Recently adopted older Amazon with cage aggression....PAINFUL cage aggression!!


New member
Jul 13, 2018
Winstanley, Wigan
1 peach faced (Rogue) and 1 fischers (Rio) love bird, 2 green cheek conures (Dobby and Delphi), a Galah cockatoo (Heidi) and a blue fronted Amazon (Hamish)
Hamish is a beautiful 26 year old blue fronted Amazon whom I adopted just a couple of months ago. I was warned by the rescue that he was cage aggressive and he lunges if I'm doing anything like feeding etc which obviously involves me touching his cage. I've learnt to be quick and distract him in another area of his cage whilst I do what's necessary and, until yesterday have managed to avoid any bites. Hamish is my first Amazon and I'm still trying to understand his body language and the grumbly growly vocals he makes. Obviously yesterday I misread something with a painful lesson!
Hamish was on his cage door - it's open for the majority of the day unless my Galah who is caged in the same room is out of her cage - I approached him and offered him my left forearm whilst holding a piece of apple (up to now his favourite treat) in my right hand. He stepped up on to my left arm (so far, brill and I'm feeling victorious) then bit the finger that was holding the treat. HARD!
Now I've had a couple of hours to think about it, is there a chance he misjudged and intended to get the apple and NOT the finger? It was a small piece because it was intended as a reward for stepping up, not something too big that he might forget how he'd earned it.
I'm not going to lie. I've had bird bites before, including from a cockatoo and this was definitely one of the most painful making me a bit daunted about trying again. I'm not a quitter and today I'm going to try clicker training (which worked really well with my Galah, Heidi. Although she still treats my bare skin likes it's molten lava and will only stand on a sleeve covered arm!)
I am looking for any advice specific to Amazons as a species and also because Hamish is an older bird.
A few more details that people would probably ask....
Hamish had 1 owner for most of his life but then lived with family members when his owner passed away and spent about 2 years confined to a cage. I don't know if it was adequate in size, toys etc or what his diet was. He spent a couple of month in a safehouse where his diet was correct and, I believe, he was handled by the lady who had him.
With me he has 6ft x 5ft cage, he has J & J lean and fit (no nuts or sunflower seeds) lots of green veggies - which he mainly dislikes and throws on the floor but will still be offered daily, he adores fruit - apples, tangerines, bananas, grapes - anything sweet, which I limit in order to tempt him to eat his greens. He is fully and very beautifully feathered - no issues there surprisingly. He absolutely loves his daily showers with a mister and flips upside down fanning out his wings for a proper soaking! He has lots of toys but rarely shows much interest in them. He shows the most reaction when he hears or sees my 1 year old grandson, he's very interested in him and gets quite vocal. I THINK he likes him but as I'm still unsure of how to read Hamish I can't be certain and they are never ever left alone and are never in the same room if Hamish is out of his cage. I'm very careful to only put myself at risk of bites with any of my birds.
Hamish spends a lot of time in his cage, sat in the same place and although I know settling in a new home can take years for a rescue bird I am a little worried at seeing such a lack of activity. But, again, he's an older bird than I'm used to and a species I'm completely new to being around.
Are there any experienced Amazon owners/trainers out there who can offer any advice or insights into this fascinating yet still mysterious to me species?


Supporting 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.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Amazon's! I've had my Blue Front since he was 4 months old and he turned 31 y.o. last month. My routine on the radio..say good morning birds..then uncover BB,rub his beak and then uncover Amy and say good morning..he then sidles up to the front of his house with his head down for his morning head and cheek skritches..well this morning he put his head down and as I stuck my finger in to skritch..CHOMP!!!:mad: on my finger tip :eek: No blood or cut but it suprised the heck out of me and hurt for twenty minutes.
He used to try and attack when I reached in for his food and water bowls now he just grabs a toy and chews on it..maybe he is mellowing in his old age. Still can't figure him out.:confused:



Supporting Member
Oct 23, 2015
1 YNA (Bingo)
1 OWA (Plumas R.I.P.)
1 RLA (Pacho R.I.P.)
2 GCA(Luna,Merlin) The Twins
1 Congo AG (Bella)
5 Cockatiels
My YNA has slowed down with age. He is aprox 35 years old and he does tend to be something of a perch potato most of the time. He has frantic fights with his toys for short periods of time.

I have had my share of nasty bites from him but not recently. I gave up the foolish notion that I should not show fear to him and picked him up when he gave me all the warning signs of "I am out for blood".
Amazon's just don't bluff.


Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
Congratulations on your Amazon. Thank yiu for taking a re home!

Often parrots can shut down, and cage bound, it can take a lot of work to get them engaged, to get them confident.

I use the space above the cage, to create a gym of hanging hoops and spirals, abd swings, abd attach treats. I use ceiling hooks and fishing line, to hang just above parrot head hight when in top of cage so they can grab and climb.

This thread is worth your read.


Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
Western, Michigan
DYH Amazon
One of the greatest sources for baseline Amazon information is found here in the Amazon Sub-Forum. The two sticky Threads at the top of the sub-forum is a 'must' read for anyone considering an Amazon or have an Amazon. Reading each aloud while sitting next to your Amazon will be beneficial for both of you.

Amazon Body Language is very important, as an older Amazon will expect (demand) that you understand what they are telling you! The Thread covers the basics and as an Amazon ages, they add their own additional signals. The wise Human revisits this Thread as a refresher now and again.

I Love Amazons -, is a Thread that has over 30 Segments in the Loving and Living with Amazons. The list of Segments is found of the first page. The Thread makes great reading for near all Parrot owners.

As stated above, Welcome to the Wonderful World of Amazons!


Supporting Member
Nov 22, 2015
Isle of Long, NY
Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
Yeah Amazons don't bluff, but they do telegraph what's in store pretty consistently ONCE YOU LEARN their particular 'language'. Pay close attention to pinned eyes, spread out tail feathers, body orientation, sounds, and general feather 'fluffing'. And for some, feet.
My little amazon Salty will look like he is ready to nail me, but if he reaches out a foot, he means pick me up. A lot of times he will firmly hold my finger for a second or two, which means , politely " not now ". If he's playing rough with toys sometimes I can get in the middle of it and play with him, sometimes not - those times I have to look closely at his eyes and tail feathers. Pinned and spread wide - not now! And even after 6 years, I still get a nip now and then, a drop o'claret, nothing bad. Now Jim's Amy? LOL, dat bird has nailed me, bad, almost every time we visit, but again, my fault, but she don't kid around with a nip, it's a visit from my friend Larry Laceration.


New member
Jul 13, 2018
Winstanley, Wigan
1 peach faced (Rogue) and 1 fischers (Rio) love bird, 2 green cheek conures (Dobby and Delphi), a Galah cockatoo (Heidi) and a blue fronted Amazon (Hamish)
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Here goes...!!!I love Amazon's an ongoing story. Hope he doesn't get mad cos I've paused Harry Potter!
Im going back through all the comments slowly now, There's some great observations and advice AND reading material! And I have also now learned they're all a***y when they want to be! I'm expecting an older bird to be a bit wily, and also teach me some new tricks... like his to move just that lil bit faster. I tried to explain to my friend, it's not the bloody bit so much as that bone crunch that throbs for hours that causes the pain!
What is WRONG with us?!

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