Severe macaw feather plucking behavior

Severe macaw gets sad after his family isn't able to spend as much time with him and starts feather picking. Parrot comes to the Sanctuary for help.
By David Dickson

How’s this for a game? Run around the house while a friend chases along on the floor trying to nibble your feet. For Nani the severe macaw, no game could be more exciting. As long as he’s the one doing the chasing, of course!

Companion birds can be very creative with how they play with their people. Another favorite game of Nani’s is peek-a-boo. He used to hang out in watch mode while his family would duck behind counters, tables, etc., and reappear like magic. (Human toddlers don’t have a corner market on that game, it seems.)

Severe macaw gets sad

One thing’s for sure, Nani loved his family. He’d lived with them since he was a baby. Fifteen years of bonding, playing, snuggling, making memories. And then a few years ago, life for his family started to get really busy. They worked longer hours. A baby joined the family. And for Nani, the drop in attention was tough to deal with. They still played with him as much as they could, but things were different, and for many parrots, that’s not acceptable. Nani started feather picking.

Feather-picking behavior

Parrots are complex. Intelligent and emotional, they need constant companionship, just as they would have in the wild. Try as they might, for three years and after exhaustive efforts, Nani’s family couldn’t convince him to stop picking at his own feathers. A spot opened up at the sanctuary and so Nani came to Best Friends, where he’ll receive plenty of TLC and companionship. Plus, our parrot experts can help him overcome his feather-picking habit.

Welcome, Nani! Soon, we hope to see you up for another game of toe-tag.

Photos by Troy Snow

Read about feather picking in birds.

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