New (to us) DYH questions.


New member
Mar 20, 2019
Double Yellow-Headed Amazon
This ended up long, please bear with me.

Well, I'll make this my first post as both an introduction and a few questions. My wife and I decided we wanted a bird as we've both had them in the past. I use to breed cockatiels many moons ago, (nobody had seen a white face at that time if that gives you an idea) and she had a BFA for a short period, but had to give it up due to housing issues).

What got us thinking about it is we have a friend in the area that is listed for bird rescue and has numerous birds passing through constantly. His last rescue was a male Blue and Gold Macaw :blue: and a female DYH :greenyellow: named Nita. Both birds came from an man who said his mother had purchased the macaw long ago, and the DYH about 15 years ago. She passed about a year ago and he took in the birds, but they were pretty much left in their cages and just fed seed. The only reason he wanted to get rid of them was the macaw developed an abscessed feather and he didn't want the vet bill. Upon picking them up, our friend saw the infection was worse than expected and he had someone that had other macaws and a great vet so he took him in and straight to the vet. We told him we'd take the DYH and after having us come over a few times just to see how she interacted with us,and taking the time to trim her nails and beak (both were severely overgrown) I brought her home. (He also gave us a cage for her as well as bowls, toys, etc.) So enough of the setup.

At his house she would reluctantly step up onto our arm but wasn't really happy about it. She would also talk up a storm if anyone had human food. Once at our home, if either of us approach the cage she'll move to the back, open her beak, eyes pinning, general get away from me motions. Unless of course we have a treat then she'll come take it with the most gentle actions, no attempt to bite us. In fact, the treats he sent were just apple jacks but if I hold out a green one, she'll politely put her beak around my finger instead of taking it until I offer her an orange one instead. If we leave the cage door open, she'll come out on top, but again will lunge at us if we attempt to pick her up. Yesterday I started trying stick training which was partially successful once she got used to the stick. We're finding out she really doesn't like new things and of course right now everything is new, including the loss of her lifetime companions of a human a year ago and now the macaw.

This morning (she's only been here four days) when I came in to sit down with my plate of breakfast. I look over at her and she's making noises and has her foot out. I go to the cage and she instantly steps up onto my hand and walks up onto my shoulder. I sit back down and she crawls back down to my leg and stares at my plate. I offer her a small piece of pancake from my fork and she takes it like she's obviously been doing for years. She then proceeded to walk to the plate, grab an entire pancake and start lunging towards her cage. I take her back, she steps onto the perch (never dropping the pancake) and proceeds to eat half of it before putting the rest in her food dish. (sugar free syrup if you were wondering) After that though it was back to leave me alone..

Then it happens.. My 11 year old son walks up to her cage and she squats. sticks her shoulders up, tail spread, and puts her head against the cage bars. He then starts scratching her head and neck through the bars and when he's done and starts to walk away, she shouts, "hey you" and assumes the position again. He scratches some more and I walk up to the cage and she instantly backs up. Now whenever she sees him, she starts dancing and talking to get his attention.

I know it's only four days and it may take months to get he social again after a year locked up, but my questions are;

1. Has she decided he's her human, or based on the time of year, could this be a hormonal reaction?
2. What's the best way to get her off just seed (she pretty much only eats the sunflower seeds) and onto the pellets more?
3. What is the best method to tey and get her more socialized with all of us and not just my son. I'm on a medical leave right now and pretty much here 24/7 while everyone else either goes to work or school during the day.
4. What should I watch for with her as a 15 year old moody teenager with wings?



Well-known member
Parrot of the Month ๐Ÿ†
Nov 22, 2015
Isle of Long, NY
Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
I love DYHA, i really do, but as a rule they hate me on site. I been bitten by them more than any other species, serious bites too. Now to get you started, go to the Amazon sub forum here and read bith stickies at the top of the page, one on Amazon body language and the other on a WEALTH of superb info and advice on the care and feeding of Amazons. A great idea is to sit near her cage and read all of it out loud to her. Amazons love the sound of human voices.

At just 4 days you are all doing great. Remeber, this will be a long term marathon, not a sprint, to get her used to the new family and home. Yeah it sounds like she has taken a shine to your son, but there is no reason she can't be friends with everyone in your family. Once she is trained to step up, a good exercise is to play warm potato , gently passing her around to all the family.

You really need to get her not only off the seed diet, but to introduce a vegie and fruit diet that will greatly suppliment a pellet diet. The nutrcion su forum has many recipies for what is known as "chop" - chopped vegies of various types. Be aware that someveggies are poisonous to parrots and can kill them dead. Avacado fr example.

We are glad you joined us - and we love pics and videos!


Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
I'd slow WAYYYYYY down and let things happen at the bird's pace...So far so good, but remember, birds move in slow motion....


Well-known member
Apr 14, 2015
Amy a Blue Front 'Zon
Jonesy a Goffins 'Too who had to be rehomed :-(

And a Normal Grey Cockatiel named BB who came home with me on 5/20/2016.
Now don't forget,Nita is in a brand new environment to her,but for being there just four days it sounds like she is settling in a bit. Amazon's favorite thing is FOOD. My Chow Hound will eat almost anything offered. Pellets are always good. You can start with giving a separate bowl of pellets and slowly give less and less seed. fruits and veggies are also very important. I make "birdie muffins" where I chop different fruits and veggies,some nuts and using a "binder" ( all organic stuff..corn meal,brown rice flour etc) and bake 'em. That way all the goodness is in the muffins. I freeze them,leaving a day or two worth in the fridge and then warm one up in the microwave. Other people make "chop" A good idea would bring Nita to a CAV (Certified Avian Vet) Someone who see's BIRDS and not just an "exotic" vet who see's critters also. A wellness check and bloodwork is a good start on finding out Nita's basic health.

So you think she is 15ish? Are you "assuming" she is a she or know it for a fact? I had always thought Amy was a she...then 25 years later I decided to do a dna while at one of her wellness checks..Imagine MY surprise :eek: when I found out she was indeed a HE! :D

I welcome you and Nita and your whole flock to this forum and can't wait for hearing about your new journey with feathered friends..and don't be afraid to post PICTURES!! We all love pics!!!



New member
Jan 21, 2019
Parakeet named Blue. Adopted from a Humane Society 5 years ago.

Kirby Cockatiel adopted from a humane society 2018.

Also a slew of other small birds that span my entire childhood.
Our new guy doesn't care for me I can relate as your stories are similar to mine. I've been doing my own research on what to do and have found this. It seems like yours is intimidated by you. This is to be expected with the amount of change that has happened so quickly. What I read was slowly from a distance approach the bird. When tension, fear, or hostility is shown STOP. Don't move closer don't back away just stand there calmly. Once the bird relaxes turn around and walk away.

The reward for becoming calm is YOU LEAVING! Give it a few then try it again. As you successfully do this you should be able to move closer and closer. Be prepared for this to take lots of time. Its not something that will happen in one day but many days of repetition. Once she realizes your not a threat you can introduce treats. Make sure its a high value treat as well.

They recommended lining up 3 different treats (walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, etc...) let the bird sample each one. You will soon find out what is number 1 and 2 on the list of favorites. From there use the high value treats as a reward only... this will help gain trust.

Since my guy tends to lash out at me I give him walnuts when hes on me. Occasionally he flies to me and chirps away. I've made it a habit to have a small dish with me that I lift up to him and he snacks away. Hes rewarded for behaving while on me. If he acts out he gets taken back to his cage top and ignored.


New member
Nov 5, 2018
Western Massachussetts, USA
3 'tiels (Sophie, Peter and Melvin), 1 DYH Amazon (Baya), 1 Caique (Twenty), 2 Conures (Spider & Lizard), and 1 foster (Faust)
Our new guy doesn't care for me I can relate as your stories are similar to mine.

You and me both, sister! My DYH has been with us since November, and absolutely ADORES my 11-year-old son. Me, on the other hand...not so much. The vet said he sees it a lot with parrots - that they like the high pitch of kids voices. I don't know if there's any science to that, but it seems true in our case (he really likes my son's friends, too).

We're actually doing reasonably well -- I give Bays all his food and treats, and if my son is not around, Baya is interested in stepping up (at least to be transported to a location of his choosing). A few months back, he started allowing me to pet his beak through the bars in the morning, and a few weeks back, graduated that to cheek and neck scritches through the bars. I used to have to bribe him to get out of his cage so I can change the bowls, but he's gotten much better about letting me do it over the past month.

Our trainer says it's a slow process with Amazons -- their NON-chosen person can take a year or more to form a trust bond! The first two weeks or so, he'd step up for anyone, but once he figured out this was his home, everything changed. Plus...breeding season started almost exactly when he came home, and I have some amazing scars to prove that you should probably not adopt a DYH in early winter. At least he's past puberty!


New member
Mar 20, 2019
Double Yellow-Headed Amazon
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Well, while she still favors the son, today was a little bit of a breakthrough with her. She will still posture a bit when getting her out of her cage, but she will step up on my hand to do so. She does prefer my arm to my hand though. We were sitting on the couch with my arm across the back. No training, no forcing, just talking to her. All of a sudden she walks down my arm, across my hand to the back of the couch, grabs my index finger with her beak and lifts it up. When she lets go, I put it back down and she did it again so I left it up and she stuck her head under it for me to scratch her. this turned into using all my fingers to scratch her head and neck, and when she had enough she grabbed my finger with her foot and pushed it down and proceeded to walk back up onto my arm. I tried to use my other hand to see what she would do and she gently grabbed it it with her beak, pushed it low enough to finish pushing iut down with her foot, and held it there. I too that as she'd had enough. Eventually she went back to her cage and all was well.

Right now she's raising a fuss in her cage because I'm eating and didn't get her out to share.... I didn't know she knew that many words..

Also, I found out what the one word she frequently says but we couldn't figure it out. Turns out she's saying Oliver which we found out was the name of the Macaw she grew up with...

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