While working with blue and gold macaws Jersey and Chayko in Musha Cay, Bahamas... it rained the last 2-3 days we were there and our only way of getting from one place to the other was via our golf cart that everyone on the island had. Luckily, you could pull the sides down to keep from getting too wet on your drive.
Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Musha Cay, Bahamas Riding along: Blue and Yellow Macaw "Jersey"
Up until the rainy days Dave and I had been simply holding the macaws on our hands while we drive around the island and they did great with it. The first day they were a little nervous, but as we did it more and more, they became more and more comfortable with the idea.
However, they refused to do it with Cathy, the trainer on the island. If Dave or I sat with her, they would be good, but once we left her alone with one the birds or both they were very unsure, would bite and spook easily. They'd also yell for each other if she only took one, or yell for us. The one we would have wouldn't yell back, though. So we knew no matter what we did, the birds would be good, but no matter what Cathy did, they wouldn't. So we had to figure out a way for her to transport the birds herself when we were to leave.
Well, one morning it rained so I suggested we let the birds just sit and not hold them since the sides of the cart were down. It was just Dave and I in the cart and he agreed. We put down a towel and let the birds sit against the part of the cart we leaned against. They played with my hoodie and hair and were very comfortable going around the island that way!
Photo by Dave Location: Musha Cay, Bahamas Rainy day golf cart riders: Blue and Yellow Macaws "Jersey" & "Chayko"
When we met up with Cathy, she asked us in astonishment if we were riding around with them like that and how they were acting. "They're great!" I said. "You should try it. This way you can get around the island with them no matter what and not have any problems. They will be together and more comfortable." so we tried it that night and they did great with Cathy going along that way. She has been doing it ever since, and they love it! It's a great way for her to bond with them and form a relationship of trust without holding them awkwardly and trying to make it work out of frustration.
This way is great for them because no one is forcing them to do anything, they are just hanging out which they LOVE. When was the last time you let your bird just hang out?
Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She 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 whom she shares the stage with.