Archive for August, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

and we’re all coping fine, though Bun Rab is decidedly hotter than she’d like to be…

Steve is doing good too – with his usual setbacks and moving forward periods.  However, I got some great input from an animal behaviorist who works a lot with parrots.  It is well worth reading Chris Jenkins’ full reply to my query on the World Parrot Trust website at this link.  For a scared parrot to approach something that is frightening, it has to be worth his while to get closer/used to it.   And that means rewards.  He said that if you have a toy that Steve is scared of, then just place it a foot away and reward him for not spooking.  Then inch closer, each time rewarding him for not moving away from it.  But if he moves from discomfort, back off and start from his comfort level.  Such a simple concept and I’d been using it to some degree without understanding it fully.  I’m glad to report that it’s really helping.  I’ve got him used to several items he was spooked by, and with continued training, hands may come to be less scary.  I’m a long ways off, but even what I’ve done so far has produced more confidence and a more one-on-one connection with me.  He loves to train, even when he’s feeling nervous.

AND, Mary and Thomas of Parrot Musings visited us last Sunday!  They were en route from one engagement to another and graciously stopped by for a short period to meet my flock, at last.  Mary had fostered Steve for about 3 months before he came to me, – not just fostered, but saved Steve’s life (which was about to be snuffed out through euthanasia) -  and we have continued to communicate with each other about his progress, getting her advice, etc.  Thomas generously trimmed Steve’s nails, which had grown too long since I got him from Mary last October.  And then he trimmed the nails of the rest of my flock.  Thank you again, Thomas!

Here’s a recent shot of Steve about to stick his head out of his food hatch for head scritches:

I forgot to take photos, but I believe Mary did.  Perhaps when she returns, she will post something.  It was so great to see Mary and Thomas!

Last but not least, Chipper and Charlie continue to be the rascals that they always will be.  The heat does not seem to daunt them at all.  I think the Australian outback is still in their genes, so they seem to be best adapted to the summer (not so to winter’s cold!):