Dear Parrot Lover,
Parrots are amazingly spectacular creatures. With their bright colors and equally bright minds, they are the envy of all other creatures. People understand this and the pet parrot population has increased exponentially over the last few years because of this growing belief.
Unfortunately parrot ownership does not necessarily equate to a happy parrot ownership. That beautiful bird has a loud voice and she is not afraid to use it! She has somehow turned from being sweet and lovable to becoming an angry and volatile being. This transition has taken place over a few weeks, if not months, but because the changes have been so subtle you most likely did not even realize it. Then all of sudden it dawns on you that your sweet parrot is now a mean little thing.
Your first line of defense here should be to rule out any medical conditions. When was the last time you took your parrot to see the vet for a check up? It is recommended that parrots receive at least one check up yearly with an Avian Certified Veterinarian. So if your parrot has not had her check up this year, take her in as soon as you can.
Once you have ruled out any medical issues then consider your parrot’s age. She may be in or approaching or teenage years. This age in parrots is similar to the terrible twos in toddlers. They’ll act out whenever they can, scream as loud as they can, and literally throw their toys out of their cage just because they can.
Try to see if you can figure out a pattern regarding your parrot’s behavior. The best way to do this is by keeping a diary – a parrot behavior diary. Write down the time of day, location of your parrot, who was in the room with your parrot, who wasn’t in the room with your parrot, did your parrot just eat?, was your parrot inside or outside her cage? Use these questions to identify the conditions surrounding your parrot’s actions. If you can figure out a pattern then use that and try to avoid or encourage the correct behavior by controlling your parrot’s stimuli.
If your parrot’s actions are simply due to hormonal changes then there isn’t much that you can really do. Just practice plenty of patience. Don’t handle your parrot unnecessarily and give her as much space as you can. Don’t feel discouraged or hurt when she no longer wants to play with you.
Instead, use this time for some constructive training. But do not be too strict with this type of exclusive parrot training. Your parrot is very impressionable at this time of her life.
Bird Learning 101
Parrot Learning Skills
Have you ever wondered how smart your parrot actually is or why he learns the way he learns?
Parrots are actually quite smart little critters. A Cornell Study from 2011 helped show a few fun facts about parrots that can help you with training your own bird. First, parrots have relatively large brains for the size of their heads, indicating a higher intelligence. Second, the study found that baby parrots have their own individual name (signature call) that is directly learned from their parents. The baby learns it by mimicry rather than being born with a distinct call. These calls help to identify the bird by gender, mate, and bird grouping (http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2011/07/parrots-learn-their-names-their-parents)
The takeaway from this study for bird owners is that training is key to bird ownership. Parrots crave that interaction with their family. In the absence of other birds, you are that family. This is also why they seek to vocally interact with you and mimic you.
Training Your Bird
Because he does have a larger brain than many other birds or animals, it also means that he needs that mental stimulation. It is harder to achieve the right balance in captivity than it is in the wild.
There are many components to creating the right balance, but training ranks highly on the list. It works his mind and also gives him the interaction with you, which as we discussed already, he craves and needs.
In the absence of training and balance, human perceived bad behaviors can form such as biting, screaming, feather plucking, and other potentially harmful behaviors.
Learning How to Train Your Bird
The Bird Tricks training system is one easy way to learn all about bird training. It is a system created by bird professionals, and it works to help you better understand your bird. Not only will your bird build a better bond with you and trust you, but you’ll learn to better understand him too. Plus, the training will help relieve bad behaviors and create new (and even fun ones).
Bird Tricks can put you on the right training path!