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Pictures Trying to understand my Hawkhead rescue Hawkeye

Jessiemay

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Jessie
Hello!
I'm new to the forum :) I've recently adopted what was portrayed as a "bonded pair"; Hawkeye a Hawkhead of about 20 years of age, and Mango a double-yellow headed amazon of unknown age. My partner and I spent a couple of months visiting them at the rescue before taking them home.

Turns out, they're not as bonded as thought. Hawkeye is a typical Hawkhead from what I've read. He is very smart and funny, notices every detail and change. He is also very moody, hormonal, and aggressive to the point of giving dangerous bites to hands. I can scratch his head if he's distracted with a toy, but its a game to him. He desperately wants to bite every hand. When he's not focused on that he is a very funny and engaging bird, has lots of different laugh tracks he cycles through, whistles and kisses, says a few words and dances a little. We try to keep him engaged without overwhelming him. He likes to be on the perch in the window pretending he's in a tree, watching people in the neighborhood walk their dogs. He's a watch-parrot!

I've seen other people posting about a Hawkhead named Hawkeye, could it be this bird? I have pictures of his leg band, though I really don't know how to read it. Just hoping to find out anything about these 2 birds, and how to make sure they are living their best birdie life.

Hawkeye_52022.jpg Hawkeyye_wet_52022.jpg
 

April

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Hawkeye is absolutely stunning! Congratulations on adopting him and his Amazon bud. I can't wait to hear more about him.
 

FeatheredM

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When I saw a hawk headed parrot, I was stunned! Congratulations on finding one, he is very beautiful.
 

April

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Thank you! I’ll post his brother soon. He’s very shy but a good bird.
That would be lovely to get to see Mango as well. That's interesting that they were said to be a pair. I've never seen a Hawkie/Zon combo before which isn't suprising since most of them from both species seem to be a bit hot headed so I wouldn't imagine they would tend to flock together.
 

Nnbal

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It's great to see him. He is so cute. ♥
 

Jessiemay

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Jessie
That would be lovely to get to see Mango as well. That's interesting that they were said to be a pair. I've never seen a Hawkie/Zon combo before which isn't suprising since most of them from both species seem to be a bit hot headed so I wouldn't imagine they would tend to flock together.
I don’t think they really enjoy being a pair. They basically totally ignore each other now that they’re out of the rescue!
 

flyzipper

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Congratulations on your new family members, and welcome to the forum!
He is also very moody, hormonal, and aggressive to the point of giving dangerous bites to hands. I can scratch his head if he's distracted with a toy, but its a game to him. He desperately wants to bite every hand.
For the sake of your fingers, and developing a strong relationship, I'll offer two comments on this.

First, if our birds don't want to do something (getting a head scratch in this case), it's in our best interest and theirs not to force it.
Second, I'd avoid anthropomorphising by thinking his bites are a game -- take them at face value as a warning that he isn't comfortable with what's happening.

I'd suggest doing everything you need to in order to avoid bites, and pay close attention to what lead up to the event (what you did, how he responded, his body language, eyes, proximity to cage or food bowl, etc, etc). You're looking for a trigger, and in the case of such a new relationship, that trigger may simply be he doesn't trust you yet (or has never trusted anyone). So earn his trust by not forcing unwelcome actions, and show him you're listening to his quiet signals... the ones that are probably there before he shouts at your fingers with a bite.

Hawkeye is a typical Hawkhead from what I've read.
A comment on this too, which would be to encourage you to think of him as an individual blank slate.
Those species descriptions run the risk of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy if we expect the outcomes we read in print.
 

bill-e

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He's gorgeous!

Now my experience is with Hawkheads is just with my Hawkhead Nike (196 grams). I find that she (though probably a boy) is not like any of the online descriptions which paint them as nasty birds. Mine is hormonal but I manage that with sleep and flighted exercise and I dont abide by any of the recommendations about touch location or kissing etc. Nike has only drawn blood once in the 7 years I've had her and that was last week. Not sure why but she just happened to get me at the loose skin under a knuckle on my forefinger. She is normally a very mouthy bird, always using her beak to stabilize any movement and she just bit hard. If you look at some of my pics here or elsewhere you'll see that she is absolutely a sweetie and I have no fear of her.

When I first got her I used to pull away a lot because of what I read which aggravated the situation...remember, she uses her beak for all movement and interactions and articulates her headdress for every emotion so when I was learning her, I was constantly on edge.

One thing I do have done when I bring her in for her hails is to have them just tough the tip of her beak with the Dremel which makes a big difference on those unintentional pinches.

I feed her a variety of purchased mixes and give her a healthy portion of tree nuts as I've read that they need a higher nut content. Otherwise it's the various mixes like those titled south american or Madagascar supplemented with Harrisons HiPo Coarse and Power treats and her favorite cashews. She also gets some cooked mixes. She wont touch veggies though I had her eating some freeze dried for a year but she's over that and she on and off with Nutriberries.

Just based on research, I'd find it hard to believe that Hawkeye was bonded to an Amazon but I have no experience with that.

Feel free to ask if you have any questions and I'll try to provide my experience on the subject.
 

Tyrion

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I love Hawkheads they are one of my very favorite :congrats5:
 

Jessiemay

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Congratulations on your new family members, and welcome to the forum!

For the sake of your fingers, and developing a strong relationship, I'll offer two comments on this.

First, if our birds don't want to do something (getting a head scratch in this case), it's in our best interest and theirs not to force it.
Second, I'd avoid anthropomorphising by thinking his bites are a game -- take them at face value as a warning that he isn't comfortable with what's happening.

I'd suggest doing everything you need to in order to avoid bites, and pay close attention to what lead up to the event (what you did, how he responded, his body language, eyes, proximity to cage or food bowl, etc, etc). You're looking for a trigger, and in the case of such a new relationship, that trigger may simply be he doesn't trust you yet (or has never trusted anyone). So earn his trust by not forcing unwelcome actions, and show him you're listening to his quiet signals... the ones that are probably there before he shouts at your fingers with a bite.


A comment on this too, which would be to encourage you to think of him as an individual blank slate.
Those species descriptions run the risk of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy if we expect the outcomes we read in print.
I really appreciate your detailed feedback! I never push the birds to do anything they don't want, nor have I been bit by Hawk. These are just some things I've noticed when spending time with him working on our trust. The reason I've even been able to scratch his head is that he approaches me, if he gets upset or seems overwhelmed I remove my hand slowly. You're right, I don't want anything to be a self-fulfilling prophecy with him. His current behavior was only mentioned because it's what I've observed so far with him and I'm curious if this is the same Hawkeye others have mentioned.

The rescue we adopted him from had us force ourselves on him with falconry gloves and said we needed to "break" him and it will take a long time. They said he is a difficult bird with a "military macaw personality". Forcing him to do things is not something I've wanted to approach, goes against my gut-feeling of building trust with him. From the feedback I've gotten so far we should not be forcing anything on him, I only hope one day he may trust me. Maybe not, but I won't stop doing my best to make him happy and having a good life.

Again, thank you for your detailed feedback. I really appreciate your perspective!
 

flyzipper

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I'm happy to read that you're embracing the no-force approach to building your relationship. It's so rewarding when we start to see trust emerging.

I worry that rescue is setting their birds up for failure, both though their own actions while the birds are in their care, and by passing on that archaic information to new families.
 

Jessiemay

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Jessie
He's gorgeous!

Now my experience is with Hawkheads is just with my Hawkhead Nike (196 grams). I find that she (though probably a boy) is not like any of the online descriptions which paint them as nasty birds. Mine is hormonal but I manage that with sleep and flighted exercise and I dont abide by any of the recommendations about touch location or kissing etc. Nike has only drawn blood once in the 7 years I've had her and that was last week. Not sure why but she just happened to get me at the loose skin under a knuckle on my forefinger. She is normally a very mouthy bird, always using her beak to stabilize any movement and she just bit hard. If you look at some of my pics here or elsewhere you'll see that she is absolutely a sweetie and I have no fear of her.

When I first got her I used to pull away a lot because of what I read which aggravated the situation...remember, she uses her beak for all movement and interactions and articulates her headdress for every emotion so when I was learning her, I was constantly on edge.

One thing I do have done when I bring her in for her hails is to have them just tough the tip of her beak with the Dremel which makes a big difference on those unintentional pinches.

I feed her a variety of purchased mixes and give her a healthy portion of tree nuts as I've read that they need a higher nut content. Otherwise it's the various mixes like those titled south american or Madagascar supplemented with Harrisons HiPo Coarse and Power treats and her favorite cashews. She also gets some cooked mixes. She wont touch veggies though I had her eating some freeze dried for a year but she's over that and she on and off with Nutriberries.

Just based on research, I'd find it hard to believe that Hawkeye was bonded to an Amazon but I have no experience with that.

Feel free to ask if you have any questions and I'll try to provide my experience on the subject.
Nike is so cute! Thanks for writing and sharing your experience with your HH. Hawkeye also isn't the biggest fan of veggies - yet! But I'm finding some he does like and trying a new diet of chop and nuts along with his pellets. If I ask him to come eat his breakfast he will, but almost like a little kid I have to keep reminding him!

It will take me a bit to trust him as well, I've watched him give some serious bites so we're taking it slow and learning each others body language.

I don't think Hawk is Bonded with the Amazon now that they're home, I think they were probably just dropped off together so the rescue assumed they were bonded? Currently they don't pay each other any mind and I keep them separate and under supervision if they are having outside the cage play time.
 

Jessiemay

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Jessie
I'm happy to read that you're embracing the no-force approach to building your relationship. It's so rewarding when we start to see trust emerging.

I worry that rescue is setting their birds up for failure, both though their own actions while the birds are in their care, and by passing on that archaic information to new families.
They have been a rescue for 20+ years, so I wouldn't be surprised if their methods would be considered outdated. Generationally my family trained and ferried horses, and I saw a lot of rigid thinking "my method is the best method" as these people aged - so I can see that this thought process may not have been unique to them.
 

Clueless

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@Jessiemay Did you post a thread on your Amazon?
 

Jessiemay

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@Jessiemay Did you post a thread on your Amazon?
I just did here! Mango is a cute bird with funny mannerisms too :cool4:
 
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