Macaw tail pull

by Sally Blanchard

Years ago I visited a breeder who placed blankets on the floor for her babies to play.  Various people sat around the blankets to play with the various types of baby parrots. I was quite amused to see 4 young macaws (Green-wings and Scarlets) harass a young Hyacinth. They surrounded him and as he tried to walk away, they grabbed his tail with their beaks. There was no doubt that playing was the intention and they were all having fun. The Hyacinth would escape and run after one of the other macaws only to have his tailed grabbed again by another. He was strong enough to keep moving with one bird grabbing his tail but when two had a hold of him, he stopped in his tracks. He was not the least bit intimidated and would actually position himself to keep the game going. Certainly, this sort of mixed macaw play situation would not occur in the wild in the same way but it must have been a variation of some play behavior that happens naturally.




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