Macaws have always fascinated me. For me, there is no more parrot than a macaw.
I had the chance for 2 years to live daily with Misha my female ara ararauna. She had been with me since she was 4 months old. Like many enthusiasts, I obviously could not stop there … I started looking for an ara chloroptera.
I felt the need to give a second hand bird another chance. During the last two years, I had acquired knowledge ( thanks to CAJV ) and experience from the flock of Cocos who live with me. I felt better equipped to embark on this new avian adventure. At least, that’s what I thought!
Arrival of the long awaited Coco!
My beautiful Fred ( 2-year-old blue-winged macaw) arrived by plane on October 1, 2004 at exactly 4 p.m. We didn’t know it yet, but it would change our lives and our beliefs forever. I was in a state of extreme agitation, accompanied by my mother and my stepfather who came to support me. My beautiful love arrived with cold legs like ice cubes. It was his first flight and it will be his last; airport employees who did not bother to cover their carrier to make the trip from the plane to the airport. The wait, the anguish, the noise, the hunger and the uncertainty, this is what the birds who experience the airplane are subjected to. For prey animals such as parrots, these are times of great stress.
Fred, a few hours after arriving home
While I was filling out the necessary papers, a small crowd had formed around us. My mother, in her little high-pitched voice, welcomed Fred to her new family. People were curious to see who the little lady was talking to like that. Do you see the portrait? In short, my beautiful bird has finally arrived home very happy to get out of the transporter from which he had been a prisoner for several hours.
An angry bird
As the days passed, I found I was dealing with an angry and frustrated bird. He was not at all happy to have changed families. He was not at all interested in having a new way of life and hanging out with strangers. He didn’t understand what was happening to him, he was completely lost and distressed.
The first two weeks were “rock’n roll!” This was an opportunity for us to practice our “predatory hand”. For him, all occasions were good to bite us and thus show us the anger he felt.
These attempts at bites and sometimes even attacks faded slowly after a few weeks. He realized that this way of expressing his frustrations was not working. He then took it into his head to give his toys a bad quarter of an hour by attacking them, biting them, screaming and growling at them. A much more acceptable and above all less painful way for us!
Over time, we started to integrate Fred into the daily activities that our other birds participate in. Share meals, do the dishes, fold the laundry, wash the floor, etc. I found that this made him angry even more. Johanne Vaillancourt, during a consultation, explained to me that giving him new ways of doing things would cause him frustration. He just didn’t understand why it wasn’t like it was in his old house. I then understood the whole meaning of the sentence: “to educate is to frustrate!”
Fred and Misha who help me cook
Fred was not used to being guided or supervised, in the past he was more on his own. In our family, he had to learn to live in a certain environment and that did not please him at all. He would show us his disapproval by biting, shouting, or simply withdrawing from activities in order to isolate himself from the group.
For my part, I had to adjust to a bird who had a past two years and who came to me with great sorrow caused by the separation from the beings with whom he had lived since he was a baby. . I also got to know this specific species of macaw. The 2 year old chloroptera are very immature, nothing to do with my blue and gold macaw of the same age. They are hyperactive and have great difficulty concentrating. They are very “physical”, always on the move; in short, they never stop. They use their beaks to communicate and they bite a lot to play. As they have no idea of the force they have in their beak it is up to the educator to teach them. This teaching is very important, the bird will not learn it alone. Many macaws end up being abandoned or left behind because their humans are afraid of their beaks once the bird has grown into adulthood. Yet with patience and perseverance, it is possible to have a healthy relationship with your bird. As it is a bird that has a development that spans several years before reaching maturity, it will be necessary to educate, repeat and repeat for 5 years and often even more. It’s quite a contract, but so rewarding when you see your Coco improving day by day before your eyes. it is possible to have a healthy relationship with your bird. As it is a bird that has a development that spans several years before reaching maturity, it will be necessary to educate, repeat and repeat for 5 years and often even more. It’s quite a contract, but so rewarding when you see your Coco improving day by day before your eyes. it is possible to have a healthy relationship with your bird. As it is a bird that has a development that spans several years before reaching maturity, it will be necessary to educate, repeat and repeat for 5 years and often even more. It’s quite a contract, but so rewarding when you see your Coco improving day by day before your eyes.
First Christmas in his new family
While Fred was learning, to control the strength of his beak, I admit having had many bruises on my arms and hands. He had no idea that he was hurting me at this point. He didn’t understand why I put him on the nearest perch and said, “It’s strong!” A few moments later, I took him back and I put him back in the same situation so that he made the link between his gesture and the consequence. The little light in his head took a while to come on. He wasn’t at all happy to see our games stop every time he pinched hard. He was screaming, letting off steam on his toys. I always had in mind that I had in front of me a young bird, not a mean bird that wants to do harm on purpose.
The ups and downs
This two-month period was rather difficult. Fred spent a few weeks in a happy mood, he nibbled gently, liked to be stroked. Then, the anger resurfaced and he would go back to biting and wanting to isolate himself. As it is a bird that talks a lot, he brought out all the vocabulary he knew in an authoritative tone of voice, all interspersed with cries and growls.
Following this and the efforts of almost two and a half months, around the beginning of January, I gradually saw my Fred metamorphose before my eyes. From an angry bird, he became a joyful being with a great sense of humor. I often hear him say to himself, borrowing my voice: “Well yes my beautiful little baby of love!”
It seeks to integrate itself into all of our daily activities. He helps me wash the dishes and put the utensils in the drawer, throwing them happily. He comes to play wrestling on the couch with me. I affectionately call him my wrestler, he launches at me, rolls onto his back growling like a dog. He loves to play hard, but he retains more control of his beak. He still often lacks sweetness, but always keep in mind that he is young and learning and that it will still take time to manage to integrate everything he has learned in a more meaningful way. permed.
Fred says goodbye to you
This great adventure with Fred continues every day. I admit that I found the first few months difficult, but with Johanne’s help and perseverance, I was finally able to see things evolve. Adopting a “second hand” bird is not like going looking for a 4 month old baby who expects everything from us and depends on us to meet his every need. This is a whole other challenge and you have to deal with the bird’s past and the education ( often lack or poor education ) that the bird will have received. It takes time and persistence to turn things around.
My darling has now been with us for almost 5 months and I love him with all my heart. He is an endearing bird, who has a sense of spectacle ( there are not two like him to sing and dance ). He is a cabotin who likes to make us laugh. If I had to do it again, I would not hesitate once again to adopt a “second hand” bird. For now, I like to see him evolve day by day and that totally fills me.