Returning member Annie asking for help, new bird


New member
Aug 12, 2017
In Michigan
My first parrot, my beautiful Sun Conure Sassie. passed away at 16 yrs. June 24,2014. I rescued Flash a 17yr. old Hahns Macaw on May 9th, 2017.
Hello everyone,

I was really surprised to discover that after my absence of a few years, my membership still existed, that was a nice discovery. When I first became a member my parrot friend was a Sun Conure named Sassie, I rescued her at 6 years old. We were together for 10 years when she contracted a human bacterial infection and could not be saved though my wonderful vet tried everything. I lost her June 24, 2014.

I retired disabled in 2011, living alone. Sassie was everything to me. By the time winter 2017 was ending, I was losing my will to live, missing her so much.

In May this year my daughter found an ad on the wall of a local pet store, offering a 17yr old male Red Shouldered Hahns Macaw named Flash. I made immediate arrangements to meet him, fell in love with him, acquired him and he came home with me the first of June. He is the sweetest thing but he comes with a past of neglect and abuse and I need help and advice. I have decided that he has parrot PTSD. That's cool because I have been diagnosed with chronic PTSD since a preschool age and major depressive disorder.

From what I was able to gather from his previous owner I am at least his 3rd owner, probably the 4th. This person was not entirely honest with me. But I ended up taking him to a vet I didn't know but who knew Flash and he filled me in a little bit more.

So I come back to Parrot Forum now to ask questions of Hahns Macaw owners because I was totally unprepared for the difference between boy and girl parrots, (Sassie was my first parrot) the difference between the species and how to handle some of Flash's issues. He's been left alone often enough that he's pulled all of his red feathers out of his shoulders to the point that they'll not grow back. And the feathers from under his wings though they do grow back to some degree.

He was astounded when I put him down on the floor for the first time and it took him a while but he finally runs around on the floor and explores all over. He had rarely had that freedom before. He's so cute about it, chattering the whole way sometimes.

I understand that it is indicative of this species that they don't like to be left alone for extended periods of time. Which is fine as I live alone and have all the time in the world to spend with him. He had screaming fits in the beginning, huge abandonment issues. By leaving him alone for very short periods of time he was able to accept my leaving. After 6 months I could gradually leave him alone for longer periods. I put a movie on netflix to keep him company and I also set my radio alarm so if the movie ends and I'm still not home he can listen to NPR. And I never leave him longer that 3 hours if I can help it.

He's aggressive because he's a boy something I didn't expect. The first time I pi@#$ him off he was asking me for something and when I failed to understand, sitting on my shoulder, he jumped up and bit the top of my ear so hard I thought he permanently ruined the cartilage. I was so hurt, scared and freaked that I pulled my shirt off over my head with him still on it and threw it on the floor. It was a reflex action. I didn't even think and I was so glad he didn't get hurt. I just left him there until he calmed down and came to me. He would jump from my lap and punch my chest 2 or 3 times with his beak and he still tries to steer me with my ears. He gets a 10 minute time out in his cage and he's much better now although he did bite my ear quite badly again.

He jumps! I was not prepared for this either. lol

I can't seem to find the right toys for him to play with, I hate the crap they have at the pet store and it's expensive. He won't play with cardboard, he's literally scared of tissues, I'm hoping someone will have suggestions, maybe online sites that have toys for Hahns Macaws or toys that have been found in dollar stores or the like.

Though Flash knows a few words I'm wondering if 17yr old Flash will learn new words from me. Also he started taking baths in a 10 inch pie plate and then suddenly he just wouldn't any more. I know this is really helpful during molting season but no matter how I coax him he refuses. Any suggestions would be helpful because when he does take a bath you can tell he really loves it.

One of the best things about Flash is how much he enjoys going outside in the summer. He says bye bye when we get outside and he make these little birdy comments of satisfaction, it's so sweet. I keep his wings clipped and he rides on my shoulder all over the neighborhood with me. And believe it or not he tells me when he needs to go potty and I just get him on my finger and hold him over the grass. Such a gentleman. And he does eat pellets, I'm so glad because of the nutrition they provide. Something Sassie would never do because her former owners didn't know any better.

He also gets horny. Blush Blush. Not sure anything can be done about that.

It's so nice to be back on Parrot Forum.



Supporting Member
May 14, 2016
Cleveland area
The Rickeybird, 37-year-old Patagonian Conure
Welcome back! I'm so glad you're re-joining our community. Very sorry to hear about your Sun, but glad to hear you're back in gear with Flash. Cute name, by the way!

I know you'll get lots of support and advce here. We have several Hanh's parronts. While you're waiting for personal advice, you might find the SEARCH tab above useful. I do recall a few Hahn's threads.

Dang, your boy sounds like the Rickeybird. And he is a real handfull!

One bit of advice I'll start off with...

Ever since the Rickeybird hit sexual maturity at about 3-4 years of age, I've had to manage his hormones! If kept on too steady a long day, and too much light, he stayed "in the mood" (aggressive, even louder than usual, pleasuring himself on my neck ) year round. If I keep him on a natural light schedule... up with dawn, down with dusk, year around... THEN he's only a little monster rooster from July to September). He has his own room, so I can do that easily.

Once again, welcome back to our community.


Supporting Vendor
Oct 9, 2016
Middle of nowhere (kentuckianna)
Roommates include Gus, Blue and gold macaw rescue and Coco, secondhand amazon
I don't know Hahn's, but there are folks here who do and I'm sure they will drop by. I will just say that when frightened, even a bird with severely clipped wings can fly. So, if you can get him to wear a harness for the outside trips, it might avert a disaster.


Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
Western, Michigan
DYH Amazon
Welcome back!

If you haven't spend hours reading the MAC Forum, time to start as there is a ton of knowledge of the Love and Living with MAC's there. Target Threads and Posts by Birdman666. As you read the Forum, you will also come across others who have vast knowledge regarding working with MAC's.

May your life continue to expand as your MAC continues to open-up in his new, Forever Home!


Staff member
Super Moderator
Aug 21, 2010
San Diego, California USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
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.
Thanks for rediscovering ParrotForums! My condolences for your loss of Sassie.

Enjoyed your introduction, you've found a companion animal that will provide years of unconditional love. I'd encourage you to follow Sailboat's advice and absorb the Macaw forum. So much goodness and advice to help bond with Flash.


New member
Aug 12, 2017
In Michigan
My first parrot, my beautiful Sun Conure Sassie. passed away at 16 yrs. June 24,2014. I rescued Flash a 17yr. old Hahns Macaw on May 9th, 2017.
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Thanks to all who responded to my first threat. I'm so very happy to come back to the Parrot Forum. Thank you SailBoat, Kentukienne,GaleriaGila and Scott. I am really in love with Flash and so glad I was able to rescue him.
To GaleriaGila, I do keep him on that schedule. We get up at dawn and Flash insists he go to bed at sundown (5pm actually). During the day he basically lives on my shoulder because he's been left on his own in a cage with nothing to do way too often over his 17 yr life, except when he's sleeping his cage is door is always open. To Kentukienne my psychologist gave me a beautiful official letter that makes Flash my companion bird and I would love to get him in a harness, or poop suit because there are so many places he would be able to go with me if I could do that. Because of the rough handling he has endured in the past he just wants to bite when I try. Thanks, I won't give up trying to get him in one. Love Annie


Supporting Member
Nov 22, 2015
Isle of Long, NY
Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
Welcome back! I love Hahns Macaws, one of 2 Macs I really like.
Just a note on harness training. do it gradually; let him see it near his cage or where you 2 hang out. Let him play with it if he wants (treating for that). Next try to get him to allow the head loop be put over his head ( hold it open and lure him in with a treat at first) gradually. Once he allows that drap the rest of the harness over his body and wings, so he get used to the weight and feel of it, treating him and praising him the whole time. Also work on him allowing you to touch his body and wings, cuz you need that ability for the last step, getting the wing loops over his wings and tightening them up. THis process can take months and in Salty's case a year, at least.


Active member
Jan 2, 2018
Isolated Holler in the Appalachian Wilderness
B&G Macaw, Galah, 5 cockatiels, 50 billion and a half budgies. We breed and do rescue. Too many to list each individual's name and age etc, but they are each individuals and loved dearly.
Welcome back! Flash soulds like a total character- I look forward to getting to know the both of you. The only macaw I ever directly interacted with was a great big baby of a Hyacinth, and he was someone else's bird. He would take whole leaves of kale and use them to scratch those hard to reach spots on his head if his humans were too busy to scritch it for him. :3


Well-known member
Aug 11, 2014
Congo African Grey
Oh welcome and welcome! I look forward to hearing more of your new adventures together!


Mar 7, 2013
Shreveport, La USA
Porter (Broto); Fuggles(Budgie)
I don't use harnesses
Porter Hates them, instead I got him used to birdie sweaters which he pretty much wears all the time during the day when its cold.

Modified with a small plastic bead on the back that I can thread his 'bungie' through.

An elastic tether hooked to a small cord around my wrist. It was easier to get him used to the sweaters than the harness... though I'm not sure why.

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