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40-yo female lilac-crowned

Elizabeth

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My vet also runs a bird rescue, and I was there with my GCC last Thursday.

Usually I go into their rescue room and look at the birds, and this time I felt almost instantly connected to a 40-yo female LCA. I went over to her cage and didn’t touch but she came right up to the bars to see me and her eyes were just dilated HUGE any time I walked up.

I just haven’t been able to get her off my mind, even though I had no intention of adding to my flock of 2 (1 GCC, 1 cockatiel)

I don’t know anything about her other than her age (40), she’s in beautiful feather, and that her owner moved and couldn’t take her. That and I felt a connection.

any idea what I could expect out of her? My current bird experience is limited to cockatiels and my GCC who I’ve had since 2011. We dealt with some pretty hellacious hormones out of him years 3-7ish so I’ve seen some aggression but nothing like what I think an Amazon could be capable of.

what do you think of her age? I’m 39 myself so would not get a young Amazon at this point. Is 40 getting up there for a LCA? Is an older bird, and a hen, more likely to be gentle than a young male? Do LCAs have any distinguishing characteristics?
 

Clueless

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I have a picture of Secret from 1978. My first birds were dna male, wild caught, blue front amazons. So much for the "hot three".....a newbie like me made it through.

I love amazons. They're so evident in what they feel so you can learn to avoid bites and they don't go unglued if life changes (like you said, full feathered still).
 

Emma&pico

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Do you feel you can do it ?
 

Gen120

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My first large bird ever was a LCA that I've had almost 18 years. Best decision I've ever made at that time. I have no idea of his age though but he has been one of the best birds I've ever owned. I say if you feel you have a connection, don't dismiss it & go for it if you feel you can handle an Amazon. We'll be here for you whatever you decide, but i will say Amazon's are highly underrated & misunderstood. You'd have to have then in separate rooms or move the Littles out for out of cage time but that hasn't been a problem for me with my flock which has changed over the years. Keep us updated
 

Elizabeth

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I believe that I can. I have a demanding and ultra-stressful job, but my birds are part of how I wind down and put things in perspective.

She would be my first large parrot - one GCC and one cockatiel presently but have had birds all my life.

her size is intimidating. GCCs are beaky and bender was out for blood when young, but not the same as a bird that can take chunks out of you.

I have read LCA are more docile, females in particular. This girl is 40 and seemed to have friendly body language so that’s a good start.

but any advice on intimidation is helpful. For my GCC, who was a flying-attack can opener age 3-7, I ultimately realized his worst was a shock but not that bad physically, and he got better from that day on. Seems a little different with one of big guys.
 

Emma&pico

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I think if you feel you can do it and offer amazing home to a rescue then go for it follow your heart keep us updated
 

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I can't speak to the species but I did find that having an older parrot was a wonderful experience. If I could find the right one, I would take an older one in a heartbeat but we have cats and most rescues won't adopt to cat owners) In his older years Walter was so laid back. The play was slower and less intense. He was often content just to be the center of attention. One of his favorite thing to do was just sit on my knee as I sat in my chair and read or graded papers. Totally different from the comical and high energy of the conure. Often the animals that choose you are the ones that end up being your "heart bird". But then again you do have to think of all the details. There is a big size difference and the likelihood of you being able to have them all out at once is a lot smaller (though @Xoetix could speak to owning different size birds). Also older birds often require more vet care and that can add up in a hurry. It's a tough decision that only you can make. (PS be warned... there are a lot of enablers around here but mostly because we love having company.....) So if you feel you can do it. Go for it (notice I am also in the enabler crowd) but don't feel guilty if you cannot or don't want to upend your world. A good bird will likely end up in a good home. Overall I have been a big proponent mostly of owning just one bird because of the amount of time it takes for a bird (and maybe that was my justification for the fact that Walter wanted to be an only child no matter how many friends I brought home for him). Tough decision but do what's best for you and your flock....
 

Xoetix

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I kind of did something similar, actually.

My experience was a cockatiel, and a quaker. And it wasn't even long experience - I'd had them less than a year. And then I adopted a 15 year old cockatoo. The couple were in their 70s and knew their bird, Isadora, would long outlive them. I was 38 (I'm 39 now) and went for it, despite my total lack of experience (I think @Pixiebeak was the most vocal "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" :lol:).

It's been a year now, and we've had some changes in birds - original cockatiel still here, quaker added and then both adopted out, added two budgies and then a second tiel - and everything is pretty smooth, for the most part. There was the initial scuffle and still an occasional disagreement (because budgies are... Well, budgies), but it's all been between the smaller birds. Isadora doesn't really pay any mind to the smaller ones, unless a budgie does a fly by wing slap, which they're prone to.

Are you able to foster before committing fully?
 

Pixiebeak

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I kind of did something similar, actually.

My experience was a cockatiel, and a quaker. And it wasn't even long experience - I'd had them less than a year. And then I adopted a 15 year old cockatoo. The couple were in their 70s and knew their bird, Isadora, would long outlive them. I was 38 (I'm 39 now) and went for it, despite my total lack of experience (I think @Pixiebeak was the most vocal "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" :lol:).

It's been a year now, and we've had some changes in birds - original cockatiel still here, quaker added and then both adopted out, added two budgies and then a second tiel - and everything is pretty smooth, for the most part. There was the initial scuffle and still an occasional disagreement (because budgies are... Well, budgies), but it's all been between the smaller birds. Isadora doesn't really pay any mind to the smaller ones, unless a budgie does a fly by wing slap, which they're prone to.

Are you able to foster before committing fully?
Lol , she was meant to be with you and I'm so happy for your happiness!

I'm almost always an enabler!

I know of a guy that went to rescue one bird, but sn Amazon so fell in love with him and he with her thst he came home with both! I totally pushed for that , because being chosen is extra special.
My first GCC chose me , was smitten with me at first sight! I wanted a different bird initially, but the wise bird lady and the adorable GCC pushed me to getting her. She was a dream. When I got my first quaker, I got to meet the whole clutch , and Neptune and I chose each other on the spot! He was like see you later losers to his clutch mates ! He was my heart and soul a deep connection to the very core of me
 

Gen120

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I believe that I can. I have a demanding and ultra-stressful job, but my birds are part of how I wind down and put things in perspective.

She would be my first large parrot - one GCC and one cockatiel presently but have had birds all my life.

her size is intimidating. GCCs are beaky and bender was out for blood when young, but not the same as a bird that can take chunks out of you.

I have read LCA are more docile, females in particular. This girl is 40 and seemed to have friendly body language so that’s a good start.

but any advice on intimidation is helpful. For my GCC, who was a flying-attack can opener age 3-7, I ultimately realized his worst was a shock but not that bad physically, and he got better from that day on. Seems a little different with one of big guys.

Yes, LCA's are definitely more docile. Sammy is a DNA male & he is mostly very gentle with me. Now because of his past abuse most likely, I'm the only one that can handle him but that's also typical of a lot of Amazon's so. I was initimated by Sammy's size as well, but I made a promise to him when I got him, I'd do everything in my power to help him so I forced myself to get over my fear of him
 

sunnysmom

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I love LCAs. I think they tend to be "sweeter" than some of the other types of Amazons. I have a soft spot for older birds and am always happy when people are considering adopting one. I think it comes down to how much time, etc you have if you feel you can manage it. I have a goffin and cockatiels. Because of the size differences I never let them out together. Not that I think my goffin would hurt them on purpose, but accidents can happen so fast.
 

Elizabeth

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Thanks everybody for your feedback! I’m going to meet her on Saturday. My fiancé isn’t the bird person but he will meet her too. Definitely would never let her out with my GCC - he’s a punk and I know he’d pick a fight with any size of bird.

The cockatiel is laid back but also stands her ground so they are ok with both cages open. Usually they take turns coming out anyway.

They are a completely bonded pair when in their respective cages which are right next to one another - sit on same level of perch and do same things other is doing all day. She cannot be separated from him without panicking. He’s 12 and shes 3, and birds are also just unfortunately prone to dying suddenly, so I have considered a third bird for that reason too. My GCC is more independent, but he clung awfully close to the cockatiel when we lost a third flock member a couple of years ago. He doesn’t like to admit he loves and needs you! :lol:

I do worry a new third flock member could throw off the harmony they have though. Given the differences between GCC and tiel they’re an odd couple, but they’re happy. I will ask about the possibility of a foster - it would be best if I could just see how they all mesh, although I know this poor LCA just got displaced from her long-term home, so maybe that would be hard on her.

my tiel would probably just go with the flow on a new bird. My GCC would probably be jealous at least at first - his house, his cockatiel, his person as far as he’s concerned.
 

Emma&pico

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Thanks everybody for your feedback! I’m going to meet her on Saturday. My fiancé isn’t the bird person but he will meet her too. Definitely would never let her out with my GCC - he’s a punk and I know he’d pick a fight with any size of bird.

The cockatiel is laid back but also stands her ground so they are ok with both cages open. Usually they take turns coming out anyway.

They are a completely bonded pair when in their respective cages which are right next to one another - sit on same level of perch and do same things other is doing all day. She cannot be separated from him without panicking. He’s 12 and shes 3, and birds are also just unfortunately prone to dying suddenly, so I have considered a third bird for that reason too. My GCC is more independent, but he clung awfully close to the cockatiel when we lost a third flock member a couple of years ago. He doesn’t like to admit he loves and needs you! :lol:

I do worry a new third flock member could throw off the harmony they have though. Given the differences between GCC and tiel they’re an odd couple, but they’re happy. I will ask about the possibility of a foster - it would be best if I could just see how they all mesh, although I know this poor LCA just got displaced from her long-term home, so maybe that would be hard on her.

my tiel would probably just go with the flow on a new bird. My GCC would probably be jealous at least at first - his house, his cockatiel, his person as far as he’s concerned.
Let us know Saturday how you get on please good luck in whatever you decide to do
 

Elizabeth

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Update for anyone following - she is most definitely a man's bird! She was over the moon for my finace - whistling at him, talking, etc. When he was nearby she was all about him and drove me away! I'm the bird person of the house so I don't see that working out well - caring for a bird that's jealous of me and trying to get a non-bird person to give her enough attention.

There was a lovely OWA. He's possibly being adopted, but if he isn't spoken for I loved him. He does have high cholesterol - to the extent that you can see the grease on his feathers. Any experience on cholesterol issues in middle-aged Amazons would be appreciated. I've read about atherosclerosis and it seems like a big risk factor and just a total heartbreaker.
 

MommyBird

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Update for anyone following - she is most definitely a man's bird! She was over the moon for my finace - whistling at him, talking, etc. When he was nearby she was all about him and drove me away! I'm the bird person of the house so I don't see that working out well - caring for a bird that's jealous of me and trying to get a non-bird person to give her enough attention.

There was a lovely OWA. He's possibly being adopted, but if he isn't spoken for I loved him. He does have high cholesterol - to the extent that you can see the grease on his feathers. Any experience on cholesterol issues in middle-aged Amazons would be appreciated. I've read about atherosclerosis and it seems like a big risk factor and just a total heartbreaker.
I've never heard of it leading to greasy feathers, I think he just needs a bath?
Atherosclerosis is probably in most birds according to my vet, Brenna Fitzgerald. She has my BFA on Isoxsuprine to clear arteries and it is pretty much a lifetime drug, but she says it is a good solution. She kind of specializes in heart and circulation problems and just got her own CT-scan machine but is experienced enough to see problems even on a regular xray.
My OWA doesn't metabolize fats well, she has permanent cholesterol deposits on her eyes and kinda sees the world as a snow globe. She was like that when I got her. She is also prone to little fatty lipomas but they aren't harmful. She is 53 yrs old.
I would not turn down a bird for atherosclerosis. Just have a good vet, feed a good diet, do a little moving around and flying if possible, and use some meds if needed. At least you know to be cautious and be motivated to mitigate, which many people are blind to the problem but it is still there and untreated.
 

Elizabeth

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Thanks so much for info. Where is your vet located? I would really like to consult her if it’s doable.

My GCC is 13 and popped up with slightly elevated triglycerides and blood glucose a few months ago, so these kinds of problems have been on my mind anyway.

Its so easy to over-treat and even over-vet birds, and over years I’ve learned to take more of a research-driven approach rather than a reactive approach on my GCC since hauling/treating him to Timbuktu would do more harm than good when he’s not in immediate risk, but I would like to consult with an expert anyway.

Im a PhD and do health sciences research for a living so over-thinking is just programmed into my DNA. I’ve learned not to over-react on my two birds in particular but I’m always thinking - AKA worrying! Research and expert consults don’t hurt though.
 

MommyBird

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Thanks so much for info. Where is your vet located? I would really like to consult her if it’s doable.

My GCC is 13 and popped up with slightly elevated triglycerides and blood glucose a few months ago, so these kinds of problems have been on my mind anyway.

Its so easy to over-treat and even over-vet birds, and over years I’ve learned to take more of a research-driven approach rather than a reactive approach on my GCC since hauling/treating him to Timbuktu would do more harm than good when he’s not in immediate risk, but I would like to consult with an expert anyway.

Im a PhD and do health sciences research for a living so over-thinking is just programmed into my DNA. I’ve learned not to over-react on my two birds in particular but I’m always thinking - AKA worrying! Research and expert consults don’t hurt though.
the practice, south side of Denver, CO
Colorado Exotic Animal Hospital | Veterinary care for exotic pets in Denver, Aurora, Lakewood and surrounding areas of CO
Dr Fitzgerald:
Dr. Brenna Fitzgerald, DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice), Hospital Owner | Colorado Exotic Animal Hospital
 

Elizabeth

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Thank you. I’ll probably get in touch with her once I have the numbers from OWAs bloodwork.
 
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