Why Do My 2 Amazon Parrots Get Scared When I Put Toys In Their Cage

Why Do My 2 Amazon Parrots Get Scared When I Put Toys In Their Cage

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Angela wrote:

It does not matter if the toys are small, medium or large.

mitchr asks

Do they tolerate plexiglass? Plastic?

Angela said

Locking rings are a toy I offer but they will not play with them.

Instead, they go around them as if the ring toys were in their way or annoyed them

mitchr responds

How often do you try to put toys in your bird’s cage?

The longer you hold off between doing so, the more it likely will make them unhappy when you do invade their space to add anything.

What you put in there is not the issue.

Plastic, paper, wood or leather, etc.

I recommend that you move the two parrots to a bird play stand or another cage for a bit.


Then completely rearrange their bird cage.


Even move the perches.


Take all their toys and line the inside cage walls with them in the upper 1/3 of the cage


Certain toys should not be hanging in the center of a bird cage.


You’ll want to leave room for stretching, flapping wings, etc.


The bird toys should act as the leaves in a tree if they were in the wild.

We call this the


Learn more about adding bird toys to the top of the cage here.


A bird doesn’t like to sit in a tree without leaves as it makes them feel exposed, the same is true for a bare cage with only a handful of toys.

The toys don’t have to be destroyed to be of value.

Some are for chewing, some are for snuggling, others are to hide behind. If you look in the cage and all you see is a bird looking back at you, you don’t have enough going on in there.


10-20 toys including woven palm and paper.

Cardboard strips, odd household items like plastic spoons or measuring cups tied on with leather or cotton rope, all enhance your bird’s lives and well being.


Then put your birds back in the cage and shut the door. Leave them to check it all out and by evening they will be settled in.

Do the change early in the day so they are not now looking at things in the fading light which can be scary in the dark.


Do you have a full spectrum bulb above the cage?

It is really needed to help keep your bird’s hormones level. Set one up on a timer 12 hours on and 12 hours off (say 8 to 8). It gives your birds a schedule which they do well on.

They will be more active, eat better, preen more and be more likely to check out everything in their cage.


Full Spectrum Economy Daylight Bulb 23 Watt


Please let me know how this works out, pictures would be great.


Thank you




Thank you for the great information.

I inherited both birds.

The first one was because he was plucking his feathers, I put a movable rings toy on the side of the cage right away, he would play with it once in a while, then less and less and he avoided the side where the toy was located so I removed it.  

The second parrot had a silver bell in her cage and she would pull it and throw it on the ground.

She has a broken wing and does not fly, another parrot maltreated her as well as the husband of the owner of both parrots.

When the owner died, a year ago, I bought the 2nd parrot to my house.

 I will buy the light, after reading this week’s Windy City blog.

I will definitely try your advice.


Thank you


New Topic

Patricia M. has an issue with one of her two Amazon parrots getting very aggressive towards her.

I am in tears and no longer know what to do.
I have 2 Amazons, both 35 yrs old.

The double yellow is a female, the blue front probably a male due to his protective behaviors.

I am their one and only owner.

Pre breeding age they were both friendly enough ( the Double Yellow was more affectionate with me and still is).

The Blue Front has turned into a monster.

He attacks me, he attacks the DY.

However, he is affectionate with the DY most of the time.

I have to keep them in separate cages because he is horrible towards her in the cage.

When they are outside of their cages in their play area they are fine.

If I make a move toward the DY the BF literally will lunge at me or fly at my head.

He has latched on to me so badly he has left wounds on my face and hands.

The only way I can neutralize him is to clip his wings, which I know is frowned upon in the avian world.


Hi Patricia,


Sorry for the problems you are having.


This scenario is not uncommon with two Amazons in the household.


Protective behaviors are not necessarily part of a male parrots personality.


We have a nine-year-old, surgically sexed female rescue Senegal that is totally bonded to me and no other human nor species is off-limits when it comes to attacking including Catherine.


Senegals aer relatively small and when she does land on Catherine I’m able to clap my hands and yell the word “out” long enough to get his attention before the bite.


We just rescued a 15-year-old African ringneck and I’m playing with him and I go back to Peaches our Senegal (Keto) she will attempt to bite me but I try to watch her posturing.


If I don’t like it she stays in the cage until she comes down.


I don’t recommend this a lot but I think we have to take a couple of extreme measures.


First of all, I am a huge advocate of keeping birds flighted.


If the bird is attacking you from above it’s time to clip his or her wings until we get into a program that I’m an outline for you.


Wing clipping won’t neutralize them in any way there is no physiological connection between clipped wings and hormonal activity but it will reduce the divebombing.


We’re going to take a more extreme measure with the blue front.


Let’s lock them in the cage for seven days or 168 hours never turning off the light on top of the cage.

Regular food and water, cover the cage at night but the bird stays under the light for the whole week.

We are resetting your bird’s circadian rhythm.

It’s broken.

The inconsistent light cycles here in North America do an enormous amount of harm to our birds hormonally and provide stress points that as humans we see as well with SAD  disorder in the winter.


I would then advocate that you install full-spectrum lighting over both cages no higher than 6 inches above the birdcage top.


Each must be placed on a timer for 12 hours on and 12 hours off as this will help synchronize the circadian rhythms for both the Amazons.


If the blue front still lunges that let’s think about wearing protective clothing like a catcher’s mask or a hockey mask to especially protect your face.


You’re going to need it because you’ll start clicker training.

If you can get the bird to hold still even on top of the cage begin the clicker training using a Millet sprig which puts 6 to 8 inches between your fingers and his beak.

Please watch for this post in an upcoming Birdie brunch with additional images and video.


[videopress Jll4LR9U]


Please let us know if these ideas help.





Peg’s Amazon parrot story


Took a break from my BFA (Blue Front Amazon) of 9 years & gave her to my friend who wanted a bird.

He did everything to make her like him..Hand-fed, Let her fly when supervised, talked to her, sang to her, played music on the radio.

He tried his best.

All he says is “She hates me”.

There were times when she flew to his shoulder.

He got bit a few times.

Explained to him, she is unpredictable.

Thinking this bird bonded with me. I’ve seen her ocassionally.

The fact maybe, she likes women better?????

Is there any way to make this work?

He’s had the BFA for almost a year.

Don’t know what to do.

Might be taking her back…I’ve got a Congo African Grey & they did not get along…Please help Desperate in OH


Hi Peg,


My initial guess is that yes your BFA is bonded to you which will never change.

It doesn’t help that your male friend apparently has no background in captive bird care.

The reality is she probably does hate him.

We have a Senegal parrot that we rescued a year and a half ago.

She’s now nine years old and is a female.

We thought she would make a great family bird but from day one she fell in love with me and hated Catherine my wife.

She does not like any other human beings nor any birds.

Up until just a few days ago ,we had six budgies that she all but ignores.

Last Wednesday we rescued an African ringneck (from Columbus Ohio by the way).

Here’s the full story of the ringneck rescue.

She clearly feels threatened by the new bird is become needier than ever clinging to me every moment she can get.

Is very difficult to get birds to “bond on demand” so to speak.

I recently wrote about that here.

I would advocate that you bring the bird back in your home and let your friend come by and interact with it under your supervision.

Unless you are truly a bird person, bird activities can be quite counterintuitive.

There are things that can be done to help improve the birds mood, like providing full spectrum lighting on a timer.

The light should be no more than 6 inches above the cage and set to cycle every 12 hours.

This helps synchronize a bird’s circadian rhythms making it less “hormonal”.

Clicker training by either you or him should be introduced ASAP.

Teaching your bird that positive behavior is rewarding can help with handling a parrot or any other animal for that matter.

I understand bringing your bird back into your home with the African gray can be problematic.

The two birds are indigenous to different continents and have unique bonding views.

I don’t know if either bird is getting enough foraging opportunities and playtime?

What would be helpful is a video of interactions between the Amazon and your friend and or you preferably both so we can get a better understanding of your birds environment and body language.

Hope that helps




New subject


Hello Mitch,

Nice talking to you. I look forward to getting your videos. I have the flying Amazons that like moldings.



Hi Anna

I have the flying Amazons that like moldings, could be the title of my next book.

If I ever write it I promise you royalties.


I’ve been giving a lot of thought to your situation because you are certainly not alone.


Here are some videos is a promised which will help your situation but I don’t think they will actually solve the problem.

I’ve mulled this over and over, can we bend a piece of aluminum as they use for soffit on a home or exterior window frames?  

That doesn’t seem practical so I’m thinking can we safely “clamp” a 2 x 2 piece of pine onto the top of the crown molding so the bird has a place to perch and chew while not destroying your home?


If you are able to get me a couple of images of the birds while they are chewing on the molding or better yet a brief video, zoomed in a so I can see what is happening we can begin to develop a plan.


Upon receipt of the video and or image(s) I could put together the parts you would need to begin to move towards a solution.




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