Ask Lafeber


March 8, 2021

Greenwing behavior

I have a green wing mccaw, 19yrs old. seems to nevous, passing back n forth at times, shaking his head and starled. I had him to the vet and had blood work done and it was good. no mites. feathers are vibrant


Hi Dot,

I’m not sure if you have attended any of our Heart to Heart bird behavior webinars, but I think that the advice Chris gives can be very helpful for you. I would highly recommend viewing the past episodes. This type of pacing behavior from a macaw is caused by some form of excitement. It can be fear, happiness, hormones – anything that heightens the bird’s emotions. Sometimes it just means the bird wants out and wants attention. He may be feeling hormonal and wants to mate. If you feel that it is from nerves, then take a step back and observe everything around him. Is he too close to a door or entry to the room? Since parrots are prey animals, they can get spooked by anything that resembles a predator – people or other pets suddenly appearing through a door can make a bird nervous. Put his cage where he sees people or pets come and go, but where they are not right at his cage upon entering the room. Can he see out of a window? Again, people or other animals can be alarming when he can see them go past his view or suddenly appear in his view. Closing the blinds or moving him from the window will help in this case. Are there any lights, or reflections or movement that he might not understand? Cars driving by at night, moonlight, trees moving in the wind – all of these can cause a reflection or shadow that makes him think a predator is approaching. Is he in his cage more than he used to be? Does he come out every day? Does he have plenty of toys to play with? If he is simply bored, create some foraging exercise for him with food and toys or other objects. We have a foraging playlist with a lot of fun ideas. If there a new pet or human that he isn’t used to? Has something been changed or added to the room? No matter how small a change is, it can be a big thing to a pet bird. Continue to observe and analyze his environment. Follow his line of vision while he is exhibiting this behavior. He has a reason for this behavior, but the key is for you to try to figure out what he is reacting to or what he expects from this behavior.

Here is the link to our Heart to Heart webinars:

Here are the foraging videos with fun ideas to keep him busy:

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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