Lessons learned from this successful captive blue front amazon parrot keeper
72363269 - the turquoise-fronted amazon (amazona aestiva)

Lessons learned from this successful captive blue front amazon parrot keeper

Learn Amazon parrot care from one of Windy City Parrot’s customers – who gets it.

Hello, Mitch

I’ve followed your blog for quite awhile and always appreciate your perspectives and insights. I was pretty much gutted when I read your article on Sunday … “Birds in cages suffer all their lives.”

I want my bird to have as happy and healthy a life as possible, but I read and hear so much contradictory information that I’m really not sure if I am providing what she needs— and I do try.

I apologize in advance for the length of this message but I would appreciate getting your input on my bird’s living conditions and your suggestions for improving her life.

bird stand and cage with blue front amazon parrot on bird cage door

Note foraging opportunities inside and outside the cage.
Grande kabob accessible from the top left cage roof
foot toys on the grate of the play stand
ladder connecting bird cage with bird playstand

We have had Julianne, a blue fronted amazon female (DNA tested) for 9-1/2 years — she is 10 years old now. She is strongly bonded to me but dislikes my husband. (Actually any men). Although we have made many attempts to change this, none of the recommendations that we try have helped and sometimes they even made the situation worse.

Although he can not handle or feed her, he can be near her and she no longer flies into a rage or screams. We’re okay with this. Right now,she is not excessively noisy through the day, some good noise usually in the morning and before bedtime, but she otherwise mumbles and whistles and talks, but no awful screaming. If she does get a bit carried away, I just have to say her name and she quiets right down.

Her diet consists of a range of pelleted food (Scenic Paradise Mix; Tops Pellets; Goldenfeast Goldn’obles; Zupreem Naturals; Zupreem Fruit Blend; Kaytee Rainbow Blend; Tropican Lifetime).  She also has either Roudybush and Harrisons on alternate days.

She also has a variety of fresh food each day, including: vegetables: snap peas, green, red, yellow & hot peppers, cucumber, cooked beans, edamame, beets, broccoli, carrots & carrot tops, pumpkin, quinoa, brown rice, spinach, sweet potato, cabbage, corn fruit, apples, cherries, blueberries, grapes, strawberries, almonds.

And probably other things that I can’t think of right now. I do hide food around her cage and play stand. Her weight has been consistent and she is not overweight. She goes for annual check ups with a certified avian vet — Dr. Brian Speer and his associates.

In the past she has tended to be hormonal, but I have followed several recommendations which have been helpful and it now seems to be under control.

I have always kept her on a 12 hour sleep cycle. She has a smaller cage in her own bedroom. It has blackout curtains on the window and I use a heavy curtain over the door frame — closing the door makes the room too stuffy so I don’t like to do that.

She is away from the noise of the house, but she may occasionally get a small amount of light from an adjacent hallway under the curtain. I don’t cover the night-time cage any more — she had begun to treat it like a nesting box so it was suggested that I not cover her.

If I am home, her cage door is always open and since I work at home, that is probably 90% of her week. She usually plays on top of her cage or on her play stand. Her wings have not been clipped and she can fly, but usually doesn’t.

Once in awhile she will fly up to the high windows (vaulted ceiling), but not very often. If she drops a toy on the floor, she usually climbs down to get it, then climbs up again.

I know that I’ve read in your blog that having the cage near a window can be stressful, but I don’t get that impression from her. I have put her in a room away from windows, but she doesn’t seem to be as active or engaged as she is when near a window.

She always calls ‘hello’ whenever someone walks by, and “laughs” when there are children playing in the yards across the street. I always know if someone is coming to our front door, because she makes a specific sound for it. Unless I’m misreading her behavior (which is what I worry about), she seems very happy.

She does have a does have a “FeatherBrite Full Spectrum 20 watt Spiral Compact Lamp.” It’s situated in a lamp near the side of her cage so I’m concerned about how effective it really is. I can’t figure out a way to mount one on top where she wouldn’t be able to touch it and hurt herself though.

I do take her outside in a travel cage and we take her for car rides every weekend. As soon as I bring her travel cage out, she’s ready to climb inside.

I’m attaching some photos so that you can see the set up of her cage. Poor quality — I’m sorry — largely due to that window.

Thank you so much. I genuinely appreciate any suggestions you may have.

Regards,

Nan N

Don’t fix what’s not broken. Your writing the book on how to properly keep a parrot. If I were to get granular I’d say add a few more toys in the upper third of the cage. “The toys in your birds cage are the leaves in your birds tree.”

I see a large toy in the center of the cage and low. Is Julianne able to access it?

As for lighting above the cage I would advocate hanging a swag light 6 inches to one foot above the cage. A timer would be helpful as well

Other than that I’m taking the liberty of making you an example of how captive bird keepers do things right.

We have added 2000 points to your WindyCityParrot.com account, a $20 value, for your effort redeemable on your next visit. Thank you again.

best
mitchr

your zygodactyl footnote

 

Mitch Rezman

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they visited monthly birdie brunches in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Very nice, thanks Sherry and Mitch! Beautiful birdie.

  2. Whoa and I thought I was doing an excellent job with my scarlet. I see I need to up my care a couple notches.

  3. Wow, I feel inadequate now. BTW, we purchased a very inexpensive swag light from IKEA that we use for the full spectrum bulb–works perfectly. Our Lilac Crown Amazon does not like her cage right by the window but she likes (demands) us to walk her over to the different windows in the house in the mornings and evenings. Must be a flocking thing?

    1. I love the idea of you guys walking around together. She gets to ‘travel’ and sight-see like she would if she lived outdoors.

  4. what a wonderful life for this avian member of their family. Good job Nan. I have a Meyers Parrot that still squawks at my husband and since we have an Airbnb in the house now, he has gotten better at interacting with men, much quieter when they walk around him. He meows at the ladies and they just adore him for it!

  5. Beautiful story of a beautiful bird. Thank you very much for sharing. It’s obvious you are doing a great job with her. Sometimes I think birds react to spouses in fun, to keep us guessing if she really hates him or is playing him. They are very smart!

  6. Beautiful story of a beautiful bird. Thank you very much for sharing. It’s obvious you are doing a great job with her. Sometimes I think birds react to spouses in fun, to keep us guessing if she really hates him or is playing him. They are very smart!

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