HELP! New relationship w/ Amazon steadily going downhill ...

charlieman33

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Dec 10, 2019
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Hello! I'm new here so just wanted to start by saying THANK YOU to anyone willing to help. I'm 30 days into my relationship with Soda who is a Yellow Naped Amazon and things are going downhill quickly. Just a little background .. fell in love in a pet store (I know, I'm sorry for this but I was really there to get dog food) .. he took to me quite quickly and I would go to see him over the course of a few weeks. He would step up, groom me, let me scratch his neck, sit on my shoulder ect. Brought him home and had a huge hiccup the first day. My son entered the room and inadvertently spooked him. In an effort to get back to my shoulder he latched onto my face as I was sitting in a weird position when he ran to me. It only took about 7 seconds but it seemed to wipe clean all the previous work.

He will no longer step up. If he is out of his cage, I've not found a productive way to get him back in as he's not much on treats (see below) ect. I read somewhere to use a towel to coax him in and that seemed to be the last straw with him. The last week there has been lots of eye pinning, tail flaring, he no longer "talks" back and forth with me. Just appears angry or scared most of the time it seems. For the most part, he no longer wants much to do with me. Not sure how to progress.

His background .. 6 years old, 2 prior families. First one had two kids, parents divorced so Soda was sold. Second owner was a single soldier, small cage, lots of shoulder time until he deployed and Soda was sold to pet store. Not sure if it is Soda's preference or if it was never really given as part of his diet but he will not eat fruits and veggies or birdie bread. Just seed and ZuPreem fruit pellets. I try to keep other options in his cage but he ignores them. Only "treat" he will take is an unsalted peanut and that is sporadic. I don't know that he has ever been to see a vet to be honest. His nails are incredibly long and are in need of a trim but I can't imagine how I'm going to get him to the vet without totally demolishing our relationship at this point.

To be honest, we're at a standstill. I'm 100% willing to put in the work as the last thing I want is for him to go to yet another home. I read and try to implement the info I read online but it's often just making matters worse. He seems to want to take a chunk out of me whenever I come near so I seem to be making matters progressively worse so don't know how to proceed. THANK YOU!!
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Welcome to the forum! Congratulations on your Amazon, I think it's wonderful that you found him and gave him a chance at a great home.

I would get a long stick or dowel or something to use as a hand held perch to move him.
Talk to him , explain stuff to him, bribe him. Definitely keep up the work on veggie, eat them in front of him, put them in a large flat dish so he can explore them. Offer lots of stuff to get him used to eating new foods , like cooked pasta, cooked egg, cooked parm, try sprouts...

I like all the info in this article, except I don't like clicker training personally I just say good birdie as the bridge. http://go.skimresources.com/?id=162...tz=300&xuuid=71081d508d5b593ed0299e4eb75c2657

We have lots of Amazon owners and they will surely offer you great advice. I'm going to link some sticky threads from their forum.
http://www.parrotforums.com/amazons/54250-amazon-body-language.html

http://www.parrotforums.com/amazons/65119-i-love-amazons-going-journey.html
 
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AmyMyBlueFront

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Apr 14, 2015
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And a Normal Grey Cockatiel named BB who came home with me on 5/20/2016.
Hi and welcome to the forum to you and Soda. Definitely read the" Why I Love Amazons" sticky by our considered Amazon expert Steven (Sail Boat) lots of very useful info.
Sorry to read that Soda has regressed :eek: but with patients I'm confident that he will come around again. Remember,he has been with you only a month.
"toweling" a bird,in my opinion ,is NOT a good thing to do,unless it is an emergency and is the only option. I strongly suggest you get Soda to a Certified Avian Vet..not an "exotics" or cat/doggo vet since they will most likely know squat about the avian species for a physical just to confirm he is healthy.
When he is in his house,sit by it and READ to him,softly,quietly.Believe it or not,Amazon's like to be read to :04: As Laura stated,try using some sort of "perch" as a step-up perch. Having had my Amy for thirty years since he was four months old,I still use the same "step-up branch" that I found in my front yard so long ago.
Amazon's are foodies..they like to chow down! As a treat/bribe I use Nutraberries. Amy would wash my car for one of those!
With time and understanding (BTW.."it is NEVER the parrots fault!" Soda will come around..after all.."Amazons Rule" and "Amazons have more fun!!"


Jim
 
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SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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Welcome to Starting-Over with an Amazon!

You had the lucky benefit of an Amazon that 'up-front' liked you! But, sadly that is now gone and its time to start-over. The Good News is that Amazons' tend to be open to start-overs.

A couple of things regarding Parrot in general and Amazons in specific.
- It is Never the Fault of the Amazon!
- It is Always the Fault of the Human!
- It is commonly the Human position for the Animal to bend to the requirements of Humans! Not True for Amazons, especially if the Human has damaged the relationship. By changing to the Vantage Point of it is the Human's Fault, the recovery of the relationship is much quicker.

Understanding that the Human caused the steadily downwards trend of the relationship, it is on the Human to work at regaining it.

It is important to understand that Birds have no natural reason to trust Humans. It is all on us to create an environment that they can find reason to trust us!
When we damage the trust, its 100% on us to redevelop it.

Only Good Things Happen When Humans are around!

Sit down next to your Amazon and read out loud, just like you have and may still be doing with your children. Read the Understanding Amazon Body Language first and read it over and over again until you understand it as if it was your primary language.

Develop a contact call with your Amazon. Amazons are social creatures and want to be involved. While in other rooms, call out his name and develop a tune or whistle several notes long. Kind of letting him know where you are (I'm in here, where are you, Are you okay). Birds are in near constant communication it is important to them. Personally, I like a contact whistle as it is very possible that you maybe out and about and use a contact call... A whistle is a more understandable thing for a Human to do when out and about.

Bribery is very useful, and with Amazons, food is a great tool.

I also am not a fan of Clicker Training as you must always have the Clicker with you. I'm on the Human Voice as the source of the announcement, congratulations and reward. But, that is just my way of doing things.

So, when will you Amazon Love you again! That is called and expectation and expectations like with Humans are rarely useful and rarely helpful. When your Amazon is comfortable.

Within the Amazon Forum, you will find volumes regarding individuals first developing and also redeveloping a relationship with their Amazons.

The Great News is that it is very possible, but you have to be willing to put the 'long' effort into regaining your Amazon's Trust and then his Love.
 

wrench13

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100% agree, toweling is maybe the best way to destroy trust, except for chasing the parrot around the room. See if he will step up to a large diameter perch or section of branch. 'Boats is our resident AMazon expert, so reading ,aloud, in a soothing voice toSoda, his posts and stickies in the Amazon forum is a great wayto gain insight and to reset your relationship. Make sure the other members of your family also appreciate that you're trying tostart over with Soda. I love DYH 'zons ( though they as a species hate me on sight), so I am rooting for you both!
 

SailBoat

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And, just to add to the mix, your Amazon may or could be Hormonal, which will add to his being a bit out of sorts with life in general...

FYI #1: I avoid Towels as if they where the plague... The only time you want to use a Towel (as stated above) is at the Certified Avian Vet's Clinic and Let 'Them' towel your Bird. Its your job to be the Loving open arms, ready to save your Amazon from those terrible Vet Clinic Humans!!!

FYI #2: Use of a Towel in your home. Using a bath size towel, it can be used to separate you and your Amazon if he slips into a Hormonal Rage! PLEASE understand that your Amazon has NO control of the flow of chemicals into his system. As they natural spin back down, it is common for them to look as to ask: What Just Happened to me!?!? Never engage or tease an Amazon that is acting out of the effects of the flow of Hormonal Rage as it will only cause them to spin up even more!!!
The Dancing Towel: By holding the towel by one end and letting the other end fall to the floor you can create a 'Dancing Towel'. Held at arms length, slowly turn you hand to allow the towel to turn (spin) slowly. The goal is to 'Distract' your Amazon. Thus having him place his attention toward the Towel and away from the Human. This commonly occurs with an Amazon on the Floor. By the way, it's well worth practicing holding the towel and getting it to turn at this bottom. Do Not use this as play or punishment as the goal is 'Distraction.' This to allow you Amazon to cool down.

Your Amazon is young and has zero control let alone any understand what the rush of Chemicals is all about. The flashing orange eyes is a solid statement as part of Amazon Body Language. Please remember that with Amazons, they commonly combine at least three body Language statements to define what they are feeling. That is way it is so important 'learn' your Amazon's Language!

This may sound like way too much. But, I assure you that your learning their Language will Open an entire new World around you that you have not seen, plus your Amazon will aid your 'natural eye sight' from behind, i.e. what your kids are doing.

FYI: Have your kids read the Understanding Amazon Body Language to the Families Amazon. It will help them understand the need to verify the acceptance of the Amazon to what they are doing.

NOTE: Amazons commonly have Hormonal Events twice per year. Common in Late Fall though Early Winter and than again in Late Spring through Early Summer. To lessen these events, assure that your Amazon is getting solid night sleeps of 10 - 12 hours each day.

You have children and have learned much about loving, caring and working with them when things just don't make sense. It is very like that with your Amazon.

Enjoy!
 
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SailBoat

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A Heartfelt Thank-You to my Good Friends and fellow Amazon Lovers for your kind words regarding our joint love of Amazons and Parrots in general.

As regard to my being an Expert in the Wonderful World of Amazons; I will admit to being an Amazon Snob! Beyond that, it's 45+ years of Loving, Living and learning from Amazons and being given a chance to share that knowledge here.

One of the greatest rewards in life is seeing what you have learned and passing it along to others. The reward is seeing their success with what I had learned both the hard way (from the bill-end of an Amazon from doing it so very wrong) and from others. It is also enjoying see their use and then passing it allow to others!

Thank-You, My Good Friends for your Kind Words!
 
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texsize

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I was going to mention hormones.
My YNA has it bad this year. Started about 2 weeks ago.
I have had to be rescued twice from my YN .
He was just sitting with me and something must have upset him.
He starts hissing and pinning his eyes.
doesn’t mean he doesn’t like me.
Congratulations on your YNA.
 

EltonNoway

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[snip] He seems to want to take a chunk out of me whenever I come near so I seem to be making matters progressively worse so don't know how to proceed. THANK YOU!!
Lots of great advice offered already. Our experience was very similar to yours. Here's a word of caution... thanks to some early advice from our vet we discovered we were inadvertently training our bird to bite. Here's the deal... right after we got our Amazon and took her home she would bite and draw blood! We wanted to hold her but didn't want to get bit so.. instinctively we would pull our hands back when she would lunge to bite. Our vet said: "I understand you don't want to get bit but you are teaching her a bad behavior. She is learning if she opens her mouth (as if to bite) when your hand approaches that you will pull your hand back". (shes actually teaching "you" to pull your hand away!) He suggested getting her use to stepping up on a stick while using the command "Up Up".

Eventually she learned to be comfortable with us and walked from the stick onto our hand. We also learned NOT to approach her too fast... to slowly extend our hand when we wanted to pick her up i.e., let her see our hand approaching. Yes we got bit a couple times early on during the stick training process but believe it or not you get use to the bite. Anyway... that was 35 years ago! FYI: We stopped using the stick as soon as she got use to our hands. Today shes as lovey as can be and never bites. Take your time and don't get discouraged. As others have stated avoid toweling at all cost. Leave that practice for vet visits. In fact when we visit the vet we leave the room so our bird doesn't associate us with her getting wrapped in a towel.
 

Birdman666

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Sep 18, 2013
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Presently have six Greenwing Macaw (17 yo), Red Fronted Macaw (12 yo), Red Lored Amazon (17 y.o.), Lilac Crowned Amazon (about 43 y.o.) and a Congo African Grey (11 y.o.)
Panama Amazon (1 Y.O.)
1. The latch on to your cheek was displacement biting. Your child spooked the bird. It's likely to happen again. This bird should be a hand trained bird, not a shoulder bird. Displacement biters are a huge no-no for shoulders.

2. Go back to basics with this bird. Use my disfavored bird training method. It's posted here. Only in this case he doesn't have a favorite person. Basic step up and touch training in a room where you and he are one on one. Your child should be instructed that the bird is afraid of him and he should leave you alone while you are training the bird.

3. Next we get the bird used to the kid. Have the kid sit outside the cage at a distance and simply talk to the bird. Offer favorite treats... Cashews, walnuts, and pistacios are the way to an amazon's heart... Once the bird at least gets used to having the child around hopefully the displacement biting stops, and he stops being spooked. SOME of this is train the child... don't make sudden movements or be too loud.... don't get right in the bird's face. Sit back and let the bird get comfortable with you. Cuz you're actually very, very big and scarey to the little bird... You're 1000 times his size... so he's scared.

Hopefully the combination of reinforcing basic training, and getting him comfortable with the kid does the trick...

Another deal.

And this is going to sound cruel or counter intuitive....

Ignore the bird completely... let him stay in his cage and sulk for a day or two.... WAIT FOR HIM TO CRAVE INTERACTION AGAIN... THEN GIVE HIM WHAT HE WANTS...

Sometimes trying too hard backfires. HE has to want it... HE has to realize he wants it...

Does that make sense....

I've only worked with about 80 or 100 amazons to date... so this is all just an educated guess... but...
 

chris-md

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Mark, to my knowledge this thread containing the disfavored person training is just a thread floating around, not readily found. I know I’ve wanted to check it out. Would you consider coordinating with the mods to make a sticky?
 

Birdman666

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Sep 18, 2013
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Presently have six Greenwing Macaw (17 yo), Red Fronted Macaw (12 yo), Red Lored Amazon (17 y.o.), Lilac Crowned Amazon (about 43 y.o.) and a Congo African Grey (11 y.o.)
Panama Amazon (1 Y.O.)
THAT is actually one of my most valuable posts. I hope it didn't get deleted over the years...

THAT one works. I have literally used it on 100 plus parrots...
 

Flboy

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THAT is actually one of my most valuable posts. I hope it didn't get deleted over the years...

THAT one works. I have literally used it on 100 plus parrots...

I believe I found the reason you are unable to locate it!

*****
"I took this from another forum from a guy who is just amazing with his birds and his training ... please follow these directions and you will have no problems what so ever.

"Disfavored Person Behavior Mods.
Put a training perch in a neutral room (a room that your bird is not or less familiar with)
Using the “step up” command have the preferred person take the bird from its cage and to the training perch
After the preferred person leaves that area (out of sight and no voice heard), have the less preferred person enter the area and sit and talk to the bird calmly
Be animated and expressive and use the bird’s name often.
Using the command “step up” in an assertive fashion, have the bird step up onto your hand
If successful, praise and compliment
If not successful, scowl and give a brief disapproving look and say it again and insist on the step up
Repeat for a minimum of ten minutes (make it as fun as possible, keep the energy level low if stressed)
End with a calm conversation using the bird’s name and lots of praise. At the end of the session, the favored person comes in and returns the bird to its cage and rewards it.

If the bird is not at all tame with the disfavored person, then do the basic taming and training exercises described in the birdbites protocol. Twice a day for two weeks should see marked improvement for most disfavored person behavior troubles."

(Thanks Mark!)"

http://www.parrotforums.com/conures/1151-my-conure-hates-everyone.html
 

sherylb

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I’m reading all this too...I’ve let you all know I have a Baby BF Amazon Finley. He’s great and I’m teaching him to step up..he does step up for treats until he knows I want him to step up to move him somewhere he doesn’t want to go....like from the shower perch , he doesn’t want to come out of the shower or when I am going out and need to put him in his cage...he won’t step up for treats then .....so what do I do then ?? I don’t want to use the towel either
 

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