Photo by Dave Location: Moab, UT Our flock: African Grey "Cressi", Galahs "Bondi" & "Bandit", Camelot macaw "Tusa", Blue throat macaw "Jinx" & Camelot macaw "Comet"
Have you ever noticed or compared your friends before and their traits in a public, social setting? I have some friends that shy away from human interaction unless it’s one on one, then I have others that thrive on that social time and live in it. I really enjoy going out with friends who are comfortable and confident in social settings because it usually means they will get along with anyone, and things will just be more relaxed and fun. Have you also ever noticed that the more social the person is, the more confident they are? Well, this applies to birds as well. The more you socialize your bird, the more confidence they will have. That’s right. Socialization = Confidence.
Photo by Dave Location: Moab, UT Pictured: African grey "Cressi", Galahs "Bondi" & "Bandit", blue throat macaw "Jinx"
Almost everyone associates a bird biting with being angry or aggressive, but a lot of birds are usually just scared and fearful. A confident bird will be relaxed around everyone and eager to meet the next person. Building your bird’s confidence is so important, just like you want to build your own confidence in yourself or teach your child to have confidence in themselves. The same applies to your bird and depending on where his confidence level currently is will determine how fast or slow the process can go for you. If your child is in school and can take a pet to school, that’s a great opportunity for you to take advantage of and let your bird meet new people. I know a lot of people who take their birds on outings with them and it’s so good for the bird to get that interaction. Parrots in the wild live in large flocks, so think of how social they are naturally.
Photo by Dave Location: Reno, NV Pictured: Moluccan Cockatoo "Pooh", Camelot macaws "Tusa" and "Comet", blue throat macaw "Jinx"
Taking your parrot with you on short trips, into work, out to coffee with you (don’t share your coffee of course) anywhere they can get a bit more interaction to build that confidence. Including them in social gatherings you have at your home is great too. Your parrot would be thrilled to have you walk him around to meet and greet everyone rather than hide him away from the excitement in a room. Parrots thrive on interaction and socialization and once you can get them to embrace it and get over their fear, they will thrive in it and it will become easier and easier on both you and your bird. It’s important to have a bird with great self confidence so go out and socialize!
Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Reno, NV Shown: Camelot macaw "Comet", blue throat macaw "Jinx", Moluccan cockatoo "Pooh"
If you do this already, share what you do and how you do it for others to learn from and try. Just yesterday a lady (Terry) came to the show and told Dave and I about how her bird is literally around students 8 hours each and every day. I was SO impressed with all the things she told me that I plan on sharing more of her story with all of you in the future. For now though, all we can do is offer tips and tricks we all use in the hopes that it will help a fellow parrot companion as well.
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.