Being part of a Macaws flock
What many people don’t realize when they are looking to own a large bird is that this living family oriented bird will consider you as part of their flock. Macaws are community creatures and one of the activities they engage in is preening and grooming. When macaws molt they grow new feathers back quickly, these feathers are covered with a white casing, we call it chaff. This casing it typically removed by others in the flock but to a bird at your home this means you.
My macaw, Autumn, likes me to put the chaff in front of him in my hand so that he feels that he is helping me as I am cleaning the pin feathers off. Other times he will go up to the collar of my shirt and rub the material in his beak, because to him I cannot get to that spot to groom and he is helping me. While cleaning his feathers I do have to be very careful to not pull the ones that are not ready to come off, Autumn gets irritated and can squawks at me. Although it can be a little unnerving putting my hand in front of this creature. A macaw of Autumns size has a beak biting force of around 2000 pounds per square inch, yet they also have the control to peel the skin off of a peanut, amazing.