Looking into adopting a rescue Catalina Macaw

mikerodrig27

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Hi,

I have visited a Macaw that is at a local pet store. The Pet store owner doesn't have any information on the macaw and no back story. He/she is a beautiful bird, needs work to tame up but I think there is hope.

He typically sells adult rescues for $3000 but quickly came down to $2000 as I think he has a few that have been around for more than a few months. The store is really clean, all the birds are healthy. However the bird hasn't been out of the cage in 3 months and hasn't been socialized and the cage is roughly a 3'x3'x5' which I feel is on the small size

I opened the cage door to kind of see what the Macaw would do and it looked like it wanted to come out but there were other birds out in the store so I thought it wasn't a good idea to let him out (even though I really wanted to). I put my hand in there submissively and the bird would go to the other side of the cage. It didn't seem too nervous just not ready to entertain getting up or socializing that way which made sense. When the door was closed, the bird was front and center.

I am not nervous about working with the Macaw as I have had a few birds in the past one being a blue and gold. I have also worked a lot with wild birds etc so I understand them. I know I can tame this one up fairly quickly as the bird is already interacting. I think it needs to be worked with in an open space and not in it's territory. I think it would take less than a month but I understand it can take as many as 3-4 which is not a problem.

The bird says words like hello and makes a few other familiar sounds so I know it had some positive interaction in the past.

What makes me nervous is not having a back story or not knowing the age. How have you guys dealt with that in the past?




 

Scott

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Beautiful bird! A shame the store staff has not bothered working with him to socialize. You may consider this a "rescue" and definitely house in the largest cage you can afford/have room for filled with variety of toys.

You may be familiar with adage of "let the bird choose you." He may be cage-bound at this point and reticent to mingle in the store environment. Perhaps the owner will remove him to play stand or similar and let you interact?

Backstory with adopted birds is often murky. Best you can hope for is well-check with avian vet, fully or partially subsidized by owner. As you know it is next to impossible to determine age, though an older bird may have arthritic and less pliable digits on feet.

Good luck with your decision, keep us updated!!
 
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mikerodrig27

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I agree. I think that the pet store staff should spend more time with them. I think it is just the owner and his wife. With that being said, every time I have been there, the owner and his wife have never stopped moving, whether it is organizing, cleaning, feeding etc. They are incredibly busy. Probably part of the reason he marked him down for me.

I can try asking for the bird to be taken out and put on a stand. I don't think the bird is ready to interact. If the bird was taken out, it would likely be overwhelmed by being out for the first time in a long time. Just that would be a significant change. However, inside the cage, the bird was warming up to me fairly quickly. He went from trying to get my finger and bite to letting me touch his feet though the bars and letting him feel my fingers with his tongue. He was also making different noises and saying words. I know that if I stuck my fingers into the cage through the bars, that it would be a different story.

Backstory on this one is not even murky, just plain non-existent.

The birds movements are very fluid. I didn't notice any physical issues.

I will keep you updated. I think I have a lead on a cheap used cage that I think would work well. It needs a little (parrot safe) paint by the wheels on the bottom but looks great overall. That would make more of a budget for better toys! I also have a bottle brush tree I can harvest branches from. That has been great for my other parrot.

Thank you for your insight. It is helping me in making a decision.
 

noodles123

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Mike- what happened to your previous macaws?
 
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mikerodrig27

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It is a family bird. My parents got it when I was around 3-4 years old, then when I was around 16 or so, we rehomed it with my aunt. Both homes were terrific but my aunt was retired and at the time had way more time to spoil it. The bird was already partially bonded to her so the transition was really easy. The bird has been completely spoiled rotten since.

His name is Boo Boo. He is an awesome blue and gold.
 

chris-md

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How do you deal with no backstory?

Wellness check with an avian vet, then let the past be the past, becuase you have a future to build :) live in the here and now.
 
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mikerodrig27

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I agree. I am going to let this decision sit for a week or two. I went back the next day and saw some of what I think could be potential issues with the bird. There is a interesting skin condition around the nose. It looks like a bruise on one side and a skin flap on the other. I am concerned that the bird will need some attention. I also took interest in another Catalina Macaw that is more aggressive but looks like it is a lot healthier looking. It also started to calm down a bit as I spent more time with it.

This pet store has 4 or 5 rescue birds.
-Green wing with three toes on each foot.
-The Catalina that I started this thread about that I feel is older with a few possible minor health issues.
-Catalina which is pretty aggressive.
-blue and gold with a beak that is pretty crooked.
-a relatively normal Blue and Gold that looks pretty calm. (I believe this was a rescue)

The owner says that they were all just dropped off over time, some just left in front of his shop.

Ultimately, I think I just need to wait until all of my thoughts settle and I feel more confident. They all look like great birds.

Thanks for all of your help! I appreciate everything.


 

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.
Seems the store does the best they can with good intentions. Hard to find staff for most any business these days, perhaps they are simply overwhelmed with insufficient time to work with individuals.

Difficult to assess the skin flap on your excellent pics. May be old injury, simple defect, doesn't appear to be a major medical issue to a layperson.

Take your time, visit frequently, trust your instincts. Let the candidates observe you, see if any appear to "choose" you or show special interest!
 

ELC0316

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It looks like you live in Florida. I live in Florida and I presently have a Catalina Macaw. I had thought about getting another and don’t Ming getting another that might have some “imperfections.” If you are in Florida, I just wondered where this pet store was so that I might get in touch with them.
 
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mikerodrig27

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The Amazon pet store in sw florida:

4150 Hancock Bridge Pkwy, North Fort Myers, FL 33903

He still had that one the last time i was there


Hope this helps,

Mike
 

Ria.345

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Good afternoon!

For one, that is a gorgeous macaw and if you believe that he has potential to be trusting of humans and you can interact with him through time, that is great. You should go for it.

However you do mention that you are wary of where you are getting him from and that is completely valid.

From personal experience and background knowledge, pet stores of any kind do not always have the best intentions for their birds, some do though and that's fine. However, most of them lack the proper care. You say the store is clean and has healthy birds. You should verify if the store owner provides these birds with routine vet check ups. You should be asking questions and make sure they know what they are talking about. If they do not seem to have valid or any answers to some of your most crucial questions, then this is not a good sign.

Additionally, you mentioned that there is a lack of a back story and you're unsure of his age as well. Usually pet stores will not be able to carry this sort of information since they most likely did not breed the birds but got them from other breeders. Or even mills (which is unfortunate). Usually the birds will have a leg band with a coded lettering and numbers to track them to their breeder, so I'm not sure if that will be helpful or not. But always worth a try.

If you do end up getting this bird from the store, you have to know that you are putting money into these people's pockets so that breeders can breed more birds and the owners of the store continue receiving birds from these unpleasant locations, where many birds suffer with improper diet and unsanitary conditions. Just something I've been taught when researching about birds and where they come from. If you do wish to buy this bird, that is up to you.

I admire you for wanting to take him out even if there were other birds in the store. You clearly have good intentions and only want what is best for the bird. I applaud you for that.

Thanks for your question and hope this helps you out somehow if you ever stumble across this answer. :p
 
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mikerodrig27

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So I ended up going a different route. My wife was nervous of a rescue biting her. She felt more comfortable getting one as a baby, hand feeding it etc. Between the two of us, we have a lot of hand feeding experience with birds and parrots. She worked for a rescue, vets etc. I have had parrots as a kid, hand raised them etc. We ended up getting a Harlequin baby from a good source. So far we have had it about three weeks and it is doing great. It is amazing how much it has progressed.

Okay, back to the Catalina at the store. I am not longer looking for a Macaw but want to post a reply for anyone interested in it. It has a lot of potential to be trusting and happy. I was never concerned about that as I have always had luck working with birds, I was concerned because of the possible medical issues. I think in about after about a week of working with it properly, you could get it to go on your arm. I believe I remember it saying some words so it did have a positive relationship with people at one point.

This pet store does reasonably well for what it is. The guy is pretty well versed with birds but I don't think he rushes them to vet for regular checkups. I suspect he would take them if needed. The only issues that I have with the place are that the cages are too small for the birds and that the birds and there are less toys than I would like. He has them on a rotation as far as when they come out. I have seen almost every bird out at some point or another. The pet store's main focus is birds. I would say, about 85% of the store's live inventory is birds. They do have fish, guinae pigs and some other rodents. The fish section looks very grim though...

He breeds and buys birds. There are a couple of mated pairs of Macaws there. He may have others.
 
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mikerodrig27

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Not great reviews on their facebook page.....

I agree with some of the things that the one negative review said but not to the extent that they claimed. They need more toys and more space but the entire time that I was there on the 5 or so visits that I was there, anyone who was working, was working hard feeding, cleaning etc.

On my 2nd visit, the shop wasn't as clean but I think the mess accumulates quick and the shop looked to have been busy with customers for a while. The mess hadn't been there for a while, just stuff that accumulated within the last few hours or so. I was like, "man, they are letting the shop go today", then I saw a Macaw throwing his food at me and onto the floor... Lol. Doesn't take long.
 

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