Photo by Dave Location: Moab, Utah Retrieving in the tree: Camelot Macaw "Tusa"
This is the true version of freeflying your parrot outside! Landing in trees... it's just going to happen.
I remember when Cressi, my Congo Grey, was at a level 3 in freeflight (meaning she could fly with some wind in treed areas with slopes and dips) and I was so nervous for the day she would land in a tree. I just knew it might be super rewarding to her and perhaps more reinforcing than her reward for coming back on recall.
Well, the first time she landed in a tree was due to running out of steam and she literally perched on it for a couple seconds before taking off the rest of the way and landing on me. We actually have the whole thing on video! We show it at our parrot seminars, usually. Cressi isn't much of a tree-go-er. They seem to intimidate her more than anything. However, Tusa, my Camelot Macaw, had one of his first experiences in one which caught him when he couldn't figure out the wind and he uses them as his own "safety net" now when he feels out of control in any sort of wind.
Normally, we recall him out of the tree, but this time I went up to get him since it was a short tree and he was climbing inside of it to come down the slow way, anyway.
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.