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Old 10-07-2008, 01:03 AM
 
Location: Missouri
6,046 posts, read 22,485,481 times
Reputation: 5138

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I am working on building a relationship with my friend's double yellow headed Amazon. The bird is male and estimated to be 12 years old. He was previously owned for a few years by a woman who did not do much with him at all, and then was abruptly unable to care for him. My friend has a knack for animals, so the woman gave the bird to him. This was 2-3 years ago.
I've been around the bird since this spring. Early in the summer, the bird started to let me pet his beak while he stood on his cage. Late this summer, he started sitting on my arm and let me pet his beak and a little bit of his neck, BUT only if he steps onto my arm from my friend. I tried to get him to step up onto my arm from his cage a few weeks ago, and got bit (OW). I think in the next week or so, I might try again to get him to step onto my arm.
I am trying really hard to learn about the bird. I've read a few books so far. If anyone has an Amazon, I'd love to hear any comments. The bird has a little silver band on his left leg. I'm wondering what it means. Also, he rarely speaks. In all this time I've been around, he said "hello" only once, in a low whisper. This was while my friend and I were several feet away, playing cards. That's the only talking he's done. I keep talking to him and I'm hopeful he'll talk more, but since he is 12 years old, I'm wondering if maybe he is just not a talker. Do you think I am wasting my time trying to teach him words?
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:21 PM
 
2,540 posts, read 5,689,042 times
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I'm not sure what links are allowed here, so you can "google" alot of info about them. They are considered one of the best talkers, not sure why yours isn't talking much. I had an orange wing Amazon for years. He didn't talk much and would sit on my arm, but not super affectionate. The ring on the leg is an identification from the breeder. If you look close, you'll see a number or letters on it.
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:36 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,222 posts, read 4,325,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahskye View Post
I'm not sure what links are allowed here, so you can "google" alot of info about them. They are considered one of the best talkers, not sure why yours isn't talking much. I had an orange wing Amazon for years. He didn't talk much and would sit on my arm, but not super affectionate. The ring on the leg is an identification from the breeder. If you look close, you'll see a number or letters on it.
We have a 5 year old African Grey got him when he was a baby he talks non-stop usually but if there are strangers around he will not say a word.
He is my Husbands baby nobody else can touch him but they do usually only go to one person.
When we first got him my Husband sat every night for 2 weeks with his arm in the cage !!! until he gained Charlie's confidence and Charlie would sit on his arm
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Missouri
6,046 posts, read 22,485,481 times
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Is there any way I can use the information off of the band on his leg to find out more about him? I would love to confirm exactly how old he is, and any other information.
I have googled "amazon parrots," definitely there is a lot of information out there! I've enjoyed reading all sorts of websites about them.
I have also heard that parrots tend to only let one person touch them, so I am really surprised that this fellow has wanted to spend time with my friend and myself. He'll sit on my friend's arm for a while, and then walk down near me and motion that he wants my arm. It's really cool.
The African Greys are beautiful, too.
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:59 PM
 
Location: California
10,091 posts, read 38,965,336 times
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I also had an Orange winged Amazon a few years back. If I remember correctly each # on the band means something..identifying the breeder, clutch, etc. Again...google and the info will probably come up.
Our OW spoke constantly...but only when he felt comfortable. In other words, not so much around strangers. Their voice box is not as developed as some....my son was a teenager at the time and he and his friends taught him to say "bite me"....thankfully, it sounded like "white meat"...But he could whistle really well...and other phrases...like I love you..came out well. He was very gentle...until frightened...then you could get a really good bite! You most definately have to build on trust with these guys. I could do almost anything with him...but my DH and son and had a hard time handling him.
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Old 10-07-2008, 04:28 PM
 
Location: the AZ desert
5,037 posts, read 8,288,432 times
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How much information you can get from the leg band all depends.

Is the metal band an open or closed band? An open band is a piece of metal which has been bent into the form of a circle. The ends of the band do not meet and are separated by a space to enable them to be placed on a mature bird's leg. After placement, the ends are then pinched together until they meet. These are usually found on wild caught, imported birds. If the bird is an import, the band should indicate the bird's quarantine station, since that is when they are placed on the bird. Closed bands are circular and seamless and are usually (but not always) found on domestically bred birds.

There are two types of quarantine stations, privately owned commercial import stations and USDA-owned and operated stations. The coding on the leg bands is different for each. The following information on import bands was printed in an article from Pet Business Magazine June, 1987 and may have changed since then:

USDA-owned and operated quarantine stations use bands with letters and three or four numbers. The letters refer to the name of the station:
  • Honolulu, HI - HH
    Key West, FL - T
    Miami, FL - 58A, 58B, 58C, 58D, 58E, 58F or USDA-F
    Newburgh, NY - NNY
The letters on the leg bands of USDA-regulated pet bird quarantine stations refer to location and are followed by three or four numbers:
  • Brownsville, TX - USDAB
    Honolulu, HI - USDAH
    Los Angeles, CA - USDAA
    Miami, FL - USDAM
    Mission, TX - USDAX ** for confiscated birds being put up for auction.
    Newburgh, NY - USDANNY
    San Ysidro, CA - USDAN
Privately owned commercial import stations use bands with an alphanumeric code - three letters followed by three numbers. The first letter signifies the state in which the station is located: California - C, O; Florida - F, Hawaii - H; Illinois - I; Louisiana - L; Michigan - M; New York - N; Texas - T.

The second letter denotes the quarantine station, while the third letter is part of the bird's ID number. For additional information regarding the numbers and letters on a bird's import band, you can call the USDA Administration Office Department of Agriculture, Fish, & Wildlife.


If he is a domestic bird you may get lucky, but it will require some work to trace. Some domestic breeders put their state abbreviation on the band and some states health departments keep a listing of who the breeders are. For example, if the band reads: MGA CO 93 005, that would mean the breeder's code is MGA, the state is he was hatched in was Colorado, the bird was hatched in 1993, and the 005 means that the band is the 5th consecutive series of bands that the breeder MGA has used.

Many bird associations such as SPBE, AFA or species related organizations offer record keeping services and bands to their members. There are other band providers who provide both traceable and non-traceable bands. To trace a band which has an organization name engraved on it, you would contact the organization engraved on the band. Each organization will have its own procedures to trace the band.

For example the bands for SPBE include a breeder code (usually 3 letters), a number (bird identification number) and the year. The initials SPBE also appear - that makes them traceable to that particular organization.

Major band providers, such as L & M Leg Bands and Red Bird, make many of the bands for the organizations. They also make bands for others, such as individual breeders and aviaries.

L&M offers customers engraving which includes a buyer ID code (up to three characters such as letters, numbers or symbols); a consecutive series of numbers so each band has a unique number for record-keeping; their state or Canadian province abbreviation; and lastly, the year. With the exception of some states, this is all optional. L&M is not imprinted on their bands. You can reach L&M at: L&M Bird Leg Bands, Inc., PO Box 2636, San Bernardino, CA 92406, 909-882-4649.

It is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to trace a band which does not have an organization code on it. The best course is to contact the major band manufacturers. They have thousands of customers, so it is unlikeley that the band buyer code would be unique. But they may be able to provide the names of a few breeders using this code, which is a starting point. The more information which has been engraved on the band, the better the chances of tracing it.

There are some states, such as CO, TN and NJ, that have regulations which make tracing of bands easier. In CO the state assigns unique breeder codes which must appear on the bands, making them traceable. NJ requires band manufacturers to make sure that no one uses the same code twice and an 'NJ' in an oval must also appear on the bands.

Good luck on your search
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Old 10-07-2008, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,320 posts, read 17,302,891 times
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I used to raise parrots, mostly African Greys. Amazons are a bit unpredictable for me and I had my lower lip almost removed by a Blue Fronted Amazon. I had a mature Double Yellow Headed male that became an attack bird and eventually a breeder. Go very slowly and I would never, never want him close to my face. They call them "exotic" pets for a reason. LOL
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Missouri
6,046 posts, read 22,485,481 times
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Cheydee - wow, that is so helpful. I'm going to take a closer look at the band this weekend - if he lets me.

Motley - ditto, I would not want this bird near my face. I have seen people with parrots who kissed them, but they had personally raised the bird since the bird was very young. I'd be happy if this parrot would be willing to step up on my arm without biting me. I am excited that he is getting more comfortable with my petting him.
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:10 AM
 
Location: the AZ desert
5,037 posts, read 8,288,432 times
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Please let us know if you find anything out
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Missouri
6,046 posts, read 22,485,481 times
Reputation: 5138
Well this bird and I continue to get along for the most part. He will now go up onto my arm from his cage, and lets me pet him a lot. Sometimes he likes to take my finger into his foot, hold it and nip at it. I say NO if he starts nipping too hard, and he stops. Is this a sign of affection, or something else? The only trouble I am having with him, is that if I try to get him to step up onto my arm from his cage at night, he will bite HARD or do his best to try. It's like he has a totally different personality after sunset. Is there any reason for this?

As far as his band is concerned, it is a closed band with 3 letters, a space, and 4 digits. I'm going to search on the three letters (NMA) and see what I come up with. I'd love to confirm his birthdate; his owner estimates him to be about 12 years old.
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