It's a pet peeve of mine for people to cue their birds verbally for things like "stepping up" and telling their bird "no". Sometimes, because it's just instinctive to us, even I will end up saying no to my bird about something. But, I try REALLY hard never ever ever to tell my birds "no!" because I feel like since it's almost always said in a heightened state of emotion, that my birds will more than likely learn it and repeat it and the last things I want my birds telling me (besides cuss words) are things like "NO!" and "Step up" because I feel like that's telling me what to do, and I just really hate the way it sounds. You should always be asking your bird and giving it a choice - and those phrases do neither. So, in my video there's a lot of random noises, not really words. These are things I do in place of "no!" instead of telling Bandit "no", I make these warning sounds like something is coming and we've formed a game out of it. Now, it's not meant to actually teach him NOT to go up to the TV. There is nothing that he could hurt himself on up there (no cables down the back that he can get at or anything) so I really don't mind him being up there, we've just created a game so that he can tell me when he wants to play. Not only is "woop woop" galah language for "wanna play?" but flying up to the TV in the first place is also his way of telling me he's in a playful mood. I've taken videos in the past of him playing like this, and ending the play session by just staring at the balls I throw around him without any reaction at all. This means, play time is over. He just pretends to be scared anyway so that I keep playing. This galah is secretly fearless but he's not leading onto that in this particular video (which had to end so I could grab a paper towel...) Not that everyone else has to do it - but I prefer to teach my birds really weird sounds over words like no, don't do that, blah blah blah. The worst Bandit says is his "c'mere" which he says when he prefers YOU c'mere so he doesn't have to. Hope you enjoy the Bandit video. He sure keeps things interesting around my house and is so much fun to play with.
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.