Archive for December, 2016

Learning Your Bird

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Dear Parrot Lover,

The holidays are finally here and instead of leaving your beloved parrot in the care of a pet sitter or a boarding facility, you’ve decided to bring your parrot with you when you go home for the holidays.

But is your parrot a good traveler? Here are a few things to consider, along with training suggestions.

1. Has your parrot been properly socialized?

Parrots that have not been properly socialized by their owner will become easily stressed during any type of travel. The noise, the smells, the bustle of activity and all of the strange faces that your parrot will encounter can be too much for some parrots. It is best to start socializing your parrot from a young age. Train them to obey your commands, and to be calm when in new surroundings. Introduce them to as many different people and safe scenarios as possible.

2. Schedule.

Regardless of their species, all parrots easily become accustomed to schedules. During your travel will you be able keep to schedules? If your parrot is used to having dinner at 6pm sharp, will you be able to still give him dinner at 6pm every night while traveling and when you arrive at your destination? Some parrots do not like their schedules to be messed with. A baby bird might have his rest, hygiene, and meals disrupted – and you may have a hard time trying to reestablish such routines.

3. The travel carrier.

Your parrot will need a special travel carrier. Make sure it has a perch and food and water dishes. As soon as you bring the carrier home, allow your parrot to investigate the carrier on his own. Do not rush this! Your parrot must come to accept the carrier as an extension of his cage and should not be forced into it. Otherwise he will become overly stressed every time he sees the carrier. Once your parrot is familiar with the carrier, take a practice run. Load him up in the carrier and go for a car ride. Start short, and keep extending out the travel time. This will help your parrot become used to sounds and motions of the vehicle. Also consider how long your parrot will be in his carrier. You will need to give him extra attention during a road trip so that you can assist him if he becomes too stressed. Parrots can get motion sickness so keep a close eye on your parrot during these practice runs.

4. Health and Legal Issues

Your parrot should be healthy to travel. Since travel causes additional stress, if your parrot is already sick, then traveling might just make him worse. Take him for a well bird exam prior to traveling. If you are planning to travel with your parrot across state lines, you will need to obtain a veterinary health certificate at least 10 days prior to your departure. Depending on your parrot’s species, he may not be allowed in certain states. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services maintains a Pet Travel section on their website. Here you can research your parrot’s species to see if he is allowed to cross state lines or even countries.

Learning Your Bird

Who is your bird?

Click Here To Receive any or all of these amazing,
groundbreaking training videos.

It might sound strange at first, but the starting point in any training program is to know your bird. What makes him tick? Why does he do what he does? What motivates him?

If you understand what is behind your bird you can go much further in any type of training with him whether that is working on basic training skills like stepping up or on undoing bad behaviors or habits he already has like screaming for attention.

It’s also important to only look at bird related reasons for why he behaves the way he does. What this means is that you shouldn’t ever assign human or other animal behaviors to your bird. Birds aren’t people or dogs, so you want to make sure that you look only at bird characteristics behind behavior.

Click here to learn more about bird behavior

Establishing a training system

Once you’ve learned more about your bird, his motivations, his behavior, and his body language, you can really begin a solid training system. It doesn’t require hours of training, but setting aside a few minutes every day helps not only train your bird but also establish a good, trusting relationship with him.

Trust is a key component in any training program, and a bird that trusts you is more likely to work with you. Punishment, especially any type of physical punishment, should never be part of the equation. That is far more likely to damage your relationship and any trust your bird may have in you.

Training should be positive based, with or without a clicker as a training aid. Use your bird’s motivations and his likes to reward him with when he does good behaviors.

Click here to read more about rewarding good behavior

Using the pros

It never hurts to ask the pros how they do what they do. They’ve learned their knowledge through years of hands-on experience, and Bird Tricks is one such professional bird training system. They’ve learned what motivates many birds. They know what bird language looks like and how it can help guide your training program. You can use their knowledge to help you train your own bird. Professional videos and articles help guide you along the way to establishing your own training program for your bird.

Click here to check out Bird Tricks and free videos

Regards,
Nathalie Roberts

What the Power Pause can do for Your Bird

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Dear Parrot Lover,

Teaching a parrot to talk requires equal doses of both patience and repetition. Contrary to popular belief, both male and female parrots can be trained to talk. However, the one main caveat here is that before a parrot will even attempt to say its first word or sing its first tune, it must feel absolutely comfortable being around the person who is going to be doing all of the training. There has to be complete trust on both sides.

If you don’t trust your parrot or are worried that he or she may try to bite you during your training sessions, then you will need to work out those issues prior to beginning such training. Likewise, if your parrot is wary of you and tries to run away or hide, or even tries to lash out at you whenever you come near his or her cage, then you will have zero success at teaching your parrot to talk. Your parrot will be more focused on his fear of you and will not learn a word. This may cause you to become stressed and frustrated, which your parrot will pick up on and it will make him or her more fearful of you. Do you see how not having adequate trust between the two of you can lead to a defeating circle?

A couple of weeks before you wish to start training your parrot you should instead start to hang around your parrot more often. Spend time sitting next to your parrot’s cage. Let him or her get used to your body language, movements and voice. Allow your parrot to spend supervised time outside his or her cage – at least two hours per day. Allow his or her confidence in their surroundings to grow naturally.

When trust is no longer an issue, you can then begin teaching your parrot to talk. Make sure that the training sessions are at least 15 minutes, but no longer. You should aim to conduct one training session in the morning and another one in the evening.

Most importantly is to make sure that you have your parrot’s undivided attention, and that he or she has yours as well. You can accomplish this by removing any distractions and sources of noise from your training room. You should repeat the same word over and over again until your parrot has mastered it. Once your parrot is pronouncing the word clearly enough, then you can move on to a new word or phrase.

What the Power Pause can do for Your Bird

Ever wondered how to end biting?

Click Here To Receive any or all of these amazing,
groundbreaking training videos

Birds can become very fearful of being approached or touched, and many react with biting your fingers or hands. It’s a normal reaction in birds since their beak is the only tool they have to try to keep you away.

The only way to help overcome this fearful reaction to being approached or handled is to teach the bird that there is nothing to fear from you. You have to systematically work on making him feel calmer and more comfortable. This takes time, but it can be broken down using the power pause technique.

Click here to learn more about biting in birds

Working through his fears

When you work with your bird and introduce the idea of the power pause, what you are doing is rewarding his calm behavior. Approach your bird and stop several feet short of the bird. As soon as he stops talking and closes his mouth and settles down (and definitely doesn’t try to bite), walk away. His reward is actually having you move away from him. Once he no longer reacts at this distance, you move closer. By working in incremental levels that the bird is comfortable with, you can teach him that you approaching (and eventually touching) is a good thing. You can ultimately stop his biting with this technique.

Click here to learn how to avoid being bitten in parrot training

Additional things to consider

The severity of your bird’s reaction is going to be a big part of the equation. If the bird is a little frightened but settles down fairly quickly, you may be able to give an additional food reward and then retreat. In cases of high levels of fear or anxiety from the bird, you may only be able to retreat (and add food rewards into the equation later).

A clicker is a common training tool that can also be added into your bird training to help with sending your bird a consistent message. It lets the bird know the moment his behavior is correct. In this case, you’d click the bird for remaining calm before retreating. The power pause technique by Bird Tricks utilizes a clicker because the clicker is so useful in training.

Click here to learn more about the Power Pause and Bird Tricks

Regards,
Nathalie Roberts

The Talking Bird

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Dear Parrot Lover,

A parrot’s life in captivity always carries with it a certain degree of stress. However, loving and compassionate parrot owners understand this and they act in such a way as to eliminate as much as stress from their captive parrots lives as possible.

The first most important thing that such parrot owners do is to create a calming environment for their parrot. An environment that is quiet and peaceful, and in which parrots feel genuinely safe, will go a long way in maintaining the health and wellbeing of parrots.

Parrots that are kept indoors in cages are often startled by household members and pets walking past their cage, loud television or radio noises, yelling children, barking dogs, and even by seeing birds flying past a window outside.

The easiest way to circumvent all of this is to choose a location for your parrot’s cage that is away from any areas of your home that experiences high traffic, such as a hallway or kitchen. In addition, the ideal cage location should also be away from open windows, as well as loud televisions, radios and other noisy electronic equipment. However, a great quiet spot for your parrot’s
cage should also be near where you will be spending most of your time so that your parrot does not feel alone.

Your parrot might take up screaming to get your attention if you spend most of your time in another room and your parrot can’t see you. Remember, parrots are flock creatures and need to be with their flock – be it human or feathered. If the only ideal location is still in a spot that gets quite a bit of foot traffic, simply place a blanket or towel over three sides of the cage so that your parrot has limited view and will feel more secure.

Another wonderful tip for creating a calming parrot environment is to play soft music for a few minutes before bed, or before and after any training sessions. Try to stick to the same melody. Soon your parrot will be able to associate the serene music with feelings of calmness and peace. A calm parrot is a more trainable parrot! Likewise a calm parrot is overall a much happier parrot!

The added benefit of this is that if you find your parrot becomes nervous or agitated during the day, then all you will need to do is play the chosen melody and it should have a calming effect on your parrot that is immediate.

The Talking Bird

Birds love to talk!

Click Here to Teach Your Parrot To Talk Right NOW

Teaching your bird to talk isn’t always as complicated as you might think. The primary reason is that birds are actually naturally quite chatty, and they enjoy making noise to communicate. In the wild the talking is a way to communicate with other members of the flock. This is especially true of mothers with their young. The babies learn to identify their mother through her vocalizations.

Your bird, even in captivity, is still very much the same wild bird, and he will still want to try and vocalize with you. Especially with parrots, it’s this talking (and screaming) that often gets them in trouble with owners, and it’s also one of the common reasons a parrot may be rehomed.

Click here to read more about parrot communication

Look at your bird’s natural abilities

Rather than think of lots of talking as a negative, why not think of the potential for these birds to learn how to talk in a good way?

Each bird species has different talking abilities. You have to work with the bird you have to best bring out their potential. Some bird types, like parrots and African Greys, excel at mimicking words and can develop very large vocabularies. Other bird types, like cockatiels, can learn words, but they often excel at learning to whistle tunes. If you work with the strengths of your particular bird you can really train him to communicate in a vibrant way!

Click here to learn more about the different types of birds and training

Utilizing professional training tips

How do you know what works best for your bird? Bird Tricks is one way to figure out the best way to train your bird to talk. The Bird Tricks bird professionals know all of the tips, tricks, and even maybe a secret or two on the best way to get your bird to talk. They can share how to bring out the best in your bird!

Click here to learn about teaching a bird to speak

Regards,
Nathalie Roberts