Life with Birdnando

NandyNando

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Jul 11, 2020
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Fernando: Greenwing Macaw
I'm starting this thread as a means of chronicling my life with Fernando, aka Birdnando. For those unaware, Fernando is a Greenwing Macaw who I am currently fostering with the intent to adopt. Fernando is the first bird I have ever owned. I work at a parrot sanctuary so I understand some basic concepts, but it's quite a different story to actually have a bird LIVING with you.

At the time I am writing this, I have had Fernando for a little over a month now and he appears to be going through his "terrible two" phase (I miss the honeymoon period :17:). It's frustrating, a bit disheartening, and also painful at times, but I am reminding myself to be persistent. Which, is a lot easier said than done. But I feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Slowly, and I mean slowly, Fernando is coming to the realization that I am not going to hurt him, and he is DEFINITELY not gonna hurt me. We're not exactly best buddies yet, but I'm starting to become the "mandarin orange girl" so it's a plus.
 

wrench13

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Make sure you read all of birdman666's posts and threads, they guy is a macaw dictionary. All the stickies at the top of the macaw subforum.
 

LaManuka

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Tee hee, I always read Birdnando as Birdnado! :D
 

noodles123

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I sing it (Bernando) to the tune of "Alejandro" (Lady Gaga) in my head lol!! Not sure why..or Fernando at times lol..but mostly "Alejandro"
 

tfw

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Nov 12, 2018
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Tee hee, I always read Birdnando as Birdnado! :D

SAME! LOL. Thinking of Sharknado.

For the sake of posting something relevant to the original topic ( :D ), I agree patience is key and you definitely have it! Can't wait to see pics! Why don't you start a thread in the Incredible Journey's section?
 

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.
I sing it (Bernando) to the tune of "Alejandro" (Lady Gaga) in my head lol!! Not sure why..or Fernando at times lol..but mostly "Alejandro"

Oh God now it's stuck in my HEAAADDDDD

Tee hee, I always read Birdnando as Birdnado! :D

SAME! LOL. Thinking of Sharknado.

For the sake of posting something relevant to the original topic ( :D ), I agree patience is key and you definitely have it! Can't wait to see pics! Why don't you start a thread in the Incredible Journey's section?

Very good point, any moderator can move this thread to Incredible Journeys if you wish, or you can begin a new one.
 
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NandyNando

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Fernando: Greenwing Macaw
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Well guys, I don't know what happened and I am NOT gonna question it, but I feel Fernando is turning the corner. He played nice tonight (aka no charging at people or chewing on furniture) and when he flew on me, he didn't bite me. I am realizing that while I should respect the beak, I should not fear it. And I feel he is learning that he should respect, not fear, me.

Right now the goofy doofus is on top of his cage, flapping his wings to high heaven and dancing to bossa nova. I have no doubt that he will sleep good tonight. Yes, sometimes he can be a pain (but aren't we all at some point or another?) but honestly, I can't imagine what life would be like without Birdnando as a roommate. I don't think I would be as happy, or as entertained for that matter.

August 21st I will have had him 2 months, only one more month to go before his foster period is up and he returns to the rescue, or stay with us and officially be adopted. But I think I have already made up my mind.
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Wonderful to see such progress, but don't be dissuaded if you encounter a bit of regression along the way. They really have a way of wrapping themselves around your heart!
 

tfw

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I am realizing that while I should respect the beak, I should not fear it.

This was lesson #1 we taught the kids before we brought our macaw home....Respect the beak. It CAN bite off your finger without much effort.

Congrats! I love it when they turn the corner. Ride the wave. Don't get frustrated if he regresses here and there. Just be patient.
 
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NandyNando

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Fernando: Greenwing Macaw
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Don't read if you're squeamish!

Oh my sweet, sweet, devilish Birdnando...

I (foolishly) decided to pet his beak in the cage. Well, Fernando didn't take too kindly to that and well, bit the crap out of me and ripped my finger nail from the nail bed. (People considering owning a parrot: you still want one?)

Nah, I probably would've bit that finger too if I were him, but jeesh bird, did you have to do it so hard? He apologized afterwards by "biting" his leg, to which I accepted. How can you stay mad at Birdnando!

And yes, I HAVE learned my lesson.
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
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NandyNando

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Fernando: Greenwing Macaw
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Forgive my overly dramatic, emotional ranting.

I don't understand. I just don't understand. I was doing nothing, when Fernando got on my shoulder, which is fine, until he started biting me. And he kept biting me. And he didn't stop until I had to shake him off. He nipped my ear, gashed my finger, and cut open my finger. I don't know how or what I did wrong. I feel like I'm this bird's punching bag. I'm just FRUSTRATED.

Sometimes I feel like he hates me. Sometimes I wonder, and I HATE this I really do, it brings me to tears, did I make the wrong choice to foster him? Did I just choose to foster him because I felt sorry that he had been here so long? I feel terrible, like I failed.
 
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NandyNando

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Fernando: Greenwing Macaw
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Looking back on it, I realized what I did wrong. When he got on my shoulder, I was scared because I thought he was gonna bite. And guess what ended up happening!!

Although, not being scared is easier said than done when you're dealing with a behemoth like Fernando, but I best learn to get over it. From now on bird, we can be friends, but you cannot bite me like your favorite chew toy!

I have had him for two months now, and boy has it been an adventure. A painful adeventure at times, but an adventure none the less.

God help this hot mess, and maybe the bird too.
 

Laurasea

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Awww
That hurts both body and heart...
You can’t let him on your shoulder till these trust issues are worked out
I hope our members give some good advice
 

tfw

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Nov 12, 2018
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Sorry to hear and I totally feel your frustration. I was told NOT to let the bird on the shoulder. A lot can happen even unintentionally. Eventually, I got to know Kass well enough to more or less understand her better. And that understanding led to me feeling calmer atound her and now I completely trust myself around her.

So seems like you realized your own lack of confidence. My only obvious suggestion is for you to NOT have her on your shoulder for a long time. Block all his attempts and he keeps doing it, silently put him down and walk away.

I know setbacks r frustrating. I just remind myself that they are, at the end of the day, just wold animals and are acting the best they know how.
 

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.
I'm sorry to hear you've been significantly bitten. For that reason, please do not let Fernando on your shoulder. A macaw beak can inflict seriously disfiguring damage and potentially cause massive bleeding to your jugulars. Shoulder privileges must be earned!

Parrots keenly read your mood and body language, can learn to do the same with them. Blushing of the white skin adjacent to beak and "eye pinning" or "flashing" indicate excitement or emotions. If you have not read the sticky "Big Beak O Phobes," please check it out for deep insight into how macaws use their beak: http://www.parrotforums.com/macaws/56384-big-beak-o-phobes-guide-understanding-macaw-beaks.html
 
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wrench13

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Some bites occur because we are not meeting one of the parrots needs, so you might take a close look at that. What was happening right before the bites or during? What was his body and facial language right before? Amazons have very distinctive body language, but macs and you greenwing in particular have their bare patch which is also distinctive. However you communicate with Birdnando, once you settle on a command or action, stick with it, and ask the family members to do so too. That way he will not receive mixed signals from anyone; its less confusing to the bird.
 

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