Scarlett Macaw

Birth date: 03/14/04

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Videos of Toby:  
February 10, 2013 We picked up Toby today.  We have him set up in his cage in our quarantine room for now.  He’s eating well (he likes the Fruity Zupreem pellets) and sounds like he keeps saying “mama”.  As I am typing this email, he is saying “peek a boo”.    He is a plucker for sure.  I put a little wooden birdhouse in his cage (my cockatoo loves to shred them) and he went right for it.  So MAYBE foraging will help with the plucking.  I buy them at Michaels for $1.00 each.  Since they are shaped like little birdhouses, they have a hole to fill with goodies.    We haven’t tried to handle him yet, the previous owners did say that he would bite.  We are letting him get acclimated slowly.
February 13, 2013

Toby has started making a screaming (for lack of a better word) sound about every 2 minutes.  It’s like a  …akkkk…akkkk..akkkk  He’s trusting us a little more and more and flying from cage to chair.  Today he flew into the kitchen but then realized he was away from his cage and quickly stepped on my husband’s arm to get back to his cage. His previous owner sent me videos of him playing in water in the kitchen sink and another of him being blown dry.  So last night I gave him a spritz with the squirt bottle and turned on the dryer.  He didn’t seem excited by it but wasn’t opposed to it either.


February 15, 2013 Toby let us scratch his head today.  In fact, he will grab your hand and raise it to his head, when he wants you to do it.

He also has a few more feathers coming in. :)

February 18, 2013 More head scratching.
February 22, 2013 Scott enjoying quality time with Toby.
February 23, 2013 Toby enjoys some collard greens.  He REALLY likes them.
February 25, 2013 Awww, he gave me a kiss.  He's getting more comfortable with us for sure.
March 2, 2013 More little feathers starting to show.
March 6, 2013 Having some orange juice from a spoon.
March 14, 2013 Toby's first "shower" at the kitchen sink.  He's not brave enough to shower in the real shower yet, but this is a start.
March 15, 2013 Craving attention while I'm trying to work.
March 16, 2013

We took him to Medical Center For Birds  for a well bird check up.  Dr Fitzgerald saw him.  After discussion with her, she says his plucking is strictly hormonal and behavorial and suggested we lower his caloric intake, by decreasing his fruits and making him forage for all his treats (nuts).   We never continued giving him the cookies his previous owners said he liked so well.  He was not happy about the towel and in fact I had to step out of the room for her to even get him in the towel.  The previous owner did tell me she used a towel to clip his wings and it was traumatic each time. Dr. Fitzgerald was able to do an exam and clip his wings but was not able to draw blood.  (She sustained a good bite in the process).  She suggested we work with him on foraging, the more he has to forage the less he thinks about plucking.  She wanted me to bring him back in a couple of weeks just to draw blood.


March 30, 2013

I took him back for blood work.  Again I had to step out of the room, you could hear crashing and thrashing.  Dr. Fitzgerald finally had to get Dr. Speer to come in and draw the blood.  They both suggested trying to get him sensitized to the towel.  He’s ok being wrapped in it but does not like to be constrained AT ALL.


April 9, 2013

We are able to scratch his head and he will step up on our forearm.  He now leans his head in to my husband’s chest when he’s holding him, so he’s getting more comfortable with us.   He’s had 2 showers at the kitchen sink. 

 I received the results of his blood work this week and they are all normal.  He’s now able to be moved out of quarantine.  We also had a DNA test done (we paid for this ourselves) and Toby is in fact a boy.  

He’s doing very well and talks up a storm.  I think he will be even happier now that he can be moved to the sun room with the other birds.  His chest was completely bald when we picked him up.  Since we’ve had him, he’s had a nice little down coat.  He’s not fully feathered and he still plucks but he hasn’t been as bald as he once was.  

He loves steamed cauliflower, carrots and broccoli and collard greens.   I’ve been limiting his fruits per doctor’s orders but he LOVES tangerines, grapes, banana chips (just about any fruit).  He still eats his Harrison's and Fruity Zupreem pellets as well.  He's a very good eater.


Toby's Vocabulary:

Good boy
Such a good boy
Hey Baby
Peek a boo
Step Up
Go ka ka
Gimme a kiss
Get down
Sinister Laugh
Hearty Laugh
High Four
Step Up Baby
You are a good boy
Get In
Chi Chi
Toby Step Up
Toby Get Down
Screams like girl

Tips from Previous Owners: 

A. Toby s Nicknames:

*Toby loves to be babied and talked to in the baby voice. Here are some of the nicknames we have for Toby:

1. "Tob-baby"
2. "wee-wees" ---(another way of say baby)
3. "chakare"-- pronounced: chuck-uh-ray (means sweet heart in our language)
4. good-boys
5. cookie baby
There are more, you will probably hear him call himself his nicknames when he is trying to be cute.  

B. Tips on how to scratch Toby

Toby was our little brat/ princess so he is very particular about the way you scratch him. I noticed in the video that Toby tried to nip Scott while he was getting scratched. This is what Toby does when he doesn't like the way you are scratching him. What can I say, he's a diva.  

1. Reasons Toby bites
-doesn't like the way you are scratching
-you are hurting him, sometimes his new feathers grow in and if you accident scratch it, it irritates/hurts him
-he wants you to scratch him somewhere else 

2. Toby uses his foot to tell you what he wants
- When Toby wants to be scratched he will put his foot up to his head and start scratching himself---"Look at me, I'm soo cute, can you scratch me please :)"
-He will keep his foot up to his head and continue scratching himself until he likes the way you are scratching him. When he gets comfortable he will put his hand down.
-If Toby wants to get scratched he will also grab your hand with his hand and put it on his head --- "what are you doing sitting around there, you're supposed to be scratching me " 

*Before you scratch Toby say, "Toby want a scatch-scatch (pronounced without the 'r')"
This way you let him know that you are going to scratch him, so he won't freak out and bite you 

*later you he gets really comfortable you will be able to scratch his beak, one of his favorite spots.

when you want to scratch his beak say, "Toby want to scatch your nose (again pronounced without the 'r')" 

*In the video I noticed that when Scott was petting toby "with the grain" of his feathers, while Toby does like that, he prefers "against the grain" = petting from the back to front and Mr. Princess loves his scalp massages.  

C. Tobys favorite games to play (very similar to games played with human babys) 

1. "Toby where are you?"
This is a game my mom used to play with my sister. My sister would hide under a towel and my mom would pretend that she couldn't see my sister. she would say, "Jessica, Jessica, where are you Jessica." Then she would say "I found you" and my sister would scream. 

Tobys version:
While toby is sitting down somewhere randomly say: "Toby, Toby, where are you toby, toby, toby, where are you." Then suddenly turn around and look at him and say, "O there you are!" and then he should scream like a little girl 

2. imitating Toby
When Toby is making sounds just copy him and try to say it at the same time as him. as the game progresses Toby will try to trick you and make it seem like that he is going to say something but he just moves his beak without saying anything. If he doesn't say anything and you say something you lose! 

3. bird of the world
Hold Toby on you hand and stretch you hand as high as you can and say: "Toby you are the bird of the world" and just walk around. He likes to sit up high.  

4. making faces at him and sticking your tongue out at him 
Toby loves to stick his tongue out at us. But he "hates" it when you make faces at him. he starts to growl and may play-nip (he know's you are teasing so he won't bite hard). He "sensitive" and doesn't like to be made fun off.  

5. peek-a-boo 

6. High four 

4. Counting: He hates counting because he is self-conscious because he can only pronounce the number 4 clearly, so thats why 4 is his favorite number. If you start counting with him he will get annoyed and say, "4!"