My Macaw ...aggressive

by Michelle
(Biloxi, Ms)

I have a 35 year old (roughly) Macaw. He has started to bite me and has become really aggressive with me. Is this normal or is something wrong with him. I'm a woman. He wasn't ever sweet with me but he didn't attack. Now my 16 year old son shows up and my left arm is covered in bruises and bite marks. HELP!

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Nov 20, 2012
My Macaw is agressive
by: Anonymous

Your 16 yr old son sounds like he is a new factor in the home.

It could be the bird is jealous. Or the fact that he's not used to new people in the home.

You should work on socializing the bird more with other people.

Training your bird is key in preventing agression, and socializing them prevents them from being aggressive with new people around.

Seems to me your son's arrival is the cause of stress which is causing the aggression. However, you should get him examined by a vet to rule out illness. Just to be on the safe side.

A sick bird can be aggressive.

If hte bird is in good health... then he will just need time to adjust to your son being there.

Nov 20, 2012
My Macaw ...aggressive
by: Linda

In order to rule out physical illness or issues, you will have to take him to be examined by an Avian Vet ONLY in your driving area. We highly recommend yearly exams and once birds are older like this, it is not an option. They have to be examined for infections and have basic bloodwork done to see if organs are functioning properly and if there are any other physical issues that show in the bloodwork. Bacterial infections can be checked by them doing a throat swab because the anal swab is unreliable.

Once physical issues have been ruled in or out, then you can begin to look at changes in his environment that could be causing this sudden change in behavior. Sudden changes in behavior are directly related to a bird not feeling well which is why you have to have him examined before doing anything else.

You said your 16 year old son showed up? Does that mean he has been living elsewhere? If so, your bird is upset because of that on top of what may be wrong with him physically. Birds do not automatically trust humans. Trust has to be earned, and this can sometimes take quite a while. Birds are routinely abused in many homes, so they cannot give their trust to just anyone who walks in the door. In this case, there is probably some jealousy involved here or bird is picking up on something negative. Birds are automatic and astute judges of character, so keep this in mind. I'm not saying something is wrong with son, just that maybe his thoughts are jumbled or bird is afraid of the new human in the house.

So, have bird examined by avian vet as soon as possible and do this once a year for the older bird. If he is sick or getting sick, exam and/or bloodwork will show this and he can then be diagnosed and treated. Sudden changes in behavior are the first sign of illness or something else wrong with bird's life.

If he tests out clear on all physical counts, then you'll need to look at the new situations in his environment which means new people, pets, children, new cage, new area where cage is located and on and on. Birds hate change, and are afraid of the new and different, and this includes people in the home. They are afraid and will react to this fear by biting and outright attacks. Please get him in and out of cage using a perch until you can get to the bottom of this.

Thanks for writing and let us know what avian vet has to say and how everything is going.


Nov 20, 2012
Biting because the can.
by: John Fahlsing

I have a 21 year old Macaw and she's the most. When she gets a little off about something she'll bite me too. I am he only one who can and does handle her, clean up after her, feed and water etc. So when someone she doesn't like or is not being nice to her she will take it out on me from time to time. What I'm suggesting if it's temporary, like weather change, area change and the like they get testy. If someone is mean to her, and you don't know it, she's telling us, "I can't do anything about it, and you're not so I bite you". Long shot but most obvious. Diet can be a factor, most likely its people. Love em the same anyway!!!

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