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’…

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…