Consultation with a Green-winged MacawMaking the Husband Leave Made Handling the Macaw Easier
by Sally Blanchard
With a Green-winged Macaw consultation, the man had been a parrot lover for some time and brought his new wife into his parrot household. Soon they purchased a baby Green-wing and they both handfed him believing this would guarantee that the bird would bond to both of them. By the time the bird was a year old, he had become aggressive with the wife and she had become afraid of him. Her husband called me for a consultation. Once I was there, I realized that his handling style would not work for his wife and she had given up trying. I thought it would be best to ask the man to leave so I could work with her and the macaw without his continually distracting input. Of course, the major problem was that the bird had developed such a strong bond with him that their presence together was far too confusing to the macaw. This was especially true since he thought teaching his fearful wife how to handle the bird would be easy if she just did what he was doing. The interaction between the two of them had the young macaw very confused. I politely told the husband to leave for about an hour.
With him gone I could concentrate on calming the macaw and teaching another method that would be more appropriate for her. Most of all she needed to trust that the bird would be less likely to lunge at her when her husband was gone. We decided we would work away from the cage in a back bedroom. She left to go into the back bedroom and I gently toweled the Green-wing who was also showing aggression to me and then joined her there. I asked her to sit back and relax. I slowed myself down and started giving the macaw a good head skritch. In a few minutes, he was relaxed enough for me to pass him to her in the towel. She continued the head skritching. About a half an hour later both the macaw and the woman became very comfortable with each other. She was totally amazing and delighted to see how easy it was to handle the Green-wing when she knew the proper way to do so. I encouraged her to continue daily handling sessions when her husband wasn’t home so that she could develop her own relationship with the macaw. Then eventually they could start handling the bird together to get him past his one-person bond.