Kids and Amazons?

ravvlet

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It’s been three days and I am FINALLY getting some feeling in the tip of my finger! (Sam decided fingers were much tastier than treats Sunday).

Sam looks an absolute mess, and has enough pin feathers to recushion a sofa. We are in the good ole PNW, and spring has sprung upon us finally - and so too has her nasty sudden hormone explosions.

I believe we have definitively determined that I am, at best, a “friendly rival”. She displays and wing flips and chats for me, but she does it all with her tail spread out and her head pooped up, and she’s not messing around about it.

Which brings me to my point - I am really worried about safety issues with Sam and kids. We’ve taken to having my partner lock her door when Sammy is out so that the kids can’t barge in. She nailed the groomer on her hand this weekend and scratched up her face - a groomer who herself has THREE yellow nape amazons at home! Sam has already gotten one of the kids on the finger last summer, and with spring finally in the air, ‘tis the season for potential “blood donations”.

I am less worried about my kids, because the youngest is scared spitless of Sam now and the older kid knows her way around birds enough to get the heck out of the way - I’m worried about my kids friends coming over and sneaking off into the “cool Hello bird’s room” when I’m not looking!

It’s gotten to the point that we are looking into adult only potential homes for Sam. She is safe and well cared for for now, and will be until we find someone who may be a better fit, should that come to pass.

For the time being though - those of you with kids at home and reactive parrots, how did you handle it? Any tips? Anything to relieve my endless anxiety about the situation would be great!

Edited to add: Kirby has always been good with kids, even when our youngest was only two- he avoided them for the most part. Now that he knows us, he will sometimes ask them for pets, but mostly likes to chat with them from a distance. I have no worries with him - he’s even nice to strange adults, even the vet. I dunno what I did to deserve such a nice bird.
 

SailBoat

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Children around Parrots should always be under watchful adult eyes regardless of time of year. During hormonal time of year even more so as they are even more emotional.

Understand that with Amazons it is a standard part of education to teach yourself, other adults and especially children to know the signs of an Amazon losing it! It is just as important to understand, they have zero control over the flow and their actions.

Amazons' as protectors: Individuals commonly forget that Amazons are just as likely to bite you to drive you off as they are to bite you to get you to move away from danger. It is a fine edge as to which is which, but it is a reality.

Several members over the years have either been raised with Amazons or have raised they children with Amazons. Amazons, can be highly protective of children as they can be fearful of them. as their sudden moments can cause them alarm. I have been in homes in which the Amazon was very protective of the children to a point of having to receive approval of the Amazon before even meeting the children.

Our kids were comfortable with the older Amazons that past though our home and played a major row in their care and provided them comfort in their new home as they recovered from any number of ailments.

Every moment is a teaching moment, day after day, week after week, month after month.
 

Terry57

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What a dilemma:(
It's not like you can teach the whole neighbourhood and hope they listen, especially when kids are most interested in what they can't have/do.

I have a few birds who wouldn't do well around kids, they're just too nervous. Out of my whole flock, there is only 1 who could be trusted with my granddaughter, and he isn't an amazon.
I know that if you decide to rehome her that it is only because you feel she would be happier, and that is such a selfless thing.

I hope someone with small kids can give you some advice that will help you. I know how much y'all love Sammy and I pray that somehow this all works out with her being able to stay.
If you could just find a remedy for a few years, the kids and their friends will be older and you'll be past this.
I'm just so sorry that you're going through this, my friend.
 
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ravvlet

ravvlet

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What a dilemma:(
It's not like you can teach the whole neighbourhood and hope they listen, especially when kids are most interested in what they can't have/do.

I have a few birds who wouldn't do well around kids, they're just too nervous. Out of my whole flock, there is only 1 who could be trusted with my granddaughter, and he isn't an amazon.
I know that if you decide to rehome her that it is only because you feel she would be happier, and that is such a selfless thing.

I hope someone with small kids can give you some advice that will help you. I know how much y'all love Sammy and I pray that somehow this all works out with her being able to stay.
If you could just find a remedy for a few years, the kids and their friends will be older and you'll be past this.
I'm just so sorry that you're going through this, my friend.

Yeah, the problem right now is the littlest kid’s friends can hear her chatting away through the door, and I’m so scared we will forget to lock it or something one day!

Esme is in there with her any time she is out. I was bitten for trying to give her a treat, so it wasn’t a dive bomb or anything. The groomer got had because Sammy has Very Strong Opinions about towels.

We are still working with her though. I went back to giving her treats from a distance, on a stick or a spoon. We may start bringing her to the local parrot club meetings (everyone who brings their birds brings vet records) to talk with the other Amazon owners there.

Sammy seems to really like the youngest kid but also bit her, so I haven’t quite worked out what her opinion is on her. Her body language is honestly so different from Kirby that I am still learning.
 
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ravvlet

ravvlet

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Here’s what she does every time I say hi, haha. I was gardening and every time I popped into view she did whatever this is!
 
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ravvlet

ravvlet

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Meanwhile, I can’t hand her a treat without injury, but my partner -




Yes; there’s a double pane window between me and the green terror. I’m only slightly ashamed, haha.
 

texsize

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That look in the window Sammy is giving you is not a welcoming look.
I think he is making sure his beak is in prime working condition and sharp enough to get the job done.
IMHO Cleaning/wiping his beak with eyes pinned to me is a definite threat display.
 
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ravvlet

ravvlet

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That look in the window Sammy is giving you is not a welcoming look.
I think he is making sure his beak is in prime working condition and sharp enough to get the job done.
IMHO Cleaning/wiping his beak with eyes pinned to me is a definite threat display.
Argh. Is that what she’s doing? To be clear, her beak isn’t touching anything I think, the windowsill is lower inside than that - she likes to hold her wings up like that and do the side head bob.

That’s not great. She does some variation of this when anyone comes into the office, besides Esme. If Esme were interested in being her super best friend, this would be less of a problem…

Once upon a time, she would let me pet her and hang out. Those days are long gone now.
 
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ravvlet

ravvlet

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Amy and Beebs doing it at the same time is TOO funny!
 

SailBoat

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The body display and the eye display do not match, as a result it is a confused message. When I get this kind of displace from Julio, I look for an additional display item, commonly wing position or head feather display.

What is the likelihood that you are providing the treat at the same level or just below the beak when you get bitten?
 
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ravvlet

ravvlet

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The body display and the eye display do not match, as a result it is a confused message. When I get this kind of displace from Julio, I look for an additional display item, commonly wing position or head feather display.

What is the likelihood that you are providing the treat at the same level or just below the beak when you get bitten?

Guilty as charged? o_O I let her come to me, and stood next to her playstand, I think I held the treat at around eye level - so she snaked her head to the side to grab a finger instead of the treat. Her aim is impeccable.

Now that you have said it I do remember Debbie (the parrot lady!) holding the treats just out of reach so she had to stretch and be a bit off balance so she was less likely to bite? Is that a thing, am I remembering that right?
 

SailBoat

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Guilty as charged? o_O I let her come to me, and stood next to her playstand, I think I held the treat at around eye level - so she snaked her head to the side to grab a finger instead of the treat. Her aim is impeccable.

Now that you have said it I do remember Debbie (the parrot lady!) holding the treats just out of reach so she had to stretch and be a bit off balance so she was less likely to bite? Is that a thing, am I remembering that right?

Congratulations!!
 
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ravvlet

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Not sure what the congrats is for, ha! I am not surprised to hear I am doing things wrong, honestly. I am not used to animals not immediately liking me, and have a hard time keeping in mind all the things I ought to be doing while also trying not to think about how afraid I am of getting bitten. I know that’s bad, but I don’t know how to turn that off. I feel like the biggest failure, and we have a lot going on in our house with the kids and other animals, so it’s not hard to find excuses to work with Kirby or the dogs instead.

The rest of our pets treat me like I’m Mother Teresa; I guess it has made me complacent.

This is all fine and good, but it doesn’t change the fact that I still can’t let the kids near or around her even when she’s in her cage, as she will lunge or try to grab fingers.

I’m sorry if this is all disappointing. I am not a perfect person by any stretch of the imagination. I have lost a lot of sleep and cried a lot over this, more than I care to admit.
 

SailBoat

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Sorry being a bit hash here: Stop crying and understand the importances of that link you had just made!! You had connected a Parrot's Reaction to something you had seen /learned!!

People believe that their huge mind will automatically make this kind of links. But it does not work that way! Remember Parrots have extremely fast acting minds and although we have a huge one, it takes us much longer to make a connection /react.

If you pay a bit more attention to what your Amazon is doing (telling you) and linking it to what you have seen and read you can start being in front of them, especially begin to look for specific actions or reactions. When we use our huge mind to get out in front of what is happening, we can make changes in front of what is happening. You do this every time you drive! The traffic light turns red, you stop. While at the light you see the road ahead is blocked, you choose to take another route. Driving involves being in front of what is happening.

I tell my Amazon why I am coming his way and what I plan to do. At the same time, I am simply reading the body language of my DYHA. And as part of that adjusting my approach. as It maybe clear that he is crazed, full-blown, Hormonal and I should reconsider if I must move him or not. Or the signals are mixed and I need to take a few moments more to understand his condition. Point being, none of this is high demand it is only a different way of paying attention to what is happening in front of you.

Today, we all should be applying this kind of thinking when we are out and about, as the world has changed and being safe requires more attention of what is going on around us. You can think of what changing your perception of approaching your Amazon can do for your general awareness with life itself.

By learning to master this skill, you will begin to see like connects with your interaction with other animals and more importantly, other humans.

We are Human, and although we have a huge brain, we really do not use that much of it at any given time. No one is perfect and we all suffer such pain. Know that you have friends here that wish you well!
 
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texsize

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In the early 90’s when my son was a toddler (before cockatiels) we kept our Amazons in the breakfast nook.
Breakfast nook was in the kitchen and I know now that wasn’t good but the area was easily separated by one of those expanding baby gates.
This kept him safe from both the stove and the birds.
 

Terry57

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Not sure what the congrats is for, ha! I am not surprised to hear I am doing things wrong, honestly. I am not used to animals not immediately liking me, and have a hard time keeping in mind all the things I ought to be doing while also trying not to think about how afraid I am of getting bitten. I know that’s bad, but I don’t know how to turn that off. I feel like the biggest failure, and we have a lot going on in our house with the kids and other animals, so it’s not hard to find excuses to work with Kirby or the dogs instead.

The rest of our pets treat me like I’m Mother Teresa; I guess it has made me complacent.

This is all fine and good, but it doesn’t change the fact that I still can’t let the kids near or around her even when she’s in her cage, as she will lunge or try to grab fingers.

I’m sorry if this is all disappointing. I am not a perfect person by any stretch of the imagination. I have lost a lot of sleep and cried a lot over this, more than I care to admit.

Tyler, you are far from being a failure, my Friend. I can't turn off my fear of being bitten with a few of our birds, but luckily Reg doesn't share that fear.
Having an Eclectus was my dream for 25 years, and when Ekko joined our family, I was ecstatic. When he not long after chose Reg and wanted nothing to do with me I was heartbroken, but at least with him I don't need to add worrying about being bitten into it.

There is nothing disappointing about struggling with a parrot, I think that happens far more than a lot of people talk about. When you add in fear for your kids (and their friends) getting bitten it's more than understandable.

You are one of the best parronts I know, please don't ever think that you are a failure, no matter what happens.
 

Cottonoid

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I am not used to animals not immediately liking me

Same, even most of the wild animals I previously worked with were at ease quicker with me than with others. And yet Cotton is twenty five steps ahead of me at all times and I regularly wonder how I lost my touch in training/establishing communication - and he doesn't bite!

People believe that their huge mind will automatically make this kind of links

I think it's SO much harder to *unlearn* the patterns that worked well before when they don't work now. It's been surprisingly difficult for me not to instinctively react to behaviors from my favorite Moluccan as I would with a dog displaying the same behaviors - it's so dumb of me! And I get bitten, totally my fault! And then the next time I'm hesitating because I second guess my instincts, and get bitten! 🤣

For me it's a lot harder to get out in front of my striving to do things in the right order or right way, and just make a plan then stick to it so I'm consistent.

Especially with Ope as contrast who basically is a golden retriever in a blue poofy coat ;)
 
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ravvlet

ravvlet

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In the early 90’s when my son was a toddler (before cockatiels) we kept our Amazons in the breakfast nook.
Breakfast nook was in the kitchen and I know now that wasn’t good but the area was easily separated by one of those expanding baby gates.
This kept him safe from both the stove and the birds.

We did this with Kirby actually. He was barricaded in our giant combo living room/dining room thing next to our desks. Cricket had a baby fence too. I somehow forgot we had those; we kept them to block off the stairs when I don’t want the dogs running amok.

Really sweating it right now because Sam has a vet appointment in three weeks, which means a solo trip with me. Whew.

Meanwhile, enjoy some Sammy funnies:

54E72FB2-3376-45BB-8432-4EF9857B1DB7.jpeg

Sammy “pole dancing” on said chair:

 
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ravvlet

ravvlet

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The “mission impossible”:
 

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