Ask Lafeber

Question:

September 25, 2020

Amazon behavior


How do I prevent an Amazon from dive bombing me besides clipping him.


Answer:

Hi Anne-Marie,

With any unwanted behavior with parrots, it is best to ignore it. Is he dive bombing you for attention or is this aggression? If it is for attention, try not to be in a position that he can do this, and try to prevent him from getting to whatever spot he dives from. If he dives anyway, move out of his way, pick him up quietly from where he lands and set him in or on his cage and walk away without saying anything. Approach him a few minutes later and if he steps up nicely, make a big deal about it, praising him and giving him treat. Teach him that stepping up gets him a treat or praise, and diving gets him ignored.

If this is an aggressive action, then you probably need to have his wings clipped. Amazons can be very dangerous when they attack. They always go for the head and neck area and can inflict serious injuries. For his safety and the safety of others, he needs to be grounded. Even then, an Amazon will get under or behind something if they are prone to attacking. Yellow Nape Amazons are probably the worst about attacks and they attack viciously. I knew one caretaker who was attacked from behind by a Yellow Nape. It flew and hit her in the back of the head, gripped her hair tightly and bit her so hard and deep, he grazed her skull. He would not relent until she managed to throw him to the floor, where he instantly turned and charged her again. I have had first hand experience with being charged by Amazons – even very, very tame ones. So even if your bird isn’t doing this in aggression now, that can change and he can end up being too dangerous and unpredictable to handle. Definitely address this now, even if wing clipping is necessary, so that he doesn’t end up being too aggressive to be a pet.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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