BirdTricks Tuesday Q&A

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!

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12 Comments on “BirdTricks Tuesday Q&A”

Griselle  07/28/2015 8:35 am

i have two blue gold macaws who were the king and queen of the house (well of their sunroom). Now I have twin babies and the macaws have gotten very jealous and want to come in the house. They have destroyed screen and are eating the wood in the sliding four to come in. I tried to put barriers but they chew in them. They have a great sunroom with lots of toys and places to play but it doesn’t help at all. I’ve given them food to forage and that keeps their attention for a little while. I’m at a loss.


Paulette Melick  07/28/2015 2:43 pm

Awesome job! Thanks so much for answering all those good questions.

I’ve had parrots for over 30 years, and they are basically good birds. Even so, I got so many good ideas from your One Day Miracles. I completely agree with you, diet is everything. Feeding just the right amount to each parrot was a little tricky for me, as they all seem to need a different amount. But your explanation on how to decide what the “perfect” amount is, was most helpful. My 30 yr old yellow nape gains weight when he “breaths”, so I have to ration out his pellets very exactly. One of my Greys, on the other hand, seems to always remain the same weight, so I don’t have to be nearly as careful.

I agree with you, you may be repeating info from the One Day Miracles, but hearing it again, and from a different “perspective” (on board!), is really helpful to me. Thanks so much for all you share!

I’m just starting to train a green cheek from this years clutch. It’s so much fun, I feel so much better able to train her. I’m taping lots of the sessions, so I see where I make my errors and I think that has helped a lot.


Detta  07/28/2015 3:34 pm

Thank you so much for answering my questions. I really appreciate it. I have your one day miracles and it is fantastic. I am not quite sure how you both pull it off and get some birds to turn there behavior around in one day. But it really works it just goes to show that you are truely great trainers and I love watching you and love tuesdays. You answered another one my questions that I had but did not ask my daughter moved in and she has a Ruby Macaw that has really taken to me. Now she gets down off her perch and walks to me all the time if I am in the front room. My daughter does not pay a lot of attention to her now that she is here, and I started feeling sorry for the bird so I started paying a lot of attention to her and working with her on targeting. I know I am just rambling on. But my fear is that she is going to be more apt to come to me than go to her and I am not sure what to do about it. I know my daughter loves her and I want the bird to be happy and I want to be able to handle her if I need to I am at a loss. And besides that my Greenwing is getting pretty jealous. I am stumped. In case you are wondering my daughter is 45yrs old not a teenager.


Lauren Pond  07/28/2015 7:02 pm

I got one day miracles about 2 years ago and it done so much for me and my birds and our relationship. Because of it, I actually decided to become a parrot behavior consultant. What I love most about it is being able to see the application of bird training technology from experts and see as well the messups of the people they are teaching so you can learn what NOT to do. And to see the drastic improvement in the birds- not just behavior but general welbeing and morale… I’m not ashamed to admit I shed a couple tears watching Dave and Jamieleigh restore harmony to broken bird families by restoring understanding between the species. It’s so enlightening! I recommend it to anyone with a bird. It’s really the most important thing you can watch if you want to treat your bird right and build a bond and end up with a healthy happy bird.


Nancy  07/28/2015 8:13 pm

You gave a great explanation of how to go from the stick to a hand gesture. What you said makes so much sense. I will definitely use your tips and see what happens. I, too, have your One Day Miracles videos and I have to agree that those are very informative. I thought about that for a long time before I purchased it wanting to be sure it was worth the money and I have to say it really has been for me. I still haven’t had a chance to watch all of them but I’m really enjoying them.Thanks so much Jamieleigh and Dave!


Randall Miller  07/29/2015 2:10 am

HI Jamie and Dave Im sure you can advise me on this situation I know a couple who have a rescued cockatoo however I feel that they are not properly educated to look after It .I saw it today
It had no food or water only one perch in its cage no toys the cage or food and water bowls were
not cleaned properly. I was advised he was locked in a closet and used for breeding only from the previous owner . I feel that he is on a poor diet as well I am trying to find a ggod home for him
the couple that own him want to give him up for adoption the problem is this person cant pick him up fopr two more weeks do I interveen and take him or do i wait also relly enjoy your videos.
Will wait for your response back. T


Marianne  07/31/2015 2:37 pm

I have a 4 year old parrotlet named Chumley. He used to talk a lot and sit on my shoulder and interact with me very well. Recently he has decided not to talk much and bite me. He will be fine one moment sitting on my shoulder and the next, he is drawing blood on my neck. He is like a Jeckyl and Hyde. My husband has to feed him, since he will attack me if I go near the cage. Everything is fine If I scratch his head in the cage through the bars. and he plays peek a boo with me. When he wants attention he says Peek a boo and pretty birdie. If I talk to the dog, I get bit. Sometimes he will play with me out of the cage then he bites me. What have I done wrong? He likes to play, but on his terms. He is out of his cage about 1 hour every am, so I know he is not board.. He used to take showers with me, but now he does not even want to get wet.All he wants to do is sit on the shower curtain rod and watch.


Lori  08/01/2015 12:16 am

My favorite episode do far!!
How I wish you had told me about the white cockatoo issue years ago! I called and emailed you so many times about this issue, then, when you did the live chats, I asked and asked about my issues with my cockatoo. I thought there was something severely wrong with me. Well, she’s 25 now, and she even more stubborn than ever. She completely hates me, and attacks me every chance she gets. She was my little girl for 10yrs, then a switch flipped and – no more. Her evilness can be cute, but that bite of hers rivals that if a pit bull (she clamps down and will not release-then she grinds the lower mandible in deeper.) I have given up trying to modify her behavior. My attempts just make her angry. But, had I known that her behavior was just a cockatoo thing, I would have eased up on my training attempts. Sigh.


Naomi Campbell  08/06/2015 10:39 am

I have a 7 year old ( Simon) rescued red front Macaw. Which loves My husband and most men and hates weman. I bought the One Day Miracles Series to train my 15 month old Macaw. So I want back and watched the One Day Miracle Series again an applied it to Simon. No lie it worked he sat on my finger no bitting let me pet him. One of the most important thing I learned was -> Never take the bird from my husband. He needs to set him down then I can pick him up. Funny how easy it is when you know what to do. He still loves my husband more. But at least I have become second best. With no more Blood shed. ;0)
Also I just recieved a baby quaker and we are already applying what we have learned to the baby. They are right it works for all kind of problem and birds.
When I am in a pet store and I see people with their birds. I suggest that that go to bird tricks.com. so they can learn how to teach their bird to be more then just a caged bird. One couple got a recused Cockatoo and it loves weman but not men. She never owned a bird and he said he has. Do to the fact she new nothing she was afraid and it bit her. I used what I learned to tell her that it was their fault not the birds. First you new nothing about bird. Then you grab it and put it in a cage. and bring it home. Next you think it is like a dog. Poor bird ;0( I sent them to your site an I told them to check out some of your videos. the next step is theirs.
Thank you so much :0) Now I know how to teach my birds to be a happy part of our family


Abeida Carrim  08/06/2015 8:15 pm

Hi. I’ve got a ring neck. She is green in colour, she wasn’t very calm when I got her. I GOT HER AS A GIFT. When I was looking 4 a birds for my grand children they don’t live here any more. She was becoming calm., I go to work daily so I try n spend good 15 in in the morning with her, she listen but gets Terrified if you go close to her cage to feed her, change water and add her fruit or veggies. I live in a flat on the ground floor and I thing the school kids were on holiday and they terrified her. I can’t leave her in doors for 10/12 hours. I start work @8am and back @6pm. It is cold indoors. I get a helper 2 a week n she talks 2 poly changes her cage n cheats with her. At the beginning Poly use 2 poo in her fed n her perch I use 2 be calm with her took her out 1 morning cleaned her perch n told her not to poo. She listen. Only the bottom perch she still poo on. She runs trough the whole complex n is very difficult 2 catch.


Lanelle  08/10/2015 9:11 am

You asked for comments about One Day Miracles…it was the first thing I got when I got my Quaker Parrot, Fiji. Fiji is our first feathered friend and I am convinced we got off to a good start because of my diligence in watching those videos. You teach in a way that makes it easy to follow so its great for beginners. One Day Miracles help me prevent getting into bad habits from the start.
However, now that my husband has trained some undesirable behaviors I need to review and pay attention to correcting an undesirable behavior with a bird. I am a Mental Health Professional and have studied human behavior for 28 yrs and I learned a lot from you so my advice is…don’t think you know what you’re doing…just watch One Day Miracles.


Natalia Hayes  08/17/2015 4:20 pm

On your video about the basics of free flight, I am a little worried about my birds…my birds are afraid of leaving their cage! One of them is not scared to step up, but she becomes scared when I try to take her away from the cage. For example she flies back to her cage when I have her in my hand and I step maybe 1 foot away from the cage and she jumps back on top of her cage! My other bird is VERY afraid of my hand when inside or around his cage but when I take him away or out of sight of the cage he is fine! I am completely unsure of what to do 🙁 I NEED help!