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#62320 - 05/14/02 10:07 PM Moving forward  
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 93
Diana Offline
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Diana  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 93
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Well, I am feeling a little better now, since the passing of Gandhi. The rescue has yet another M2.

Her name is Kasha, and she is a twenty eight year old wild caught bird. She was owned for twenty two years by one person, and was handled by that person only. She was the other bird we moved the day before Gandhi died.

The wild caught birds are quite different then then the hand fed babies we see. Although she has been held hostage for over two decades, she has no trust of humans. Who can really blame her. She has been deprived from mating and carrying out all the things she used to do in her wild life. You can see the betrayal in her. She has plucked herself extensivly, but has only gone that far to damage herself. She is still the most beautiful M2 I have ever seen. There is no comparison between Kasha and the ones bred in captivity. It just makes me sick to think of her being torn away from the happy and natural life she knew and loved.

I wish there was a way to let her free again, but we all know she would never survive. Instead, I come over and spend a lot of time talking to her softly, and gently spraying her down with water. This is about the only time she stops hissing, snapping her beak and foot stomping. She behaves totally differently then any of the rescued and abused cockatoos I have worked with. She wants so badly to be a part of the flock, but does not know how to trust.

I took a chance on Sunday, and opened her vcage door. I then brought Kaos the male M2 upstairs and started giving him cuddles and love. Kasha saw that handsome guy and for the first time started making noises other then the hissing.

Kaos was also smitten with Kasha, and tried so hard to act like a cool ladies man. He normally screams, dances and displays when we bring him out. Well not that day. He was trying to show off his assets in a calm and collected way. When we saw how they got along, we then decided to sterilize Gandhi's old cage and move Kaos into it.

Kaos seems to calm Kasha down, and show her that we are not going to harm her. While Kasha was still on top of her cage, I decided to try to reach out to her. She was hissing and displaying, but after a period of time, she aloowed me to preen her crest. I stood there preening her feathers for at least half an hour. By the time that period of time was over, she was so relaxed. I made sure my movements were very slow and deliberate, but I felt that I had broken a huge barrier. Although we had some quality time together, I know I will have to start all over again when I return the next time.

I wish I could make up all the years of lonely captivity to her, but know that I cannot. If she were your bird to work with, whst would you do for her, to try to esablish a trustful bond? I am going to build an outside avairy for Tasha soon, since she LOVES the outdoors. Perhaps I can talk to Kurtis and see if I foster her at home. All I want to do is try to make her happy, and try to fill a void in her life. I know nothing in captivity could ever substitute for her wild life, but what would make her happy.

I have to go, Tasha is sitting on my head right now, and has made typing this post murder to get done. She's kind of offended with me, since I gave her a nice soaking today. We are still trying to overcome her previous life of abuse, and her punishment with water. We are doing great though, and she has really started to bond with me now. Well, now she is snapping my bra strap, really hard I may add. I better go. Any help with Kasha would be appreciated a great deal. wink

#62321 - 05/14/02 10:28 PM Re: Moving forward  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 52
Amy Taveras Offline
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Amy Taveras  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 52
Dominican Republic
Hi Diana, this is what worked for me and my wild caught M2, Bitico...give her lots of attention and love. Let her test you (and I'm sure she will), but be careful - as I'm sure you already know, M2s have a killer bite. Talk to her, sing to her, make her feel like a queen and slowly she will gain trust. Before you know it she will be cuddling in your arms.

Try not to let your feelings get hurt if she does 'test bite' you. Remember that it's only a test. You will pass if you don't react. Bitico gave me a few when I thought we were already friends and I got SO upset. It's hard because you get so attached to them so quickly. There is something special about the Moluccan. They really captivate your heart.

Well, good luck! It sounds like you've made some great headway already with the crest preening. I'm sure you'll have a little cuddle-bug in no time.

#62322 - 05/15/02 12:10 AM Re: Moving forward  
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 93
Diana Offline
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Diana  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 93
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
HI Amy,

Funny, it was your post about Ken Globus that inspired me to try harder with Kasha. I went to his site, and found what he was saying was quite reasonable. Kasha has been in rescue for several months and was in isolation, since she is back to being wild. I sent Kurtis the site about Ken, and he agreed with most of it readily. Of course Mr.Globus does not give out many of his trade secrets, so I figured that bringing Kaos upstairs and giving him lots of love would push a little button in Kasha. Of course, I did not wear gloves or push Kasha to step up at all. I just wanted to be allowed to touch her.

I did this fully expecting a nasty bite, but did not even get snapped at. I did get bit that day, a really vicious one at that, but a green winged macaw named Schnoogie. Usually she will bite me once, just to test, but this time since I did not withdraw like usual, she decided to latch on, and grind her beak back and forth across my knuckle several times. She was pretty proud of herself, and said "I did a good one, did'nt I". When I responded how mean she was, she said "I know", and then I said I did not want to play with her. Well, her reply was "I don't care".

There is nothing like getting dissed by a parrot. wink We are okay again now. I am sure that Kasha will bite me sooner or later. I worry about the bite of a cockatoo, but I think the killer bite that Schnoogie inficted gave me a warm up. I survived, so I know I will survive a cockatoo as well. I think the hardest thing about getting bit, is staying still, and pretending it did not hurt.

How are your macaws doing?

#62323 - 05/15/02 03:23 AM Re: Moving forward  
Joined: Apr 2002
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alaska_toos Offline
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alaska_toos  Offline
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Hi Dianna,
I'm not sure what to tell you will work, but I had a male wild caught Moluccan that was in his late 20's. He was a breeder and very happy about it. His mate died from pneumonia(sp).

I brought him home (he had already been quarantined as I get all my birds from this friend)and put him next to my U2's cage. He really seemed to enjoy the company, but my U2 wasn't interested like he thought he should be.

I made a point of trying to take him out of his cage everyday or just reaching in and petting him, although he didn't like it and was constantly hissing at me. Needless to say I got bite alot, I have many scares from him. After all I was intruding on his territory now.

After a couple of months it got to the point where it was harder to put him in his cage than get him out. He let me preen him, I could hand him food and he would take it from me very quickly of course. He was still wild and that was very obvious. He had been a breeder for almost all of his life and had never been handled before.

I would handle my other birds in front of him and show him that I meant him no harm. I came a very long way with him. I felt so bad for him that I gave him to a lady that also had a M2 that needed someone to be with, since their mate had died as well.

I knew in my heart that giving him to this lady was in his best interests and he is truely happy. I call and check up on him from time to time.

I wish you the best of luck with your bird, but it will be a long and hard road to travel. Just remember that consistency is the best thing that you can do and hopefully you can win them over.
Tammy


The woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.
Henry Van Dyke
#62324 - 05/20/02 11:49 PM Re: Moving forward  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 52
Amy Taveras Offline
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Amy Taveras  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 52
Dominican Republic
Hey Diana,

I'm so glad Ken's site was an inspiration for you! I'm sure Kurtis probably shares many of the same methods that Ken uses with his birds. Ken discovered his methods while trying to tame wild birds during the days of importing (his parents owned a petstore). Through trial and error, he discovered what worked and what didn't. Kurtis has probably done the same thing with his rescue birds. It's much easier to find homes for managable birds that wild ones. Not to mention the fact that he has to care for them on a daily basis (much easier to do when they aren't biting the @#$% out of you).

This is what it all comes down to...every day that the bird is afraid of you or your hands, the more stress it goes through on a daily basis. If you can, in an intense, but brief session show the bird how to lose that fear, you are essentially making it's stress level decrease immensely for the rest of it's life. It's worth it, in my opinion, to put them through some intense discomfort for a little while to give them peace for the many years to come. And we are really only talking about putting them through stress equivalent to that of grooming. NOT torture.

Aren't those macaws little buggers?!?! I find cockatoos to be MUCH easier to work with. They actually like attention. Macaws are the cats of the bird world, meaning the whole pompous - I'll let you touch me when I say so - attitude. I'd like to give you a few tips in dealing with this macaw, but I need to check with Ken first as they are his bits of advice. Just a couple of things that may stop her from biting or at least keep you from getting hurt.

You have to keep me informed on Kasha. I'd like to hear how she is progressing. Since she's already letting you pet her, you should do pretty well. Just have to watch out for those test bites.

My macaws are doing great. It's slow progress and some days we go back a few steps, but I'm confident that eventually they will become truly wonderful companions and that we will look back on these times of trial and laugh/sigh/cry at how far we've come. I wish you all the luck - no not luck, patience - in the world as you work with Kasha. You will succeed and you will bring so much happiness into her life. Are you considering adopting her?

#62325 - 05/28/02 11:56 PM Re: Moving forward  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 52
Amy Taveras Offline
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Amy Taveras  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 52
Dominican Republic
Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you, Diana. My head is spinning with all of the things I'm involved in these days!

Ok, here's the tip I wanted to give you...when you approach the macaw, put your hand into a fist and bend the wrist toward you so that the skin on the top of your hand is very tight. Offer this to the bird. It is nearly impossible for them to bite you. Once they realize they can't bite you, it's usually no fun anymore. Two other places that work well also are the very top of your head and the palm of your hand. BUT, be careful because sometimes they grab onto the hair and next thing you know you have a nice bald spot. HA! For me, the back of the fist works best. With the palm, sometimes they bend their heads and get you on the side or in the webs of your fingers (OUCHIE! My hands are too small!).

How is Kasha doing by the way?


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