Decision of a Lifetime

It was the morning of the biggest decision of my life.

The birds in the trees were chirping away as we walked to the car to start on our long drive to the Gold Coast. We pulled up in the driveway and, after an amazing tour of the property, it was time. We opened the doors and walked in, and there were the majestic Blue and Gold Macaws. My heart jumped and my eyes were wide open looking at these amazing birds.

After holding a few and getting some cuddles, I decided this was the bird I wanted to have with me for the rest of my life.

Having recently lost my Quaker Parakeet made getting another parrot difficult because I didn’t want to just ‘replace’ him, so coming to the conclusion that I wanted another companion was a big step.

There was only one problem, out of all the macaw babies, the only boy was sold, leaving me unsure of what my next step should be until an egg hatched.

After two weeks waiting in suspense, the DNA results were back, but yet again it was a girl. My heart was broken until I received the email that changed my life—the little boy was back on sale. We rushed down to see him that weekend, only to fall in love with his cheeky personality. I would name him Fargo, after my favourite character on a television show.

After reading hundreds of articles and books on macaws, the excitement was setting in—I was going to own a macaw!

Getting Ready

The first task was to get a cage, which was fun yet difficult trying to find the right size for my new friend. I ended up buying a massive corner cage, so my next task was to fill it with toys! A few days later and a little bit poorer, I had selected a variety of toys for the cage, as well as a cement perch and two foraging toys.

Next on my list was a play gym, as this is where he would spend his time when he was out of his cage. After looking at many designs on the internet I was ready to attempt building my own. I collected wood and got to work. After a few days of chopping and screwing, it was complete with a ladder, swing, rope and perches. Adding all these to a giant ladder and a boing (bouncy, spiral-shaped swing), my room was complete!

Bringing Fargo Home

The drive to the breeders the day we were bringing Fargo home felt like it took forever, but we finally arrived and finalised all the paperwork and placed Fargo in his travel cage. When we arrived home he stepped up eagerly out of his travel cage, and I placed him in the brand new cage which was waiting for him.

For the first day he was very scared, just sitting quietly on the perch. He was in a new place away from his friends and the only people he knew, so I left him to be alone. A few hours later he was getting more interested in his environment and started playing with his toys. He was slowly settling in but still was not eating or drinking, so I made up a warm mash of pellets and hand-fed him through the cage.

The Early Days

By the next day Fargo seemed a bit happier and was eating fruit and vegetables I fed him out of my hands. By that afternoon he was eating from his bowl. I sat next to his cage reading to him, getting him used to my voice and presence.

The next day he was eating and drinking from his bowls and was becoming less scared of his new environment. When I asked him to step up he was hesitant and scared at first, so I removed my hand and waited. I tried again. This time he stepped up, and I placed him on his play gym, which he loved.

When I asked him to step back up, he wouldn’t, so I ignored him. A minute later he flew over to the cage and peered down at me over the edge, wanting my attention. I asked him to step up and he did.

Further Progress

A few days later Fargo would sit at the perch next to me and come to whichever side I stood on. He was eating and drinking perfectly.

Fargo would eat from my hands, but would not let me touch him. I held out a nut, which he came for, and at the same time I tried to pat him under his neck. He moved back. I tried again, and again, and by the third attempt I was patting and scratching him on his neck and chest while he sat there eating happily.

I asked him to step up and I placed him on his play gym again. A few minutes later he flew to the cage, climbed down and then sat on the back of my chair. He wanted to be with me. When I asked him to step up, he did, and I sat there watching a movie while he fell asleep being scratched and massaged on his neck.

Week One

The progress in Fargo was amazing. He trusts me and I felt the bond between us getting stronger each day.

Our journey together is going to be a great adventure and I am learning new things from him every day, whether it is what his favourite fruit is, or when it’s his playtime. Surprisingly, he hasn’t screamed yet, but he is quite noisy when he climbs around his cage at night, as he doesn’t think its bedtime just at that moment. He is clumsy (he has missed his footing when trying to get to a perch), and he is cheeky and makes me laugh. This all comes in a bright blue and gold package.

Week Two

After two whole weeks of Fargo being in his new home, he turned into a different bird. He steps up perfectly, flies to me on command, goes to the perch I point to, enjoys scratches, and is now learning to turn around and shake hands! He is starting to show his personality and testing me. I have been softly bitten twice so far, but each day he is improving with this behaviour as well.

The most surprising step so far was when he started to dance and started to talk by saying ‘what, what, hello’. Talking after only two weeks was very impressive and I think he will be a wonderful talker! 

Hopefully I will be able to take him outside on a harness soon, as when he first arrived he was petrified of it but he is now allowing me to rub it over his neck and back.

Although people were sceptical about my having a macaw because of my age, they can now see how dedicated I am and the improvement in Fargo in such a short time.

Fargo is a Blue and Gold Macaw, born on 28 January, who is my best friend and my life.


My name is Tabitha Brown. I am 17 years old and a bird-lover.

I live in the mountains of Queensland with my horse Klaatu and macaw Fargo. My first bird was a cockatiel called Mozart, and now that I’m older I love them even more. I get along with my parrot more than people and I believe there is no greater love than between my parrot and I.

I am studying zoology at university and hope to work with penguins.