Advice for a new macaw owner

Marelys1219

New member
Nov 13, 2017
8
0
Florida
Parrots
Blue and gold macaw
We adopted a blue and gold macaw who we were told was around 55 years old I was told she’s was an outside bird who wasn’t really getting any attention. Her previous owner (a male) wanted her to have a better home so we offered. We got her cage all cleaned up set up with some wood toys got her on a pellet diet (don’t think he was buying her pellet food) but she’s enjoying it I also feed her fruits and veggies throughout the day which she enjoys. (I’m open to any other suggestions in what we should be doing first time macaw owner here) now to the part I need advice on.

She has only been around her previous owner who was a male. She automatically favored my husband as soon as we brought her home. She lets him by the cage in the cage steps up to him he can walk her around per her it’s all good. Now for me as soon as I even just walk by her cage she lunges like a mad women and if I’m near she’ll just grip the bars of her cage or open her back feathers and repeatablly lunge. I was able to feed her a peanut through the cage but right after she finished it she started lunging again. How should I redirect her behavior I feel like if I walk away that’s what she wants she’s not interested in my attention.. I also don’t want to get bit so sticking my hand right in there to me doesn’t seem like the right thing I was the one who really WANTED the bird but now can’t feed her or take her out or change her water and I’m always asking my husband to take her out while I run to the store etc I want to be the one to do it *tear* any advice tips ?? Is she to “old” to bother.. I’ll also add in she’s not really even interested in the toys we bought her I’m sure the previous owner never even bought her any as she didn’t bring any with.
 
No bird is too old! How long has your macaw been with you?

You need to spend a good amount of time (hour+ a day) around your macaw WITHOUT your husband around. If he is around right now, the macaw's attention will be on him and you will be an interference of that. Spend your time initially sitting by the cage, gently talking or reading to her. Offer treats through the bars by hand. Don't jerk away from a lunge. Macaws love to bluff and test!

Please read the macaw subforums re: biting.
 
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Welcome! How long have you had your B&G? What’s her name?

There’s some great information in stickies at the top of the macaw sub forum, which I found really useful. Please don’t give up on her, I imagine that she’s had quite the transition. I’m sure that there will be some experts along to provide better advice.

I own conures, but I also volunteer at a parrot rescue and there are some macaws with some less-than-optimal pasts that most volunteers are afraid of. I can tell you that I only see these birds once per week - but I spend some time with them every week, talking to them and interacting with them (without sticking my fingers into the cage). I’m sure that I look like a crazy lady, chatting with them and talking nonsense - but whatever lol. Over a period of months macaws that used to lunge and try to bite when I changed their water, now let me give them scratches through the cage. You are around your bird much more often, and I think that you’ll be able to work through this with time, patience and building of trust.

Hoping you get some great advice and hope you’ll share pictures of your girl.
 
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I have had her for a whole 4 days! Her name is colonel because they thought that she was a he until he started laying eggs one day lol!! I left her name I thought it would be easier on her! I’m going to try and have my husband avoid her a little to see if we can bond we leave all the yummy snacks for me to feed her in hope that she’ll favor the snack lady lol I’m glad to hear that she will never be “to old” I’m thinking after a few weeks of her seeing my effort I’ll just stick my hand on in her cage and change her water or food and see what she does I don’t react to her lunges because I know she can’t get me now but we’ll see how it goes... We have 4 people in the house 2 being small children she won’t even lunge at them when they walk by it’s JUST me :(
 
4 days is NOTHING

be prepared for a process that can take months. Just being nice to her, giving her attention, getting her used to you. How much do you really know of her history? If I had a £ for every time I saw someone giving up on a parrot because "not enough time" and it turned out it's because of other reasons I would have enough money for a Macaw. She could have easily been abused by a woman in her long life which could easily explain why she trusts you less than your husband.
 
I will second the advice given here....

It may take months for your adopted macaw to come around, so patience is key. Just remember this is an old macaw who may be used to living a certain way and you must work around that, not force her to be something she doesn't want to be. And some birds do prefer one gender to another, and there may be no way around that.
 
Rescue birds require lots and lots of patience but it’s SO worth it!!

The fact that her previous owner was male will definitely give her an extra love for your husband.

I also encourage you to spend one on one without your husband, for now just talking to her in a sweet voice and leaving treats for her.

I’m on the opposite side, my Katie used to be sweet with both my husband and I but then became bonded to me. So he feels your pain! Some days shes so sweet and let’s him love on her, other days she’s lunging at him. When she lunges at him, I give her my stern voice- NO BITING. This has helped a lot, disapproval from me discourages her. Also when she’s being sweet with him, I’ll pop in after awhile and praise her then give her the option of stepping up on me. That way she knows that being with her non-favorite person is not permanent.

My advice is just give her time and tons of patience! The fact that she’s sweet with your husband means that she could be that way with you! [emoji175]



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Our rescue birds~

23 yr old Katie - Catalina Macaw
34 yr old Max- GW Macaw
1 yr old Nibbles- GC Conure
ADOPT DON’T SHOP [emoji172]
 
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from what was told to me that he had her outside, (we have her inside by a window) had no time to go out and attend to her anymore and he wanted better for her.. we didn’t pay any “adoption fees” he just handed her over knowing she’d have a better home! So idk why he wouldn’t be truthful... he also added that she had never bitten anyone butttt im sure she would bite me lol! From my understanding he’s also been a single man all his life so she’s never really been around women if that makes a difference in that aspect. I’m prepared for this long journey ahead of us just wanted to start off in the right foot and also know I’m doing everything possible! It’s only day 5 and the lunging thru the cage has improved she still does it often but I can walk passed and sometimes she won’t
 
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Just wanted to update you guys I got her out of the cage and spent some time with her outside!! I’m starting to think the whole lunging thing is her way of protecting her space but once she’s out she knows to be nice she didnt attempt to bite at all! Some time this week we’re taking her to get her nails trimmed she really needs it can’t wait to see how the car ride goes ��
 
That’s great news! I’m glad you’ve discovered a way to interact with her when she’s not lunging :) Patience will be important in building trust with her, but it sounds like you’ve made progress already!
 
Just wanted to update you guys I got her out of the cage and spent some time with her outside!! I’m starting to think the whole lunging thing is her way of protecting her space but once she’s out she knows to be nice she didnt attempt to bite at all! Some time this week we’re taking her to get her nails trimmed she really needs it can’t wait to see how the car ride goes ��

THAT IS A CLASSIC SIGN OF CAGE BOUND AND TERRITORIAL.

THE TERRITORY (CAGE) IS THE TRIGGER. THE BIRD IS BLUFFING/DEFENDING THE NEST.

Usually this means the bird wasn't getting enough out time.

And obviously overbonded with the man who had him.

Those are easy calls.

I have a disfavored person training protocol posted somewhere for overbonded birds.

I also have cage bound protocols posted somewhere....

These are common problems for macaws.
 
No bird is too old! Macaws love to bluff and test!

Please read the macaw subforums re: biting.

THAT IS A CLASSIC SIGN OF CAGE BOUND AND TERRITORIAL.

THE TERRITORY (CAGE) IS THE TRIGGER. THE BIRD IS BLUFFING/DEFENDING THE NEST.

Usually this means the bird wasn't getting enough out time.

And obviously overbonded with the man who had him.

Those are easy calls.

I have a disfavored person training protocol posted somewhere for overbonded birds.

I also have cage bound protocols posted somewhere....

These are common problems for macaws.

Welcome to the forums! There is a treasure chest of information in the Macaw Forum: Macaws - Parrot Forum - Parrot Owner's Community

So much goodness written by Birdman666! Do a search and you'll read what he advised in great detail.
 

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