push the beak away, and if she doesn't take the hint, I set her down. But yeah, I feel your pain. (Usually for a few minutes each day...)

It's normal.
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