My most recent parrot bite was received on May 30. Parrot bites from my flock are a big deal to me as I’m always trying to do right by them which to me, means avoid ever making them feel the need to communicate their point to me with a sharp point at the end of their beak! But, it happened. I can recall pretty much every parrot bite I’ve ever received (that’s how hard I work to communicate properly and not screw up in training) but, it still happens because I’ll forever be learning and they’ll forever be teaching me.
Dave and I were performing at a school in Spokane, WA. There are a few schools that mean a lot to Dave as some of his teachers practically home schooled him during high school as he already had his career and was constantly performing and missing a lot of school. So any time we are here during the school year and can do it, he goes back to those schools and performs for the kids. We had already had one show, and were on the second. Bandit appeared and there was a lot more smoke than normal from the pyro that went off that blocked his path enough to me, that he tried twice and then decided to land on the prop he appeared from instead. I rolled it to the side of the stage and we went on with the show with Bandit perched comfortably and contently on his prop.
Since he appeared fairly early on in the show, I worried about him deciding to fly down to one of us during another routine. So during a routine where I wasn’t needed, I pulled the prop even further back stage, but hit a cord that was taped down just enough that Bandit decided it was best to fly down and land on the ground instead of trust this rickety prop! He started walking towards the kids.
I immediately regretted moving the prop – since Bandit was so content I probably should have left him there BUT, if he became not content anymore, that would have been an even bigger issue since I wouldn’t have had another point in the show that I’d been able to get him. So, doing what I thought was best in the moment, prevailed.
I didn’t want the kids to get hurt – I didn’t worry about Bandit walking up and biting them, but I did worry about the kids possibly being too aggressive with him (petting wise, like a dog which does not go over well with a bird!) and getting bit that way. Bandit didn’t show any interest in doing what I thought was best for him at the time, so I knew the bite was coming but it was the choice I made to avoid what I thought could be much worse consequences.
But it still hurt my friggin’ feelings and I pouted about it anyway, against all logic. I often talk to my birds as if they understand English instead of body language and told him I was sorry I made him step up when he didn’t want to, and that I upset him the way I did. Luckily for me, he forgives rather quickly. Faster than my hand will.
I guess I just wanted to share that I get bit too. I sometimes have to ignore obvious parrot body language in order to do something that I feel has to be done at the expense of not being what my parrot wants.
If you’re getting bit often without knowing that it’s coming, you’re missing clear signs that your bird is giving you. Always think of the bite as the last resort, or a learned response (maybe you accidentally taught it that every time it bites = something it wants, like getting put back in its cage, or going to its favorite person, etc. without meaning to start that pattern in the first place.)
- In: Behavior
- Comments Off
I was giving my daughter, Capri, a bath yesterday. I had the water running in, and she was splish splashing away enjoying herself when she noticed the faucet. She scooted over to it, and pulled up on the part that changes it from a bath, to a shower! When the water first switches, it comes out cold through the shower head and when it did it hit her back! Her shocked look said it all, and I switched it back to the tub. But she couldn’t help but play with it, and did it again. Pull! …And water started hitting her back again. Again, she yelped with upset in her squeal. I changed it back again, and she did it again. Each time it was as though she was expecting a different result.
I stopped helping and waited for her to understand what the consequence of her action was. She pulled that lever, and water hit her back. She didn’t like it, so eventually she stopped pulling it. If only bird owners caught on so well.
I received an email from a customer who was at a loss with their bird’s bad behavior. She explained the constant screaming and how it was driving her and the rest of the family crazy. She went on about how the bird calls to her, and she always calls back, and when it screams she goes to get it so it can ride around on her shoulder with her.
I’m gonna wait for that to sink in for all of you.
This customer was doing the same thing every time, expecting the bird to give her different results. She kept “pulling” so to speak, and expecting one of the times for the water not to hit her back. Just like my daughter in the bath tub. It made me realize the lessons we learn are the same through life, just different circumstances and objects playing the roles.
If you want different results, try different things.
That’s why BirdTricks.com is comprised of a “team” of people – because what works for one, two, or even twenty people won’t work for someone else who comes along. It’s important to take a lesson from everyone and piece together what will work for you.
And it’s important not to reward your bird with a shoulder ride for screaming if you don’t want it to continue to scream every time it wants a shoulder ride.
- In: Travel
- Comments Off
That’s right. We’re taking our parrots and we’re hittin’ the deck! 11 countries, here we come! We will be on board the Norwegian Dawn Cruise Ship for six straight months starting July 25, 2014-January 25, 2015.
We’re going places like Boston, MA to Bermuda… New Orleans to the western Caribbean, Canada and New England! So pick a destination, make sure you’re on the right ship and we’ll see you at sea!
As long as you book your cruise on board the Norwegian Dawn between July 25-January 25, you will be seein’ us and our birds performing at sea (as well as throughout the rest of the cruise).
For booking, cruise details and itineraries click here.