The larger caged birds have powerful hooked beaks and can give a very nasty bite. They can become distressed, so
dimming the light and reducing the noise will reduce this. Remove any toys or accessories from the cage to allow easier and less stressful capture. The use of a towel or small blanket will enable you to catch the larger birds, remembering not to hold them too tightly, as this can be fatal (Fig. 15.9).
As these birds are potentially more dangerous than the smaller birds you must ensure that you grasp the bird carefully and quickly from the back. Once you have the bird out of the cage, restrain the head as this is the part that can cause you most damage. Wrap the bird gently in the towel with your thumb and forefinger positioned under the lower beak. This will enable you to push the beak upwards to prevent the bird from biting you. Once you have the bird in this position, ensure that the wings are securely restrained in the towel. If the bird is able to struggle and flap its wings there is a risk of it breaking its wings or damaging its plumage.
Once adequately restrained, unwrap parts of the body one at a time for examination. Handling aggressive parrots and cockatoos may require extra protection - leather gauntlets come in very handy. However, it is often difficult to feel much through them so you must be careful not to squeeze the bird too tightly. Once you have the bird restrained satisfactorily, remove the gloves to prevent any harm to the bird.
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