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What does this body language mean?

Zonlover

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Hey everyone,

What does it mean when an Amazon parrot crouches down(head level with back) and holds his wings slightly away from his body, while trembling? His wings aren't outspread, they're just held about an inch away from his sides. BTW this is a parrot that I don't really understand fully yet. I think he has fear aggression, and potentially other types of aggression, too. What does it mean if he is trembling while in a normal standing position? And if he isn't bobbing his head up and down? A little info: he is cage bound(cage is roughly 20"x20"x35"), on a seed diet(the pet store food that has little colored pellets mixed in), has a history of biting(not me, he has only nipped me once, it didn't break the skin), I think he's about 20-30 years old, he is a Red Lored Amazon. I am trying to understand him better, so I can start to trust him. Any and all Red Lored Amazon or aggressive Amazon related advice is welcome.
 

Clueless

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MC used to do that crouch and held his wings out a little when he was on his playstand. I took that to mean he was excited or happy.

Watch the eyes on an Amazon, that's the best way to tell.

I waded in with two blue front amazons, both Male, both wild caught. I had no bird experience at all.

Slow and steady.

Are you in the US?
 

BirdLady13

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Quivering/trembling can occur for a few reasons, but in this case i'm willing to bet it's due to fear. As you know you'll need to work on easing his nervousness and uncertainty to the point where he actually trusts you.
When he's crouching are his eyes pinning? Is his tail flared/fanned out? I've seen different species behave in a similar way to what you're describing, but without a video it's difficult to determine if the body language is out of aggression or if it's for attention.
 

peggopanic

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My yellow naped does that when she wants to move or is frustrated she can’t move. She looks like yours - she’s perpendicular, head lowered level with her body, wings quiver and are around a 1/2” from her body. Like another said, it’s always the eyes. Her eyes never pin when she does it, she only does it when she wants me to move her somewhere or when I try to get her to fly to me (but she’s too scared as she never really flew). Obv, every parrot is different...
 

jh81

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Hey everyone,

What does it mean when an Amazon parrot crouches down(head level with back) and holds his wings slightly away from his body, while trembling? His wings aren't outspread, they're just held about an inch away from his sides. BTW this is a parrot that I don't really understand fully yet. I think he has fear aggression, and potentially other types of aggression, too. What does it mean if he is trembling while in a normal standing position? And if he isn't bobbing his head up and down? A little info: he is cage bound(cage is roughly 20"x20"x35"), on a seed diet(the pet store food that has little colored pellets mixed in), has a history of biting(not me, he has only nipped me once, it didn't break the skin), I think he's about 20-30 years old, he is a Red Lored Amazon. I am trying to understand him better, so I can start to trust him. Any and all Red Lored Amazon or aggressive Amazon related advice is welcome.
i gather, you are either rescueing this bird, or thinking or rescueing it? Can you make a picture or a movie of this behaviour?
 

macawpower58

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Mine will do exactly that when he wants to go somewhere, and is too chicken to fly there.
He'll also do something similar right before a full blown hormonal espisode.
While neither time (with mine) equals aggression, that doesn't mean I can't get nipped if I offend him in any way.
 

Zonlover

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MC used to do that crouch and held his wings out a little when he was on his playstand. I took that to mean he was excited or happy.

Watch the eyes on an Amazon, that's the best way to tell.

I waded in with two blue front amazons, both Male, both wild caught. I had no bird experience at all.

Slow and steady.

Are you in the US?
Yes, I am in the US. About the eyes, I've gathered that if their eyes are pinnning, it basically means they are in a heightened state of emotion. So, if he's pinning, now is probably not the best time to try to interact. But, if he pins when he's eating, does that mean he's happy about the food or territorial of the food?
 

Zonlover

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i gather, you are either rescueing this bird, or thinking or rescueing it? Can you make a picture or a movie of this behaviour?
The bird belongs to my elderly neighbor. Since moving to the house next to hers, we've been going over every once in a while to help with household cleaning things. So I've gotten to interact with the Amazon several times. From what she's told me, I believe that she had him since he was a baby. He was really sweet when he was a baby, and she has mentioned that he used to like sitting on ceiling fans(when they were off, of course). But THEN, the dreaded "teenage male amazon" years hit, and he started biting. So, then he became cage bound, and if she had to do something in the cage, she would bang on the bars to make noise that would scare him away from her. So she's making him have fear aggression, because she herself is scared of him. This is why I think he likes me better than her. He's not as afraid of me as her. PS: this cage has the smaller doors on the side, so that she can refill the food and water easier. That's not to say he doesn't try to bite her when she's doing that. So I'm not exactly thinking about rescuing him, but I'm trying to be the ray of sunshine in his otherwise cloudy life. I shall see about the pictures/video.
 

macawpower58

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Yes, I am in the US. About the eyes, I've gathered that if their eyes are pinnning, it basically means they are in a heightened state of emotion. So, if he's pinning, now is probably not the best time to try to interact. But, if he pins when he's eating, does that mean he's happy about the food or territorial of the food?
Eyes pinning can happen with all excited states, so yes it could be happy food enjoyment, or don't touch it aggression, or even a bit of both.
With Amazons, any excited state, happy or not, can end up in a bite.
Try and calm him before any interaction. Sometimes soft speech helps, if not just walk away. ;)

I know it's 'iffy' to try to teach other owners better habits. Sadly good intentions can backfire, and/or hurt feelings.
If the owner sees you getting better behavior, she may well try it herself.
It's sad that she bangs the cage, there's no where for the bird to go that's safe. :(
 

jh81

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The bird belongs to my elderly neighbor. Since moving to the house next to hers, we've been going over every once in a while to help with household cleaning things. So I've gotten to interact with the Amazon several times. From what she's told me, I believe that she had him since he was a baby. He was really sweet when he was a baby, and she has mentioned that he used to like sitting on ceiling fans(when they were off, of course). But THEN, the dreaded "teenage male amazon" years hit, and he started biting. So, then he became cage bound, and if she had to do something in the cage, she would bang on the bars to make noise that would scare him away from her. So she's making him have fear aggression, because she herself is scared of him. This is why I think he likes me better than her. He's not as afraid of me as her. PS: this cage has the smaller doors on the side, so that she can refill the food and water easier. That's not to say he doesn't try to bite her when she's doing that. So I'm not exactly thinking about rescuing him, but I'm trying to be the ray of sunshine in his otherwise cloudy life. I shall see about the pictures/video.
Thank you, for both helping your neighbour, and her bird :heart: you are a blessing for them both!

Maybe you could teach her how to handle the bird correctly? One is never to old to learn, and ive found that parrots, with the right aproach, can be very forgiving creatures. She could still achieve the same bond she had in years past. With your help :heart:
 

BirdView

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Quivering/trembling can occur for a few reasons, but in this case i'm willing to bet it's due to fear. As you know you'll need to work on easing his nervousness and uncertainty to the point where he actually trusts you.
When he's crouching are his eyes pinning? Is his tail flared/fanned out? I've seen different species behave in a similar way to what you're describing, but without a video it's difficult to determine if the body language is out of aggression or if it's for attention.
I have been noticing a similar behavior, if my double yellow headed Amazon hears my movement in a different room during the night he fluffs and shakes his feather really hard which makes a loud sound that wakes up all other birds. Does that mean he got scared or nervous?
 

aooratrix

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When the macaws do it, they want picked up and/or transport. When my DYA does it, she's might be excited/overstimulated. I watch her eyes and tail. I also look to see if she's stropping her beak on a perch. I perceive that as displaced aggression in that context and leave her alone. If she doesn't stay crouched, I pick her up.
 

macawpower58

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I have been noticing a similar behavior, if my double yellow headed Amazon hears my movement in a different room during the night he fluffs and shakes his feather really hard which makes a loud sound that wakes up all other birds. Does that mean he got scared or nervous?
At night a sudden sound would probably frighten him.
I'd just call out to him and let him know it's you.
 

Clueless

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When the macaws do it, they want picked up and/or transport. When my DYA does it, she's might be excited/overstimulated. I watch her eyes and tail. I also look to see if she's stropping her beak on a perch. I perceive that as displaced aggression in that context and leave her alone. If she doesn't stay crouched, I pick her up.
Secret lowers her head and puts her tongue to the perch and walks forward with tongue to perch. Tail is extended and I consider this a prelude to all out war.

Has yours ever done that?
 

aooratrix

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Secret lowers her head and puts her tongue to the perch and walks forward with tongue to perch. Tail is extended and I consider this a prelude to all out war.

Has yours ever done that?
Yeah, that's not body language I want in a bird I'm going to step up. The great thing about Amazons is that they are usually good with ambient attention, so you can ride out the heated moments.
 

Clueless

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Yeah, that's not body language I want in a bird I'm going to step up. The great thing about Amazons is that they are usually good with ambient attention, so you can ride out the heated moments.
Transfer stick only with this Amazon.

I started to put her on my arm (I had a thick sweatshirt jacket on) this week. The instant eye pinning and wide open beak told me that although balsa toys are her favourite, she could go through steel to draw my blood, that jacket was tissue paper to her.

We get along great if I keep her on that stick and she will ride anywhere.
 

macawpower58

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I'm so glad I have a mellow Zon!
 

txdyna65

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Lucy my YNA does this when I talk to her and she gets excited knowing Im about to open the cage to let her out.
She also climbs down to her playstand and does it at dinnertime and its her begging.
Shes quite the beggar and its also the best time to feed her veggies because she wants to eat when we are eating.
 
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