Archive for November, 2015

Training Your Bird to do Fun Tricks

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Dear Parrot Lover,

Taming A Scared Or Aggressive Parrot

Parrots that are scared or aggressive can present an enormous challenge when it comes to trying to tame them. But just because they are scared or aggressive, doesn’t mean they should be ignored. It just means more patience and perseverance on your part!

Following the steps below will guide you to helping a scared or aggressive bird become happier and tamer.

1. First things first: make sure the parrot’s wings are clipped. If they are not, you will need to wrap the parrot up in a towel. You may need to get help from someone else. Clip the parrot’s wings as best as possible. Then place the parrot back in its cage to allow it to calm
down for at least a day or two.

2. The next step is to open up the parrot’s cage and give it the freedom to climb out on his own. He will most likely climb up and around the cage when he is ready. If the parrot is very nervous, he may not come out right away. If this is the case, leave the cage door open each day
for a couple of hours until he sums up enough courage to come of the cage on his own.

3. Using a perch-sized stick, approach the cage and see if you can get the parrot to step up onto the stick. If he does, praise him! Next try to get him to step off the stick. If the parrot tries to fly off the cage and lands on the floor, you can use the perch stick to get him to step up onto
it and then return it to the cage.

4. If the parrot refuses to step onto the perch stick, you may need to towel him again. But this time, take him into a small room, such as a bathroom, and close the door. Sit down on the floor with the parrot and allow him the freedom to move around the room as he wants. Perhaps take in a
book and read while the parrot becomes familiar with you. Slowly work up to having him step on and off of the perch stick.

5. When you feel that the parrot is fairly comfortable with the perch stick, try to use your finger instead. Remember to speak the phrases “Step Up” and “Step Down” so that the parrot will be able to associate the voice commands with the action.

6. You can take this training a step further by offering a food treat either in your palm or between your two fingers. Once the parrot becomes more at ease with taking food out of your hand, try to get him to step up onto your finger while offering him a treat at the same time. After a while, you can slowly move your other hand up to gently stroke his feathers.

Soon you will have a calm and friendly parrot that is no longer scared or aggressive. Just remember that the key component to taming a wild parrot is to eliminate as much stress as possible – and to always exude kindness and patience.

Training Your Bird to do Fun Tricks

Teaching the hard stuff

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Have you ever wondered how you train your bird to do more than a simple trick? How are those more advanced behaviors actually taught to a feathered creature such as your parrot? They are intelligent enough to learn the more advanced skills, but the secret to teaching them is to break them down into smaller steps. This way your bird has the chance to learn one part at a time before he puts it together for an accomplished task such as putting coins into a piggy bank.

You could never expect him to pick up a coin and do it on his first try, so breaking this complex behavior down into smaller pieces makes it to where he understands what he is learning at each level. The best way to break down any more advanced behavior is to use a clicker or marker in your

Click here to see more about teaching tricks to your parrot

Click it!

A clicker is part of positive reinforcement training, and it’s widely used both for wild animals such as marine animals and big cats in zoos and for domestic animals like dogs. It helps alleviate training stress and frustration so that the animal learns exactly what you want them to. A clicker lets the animal know the exact moment they are correct prior to receiving the reward. You click the moment he is doing the exact behavior you’re looking for and then reward right after that.

This is why using a clicker is so fantastic for teaching hard tricks. It tells the parrot when he is right and lets him learn one step really well before you move to the next level.

Click here to learn more about positive reinforcement training for your bird

Learning by watching the professionals

Training fun but complex tricks can be daunting if you haven’t done it before. It’s not nearly as difficult as it might at first seem. Having a professional bird trainer show you exactly how to do it can really help you, and luckily Bird Tricks is one such professional option. Through the use of easy to follow videos you can learn the beginning steps of training as well as the more complex things like putting money in the piggy bank, going to sleep on cue, or putting rings on a peg (even selecting one color of ring to put on the peg).

Click here to read more about parrot training and Bird Tricks

Nathalie Roberts

Fun, Safe Bird Toys

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Dear Parrot Lover,

Due to their high intelligence level, parrots need to be both mentally and physically stimulated. This will help to prevent them from becoming bored or depressed. This kind of stimulation will also avoid your parrot from turning into a compulsive, destructive, maniac. By far the easiest way to fulfill both physical and mental needs is to provide your parrot with a multitude of
bird-safe toys.

Since most parrots, especially the larger species such as Macaws, Cockatoos, and Amazons, are the mental and emotional equivalent of an inquisitive toddler, it is extremely necessary for their overall wellbeing to have suitable toys with which to play.

However, since it can be quite difficult to choose the perfect type of toy for your best friend, it is often best to make your own. Having a few extra homemade toys stored away will come in handy when your parrot destroys one of his store-bought ones, or when you need to switch up his toys so he doesn’t get too bored.

Here are a few homemade parrot toys suggestions:

  • Take a clean, empty, paper towel roll. Spread lots of chunky peanut butter all over the paper towel roll. Next, spread some of your parrot’s favorite bird seed mixture on a baking pan. Roll the peanut-butter covered paper towel roll back and forth across the baking pan, ensuring that the roll gets completely covered in the bird seed mixture. Punch a hole at the top of the roll with a knife and thread some cotton twine through. Attach the peanut-butter and bird seed roll to your parrot’s cage as a great alternative to a treat stick!
  • Another food treat is simply string freshly popped, unbuttered and unsalted, popcorn on cotton twine for your parrot to enjoy!
  • Make a sock toy: For this project you will need an old pair of socks – just make sure the socks are clean first. Cut off any elastic that may be around the top opening of the sock. Next, using a pair of sharp scissors, cut up the socks into several different strip widths, from the top of the sock to just a few inches away from the toe. Then punch a hole, or even cut a tiny slit if you’d prefer, within the toe area. Use a plastic baby link and push it through the hole. Hang up the sock toy for hours of parrot fun!
  • Sock Alternative: Using the sock toy method above, once the strips of sock have been cut, simply braid them together as tightly as you can. You could also string a few hard plastic beads onto the strips at various intervals first. The end result is a thick, fat, sock braid that will encourage your parrot to preen.

Fun, Safe Bird Toys

What kind of toys should you give your bird?

Click here to see how easy it is to keep your bird happy

It’s not an easy task to select a toy your pet parrot will enjoy, but toys play an important role in a bird’s mental health. Birds use their beaks for just about everything, and toys help relieve a bird’s daily stress and give him something to use his beak for other than biting!

Shredding, pulling on objects, and chewing on things are all activities that you will see a bird do. These are natural behaviors that come instinctively to your bird and have real world value to them. These are considerations when looking for toys because food foraging toys, shreddable toys, or toys that contain chewing spots are all potentially good choices.

Something else to consider is your bird’s personality. What does he like to do? Does he like climbing or hanging upside down? Does he like shredding his toys apart? Does he chew on things in your house if you’re not watching? Any toy you find for him should match his individual personality as well as his size so that it not only entertains him but is safe for him.

Click to read more about selecting bird toys

Safety as a consideration

Toys that are made of natural materials often are the best and safest option for your bird. They are designed to be played with, shredded, and in many cases eventually taken apart. As with any toy you want to watch for damage and replace when unsafe, but natural materials offer him the opportunity to play as he would most like to. It also lets you not worry about harmful chemicals,
metals, or other toxic materials.

Parrot Toys by Mail is one way to make sure your bird gets new, fun and safe toys each month delivered right to your door. Plus, the club cares about your bird and his safety so all toys are created out of natural materials that are safe. Toys will always be size appropriate for your individual bird too.

Click here to read more about the Parrot Toys by Mail Club and how to join

Nathalie Roberts