In order to have a successful relationship with a macaw you should cleverly understand its body language and behavior. These birds communicate through their actions, sounds and using these they tell us about their moods, whether they are happy or sad, hungry or sick, tired or playful, frightened or want to be held. It is important that the bird owners learn the ways of the parrots so they can understand and train them and strengthen the bond between them.
Let us try and understand some of the behaviors of the macaws which can be useful if you plan to keep this feathered beauty. If your bird displays the listed behaviors, try to learn what it is trying to tell you, and act accordingly.
Pinning or Dilating Pupils
If you see your parrots pupils are pinning in and out, you should know that they are excited, aggressive or maybe nervous. A new toy or good food might make your parrot excited; hence it exhibits its excitement. If you monitor its behavior closely you will understand the right mood; like in addition to the dilating of pupils if the bird is fanning its tail, then it is aggressive and ready to bite, you might considering leaving the bird alone else you might come in for a nasty bite. You better make sure you have some First Aid for your pet around, just in case.
Well! They are birds and they love to flap, flap and flap. It’s an exercise for them and shows that their bodies want more exercise or it wants your attention. You will often observe this behavior when they are taken out of their cages in the morning; they love to drum their wings and stretch their wings.
Preening and Fluffing
Macaws have beautiful feathers and they love to keep them shiny and healthy. They run their beaks from the base of the feathers to the top to clean, straighten and smoothen them.
Much like humans, who stretch before they start a new task the macaws have the habit of fluffing their feathers. These birds execute a quick feather ruffle so that they can let go tension. They will then fluff their feathers after preening in order to remove the dust particles. If you notice that your pet has fluffed for a long time then it might not be well. Consider seeing a doctor.
Aggression could be unpleasant but it is normal for the macaws to be aggressive sometimes. In its natural habitat the bird would normally fly away from a situation where aggression comes in, but as a pet there’s no place for it to flee. Some of the aggressive postures that the bird will display could be fanning its tail, standing tall, swaying side to side while holding its crest tightly back, bending with its beak open, spitting and hissing, fluffing its back feathers and ready to swoop and bite.
Their quest to grab attention of its owner may cause the macaw to glide its head from side to side like a snake. For the bird owners who are close to their pets, they will jerk their head and turn it in an angle making an attempt to look at you sideways; they will hold their head in the position till you respond in a similar manner. It is a game for them and love to do it over and over again.
Head snaking reflects your bird’s excitement as it bobs its head happily. It indicates that the bird wants to play with you. Make sure that you do not mistake a wound up bird as a happy one. While you may still see the head bobbing, the bird is probably going to lunge at you. Be careful and check if your bird is wound up for attack. When it lunges its beak at you just knock it off with a closed bent fist and then walk away from the macaw. It would have learnt its lesson.
Macaws love to explore, taste and try the flexibility of objects. The young macaws go through the teething stage and will want to chew on anything that it gets. They might want to bite your fingers but should be discouraged, try to give them wooden branches and wooden toys to bite. The older macaws use biting to show anger, anxiety or if they feel threatened.
A shivering or quivering parrot shows that it is frightened of something, excited or nervous. Speak to your pet in an assuring tone to calm them down before you try to touch or hold them.
It is common in the macaws that they regurgitate for their mates. This is a way of showing love and affection towards the one they love; might as well be its human owner. They bob their heads up and down to bring up food and deposit in their mate’s mouth.
Some species of the Macaws blush. The Buffon’s macaw and the blue and gold macaws blush when they are excited and want mate.
The body language of your bird plays an important role when you are trying to understand it. Look for these behaviors to find out if your bird is excited or aggressive. The way in which different parts of their body react to something will tell you how happy or sad they are about it.