Advice on making friends with an Amazon parrot?


12 Years
Mar 23, 2010
My office neighbors are a small law firm and are really nice folks, and they just adopted an Amazon parrot. She's 14 years old and had previously belonged to the children of a local doctor, but they have gone off to college and the doctor and his wife didn't have time to give her the care she deserved.

She was friendly with her previous family, but has gotten quite nippy during the transition. She has taken to the paralegal in the office (the only woman who works there) but has nipped both of the attorneys. I went to visit her today. She has a charming personality, is very talkative, and minded my instructions when I asked her to come in and out of the cage and move to various perches, but threatened to nip me when I asked her to step up onto my hand and wasn't willing to step up onto a wooden perch I offered her. She was very happy to receive my attention when talking to her, though.

Any advice on making friends with her and helping her new owners train her to step up? I know that not all parrots like to be petted and loved on by all people, but I'm hoping to at least help them get her to a point where they can do things like clean her cage or move her from one spot to another safely.

I have worked with cockateils and parakeets and once upon a time I worked with some larger parrots--macaws and eclectus--that were education animals for a zoo where I volunteered, but it has been a long time and the birds I worked with then were more used to being handled by new people.
i'd give her some time to adjust . Also, it has been my experience that parrots chose to like who they like. If she's not biting, only nipping though then she's probably just trying to get the lay of the land so to speak. Don't rush her and do keep up with giving her gentle attention, she'll warm up to her preferred people when she's more comfortably settled.
Well, I say nipping, but she drew blood from one of the male attorneys. They're not experienced bird people, though, and I figure they were too abrupt with her.
I think treats are the way to a bird's heart.

Transitioning amazons (or any other bird) can be extremely traumatic, and they need time to adjust to their new surroundings.

We bought a blue faced amazon a couple years back. He (?) took to my 10 year old and I pretty well, but hated my husband and oldest daughter. It was odd that he hated my daughter so much, because we're about the same size and look pretty similar.

Anyway, he got to the point where he would fly off his perch to attack them, so we decided to sell him. We found a nice guy who seemed like he would be a great fit for the bird. We made arrangements for my son to visit him in a couple months, as my son was really upset that we were getting rid of his pet.

We went to visit the parrot a couple months later. He still liked my son, still hated my husband and daughter. What was a surprise was that he got one look at my and flew at me, attacking me. Latched onto my wrist and wouldn't let go. It's been 6 months and I still have a very noticeable scar from it. We haven't been back. LOL

Anyway, it was interesting to hear how his personality had changed after the move. His vocabulary changed (he would say "hello" and "I love you" alllll the time for us, but had never said them to the new owner. He was constantly telling the new owner to "wake up!!".) He also tended to like and dislike different types of people than what we had observed.
given this is a rehome...
its going to take a long time for her to learn to trust her new people...
i suggest treats and no handling for awhile, let her get settled in for a while and come out at her own pace. larger parrots are notorious for taking a long time to learn to trust.
i agree the ones who got bitten (a nip leaves a mark, a bite draws blood) probably moved to fast for her comfort, wernt prepared and wernt paying attention to her body language.

now im also goign to say this as a warning...

amazons are well known in the parrot world as being the moodiest most tempermental of all the parrots once sexual maturity comes learning the body language of this bird is also going to be a huge key in keeping yourself and others in the office safe...
you could be her absolute favorite person in the world, and there will still be days, sometimes even weeks where she decided shes in a very bad mood and just want to eat your face lol.
they are amazing birds, take your time (and encourage the others to do the same). have them try sitting by her cage simple talking to her and watching her.
learning things like watching for the eyes pinning of the tail feathers flaring (both signs of excitment or fear and often precede a bite or lundge reaction)
take your time, shell get there

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