Some New Socializing Tips For You and Your Bird

Photo by Penny Jo Location: Savannah, GA With me at preshow: Blue throated macaw "Jinx" 

There's been a few new tricks I've learned when socializing my parrots with people at the preshow in the circus. Mostly with Jinx, but also with my cockatoo, Bondi as well. As all birds tend to react a bit differently around people.

Ever since we added motorcycles to the show and to the preshow, Jinx has been a lot more on edge and always looking behind him. He's not as calm and reserved as he used to be so I've had to learn to work around this new behavior.

Photo by Penny Jo's friend Location: Savannah, GA With me at preshow: Blue throated macaw "Jinx"

One of the things I try to do to make my birds more comfortable is hold them on my outside hand, and pose for a picture on the outside as well. This means, be the last person on the side and put the bird furthest away. Jinx is most comfortable by me, so this calms him down in this arrangement and gives me more time to react if someone were to try to get to him without my knowledge, knowing or permission.

Photo by Dave Location: Savannah, GA With me at preshow: Blue throated macaw "Jinx"

If, for whatever reason, I can't be on the outside, then I hold Jinx far out in front of me so that he feels like he has his space among strangers. He doesn't necessarily want to be close to me in this position, because strangers are so close and it makes him real nervous to feel his tail being touched and not be able to see who is doing it so to avoid all that drama... this is what I do. It seems to work alright, but isn't preferred by either Jinx or I. As you can tell from his head feathers not being raised all the way in this photo. 

If you really study the photographs you'll notice they go in order of most comfortable to most uncomfortable. There's always something more to learn...

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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