I hope that some of you bought the latest ABK Magazine and had a chance to read about my experiences with Lola, my Yellow-crowned Amazon parrot. I think it’s a good little story and one that shares the simple fact that it doesn’t matter how experienced you are, or how much you think you’re prepared, life with parrots is always full of new challenges and reminders that you’ve still got a whole darn lot more to learn. If you didn’t get the mag, and therefore didn’t read my article, well, ah, may your parrot poop on your best shirt tomorrow! Anyway – I’ve just sent off the Pet Parrot Pointers column for the Dec/Jan issue, which will be out in the second week of December. I thought about doing some kind of daggy `What to buy your parrot for Christmas’ thing but I just couldn’t. Read `Bird Talk’ for that – guaranteed to have a parrot somewhere in an issue at that time of year wearing a Santa hat or some other barf inducing prop (God I hope they Photoshop those images). Nope – I thought I’d give the gift that keeps on giving and write up an article on Target Training J Hey, maybe that’s what you can buy your parrot for Christmas – a Target Training stick! One of those super-dooper telescopic ones that extend out like a TV antenna (for those of you who are pre-plasma generation and actually know what an antenna is). Actually those target sticks are pretty neat – I have one and love it. You can pick them up from http://www.myparrotshop.com if you’re in Australia. Either that or just nick a chop-stick next time you’re out feasting on a Sweet ‘n Sour dish at your local greasy spoon.
One of the applications of stationing a parrot to touch a target that I’ve been applying is with Lola – the aforementioned Amazon Parrot. She’s never been keen on tactile handling, always been a little on the averse side to hands, and not been one for a good old ruffle of the nape feathers. With a little use of the target and pairing some approximations of reduced proximity of my fingers towards her head, then a touch, then increasing touch duration, she’s come around and is now a bit of a glutton for a good old preen and cranial massage J Nice work Jimbo – and thanks for the patience Lola! The other pic is PJ, my Caique. He used to go into pet packs no problemo, but I’ve been slack in keeping this up. A good reminder about training some of these behaviours – use it or lose it! Anyway, I’m back to working with him and getting him re-acquainted with the scary plastic box again. The target helps and hopefully this time we’ll keep it up. Read more in the ABK Dec/Jan issue. Available at newsstands absolutely everywhere on Earth from mid-December J