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.

“OMG, I want a parrot!”

Do you? Do you really? They are unpredictable; they bite often, and bite hard. They are far, far from kid-friendly. So let’s face it; most birds, were they dogs, would be put down. Louie’s grandfather (or at least great-grandfather) likely flew the canopies of the Solomon Islands. And Ozone’s father is probably still terrorizing some…

A Parrot: The Forever Two-Year-Old

When you think about adopting a baby bird, consider this: You are raising a child monster with permanently-affixed pliers, and that child is gonna be a two-year-old for fifty to one hundred years, depending on the species. Every mistake you make in his or her formative years, every bad habit you instill, will be with you…

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’…

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…