Have you ever seen one of those talent shows on TV that showcases animals with extraordinary abilities? If you have, you are already familiar with the amazing talking and singing abilities of the amazon parrot.
The budgie might hold the record for the largest vocabulary- yes, you read that right!- and the African grey might have the most developed usage of language, but the amazing amazon holds the title for speech clarity! You will never hear, “What did your bird say?” when an amazon enters the spotlight; it is always as clear as human speech.
Furthermore, they are better singers than many human vocalists out there with platinum records. They never fail to entertain.
However, the amazon parrot requires specific care in order to thrive in captivity. A common mistake that amazon owners make is underestimating the intelligence of their bird. Science has recently put parrot intelligence in line with that of the small primates. This means the only animals they consider smarter are dolphins, great apes and humans.
Think about that for a moment. Consider what it would be like to be that intelligent being and to be locked in a cage with no means to make use of that brain power. It would be frustrating, boring and depressing.
If you are doing things properly with your bird, then you are providing lots of toys for entertainment and foraging opportunities to satisfy their instinct to search for food. If you are doing this, hats off to you for providing as natural a life as you can for a bird in captivity. But we can’t stop there.
We can do better!
Wild parrots spend most of their time problem solving. Take these for example: finding ample and adequate food sources, attracting the perfect mate and how to turn that old tree trunk into a suitable nest for future young. As you can imagine, things do not always go as planned in the wild. There are storms, droughts and deforestation that all stand in the way of the perfect hearth and home for wild parrots bringing the need for creative solutions to problems.
They have amazing mental capabilities that go untapped in captivity. They need and want daily mental stimulation We, at BirdTricks, recommend training to fill the void.
We understand that you may not be interested in training your birds. You may not care if your bird can perform the perfect wave or spin. You may be satisfied with the relationship you share with your bird: the status quo. But is your amazon satisfied? Can it possibly live a fulfilling life presented with the same things day after day? Probably not. Training opens the doors to a world of learning for your bird. It is much less about WHAT you are training your bird to do and more about the fact that you ARE training.
Your bird will get to use its natural ability to problem solve while trying to determine what needs to come next to earn that treat. Every training experience is a little different from the day before and new opportunities for learning and growing are constantly presented.
Guess what? While your bird is learning about all the new possibilities in life, you will be learning about your bird! You will have as many AHA! moments as your amazon when you realize the amazing things it is capable of.
Don’t underestimate your bird!
Hi, I have a 40 yr old male yellow napied amazon who is scared of being touched with your hand. with a stick or a branch of a tree or rub him against a door opening, No problem, He isn’t scared of my hands,or being really upclose, when I sometimes break open shells of peatnuts almonds or pistachios walnuts and pecans. he likes to see and get whats inside, so he gets so close to my hands I could touch him, he would make all kinds of sounds and ask for a “cracker please”after opening he would take the food right out of my fingers, or let me hold it while he eats out of my fingers, but get him to get on my hand, 1 out of a 1000 tries he would get on, I don’t force him or anything, I have tried the treat in my other hand and holding it on the other side of my hand I want him to get on, He would move over to my wrist or forearm and get on. as I had mentioned before in a note to you folks, sometimes when he see’s me comming towards him he would lift a foot up ready to get on my forearm. So he isn’t scared of me, just touch him with my hands is a bite in the waiting. It is a long story, I had him for 9 years and he had 2 previous owners, who gave him up for his sometime violent behaviour. But he has never did anything bad with me. He stays either on my forearm or he climbs up and sits on my shoulder. He never lives in a cage with me. when travelling he has a cage and gets in it, But likes to be out and sitting on top so he can look around. when I take him out in the warm weather he will be on my shoulder, if I am too slow at someplace he will pick at my glasses or nibble my ear or lick it, So I know he is bored so I move along. I have been watching all your shows on you tube and the one on getting him to step up using the stick or a treat is a no go. he will get on my forearm.. and he does fly in the house I have a jungle gym built for him to execise on. I do have a very large cage like you have for a single bird for sitting outside when I am not near him. Or to give him so fresh air. and he gets easy 12 hours sleep, he sleeps in my bedroom, I keep the blinds closed and I can make it dark even in the daylight, as when I was working I had shift work.. But I have been on disability for 11 years. I raise and sell cockateils and I just had my oldest buddy Donald die, he was 17, he was ultra tame you could do anything with him I use to play with him in front of Pal to show him Donald is fearless of my hands. That didn’t help. Pal didn’t like Donald, when I would put them both on the jungle gym Pal would move to where Donald was and chase him away So what do I do?
I can agree that, though you may not be looking for specific behaviors with your parrot, training (especially using positive reinforcement, like Dave and Jamie) can make living with parrots so much easier. I just brought home an Orange-winged Amazon about a month ago. I’ve worked with this bird for about two years prior to bringing him home, but due to circumstances at work (where Sweet Pea lived before coming home with me) I was able to adopt him. At work and at home, we use positive reinforcement for all of his behaviors. As a result, we’ve been able to implement fun behaviors that he really enjoys doing (like laughing when his humans laugh) and not so fun behaviors that we need to ensure his complete health and well-being like voluntary nail trims. He actually OFFERS his foot to do the nail trims now because the positive reinforcement out-weighs any kind of negative association he had prior to it, like toweling him! We’re still working on some other basic husbandry behaviors, like letting me stretch his wings for inspections, but it’s a work in progress. These are just a couple of examples that really show case why training is important, whether or not you decided you want your bird to learn “tricks”. After watching Dave and Jamie’s Youtube videos, I’ve learned some things along the way about what my bird needs, reading bird behavior, and even how to better communicate with my bird – And I already have experience doing all of that! I am buying the beginner level course to make sure I have a strong foundation, (even though Sweet Pea and I know each other very well) and to make sure I am doing what is best for my bird, and not what’s best for me. Happy Parronting to all!
How to set up a amazons bird cage with toys. I do not want to over whelm him.
Hi , 22 years ago my then husband bought me a blue front amazon parrot from a pet shop that was using insecticides, we felt the bird needed to be rescued, we even bought a new cage , the bird bonded with my husband, would tolerate me, we ended up divorcing, I kept the bird. it was very noticeable the bird missed my ex , one day he came to the house and told me he was thinking about getting himself a bird , so to make my little bird happy , I gave him the bird, now we did some research, we knew who had the bird before us , that lady had it for 15 years ,we had it in our family 22 years , so we figured 37 + years old , several months ago , my ex was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer , I told him when it gets to the point he cant take of the bird , I’ll take it back ,, he was very greatful. since I have had the bird , I have taken it to the vet , it was diagnosed with fatty liver disease and heart disease , I also had to have the beak and nails trimmed, I also had the bird sexed , because the poor thing was called a him for 22 years , hormonal behavior told me this bird is a female , sure enough I was right, he is a she ,I then ask them if they could give me a better estimate of her age. given the information I gave them with her behavior to people and x-rays , they estimated of her age to be no more than 50, They also believe she was either taken out of the wild or around wild birds at some point . when I sent her to be with my ex , she loved showers , now she’s terrified , she’s affraid of everything , I decided at her age , and the condition of her 22 year old cage , she needed a new one , so she went from an apt to a condo , her cage sits next to my chair , we talk all the time ,, she will take food from my hand , but she cannot be touched, she is out for blood if anyone tries. I open her door for several hrs a day , she won’t get on top of her cage (she did the old cage) , all she does is sit on her door . unless I’m eating , then she’s quite the little begger , I was very unhappy when I found out all the things this little bird had to tolerate and or go without in the last 22 years , and she is so slow at excepting anything , I am taking my time at reintroducing her to a spray bottle ( for a shower which she used to love) I put a bath in her cage in hope that she will eventually play in it like she does her water bowl. I also want her to step up and allow me to put her in her travel cage for her vet visits and just so I can take her out and about , that will be later , any suggestions would be appreciated
Hi, we were given a double yellow headed Amazon about 3 months ago. Guido is about 35 years old and if he could only tell his little life store I’m sure it would be a strange one! He had been attached to many different people though his life he’s had love and affection he’s been ignored and abandoned. He was with a band he can speak many words and sing many songs I’m told however he only uses maybe 5 or six words and has picked up our names and yells for us when he knows we have left the house. He is very curious of everything I do and watches every move I make. I talk to him as if he was a human I tell him what I’m doing or cooking he’s right in between the kitchen and den area so he sees everything. I then have his out side cage and try to get him out daily in the morning then on top of his cage for the rest of the day. Some day are a challenge others not so much. He is not holdable he has bit me so bad I have 2 scare I was told long ago don’t pull away it shows trust. Well after the first real bit there was no more like that!! He will lung through his cage as you walk by as if he want to eat you howev3r this has gotten better and the last week we have breakfast and lovens time we’re I can pet him on the head while he’s in his cage. That how we start our days now for a good 30 mints or so and before bed I can pet hi I try through out the day and not so successful. When he’s out he want to come towards me like to get on my shoulder but not happening he’s not biting my face or ears. Don’t get me wrong I want to hold and love my bird. I’ve watched a few of your videos and interested in learning more however he doesn’t and won’t come out of his cage everyday i oven and leave his door open and tell come come let’s play ball or play with the cardboard boxes he’s got all kinds of stuff sometimes he’s out others takes me hours if he comes out at all.
I want to be a bird trainer one day I have an amazon parrot and I want to learn about them
Hi! I’ve transitioned a 22yr old yellow-naped Amazon to my home a few months ago. I tried target training with him but he’s afraid of chopsticks, pens, pencils, spoons, etc. How can I start target training him to be curious instead of scared of the target object? Thanks! ❤️
Hi .. I have a blue fronted Amazon rescue bird who’s bin abused and clearly yelled at a lot . Plays on top of cage happily all day. Will take offered titbits nicely but won’t step up or allow any physical contact and will bite or strike . He’s about 15 years old and loved but would love more interaction . Any suggestions?
Hi, I inherited my Red Lored Amazon Parrot (Chico) from my friend Noe. Noe was killed by a hit and run driver. He had Chico for about 10 to 11 yrs. Chico’s 1st owner had him (I think) for around 5 yrs. before dying himself. I think his Mom had Chico for a while. Also I think Chico was in an Amazon Sanctuary or whatever in between his 1st owner and Noe. So that places Chico at around 20 yrs. Also Chico wasn’t suppose to like women. He’s quite attached to me. Also I think it’s because he remembers me. I use to hang out at Noe’s quite a bit and take Chico in the shell peanuts and talk to him a lot. I got Chico this last Thanksgiving and have been able to handle him ever since.Then I wasn’t able to go over to Noe’s for several yrs. Now, my question is this, I have a cat (Pooh) who loves Chico to pieces, literally. Pooh wants play and cuddle with Chico. I had Chico out on 2 different occasions with 2 different people. He was fine on my shoulder until each person went to pet Pooh and then Chico attacked each person. Are Amazons protective of other pets. Chico has no problem being around other people as long as they don’t try to touch him when he doesn’t know them well. Though he’ll let people feed him nuts or other treats. Pooh is a male, neutered cat. So is Chico defending him when someone is petting him?
Hello. We are new parrot owners we have Blue fronted Amazon 5 month old. All of above questions are great. Where can we see answers to them. I also want to know if you do online classes – we are based in a different country. Want to know how that works if it does. Thank you
These videos always bring tears to my eyes. The birds are so excited and happy!
Hi Birdtricks!!! I have a YNA parott and I work with her daily and am in the process of purchasing the pellets and the cookbooks for a better diet. I was wondering is there a way that you can potty train a bird.
I have a rescue bird that is scared of everything. He has a great little bird but he is mean and he has been terribly abused. I saw your training videos is that a good place for me to start and do you have suggestions for the fear factor?
i really need help my amazon is not nice he only like one person my uncle but he is my parrot what do i do
We have Abbie, whom we were told is 6 years old, a Blue Front Amazon. We drove from NorCal all the way to San Diego to pick her up this was one year ago. We had lost our first BF Amazon to fibroids around her lungs, she was 35 yrs old and missed her terribly. Abbie is a different personality being younger and hormonal she chose me to share her affectionate advances with unfortunately. When she starts her dance and strut I get greens and stuff her forage ball with them hiding a Peanut in the center, She changes her focus then and works on her “salad” instead. She is very smart, talks well. I’m always amazed that she Will learn her words exactly as Spoken to her because you can tell which person in the house she learned It from by the voice she speaks it in! Too funny. Her wings were clipped extremely and now have all grown out. I have gotten her to fly through the house and she banks turns well, needs to build stamina to keep the height. We have cats and they respect her as they did our previous Parrot. I need a Clicker to target train her proper. She is finicky about treats so one day peanut works the next day no. She would prefer to be on your shoulder for a reward, thats her favorite spot besides her manzanita tree stand. Yes she will screech a flock call if your out of sight for to long and the usual dinnertime raucous noise but its what they do. We love all of her.
I have a double yellow headed amazon I’ve had for 27 years and I think its about time we got divorced. I’m looking for options. This morning he bit me in the nose so hard its left a blood couple of marks and a newly bruised beak (mine). 27 years he’s never bit me like that before. WHy?? Can you refer me to any good articles about biting, screaming, or for that matter finding it a good home? any help would be appreciated.
I have 2 dyh amazons that I have had about 20 years. They will be 65 in December. They are rescues and have been severely abused. They have had both their legs crippled. They were on a seed based diet and it took many months to get them on a good diet. They, of course, trust no one. They were both kept in the same cage, which was too small for even one of them, but all they had ever known. Luckily I had a cage just like it so I split them up but kept them close to each other. Over a period of several months I moved the cages apart a little at a time until they were on opposite sides of the room but still in full view of each other. I opened their cage doors every morning and it took them 11 months just to come out. That told me they had lived under a lot of fear. I wasn’t going to add more. When they finally realized they could go in and out of their cages anytime they wanted and no one was going to hurt them, which took a long time, they stayed on top of their cage most of the time, only going in to eat or drink. I don’t place any demands or pressure on them. Occasionally they will fly to the floor and I can pick them up and pet and love on them and that is ok with them. They don’t talk because I don’t think they were ever in an environment that they felt safe and cared for and encouraged them. That is ok. To me talking is such a small part of who and what they are if they never talk it is fine with me. Some of mine talk and some don’t and it takes absolutely nothing away from them if they don’t. I can’t imagine not having my babies. The joy they give is immeasurable.
Hi. I was very interested when you mentioned a bird rescue. I used to live in north Florida, and there was a wild bird rescue there that I volunteered at. I have since moved to central Florida. Don’t know of any place where they have a bird rescue or sanctuary. What would be a good place to look at in the phone book to find a place? We have NO animal stores that would have any information. Just something I would love to do again
Your pictures and articles are fantastic! My Sun Conure is 26 years old. I have had him since he was 3 months old. He is very attached to ME. He dislikes men. I was told that this was because he is a male bird who bonds better with female owners. He is very intelligent, playful and talkative. He has new toys often. I was in a very bad car accident and in the hospital for a very long time. My mom started to care for him He got to know her and liked her pretty well. He talked to her a lot even after I was home and he was around me. He called her "gamma " ! Now Sunny has been biting other people, basically males. I explained this to my brother. So when he would go see Sunny, he played a game with him and Sunny enjoyed it. Sunny stopped chasing him as much. However, if Sunny is with me and my brother enters the room, Sunny flies to him to bite him. I don’t know how to stop this. I need to know if it’s smarter to trim his wings or not. He was ALWAYS trimmed. My brother got a very large dog who is also a quick mover. So I became worried that Sunny might get spooked near the dog and would not be able to fly away from him or on something higher. We DO have ceiling fans but Sunny won’t fly high like that. Or into windows. So that is safe. Thanks for everything.
To Caroline Molinaro on getting your girl to talk, We’ve all learned the importance of reinforcing or capturing behavior, but initially inducing that bbehavior is another matter. I constantly talk to my 10-month-old Diana, frequently using and emphasizing words or phrases I want her to say. Overall, she’s a brilliant mimmick, quickly learning any sound I make, but has yet to utter that first real word. Nonetheless, she’s sweet, brilliant, absolutely gorgeous, and one of the best things to ever come my way. So, Caroline, enjoy her, love her, stimulate her, and see what happens.
My son found a Blue Fronted Amazon in his backyard about five years ago. He called me to get it and I caught it and brought it home. I tried my best to find the owner but after 3 months of trying and a visit to my local vet, to see if it was micro chipped, I couldn’t find the owner. It was another addition to my flock of rescued birds and was like an early Christmas present because it was late November. Being in Australia I have never had an Amazon so I chose to keep it to see how intelligent it was. I had a DNA done and found it was a hen but that was after I already called her Dave. She’s now part of my flock and I get so much pleasure from interacting with her that I wouldn’t give her up for a million dollars. She is super smart and I want to give her the best life possible. I find your videos really helpful and I have learned a lot. I am however disappointed that I didn’t get the Natural Feeding Nutritional Program in Print sent to me because from what I’ve seen it is the ultimate in giving my birds the best possible nutrition.
I have a Amazon rescue (16) who has no interest in fresh food. I have tried several different things but so far no luck. I may not have given him enough time but I did have fresh food in his cage for months and achieved no results. Do any of your books show how to show him veggies are good? I would love to purchase the set but they are a significant investment for a retiree unless they can actually help me.
Ordered your training series only a month ago. In just this short period of time, my YNA can now wave, turn around, and will come off my shoulder without a problem. I just wanted a well behaved bird. Not necessarily a “trick” bird, but found that trick training teaches them to think in all other areas, and has made my bird a lot more fun to interact with for everyone. The cost of your total package training series was less than 1/6th the cost of my bird, but If I could put a dollar amount on the stress this has saved, it would be in the millions! Thank you so much for offering this much needed course!!
I wanted to say thank you for all of your educational content. I just got a Blue Fronted Amazon about a week ago. I was told she is 8 months old. She came with her wings clipped and on a mostly seed mixed diet with some fruit. The food they sent her with looks like the basic parrot seed mix found at the local grocery store full of mostly sunflower seeds. I just purchased the cookbooks from Bird Tricks, so I can ensure she is eating healthy. I have been watching a lot of your clicker and target training videos and I started click training today. It is absolutely amazing how intelligent and perceptive creatures parrots are. So, again, thank you for all of your videos and blog posts spreading education about caring for and training birds.
How am I able to train my parrot to allow me to “scratch her head”, and be more. She is two years old, says only hello. She steps up wonderfully, and sits on the shoulder splendidly. I would like to touch her feathers. She yells at me whenever I try. Sometimes she is better and when I touch her I give a treat. But how do I know I’m not reenforcing the “avoiding being touched” vs. “I’m touching you and here is a treat?”.
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