Choosing just one...

KevinC_63559

New member
Jan 18, 2021
10
0
Deeply rural NE Missouri
Parrots
Several years experience with Greenwing Macaw prior to divorce in 2004.
Hi all. I've enjoyed the warm welcome I've received on my introduction post, but it felt like I should break into the "real" forum <smile>.

Quick summary: 62 years old, prior GW owner (separated via divorce 15 years ago), now semi-retired. Have a significantly younger wife and two teenage kids. We live on a 121 acre farm in the middle of nowhere Missouri, with a wide variety of animals (household birds, cats, and working dog; farm horses, cows, chickens, guinefowl, turkeys, rabbits, etc.). My daytime office is about 500 feet from my house.

Pretty much settled on getting something like a 64x32 cage for the office, and something like a 80x40 cage for the house. When weather permits (call it 300 days a year), plan on taking the bird with me to the office daily. I can afford decent (powder coated) cages, but not ultimate (SS) cages - although I really like the Expandable Habitats products... those would take some time to save up for. I want to at least have the office cage before I do start seriously considering obtaining a bird. At 62, time is not in my favor, but since our log home still has about 6 months of finishing work, I suspect I'd fail most home inspections (doesn't keep us from living there - which we do), so likely will need to bide some time anyhow.

Been spending the last month or so considering what I would like to have, with side-trips down the caging path. I will admit I like color. An African Grey would probably be an ideal bird - but with no offense to AG owners - they just don't appeal to me, nor do Cockatoos. I recently devoured a several hundred page e-book on Eclectus, but suspect I could never have just one - I'd want a pair. Suppose that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Regarding a single bird I'm quite torn. Here is my current understanding in immensely compressed form:

Green Wing: Beautiful, friendly, relatively calm based on my previous experience. Large enough to quickly teach the cats to stay away. [ Our farm dog would take a single session to teach - she learns in one pass what she is allowed to do (chase wild rabbits, eat anything we cull and feed her, but not chase or eat any of the rabbits we raise!), so not worried about her. Worst she does is chase fowl from her food bowl (and seems to enjoy doing so, but never harms them). ] Alas, I've never experienced GWs long term (more than a half-dozen years), and I'm reading here that their personality can change in their later years. I'm seeing GWs on adoption sites fairly regularly.

Blue and Gold: Playful, more energy than GWs, somewhat stronger tendency to bond to one family member, sometimes with aggression to others. Not ideal since my office is also the family TV room which we regularly spend an hour or two each night at (typically watching movies or Netflixing). It would depend on the bird. Very commonly seen on adoption sites. I've never met one I didn't get along with - sometimes to the shock of their keepers.

Blue Throated Macaw: Still more energy, can be clingy (which doesn't bother me). Mechanical geniuses - will need key padlocks to keep it in its cage <smile>. Smaller than BGs, which I'm fine with. I've never seen one on an adoption site.

Amazons: (I know, not a Macaw) Not as colorful, but I hear Yellow Fronts, Panama, and Yellow Shoulder Amazons make wonderful companions. Big enough to meet my desire for a "large bird" (just spent a month with my daughters new Indian Ringneck while it waited out its quarantine time in my office. Nice, spent a lot of shoulder time on me, but just a bit small for my taste). I wasn't really looking at Amazons, but seem to recall seeing them on adoption sites fairly regularly.

Eclectus: (Yeah, I know, really not a Macaw, but please deal with it <lol>) Not completely off my list. Would likely end up with a pair over time (perhaps a year apart). Obviously easy to sex and don't seem to have the "two-birds will bond to each other instead of the human" concern. I find both sexes beautiful. Although I know it varies by individual bird, they have a reputation of having vocabularies that rival an African Greys. That is, admittedly, appealing to me. I've spotted them on adoption pages - but vary rarely.

That leads me to the purpose of this post: Presuming this is a once-in-whats-left-of-my-lifetime decision, which of the above categories would you suggest I eliminate from my current potential list? Alternatively, if for some reason you think only ONE of the above is appropriate for me, which and why?

We are several hours away from the closest rescue sites - so we can visit a few, but not on anything like a weekly basis. Thus the "right bird is the one that selects you" (a process I completely agree with) will be difficult, since exposure to a lot of rescues will not be practical. That said, even if I had my heart set on a specific bird, if we visited and it hated me (as some do just based on gender or other aspects I can't control), I would pass it by and write off the trip as an educational adventure.

Note I'm figuring I likely have about 20 years to go. My brother died at 72, although he abused his body chemically since leaving the army at 22. My father died at 83 accidently. My mother is still alive at 95 although the nursing home she requires would never allow a companion bird. I'm presuming my lovely wife would take over for me when I pass, or my 14 yo daughter...
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
Eclectus aren't bold, like things a little calmer in general. The owners we have here will likely chime in, so they have better experience. Eclectus also need a fresh diet and a lot of fussy with the diet. Our owners will have to speak up on how much theirs speak. But I'm thinking not all are big into talking
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
9,824
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USA
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Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
How about a hawk head?
 
OP
KevinC_63559

KevinC_63559

New member
Jan 18, 2021
10
0
Deeply rural NE Missouri
Parrots
Several years experience with Greenwing Macaw prior to divorce in 2004.
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How about a hawk head?

What little I have read on them makes them sound risky. For example, a tidbit from Wikipedia: " juvenile birds tend to be docile, adults can be particularly ill-tempered, stubborn, unpredictable and strong-willed birds". However, it also says "However, as with all parrots, temperament can vary greatly from individual to individual and some red-fan parrots make excellent companions."

Sounds risky and quickly learning to ignore at least half the "for sale" sites I'm finding - which make every bird sound like the ultimate pet.

Anyone here have one?
 

chris-md

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2010
4,056
508
Maryland - USA
Parrots
Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
Ekkies are great pets for those who don’t mind the work. The diet is fussy, can’t just throw pellets at them. And the 24/7/365 threat of hormones can occasionally be exhausting. Though Having a pair is absolutely unnecessary. If you’d only plan for one macaw, planning for one ekkie is fine. You have no guarantees they’d get along anyways.

Have you thought about a red fronted macaws? Less colorful, but have some of the best personalities and temperaments of the macaw world.
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,006
1,663
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
I'm an Amazon Snob and have a lifetime of experience with them. They are extremely smart and for those not willing to learn their body language taking on an Amazon can be a serious error.

Having read your first Thread and now this one, you have a clear leaning toward the GW and B&G Macaws and you will likely be second guessing yourself if you fail to get one or the other.

So, Get a Macaw...
 

Littleredbeak

Well-known member
May 27, 2020
401
250
I don’t know if traveling to Montana is feasible but there is a macaw that’s is in need of a home! I found the ad on Craigslist ���� https://billings.craigslist.org/pet/d/billings-blue-and-gold-macaw-with-cage/7263748678.html

I recently adopted a orange winged amazon who is great with getting to know new people and does well with other animals and loves being in each other’s company. She can be loud but it s normally because she wants something. She hasnt chewed anything she’s not suppose - but she has a lot of things she is able to chew. She’s on the older side tho.
 
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KevinC_63559

KevinC_63559

New member
Jan 18, 2021
10
0
Deeply rural NE Missouri
Parrots
Several years experience with Greenwing Macaw prior to divorce in 2004.
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  • #9

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
9,824
1,426
USA
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Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
I think your heart belongs to macaws DO hope you find one. But keeping your mind open to others is a great idea.
Hyacinth macaws are pretty great all I've ever met have been awesome, but have a HUGE price tag, I've never seen them at rescues

Listed 2 days ago Blu and gold
https://www.hoobly.com/p/WEjVN
 
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noodles123

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Jul 11, 2018
8,141
163
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Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
I'd definitely go for a rescue, given the fact that there are MANY adult birds out there in need of a home, and they live forever when cared for properly.


Be super cautious about moving a parrot into a new home, as glues, paints and stains can off-gas for a long time. I'd wait 6months to a year AND get a super nice VOC removing, true-hepa air purifier (non-ionizing and non atomizing unless the function can be turned off). Either way, in a brand new home, I wouldn't trust it under 6 m (and even then with the purifier).
 
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KevinC_63559

KevinC_63559

New member
Jan 18, 2021
10
0
Deeply rural NE Missouri
Parrots
Several years experience with Greenwing Macaw prior to divorce in 2004.
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Be super cautious about moving a parrot into a new home, as glues, paints and stains can off-gas for a long time. I'd wait 6months to a year AND get a super nice VOC removing, true-hepa air purifier (non-ionizing and non atomizing unless the function can be turned off). Either way, in a brand new home, I wouldn't trust it under 6 m (and even then with the purifier).

Thanks for the concern. Fortunately its a log home, with T&G carsiding for most of the walls and ceilings. Very little in the way of VOCs, just a bit of caulking in the bathroom and kitchen. No carpet. No signs of any stress if the small flock of finches or parakeets, nor in our conure or ring-neck. Geo-Thermal heat as well. On-demand propane water heater is directly vented outside. Spray foam attic insulation was done about 2 years ago.
 

Moxie

New member
Sep 25, 2020
51
2
Texoma
Parrots
macaws
I think your heart belongs to macaws DO hope you find one. But keeping your mind open to others is a great idea.
Hyacinth macaws are pretty great all I've ever met have been awesome, but have a HUGE price tag, I've never seen them at rescues

Listed 2 days ago Blu and gold
https://www.hoobly.com/p/WEjVN

When a Hyacinth Macaw ends up at a rescue they don't let them go via adoption. They either keep them or they sell them for a premium price just like everyone else.
 

Moxie

New member
Sep 25, 2020
51
2
Texoma
Parrots
macaws
Hi all. I've enjoyed the warm welcome I've received on my introduction post, but it felt like I should break into the "real" forum <smile>.

Quick summary: 62 years old, prior GW owner (separated via divorce 15 years ago), now semi-retired. Have a significantly younger wife and two teenage kids. We live on a 121 acre farm in the middle of nowhere Missouri, with a wide variety of animals (household birds, cats, and working dog; farm horses, cows, chickens, guinefowl, turkeys, rabbits, etc.). My daytime office is about 500 feet from my house.

Pretty much settled on getting something like a 64x32 cage for the office, and something like a 80x40 cage for the house. When weather permits (call it 300 days a year), plan on taking the bird with me to the office daily. I can afford decent (powder coated) cages, but not ultimate (SS) cages - although I really like the Expandable Habitats products... those would take some time to save up for. I want to at least have the office cage before I do start seriously considering obtaining a bird. At 62, time is not in my favor, but since our log home still has about 6 months of finishing work, I suspect I'd fail most home inspections (doesn't keep us from living there - which we do), so likely will need to bide some time anyhow.

Been spending the last month or so considering what I would like to have, with side-trips down the caging path. I will admit I like color. An African Grey would probably be an ideal bird - but with no offense to AG owners - they just don't appeal to me, nor do Cockatoos. I recently devoured a several hundred page e-book on Eclectus, but suspect I could never have just one - I'd want a pair. Suppose that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Regarding a single bird I'm quite torn. Here is my current understanding in immensely compressed form:

Green Wing: Beautiful, friendly, relatively calm based on my previous experience. Large enough to quickly teach the cats to stay away. [ Our farm dog would take a single session to teach - she learns in one pass what she is allowed to do (chase wild rabbits, eat anything we cull and feed her, but not chase or eat any of the rabbits we raise!), so not worried about her. Worst she does is chase fowl from her food bowl (and seems to enjoy doing so, but never harms them). ] Alas, I've never experienced GWs long term (more than a half-dozen years), and I'm reading here that their personality can change in their later years. I'm seeing GWs on adoption sites fairly regularly.

Blue and Gold: Playful, more energy than GWs, somewhat stronger tendency to bond to one family member, sometimes with aggression to others. Not ideal since my office is also the family TV room which we regularly spend an hour or two each night at (typically watching movies or Netflixing). It would depend on the bird. Very commonly seen on adoption sites. I've never met one I didn't get along with - sometimes to the shock of their keepers.

Blue Throated Macaw: Still more energy, can be clingy (which doesn't bother me). Mechanical geniuses - will need key padlocks to keep it in its cage <smile>. Smaller than BGs, which I'm fine with. I've never seen one on an adoption site.

Amazons: (I know, not a Macaw) Not as colorful, but I hear Yellow Fronts, Panama, and Yellow Shoulder Amazons make wonderful companions. Big enough to meet my desire for a "large bird" (just spent a month with my daughters new Indian Ringneck while it waited out its quarantine time in my office. Nice, spent a lot of shoulder time on me, but just a bit small for my taste). I wasn't really looking at Amazons, but seem to recall seeing them on adoption sites fairly regularly.

Eclectus: (Yeah, I know, really not a Macaw, but please deal with it <lol>) Not completely off my list. Would likely end up with a pair over time (perhaps a year apart). Obviously easy to sex and don't seem to have the "two-birds will bond to each other instead of the human" concern. I find both sexes beautiful. Although I know it varies by individual bird, they have a reputation of having vocabularies that rival an African Greys. That is, admittedly, appealing to me. I've spotted them on adoption pages - but vary rarely.

That leads me to the purpose of this post: Presuming this is a once-in-whats-left-of-my-lifetime decision, which of the above categories would you suggest I eliminate from my current potential list? Alternatively, if for some reason you think only ONE of the above is appropriate for me, which and why?

We are several hours away from the closest rescue sites - so we can visit a few, but not on anything like a weekly basis. Thus the "right bird is the one that selects you" (a process I completely agree with) will be difficult, since exposure to a lot of rescues will not be practical. That said, even if I had my heart set on a specific bird, if we visited and it hated me (as some do just based on gender or other aspects I can't control), I would pass it by and write off the trip as an educational adventure.

Note I'm figuring I likely have about 20 years to go. My brother died at 72, although he abused his body chemically since leaving the army at 22. My father died at 83 accidently. My mother is still alive at 95 although the nursing home she requires would never allow a companion bird. I'm presuming my lovely wife would take over for me when I pass, or my 14 yo daughter...

I love macaw there is just something about those big beaks and those long tails that do it for me. Me and my kids have had almost all of the macaws at one time or another. We have hyacinths, greenwing, blue and gold, catalina, redfront, blue headed, Illigers, military, scarlet and blue throat at one time or another. I have always wanted a great green/ Buffon's macaw but I have never managed to get my hands on one. Most of my birds are birds that people didn't want any more and they needed a home so I took them. A couple I got as babies and I raised them. There are + & - 's to both. We have never had a one person bird all of our birds would go to anyone that would take them with them. My best advice is get the one that you love the most especially if you are only going to have one. Good Luck
 
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KevinC_63559

KevinC_63559

New member
Jan 18, 2021
10
0
Deeply rural NE Missouri
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Several years experience with Greenwing Macaw prior to divorce in 2004.
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Well... I think I'm getting there. Currently focusing on the almost impossible to find Blue Throated Macaw - noting only Missouri breeders could sell to me and I've never seen one of a rescue site. BTMs need escape proof cages, so I'm investigating those now. I've reached out to Expandable Habitat asking some details on their construction. Stainless Steel cages, like EH's, are going to be painful to buy, but I suspect I'll have some time before that BTM shows up.

Doesn't help that the town "expert" is also looking and bluntly told me the only way I'll get a BTM is if he doesn't see it first. He is the son of wealthy parents and can buy anything he wants. Hyacinth prices are not a problem for him.

Wish me luck!

ps. Walked around my office area with a measuring stick (yeah, really, the old foldup type) and thinking I can do a 4x4 EH cage in the office without blocking much. House cage would be 3x6. Not really that much difference in overall space (16 sq ft vs. 18 sq ft).
 
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KevinC_63559

KevinC_63559

New member
Jan 18, 2021
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0
Deeply rural NE Missouri
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Several years experience with Greenwing Macaw prior to divorce in 2004.
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FYI - have ordered (2) 3x6x5 EH cages. Expected delivery at the end of April. Once received, the hunt for a macaw will begin in earnest.
 

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.
FYI - have ordered (2) 3x6x5 EH cages. Expected delivery at the end of April. Once received, the hunt for a macaw will begin in earnest.

Excellent! You'll have time to build up the cage with perches and toys for that perfect macaw!
 
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KevinC_63559

KevinC_63559

New member
Jan 18, 2021
10
0
Deeply rural NE Missouri
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Several years experience with Greenwing Macaw prior to divorce in 2004.
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Bought two of almost every accessory EH has on their website - figured I'd try them all out and see which the future bird likes the most.
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
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Western, Michigan
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DYH Amazon
FYI: Assure that the front door is full height as it makes getting the Parrot in and out easier and its a ton easier to clean!!!

Hmmm, seems that the 'kid' is making that classic error of taking on a old guy as life in prison just has a bunch less meaning to it when you're old! :D

Plus there is just so much to be said for 'having seen and done that several times!' Plus most Breeders with high-end Parrots want a great home for their baby, not some kid that is all money and little else...

Change the filters out the week before your Parrot comes home and be ready to change them monthly if needed...
 

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