Family member left me with a Catalina Macaw

Grandpafeathers

New member
Dec 24, 2023
3
6
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2 Cockatiels, 1 African Grey, 1 Catalina Macaw
Because of an unexpected death, I was left with a Catalina Macaw. This isn't a species i thought i'd have the chance of ever acquiring, thus i am a little more unprepared than i'd like to be for this fella.

He was bonded to one person and my understanding is that he would be a deceptive biter around that person. IE act friendly to lure you close.
For that reason, he's stayed caged since i acquired him the day before yesterday. I'm doing feeding times twice per day (small portions) and hand-feeding nuts/fruit through the bars. I haven't seen any of his deception but the whole family warned me. He hasn't acted aggressive a single time toward me.

He was living out of a camper with his owner who may have relapsed thus his life was unstable. They don't know what he was eating, but they think it was human food. He was never caged, lived on a T-Perch. Acts like the hardest part is being caged, which i understand.

Anyways, i've kept parrots for 30 years but the biggest bird i've ever owned is my african grey (who is an angel. anyone can hold her if i'm nearby and she's never drawn blood. Had her since she was a baby.)

The macaw intimidates me because his behavior and vocalizations is much different than what i'm accustomed to. I also haven't had to read aggressive body language from a big bird for a solid seven years since i've never had an issue with my personal flock. I am familiar with the gist of it.

I am using target training and clicker training, but i've been doing it while he's caged. Honestly, i'm worried about getting him back into the cage once i let him out for the first time. I took the next 8 days off of work. Giving him back isn't an option. I live in a rural state and they were going to have this bird euthanized. My family is eccentric and that makes me nauseous.
The bird was in the camper when my cousin was killed. The paramedics thought there was a third person trapped under the truck because of the screaming.

How does a Catalina generally compare to a Scarlet? I know Scarlets are notoriously difficult and if i recall correctly, a catalina is a cross. Any generalizations i could benefit from knowing?

Any advice on how to handle trauma after being in a car accident where your owner was killed? How much time shuold i give him? My thought process has been "dont give him the chance to reject you yet. Go slow and wait for him to be excited when he sees me"

Any and all help is appreciated. I have the space, i have my own house, I've got a spare cage meant for macaw breeding (his current cage would be good for a conure and that's about it, but i've kept him in it for consistency. It's 2.5ft on the sides. and about 4 ft tall) i understand all birds bite and i accept that.

-Old owner secured the bond, but worked through negative reinforcement. His wife says he would "clobber" this bird when it bit. My cousin saw him kick this bird across the room twice. There were concerns about physical animal abuse toward the dogs. May my cousin rest in peace, but just giving you some background. I've been warned of his treatment toward the animals by 4 family members thus i believe them
-wasn't caged
-im her third owner
-spent 4/5ths of her 12 years with that second owner and witnessed his death
-has not lunged or warned me away
-constantly begging to be let out
-concerned about getting him back in
-hand feeding through the bars, responsive to target and clicker training
-first macaw, my other main parrot is a Grey
-No work for next 8 days
 
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Grandpafeathers

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Dec 24, 2023
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6
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2 Cockatiels, 1 African Grey, 1 Catalina Macaw
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Today is our 2nd full day together and he is constantly begging to be let out of the cage. Bouncing up and down and putting a foot up and saying step up. Family did warn me he will do that and then bite at the last second, but my family is very dramatic and a single lunge would cause them to call a bird wild, so i take what they say with a grain of salt.
Do you think it is helpful to coddle my african grey in the same room as the macaw, or will it just cause jealousy? BTW i am aware i need to keep them in separate rooms plus i have heavy duty air filtration in my grey's bedroom.
 
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BirdieDad

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Feb 2, 2020
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Today is our 2nd full day together and he is constantly begging to be let out of the cage. Bouncing up and down and putting a foot up and saying step up. Family did warn me he will do that and then bite at the last second, but my family is very dramatic and a single lunge would cause them to call a bird wild, so i take what they say with a grain of salt.
Do you think it is helpful to coddle my african grey in the same room as the macaw, or will it just cause jealousy? BTW i am aware i need to keep them in separate rooms plus i have heavy duty air filtration in my grey's bedroom.
Hi,

You will get some great advice here. I am not equipped enough to help but I would like to direct you to the Avian Behavior Lab where I have gotten some great guidance on the problems that arise with my birds. There are some great people here as well, but it never hurts to have more than one resource.
 

saxguy64

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I have no experience with macs either, but I'd LOVE to be in a position to have one. My hands are quite full with my three, an ekkie, a YNA and a grey.
Maybe this thread will be of help if you haven't already seen it:

And yes, a Catalina is a hybrid, of a blue and gold and a scarlet. Gorgeous birds!
 
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GaleriaGila

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WOW.
Well...
Welcome...
Congratulations... condolences... cheers... etc., etc., etc.
What an amazing situation. That bird is blessed to have you, and thank you so much for including us in the consecration (sorry, I have a bad habit of playing with words). But seriously, this is the best place anywhere for finding support, guidance, and information... although not from me!
Thank you for rescuing this bird and sharing the journey.
 
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Grandpafeathers

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Dec 24, 2023
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2 Cockatiels, 1 African Grey, 1 Catalina Macaw
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Thank you everybody. I'm going to take him out today. I skipped his breakfast to keep him food motivated because i predict struggles getting him back into his cage. Was this a good idea?
 

wrench13

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Recommend reading all threads at the top of the macaw forum, and all and any threads written by or responded to by birdman666 very good info on macs.
 

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