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 →

Introducing the Cloud

So we all know the three birds of the flock: Ptak, Mavi, and Tayir. Troublemakers, I tell you. But who is the cloud? Meet baby Atlas, who will be coming home very soon! He's a Samoyed - an ancient breed of sled dog that originates in Russia. They're fluffy and friendly... and aptly referred to... Continue Reading →

Three Birds and a Cloud – a Name Change

Students with Birds blog began on a whim in late 2012 and has grown to be something I'm quite proud of. While I love that name and what it represented, it is true no longer! I've graduated, no longer a student, of course, and have been left ruminating over ideas for longer than I'd like... Continue Reading →

Why I Love Parrots as Companion Animals

Parrots may not make good pets, but I was thinking about this: There are endless reasons why I love them anyway. I'd never give my birds up if I had any kind of a choice! It takes a saint-like amount of patience to live with one...as well as an immunity to mess, noise, and waste...yet... Continue Reading →

Scares and Laughs – Life with Parrots

I had a slightly alarming moment a few nights ago. Ptak, my parrotlet, was contentedly sitting on my shoulder as I wrote. I use a ballpoint pen (that fact is important) in a journal to make notes and jot down the things I need to do. As I began to write, I heard Ptak make a repetitive clicking noise... Continue Reading →

The Mavi Chronicles: ‘I Love You, but I Want to Bite You.’

My Senegal parrot has always had anger problems. If something is wrong in his life, he takes that out on me, and if I'm not around, it's the nearest person or toy. Recently, my poor boy is feeling very... ahem... unstable about the move overseas, quarantine, and probably the time when I left him alone with O. beforehand.... Continue Reading →

Living with Parrots (from a Non-Bird Person’s Perspective)

What is life like with a parrot, you ask, maybe even from the perspective of someone who doesn't own the bird? It’s a question that many people want to know – for good reason. After all, these animals have a reputation for being difficult to live with due to their noise, mess-making capacity, and rampaging... 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 →

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