Ever since touring on the road Dave and I have worked hard to get more and more of our birds into the show that didn’t start out in it when we opened. The mental stimulation, constant interaction and quality time they get out of being in the show is unbeatable and we want them all to experience it. We also want to be able to give our birds days off, even when we don’t have the day off from the show ourselves.
Our social butterfly, er, I mean, our rose breasted cockatoo, Bondi, started in the preshow immediately. She is a bird that was properly socialized from day one and she LOVES people. After her, I worked in Jinx our blue throated macaw and third to join the all access preshow (which starts an hour before every show) is our Congo African Grey parrot, Cressi.
We brought Cressi in to see what Bondi was doing in the preshow for quite a few shows. But we didn’t like the way a caged bird looked at the circus, even though she was able to watch Bondi interact with people and learn from it. We stopped doing that and decided to see how Cressi would do with our smaller audiences. Now, we are in giant arenas so the smaller audiences aren’t super small but they were managable for Cressi. With some of the small audiences, no one would even want to hold any of the birds and we’d end up just walking them around for people to look at and then bringing them backstage with us.
Those times are actually nice for the birds because it means that when strangers are around they aren’t always going to be handled, and it keeps them guessing.
Cressi does best when she is showing off for people and her impression of a “bat” is something she loves to show off, and something she even does while standing on other people!
Dave and I each have one bird during preshow. With the smaller parrots like Cressi and Bondi, we cue them to fly to us from other people but with larger birds like Jinx, I try not to do that as his wing span will usually smack someone across the face upon take off! But we do like to show that the birds are fully flighted and talk about their personalities, names and history in the show.