Animal Stories - Blue and Gold Macaw

Animal-World Information about: Blue and Gold Macaw

The beautiful Blue and Gold Macaw is a champion of large Macaws in color and personality!
Latest Animal Stories
david - 2011-11-18
Can they be taught to sit on your shoulder? I ride horses often, so I am also wondering if a typical example of this species would tolerate a horse back ride? Thanks!

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-19
    I knew a gal who took her Blue Gold horseback riding but I don't remember whether the B/G rode on front of the saddle or on her shoulder. I am not sure I asked. I have seen B/G on the front of motorcycles riding behind a wind visor on a perch behind the handlebars. Mine rode just fine in a parrot car seat perch in the front seat. I would definitely get the B/G used to a parrot harness though. I don't know honestly how I feel about this but the ones I have seen on motorcycles truly seem to love it. Just go slow, be very careful and listen to your little guy.
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-19
    Whoops missed the easier question. It is hard to keep a macaw OFF your shoulder. It is their favorite place to sit. Many feel/believe that a parrot should not be allowed to sit on a persons shoulder as possibly would nip the face. I have sat on my humans shoulder for over 27 years and it would never occur to me to nip her in the face. Depends on the training/socialization/personlity of the bird. My humans macaw also rides around on her shoulder and the macaw is a big one.
Claire - 2011-10-09
My Blue and Gold Macaw's beak has become very long and it needs to be trimmed. What causes the growth of the beak? What is used to file down?

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2011-10-09
    A Blue and Gold Macaw's (Ara ararauna) beak will continue to grow throughout its life (similar to the way our fingernails continuously grow). It is a good idea in general to provide your macaw with a mineral block or lava block (purchased at pet stores) that it can regularly use to keep its beak trim and in shape. However, if it becomes too long and needs to be trimmed, you may want to bring it into a pet store or into your vet to have it trimmed. They will have more experience and will help you trim it. For more information, you can read the general Macaw Care page.
Anonymous - 2009-06-30
Hi, my names Kenna and I am thinking of getting a Blue and Gold Macaw. I think it would be fun to have a talking bird.

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  • Ashleigh - 2010-04-13
    Getting a Macaw is far from just having a talking bird. They need a lot of attention and they are very big. I want one, I know , I know, you're probably saying 'How would I know all this if I don't have one?' Well I can answer that, I've been researching them for a long time because I wanted one. Anyway, they cost heaps too. And scream a lot. They need a very big cage and if you will be gone half of the day (or family) then you would need an Avery.
    Have you got space at home for a macaw?
    Can you afford to look after him, they cost a lot. Sometimes even over $6.000.
    I want one very much, but I have put all my information together and realize, I can't. And Birds do mate for life, and humans who love them and spend time with them will become their mate. And if the bird is given up, it can go under depression for losing it's mate. The owner.
    So put this all into consideration and research the macaw.
    I hope this helps.
    Also if a Macaw is to big, try these birds,

    Or search for another bird that will suit your lifestyle.
  • Renee - 2010-06-30
    If you have never had a bird before you might want to start out a little smaller and work your way up to a big bird. I have a 14 year old macaw and he is great, he does talk, but he also screams a lot. He naturally calls to his flock a couple of times a day and he also screams to get my attention. He was a rescue that I took him so we are still getting to trust each other. Do your research and good luck on your bird search.
  • Janine, the bird lady. - 2010-09-20
    Macaws live to be about 75 to 80 years old. They need a great deal of love and attention and a caregiver that knows what to feed them and more importantly, what NOT to feed them. The Blue and Gold Macaw is not the most expensive bird to buy but, their yearly vet bills can reach up to $1000.00. Before you make up your mind about becoming a caregiver for one of these wonderful birds please do a great deal of research on their care requirements. Find an avian vet in your area and ask about yearly exams and blood work and the cost of each. Learn about proper feeding, what foods and plants are poison to Macaws (Avocados are VERY poisonous as well as sweets, coffee, sodas too much fats or too many seeds and many other things) cage size (cages for Macaws will cost you no less than $600.00 and up to $2,000.00 or more) Be sure that you can take on this kind of responsibility because having an exotic bird in your life is just like adopting a child. You must be willing to accept that this bird will be a part of your life for as long as you live and that they require as much love, attention and care as a child would.
  • Terry bong - 2010-09-25
    Hello, the blue and gold macaw parrots are the best. I am willing to give out 8 other parrots for adoption maybe if you are interested, I will offer any to you.
  • alex - 2010-10-11
  • clarianne - 2010-11-01
    Do you know they attack when you bother them to a point. They chew on furniture, window frames, picture frames anything that has wood made out of. And toys so don't have any kids and don't let them on your shoulder they would try to pick at your face. Not a good thing but a beautiful bird.
  • maxjude - 2011-09-16
    yes i have a male and a female blue and gold macaw they are both 2 years old not and there are for adoption not for sale where are you located and they will also be coming with their cage email me at
Tony - 2011-09-10
I have always been interested in a large bird and had an opportunity this week to adopt a rescued bird. I have never owned a bird as a pet and know next to nothing about what they truly need to make this partnership successful. I understand they are extremely intelligent and I want to make sure I start things on the right foot. Long story short, I am a public safety worker and came across a situation where an elderly citizen was unable to care for dozens of animals stashed throughout the tiny home and the family asked for assistance in finding new homes. I adopted a Blue & Gold Macaw of unknown age or gender with a large cage and toys. I have read many websites, some with conflicting information, and am looking for some guidance as to where I can learn about behaviors, training, hygiene, and what to expect. It is currently missing all breast feathers, appears to have dry skin, and appeared to be on a diet of Cockatiel seed supplemented with peanuts. It seems to be warming up quickly to my young family and is starting to show a vocabulary. It really seems to appreciate conversation and compliments. I have put it on a diet recommended for parrots and purchased a spray and water additive that is supposed to help with skin and plumage. I live in AZ and would appreciate any assistance or advice available. Thanks!

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  • Clarice Brough - 2011-09-12
    Gosh Tony, what an awesome thing for you and for that lucky bird. Sounds like you're common sense is your best asset, you are doing all the right things! Giving it lots of attention with the whole family, feeding a good parrot diet, and taking care of its dry skin. All of these things will help with the feather plucking and skin problems. It may take a while on the feathers because plucking starts with things like depression, boredom and dry irritated skin, but can then turn into a habit. But with lots of interaction and attention, that can change. On the dry skin, these parrots originate from a very humid habitat, so providing a bath or spraying them with water to keep them hydrated helps... and also help them not to need to "scratch" (pluck). Be sure to vary the diet. Some say feed pelleted foods, its good because it adds all the vitamins and minerals they need, but it can be boring for the bird. They are inclined to want to enjoy their feeding, like cracking shells and hulling seeds, and also eating what they see you eat. So giving them a good parrot mix, and nutritious human foods as well. You'll have a great time... all of you! You rock!
Jo - 2011-09-03
I adopted a Macaw KOKO about 3weeks ago from a friend who has had her since birth. She was sweet when I first got her. She has turned a little mean. I know its going to take time for her to get use to her know house but I was wondering if she is stressed out she has lost lots of feathers she is pulling them out and I'm worried don't know what to do. She eats and drinks well but every time she eats if i pet her she regurgates is this normal and her feather loss is this normal what do i do to make her more comforable?

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  • Anonymous - 2011-09-03
    Easy part first. The only thing a bird can give you to show they care is their food. They will regurgitate - or make the motions of regurgitation as a show of affection. I am sure you don't want the food. I just grab my macaws beak and say "mama isn't hungry" and then give her a kiss on the beak. So that is normal. Right now, most birds are molting. They do this big time at the end of the summer where literally, they lose all their old feathers and get news ones in. Sometimes it can look really strange and sometimes there is just a lot of feathers around. Their mood isn't great - sorta like PMS and they have these waxy sorta prickly feathers. If they were with another bird, the other bird would be preening and removing that wasy covering. Part of the wax - at the end is white and if you roll it between your fingers, they love it and the wax just comes off. The other part of the wax is not white and closest to the body. Don't roll this as it sticks them and they don't like it. Must hurt. So just gently roll the white part of the wax at the end of the feathers and she will be so still and just love it. The mood - it is just the time of year and especially if they are having a bad molt. They molt again in February - or after winter - and all you see is these white down feathers that sorta fly around when you try and sweep. This doesn't normally result in a modd change. They are just "shedding" the extra down they grew to keep warm for winter. This happens evenin Fl where pretty warm year round. So your sweet macaw will probably just revert back to its sweet self as soon as the molt is over. Regutitation is normal. She will love it if you gently preen that white filmly wax off her feathers for her. Some - like on the top of her head, she just can't reach. Do not try and preen the grey part of the wax that is close to the body - that prickles them.
brittany - 2011-08-03
I'm 14 recently got a 12 year old macaw...Right from the start she loved me she kinda doesn't like my mom her old owners poked at her and teased her. I love her and my mom so jealous cuz my macaw comes and sits on my chest and gives me kisses tells me she loves me and if I ignore her she keeps saying hi and hello till I notice her, If I keep ignorng her she gets off her cage and climbs up my chair and scream then says "hi mama" She's a blue and gold macaw. She's loving. When she wants petted she lays her head on my arm. She says Brittany when she wants me and when I leave the room she screams come back. I will never regret getting her shes brought so much happiness to me and my moms says she is so funny she laughs at herself sometimes. She's a little angel

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-08-03
    I am soooo glad that all is good. Birds pick who they love.
Shay - 2004-08-26
Srry-but I dont think itz right to keep macaws in captivity cuz there endangered...

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  • Gary Barrett - 2011-05-25
    Hi , not all Macaws are endangered. I don't agree that wild caught Macaws or any wild animal should be stuck in a cage though but if you buy a captive bred hand reared 1 that is fine and it does not hurt the numbers in the wild .
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-26
    Many years ago us humans spent almost our entire day trying to find food and shelter. We have come a long way. We have built homes. We have installed indoor plumbing. We have built grocery stores. We go to the hospital to have our children and our children live and thrive. Our life expectancy has increased 3 fold. I believe that animals are intelligent and peaceful creatures. They, in many cases, just do what they can to live. They work all day to just eat and if there is any time left over, they can play. They create nests and have children and if they are lucky some of their children may survive. The human population has increased and we rid ourselves of forests and wetlands. We also take that away from our animals. Maybe our animals would prefer playing more and not being worried about where their food was coming from. Maybe they enjoy being loved and pet. Maybe they enjoy having fresh water and maybe they love not being afraid and knowing their children will live. I hope that my children's children will be able to see birds flying in the trees and having young. I hope my children's children will be able to know what an owl or a bunny is. I hope many things and maybe some of them will come true. But I think if I would ask my macaw "hey you want to go out there in the wild or do you want to sit with me today and watch TV? Would you like to go for a car ride? Would you like to go to the park. I think my Macaw (Luci) would say "hey Ma just take me where you go."
  • Thomas Patterson - 2011-07-19
    I think you are right!!!
roberta lathrop - 2011-05-14
Hi everyone- I have just adopted a 12 yr blue and gold named Teeka. He is truly a handful. I have wanted a macaw since I was 10 yrs old. Well at 44 I finally found a deal I couldn't resist. Ha, well after a week, of adopting Teeka, I was like,,,,what in heavens name was I thinking. It is like having a 2yr old all over again. If i am making dinner, and don't get him a dish right away, he will go to his food dish and fling all his food out of the bowl and squack like a spoiled brat. I have had him now for 2 months now and after numerous bites and black and blue swelling arms, I do think I may be gaining his trust. He definetely does not like woman, which is heart crushing as I was getting the bird of my dreams. On a good note, he loves my husband and son. His vocabulary was a bit distrubing when we first got him, but as I have learned to ignore his poor word choice, the less he says them, and is saying much nicer words these days. But what a messy bird, I clean his cage and play stand daily, and not 5 minutes after I do that, he is either shredding the paper on the bottom of the cage, or throwing his food around, or pooping all over....literally feels like i have a two year old again.
He is very chatty and makes me chuckle daily, so I definetely don't regret my purchase, but really hope he begins to enjoy my company as much as he does my husbands. I do have a question as far as bathing goes, I have been putting him in the shower once a week, as he is very dusty all the time, and he is constantly putting his beautiful feathers in his poop, gross.
How often should a parrot be placed in the shower? I hate to think I am over cleansing him.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-14
    Congratulations and welcome to the world of 2 year old dressed in feathers. It will get better. Bathing. I don't believe you can over bathe them - there is definitely a rainy season where they come from. I would do mine 3 - 4 times a week and he loved it. Paper on the bottom just gets totally shredded so you can try a bird bedding. If you can place a shelf in the cage (they have them) large crocks may work better than bowels. My blue gold actually took his entire cage apart by unscrewing all the bolts. I put it back together with new bolts and lock nuts. He should have a perch in addition to his cage and it would be easier to work with him on the perch - by a lot. How is he getting poop on his feathers? Maybe the cage could be set up differently. A macaw is a 2 - 3 year old child and he will become quite affectionate and he will learn to please you. Of course you have to complete your macaw training classes that will be taught by him first.
  • roberta - 2011-05-15
    Hi Cheryl-
    thank you for update. when Teeka is on his play stand, he sits there and poops on it all day, then drags his tail thru it....I tried putting bird bedding on the bottom of the play stand but I found that he would sit there and eat the bedding, and didnt think that would be very good for his digestive system.
    He sits on that stand all day and listens to the radio and dances, its amazing cute.
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-15
    I'll try not to be confusing here. It sounds like the wooden perch Teeka is standing on is to low and her tail is dragging on the bed of the perch. Is that the case? If so, is it possible to raise the height of the wooden perch by adding another wooden perch on top of it? Get a large branch from a tree and just hose it down and let it dry. Drill a hole through both ends of the tree limb and the perch you are using. Bolt them together. I don't know the perch you are using but that could raise the perch the height of the tree limb - possibly 3 inches and might work.
  • roberta - 2011-05-15
    he has one of the stainless steel perchs with the two feeder trays and the big round stainless steel tray at the bottom, his tail feathers just touch it when he is sitting up, but he loves to climb down from the perch and walk all over the tray, just dont know what else to try. If he didnt walk all over the tray their wouldnt be an issue, but he loves to slide down the pole to the bottom where the tray is, so he can clean up what ever treats he drops.
    and of cource his poop is so watery that it just smears...any suggestions?\
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-15
    OK I think I got it. It is a round bottom perch with a U and then a sorta like dowel rod with two feeder dishes. Is that correct? Macaws really can't stand on round dowel rods (most birds can't) as their feet are larger and they get cramps from trying. It would be like you walking on the dowel rod. Just can't do it. You need a large variable diameter wooden perch for your Teeka. You can buy one (used or new) or you can make one. I would look up various perches that are available for macaws and then decide if you want to make or purchase. You do need some wood that is 2 - 3 inches deep - like a limb of a tree. Your Teeka is coming down from the perch because his feet hurt trying to hang on to it. Don't use smooth manzanita either cuz too slippery. I have seen home made perches that have a plywood bottom with a large limb bolted to the bottom and then a perch on the top. So the distance from the bottom to the top of the perch is more like 3 feet. You can always bolt or drill food bowels into a limb.
  • Anonymous - 2011-05-18
    Thank you Cheryl. I am going to look into these this weekend:)
    will keep you updated!
  • PJ - 2011-05-28
    Hi, I have had my Green Wing Macaw for about 10 years now. The bad language will eventually take a back seat to any words that you teach your bird. Ignoring the bad words is a very good way to alter their language. It works. As for the bathings. I have a misting showerhead in my shower and that is what I use. My bird loves it and she gets her shower just about once a week. She seems happy with that and it keeps her feathers clean and shiny. Also, all birds have a certain amount of "feather dust" and you don't want to deplete it completely. So, once a week is about right for birdy showers.
Rosangela lennon - 2011-05-15
Hi, I got a female Golden and Blue Macaw. I rescued her 1 1/2 ago she is 12 years old. I need your help. I have been taking care of her taking her to thee vet, but they can't find out what happen to her. She closes her right eye every 45 days, and sleeps for 3 days. Please can some body help me to fiend out what's wrong with him?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-16
    She is actually closing her right eye every 45 days and remains completely still sleeping for 3 days? Doesn't eat or move for 3 days? Has she been doing this since you got her - every 45 days? Never heard of anything like this at all but will see if I can get some info. I did have an Umbrella and for no reason that I know of she would start "clicking" and she would "click" for hours. I did the vet thing and the question thing and never got to the bottom of it. I finally decided she just liked to "click" for some odd reason. She is fine, always been find and is 15 now. If you can, let me know more though. OK?
abner - 2009-08-05
I have a blue gold macaw and he is 16 years old. My family has had him for quite a while, well since before I was born. He went well with my parents till last year. We came back from vacation and he attacks them. He bites his legs when he sees him and screams, but hes really well with me and my sister. He gets out of his cage and destroys things like furniture. We put newspaper in his cage whenever he uses the bathroom and recently hes been tearing it up, so we decided to switch to cardboard but he continues. We bought toys to see if thats the problem but he continues. What I want to know is that natural for this kind of bird or is it just that bird.

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  • Crystal B - 2010-02-23
    My blue gold macaw tears up the newspaper at the bottom of the cage as well. We replaced it with cork board and found it both easier to clean and she doesnt touch it. She is a very messy eater and dumps his bowl all the time. She has toys and still continues to do that, I think it's normal. We also opened up the cage more and let her out the whole day but she still continues to go in there and tear it up.
  • brandon - 2010-02-28
    Macaws or any other bird shouldn't be able to get to their substrate. There should be a grate between his living area and substrate. But their favorite thing to do is destroy stuff. You can even make cheap toys by putting paper shreds in a paper bag. They love that as much as a $20 toy. Sometimes they don't like certain people, but the fact that it is recent is pretty puzzling to me.
  • Jane - 2010-03-13
    He is just mad at them because they went on vacation & left him. We have a 12 year old blue and gold. He loves us dearly, but when we have to leave him alone he grieves and he gets mad at us. It's funny, but since my husband is his favorite, he usually gets mad at me & when we return from a vacation, he feels that he needs to "punish" me in some way. Birds are very much an eye for an eye kind of species - he was hurt, he needs to hurt me. Mind you, he doesn't bite me hard, but I found that if I let him pinch me & then afterward I tell him how sorry I am that we had to leave him - he forgives me & he gets over being mad at me sooner rather than later & the bad behavior stops.
  • Bubba\'s Mom - 2010-04-19
    What you're describing is what I went through with my 20 year old BG a few years back. Your bird is becoming mature. The tearing up of the paper is an attempt to nest. The hormones can make them very cranky and frustrated. Mine became a green eyed monster! My suggestion is to limit light. No more than 12 hours of light a day. This helps keep them out of mating mode.

    Are you sure you have a male? I was assured by my breeder that my baby was a male. After 17 years HE laid 3 eggs! They didn't have genetic testing back then. Limiting her light has kept her from laying eggs since. Also, avian vets do have medications to help if needed. Consult with your vet.

    Hope this helps!
  • Patty - 2010-06-16
    I have a 3-year-old severe macaw who has started to tear up the newspaper on the bottom of her cage. We recently acquired a 23 year-old African Grey and she is having a hard time adapting to not being the only bird in the house. She will hang from the corner of her cage, flutter her wings and yell and screech and I have to cover her up. This has never happened before. I am wondering if she is trying to make a nest?
  • Ashleigh - 2010-06-16
    I don't really know about the 'biting your parents' part but it is very common for macaws, all macaws to bite furniture.

    I think(not sure) that the biting your parents is because he wants attention form them but I suggest taking him to a avairy specially for big parrots, see what they say :)

    I Hope that helps!!
  • justin - 2010-08-28
    I have 1 macaw and 2 cockatoos they are all so nice and by the way you should put a tray in the bottom or like put towel I don't know but yup that's really it oh yea and my macaw is 2 and my cockatoo is 5 and the other 1 is 3.
  • Todd - 2010-09-02
    Hey Abner, sounds like your bird suffered some trauma recently. I have a 17yo B&G. If your bird suddenly gets violent, it's had something happen to it, or it has a mental problem that will have to be worked through.I'm thinking it was trauma. B&G's are a very forgiving bird, and you just need to establish yourself as the alpha in the relationship. Who watched the bird while you were on vacation? That's when the trauma occurred!
  • rocky w. - 2010-09-10
    We had one and she was wonderful but they have the mind of a 5 year old. What I would think is happening is that he is mad. He was raised by your parents, right? If the one that he was attached to or loved the most (the person who most fed him as a baby) left for a week or two or even ignored him, he would get mad and throw a fit like a 5 year old. He is good with because he is trying to make the one that he was attached to jealous of you. You just have to remember that they are like spoiled little kids. But you gotta love em.
  • Chris - 2010-10-02
    I just rescued a blue and gold Macaw and he came to us for this same reasons This is a very common problem and I can say it is the environment Stress is the main this also him food can lead to behavior problems also make sure your NOT! feeding his any Sunflower seeds to your bird as I have put it in the past is Sun Flower seeds is like use eating cocaine it is very bad they get hooked on the THC and the Oils hurt there stomach and liver problems. The bag of food that came with the bird was 85% sun flower seeds. Today it's been all most a week and with the diet change and fresh fruit and Veg's he has made a 180° degree turn around and with a stress free and being with other birds Sam is back to his ever loving self and is going to make a good addition to the center.

    South Coast Rescue
  • Shawna - 2010-10-21
    I'm no expert or anything but I have known macaws that were like that. We have one and he has to be monitored as he will destroy everything as well. We have a stand that hangs from the ceiling that my husband made so he can't get to anything in the house and we just put a sheet down on the floor to catch poopies. Our macaw is daddies boy and I can't touch him or he bites. The only one that handles him is daddy so I think it's just a trust thing with them. Also I have learned that at a certain age they go into puberty and get kinda unruly for a couple of years but it passes. I have been reading up on them cuz I've been trying to figure ours out and I heard that if they lack vitamins they can be cranky. I've been trying to give him daily vegges and fruit to help. Either way don't worry too much about yours cuz I think they are emotional birds and very smart. Almost like humans with the trust issues and the stubborn traits LOL Hope this helped & you are not alone!
  • Shawna - 2010-10-21
    Also keep newspaper away from parrots. Our cockatoo was getting sick from the toxins in the inks and we changed to paper towels. He got better right away! They are ingesting these inks as they chew them up!
  • spring - 2010-10-31
    I have a 5 month old mcaw i've called her bella even though i don't know the sex of the bird. she tends to be a one person bird she very intellegent and starting to talk.
  • Sarah - 2010-11-10
    That is one of this type of bird's favorite thing to do, is to be destructive. However, lots of attention, baths, and replaceable toys, as well as making them work for their food in hidden places, generally calms a little of this bad behavior.
  • Barbara Pasko - 2011-03-31
    The biting of your parents is more then likely caused by "abandonment issues". The bird cannot get over the fact that he was left alone without his family. I fight that when every time my daughter and her family comes up for a visit, Syd, my B&G screams the whole time. Since in Syd's mind, Erin left her. So I try some special things that are just for her. If the weather is above 45 degrees, I make sure her wings are clipped and take her for a car ride - it's a one on one time with her and I, and she loves it! - She usually is in a much better mood for a few days too. Also, join a bird club - get him out among other birds, their behavior tends to improve when they get out of the house, just like us. They also love to "people watch" Go to a park or just sit at an outside table at a hamburger joint with a friend and have lunch. Your bird will feel like royalty. Plus, all the attention he will draw. I never let anyone attempt to pet Syd - I just explain that she is a "biter" and they tend to back off quickly. Other things - play ball - get a large wiffle ball and have at it - mine can throw a good 6 - 8 ft! and she will even get on the floor and retrieve it at times too. This is a good attitude adjustment game when she is in her "season" It tends to relieve some of her built up energies and frustrations. What's more fun that trying to bean mom with a ball! B & G Macaws need a daily average of 40 mins or more of attention, either direct or passive (like just being in the same room with them and talk to them from time to time) or else they become like spoiled toddlers having a fit. And remember - never let the bird win! They love dominance, and reacting to a bite is them winning.
  • Robert - 2011-04-22
    I know that this has been written a while ago, but i hope I am not to late. I hope that your family still has the family pet.
    I am a amateur bird owner - but i can tell you that birds tend to mutilate themselves and become destructive when they feel that there masters have abandoned them. Even though we know this to be not true. I do not know how to brake a bird of these types of behavior but I know some people who have been bird owners for more years then I have that are on my Facebook page, if you would like to look me up, my name on facebook is my real name Robby Michael Williamson. I can get you in contact with them there..