Any hope for an older amazon not trained?

by Matt
(Layton Utah)

My father has an older yellow nape that has been sitting in a cage for a very long time. I cannot tell you the exact age of the bird but I am confident that it is about 30 years old. We also are not positive of the gender by lovingly called it Mimi and refer to it as a HER. When we first got the bird, it was very friendly towards my father but no one else could touch it.

She is a great talker but even that has slid since she just doesn't get any attention these days. My dad used to take her out,play with her and carry her around as he worked but, even then she was never friendly towards anyone else. She will aggressively attack anyone with blond hair, especially women and children. Over the years, my dad has become more and more immobile and the bird rarely makes it out of the cage.

She is obviously very unhappy.

My dad has asked if I would like to take the bird and see if I can train her up and give her the attention she needs but I have serious reservations. She has lived in the same home for around 30 years. I also have daughters that are 16, 9 and 5 and worry about them getting nipped. A few years back, she got a hold of my pinky finger and it still doesn't bend quite right:)

Is there any hope of her being safely handled again?

If not, can she be happy living in a cage with human interaction behind the bars? I really want to maximize her quality of life as much as possible.


Comments for Any hope for an older amazon not trained?

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 06, 2013
Any hope for an older amazon not trained?
by: Linda

What has happened with this bird is a shame. The Yellow Napes are some of the sweetest, funniest and intelligent of the Amazons.

First thing here is to have bird examined thoroughly by an Avian Vet ONLY in your driving area. This is a must if she has been neglected in this way for more than a year. Have the avian vet check for infections both bacterial and viral. Have them do basic bloodwork to see how her organs are functioning. This exam is very important for an older bird, and we recommend yearly checkups for all birds. If she has any issues, these can be addressed. A sick bird cannot be trained or worked with because they do not feel like doing anything.

Second, understand that all parrots are exotic wild animals who will always be capable of biting and even attacking if provoked. You need to be an experienced handler, and you can learn right along with the bird. As for children, if this bird has not been raised around children, extra caution will be required. The children need to stay away from the bird and cage until which time, bird has settled down and knows everyone very well. Birds' trust is earned not freely given, and this includes all members of any family.

You will need to discuss all aspects of this bird's care with the Avian Vet, and please take her to only an Avian Vet as they are the only vets licensed and trained to care for birds.

Time, patience and love will bring this bird around, and it is going to take a lot of time. The bird has known only your Dad well to this point, so it is going to take extra time for her to trust any of you. As for blond hair, this could change in time as well. Know that you are taking on a big job here, and also know that this precious bird deserves every consideration you are able to offer. Parrots are very social creatures, and this one has lost her flock and needs a new one in order to be happy. No she is not happy being neglected to sit in a cage all the time, and yes, she can be worked with slowly and with patience and understanding.Read and study all you can find about the Amazons, talk to others who have and /or breed them. You can find many resources on the internet. Once you understand an Amazon's basic nature, you will be more ready to work with this one. It won't just "happen", and is going to require your full commitment to this bird's health and well-being. It will be one of the most rewarding experiences you and family will have the honor of living through. Amazons can live up to 70-75 years with proper care and diet. We are here for you, so make use of our combined experiences with parrots as needed.

Keep us posted,

Click here to add your own comments