Help needed. Aggressive yellow napped amazon

ForTheLoveOfBirds

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Jul 18, 2017
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Georgia
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Yellow Naped Amazon
Hello fellow bird lovers,
I am extremely new to this hobby, only having gotten a parrot 2 weeks ago and I need some help. I have a 35 year old yellow napped amazon parrot. She was my great grandmothers whom could no longer take care of her. Unfortunately, this bird was abused by other members of my family while in the care of my grandmother. The biggest problems are aggression (she lunges at me almost every time that I try to pull out her food and water dishes), my inexperience with creating a bond with a bird, feather picking and the fact that my great grandmother hasn't handled this bird in almost 15 years. Poor thing has been cage bound. Any advice regarding how I should go about this will really help. Thank you.
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,157
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Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
Welcome to the Wonderful World of Amazons, and Parrot Forums!

As a base understand, in the past, near all Parrots where wild caught! That means that their first experience with Humans was not positive! Near everyone that obtained one of those Parrots was faced with the same thing you are today! Based on that, Humans and Parrots have for very long time, have started from pretty much where you are starting today! So, it can be done!!! You have to be willing to create a World around this Amazons that will allow this to happen!

First: It will be important to get this YNA into a Certified Avian Vet (CAV) for a complete New (Senior) Parrot examination! Very close attentions needs to be place on the health of your Amazons Heart and Air Sacks to determine how healthy your Amazon is today. The length of time 'caged' plays heavily on their over all health!

Second: Assure that any of those individuals that abused your YNA are not allowed anywhere near your Amazon! On the street a couple of blocks away would be as close as I would want them!

Third: Assurance each and everyday that only good things will happen when you and any other Human are around. A deeply committed want to provide this Amazon 'no matter what' A Forever Home!

Four: Sit down next to the cage and read to your Amazon! Amazons Love to be read too! Start by reading the First Sticky at the top of the Amazon Forum: regarding Understanding Amazon Body Language! Read it several times each day for several days. The goal is for your Amazon to become use to your voice and you to learn Amazon Body Language!

Five: Regardless of what you are doing: It Is NEVER The Fault Of The Amazons! It is ALWAYS the fault of the Human! When you start and always evaluate from this vantage point, you will more quickly see what your are doing wrong and correct it!

Six: This Amazon has no one single reason to TRUST you! Your goal each and every day is to provide a reason to TRUST you!

Seven: There are no Timelines! There are no expectations! It will all be at the rate and timeline of the Amazon!. Your only want is to bring this Amazon a reason to Trust You! This will take time! Understand that a young child that is abused needs the same effort to assure them they are safe and that no one 'here' will every hurt them again!

So, let him lung, etc... At this point, you are just setting the stage, a World that he can once again Trust!

WILL ALL OF THIS BE WORTH IT! Oh, yes my friend, it will! There will come a point where a tiny glimmer of 'want to trust' shines through and you will begin to feel the warmth of an Amazon that wants to have you around!

Again, Welcome To The Wonderful World Of Amazons!
 
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ForTheLoveOfBirds

ForTheLoveOfBirds

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Yellow Naped Amazon
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Thank you for the advice! I will get her to the vet as soon as I can and start your recommendations today.
 

mh434

New member
Oct 28, 2014
473
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BC, Canada
Parrots
Yellow-naped Amazon "Sammy"
Love birds (4)
Green-cheeked Conure "Skittles" - now, sadly gone from my life
Blue-Crowned Conure "Tequila"
African Grey "Reno" - sadly, now gone from my life
I have to agree with Sailboat. I, too, have an aggressive YNA. He didn't start off that way - he bonded with me fairly quickly, and we were inseparable. Unfortunately, it seems that one of the later arrivals to our flock put his beak out of joint, and he became unbelievably aggressive and vicious, particularly toward me, his one-and-only human. This has been going on for over 2 years now!

With Sailboat's advice, I recently started sitting beside Sammy's cage, and just...talking to him. No threatening "closeness", no direct eye contact, just...talk. It seems to be helping! Sammy's MUCH calmer now in my presence (although when he's out of his cage, he generally tries to get as far away from me as possible).

Last night, I almost got him to "step up". He raised one foot, then changed his mind. More importantly, though, he let me skritch his neck (something he always adored) for almost half a minute - that is a HUGE step.

Also, when picking him up from places he shouldn't be (using a stick), instead of a full-out attack on the stick, last night he actually pulled it closer, then stepped up onto it, waiting for me to lift him up & back to his cage. He got a peanut for that!!

Gently talking to them really does seem to help. I expect it's a matter of a longer term of completely non-threatening, non-invasive contact that eventually relaxes them, and starts to build trust again.

I also changed a few other things - covering his cage at dusk, switching to a soy-free pellet food, removing "nesting"-type material from his cage (to reduce hormonal swings, hopefully).

I don't know how much affect the other changes are having, but the reading/talking activity produces a readily visible change for the better. I know I'm going to keep doing it! I was at the point of trying to find a new home for him (and failing miserably - turns out NOBODY wants to take on an aggressive 'Zon), but now I have hope that, eventually, I'll regain his trust & get back to being the team we used to be.
 
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ForTheLoveOfBirds

ForTheLoveOfBirds

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Yellow Naped Amazon
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I agree with everything your saying. I have been sitting by Devita's cage for at least 2 hours every day and it seems to be working! She seems to be calmer and will now talk in my presence. I haven't let her out of the cage yet though. I'm afraid she will go nuts and play the catch me if you can game. What should I do about this? Would it be too soon to let her start exploring life outside her cage or do you think it would end badly? What kinds of treats could I use in order to coax her back into the cage in case she freaks? I have a tall wood perch for her to play on but I don't want to scare her when I need to put her back. Any advice?
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,157
2,968
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
Lets slowly more the perches in close to her cage. The operative word is slow! Take a couple of days to get them near the cage door! When you are a bit more comfortable with her, she will be more comfortable with you!

The goal of moving the perches in much closer to create a World in close to the cage. A place for her to go to when she comes out of the cage. If the cage door has a perch on its inside, when you open the door, the Amazon can ride-out of the door on that perch. With the additional perches arranged so that she can hop or cross-over to the other perch(s) and than back into the cage.

What you know have is a safe World for her to explore and quickly move back inside if she needs. Small steps, big rewards.

So, what happens when its time to go back to the cage. Treats! And, food in general. If you keep her off the floor and on the perches, she will make her way back to where she knows that there is food.

Remember that she may elect not to come out of the cage! Been in a cage for a long time, so do not expect her to rush the door just because you opened it!
 

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