Teaching a Parrot to Step-Up: Recommended Steps

As a first-time bird owner, I found many online parrot training guides to be… rather vague. It was hard to figure out how to create a tangible training process for my parrots out of abstract ideas.

Fortunately, I had a ton of guidance from the bird rescue where I used to volunteer, and now several years of the hands-on experience of rescuing five different parrots from varying walks of life.

Thus, I’ve created a list of suggested milestones for training parrots who are hand-shy to step up.

Teaching a Bird NOT to Scream: Reality

Screaming is one way birds get attention (positive, negative, it doesn’t matter!) Now, I can’t definitively say whether or not this was the case for Miss Viola Waddlesworth at her former home, however, her friend Sam, the African Grey who went to a neighbor’s house, frequently shouts, “Shut up, Waddles!” …So yeah, we likely have a few years’…

Boxes + Female Parrots = Mistake

Last night, we allowed Ms. Vi to climb into a diet coke box. … She hasn’t stopped her hormonal quivering since. All parrots go through hormonal phases, especially in spring and summer given the extra daylight (which prompts a release of hormones) so that’s expected there. But dark, enclosed places that resemble nesting hollows apparently…

Achievement Unlocked: Consistent Step Ups

It is with a happy heart that I can now say this: Vi CONSISTENTLY steps up! I waited two weeks to make sure, but it’s official: she is cage-bound no more! We made our goal of July! A little late, but better than never! When she’s in her cage, it’s her terms; she’s made it…

Step-Up Progress: Stepping Up for Bread!

…Because I have been busier than any person has a right to be, but we made more progress with Vi! She stepped up for Fletcher last night for a tasty piece of bread. She also let him pet her–exciting, because we were expecting her to be a one-person bird and merely tolerate him. Not so!…

Go Slow to Go Fast in Step Up Training: No Negative Experiences

In the “a stitch in time saves nine” quotes category, there’s a popular saying in education: “Go slow to go fast.” Essentially, if you don’t want to re-teach a skill multiple times over, it’s worth teaching it well  and thoroughly the first time. Which takes patience. So, so much patience. Shockingly, this is also true for bird training! Vi…