Parrot Tricks: The Bat and Upside Down Retrieve

Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Orlando, Florida Bat Look-a-like: Galah “Bondi”  

Some people are able to train the “bat” behavior using behavior shaping. I personally prefer using behavior shaping for everything if possible but it’s not always. Some birds love to flip upside down while others will bite you for merely looking at their backside. I have birds that do both. Believe it or not, Bondi hates anyone touching her back and it made it very hard to train her “the bat” behavior because of it. Cressi, on the other hand, naturally loves to flip upside down for fun. Because of this, I could easily shape an already natural occurring behavior with her and train her “the bat” by catching her natural flipping behavior and putting it on cue. For Bondi to go into the bat, I actually cue her by touching her back quickly and lightly. She likes going upside down now so much that we actually got her to perform the “retrieve” while upside down! Take a look for yourself:  

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.

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