Blue Front / Fronted Amazon Advice

LuLu.F

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Hi everyone

Firstly, thank you very much to those who replied to my first post with tips and advice.

I’ve begun to discover how to navigate the forum and have subscribed to many helpful threads, which is great.

I do have a few important question to ask regarding Male vs Female Blue Fronted Amazon Parrots ... which have been prompted by a couple of online articles/forum comments I read yesterday.

Unfortunately, the info that I‘ve read has put me into a bit of a tail-spin about my belief that a Blue Fronted would be the right bird for me.

I am not going to say where I have taken this segment from because I do not wish to cause any issues to result from my enquiry.

This is the article:
Blue-fronts are vivacious and very beautiful. They are lovely ... But there is a BIG BUT. Adult males are often given up because when they mature they can become very aggressive and bite very hard, even flying at a person‘s face.

Inexperienced Amazon owners who want a blue fronted in their home should buy only a young DNA-sexed female. Whether you have a male or female, it should have supervised periods outside the cage which should be limited to no more than one or two hours at a time. Longer periods result in Amazons believing they own the place and attacking “intruders” when they are in breeding condition.
Article ends here.

The specific issues I wish to understand are whether the warnings about aggressiveness and limiting out-of-cage time (to prevent the bird ‘ruling the roost’) should be a major concern for me or not?

Do you, as BFA owners, have any personal experience or insight about the males - whether they are as difficult as this info suggests? Plus the problem of taking over / dominance?

ANOTHER thing I need to understand is how ‘bad/difficult’ is the pre/pubescent Blue Fronted Amazon? I’ve just read that they’re deemed one of the ‘hot 3 parrots’; for being hot-tempered, stubborn, aggressive and capable of causing plenty of blood-drawing, requiring plenty of wound cleaner. Can Blue Fronted Amazon owners please give me their advice and personal experiences?

The problem I face is that I believe the sex of a BFA can only be determined through a DNA test, which would have to be after the purchase of said parrot!

One more thing .... do you ever have any members post a photo of a prospective bird that they’re interested in buying with the Heading: ‘Would you buy this bird? Does it look as you would expect it to?’ .... Is this allowed?

I’ll be really grateful for the advice and thoughts of you all as experienced owners.

Thank you.
LuLu F
 

SailBoat

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One of the truly bad parts about the vast Worldwide Web is the vast number of sub-standard sites and their sub-standard stuff, which can barely be called information.

We have a wealth of Mid to Large Parrot Owners here with vast experience that it will be worth your time to Visit The Amazon Forum, Start at the Very Top and read until you develop a much better understanding of the Wonderful World of Amazons as so much of what you have stated has some lines of truth, but little more.

The Most Important Part is To Have The Amazon Select You!!!

Sadly, that's what I have time for now! Please read the Amazon Forum!
 
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LuLu.F

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Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK
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None at the moment - I am in the process of trying to decide which breed will be best for me and vice versus
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SailBoat - Thank you for taking the time to reply and for your advice. I have spent some time on the Amazon Forum and have subscribed to quite a few threads ....

Like you say, there is a tremendous amount of advice & info on the www but it also has plenty of mis-information - which I am now trying to sift out.

Hopefully I will be able to sort out fact from fiction (and the grey areas in between) fairly quickly, so that I can move forward with my decision-making process.

Cheerio
LuLu.F
 

Scott

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Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
The web is indeed filled with information ranging from useful to trivial with plenty of harmful misinformation. I'll share my BFA story as it parallels your cautionary tale - but remember, mine is just one many anecdotes!

My mom purchased a young BFA in 1985. Gonzo was gorgeous, friendly, and extremely talkative. We could handle him without risk, place him on his back, cuddle, etc. One day - and I am guessing during puberty, he flew to my neck and tried to bite the left carotid artery. Thinking it was a chance accident, we continued as normal. He next bit my mom's finger and proclaimed "Uh oh." His aggression escalated and we handled him far less..... Let me pause and reflect a bit: We were utterly clueless and the primary avian reference was Bird Talk Magazine. No internet to research, no online forums to commiserate. We had no idea a vast network of breeders and one large club was within our county!

Fast forward about a decade, and the age of internet blossomed. In the interim we had met various breeders, joined an aviculture club, and acquired many more parrots. Gonzo was slowly rehabilitated yet never enjoyed handling. This was primary reason we acquired cockatoos! So to this day we enjoy him for who he is, and let him spend abundant time outside the cage. Oh yes, he was sexed as a male, and no longer flies to attack.

Bottom line, birds of a species are different, not all BFA males are incessantly aggressive. Today you have nearly endless methods of receiving advice and solid behavioral modification tools.
 
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LuLu.F

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Hi Scott

Thank you very much for your reply and cautionary tale about Gonzo.

Hopefully, I will get a few more personal experience replies to help me make a considered decision and be able to move forward with the process of deciding which breed to choose.
 

saxguy64

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I think the biggest thing is to remember that they're all individuals. There may be some general characteristics, but really, just like kids, there is no cut and dry answer.

My first larger parrot was a BFA, back when I thought I knew enough to care for him properly, again before so much information was readily available. Back then, you talked to the few folks you could find that claimed to know things, and believed they were correct. I've learned a lot since then. Cuckoo was my boy, but he loved my wife. He was out of the cage all day, unless there was no one home. He had his hormonal times, and REALLY loved my wife when he had his, umm... urges. We still joke about him trying to "molest" her, and "moppy," the toy we called his girlfriend lol.

He was never ever aggressive with anyone, but made it clear with his body language when he didn't want to be handled. He loved head scratches though, and would spend all day on our shoulders if we let him. A few of his other silly things- he would always talk and sing if we brought a balloon near his cage, and would dive into his water dish for a bath every time we ran the vacuum cleaner.

Definitely read and re-read the sticky on amazon body language. Once you understand what they're telling you, it's blatantly obvious. Amazons don't bluff, ever, and they are honest to a fault. If they bite you, it's out of frustration because either you didn't understand what they were trying to tell you, or you just didn't listen. Body language is everything!
 

texsize

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I got my Yellow Nape in 1986 not knowing anything.
He entered puberty within a year of bringing him home.
He liked both my wife and I in the beginning but chose me as a partner.
After that he did indeed fly at my wife to attack her.
No serious damage ever happened but we had to be very careful not to give him the opportunity to be in close proximity.

Fast forward to now.

If Bingo (my yellow nape) was given the chance he would attack my wife.
I love Bingo to death but I only trust him so far.
How much of this is due to my wife's attitude (scared to death) towards Bingo I don't know.

I think with special training we might be able to smooth things over but have never tried it.
 

KitKatPlus

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I found this video very helpful when looking into Amazons!

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wShFbORLYvI&t=925s"]What Species of Parrot is Right For YOU? - YouTube[/ame]

In general, my advice would be that if you are worried about getting one sex or the other and you can't tell before you get one (ie adopt or buy one that is older and already sexed), then it's dicey territory. I have also heard a lot of the things you are saying, and I've worked with amazons before and found them to be true. The video is from BirdTricks, the most reliable youtube channel that I have found. Hope that can be a help to you!
 
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LuLu.F

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saxguy64.

Thank you ever so much for providing information about your personal experiences with your BFA, Cuckoo - it is most helpful.

Your ‘urges’, ‘molest’ and ‘moppy’ comments really made me laugh!

LuLu.F
 
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LuLu.F

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KitKatPlus. I can’t thank you enough for introducing me to BirdTricks.com.

I’ve watched a couple of videos already and think they’re are really helpful but (even better) also just wonderful to see the transformation in the bird’s behaviour, confidence and responses.

I really enjoy the way all the info is delivered to the owners and viewers by the training experts and how they are so calm, and diplomatic to the owners - when they have obviously caused their bird to be fearful and unhappy.

I also think I’ve grasped the concept of target training using a clicker now - which will, I’m sure, be a really massive tool and aid for when I finally have a bird.

This particular video is beautiful to watch:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sXzbmH-6Ki4

Thank you
LuLu.F
x
 

KitKatPlus

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KitKatPlus. I can’t thank you enough for introducing me to BirdTricks.com.

I’ve watched a couple of videos already and think they’re are really helpful but (even better) also just wonderful to see the transformation in the bird’s behaviour, confidence and responses.

I really enjoy the way all the info is delivered to the owners and viewers by the training experts and how they are so calm, and diplomatic to the owners - when they have obviously caused their bird to be fearful and unhappy.

I also think I’ve grasped the concept of target training using a clicker now - which will, I’m sure, be a really massive tool and aid for when I finally have a bird.

This particular video is beautiful to watch:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sXzbmH-6Ki4

Thank you
LuLu.F
x

I'm SO glad you love them! They were my inspiration for my future in parrot training. Glad I could be of help!
 

SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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Blue-Fronted and a Hybrid Yellow-Winded Amazon have taken ownership of our household over the years, both male and Female variates. We have also been owned by Yellow-Naped and Double Yellow-Headed Amazons.

So What: Well as a group they represent the 'Hot Three' of the Amazon Family! This group of the extremely large Amazon Family are the most common to experience the full-on hormonal rush as they transition from child to adult! As a group, they are most common to experience major personality changes. In addition, that includes aggressive full-on attacks to a level of drawing blood. And, this can continue for several YEARS! Once that has past, they can and do experience yearly returns of those early-years.

Hens are sweeter than males... That depends on whether the removal of a finger is seen as kinder than a face wound. Point being, have experienced the full-on hormonal rage of a male that loved to attack legs and female that had a thing for finger. They both hurt and at the moment, measuring her slightly softer crewing was not on my list of thing to concentrate on at the moment.

Your implied position regarding Blue-Fronted Amazons and because of what you have read to date has me recommending that you move onto to another Family of Parrots...
 
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wrench13

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Its so wrong to make generalizations about any one species of parrot, each parrot is it;s own bird. Its a case of 'your experience may vary'. I will make one comment that really is true about Amazons though. They are upfront about how they feel and what they want. They are one family of parrots that telegraph their mood very clearly -BUT you need to read their body language. Any Amazon who is not being read correctly will be labeled as a biter or one who attacks, but it;s the human who did not heed the signals the bird was giving. The so called hot 3 (blue fronts, yellow napes and double yellow heads) are perhaps more excitable than others, but even that is a generalizations and there are plenty of hot 3's that are calm parrots, however I think thats because their owners have learned to respect the body language. And even the species that are known for their laid back attitude, and my own yellow shoulder amazon is one, will be a bitey, aggressive mess during hormone time.

And so much depends on your personal interaction and involvement with the parrot. They really do require daily play, interaction and attention. I know that if I am really busy and haven't spent time with Salty on a given day, he will resent that, and maybe not even the same day, he will refuse to step up ( but he signals that he is refusing by pushing my offered hand away from him) or other signs that he is 'miffed'. If I don't respect his signals, yes he might give me a nip to remind me. "Hey I said leave me alone! What did you not understand?".

So yeah being owned by an Amazon is not like having a dog without wings, like the video says. But I personally think they are an easy to have parrot, if such a thing exists, because you will always know where you stand with them.
 
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LuLu.F

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Wrench13.

Thank you very much for such a helpful and useful insight into your personal experiences with Salty.

I completely understand your comments about not generalising specific breeds and that, just like humans, all birds have their own distinctive personalities and traits.

All the replies I’ve received have really helped (and are continuing to help) build a clearer picture of the possible things that may or may not happen, what to expect and what to really look forward to.

I have a very intelligent 11 year old Cocker Spaniel, called Caspar (I tell children he’s the ‘friendly dog’ tho’ I named him after one of the 3 Wise Men - the name means effectively “treasure bearer”). I am constantly talking to Caspar all day long and he knows so much and is still learning; things such as rooms in the house; let’s clean your eyes or ears ...

Having watched a couple of your videos with Salty, I think (hope) that I will have the same sort of interaction as you have, with an upbeat/happy voice - just as if it is a young child.

I’ve learnt so much from everyone’s helpful comments - especially about target training (have watch a few videos), not to push for results (especially in the early days and months of bonding) and that body language/reading the bird’s behaviour and signals is key to making progress and everyone being happy.

So “thank you”, again, for taking the time and trouble to reply.

LuLu.F
x
 
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LuLu.F

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Wrench13

I meant to ask in my previous post ...

What seed/treats do you use as training rewards? I presume that they are relatively small and low in ‘calories’ (?) as they seem to used in quite large quantities during a trainOMG session.

LuLu.F
 

wrench13

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I use shelled pine nuts, cut into little pieces, 1/3's or smaller if I can. Salty loves 'em. He likes walnuts too, but he takes his sweet time eating them so they are not so good for training sessions.
 

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