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Thread Description: Greenwing Macaw Behavior Help

 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question Our Flower doesn't like me

We welcomed a Greenwing Macaw (Female, age 7) into our family a couple of weeks ago (seriously about 2 weeks!) and before we brought her home, we were able to spend time with her where she was being kept while she tried to find a new home. During that time, she did well with my wife and I thought that I was making some progress with her, as she did let me hold her a couple of times (with the last time she bit my arm). I totally understand that she can bite me and I'm ok with it, I just don't need her to take something with her when she does!

My wife said that it did take her sometime to get used to having her hold her, but eventually, it seemed like they bonded there. Then we were offered to take her home as long as we promised a good home for her. We did and have had her home since. She has been a good bird and seems to enjoy the fact that she is with someone that she knows almost constantly. We have her set up on the main floor of our house where we spend our awake time and she is in and out of her cage as she pleases and on her perch when she isn't being held by my wife.

For whatever reason, whether her past has something to do with it or not, she just has not taken to me much at all. If she is down on the floor, she actually runs across the room and tries to get me or chase me away, or whatever she thinks she is doing. I know it sounds weak, but I just try to climb the furniture or go upstairs so I don't end up kicking her or stepping on her by accident. When I walk by her, she tries to lunge at me, even if I'm just ignoring her. Yesterday, I had to run by my wife while she held her to try to catch the dog before he ran out the door and she ended up biting my wife in the arm.

I do think that I'm making some progress, but just need some help from someone that has experienced the same issues. She is taking food from me very gently, but when I ask her to "step up," sometimes, she will raise her foot like she is going to, but as I bring my arm in, she tries to bite me. So I just feel like I'm in a rutt.

I do understand that I can't just walk in and things will be great between Flower and me, but I am willing to try to work with her. I would love to eventually be able to get her to roll over on her back like she does with my wife, or even just enjoy her sitting in my lap while she grooms herself. I guess the biggest thing is that I am able to get her back into her cage when my wife isn't home. She wouldn't on Friday and I ended up having to walk behind her around the house with a towel before she went back to her cage exhausted and stressed from this event.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!! Thanks!!!!

Ryan


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 01:45 PM



 
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The best advice I can really give you is give her time. If she's only been with you for a couple of weeks you can't expect her to love you. 7 years of her life she has spent with somebody else and so being taken away from them is a HUGE change to her. Seeing it from her point of view is the best. Give her at least a good month to settle in first so she gets used to your house, the people in it and the other pets and let your wife continue to work with her. Then when you feel more confident with her I highly recommend stick training her she will come around eventually, some birds take longer than others but when they do it sure can be VERY rewarding. Good luck with her!

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 01:50 PM


 
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It sounds to me like she (has she been DNA sexed) has bonded to your wife and sees her as her human.

You will need to go back to bascis with her and spend time with her without your wife around, make sure only you give her the nice treats, your the one to feed her and change her water, your the one to give her new toys etc, everything good must come from you.

Ask the stepping up incident, did she raise her foot and hold it up? This is a sign to back off. I would start by getting her trained to step onto a perch rather than your arm this way if she is going to be aggressive it is the perch who gets it.

Also not sure whereabouts you are but where I am at the moment we are in parrot breeding season which could also explain her aggressive behaviour is she sees you as a threat to her territory and human.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well, where she was before we got her, she was with a male Greenwing (in the cage next to her) and he always had an "eye" on her.... Yes, breading season here! They called back and forth to each other. This is why we figured "she" is a she. Even the owner of the male (who deals with birds for a living) decided that she's a she.

She doesn't really hold her foot up aggressively.... she actually calms down when she does this and truly acts like she is willing to allow me to have her, but as soon as I start to move in, she acts a though she is wanting to bite me. I actually have built her a very nice perch for her and she even was able to watch me build it. The only thing about her stepping onto a hand-held perch that I have reserves about is that once she is on a perch, she does travel left and right on it very quickly and I'm afraid that she would bite me.

I will keep trying tho!

Thanks for the help!


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 02:51 PM


 
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Hi,
Congrats on getting your macaw.
She us certainly a naughty miss!
I have an Indian ringneck (Bob) who was terrified when I first got him.
I've been using negative reinforcement training to teach him.
Also search the training vids on you tube.
Firstly move towards whilst she's on her stand.
When she starts acting out stand still.
When she settles, click with a clicker, or your tongue and move away.
Then repeat the process.
Also join bird tricks email.

Amongst the hard sell emails are handy videos of how to get started.

Good luck.
Ps we'd love to see some pics of your birds.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 05:03 PM


 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rypie91d View Post
Well, where she was before we got her, she was with a male Greenwing (in the cage next to her) and he always had an "eye" on her.... Yes, breading season here! They called back and forth to each other. This is why we figured "she" is a she. Even the owner of the male (who deals with birds for a living) decided that she's a she.

She doesn't really hold her foot up aggressively.... she actually calms down when she does this and truly acts like she is willing to allow me to have her, but as soon as I start to move in, she acts a though she is wanting to bite me. I actually have built her a very nice perch for her and she even was able to watch me build it. The only thing about her stepping onto a hand-held perch that I have reserves about is that once she is on a perch, she does travel left and right on it very quickly and I'm afraid that she would bite me.

I will keep trying tho!

Thanks for the help!
The holding up of the foot is not aggressive in itself, it is bird body language for them saying they are not comfortable and to back off. My Amazon will do this to people when he is upset or nervous, people think he is waving at them and it can be confusing if you don't know what your looking for.

The other problem here is that they know when you are nervous or scared of them and they play off it, as hard as it is do not handle her when you are scared of her, don't think she is constantly going to bite you as she will sense your fear and this will make her nervous and scared, you have to be confident when handling them. Maybe try feeding her through the cage bars at first and getting more comfortable with her that way rather than jumping in and getting her to step onto you where she is going to find it easier to attack you.

What height is the cage at? Does she try and sit on shoulders?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 06:33 PM
 
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I am also going to say give her some time. Was her last owner a male or a female? I am also going to agree with everyone that says you should be the on that feeds her and gives her goodies.
Niko my CAG was a mans bird before I got him. We rescued him from an auction but did manage to get his back story. When I first got him home he would step up and was a sweety. Two days later that all changed when he decided he loved hubby instead. So hubby was not allowed to look,touch, or talk to him. I gave him all the things he needed ,and he only got out when I let him out. After about a month or two he started to like me. Now he loves me! Hubbu can enjoy him now too. Congrats on your new girl, and just be patient it will pay off.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 06:43 PM


 
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take a look at this http://www.birdtricks.com/macaws.html it may help i have their tame and training set and have been using it with my congo african grey he was not aggressive just a baby but i wanted him to grow up right. it has a lot of info in it and how to target train and step up train. i started target training with him and he is doing very well take a look it may help you also get a few free training links

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainHowdy View Post
The holding up of the foot is not aggressive in itself, it is bird body language for them saying they are not comfortable and to back off. My Amazon will do this to people when he is upset or nervous, people think he is waving at them and it can be confusing if you don't know what your looking for.

The other problem here is that they know when you are nervous or scared of them and they play off it, as hard as it is do not handle her when you are scared of her, don't think she is constantly going to bite you as she will sense your fear and this will make her nervous and scared, you have to be confident when handling them. Maybe try feeding her through the cage bars at first and getting more comfortable with her that way rather than jumping in and getting her to step onto you where she is going to find it easier to attack you.

What height is the cage at? Does she try and sit on shoulders?
I'm not nervous with her, but as confident as I can be. She does take treats from me even on her perch. I'm taller than my wife: 6'3" and the perch I've built is shorter and is actually about mid-chest level. I get where you're going with this: The bird that is highest is more dominant. She was doing really good with me last night taking even pumpkin seeds out of my hand between my thumb and finger. She did get my finger once, but I ignored it and tried again.

Once again, I thank everyone for their input and also think it will just take time.

Thanks again!!!!

Ryan


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
 
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Oh... also, we aren't exactly sure about her past. About the only thing we know is that her previous owner didn't want any attachments to her and named her "Bird." So one can only imagine exactly what kind of owner they were. They also have other amimals: "Dog" and I'm sure "Cat." Like I said..... Makes you wonder!!!!!


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 04:16 PM



 
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Maybe they didn't handle her much at all, if they didn't care much for her I doubt they were really that bothered, especially if they were being rehomed

By the way, out of curiosity... I'm like the biggest hyacinth macaw fan in the world and I was wondering about your siggy ... soooooo....

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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I've often wondered about that, but where she was before we brought her home, we visited often (still do) and she was socialized decently well. She had lots of people in and out and they could hold her if they wanted (and she let them). I'm just unsure of the exact issues she had before.

The Hyacinth belongs to a friend of ours. She had Flower before we brought her home. He's the biggest goofball in the world! Only about 3 years old, so just a ball of joy and energy!!!!! Kinda stubborn, too!


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