I’ve had my 8 year old B&G Macaw since he was a baby and he was so sweet but lately I’m not able to get him out of his cage - he’s on the bottom in the back corner hovering over his toys and blanket. Is there anything I can do to stop this behavior?
Well, Courtney, this is a great question - just in time for Spring! We parrots come into maturity at different ages with most Macaws maturing around age 7. In the Spring and possibly, Fall, our instincts are to start building a nest in hopes of meeting the perfect mate and starting a family. So, when you provide nesting materials such as paper, cardboard, fabric, toys with fray-able rope, etc., we’ll use it to build the nest. Since we don’t usually have a nest box, the entire cage becomes our nest and we don’t appreciate any uninvited guests!
I suppose that if you were to not provide all of those great nesting materials and instead only provided wood and jute toys that firmly hang in the cage in the middle, we wouldn’t see that as nesting material.
I would recommend the following steps to get your amazing parrot to allow your hand back in the cage:
- Remove all nesting materials (nothing on the bottom of the cage except water and food bowls)
- Initially use a straight, hand-held perch for your bird to step up on until he earns your trust again (you may want to cover your hand with a hand towel if he comes up on the stick to bite you)
- Once he is out, be sure you don’t stimulate him by petting him down his wings, under the wings or tail - it feels good but artificially stimulates him and could lead to him being aggressive with you and others, and choosing you as a mate that can lead to him being aggressive to everyone else.
Do you have questions for me? Please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, attention: Abby