Meeting an adult bird for the first time - how do you know if you're "chosen"?

Whistler

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Aug 10, 2022
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Congo African Grey, Meyers, English budgies, American budgie
I'm researching Amazons and might adopt one someday, but don't have one right now. I see the phrase "the bird chooses you" over and over, but am not sure what that means. I would appreciate specific suggestions about what to do when visiting a bird for the first time, say at a foster home. Would you try not to approach at first, then approach without reaching for example? I would guess it's not a good idea to offer a hand right off the bat. Short of spreading her tail and flashing her pupils, what would a bird do - what body language would I see - if she doesn't like me, and what would she do if she does? Thanks for any thoughts.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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Hmm. I have had pet store birds get so close to the glass window that their breath steamed up the window. Or birds that started wailing as soon as I looked at them and continued the whole time I was in the store. Unfortunately both those times they were very expensive parrots and I was not in a place to add such a bird to my household.

When I met Jasper, he immediately started bobbing and regurging for me. The previous owners said something like, “well, that’s settled.”

I drove with my best pal about three hours to meet Willow, and Willow was glued to the side of the carrier by me the whole way back. He sat and stared at me while we drove home. Willow seemed to want to be close to me right away.
 

ravvlet

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We had similar experiences to Heather with Kirby and Sammy. Kirby wouldn’t let his owner handle him and stepped up for me straight away; Sammy chatted with me (not something she usually does) and let my partner handle her so we could get her into the travel carrier.

In both cases though there were still bumps in the road in getting to know each other and settling into our home. It’s true that usually the bird will choose who they are happiest with, but it isn’t always sunshine and rainbows! It’s also important to try to not burn bridges with other household members and your bird in case you need to go out of town. Kirby dislikes my partner but will step up onto a dowel for her.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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That’s true. Jasper was rather romantic towards me but did a lot of anxious whistle calls and fear or surprise-biting. The whistles were a big problem as I was getting neuralgic headaches and they would go right through my head. As for biting, I haven’t been bitten for a few weeks and I’m really working on watching Jasper’s body language and not pushing it with him. Which means that our interactions are very sedate to keep Jasper from being scared.

Willow had not been handled but he wanted me to scratch his head on the drive home and quickly became a cuddly affectionate Quaker. But I had to learn that even though he likes me I may not reach into his cage to pick or step him up. That caused a lot of hurt feelings and Willow Being stuck in his cage until I figured out how to get him out. It works best if I put a towel over my hand and step him onto the towel.

Willow’s previous owner said that he never would have let her cuddle him the way he wants me to do. For me, Willow is a kissy snuggly guy! Which is very nice for a single and retiring person. He will grab my hand with his beak if I’m not petting with both hands 🙂

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SailBoat

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I generally do not recommend Amazons for individuals who are not experienced with Parrots as they require the individual have a hands-on knowledge base and the finances to afford the costs of larger cages, expensive toys for them to trash and Avian Medical Care.

See the Amazon Forum here, and read with understanding the two Threads highlighted at the top of that Forum.
 
OP
Whistler

Whistler

Member
Aug 10, 2022
19
48
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Congo African Grey, Meyers, English budgies, American budgie
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I generally do not recommend Amazons for individuals who are not experienced with Parrots as they require the individual have a hands-on knowledge base and the finances to afford the costs of larger cages, expensive toys for them to trash and Avian Medical Care.

See the Amazon Forum here, and read with understanding the two Threads highlighted at the top of that Forum.
I am reading everything I can in the threads/forum. I do have experience with parrots, just not living with an Amazon (not sure if that's what you meant). My question wasn't about meeting a parrot for the first time for me, but rather introducing myself to an individual parrot for the first time and recognizing whether the bird chooses me (or declines to). :) But I appreciate your words and understand it's a big commitment.
 

SailBoat

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So many individuals that place an Amazon on their 'want' list, commonly are attacked by their appearance, especially the 'Big Hot Three.' This group of Amazons are in the top five Parrots to be re-homed. As a result, I am careful to not recommend Amazons as It is painful too know the fate of far to many Amazons. I hope this helps in understanding my reluctance.

Amazons are emotional Parrots that are quick to show their emotions. This is both a wonderful thing as they rarely fake but when hormonal can be down right dangerous. Understanding a fully ramped-up, hormonal Amazon has zero control over the chemical flow and their reactions. Serious bites do occur if the Human does not know the need to back away or have a deep understanding about reading the body language of the Amazon directly in-front of them and understand what can be done and what cannot.

This same Amazon can choose you, but you need to understand that when reacting to a forced or natural flow of Hormonal chemicals, they can quickly be over taken and will have zero control. Enough regarding warning you, now to your question:

The term, "wearing one's heart of one's sleeve" applies to Amazons. If they have little to no interest, they will move away or turn their back to you. The one that seeks you out, while the others move away is a strong starting point. The one that calls to you or moves your way, watches your every move has an interest. This is repeatable each time you visit.

I have Amazon seek me out on near every visit to a rescue or pet store as they likely pick-up that I am an Amazon Snob. I have stopped visit such groups as to not get their hopes up. We take-on a very different group of Amazons. Best described as "Yesterdays Trash" as they are commonly very old, sick, abused and have no want to ever love another Human.

If you elect to allow a 'Parrot' to choose you, you must be open the reality that another species may select you as it has nothing to do with your wants.
 

texsize

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Even if you get a bird that chooses you beware of the honeymoon period.

From my experience things can go super well for a week or two but one they settle into the new surroundings they can get stubborn.

I have had birds that stepped up right away (Pacho).
I have had birds scream when I try to leave the store without them (Baby).
And then there Was Bella. She was so friendly with all my family and was in such poor shape it was love at first sight (bothe directions).
 

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