How to Shoulder Train Your Bird
by Vanessa Voltolina LaBueWhether you’re an enthusiast or a newbie to the avian world, you likely know the fun in letting your bird hang around outside of its cage. However, letting your flying friend out requires some training and boundaries—for both bird and owner!Many owners ask about the best way to teach a bird to sit on their shoulder and behave while it’s there. Here, we have the experts weigh in on the dos and don’ts of working with your bird out of its cage.[Read More]
How to Teach an Old Bird New 'Tricks'
 Parrots can live a very long time, some up to 70 years or more. That’s a long time to do the same thing, day in, day out -- even if it does have a big cage with a nice view. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help your bird alleviate any potential boredom, and one of those things is to teach it new "tricks."Since parrots are highly intelligent creatures, they love to learn. All you need are a few tips and you’re good to go. Patience This is one of those virtues you'll ne[Read More]
How to Tell if Your Bird is Unhappy or Stressed – And What to Do
By Laurie Hess, DVM, Diplomate ABVP (Avian Practice)While it is often difficult for bird owners to tell whether their pet is sick, as birds commonly hide signs of illness, it is even harder for most bird owners to tell if their pets are unhappy or stressed. Birds can certainly feel these emotions and hide them until these feelings become so extreme that they are manifested either physically or behaviorally. Birds can express unhappiness and stress in several different ways.How can a bird ow[Read More]
How to Train a Baby Parrot: 10 Tips
A bird is one of the cleverest animals you can choose as a companion pet. That being the case, you want to make sure that your bird knows who is in charge (that would be you), and knows how to behave respectably in social situations. Most parrots can never be fully domesticated, always retaining a bit of their wild side. But with consistency and patience, you and your bird can happily coexist in the same "nest."Keep in mind, too, that some birds have very long lifespans, so the lessons you [Read More]
How to Train Birds Not to Bite
By Laurie Hess, DVM, Diplomate ABVP (Avian Practice)Like human babies, birds are very oral creatures. Parrots—also called hookbills—use their beaks to manipulate objects as well as to chew and crack open hard foods like nuts and seeds. They also use their beaks as appendages to help them climb onto surfaces.When climbing, birds will often reach out with their beaks first, grasp the surface they are climbing onto with their beaks, and then pull their bodies toward their beaks before sta[Read More]
How to Train Your Bird to Fetch and Other Fun Games
By Cheryl LockWhether you’ve lived with birds all your life or your new friend is your first feathered companion, you’ve likely noticed that most domesticated birds love to play. But even playtime needs structure.In general, birds can learn new behaviors relatively quickly, says Barbara Heidenreich , an animal training and behavior consultant who has been working with birds for 27 years. “However, what really makes a difference is the skill level of the trainer,” she added.“Animal training[Read More]
The Four Most Important Things Your Bird Needs to Know
By Dr. Laurie Hess, DVM, Diplomate ABVP (Avian Practice)Pet birds — especially parrots — are incredibly smart and can actually learn words and basic commands to communicate with their owners. Birds benefit from this communication not only by helping them bond to their caretakers, but also by enabling their caretakers to take better care of them and to keep them safe.While some parrots, such as Alex the famous African gray parrot owned by Dr. Irene Pepperberg, have been taught to respond to [Read More]