Applied behavior analysis was used in a female hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) to reduce specific, excessive mating-type posturing that had become disruptive due to increased frequency, duration, and intensity. A functional assessment and intervention design worksheet was used to evaluate behavior-environment relations and to develop an individualized behavior-change plan. The functional assessment indicated that human attention was maintaining the behavior. The intervention, differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior, was implemented to increase attention for standing upright and to remove attention for posturing. Within 1 month, posturing decreased to acceptable levels and was replaced with an upright posture. Problem behaviors that appear “reproductive” may be responsive to behavior management alone. Applied behavior analysis and a functional assessment and intervention design are ideal tools to address problem behavior in avian patients.
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