The last thing I talked about was changing your bird’s environment, which was the first thing I did with Storm. And boy was there a heck of a lot of progress the past three days!
When spending time with him, I have been focusing on calming him down. He seems to be on “stimulus overload” because of the new home, new environment and everything else. So, I work really hard on talking very calmly around him and taking things s l o w!
It takes me around 5-7 minutes of warming up Storm before he allows me to pet him. The video below demonstrates this… and it’s boring as hell! I will warn you of that now. However, it allows you to see the exact body language I am responding to from the bird… tail fanning, eye pinning, chattering and more.
The video above shows this -and I apologize ahead of time that it is not that entertaining to watch! However, it’s REAL TIME, and real life! It’s exactly what I am doing before petting Storm. Well, more like what he’s doing. I wish you could see both but I’m not that talented a videographer…
Storm is also showing signs of wanting to be with me (by following me from side to side of his cage). However, I’m feeling intimidated because he and I don’t have a good form of communication yet (meaning we have not trained together enough to have a firm understanding of one another). The reason we aren’t training much is because my main focus is to switch over his current diet to a healthy one so I can’t exactly use food management yet (aka training diet).
His third day with us I actually witnessed him grab one of his toys and mess with it a little, but then he saw me and left it alone to swing in the air without being touched again. However, I was super proud of this and Chet was on the phone when it happened! It was very exciting and shows a lot of progress for Storm. I got a snapshot of him by the red toy he was playing with briefly and the exact spot he chose to do it from, see the picture below.
His fourth day with us – in the morning I walked in, and saw a blueberry half eaten (see picture below)! I had given all my birds mixed berries that day (blackberries, raspberries and blueberries) and he had obviously given them a try. I was very happy about this, as well. I noticed a couple pellets and nuts on the bottom of the cage, too. Meaning he was playing with them, if nothing else, in his mouth. This means he is finally checking everything out and giving it a taste…
Because Storm is more aggressive with Dave, he has simply been touch training him every day to form a bond. His training plan consists of what our course tells you to do – trick train! Once Storm is successfully touch trained, we will most likely use this technique to weigh him daily and to then teach him “the spin” as it doesn’t involve touching the bird (which he is obviously uncomfortable with) yet will stimulate the mind and create a bond without touch being involved (so no one gets bit, either).
The other huge thing I’ve learned in these few days working with Storm is that if you’re ever unsure about what your bird is trying to tell you – don’t push things. Don’t do something if you just aren’t sure how it’s going to go based on the signs your bird is giving you. Back off, ask people, do some research and come back to it.
Tip to Take Home: Just by providing the right environment for Storm – he made huge progress! He not only tried new healthy food, but he already attempted playing with a new toy and began showing new behavior signs for us to use for our actions with him in the future. I was even able to pet him for the first time ever! All this, just from changing his environment.
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.