Scarlet Macaw Behavior Issues
Owners of Scarlet macaws will tell you that their birds are nearly perfect; however the common complaints include biting, screaming, and feather plucking. Scarlet Macaw behavior problems generally stem from something missing from your Macaw’s environment.
From a macaws perspective here’s a list of common complaints:
“I don’t have enough room in my cage.” Scarlet macaws are wild birds. True, they do quite well in captivity but that doesn’t mean they want to spend all day cooped up in a little cage. More scarlet macaw cage and diet info.
The minimum cage requirements are 36x36x72. The height is to enable your Scarlet Macaw the ability to climb up high like they do in the rainforest.
“I don’t have enough time outside of my cage.”
Scarlet Macaws need plenty of time to wander around on the floor, climb, and just socialize with their family. When they’re not given this time screaming, biting, and even pulling out their beautiful feathers can result.
“I’m bored out of my mind.” Scarlet Macaws also known as the Ara Macao are intelligent and active birds. They need plenty of parrot toys to occupy them while they’re in their cage, plenty of toys to occupy them while they’re outside of their cage, training, and attention in order to keep them happy and engaged.
“I’m frightened.” Stress, fear, and a lack of trust are all triggers that result in aggressive and unpleasant behavior. Training creates a good bond of trust. It is also important to make sure they have a stable and secure environment.
One of the best ways to avoid being bitten during these mood swings, apart from training them to express themselves differently, is to learn to read your Scarlet Macaws behavior.
Most often you’ll see a few physical cues like a puffing of the feathers or a pinning of the eyes before they take a bite out of your finger. It’s important to know how to read your Scarlets Fear Feathers.
Other common Macaw complaints may be, I’m tired, I’m hungry, or I’m sexually frustrated. Two of these are easily remedied, the last requires patience on your part or finding them a mate but then that means owning two Macaws and that may be more than you bargained for.
The first two, I’m tired or I’m hungry, are important to take a look at. A healthy and happy Macaw needs about ten hours of quality sleep at night and a proper diet based in natural pellets and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables will take care of the rest.
When dealing with Scarlet Macaw behavior issues there are a few things to NOT do.
Please do not drop, throw or hit your bird. Aggression begets more aggression and hitting your bird only results in more biting, screaming, and feather plucking.
Yelling and splashing or throwing water at them is also a dramatic reaction that will only serve to reinforce the behavior. Macaws enjoy drama and any kind of attention they can get. When you yell, jerk your hand away from a bite, or place them back into their cage you may very well be giving them exactly what they want.
So what do you do?
When your Scarlet Macaw bites you, gently push your hand toward them. Yes, it may hurt because their beaks are strong, however you changing your reaction will cause them to rethink the bite since it isn’t giving them what they expect. Scarlet macaw biting is an issue that can be solved with a little patience and training.
When your Scarlet Macaw screams, ignore them. When they’re quiet, give them plenty of praise and attention. Now you’re showing them what kind of behavior you like and what kind of behavior will earn them attention.
What you’re doing in both instances here is training your Scarlet Macaw. You’re training them to change their behavior. Trick Training for us has shown to be the most effective means of eliminating and reducing the potential of behavior problems. A properly cared for and socialized Scarlet Macaw can handle just about anything and will be able to adapt without making you suffer.
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