(above) 2 Illiger’s macaw’s aka blue-winged macaws named in honor of the German ornithologist Johann Karl Wilhelm Illiger.
Peter D. writes:
Hi, Need help.
I have a 5-year-old female Illiger Macaw.
Recently she has picked up an annoying ongoing chirp when she is out of her cage and on her perch.
It’s like she is so nervous she is afraid of her own shadow.
I don’t have her cage or perch in front of a window anymore which she used to enjoy.
If she sees a dog, turkey, birds, deer out the window it doesn’t bother her but a cat scares her to death.
When she is out of her cage she can’t relax she is always looking over her shoulder.
She seems to chirp when she wants back in her cage.
If she could sit on my shoulder all day long she would be happy.
To make things worse she knows I don’t like the chirping which just escalates the problem.
It is getting to be more stressful than any enjoyment something has to change its not fair to her and or me.
Any help will be appreciated.
So what you’re asking me, Peter, is “how do I make a bird, quiet?”
When I start the discussion about acquiring a pet bird I advocate two things.
If you don’t like to vacuum don’t get a bird.
If you don’t want a noisy pet, don’t get a bird.
I have a coveted talking bird, Keto, our African ringneck.
Unfortunately, he only knows about a dozen words and repeats them 35 times a day.
We have the ringneck, a Quaker, and a cockatiel housed in our upstairs living quarters.
Keto is also a Whistler.
He taught or the other birds learned how to whistle.
Our 600 watts of full-spectrum lighting hanging over three birdcages comes on at 8:30 AM.
30 minutes before that, Barney our cockatiel wolf whistles and says “good bird” (repeatedly) a phrase he learned from Keto the ringneck.
His cage is 8 feet away from my bed (pictured above).
All I can think of is “that’s the cutest little voice I’ve ever heard.”
He had been silent for the first 2 to 3 weeks we had him so we’re finding this vocalization, remarkable.
Birds are prey animals which why they easily get nervous.
In the wild, silence means danger.
“Cats frighten her”
Nature designed cats as one of the most perfect killers.
Your bird knows this.
BTW – If you are vocalizing words like “be quiet” or “shut up” you are encouraging the bird to make more noise because of the engagement you create.
It’s important to find out what the chirping trigger is to move the two of you back into your comfort zones.
Perhaps she’s vocalizing because you moved the cage from in front of the window which she really enjoyed and would like to be back there.
Have you explored placing the cage in front of the window again to see if her chirping stops?
I’d start there.
Joyce L. writes
My Severe Macaw only likes one kind of toy.
I have bought him so many.
Other hanging toys scare him I have bought him toys that I have to give to my Pionus who likes everything.
The toy is a hanging white rope with colored wood circles.
What can I do to keep him happy?
I would need to know what kind of toy that is your Severe Macaw likes.
Are you trying different textures like hardwood, softwood, leather, rope, coconut & paper?
Also, it’s hard to make a judgment call without seeing the toy in the cage and how it relates to the bird and its position within the bird’s environment.
Knowing the age, sex, and diet of the bird would be important information as well.
We must take into account the materials and textures your offering, or not.
Have you introduced bird toys made of the following:
- Leather thongs
- Scrap leather
The position of bird toys within the cage is also important to help achieve engagement.
Here are some articles that will help: