How to calm an aggressive macaw

Aggressiveness in birds

Birds in cages or aviaries have to accept human insight into their private lives. Some birds don't care, others react anxiously, give up their breeding plan or throw the eggs and often the young out of the nest. Still others become aggressive and attack their previously loved caretakers with claws or bills.

Aggressiveness often begins with the brood

In all bird orders there are quite a number of species that can become aggressive towards other birds and towards humans. It is most pronounced in parrots and parakeets. With the exception of a few species, they would like to be alone in pairs for the time of rearing their young; this aggression often sets in with the first appearance of the brood. The protective instinct for the offspring makes these birds suddenly become malicious even towards the otherwise loved caregiver.

If possible, aggressive birds should be housed in a divisible cage. This makes it easier to clean the premises and allows a quick look into the nest box to check the well-being of the eggs or nestlings if necessary. Otherwise, the aviary of large parrots, cockatoos and some Amazons can only be entered with gloves and a stick that is held under the bird's beak and which the bird usually bites into immediately. But be careful: some birds destroy the eggs or kill the young if they are disturbed.

Do certain species tend to be aggressive?

Nothing binding can be said in this regard. Among the fine finches, especially red ones are aggressive towards those with red plumage, which can even lead to injuries and death. But regardless of certain colors, some become aggressive. Even the tiny little elster, which is only nine centimeters in size, can then rush all other roommates through the aviary.

Many species are also aggressive with pigeons and soft-eaters. Hunting the weaker birds often goes to exhaustion. In the wild, they could run away, fly away or run away in order to get out of the attacker's territory. In the cage or in the aviary, however, there are hardly any hiding places that the attacker does not know or find. Some birds are happy when the other is out of sight, but some won't rest until they're injured or dead on the ground. In such cases, it is better to take it out beforehand and move it to another accommodation. (Horst Bielfeld)