You are here:

Parrots/Blue & Gold Macaws


I have a Blue & Gold who I have had since August 2012.  I 4 weeks ago, adopted a second Blue & Gold.  The first bird seems to really enjoy this new guy.  He screams like I took his best friend away when I return him to his house.  I have been trying to introduce them and have high hopes for them to enjoy each other's company and become good friends.  The oldest one bit me this evening while I was holding on each arm while sitting on the chair.  I need to know the best way to handle this issue.  What should my reaction be when he bites me?  I am fairly sure it is jealousy.  Can you help?

-- As a rescue and rehabber of macaws I can certainly try to help you with this, but you may not like my input.   I tell it like it is


If you have a multiple number of parrots, whether a budgie/parakeet or big macaw, I strongly suggest housing them separately.  There are two main reasons for this:

1. By not physically interacting with each other, they are more likely to remain bonded to you and choosing to interact better with you.

2. There will be a much lower incident of accidents. These can be little tiffs over territory, food or anything that can result in injury or even death in previously long-time, well behaved birds Ė or it could be an accidental mating.

Even two females might be bonded enough to prompt one or both of them to lay eggs. Of course theyíd be infertile, but thereís always a danger to a birdís health in egg laying and it should be discouraged.

 Provide the largest cage possible for each bird, complete with various perches in different widths and materials, cuttlebone and mineral block, food and water. You can keep the cages near each other so they can enjoy the company, but not encourage physical interaction.

Another problem that may arise in single-housed birds is over-grooming each other (or one may over-groom the other).  You may end up with a very shredded looking bird thatís being feather plucked by a mate (they can be two males or two females as well).   When this happens you need to be sure itís not being caused by an underlying parasite that the plucking bird is trying to resolve on their partner so a vet visit is always a good idea.  

*****† A proper sized cage allows every bird in it to fully outstretch their wings and completely turn around, even upside down while their wings are out, without touching each other, or any side of the cage†† *****

 You should also double check the size of their enclosure and perhaps provide something even slightly larger.

 Adding a food and water dish to the ones already there might also help them resolve this if itís territorial aggression.  

Changing out some toys, bells, other interactive features may give them something different to focus on.

 See how I do it  


All Answers

Ask Experts


Rev. Dr. S.August Abbott


Certified Avian Specialist; Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council member; Own animal rescue org; National Wildlife habitat #66378; bird care, nutrition & behavior consultant; International Assoc. of Animal Behavior Consultants Associate; National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club member; published bird care, info and behavior articles and guides. Ongoing education in exotic bird behavior and nutrition I can answer behavioral, nutritional, environmental, characteristic/personality questions as well as general health and health care. No animal emergency can ever be addressed on the internet. We cannot see your animal, perform an examination, provide necessary care or medication. Please value your companion for the priceless, living creature they are; not for what you might have paid for them.


Certified Avian Specialist. For more than 30 years I've worked with veterinarians, protective facilities, nature centers, preserves and on my own in providing care and education with regard to multiple animal species, including raptors (hawks, kestrals, owls, etc) and marsupials. In recent years I've focused on parrots, usually rescued from abusive or less than ideal situations and helping educate owners as to proper care. Expert in behavior studies and modification of problem behavior.

4AnimalCare is the organization I run as an animal ministry; World Wildlife Association, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club and more

Bird Talk Magazine articles about rescued and problem macaws.

Doctorate, Ordained Minister

©2016 All rights reserved.