Parrot making strange sounds and puffing up its chest...

by Steve

A week or two ago I rescued/purchased a Yellow Collared Macaw from an owner that banished him to the garage since no one in the family wanted him or wanted to care for him (we were told he is a he).

We have improved his diet, have him in our house where he gets a lot of sunshine and he appears to be very happy. After only two weeks I can handle him and he will not bite me.

There is one thing he does that I have never in my twenty years of parrot rescue seen a parrot do. He makes little noises and his chest puffs up like a balloon! A short after he stops making the sounds, his chest goes back down to its normal size.

Is this characteristic of a mating ritual or could it be due to an illness? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Sep 19, 2016
Macaw Chest Puffing
by: Mark

It sounds like "he" is more likely a "she". The chest puffing is part of attracting mates. They fill their chest with a sweet pheromone that male macaws find attractive. If you are close enough to the the bird when she exhales it, you can easily smell it. Normal behavior for a female macaw.

Feb 27, 2008
Noise in bird's chest
by: The Vet

Without the advantage of seeing this behavior, I would first assume that it is due to an illness. I suppose it is possible that it is behavioral but I have never seen anything like you describe. Given his history, illness is the most likely cause for these symptoms.

Does he have labored breathing after exertion, like wing flapping. Is there a tail bob? Any coughing or sneezing?

You should have some x-rays and blood work done at least.

Dr. B

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