Rescue Blue and Gold

BojackMacaw

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Jul 7, 2021
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Hello everyone!

After years of wanting a companion bird, I made one of the scariest but also most exciting decisions of my life! On Saturday, I went and met a rescue B&G macaw. He was surrendered by his previous owner due to declining health and resulting inability to care for him. I'm not sure of his exact age but he is DNA sexed male and pretty young. He was "hand fed" (but who knows what that really means!) I actually went to the rescue to look at an Indian Ringneck, but Bojack had other plans... He was quite shy, but once he stepped on my arm he went to my shoulder immediately and let me hang out with him for over an hour! It was a cool experience. I'd be lying if I said I didn't fall in love immediately.

I had budgies and a cockatiel about 10-15 years ago when I was growing up. I just bought a house, have no kids (and likely will not be able to have any). My boyfriend has been diligently reading up on owning a companion macaw. I have been brushing up on info as well. A macaw has always been my dream pet, but I honestly never really thought I would actually get one.

Any tips for a first time macaw owner? The woman from the rescue taught me some tips and tricks (like how to gracefully get him off my shoulder when he was resisting lol!) I have a huge cage being shipped to me, so I am boarding him at the rescue until the cage comes in. I bought lots of toys to rotate through. I have a seed and pellet mix that I plan to feed him, as well as fresh veggies and fruits.

I guess the most valuable advice would be related to macaw specific behavior and how I can slowly gain trust. He seems to be a pretty gentle bird, but I also know his behavior may change when I get him home. I know macaws try to intimidate to gain dominance, any advice for shutting down that behavior? Most places seem to say I should leave him in the cage for a few days when I bring him home, is that good advice?

Thank you! I'm very excited to see him grow and, hopefully, become my best friend :)
 

wrench13

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Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
Welcome and be welcomed.

So going to our Macaw sub forum and reading the stickies at the top of the page, several times, is a good place to start. Also any threads started by or contributed by Birdman666, our resident macaw guru - the man is a parrot whisperer for sure. Also go to the Amazon sub forum and read the whole sticky
titled I Love Amazons, by Sailboats, it contains a LOT of great, essential information applicable to all parrots, not just amazons. Both are super usefull.

Be wary of info from other websites etc, there is ton of poor and just bad info put out there by folks that fancy themselves as experts or who just like seeing their names on some page or website. The 2 guys above are the real deal, and their info has helped countless macaw and other parrot owners (parronts, get it?) over the years.

I would say the Bojack has 'picked' you as his person, and that's a huge advantage right off the bat. As far as leaving him in his cage for a few days, not a bad idea, but it depends on the individual parrot. Your gonna see that a lot, that there are no 100%, all the time every time rules when it comes to most times about parrots, because they are each and every one an individual. So in example, you might read that macaws are not great talkers, but your particular one just happens to be the next Einstein! So keep that in mind as you get to know Bojack.

A really great way to welcome Bojack is to find a certified avian vet (a CAV) in your area and have a full medical work up done on him, the works; blood work, physical, - everything. Why? Because the vet will use the results as a base line if something should crop up later in his life with you, so he can see what the results were when he was feeling fine and well. Personally I get my Amazon, Salty, a full check up as a part of his annual birth day present.

PS - make sure the vet is a real CAV, not a dog and cat vet, or a vet who 'sees' exotic animals in addition to dogs and cats. Avian medicine is a whole 'nuther thing from a general vet. More training, more effort to keep current with the field, as there is always new research, treatments etc. As a result, CAV's are a bit more $ or €, than a general vet will be, so don't be tempted to shave the costs.

Good luck. Let us know how Bojack is settling in, and we always love pics and videos !!!
 
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BojackMacaw

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Thank you so much for the response! I'm really looking forward to becoming part of this community, I am a bird lady and definitely love getting to know other bird people.

I'm so flattered that he chose me. It felt so surreal to have such a beautiful and intelligent creature immediately take a shine to me. The vibes between us matched I suppose!

I have definitely noticed the theme of "your mileage may vary" in response to best practices in owning a parrot. I remember coming across that frequently when I was learning how to care for my cockatiel years ago. I just want to try and reinforce behaviors that won't bite me in the butt later on lol. He seems very gentle overall, but also seems to be playing the dominance game at times, like when trying to get him off my shoulder onto my arm.

I am lucky to have a sister who is a veterinary technician and she has given me the name of a great CAV. They only do birds and have a great track record. I also am lucky to live near an animal emergency room that has a CAV staffed on call. I plan to have Bojack seen within the next month to make sure everything is OK. I have a few thousand in the bank specifically for emergency situations as well. He was neglected by his previous owner, so I wanted to make sure I had enough in case he needed anything immediately.

Once I bring him home for real, I will make sure to take some before and afters! He needs a bath badly but hasn't trusted anyone enough to bathe around them. The woman who runs the shelter is going to attempt a beak and nail trim this weekend, so hopefully he allows it!
 

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.
Welcome to you and Bojack! You seem ideally suited to life with a macaw and received magnificent gift of being chosen!!

Al (wrench13) gave as superb summary as I've seen. Soak up as much varied advice as you can, remain flexible and proceed at Bojack's pace. Kudos for purchasing large cage, save some budget for outfitting with plethora of toys and perches.

Some favored threads for depth of knowledge: http://www.parrotforums.com/macaws/56384-big-beak-o-phobes-guide-understanding-macaw-beaks.html
http://www.parrotforums.com/amazons/65119-i-love-amazons-going-journey.html
http://www.parrotforums.com/amazons/54250-amazon-body-language.html
http://www.parrotforums.com/general-parrot-information/49144-tips-bonding-building-trust.html
http://www.parrotforums.com/new-mem...friendly-warnings-keep-your-parrots-safe.html
http://www.parrotforums.com/parrot-...7-converting-parrots-healthier-diet-tips.html
http://www.parrotforums.com/parrot-...afe-fresh-foods-toxic-food-lists-sprouts.html

Looking forward to hearing of Bojack's homecoming!!
 

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