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’…

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…

Step Up Training: One Full Step Up (The First Time!)

A leap of faith takes at LEAST the Holy Grail… of toast! More progress today! …But at what cost? I think this is a mistake that a lot of novice bird trainers (i.e. me) make–we don’t provide a reluctant feathered friend with enough incentive to take a biiiiiig leap of faith. Sure, Wa-Wa-Waddles adores toast… but…

Step Up Progress: Lifting a Foot

Progress! Eeee! VI LIFTED HER FOOT TO STEP UP TODAY! I MADE MY GOAL! …The reason I am so excited about this is because I didn’t think I was actually making any progress; she was comfortable leaning against my wrist to take a chip from me, but refused, refused to even try to move her foot closer…

Training Rescued Parrots: Setting Goals

Well, we’ve had Vi for a little over three and a half weeks now–things are going well. Slow, but well. Man oh man, unless your rehomed parrot is super well-socialized (which many aren’t–probably why she’s a rehome), this task is not for the impatient. I’m following my mantra of “every experience a positive one” and it seems…