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The good, the bad, and the ugly about Large Macaws

Holiday

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Alexa, that link doesn't seem to be working. Can you repost?
 

Bokkapooh

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WOW chaos is the most. Crimson red GW you mI have ever seen (I haven't :noble: really seen many) .I was considering a greenwinges does anyone know if this a one off Because all the reasherch I've done says gentle giants. ??? :gwm:
Green wings are gentle giants as babies until they reach sexual maturity. Then you may see behavioral issues.

Male GWs seem to be so hormonal and territorial if housed around other birds/esp. Macaws.
 

lexalayne

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Alexa, that link doesn't seem to be working. Can you repost?[/quote

I apologize, I had lost a very long post and tried to retrieve it using copy paste etc but bottom line is I couldn't on my phone and didn't realize I'd left that there. Had 2 iPhones and my MacBook Pro stolen .. Probably could have retrieved it w/ my computer.
 

lexalayne

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Reposted and it still doesn't work, BTW my electronics we're stolen 3 days ago to the tune of thousands, and u know that cute app "track my I phone" or iCloud and find your MacBook Pro quickly?

NONE of it works period! At least not for finding anything stolen. Find who it was (and yes for sure) police can't do anything ... They were renting an 800/ night Villa. Short of vigilante justice there was nothing to be done. At least the lil B's left my birds alone if they hadn't I'd be in jail, " Nothing we can do would not have cut it then"
 

Sarah13

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I guess I'll do one of these. They are so fun to read!
Val is a female GW. She'll be 8 on Valentine's day. She is a multiple rehome bird. She is flighted and not caged. I'm a college student and she lives with me in my apartment or in my parents' house when I visit for Holidays/summer. I've had her for 6 months and she is my first bird.

The Good
~She is very hilarious and affectionate. She makes a lot of funny sounds and body gestures.
~Beyond the initial cost of cage toys, the bird, new baby vet check up.....she has not been expensive to keep. Sure things cost but there are ways to lower the costs dramatically. She's a very easy keeper.
~She's beautiful and when she molts, you have lots of beautiful things to make with her feathers. She also smells like fruit loops. She loves showering and she smells extra fruity after her being in the shower
~She is quiet and can be very independent if I plop her on a T stand/chair/table/tree/whatever while I clean, practice oboe etc. She'll play, talk, preen, or nap.
~She enjoys following me around the house and running up to greet me when I walk in, squweeing and talking all the way. She will rival any cockatoo in a snuggle/preening session. If I've been gone for the day or on a trip for the multiple days she'll be a Velcro bird when I get back.
~She loves to train and learns quickly. She's potty trained, knows tricks, flight training in progress, easy to clean/groom, grab and hold her on her back, socialized etc
~She is not scared of new things, places or people/animals. If she is, she gets over it very quickly especially if I interact with the scary thing or if I make a training situation out of it.
~She goes in the car and outside to the schools and stores almost daily and practically anyone can hold her regardless of their age or sex.
~I really don't care if a bird can talk but if that is a plus for you, she is a very good talker/speaks in context.
~She eats anything. She'll beg by talking and doing tricks if she's mooching from you. She's not picky and eats her food/isn't messy. She loves to forage.


The Bad
~She is territorial in the house. She is flighted but never flies or climbs down to attack people. She just sits there and postures or asks to step up to me. After awhile she just preens or ignores the new people or wants me to snuggle and play with her. The people are often happy and relax at this point too. This isn't really bad I guess BUT her size, being a macaw, intimidates a lot of people so they never give her a chance even once she is being calm on the couch with them or ignoring them etc. They don't want to do a training session with her so she can trust and become friendly with them while in the house/she changes the initial territorial behavior. That's the bad part.
~She's moderately destructive. I don't have to keep her caged or anything but every once in awhile she'll play in the laundry pile and a shirt or a towel will have a hole in it.
~Since I have adopted her, I have taught her to talk instead of scream for attention(I live in an apartment with her so that came in handy). She is very quiet and hasn't screamed in a very long time but as a rule about macaws, their volume is high. The pitch is lower though and their screams tend to be infrequent (morning and evening) compared to the little fids who seem to constantly chatter so it isn't really that annoying.
~Sometimes when she gets "in the mood" she's all over me/my feet wanting to hump or regurgitate. She rarely brings anything up though so that's good. I just walk away or grab her, flip her over/cue a trick etc. She gets out of her mood very easily. Some birds, especially males do not though and can get aggressive if they become too frustrated.
~You have to sweep and change poopy papers to keep her area tidy but beyond that, she is not a messy bird.

The Ugly
~Nothing really ugly. I guess the bruise she/a macaw or large bird can leave because of their large beak. She's never bit me or anyone outside though. She has bit my mom, dad, and brother once or twice. Although they were angry, they weren't really bad bites and they understood why they got bit.....they were teasing her, they made a training mistake with the body language, they tried to make her do something, you parronts know.

That's pretty much it. I know I tend to put a positive onto any negative, sorry, but I'm an easy going person and I often like to make everything good or find a solution for everything. Val has been one of my easiest pets to own and care for. A lot of her positive behavior came from her training. She didn't do a lot of these things when I first adopted her but if you put some love and time into them, your fid, macaw or not, can become very well behaved and a joy to live with.
 

orni'morphosis

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What about people with Hyacinths?
 

Sarah13

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What would be different about them?
Dietary needs are different and being bigger means bigger everything else (bites, sound, destructiveness etc if the individual bird engages in such behaviors) although some Hys are smaller than some other large macs so I guess the bigger bird bigger output pertains to them all still.

Their behavior, good and bad, is about the same as other large macs though....with every bird being different in terms of personal mannerisms of course, they're still all under the MACAW bracket. Nothing particularly special/different about a Hy/their behavior versus other large mac species. You just see each Hy's good bad and ugly on a bird to bird basis just like you see it for all other birds of each species.

I like your Rio Siggie!
When I saw the movie I thought they were Hyacinths at first but found out later that they were Spix's macaws.
 

orni'morphosis

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Thanks for the reply, very helpful. Is there any other behaviour I should be aware of? What sort of diet should I be looking at? Will the diet be difficult to find or produce?

Thanks for the compliment regarding my signature, it is a common mistake that people think Blu and Jewel are Hyacinth macaws. I nearly didn't have the picture on my signature in case people assumed I didn't know. But oh well, I like the films (probably my favourite) so I made it part of my signature.
 

expressmailtome

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Hyacinth macaws need macadamia nuts in their diet. I am not sure how easily available they are to you.

Matt
 

aooratrix

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Harry, my BTM:

My dad and brother both passed away in March almost 4 years ago. I was going through the motions, teaching, coaching, and trying to make myself function. I was lost. I'd always loved large macaws; Mom and I talked and talked and decided to find one. That summer, I found a breeder of BTMs in southern Ohio, so I began researching the species. The generalizations I found were that they were cuddly like some 'toos, mechanically inclined, intelligent, and one of the smaller of the large macaws. I spoke to the breeder several times and knew I wanted one of his babies.

Cuddly: Harry-boy was very cuddly...as a baby. Approaching 4, he is not interested in cuddling or scritching. He's very high energy and super alert to his environment. Currently, he is going through a stage, testing me with little pinches. Most don't hurt, but a few have been hard enough to hurt. He has NEVER broken my skin or bruised me. We are working through this and changes are expected as he continues to mature. However, he loves me dearly and has a strong desire for interaction.

Mechanical: Harry can unscrew things I've used tools and all my power to tighten. Sometimes, I come home to find him on top of his cage, the breeder door of his cage on the floor. Foraging toys last him minutes, not hours or days. I have to be very creative to provide toys he can enjoy for more than a day. Common toy hangers don't keep toys hanging. The only reliable toy hangers have been the EH ones with the acrylic balls. Also, he is stronger than I expected. He has snapped pieces from lexan treasure boxes, small SS chains, and acrylic toys. He even popped some welds on a SS foraging cage. And he is a wood-mulching MACHINE.

Intelligent: Harry knows several behaviors. He can dunk a basketball, fetch items, put a toy nut on its bolt or my finger, play dead, wave, shake hands, and fly to me on request. We are working on roll over, taking liquid from a syringe, and entering a carrier on request. He is a closet talker, repeating my DYA's entire repertoire, but not singing, when she's out, but he's in the bird room. I have no idea if that's typical of his species or not. @expressmailtome ? @Bartleby ?

Size: I love his size! He's around 950 grams, which is at the top end of the spectrum, according to an article I read by Dr. Susan Clubb. However, he is very slim-bodied, if that makes any sense.

I've seen some articles and websites that suggest that BTMs are the perfect macaw. No bird is perfect, and I hope people don't buy BTMs based solely on these sources. As I said, he's not perfect, but he's mine, and I cherish him. It bothers me that current legislation is causing some breeders to limit or stop raising them. I'm afraid they may disappear from American aviculture as a result. And that would be a terrible loss. :(
 

Gabby Macaw

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The Good The Bad And The Ugly About Red Fronted Macaws


Red Fronted Macaws are considered the smallest of the large macaws. The following is my personal experience with Holly with a little general traits. Keep in mind all birds are different, have different dispositions, personalities, and genes which can play a role in how they are.
I have had Holly since she was three months old. She will be four this May.
The good
They are endearing,smart, funny, mechanical, playful, and loving, with a little mischief thrown in for good measure.:D
Seeing a red fronted macaw fly is a magical sight. They are masters of flight. Seeing your macaw hover over your head and turn on a dime is breathtaking.
Red fronts are known for the "Red Front Melt". Which is this..they can be on your shoulder say, and then all at once they just give way and fall down the front of you.:heart: And you had better catch them, they are in complete trust that you will.Holly loves to play and wrestle on the floor too. My first bird that actually likes the floor.
They are great at talking, and Holly seems to practice words for a while to perfect them. They do not show some traits other macaws do, like aggression, lunging, and biting. They can get along well with their own kind, and seem to gravitate towards them. And also, other birds of similar size. I think they are a great size in fact, especially if you like macaws but are nervous about the bigger feet and beaks of the big guys.

The bad
They can be a bit standoffish with strangers, and do seem to choose a person as their favorite. They do go through stages, one of which is a pinchy/nippy stage when about 1-2 years old. They can learn fast though, and quickly learn what is acceptable. Some people think the pitch of their call is high. Not so much volume, though they can belt it out with the rest of them, they do not share the volume/decibel level of some of the larger macaws. A friend with 40+ experience around Red Fronts says it is best to keep just one if you are wanting them as a"pet".{I am not fond of that word, but for lack of a better term} She says if you have two, they are more likely to want to be together, and not want to be quite as friendly with you. As I said they are mischievous and mechanical. Holly loves opening the feeder doors to splash food about, or opening my canary's cage, so I had to install locks on the doors. I have had to make several modifications to keep her out of things. She just cannot help it.:p


Overall I think they are just awesome, and beautiful.:)
 

Gabby Macaw

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I have a red front macaw that is out of control. I got him when he was 5 months old. From day one he has bit me on the neck while cleaning his cage. He'll say 'stop it' after he does it. He thinks it's a game. He play bites me hard. I tell him no firmly without the drama and he still thinks I enjoy him biting me.

Putting him up for a little bit does not work for him. I've tried a lot of different things to discipline him, mostly telling him no and lightly thumping him on his beak.
 

macawpower58

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IMO Kim, thumping will not work, it may break trust, or he may even see it as a 'big mac game'. Isolation is also not a good idea in my mind.

You want trust and respect. Discipline does not work well on wild animals, which is what our parrots are.

You must learn to avoid the bite. You must extinguish the behavior by having it not happen. Do not put yourself where he can bite you.

For cage cleaning, remove him. No more shoulder time, it's very dangerous anyway with a macaw that bites. Your face is way too vulnerable.

Give him space to grow and change.

Keep on hand things he likes. Foot toys, puzzle pieces, toilet paper rolls, anything that will take his interest away from you. Offer these things when he's out with you.

You must change the way he interacts with you.

IMO macaws are always changing, it's our job to change with them, not to force them into our ideas of behavior.

He'll become more manageable in time.

You must also give though, it's a 50/50 relationship at the very least. Many of us give much more than 50% and except what we get back. ;)

 

rocky'smom

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avoid the bite at all cost. reward the good, ignore the bad. he bites, you walk away without a word or action. leave him alone for 5 minutes even if comes to you, walk away. I work at my cousin clinic and there is always a macaw of some form or god's design. if he does it again 10 minutes. they want to be with us, but if we ignore them it sinks in. JMHO
 

Ktomacie

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Love this thread! Being someone that is very interested in getting a macaw sometime in the next year or so.. ( Or 5yrs if I don't find the right fit) I appreciate all the stories and personality you shared. One question for all, Do you think an older Macaw or a younger Macaw would be easier to work with in the long run?
 
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