To a large adult parrot that has been forced to live in a cage most of its life, the "cage" is a major factor in their undesirable behavior. If there was any abuse during that time the problems will just be amplified. Taking the cage out of the equation goes a long ways to helping that bird and almost eliminating the problems we see because of it. Consider....... I'm going to sound like a broken record again to some but I'm going to say it anyway. The "cage" is the source of many problems for a Parrot. If we give them a large secure space and eliminate the cage we remove the source of that problem by providing a bird room or indoor aviary. Not only does the space give them freedom to be a much more natural bird but the second most important part of this is that we are able to physically enter "their" environment/territory and can work on becoming a normal part of it instead of being something that is outside their "chosen" environment/territory and just reaching in. We can put a chair in there and hangout and be given a chance to become a normal part of their territory. In essence we are going to become a cage mate instead of an owner. We are going to join them in the "cage". Always being calm, moving slow and keeping a "comfortable" distance in there over time shows them we are not a threat and worthy of trust. I "never" interact with my birds when they are behind bars. My analogy of that is like a prison guard trying to befriend an inmate. They are not compatible friends because they are not in the same world. Two inmates behind the same bars are much more likely to be friends. This is why I suggest a much larger space so we could go in there and still keep a comfortable distance and act very nonchalant, move around and do little things and focusing on those things we are doing and not pay attention to them. If you stare at them or pay them too much attention it's much like a predator watching it's prey. When a bird is comfortable with another bird they will not really give direct attention to the other bird but act rather nonchalant. A sign of that is if the bird is calm and actually turns it's back to you. As if to say I don't need to watch you every second because I know your not a threat and I can trust you to turn my back to you. It's has a lot to do with "our" body language imitating what that other trusted bird would do. Connecting and Communicating with your Large Intelligent Parrot I am about letting my birds be birds. I want them to be comfortable and willing to do things as much as I can provide in a "house". I don't try to change them. I try to work with and around what they are. I've been bitten and attacked by a lot of different birds. I've never felt real danger but as anyone with a TOO will attest to, being attacked by a large male hormonal TOO is downright dangerous. They can do serious bodily harm. Their empathy and intelligence will challenge the most skilled owners. Because they "are" so intelligent and emotional it takes very little effort to create real problems but it takes tremendous effort and time to fix those same problems. Large Macaws have the same intelligence but they are not nearly as emotional, needy and manipulative IMO. Look at a person that is very emotional and if they are having problems they turn into a basket case because their emotions feed their problems. Un-necessarily so but it affects the way they react. Compare that to someone who is pragmatic and level headed with the same problems. It's like night and day. Cockatoos with any kind of past abuse and issues are emotional basket cases waiting to explode. About the cage........ The shear size of the bird makes any cage relatively small if you look at it percentage wise. Parrots stake out and claim territory. That is instinct and can't be changed. In the wild that territory would have rather large boundaries but being forced to live in a cage makes it pretty small. Because they can't go farther than the bars, those bars become the boundary. Everything inside those boundaries is "theirs" as far as they are concerned. Anything outside those boundaries that tries to get in is being intrusive. I don't want to be intrusive. Tika was as cage aggressive as any of the birds we have heard about. If I was to put my hand in his cage I would have pulled back a bloody stump. If I put a stick in his cage to get him he would literally just split it in half. He can split a 1 inch dowel with ease. I wanted him to come out of his cage willingly but I did not want to have to battle him every time. The more I thought and analyzed, it became apparent that the cage was the issue. So I built him a large aviary (6ft x 10ft x 8ft high). I worked hard to become an accepted part of his territory by entering it with good body language and spending time in there with him. It was normal and even expected for me to be in there. As we know once our birds are out of the cage they are different birds and more than willing to interact with us and readily "come to us". This is how we were "inside" the aviary. If we were on opposite ends I did not need to make him come over. He would come over on his own because it was "his" territory and he was comfortable anywhere in it, like a cage. All I had to do was show him his T stick and he was already reaching to get on it before I was even near enough. All I had to do was walk out because there was no "get on the stick/arm" hurdle to get over. How could someone go about preparing a non-cage environment? That's as easy as giving up one of our rooms and bird proofing it. We can cover anything we don't want destroyed and they can get at with Plexiglas. Provide them with plenty of things they can destroy. If they want to destroy the window sill. I cover it with a nice big piece of 2x4 and let them have at it. When the 2x4 is almost destroyed I replace it and let them have at it again. If they want to chew the walls, I screw a big chunk of 2x10 to the wall where they have access to it and let them have at it again. Plexiglas and a screw gun are my friends. I know them well. If anyone wants to build an indoor aviary I already posted how to do that. Build an indoor aviary My TOOs are still TOOs with the hormones, normal vocalizations and mischief that go with every TOO but I say with pride that neither of my TOOs have any of the behavior issues from their past. (knocking on wood now.) These are my views, experience and opinions. Nothing more.