Crazy mood swing Macaw

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by edge60626, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. edge60626

    edge60626 New Egg

    Jul 25, 2013
    HELP ME!!!! I just bought 2 Macaws (Wilma and Fred) The female is a B&G and the male is Military. They have been together for about 4 years and I am sure they are boded with one another however, to my knowledge they have never produced offspring nor did the last owner try. I have noticed that they squabble and nip one another. They are certainly not all lovey dovey all the time. They don't get in an all out brawl but it seems that they bully one another. If I separate them the B&G goes crazy and squawks loudly and try's to follow. The Male Military bird, not so much. He LOVES to just hang out on my shoulder. Wilma, the B&G will get pissy and she will start biting me when she is in a mood. She bits hard and when I react she bits down harder like she was angry. Other times she is sweet and will kiss and let me scratch her neck. Fred on the other hand is even tempered and even though being scratched is NOT his favorite...once he is on my shoulder...he doesn't want to leave.
    I am concerned on why my B&G has such mood swings, something is making her mad and it seems like when the two birds are fighting or arguing, that is when she gets REAL moody. She will lunge at me though the cage or if she is out of the cage she will chase after me if I am giving Fred any attention. I am not sure if this is due to the birds being a couple. Fred seems to be bonding with me a lot better than Wilma however Wilma mostly is good and she lets me touch, hold and scratch her. She will clean my ear when on my shoulder and give me the tongue kiss when I ask for it. But piss her off and Hell Hath No Fury! I don't seem to upset her, it seems as if Fred does and then she is out to hate the world. So my guess are
    1: Could she be jealous of Fred?
    2: Could she dislike me for interfering with her mate?
    3: Would separating them be a good idea?
    4: Why do the two fight? (they don't brawl, just nip and squawk at one another)
    Things would make more sense if she was a single bird, however, I am confused at their relationship dynamic and I don't know if its ME or them that cause the moodiness.
    I am also afraid now to let her on my shoulder...if she gets mad she could take off a good chunk off ear!!!!
    She is NOT molting however she does have feathers on her chest that are gone (no bare skin, I see the grey under feathers) Her back is a bit ruffled as well. The last owner told me the male did that to her. Please help me with what is going on and please help me solve the issue. Thanks
  2. Missylucy

    Missylucy Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 16, 2013
    OK, I don't even know where to start. Let me just say I am a bird behaviorist. I have been training and caring for parrots 30+ years. So I have a deep love for all parrots, but macaws are my specialty. I'm going to write you a volume of information but there is no way I can tell you everything so hang in there with me.

    First off good for you for taking two 4 year old macaws instead of buying babies. You seem anxious to give them a good home. Bravo!

    1. parrots are highly intelligent, flock animals who are preyed upon in the wild. Your birds were most likely bred in captivity and hand-reared, but they are not too many generations from their wild ancestors so keep in mind you are not dealing with a domestic animal. Also keep in mind that they are hard-wired to constantly be aware of danger and sound alarms when they are threatened. You might notice that they scream more morning and late afternoon. This is their regular feeding and foraging time.

    2. Don't try to understand what is going on in a parrots mind. You cannot know. So putting emotions on them such as jealousy or anger or affectionate is just not practical and probably not correct.

    3. Most of the time parrots do not want you to skritch their heads. They tolerate it for you. They are not cuddly, sweet huggy animals. I always tell everyone if you want a cuddly creature, get a dog.

    4. You might want to separate them in two cages. Put the cages side by side in the same room. That way they have each other for flock companionship but also have a space to be on their own. I doubt that they would have ever bred together. In the wild these two parrots would most likely rarely if ever meet. Parrots pick their mates by color of feathers mostly. A military and a B&G would not likely pick each other. It is not a recognized coloration for mating with. However, in captivity, breeders have "created" designer breeds by mixing two different kinds of macaws to get different colors, etc. I am not a fan of that.

    5. Parrots aren't lovey dovey in the wild at all times either. I would most definitely say that these two are not a mated bonded pair. They may have been together all this time because they had no choice. The cruelty of the situation with most parrots is they are caged and therefore they have no options. By putting one in another cage and giving them plenty of out of the cage time, they can make some choices.

    6. Please listen to this one piece of advice, if you listen to no other, don't out the parrot on your shoulder and let them kiss you. IF their mood swings, you could lose an eye or end up with a split lip. You always want to set up your time with them for success. I am sorry if you bought the macaws thinking that you would have cuddle time. It is hopeful that you will have years and years of excellent time caring and training and loving your exotic pets.

    And lastly, I have tons of information on the care and feeding and ways to make your very intelligent parrots happy and healthy, but I don;t want to overwhelm you. so if you want some more info, just ask

    I applaud your efforts and you sound like you are going to be a wonderful caregiver. You have two magnificent parrots. Think of the specialness of that fact taht you are given the opportunity to share your life with such wondrous creatures. It can be very rewarding and enriching, but it is not easy.
  3. edge60626

    edge60626 New Egg

    Jul 25, 2013
    Thank you MissyLucy, your information is very valuable!
    I do have lots of questions about my Macaws and since you invited me to contact you...I am grateful to do so. You can write me at [email protected] I can correspond with you via email or I can give you my number. Let me know

    Rick, Fred, Wilma, Mumbles, Bert and Buddy

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by