Can I Keep Two Different Parrot Species In One Cage?

Can I Keep Two Different Parrot Species In One Cage?

 March 22nd, 2012
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Blue fronted amazon

Q: I have a yellow naped amazon parrot and I will be bringing home my new blue and gold macaw baby in a few weeks. I live in a small house that has a small living room. Can I keep both birds together in one really big cage?
Oliver M., Paterson, NJ

A: No. It will be unsafe to keep these two species together in one cage. People often house their birds together with the expectation that they will become the best of friends. After all, they are both birds and should have a world of things in common, right? Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.

Blue and gold macaw

A captive bird’s cage is its nest-site. It is ingrained in your bird to protect its nest for its own survival or for the survival of its mate and young. Many birds will fight to defend the nest by driving away an invader – whether it is a snake or foreign bird species. Different bird species like to do things their own way in the nest and the habits of your amazon are unlikely to coalesce with the habits of an even an immature macaw.

It is impossible to determine whether one bird will enjoy, or even accept, the company of another – even with birds of the same species. When we make a companion choice for them it doesn’t always play out the way we see it in our fantasies. Jealousy can contribute to escalating tension between the birds. And it is entirely possible that your amazon will foolishly throw the first punch.

The most concerning aspect is the enormous size and weight difference between the two birds. Should your birds resort to violence, your amazon will most likely be the loser. The fact that they are enclosed in a cage makes it impossible for one bird to fly off to escape attack. The result of a disagreement would be injury – possibly death.

This is the result of a fight between two AMAZONS-Photo by Anna Sloan

Of course, there is the possibility that the two bird will get along well, but there is just as real a chance that they won’t. You DON’T want to make that discovery by coming home one day to an injured or dead bird. And even if the worst didn’t happen, think how difficult it would be for a bird to be locked in the same cage with a bird it doesn’t particularly like, or is afraid of…

Be smart and keep the birds safe by letting them have homes to call their own. Be slow, careful and deliberate in their introduction in a neutral play area, watching for any signs of aggression. It is very important that you supervise all interactions between these two species of birds.

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10 Comments on “Can I Keep Two Different Parrot Species In One Cage?”

Traci  03/22/2012 4:52 pm

my CAG and my Bare eyed cockatoo use to chill out in the same cage but then one didnt want anything to do with the other and then it was the TAG and the cockatoo whom became friends and that came to an end also.. my sun conure just hates to see us with any other the others and will knock them right from your shoulder…

Jane Wilson  03/28/2012 9:40 am

I had a year old sun conure and brought home a just weaned conure in her own cage. It didn’t take long before he decided he was the parent and started feeding the younger one, grooming her. She moved into his cage and they were fine. Almost six years later through a horrible accident (some caretaker sprayed bug poison through my bedroom window) they were poisoned and only the younger one survived. (large vet bill, shots at home etc,,) I have been think about getting another conure because I believe she is lonely. They were so happy together. I wonder if I got a baby again would it work out the same?

David Chuljian  03/28/2012 11:11 am

I’ve successfully kept two different species in the same cage, but the decision to move in together was always theirs. My Nenday and White Capped Pionus hated each other for six months, but one day suddenly decided they liked each other, and shared a cage for 19 years. When the Nenday died, I got another very elderly Nenday who eventually shared a cage with the Pionus, though it wasn’t exactly a match made in heaven. Both birds being elderly and the Pionus very mellow seemed to be the ticket. My Orange Winged Amazon was inseparable from a Bronze-winged Pionus for years; I had to adopt the two of them out together eventually, but they got along famously. Again, a Pionus–a fairly mellow bird. And my elderly Nenday bonded to a rescued Blue-headed Pionus; once again it was their choices. The common factor seems to be the Pionus being part of the pair, but I hear similar stories from The Oasis rescue center. Birds can pair up, and their lives are enriched by having a mate. Sometimes they don’t; my Gray and my Sun Conure won’t share anything with anybody. You certainly can’t count on birds buddying up, and it takes months for it to happen if it does.

Nadine Overstreet  03/28/2012 11:21 am

Out of pity..I purchased a beautiful white budgie at a yard saale…She had only one leg……I thought Dumas my quaker and the budgie.. princess might get along…..I foolishy… just put them in the same room…not chaged….at first Dumas just acted normal…..Then, in another paart of the house..I hear a loud cry…. rushed to see what…..Princess ..lay dying….her intire bill cropped off….I was completely devastated…..I said never again….But then got a female quaker…for Dumas…..The female accepted Dumas real well…started to boss him…Dumas did not like it….and tried to avoid her at all cost..Don’t work soometimes…when the bird is accustomed to their owner being “IT”

Bex  03/29/2012 6:58 am

WHy Why Why , do people think it would be a lovely life to keep parrots in a small room in cages. stop this please how would you like to be in a cage in a small room for 60 years plus. At least give brids a lovely aviary to fly in during the day. Even better stop buying new birds . There are many that need homes. I have rescue birds and the joy on their faces when they are able to do natural things is a pleasure . please every one if you done have the room and time just dont. Bex.

Susan  03/29/2012 3:53 pm

I have four different parrots, a male eclectus, a blue quaker, a caique and a cockatiel. I wouldn’t dream of housing any of them together. None of them like each other. They’ve learned to co-exist,. A month ago a little caique came into our lives, (another re-homed bird we took in), and there hasn’t been much peace since. We were at the point where I could leave the birds out all the time with no problems. The quaker and cockatiel are flighted so they can get away from my ekkie if need be. But our new little stinker is just that! Caiques are the most inquisitive little birds and full of energy. I cannot trust her at all. She also has attacked both my ekkie (who was very sweet to her to begin with) and my quaker. The cockatiel won’t go near her. My quaker owns me and is very jealous. I don’t know if this common, but I tend to think so. I know many people in my bird club with mulitple bird families and some get along, but many are jealous of each other. None of my friends house their birds together. It’s definitely asking for trouble. I believe that as our birds caregivers, we owe it to them to protect them and keep them safe. If you can’t keep them in separate cages, don’t get another bird.

Betty Ruh  03/29/2012 6:29 pm

i have a different question
I have a macaw,and have a house in panama intl pa.
Has anyone ever taken their Macaw on an airplaine.
and to a foreign land.
What was your experience?
Thanks Betty

Laura Reed  04/03/2012 9:14 pm

We have 2 Hahns Macaws (2 females) who have been together since birth. They are almost 5 years old, and have become so territorial, we can’t even walk to the room that has their “sleep cage” in it. Only 1 of them flies onto our necks, and bites us. The other just bites when we come near both cages. Also, they scream, scream, scream. They scream when we go 3 feet away from them, or when we cook, or talk to each other. We have tried to give them a treat, even if they are quite for 5 seconds, but one picks up when the other stops. We tried to separate them to treat them when they are quiet, but one of them goes into fits if she can’t see the other.

There are a lot of problems when 2 birds are housed together. We are sorry we didn’t separate them when we acquired them, but were told that they would bond like that, even if we didn’t house them together.

Is anyone out there that can help us? We’ve tried the power pause, but can only do one-at-a-time, and you know how that will NOT work! As far as the screaming…..any ideas? We’ve run out!!

connie  01/16/2014 11:48 am

ok great info on this site. I would like to know if i can house my cocktail with a monk parrot. this a parrot that while on vacation this past Christmas i had visited my mother in pr for 3 wks and this parrot flew right up to me out of nowhere . i here these are wild birds and that it is impossible for anyone capture such bird on the loose . my great great nana who is 90 today told me it was a blessing sent to me, from above, i believe her, my mother is fling back in and is going to bring my new member home named polly. please advise