As parrot owners, I think that we get a handle on the fact that our birds are more intelligent, than I think we even give them credit for. It frightening sometimes how quickly they pick up on sounds, and behaviors. I think that it totally behooves us to pay attention to how we are interacting with our birds. The energy that you bring to a situation, and body language can make a huge difference.
For instance, Cooper has been doing this chirp the past few week, and I am pretty sure that he got it from the sound of my new shoe on the floor, similar to the basketball shoe squeak in a gymnasium. Let’s just say, it gets a little old after a while. Tonight, I noticed that Dexter had picked up on it, and it turned into an attention plea. Aggravated, I knew that every time he tried to get my attention with this tactic, I had to mute the tv and leave the room for a bit. Just to give him the message that he was not in charge, and his little scheme was not going to work. It reminded me of a bratty kid, that was trying to get exactly what he wanted.
It is nice to give yourself that needed time-out when you are trying to get your point across, so you can get your energy and focus back to where it needs to be. Then you can re-approach with confidence and a plan of attack. Cooper suffers from cage aggression, and I decided to try to address this. Cooper tries to bite when being given bowls of food, and he’s nipped me a few times. As usual he came for me when I was giving him some pellets, I decided to walk away, taking away his power, and all the while I had the scoop with the food in my hand while I walked away. By the third time, he got the point, and sat patiently waiting for me to feed him. This was a true breath of fresh air, considering he is faster than a school of piranha in the amazon river. It’s great when you have a little breakthrough, and you feel like a veil has been lifted a bit.
I began to reflect a bit on the way that I approach him vs. the way that I handle Dexter. They are completely different birds, personality and all, so their preference of treatment is going to reflect that as well.
Having multiple birds bide for your attention can be a juggling act. It’s especially hard for Grey’s because they tend to be a one person bird, and it is very clear that they are both mine. (my fiancee deals with them, but really doesn’t have interaction more than giving a treat or saying hi) You want to treat them equally and give them the same things, but it is a little different from worrying about having your children feel equal. Each bird deserves alone time, and I am going to start interjecting this into their training and daily schedules. Cooper is so jealous of Dexter and vice versa and it’s affecting our interactions. They can’t sit me down and have a heart to heart, so they are communicating the best way that they know how. Living with parrots is always such a rewarding challenge, they are so smart, and teach a person quite a bit about themselves, and what exactly you are bringing to the table.
I say this a lot, “you learn something new everyday”…especially with parrots, you really do.