BirdTricks | Parrot Training Blog » Jamieleigh

Indoor Flight Training Parrots Basics

 August 4th, 2015
Posted By:
Jamieleigh

This week Dave and I go over the very basics and beginnings of some indoor flight training basics and how to get started. Please remember we are trying to condense the information down for you, so this is not done in “real time” – in real time you would take much longer on each phase of improvement. Since our flock is already flight trained, we are able to show you in fast moving steps.

We took your guys’ advice and used a mic for this video – and because we were docking in Bermuda at the time of filming, we had some interference. Sorry for the hard to hear 6.5 minutes of the video, hopefully it doesn’t ruin it all for you (it didn’t happen through the whole thing!)

Yes, we do have a flight training DVD series! It is included in our Total Transformation Series and we show you step by step what to do, how to do it and why to do it and we show every step with our three macaws as they are learning for the very first time.

For those of you wanting to see what flight training using target training/touch training looks like;


Since this is our last Bird Tricks Tuesday video for a while, make sure you catch up on ALL the past BTT videos here. And don’t worry, we will still surprise you randomly with Tuesday videos, it just won’t be every Tuesday of the week.

BirdTricks Tuesday Q&A

 July 27th, 2015
Posted By:
Jamieleigh

This week we are answering your questions you leave us here on our blog. Questions like:

1. Do you always use the same tricks or do you use random tricks. If your bird knows 20 tricks would you use the newer tricks?

2. My Greenwing seems to know when she is going to get her reward. One thing I have noticed is that I first taught her to hand shake I just started giving her treats when she would raise her foot. She has that down really good now. I just started clicker training her with a target. But now she does not want to target she puts her foot up and wants her treat. I want to be able for her to do both target and hand shake is there any way I can keep both of those or am I going to have to phase one out?

3. What if your bird will not take a bird treat, or does not like them?

4.  I clicker train, but once my bird learns a behavior, I quite clicking it every tune before I go to random reinforcement for that trick. I guess I did it that way because I use the clicker to mark the correct behavior and announce a treat is coming. Then, after he knows the trick, a click after several tricks means I am going to give the treat. Do you always click or do you wean that out? (You certainly aren’t clicking throughout a performance are you?) Should I go back to more clicking as I mostly use it for training and not so much for performing what has already been learned?

5. My African Gray flew when I got him. I clipped his wings for a while. I have high ceilings in the house. I quit clipping several years ago and he could fly, but doesn’t. How do I get him to fly again?

6. I can’t get my Amazon to eat the organic pellets. He has been on a pellet diet for a while now but I can’t seem to get him to eat the organic food you guys use. Any suggestions?

7. I can get her to spin but only if I use the stick and make her follow it all the way around. She’s basically just trained to go after the stick rather than spin 🙁 So far she will not do anything without the stick. I’ve tried using a hand gesture but she has not caught on to that yet and it seems like we just aren’t progressing beyond the stick. I’m wondering if random rewarding will help in this situation and I will try it. Do you have any tips on how to move her from just following the stick to actually spinning for her treat?

8. I watch all the videos and I’m working with a cockatoo who is very willing to work with me BUT she doesn’t like any small treats at all… help!

… And lots more!

Check out the video above to hear our answers and leave a comment letting us know your biggest lesson learned from our One Day Miracles Series! Your feedback helps us create better products that meet your bird’s needs.

**NOTE – I just realized we accidentally said that the eclectus parrots can’t use the recipes in our cookbooks because they have a specialized diet. We MEANT to say that about the lories (and lorikeets) because they have a nectar based diet. Our recipes are perfectly suited for the eclectus!

An Introduction to Random Rewarding in Parrot Training

 July 21st, 2015
Posted By:
Jamieleigh

This week Dave and I are talking about how we use Random Rewarding which is a term we’ve come to use to explain using the terms FR 1-5 and VRRV very basically.

We show how to use it, what it is and why to use it. We’ve found, especially when it comes to flight training (namely for outdoors) that Random Rewarding is essential to our success.

We hope it helps you and your training in some way! Please leave us feedback on what you think or any questions you may have regarding it so we can answer those in the comments.

For Parrots That Imitate The Sound of the Training Clicker

 July 14th, 2015
Posted By:
Jamieleigh

Happy BirdTricks Tuesday, everyone!

This week’s BTT video is the shortest one yet – aside from our BTT announcement video – so for those of you asking for shorter videos, this one is for you!

We aren’t going to lie – we were out having fun this week, celebrating our 11 year wedding anniversary! Yes, we both married young. I was 17 and Dave was 21. Thus, we missed our day to film with our birds this week but promise to make it up to you guys next week with our topic of Random Rewarding. So please post any and all questions you want answered that surround that topic so we can make sure we’ve got you covered next week!

We got so many people saying their birds mimics the sound of the training clicker and gets MAD when they don’t reward their bird after the bird makes the clicking sound, that we decided to talk about it. Even though we have never experienced a bird do this within our own flock, we have some ideas on what can help those of you that are experiencing it.

As always, if you’ve missed any of our previous Bird Tricks Tuesday videos, you can find the entire playlist here.

How to Put a Trick on Cue [Parrot Training]

 June 30th, 2015
Posted By:
Jamieleigh

This week we were asked two really important questions:

1. Why shouldn’t you leave food in your bird’s cage all day long and if you don’t, what SHOULD you do?

2. How do you put a trick on cue? (Get your bird to do something when YOU ask rather than when the birds feels like it)

Since I am actually in the training process with our blue throated macaw Jinx of putting his talking on cue (when he says the word Bubba which is his first word he has been willing to say in front of people) this was the perfect opportunity for me to share with you what the real training of it looks like. So pay close attention to when I click, when i DON’T, and when he earns a reward.

To learn more about the training diet and how to motivate your bird to train, check out One Day Miracles.

And make sure to check out our other free Bird Tricks Tuesday videos in case you feel like you’ve missed any.

As always, leave us feedback, comments, concerns and lots of QUESTIONS! So we have more to give you in the following weeks.

Happy BirdTricks Tuesday!

BTT: Consistent Inconsistency

 June 23rd, 2015
Posted By:
Jamieleigh

This week we tried desperately to film the “Top 5 Parrot Species to Own: Beginner to Advanced” but our daughter was not having it. So we’ve included the out-takes from that. In you are interested in that topic, or wondering what type of bird to get, please check out the following blog posts:

2 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Pet Bird

The Best Starter Bird

To recap: It’s best to volunteer your time at a parrot rescue to truly understand what parrot companionship means. Usually birds are the ones to pick their owners and not the other way around.

So instead, we decided to go over the topic of offering your bird Consistent Inconsistency. What this method does is never develops a routine with your bird. Often times people fall into a predictable routine and when it has to be broken, both person and bird freak out. Birds that aren’t put on routines are made to me more adaptable and show less signs for negative behavior as a form of breaking the routine because one doesn’t even exist.

An example of this would be if you feed your bird twice a day, every day, at 7am and 5pm. Your bird knows it gets its food EXACTLY at this time and comes to look forward to it, and predict it, and then once it’s a routine… EXPECT it. And your bird expects it ON TIME. When not on time, a bird will show its unhappiness about this breaking of its normal routine with screaming, biting, or another form of negative/unwanted behavior.

(A solution to this feeding schedule is to feed within a 4 hour window. In the morning I feed our birds anywhere from 6am-noon, and then again anywhere from 6pm-11pm with random 2-4pm feedings sometimes too. Because our LIFE is unpredictable, this isn’t work for me.)

If you need help with daily habits to change, or how to go about this with a rescue bird, check out our Total Transformation Series. It goes into detail about how to work SLOWLY (but with day by day progress) with rescue birds who can’t adapt quickly and need time to adjust to the point where they can be more acceptable of change in their environment.

Examples of things you can do to help your bird better handle “stressful” situations would be if you’re going to be gone on a trip for a week, slowly get your bird used to you not being around as much by being gone part of the day, the entire day, two days and so forth to build up to it. That way if there’s issue, you can come back and correct it. This is also why socializing your bird more to just you is so important for the well-being of your bird. You would also do the same with people, places and things.

Introducing one new thing a day is a great way to desensitize birds and help them adapt to new things (make sure it ends with your bird liking the new thing and not being fearful – sometimes the process can take more than a single day for some birds). For really fearful birds lacking any self-confidence, this may be more of a “one new thing a week or a month” which is quite alright! Slow progress is still PROGRESS. If you go too fast with your training, you can often lose all the progress you made by pushing too far too fast.

If your bird is “failing” at the training or responding negatively, you’re going too far or too fast… or both.

We go into an insane amount of detail on all these things in our Total Transformation Series, so if this is sounding like your bird, please check that course out OR leave a comment for a chance to win it! It’s one of our best courses, and most in depth we’ve ever done whether you’re experienced with birds (we have other expert trainers featured on there from other fields as well that are excellent to listen to!) or are brand new and just wingin’ it like most! That course has it all. I promise you’ll walk away with some serious gems of information and tips.

Have a great Tuesday, every-birdy and see you next week!