Scared Golden-Collared Macaw

by Joey

nom nom nom! Golden-collared macaw

nom nom nom! Golden-collared macaw

I recently got a golden-collared macaw. Since I live in Kuwait, a species of bird like this is very rare to come by, and i love macaws so i decided to take it in. I decided to name it 'Topaz' to go with his main feature, and my birth month, since its November's birthstone. At first, it was so scared of anything around it that it would cower away at the corners of its new large cage. Even stayed there when i left it for an hour or so.

Slowly, i started to get it to come down and sit on the perch by hand feeding it, so by the next day it knew that i wouldn't really hurt it but there isn't much trust yet. It also won't leave the cage when i leave both the door and the top perch open. I spent a lot of time with it today after i came back home and made it say (almost) its first word: "Hello." Giving Topaz a treat everytime it said that, or tried to imitate other sounds i made, made it trust me more to the point that it would climb all the way to the outer bottom of the door (it was open) to get its treat off between my lips! :D

Topaz still cowers away when i get too close to touch it, and sometimes even tries to bite me, even though i kept giving it the back of my hand so it wouldn't latch onto my finger. Will this kind of behavior be surpressed in time if i keep hand feeding it and getting close to it without touching it? I also really have to take Topaz to the vet, but i don't want to risk it losing trust in me if i would use a towel to get it out of the cage and into a smaller one. :(

Thank you!

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Apr 20, 2010
Scared Golden-Collared Macaw
by: Linda

Your bird has been neglected if not also abused, and the trust is not going to be damaged by taking her to an Avian Vet. She is most likely sick with some kind of infection and/or parasites. She needs a good checkup by an Avian Vet to make sure she is healthy enough for training of any kind.She HAS NO TRUST TO LOSE AT THIS POINT AS HER EXPERIENCE WITH HUMANS IS THAT THEY CANNOT BE TRUSTED. Your job is to change that as time goes on.

May I also suggest you STOP feeding your bird anything coming from anywhere near your mouth. Birds can get infections from humans by doing just this sort of thing. You're not making that many points by doing it, so why put your bird's health at risk.

The unfortunate thing with nelgected birds is that have a problem called "being cage bound". This means that they were NEVER let out of their cage, and they become very stressed at the thought of coming out into the scary world outside cage. Do not worry about catching her gently in a towel and putting her in a carry cage or crate because she NEEDS to be seen by an Avian vet as soon as is possible to make sure she is not suffering from infection which I can almost bet she is.

Your bird is going to require a LOT OF TIME and patience on your part, so relax, take her to the vet, keep working with her as you are. You can also try and use a short perch to get her onto instead of your hand for a while. Keep leaving cage door open, but ALWAYS be close by so she does not panic and hurt herself. Have the Avian vet trim her 6 Primary flight feathers, the long ones at the end of the wings. Do not allow trimming any higher up as this causes chronic pain and is totally unnecessary. Reason I'm asking you to have them trimmed is once she starts coming out of cage, she is likely to panic at the least little thing, and if fully flighted, this results in bad injuries.

Your sweet little Macaw will come to trust you in time as trust is earned not given. She has had bad experiences with humans, and you will be the one to turn her around to trusting humans again. What a wonderful job you have before you--relax and enjoy.


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