In contrast to the beliefs of some people I’ve read on the internet, Hawk-headed Parrots make wonderful companion animals. They are quite easy to train to do tricks, and they pick up the ability to converse very quickly. They are also very affectionate, and they have really goofy dances and mannerisms. They remind me a lot of Caiques, which are another sort of bird that has a clownish appearance. In point of fact, back in the day, these birds were known as Hawkheaded Caiques rather than Hawkheaded Parrots. The vast majority of Hawkheads can be taught quickly to roll over onto their backs in your palm and allow you to tickle their bellies. They can be taught to do almost anything that larger parrots can learn, including things like dancing on your shoulder (which is quite cute!). When they are weaned, almost all of my Hawk-headed Parrots have already learned to talk. They do go through a stage where they become quite scary, which correlates with the time in the wild when their parents would drive them away because they were no longer dependent on them. When they are between 6 months and 1 years old, this happens when they are being kept in captivity. At this point, they are under the impression that you will turn on them and bite in order to drive them away, and as a result, they are very easily startled. It is not often recommended to purchase a baby bird that has not yet been weaned, but doing so with a Hawkhead is particularly unwise due to the fact that they will develop a fear of the person who raised them, at least for the first six months or so of their lives. The fact that they like to hang upside down and strike at you is one of their habits, and it is this behavior that has caused many people to be afraid of them and given them a reputation for being aggressive. If you maintain your hand still, the beak will strike at it with rapid speed, but when it reaches you, it will only give you a light tap on the shoulder. This occurs in other positions as well, but hanging upside down is the most common place for it to take place as a game. If a Hawkhead senses that it is in danger, just like any other living entity, it will undoubtedly launch a full-scale attack. Don’t put yourself in danger if your pet bird is afraid of you by approaching too closely.
A large enclosure is required for hawkhead parrots. A single Hawkhead that is adequate in size has dimensions of thirty-one inches in height, twenty-two inches in depth, and eighteen inches across, with larger being preferable. It’s good to have play areas on top of cages, but when the door is shut, there should still be room for our feathered buddy to hang with his feet in the air and flap his wings. They adore engaging in activities such as this one. One of the perches must to be made of concrete so that the nails may be kept in good shape and trimmed. The other perches ought to range in size from small to large. Just try to picture yourself being required to always be on your feet! A bird that is kept in a cage would benefit greatly from having a variety of perches that range in thickness, texture, and form. Every one of my Hawkeyes drinks from a bottle. This maintains the pristine quality of the water. If you give them a bowl of water, they will promptly put in waste food like fruit peels, vegetable scraps, and nutshells. Then, just for good measure, they will discharge themselves in the bowl. Within an hour, you will have bacteria soup instead of pleasant, clean water. Even though Hawkheads like a wide variety of toys, they, like many other parrots, may show some initial fear when confronted with a new toy. In that situation, you should gradually introduce the toy by putting it in view at first from a distance, then bringing it closer, then placing it on the outside of the cage, and ultimately bringing it inside. Bear in mind that the natural environment does not undergo a great deal of change, and certainly not on the spur of the moment. The growth of new branches on trees is a slow and laborious process that takes a long time. Unanticipated shifts can be unsettling. Therefore, place your toys inside the cage before the arrival of your bird. There are two categories of playthings that I consider to be essential components of hawkhead enclosures. The first is a skewer that is suspended within the enclosure. It has a top that unscrews so you may attach the portions of fruit and vegetables you eat during the day. It keeps them tidy, ensures they are readily available, and keeps them off the floor. You’ll be in good shape if you get one to keep in the cage and one to use for cleaning if you have one of these greedy fruit eaters. The second one is shaped like a miniature round cage made of plastic and appears like it. Dry treats can be introduced through a section of the top that can be pushed up and accessed more easily. This works wonderfully with peanuts, shelled nuts, nutbread, Nutriberries, and a variety of other treats that come in bite-sized pieces.
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