Ask Lafeber


May 15, 2018

My new Blue and Gold Macaw

Hi!  I just bought a 6 year old Macaw. The lady at the store said she had raised him from a baby, then sold him to a couple and one of them developed an allergy to him so they sold him back to the original owner.  I visited the bird multiple times to ensure that we would be a good fit and now that I have him home, he won’t let me take him out of his cage. He has bitten me twice, but has not broken the skin.  This bird was so friendly at the store.  He seems to like me though, he definitely wants my attention.  My mind has raced to many conclusions, one is that he just needs time to adjust, but then how do I go about handling him so I’m not a threat to him.  The other is, has he bonded with this lady and knows how to manipulate the situation and go back to her, She made me promise to sell him back to her if things didn’t work out at 40% of what I paid for him. Which seems kind of weird now but not at the time.  Anyway, I’m not sure what is going on there.  I really wan’t to keep this bird and I hope it’s not part of a scam.  They told me they had taken him to a big event at the science center and he was handed off from person to person with out biting anyone. Which I thought Cool! A bird that doesn’t bite!  Yay! But now I seem to be in a little predicament….Please help me…What should I do?  I really want to bond with him.


Hi Renee,

I would give him time to settle in. He is testing you and if you don’t handle it the right way, it will get out of hand. He is looking for a reaction – either you jumping back or yelling at him. I would recommend doing some research on parrot behavior and training macaws. Unfortunately it is too much information to try to cover in this format. All parrots will bite at some point – but if you learn to understand their body language and behavior, you can avoid being bitten. Keep in mind that parrots are not domesticated, they are only domestically bred. There is a huge difference – parrots have all of their wild instincts and will act on them, even if they were hand fed.

Please go to the following links and check out some of the links on both of these pages. You will be able to find a lot of helpful information. I think he will be fine once settled in and once you both understand each other.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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