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New to Owning A Macaw

Cupcakeism

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Hello everyone!
So my parents decided to get a macaw. I read through some other threads and everyone here seems super kind and understanding, but I feel it necessary to let everyone know, they have thought about it for years and have previously owned conures, but never anything larger. They just got her. She is 11 1/2 year old female.

Anyway I am just here to get some advice on interacting with her. Do's and Don'ts. I also have a few questions.

Like I said they just got her, but I have been spending the morning with her and from my experience she seems to be taking to me quite well. She is hanging out on her cage and if I put my hand up she will come over to me and over time I got brave enough to give her short pets under her feathers on her neck, I call them Lovies. Anyway she started bobbing her head, which confused me at first, I wasn't sure what she was doing. Well she started doing it close to my hand and I realized she was trying to feed me? She threw up some of her food. I'm just wondering if anyone has some insight on why she would be doing that. This is the first morning we've had her.

Thank you!
Jessica
 

Hankmacaw

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She loves you and that is how a parrot shows love. Be happy, she is comfortable with you. It being your first day you have a long way to go building a relationship with her - be patient with her.

You should make sure that your parents spend as much time and babying her as you do. Parrots are notorious for choosing one person as their favorite and ignoring or even attacking anyone else.
 

mstomcat65

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yes, she loves you. Gizmo just started doing that for me last week. I've had him a little over 3 months so you are going in the right direction with her :)
 

Cupcakeism

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She loves you and that is how a parrot shows love. Be happy, she is comfortable with you. It being your first day you have a long way to go building a relationship with her - be patient with her.

You should make sure that your parents spend as much time and babying her as you do. Parrots are notorious for choosing one person as their favorite and ignoring or even attacking anyone else.
Ugh that makes me feel so good! Thank you! I'll let them know!
 

Cupcakeism

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When I give her lovies and she goes to bite should I pull my hand away or try my best not too?
 

Hankmacaw

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Hankmacaw

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When I give her lovies and she goes to bite should I pull my hand away or try my best not too?
Forget everything you have heard about just gritting your teeth and taking the bite. That might be ok with little birds, but a macaw can really cause damage. Successful bites are self-perpetuating and a successful bite encourages more bites. Avoid bites at almost any cost (don't hit or hurt the bird, of course) pull back and say "NO BITE" sternly and turn your back and walk away for a short time. Try to figure out why your bird tried to bite and don't do it again.

One hint I'll give you is if you are giving her scritches or petting - quit before she's had all she wants. She may be biting at you to get you to stop.
 

SeverelySweet

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Regurgitation....awww, she LOVE you! But, personally, I wouldn't suggest encouraging the behavior (read: having a random person point out the parrot goo in your hair is no fun lol).

Syd has apparently fallen in love so hard with me, that ive recently had to start literally turning my back on him, and walking away the minute he starts with the head bobbing. It was getting to the point where every time he saw me, he would regurgitate....even if I had been out of the room for less than 30 seconds! The tactic is working, though...he stops bobbing quick when he thinks I may leave his sight again, lol.

Good luck with your new featherbaby!
 

expressmailtome

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Welcome! If you are interested in learning more about parrot behavior, I would recommend that you watch some of Barbara Heidenreich's videos. She owns the company Good Bird Inc., and is a highly respected behaviorist. Here is a link to her website: Training Parrots | Parrot Training DVDS & Books . She has some videos on YouTube, but also has a series of very helpful DVDs on parrot behavior and body language. Here is a link to the DVDs that she has for sale: Parrot Training DVDS | Good Bird Training DVDS .
 

mstomcat65

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I have learned gizmo's body language, partly from owning a blue and gold in the past. He hasn't bit me hard (yet) but I know it can happen. With cleo (b&g) the only time she bite me hard is when I was taking her away from something she really enjoyed (company). After I put her on her cage i'd walk away after saying "no bite". she learned pretty quick the consequence for biting. with gizmo he likes to scream in my face to get his way at times. I ask him "what do u say?" if he says "step up" all is good and I take him off his cage. if he continues to scream at me I walk away. I usually just figure i'm going to take the bite just to prove he can't scare me. so it's ok to pull away? won't he think he's boss then?
 

Hankmacaw

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Birds are smart, but they don't try to scare you and boss isn't part of their vocabulary. They only try to get exactly what they want, when they want it. Remember they are just like 2 year olds emotionally. You should never take a bite on purpose. You can really get hurt and they have been successful, which will encourage him to bite the next time.
 

Bokkapooh

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Congrats on the new family member!

I advise to try and avoid bites. See it coming before it even begins t come and prevent it. Meaning stopping the interaction and wait until calm returns.

Never push them until they want to bite. If you see her begin to want to bite stop what you were doing and draw back. Mentally and physically. Its important as MaryLynn has said to prevent bites whenever possible or it teaches them to bite.

Same with pinches. If she wants to pinch, which macaws sre known for, stop the interaction.

There is a thing called ROUGH PLAY. But that happens when a clear bond has already been formed (often many many months to years later.).
 
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