Positive Vs. Negative Reinforcement in Training

What’s the difference between Positive and Negative Reinforcement? Is negative reinforcement bad? This is, I think, my number one pet peeve in the animal training communities. I've actually seen folks absolutely jump on others who proclaim to use negative reinforcement, equating it to punishment - when, in fact, that is not the case at all.... Continue Reading →

How to Teach a Bird to Step Up.

How to teach your parrot to step up: If you need to teach your bird to step up - and many do need to be taught - this is straightforward enough. First, ignore the people who tell you to force it. The advice that suggests moving your hand rapidly towards a bird's lower belly can be severely harmful... Continue Reading →

Parrots Bring Laughter to Your Home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syVoclCHpZE The video is Bobo doing his strut for the camera yesterday. I was re-watching it today, and it made me laugh a little when I heard his feet go clickety-clack on our wood floor. You just can't watch it without smiling at least a bit! Well, my laugh cued the birds' laughter. Ever since... Continue Reading →

Harness Training My Senegal Parrot: Begun.

I needn't have worried about working with Mavi's wings! After three sessions of training - about 10 minutes each, max - I am now able to put my fingers under his wings, either hand on either side, and lift them up. We're not quite there yet, but he has made enormous progress. I started by setting... Continue Reading →

Training, and Choosing the Right Reinforcer For Your Bird.

I had an interesting search from Google show up under my stats today. I thought I should talk about it... 'Can you just praise your parrot during clicker training if treats from hands are difficult?' Assuming that the bird bites or is unwilling to take food (not the owner having an issue juggling both clicker... Continue Reading →

Learning About my Pet Parrots.

I learn something new about the birds each week, if not each day. For instance, this past week, I've learnt a number of things about each: Mishka likes to stare out the bedroom window. She'll do it for hours on end, singing at anyone who walks past. Maverick LOVES pistachios. He also has a Yoshi... Continue Reading →

A Game to Help Tame Your Bird.

Or an experiment to try if your bird is already tame! It's a positive, basic, hands-off interaction based on body-language. You can do it through the bars of the cage, or even while your bird is out on his play stand. It can be a good way to introduce yourself to a new or timid... Continue Reading →

Talking Parrot: A Video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtM-zrQOX1U We had another glorious day of sun today, and the birds spent it basking on the couch by the window. The smallest one was particularly enamoured, as you can see in the video. Sunlight is rather flattering to his blues. Ptak has also, just by the by, mastered Mishka's song. It's quite adorable, as... Continue Reading →

Success: Remember, Progress Comes in Modest Increments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZncwPGP4Zg I don't usually post more than one thing in a day, but technically it's Monday now, and I'm too excited to wait. In my quest to help Maverick get on with my boyfriend, I put O. in charge of his bird chores, so that our Senegal Parrot associates him with lots of good things,... Continue Reading →

Maverick will lie like this all day, if you let him. With his feet up like that, it's actually called Bronco'ing. This is a position Senegal Parrots are known to love. They will often flip themselves onto their backs just to lay that way. It can be a defensive posture, though, as this puts the... Continue Reading →

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