Old, untamed Blue Fronted Amazon, help!

marmaduke

New member
Jul 1, 2009
6
0
Hello!

So, I am spending the summer with some family, and they have a blue fronted amazon who is about 40 years old. His name is Marmaduke, and hes really a beautiful boy.

The problem is, he was never tamed enough to step up or be pet alot. His favorite person can pet him a little if he gives her the signal (he lifts his foot), but beyond that, he is all bite.

So we have been house sitting and I have been curious to know if this bird can really be saved, hes such a great little guy, I think he really *wants* to be apart of the family and come out of his cage, he just doesnt know whats going on.

I have been doing some training with him, we did a little stick training, and once we got past his initial fear (the first try he bit the stick in half, so I know some of you are going to admonish me for using a stick, but honestly, there was no way we were trying fingers first). After a couple training sessons (short, 10 minutes) he has been very gentle and I have moved into hand, as I feel he likes the hand better, and I trust that if he bites, it wont be too bad.

Now, when I say "step up" he will put his foot on my finger and hold my finger, but he wont actually step up. He doesnt get aggressive, the most he did was growl a little but when he realized I just wanted a step up, he gladly did it (and got lots of treats and praise!)

So, he isnt totally nutty. He wants to come out of his cage, but because I cant pick him up, thats not happening.

I noticed now he screams like crazy when I come into the room (same as he does with his favorite person) and he even gave me the foot signal. So, I think we're getting along swimmingly, I just dont know how to teach him that its safe to step up with BOTH feet onto me!

Right now he is sitting all sleepy and cooing. Help me save this bird! Hes so great, he just needs to learn to not be scared of hands!
 
I have been curious to know if this bird can really be saved, hes such a great little guy
Any animal of any age can learn new things and be rehabilitated from even more severe problems. But with a lifetime of habits built up it will not be easy. But judging from the rest of this post it sounds like your approaching the situation well, Marmaduke is responding, and I think with patience he could make great strides.

I know some of you are going to admonish me for using a stick, but honestly, there was no way we were trying fingers first
Not me. I'd highly encourage someone to start with a stick for MANY reasons.

I'm curious about stepping up with one foot but not the other. What do you do then? I suspect early on you were rewarding stepping up with just one foot - which is a great way to start - but now he should have to step all the way up to get a reward. If one foot is up do you lift that hand up then or just wait for him to step all the way up? You could try lifting up - perhaps using the stick again first.

Do you ever leave the cage door open and just let him come out on his own?
 
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
Yep, he comes out a little, he likes to crawl around on his cage, but once he feels like he cant figure out how to get down, he just goes back in and hangs out inside.

I have a stick right now thats stable and leading down to the floor, so he can climb down if he wants to. I dont know if he likes that idea, but we'll see.

I'll keep trying to get him to get both feet up, then we'll switch over to hands. I am just so excited he is willing to have some contact without getting scared or aggressive!
 
I have a stick right now thats stable and leading down to the floor, so he can climb down if he wants to.

Sounds like a good plan, and remember bribery works wonders. You can put some good treats at the bottom of that stick (on the floor) to encourage him. If you do, and he climbs down to get them try not to react. If he pushes his comfort zone you don't want to risk scaring him, let him see that he can climb down then climb right back up again if he wants. He needs to see that it really is a free treat, its not a trick or trap. If he climbs down for treats a few times you can then gradually move the rewards farther out into the room to encourage him to go farther.
 
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
One thing I have noticed is when he places his foot on my fingers, he does it really gingerly. He even will kind of hold it there and stare at it with this look of parroty-disbelief. Its almost like he cant figure out if its okay or not.

What do you think? I feel like its just going to take a really long time of convincing marm that my finger is safe before he can go to the next step, does this make sense or is this not normal for a parrot? Maybe I am misreading his body language, but it really seems like he literally is just not aware that my hand can be stepped onto.

With stick training, I noticed when ever I slightly pushed up or pressed his belly gently, he would just jump back...there is literally no awareness that there can be stepping. I am worried that he is so used to using his beak to lift himself up that he cant be convinced he can step up?
 
What about holding a treat just far enough away that he has to lean over a bit to grab it? Then a little further, so he has to take that step? Maybe if he's focused on the treat, he won't be worrying about the step.
 

Most Reactions

Latest posts

Back
Top