Archive for October, 2016

Bird Training Perfection

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Dear Parrot Lover,

Whether you are a new parrot owner or have owned parrots for many years, you most likely want to teach your parrot to do all sorts of tricks. Obviously the most important tricks are actually just simple commands that every captive parrot should know. Commands such as ‘Step Up’ or ‘Step Down’. When said aloud to your parrot, these commands should elicit the parrot’s response of stepping up onto your finger, or stepping down onto a perch.

Another important command to teach your parrot is for him to come to you whenever you call him. To your friends and family members, these types of activities may appear to be tricks that your parrot has learned; however they are actually commands that you have taught your parrot to respond to in a particular fashion.

An alternative trick to teach your parrot is to sit on your shoulder. And no, this type of training is not so that you can parade your parrot around on your shoulder as part of Pirate Halloween costume! Shoulder training helps to strengthen a bond between you and your bird.

Shoulder training consists of a few basic steps:

  • Before you begin, you must make sure that your parrot is completely trustworthy and is also trusting of your hand. Your parrot should know the ‘Step Up’ and ‘Step Down’ commands and obey them every single time.
  • Using the ‘Step Up’ command, have your parrot step up onto your finger, hand, or stick perch.
  • Using the ‘Step Down’ command, ask your parrot to step down onto your shoulder.
  • Allow your parrot plenty of time to become at ease sitting on your shoulder. Make sure you are seated in a comfortable chair and do not attempt to get up or move around the room during the first few training sessions.
  • When you feel your parrot is well trained and that he sits on your shoulder happily without trying to climb or fly off, then you can slowly start to walk around with your parrot on your shoulder.

However, here are a few warnings when shoulder training:

  • Remove earrings, necklaces and other jewelry from your face and neck before letting your parrot sit on your shoulder.
  • Wear an old T-shirt. Your parrot may poop on you.
  • When walking around with your parrot on your shoulder, do so slowly and deliberately and make sure you trim your parrot’s nails. As you walk, your parrot will use his nails to grip onto your shoulder to keep his balance.

Bird Training Perfection

How everyone learns

Click here to see easy ways to train your parrot

Every living animal, including us, has a basic learning style. When we receive a reward we enjoy for a behavior, we do it more often. When we receive a consequence we don’t enjoy, we attempt to avoid doing a behavior.

For humans, rewards and consequences are often less tangible and more varied. For example, most people volunteer to do community service at least partly because they find the experience rewarding for them too.

With our pet animals, the rewards and consequences are more concrete when you look at the patterns. All learning is pattern based. For example, if the same
person is always handling the bird for something he doesn’t like or is afraid of you should see clearly that he avoids this person or perhaps appears to downright not like this person. These things can all be reversed through training and looking at the available rewards.

Click here to learn more information about bird training

How to increase behaviors

The easiest way to increase the good behavior in your bird is to clearly reward that behavior. Sounds obvious, right? But it’s not always that clear, especially if you haven’t trained a lot of animals before.

What is rewarding for your bird? Every individual likes something different. Food, attention, and touch are all possibly good rewards, but your bird may
respond to different foods, different forms of touch, etc. than another bird. Learn what he likes and then use those things to encourage the behavior you want to see more of.

Click here to read more about increasing good behavior

The trick to training

There isn’t just one single trick to training your bird. It’s a process, but it’s a whole lot easier with professional training on your side. Tools like clickers are a mainstay of the training process for both reinforcing good behaviors in your bird and also for training a variety of new behaviors and tricks. This may seem like a tricky tool at first, but it’s really quite simple with a little instruction

The bird professionals at Bird Tricks have years and years of bird training experience, and they can easily break down the training tools and principles for you. There are a variety of options available to assist you, but definitely you want to include Bird Tricks as one of your training tools.

Click here to check out Bird Tricks

Regards,
Nathalie Roberts

Ouch! Bird Bites Hurt

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Dear Parrot Lover,

Ouch! Bird Bites Hurt

Just how powerful can a bird bite be?

Click here to see easy ways to train your parrot

Anyone that has been bitten by their pet bird knows that any bird bite hurts. It doesn’t really matter what the size of the bird is, but there are differences in the severity of the bite based on the bird.

Larger birds like parrots can have tremendously painful bites. While there is no distinct test on the pressure of a parrot’s bite, it is often considered about as powerful as a large dog at somewhere between 500-700 pounds per square inch. Birds’ beaks, like the parrot, are built for puncturing whether that’s human flesh or a nut.

Bite inhibition also plays a role in how powerful a bird’s bite will be. Some birds are better at inhibiting the pressure of their bite, even when frightened. Other birds have little inhibition and will apply a high level of pressure.

Click here to learn more about biting in birds

Why birds bite

There are many reasons why your bird might bite. Biting is a natural reaction because even though birds are our pets, they are still wild. Understanding the primary causes for biting behavior help you to avoid or correct the issue.

The most common reason your bird will bite is out of fear. He might even bite you when he’s in a fearful situation such as at the vet’s office. Biting out of fear is a common go-to reaction for many birds. It is often aimed at strangers (visitors to your home).

Another cause of biting is possessiveness or territorial aggression. The bird may choose to be possessive over his cage, stand, or even you! That means that when someone approaches whatever he is being possessive over he may bite them.

A cranky or ill-feeling bird may also bite. He may not want to be touched, moved, or bothered, and he simply responds with biting. Birds only have beaks and biting as a way to protect themselves or express their moods.

Click here to learn more reasons a bird may bite

Working with the biting bird

Some biting issues are easier to resolve than others. For example, if a bird is wary of a new person to the home, you can make that person a much more wonderful thing by having the person offer special food items to the bird. If the bird learns that this new person is the only one with something special, the person quickly becomes a less scary thing!

Other issues are harder to work with such as a hormonal bird. Hormones are a funny thing, and they affect every bird differently, but biting is one of the more common problems associated with hormonal changes in your bird. Various techniques can help you avoid being bitten even during this time.

You want to learn your individual bird too. All birds give off body language and signals that biting may be coming soon, so learning these signals is really important for training.

Click here to see professional advice and FREE VIDEOS about biting in birds

Regards,
Nathalie Roberts