Identity Crisis

What do you do with an angry Amazon Double Yellow-Headed Parrot? Especially when he’s upset because I left the room with dark clothes on and came back in something light. I left wearing pants and came back in a long dress. Or I left with dry hair and came back with it wet. I wish I knew how to keep him from having these episodes.

I remember hearing that chickens respond better to a person who wears the same clothes every day while feeding and cleaning their pen. I could understand that, but Maynard has a bit more brain than a chicken, in spite of what my husband says. Here’s some input on bird vs. mammal brains:http://www.dana.org/Cerebrum/2005/Bird_Brain__It_May_Be_A_Compliment!/

And more data on the reason science is just now realizing that birds are smarter than we think. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1626540/

Are they smarter than people in some situations? http://io9.com/5948169/one-way-that-bird-brains-could-be-superior-to-mammal-brains This makes me think of the early IQ tests that were biased toward people who lived in a certain style and place. It’s just not fair.

This comes as no surprise to me because I know my birds are always trying to tell me something. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ed9A4HPdXgQ And this has great input on how they recognize each other in the wild. But in captivity, a caged bird might not know its name.

Maynard knows his name, I am pretty sure. He calls himself that pretty often. And he knows we are talking to him when he hears that name. But I have no idea what he calls us. Does he really think my name is Mama? http://birds.about.com/od/behaviorandtraining/f/How-Do-I-Teach-My-Bird-Its-Name.htm

While this article is talking about wild birds, it does mention the fact that parrots can tell their owners from strangers. http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavior/2009/05/bird-knows-who-you-are and this one is similar, http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatbirdblog/2008/09/15/research-update-do-parrots-recognize-individual-human-faces/ neither one has an answer as to why Maynard will suddenly think I am The Enemy. 

This is the closest I can find to a concrete reason. http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww45eii.htm Towards the bottom, the author states that she does not let her parrots see her clean their cages. Parrots resent the invasion of their territory. And sometimes we have to win our parrot’s trust over ever day. That could be the explanation.

Maynard had 6 new experiences of companions, I am his 7th companion human. He’s been with me for a year and a half, which is not very long. He did pick me, he loves me, and we get on very well together most of the time. But if I make unexpected changes without his knowledge, he reverts to aggression in self-defense. My solution with washing my hair is to make sure I have him in the bathroom while I shower. He loves that, so it works well. I have to work on his aversion to me changing clothes mid-day. It’s not always possible to have him with me as long as he is aggressive to Mike. But now that I have an answer, I can find a way to solve my problem.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back on Thursday. 

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