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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a greenwing macaw ani have had him for two years. He loved me at the store and soon after bringing him home he started to fall in love with my girlfriend that's okay except now when she's around he gets to where he wants to actually hurt me and I can't even pick him up.. when its just us he's okay with me and doesn't bite. I have tried time out but I don't know what to do. I give him the most attention and try to channle his destructive energy with training. I need help.
 

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It's common in macaws to bond strongly with someone of the opposite sex and to prefer them at times. How old is your macaw? If he's around 2, he's becoming sexually mature so his hormones are raging atm. Like a teenager, he's hormonal, moody, and just discovering "the opposite sex" :giggle: Be patient, be gentle but firm, and in a few months he'll mellow out. It's also coming up on spring time, and breeding season, so he'll be more hormonal this time of year as well. Make sure he's getting plenty of un-interrupted sleep (10-12 hours), cover his cage so he's only getting 8-10 hours of daylight (tricks him into thinking it's not breeding season, and can mellow out hormones) and spend one-on-one time with him. Have you tried clicker training to divert his energy and spend constructive time with just you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am also a female though. He is about three to four years old. Im hoping that he mellows out because I do all the handleing. He gets really hyper sometimes and bites extreamly hard but he's not being mean. Ill try the sleeping thing with him
 

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Hmm, that is strange. Sorry for the assumption on your gender :blush: did he have a previous owner? Birds sometimes develop a fondness for certain features. I hand raised an amazon with an unexplainable love for women with long blonde hair, especially in a ponytail. I've seen other birds who like men with beards, certain hair colora on men or women, certain styles, etc. I've even met a bit with an irrational hatred for anyone with glasses on. I took off my glasses and he was sweet as could be lol would never have guessed he had just tried to bite my face off!! If he had a previous owner, perhaps your girlfriend remind him of that owner or perhaps his breeder or the one who raised him. Some birds are also attracted to tone of voice and pitch of voice.

It's normal for macaws to be mouthy. My macaw just HAS to chew on my fingers when I'm petting her or snuggling her. Its something I notices as common in other macaws, green wings especially. When he pinches too much, just give a little squawk or use a key word (a short, sharp NO for example) to clue him in that it hurts. They often respond well to a squawk especially if you mimic his noises when he's annoyed - then you're speaking "his" language
 

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It could (as Jenny said) just be something that your macaw likes, for example hair, facial features etc.

and yeah macaws are VERY mouthy and love to chew on everything they can get their huge beaks on. Just try and make a sound that he will soon get the idea of that it is hurting you too much and he'll know he's being too rough. The baby macaw I'm handling in the below picture was very very mouthy but so sweet. Sadly I went back into the store the other week and he had changed so much. He hadn't been handled or gotten out of his cage and he went for my hands really fast.



but as a very young bird he just kept going and going and going with my hands but he did get too rough sometimes and I made an 'ack' sort of sound so he wouldn't bite too hard
 

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Aww, cute macaw Daisy :lovehearts: I'm very partial to the Green Wings. I've hand-raised 4 of them and they are just the sweetest, most mellow Macaws I've ever worked with. Well, other than Hyacinths, but they are expensive lol
 

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Would it be unreasonable to then perhaps buy a macaw of the opposite gender? So for me to buy a boy? Would you think that relationship could turn out better?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The biting thing I understand. But how do I go about when he becomes demonic around my girlfriend and attacks me. When I'm here wih him alone I can take him out play with ,him which he is more responsive and wants to play with me more now. He talks to me a lot and plays peek-a-boo and will roll over and play. When she's home and out he lounges at me. He left a pretty nasty bruise on my hand cause he bit hard and didn't let go but she wasn't even in the room. I have her take him to timeout when he attacks me is there anyhing to go along with that. I want it to be obviously pleasurable when were both around... I wonder if his previous owners wife was mean to him?
 

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There is a seven or so, maybe older, green wing who frequents my bird store. He is the owner's bird. He has developed a fondness for one of the employees - a male. Even his owner, who has had him since he was first being hand-fed, won't try to handle him when this employee is around. She just isn't that fond of being bitten. The bird is a surgically sexed male. The owner is a female. The employee the bird has developed the attachment to is a male.

I would never try to handle that bird. I am not comfortable around the huge birds. However, even the other employees, who almost all own large macaws themselves, will not try to handle that bird when his favorite person is in the store - except for one particular employee. There is one employee who insists that he can still handle that bird no matter who is around, and he does handle him - but he always pays for it. The bird bites him hard every time.

I do not have a macaw. I do not pretend to be able to give you any advice about macaws. This is simply an observation of one seven year old green wing male and his behavior around his new favorite person. The owner tells me; however, that perhaps this enchantment with this one employee will fade one day as quickly as it began. In the mean time, she doesn't let it bother her. Her bird is still her bird, even with all of his foibles.
 

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Oh, I just realized I said green cheek. I meant green wing macaw. :eek:

So we are talking about a huge bird with a huge beak! I've seen that bird bite so hard I thought he would break a bone, and he would have except he was chomping on an entire upper arm. If he had someone's finger in his mouth, he would have broken it, or worse.

I'll edit my post, but I thought I should make a separate correction, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So it has been iffy with him.... I can now amazingly play with.him on the floor while my girlfriend is in the room.. it has been regressed to jack only attacking me when she is right next to me he WILL NOT attack her..... and is It a comfort thing.. for example he is not cuddly when I have him out but when he's in his cage he is all about love and makes his little parrot murmurs. He's is just either one extreme or the other?
 

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I cant help much as the biggest bird I have is a sunny, but good luck it sounds like your starting on some good head way.
 

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That sounds promising. You have my utmost respect for working with this bird and giving him a home. I just don't have what it takes to work with the big birds. You seem to have good instincts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Even though he doesn't love me like my late military baby and is a lot more to handle and way more hyperactive and destructive I still took him into my home and I am very against rehoming and rehoming because he's a lot to handle. So I will try my all to understand his ways.. even if they are spontaneous and a uncalled for. Any ideas and experience with my " gentle giant" will be appreciated!! I am hoping it is because he is an adolescent male and in a patient few years he will be a well behaved child in my family =] everyday is a mintue step in the right direction!

Thanks for everyones opinion ill keep his progress updated and feel free to comment please!
 

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Glad to hear he's mellowing out on the aggression :) It takes time for the big birds to truly feel comfortable in a new home sometimes. Have you tried giving him foraging toys or doing some serious clicker training with him? If he's very hyperactive, giving him a productive outlet that forces him to focus in, concentrate, and puzzle solve can divert that energy into something positive while at the same time creating a bonding opportunity between the two of you
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have had him for almost two years... and I haven't understood how to have him figure puzzles out instead of break them lol =] he has the attention span of a gnat lol I like to teach him things and engage his intelligence but he kind of doesn't care he just wants to wrestle. What kind of puzzle should I start with?
 

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You can look for foraging type toys made from stainless steel and bullet-proof plastic/acrylic. Those will be strong enough to withstand the abuse of his beak :giggle:

For example:

http://www.mysafebirdstore.com/product.cgi?group=2300&product=2307

http://www.mysafebirdstore.com/product.cgi?group=2158&product=2164

http://www.mysafebirdstore.com/product.cgi?group=2077&product=2082

http://www.mysafebirdstore.com/product.cgi?group=2077&product=2111

http://www.mysafebirdstore.com/product.cgi?group=1962&product=2018

Also some foraging type toys, some easy, some more complex, that should withstand his beak:

http://www.mysafebirdstore.com/product.cgi?group=2077&product=7999

http://www.mysafebirdstore.com/product.cgi?group=2077&product=2103

http://www.mysafebirdstore.com/product.cgi?group=2077&product=2104

http://www.mysafebirdstore.com/product.cgi?group=2077&product=2105

there's also the Frasier Product's line of stainless steel toys, with no removable parts, that function as an enrichment and puzzle. They're more expensive, but when you figure it'll last years... it's worth it. I plan on getting the most simple one for my macaw and perhaps graduating her up to the next one if she likes them :)

http://www.mysafebirdstore.com/cart.cgi?group=49&child=7919

Can you tell that's one of my favorite bird stores? :giggle: Also, try http://cabirdnerds.com/ for cheap wood replacement parts and chain - make your own toys with wood blocks, using stainless chain, and just keep re-threading blocks on. We did that with our moluccan and umbrella and saved a ton of money and it enabled us to provide a wider variety of toys to keep them busy since we could afford to get more and keep a good rotation going.
 
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