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 →

Twelve Foods that Can Be Foraging Toys All By Themselves.

Foraging for parrots doesn't have to be hard or take a lot of thought. One of the simplest ways to create a foraging 'situation' is to wrap food up in little paper wrappers. But there are some fabulous foods that are toys all on their own - and this really is foraging for parrots made... Continue Reading →

Looking at Parrots as People.

Some people ask: 'Is it harmful to refer to a pet parrot as a fid?' It falls under the same argument of whether we should treat our birds like kids. Yes, there are those who have argued that this term of endearment encourages owners to anthropomorphise their birds - which means we assign human qualities... Continue Reading →

Is Blow-Drying Safe for Parrots?

I thought talking about this would make a good post, as it's been on my mind for a long time now. Blow-drying is not good for your bird in two ways: First, it can dry out a parrot's skin. This is most relevant because many will begin to pluck when their skin feels itchy and... 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 →

Day 5 – 10 Things My Flock Loves to Eat.

There are a couple of favourites in the house right now, but as always, the birds will love something one week and dump it over the edge of the bowl it the next. For instance, yesterday I served up a big bowl of fresh fruits and veggies into everyone's cages. Each had strawberries, mini corn,... Continue Reading →

Day 4 – Training Tip for Bird Owners.

The best training tip I can offer relates to avian diet.  Feeding fresh, healthy food helps your bird feel his best. A bird who feels good often behaves better and bites less. Behavioural issues can often be helped, if not cured, by 'fixing' a bird 'from the inside out.' I have been experimenting with Mavi's... 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 →

Parrot Food Doesn’t Have to Be Pretty.

    My stance on food appearance is that it doesn't seem to matter that much to avians. At least not mine. While I am not a scientist and have never performed a study on such things, I can tell you through casual observation with my own flock - beautiful, plain, or even downright ugly,... Continue Reading →

Bird Cages Are Not Evil.

I have heard it said that bird cages are evil. Look at the stunning parrot, a prisoner, when he should fly free. First, I like to remind these people that they are looking at (hopefully) captive-bred animals that have never been wild, and would therefore swiftly die if released there. Second, when people utter this... Continue Reading →

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