Animal Stories - People Talking About Amazon Parrots

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philip fairbrother - 2012-09-12
I recently bought an Amazon and he is very moody.  He is aggessive when you offer him your hand but will happily fly onto your shoulder. He is very loud in the morning but settles over the course of the day. He is supposed to talk.  Four days in he has not spoken a word. He is a lovely boy and I am hoping we will become great friends. Any adeas on what I should expect when buying a 5 year old parrot - how long before he settle?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-09-12
    He will settle in a little more each day but probably a couple of months before 'at home'.  Think 3 year old dressed in feathers.  It is OK - you have 50 - 60 years to work with him and become friends.  He will start talking when he is more 'at home' and hears you talk more.  Right now he is just in a hige big brand new home and everything is different.  Try and look at the world from his perspective -
  • philip fairbrother - 2012-09-13
    Thank you Charlie and of course you are right,he sat on my shoulder preening himself so I believe he is starting to trust me. Is there anything I should be doing to help him along ?
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-09-13
    Little things you can do - when you eat your meals - or at least supper, give him a little of whatever you have that is nutricious.  You canhand it to him or you can give him a little bowl and let him eat with you.  In the wild, birds - showing affection or taking care of their young - they feed them.  You can share your food - little piece of chicken, little string bean, even a little piece of speghetti - the fact you are giving it to him is what is important.  Learn your birds body language.  When he is stretching really hard to just scrath that place on the back of his neck with his foot - ask if he would like a little help and scratch the backof his neck.  If you see a long feather on his head or back of his neck wrapped in the wax - you can very gently twirl it - just where it is white and obviously waxy to remove that white wax part.  His mate or parent would do this in the wild.  they can't reach th top of their head to get that wax of and loved being preened. Learn his language as much as he learns yours.  Parrots love to play - so 'peek' or dancing is good game.  Just learn your parrot -
David Price - 2012-09-09
We bought a yellow crowned about 3 months ago. We were told he was male but am not convinced, he is very friendly with me leting me handle him, but will not let my wife put her hand in the cage. He is 2 years old and wondered how we go about getting him sexed.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-09-09
    The only 100% way to sex most  parrots is through DNA sexing.  You can purchase kits in the back of bird talk magazine and i believe they are around $25.00.  essentially what you have to do is clip a toenail a little too short so you get a drop of blood.  They don't like it much but over fast.  You can then put QUIK STOP on the toenail or flour.  Another way is too pull a feather - again DNA -  different kit but both in the back of Bird talk. 

    Your wife can try and feed him a bunch of treats withher hand - just go slow.  Bird probably had bonded to someone that looks like you or talks like you - and not used to or doesn't like women.  If the bird is this young and a yellow crown - they do pick a mate but usually a pretty good family bird.  Just like one person better than the rest but fun for all.
Kimberly - 2012-08-28
I have a yellow fronted amazon her name is Shelby she is 25 years old and just last night laid her first egg? how many more are to pass and why all of a sudden after all these years now is when eggs are being laid. Never before has this happened. Yesterday she had gas for several hours and this morning I awoke to the egg at the bottom of her cage hole.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-08-28
    It happens - some say just nature, some say a scent from other birds, some say just happens.  All females have eggs - think chickens as they lay eggs all the time without a rooster.    Not often but certainly not abnormal a female will lay eggs - obviously they are not fertile if she doesn't have a mate.  Just put the egg in a bowl of some sort or even a next box and let her have the egg.  Chances are pretty good she will lay two possibly three more over the next 6 days or so.  She will not really sit the eggs until all the eggs are laid so after the 3rd or forth egg.  Then she might sit them or maybe she won't - however, let her have them.  Let her have them till she gets bored with it or for about 28 days after the last egg is laid.  Then give her a new  toy and remove the eggs and bowl.  If you don't let her have the eggs, she possibly will continue to try and produce additional eggs running into complications or a calcium shortage.  It is not unusual and it may never happen again. 
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weko - 2012-08-20
hello there , thanks for the information was helpful :) i have a question i have a one years old double yellow amazon ( female ) and i want her to get me babies so is it better to pair her with a male now or when she becomes 4 years old ? better to get an older male or same age or younger ? will she change and start to bite me and no listen to what i tell her ? and i am also planning to get 2 b&g macaws also i want to breed them later , will i be able to train all of these parrots together ? or non will listen to me ? or they will be jealous from each other and it will be like a motivation for them ?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-08-21
    The majority of the time - if the birds are pair bonded to each other - they aren't going to be pet quality to you.  There are some exceptions to this but rare.  Females will mature faster than males so if you wish to breed your double yellow head, I get a male that is one or two years older.  Blue Golds - I'd buy a pair - why wouldn't you just buy a proven pair.  Might take a year or so for them to adjust to new enviornment but if you just wish to breed, then buy breeding pairs.  For the most part - they are pets or they are breeders.  Breeders are fun too though. 
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-08-22
    Now i understand.  Yes, you can do that.  You can purchase just weaned babies or extremely pet quality parrots.  You should be able to hold them, cuddle them, pet them, pick them up etc.  There shouldn't be anything that you can't do with the bird.  (I am not talking about throwing him in the air but should be as affectionate as a 8 week old puppy).   So you have an amazon - get another (I believe male) but don't let them be in the same cage.  They can play together on their perch but don't let them sleep in the same cage.  Ble/Golds   again   get babies - male/frmales and don't let them sleep in the same cage.  Give them individual attention, and let them play individually on the perch but don't let them sleep in the same cage.  About 4 - 6 years old - you will find that they WANT to sleep in the same cage and they will get ticked - then it is time to set up nest box and flight cage ---  they will be somewhat friendly, they will talk to you, they willlet you pet their beak and occasionally pick them up.  However, you will be the intruder as they will have pair bonded.  I bought all babies and as they grew, I let them PAIR - pick their mate and pair.  All knew me and would come on over to get a tongue or head pet but only some would let me pick them up and hold them. 
  • Charlie - 2012-08-22
    You are sorta not looking at it quite right. Parrots have the intelligence of a 3 - 5 year old child, however, they are sexually mature by 5 (most of them)and can certainly take care of themselves and thier offspring in the wild. You want to allow two parrots to bond and have and incubate eggs. You want to allow them to get married and have babies and then you want them to return to you as the babies they were. Not going to happen. You will allow them to bond, to court, to mate, to raise their children and then you want to take them away from each other. That is called depression for them. Maybe you can keep one of their babies as a pet. By the way, do you have any idea how much it costs and how much time it takes to have babies. Finches/lovebirds,parakeets - easy. Amazons - sometimes they will play football with the eggs, Blue Golds, them too. Some times they won't sit the eggs because there is no flock to show them that is what they are supposed to do - so have you purchased an incubator? They run minimum $2000.00. Are you prepapred to hand feed if the parents can't or won't? That will take you a few minutes and it is initially every 2 - 3 hours around the clock - skipping one time during the night to make sure they completely empty. Are you prepapred to give them the polyoma shots? Are you prepapred to provide cultures to the vet prior to shipping or selling? Do you want pets or do you want breeders. Rarely can you have both.
  • weko - 2012-08-21
    I wish to make them my pets and later breed them as a long term investment. BTW I am also living in a flat :) I don't want to buy old macaws. I want them to treat me like a leader or a father :)
  • weko - 2012-08-22
    So after they pair and give some eggs can I split them again to next year ? I mean after they give eggs or better keep them ? Will they become aggressive ? If I am not mistaken they give eggs only once a year right ? When ?
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-08-23
    Much better to wait till you are in a home.  In a flat, the noise is going to drive your neighbors crazy and you sure won't be making any friends.  I'd check the laws of the flat before anything.  I sure wouldn't try and breed in a flat.  Birds, outside a flock, do not dsee other birds, incubating, feeding and caring for their young.  So a bird in your home - may never breed at all.  They don't know what it is - so some just don't do it.  Incubate - same thing.  Some seem to know HOW and others do not have a clue.  So egg is something to play catch with.  If that happens for a couple of clutches, you might decide to use an incubator.  If you seel you babies directly to people - you probably won't need shots.  However, if you sell them to stores or at conventions - do you want to take the chance that your babies will cath polyoma - probably not so you give them shots.  You also need to band or microchip your babies to identify where they were hatched.  Sometimes birds will feed the young and sometimes they won't.  If they do not, then you feed every two hours around the clock for about 3 - 4 days, then every 3 - 4 hours for another 3 - 4 days and then about ever 5 hours around the clock.  Finally you get it down to three times a day when they are around 4 weeeks and then twice a day and finally just at night -  this process takes at least 8 weeks.  Starting in a home with property is a much better idea cuz you probably won't get thrown out of your home but you probably will get tossed out of the flat.  Birds will pair bond at any age and if a fella is sterile, he is just as sterile at 2 years old as he is at 20.  Might want to think about starting with something easier than amazons and macaws. Why not lovebirds?  You can learn and little noise and so cute.
  • weko - 2012-08-22
    Polyoma shots ? How and why ? I am ready for almost everything yet my parrot is young. I think after what you said I won't buy a male now. I think I'll wait for a year or something to buy it. I guess I'll stick with one macaw and one double yellow as pets and that's it for now, but I am concerned that later I won't find a male or maybe I'll find one but then he will be sterile. I've seen some clips for double yellow head raising the babies without the need of incubator and in a flat and a normal sized cage . What's your suggestion and btw I live in a flat in 3 or 4 years I'll move to a big house
  • weko - 2012-08-23
    I dont really like love birds , I want macaws or amazons , btw I can show u the youtube clip if u want about the amazon family
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Roshal - 2012-08-17
My birdie is a month old with us. I got him from the bird market as he was in a pathetic condition. He eats everything from fruits, vegetables, seeds and pulses. But I am concerned about his bad and strong body odour. I am also concerned about his feathers on his neck and below which are green but getting whitish. I give him bath once or twice a week with johnson baby shampoo but it doesnt help. What should I do.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-08-17
    DO not wash your bird - NO.  That is done only to rescue birds from oil slicks etc.  You can spritz your bird with plain luke warm water or with aloe bird bath.  Never ever shampoo.  You can even soak him down a bit but with plain water.  Usually if a bird smells funny - there is some sort of a fungal infection (possibly even a bacterial infection) goin on.  How are the 'poops'  They should look relatively solid dark green possibly with a very little amount of white around the darker green.  If liquidy, more white, funny color you have either fungal or bacterial going on.  If white droppings by the cloaca then bacterial and serious and you need a vet.  You say pathetic condition and smells - I would get him to an avain vet.
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michelle - 2012-08-16
Help! I just inherited 2 yellow amazon parrots from Korean friends that are moving back to Korea. I have smaller pet birds. But have never had anything like this before. I don't know how old they are, I don't know if they are male or female. They seem a little aggressive. I have heard them speak in Spanish (we live in Guatemala) & Korean.(they were with a Korean fam).  But since I brought them home 2 days now. They really have not spoken any. They seem to be eating fine.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-08-16
    Just go slow and let them get used to you and you them.  Check the side of their heads - not with 100% accuracy but good guess - the males head is flatter and the females is a smooth curve from eyes to top of head and neck.  Talk to them and enjoy.
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Beverly - 2012-08-11
I am shocked at what people are feeding their parrots. Junk food and meat that I wouldn't feed my child or myself. My Amazon eats only organic. For breakfast he eats banana, apple, and most any other fruit I have. Oranges are not the best but every now and then he gets a bit for a treat. Romaine lettuce, carrots, peas and most veges at different times for supper. He of course always has organic pellets in front of him. He has never had a weight problem nor will he. He's beautiful and healthy. I would never sell any bird to anyone that fed a bird the way I read here. It's a crime. Just because a bird will eat anything doesn't mean it should. Please people do your research before continuing slowly killing your pet.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-08-12
    Parrots eat meal in the wild.  They need the protein and will eat all sorts of insects, lizards or worms.  Banana, apple, and all that fruit is going to give your birds one big case of diahhreha.  A grape to her is like you eating a watermelon.  Think size proportion.  Junk food - a whole wheat pizza with tomatoe, peppers, olives, cabbage, topped off with romaine is not junk food.  You might want to rethink what you are doing.
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John Anderson - 2012-08-03
I have two amazon fledglings, they are about 4 weeks old, siblings. I have read that it's good to have a mate or another bird. Is it optimal to have siblings or better to pair them later?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-08-03
    It honestly depends on what you want. If you let them pair now, and let them stay in the same cage, they will pair bond at a young age and will not be as tame as they would b if you had them separated into 2 different cages.  They are brother/sister - you probably don't know the sex.  Without feathers pretty good shot you can see their bare heads and the male head will appear (and actually is) flatter than the females.  The males head has a distinct flatness to it and the females is a fairly smooth cruve from the eye over the top of the head and to the neck.  If you have two females or two males, they aren't going to produce fertile eggs (offspring).  If you like them both and wish to keep them both then I would put each one in its own cage and have individual time with each of them.  You can have a cage with one of them and then a large perch and then a cage with the other one.  That way they can play together at times if they want.  You have a perch and canlet one out a time and work with them and train.  You can spend individual time with them.  An amazon has a very long life expectancy 70 years or so - they sure don't have to pair bond now.  You can wait till they are 15 or 20.  It depends on if you wish to breed.  One amazon with you as it's mate is going to strongly bond to you.  Two amazons are going to bond to each other.  When they bond to each other, most times, they become difficult to handle.  Do you want a pet or do you want to breed?
  • John Anderson - 2012-08-03
    At what age should they be seperated if you want them as pets?
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-08-03
    I would separate them as early as now.  I'd give them each their own container - and their own stuffed animal.  I'd want to do it before they are able to be walking around, climbing etc.  They love their little stuffed animal and they can keep it.  They can cuddle up to it, get warm byt it and they will actually carry it around as they are able to walk.  I'd definitely separate them and gice them individual attention at 8 weeks.  Let them lay on your chest and hear your heart beat.  Have them watch TV with you.  The more you handle them, the more social they will be.
  • John Anderson - 2012-08-04
    good info..They are still very young and not walking around yet, pretty much just either stand there or lay down like you said, and they do like to be on my chest. Very cute. So I figure soon I will seperate them.  We already feed them in seperate containers....and try to give them seperate thanks again..
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-08-05
    I have been told the closer to Panama you get with the amazons, the mellower the personality.  Panamas are easy and lovable and make a good family pet.  The yellow shoulder andyellow faces - I could hold them when they were on eggs.  The double yellow head is gorgeous and love to talk.  They bond usually to one person and are a tad difficult on occasion.  I would take mine and hold it way up in the air and say 'I am an eagle i can fly'  and then I would put it upside down in my hand and say 'I am a bat I lay down'.  I did this and other things starting while they were barely off formula to make sure tame, trained, used to being handled.  I didn't have any problems with mine.  Put words to their actions starting now 'heartbeat' for hug or 'hug', 'kiss' 'sing'   they love music and TV
rhoda - 2012-07-13
Can someone help me. My bird is about 6 yrs old. Two days ago he started acting diff. He climbed to to bottom of his cage ripped up all the paper eats twice as much. If  I don't give him more food he gets what he drops on the bottom of the cage. He started making the diff noise. It's like a bird purring. He has a toy of thick rope he's backing up against rubbing his feathers from his head to his tail.  And yesterday I thought he was dieing.  He was even laying on me like a baby. He does this for about 45 min then he's normal again. I don't know what to think

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-07-13
    I don't know for a fact but it sounds like breeding/nesting behavior.  Parrots given any chance will shred paper, magazines, newpapers etc and that is normal.  All of a sudden to eat a whole lot more (or less) is normal.  Can't fill them up enough when winter is coming and they don't eat much in the summer but eating habits change thoughout the week so that is normal.  Getting all goosey and cudly and 'being a baby' that is normal - even for an amazon at times.  Figuring out a way to scratch his head and back - that can be normal.  However, when I think about all these things together it sounds like breeding/nesting behavior.  They get a little funny and will tear things up to make a nest.  Their mate would usually be preening them so the back scratching.  They would eat a lot more cuz they would be expecting to incubate or feed babies or mate.  And of course they get all lovey dovey with their mate.  If you aren't sure you have a male, you might have a female that is about to lay 1 - 3 eggs.  I'd put a little bowl in the bottom of the cage and put some paper towel or carefresh in it just in case you have a female who wants to lay an egg.  If she does, let her have it till she gets bored with it or about 30 days.  Then just throw it out.  If it is a male - he won't lay an egg and the behaviors will go back to normal in a couple of weeks.  Meanwhile just enjoy the nature. I can't be positive but breeding/nesting behavior sounds like what it is.  Right age too - puberty is hard on everyone. 
  • rhoda - 2012-07-15
    Thank u so much!!!' U hav helped
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Amanda - 2012-04-15

I have a red headed amazon bird named Tupac (7 years old), as a favor to my dear sister, who is in between homes and cannot have a bird. I stepped up to take care of Tupac, (in which, I love to death). I have always been his favorite, due to the attention I give him. He thinks I am his mate, and clearly protects me to the fullest.

My issue is: my sister was stuck with him through her ex boyfriend, who just didn't want or understand the life long commitment a bird requires. My sister took him in and we've cared for him ever since (past tense, when we both lived at home with mom). Now I have him in my apartment building, just as a favor to my sister. My sister can't give him the care and attention he needs, as well as I can't either. She doesn't have the heart to come to terms with finding a home for Tupac. Whether it's now, or 3 years from now, I am realistic in what's to happen.

I just need some advice on where is the best place to bring him, (when it's time to give him up). I will literally kill myself if I gave him to someone who mistreated him, or neglected him. I spoke to some pet stores, but my gutt is telling me, that's not the right home for him.

If I had my own house, I swear I would let him stay with me for life, but I don't and my poor boyfriend is suffering also. He is not a fan of birds and for me, he is trying to build a relationship with Tupac, but it just not working. I also have gotten 2 noise complaints due to my ill Tupac squawking (I dont even know if I am allowed to have a bird in my building). My boyfriend and I both work long hours and we dont have the time to give him the attention he needs. The second I get home, I give him 2 hours of attention, before I go to bed. I know that's not a lot, but I honestly can say I am doing the best I can.

Any comments or suggesting will help.

Amanda and Tupac

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-04-16
    Hard one - I am really not keen on a pet store either except for a couple I know which I know are GREAT. You can place an ad in the paper and then meet the person that TUPAC will find a new home with. My concern here is his attachment to you, as he just might not go to another person and allow himself to be handled by a stranger. Again, I do not know where you live but TUPAC can get married. There are many excellent breeders that do look for single birds and will house and find a mate for your TUPAC. There aqre also sanctuaries - some good and some not great at all. Where do you live - just the state? 1. person purchases Tupac 2. You give Tupac to a breeder in matrimony 3. Santuary - which would get him used to other people and they place with homes.
  • Jane and don Trunkey - 2012-05-02
    Hello. We have a female. Red crested amazon that would love a mate!!she is about 25. And is twitipating. Now that is a spring!! Can we get together. Near Portland Org.
  • Amanda - 2012-07-02
    Dear Mr. Roche, I did not get any email notification that you responded to my posting a while back, but thank you so much. I appreciate your suggestions and I like what you’re saying (by the way, I live in Queens, New York). If you can kindly direct me in any way to places in the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania area that would be a trustworthy place to bring him- that would mean a lot to me. Tupac is EXTREMELY attached to me, however, he loves 'all eyes on him” type of attention, so him getting used to someone else i personally don’t think that would be a huge issue- For example: If there are 5 people in a room Tupac will not be satisfied, until every single person has acknowledged him and he gets passed around from person to person. LOL I never heard of birds getting married? Over all, if Tupac is happy I am just about willing to do whatever I have to do to make sure he gets the best life that he deserves. He is a really special bird and I hate that this is our situation. It is a horrible feeling to love him so much, but not be able to give him what he needs. Truly breaks my heart! Thank you for your help. Sincerely, Amanda

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