How to Stop a Greenwing Macaw from Biting

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Associate your hands with positive behaviors.,
Teach your bird to step up.,
Implement safe zones.,
Always use positive reinforcement.

Some people make the initial mistake of using their hands to shoo away or throw objects at their bird as a way to punish bad behavior. This makes it hard for your bird to know whether your hands are going to be used for a positive activity, such as petting or holding, or a negative one. *For the first few days, use a wooden stick or a perch to pick up your bird instead of your hands. When your bird starts to feel more comfortable around you, switch to picking it up with your hand and placing it on your finger.

, Getting your bird to step up onto your hand is essential for any further training. Go slow, and be sure to smile and make eye contact while teaching your bird to step up. Macaws can read your body language, and will know if you are stressed out or frustrated.

Start by putting a treat in one hand and put the other close to the bird. The bird will likely go for the treat. Give the treat and offer praise. Then, try again, this time asking your bird to step up. Repeat this process until your bird is comfortable enough to step up. Once the bird steps up with one foot, continue until it begins to use both feet.

, Once you’ve started picking up your bird with your hands, it’s important to teach it some boundaries. Otherwise, you run the risk of letting your bird fly recklessly around the house, which can result in injury or escape.

Start by taking your bird out of its cage. Whenever the bird attempts to fly away, pick it up gently and place it on either your shoulder, hand, or the outside of the cage. This lets the bird know that these are acceptable landing zones.
Once your bird becomes familiar with its safe landing zones, let it fly a bit more freely around the house. Be sure to monitor where your bird lands. If it does not land in a prescribed safe zone, continue to replace it on your hand, shoulder, or the cage until it no longer lands on unwanted places., Never hit your bird or use any kind of physical punishment, as this will immediately break the trust. Instead, offer treats and praise for positive behavior. If your bird misbehaves, simply say nothing and do not give a treat.

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