You’re all probably wondering what happened with Storm! Well, I will tell you…
Well, I quickly learned the reason why not…
Though I considered time out of his cage to be quality time, Storm did not. I answered my phone during that time which was placed by him. The first time he was OK with it because I think he anticipated that I was coming over to pet him! However, I didn’t, I ignored him and answered the phone. When I went to do it the second time he was at his wit's end at being ignored, despite how good he was being and lashed out at me in an attempt to fly at and attack me from about 2 feet away.
I jumped back quickly, and Storm went straight to the floor. I didn’t get bit, because apparently I was quicker than him, but once on the floor he became even more aggressive.
I offered my hand to let him step up, but he lunged at me again. Every second that went by he seemed to get more and more angry. His feathers poofed up off his body and his tail fanned wildly. He got chatty and his eyes pinned and he strutted around slowly on the ground.
At his real home, he was allowed to chase people’s feet around on the floor as a means of exercise so I knew what would be coming…
I walked slowly out of the room and over to the front door of the house. Storm followed and every once in a while I could hear him speeding up and eventually trying to fly after me aggressively. I never said a word, and I never “ran away” from him to make it a fun game he was used to playing.
Instead, I placed myself on the stairs of the house where Storm couldn’t figure out how to get to me. Dave came in a few minutes later and I knew he was wearing flip flops (I was barefoot) so as soon as I saw the door open, I yelled “LOOK OUT!” for the protection of his own feet! He didn’t know I had taken Storm out that morning…
Luckily, Dave brought some milk and held it in front of his feet while Storm attacked the milk aggressively wondering why it was keeping him from those delicious feet he wanted to get to.
Storm eventually stepped up for Dave on his usual pair of training gloves. We were both surprised at how calm he was acting towards Dave and then realized… part of the glove was touching his stomach and Storm was becoming very sexual because of it. Once Dave moved that part of the glove from Storm’s stomach area, he went back to being aggressive and refused to calm down no matter how long we tried to sit there calmly with him.
When I went to leave the room, Storm became concerned like usual and was back to being sweet with me again. The next days were followed with the same behavior of loving me again.
This situation told us nice and clear that the season was playing against us as hard as it possibly could and it was getting harder and harder to set Storm up for success.
Stay tuned for my next blog about Storm and the newest changes we made to set him up for the ultimate success in training!
Tip to take home: Don’t let your bird develop bad habits, like chasing people’s feet or legs when on the ground or even attacking shoes. It can be a dangerous game in the long run.
Jamieleigh Womach has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots with whom she shares the stage.