The 4 “Love Languages” Of Parrots

 September 1st, 2009
Posted By:
Chet

Camelot Macaw

 

*** A Client’s Post In Our Members Area ***

I bought a 2 year old African gray about two three months ago. For some reason he doesn’t like me, but he doesn’t hate me either. I am the one taking care of him all the time, but he loves my wife. My wife doesn’t even do nothing for him but he loves my wife. He likes me when i give him treats but when i want to pet him or play with him he wants to attack me. He would let my wife touch him anywhere on his body and they play together just fine. The only time he will step up on my hand is when he is not near his cage, but when he is near his cage he acts like he is the boss. He wont be scared or anything when i walk close to him or his cage, but he wont let me play with him or touch him.

Can anyone please help me

>>> My Comments:

A couple things came to mind when I read this post in our members area…

The first thing I noticed while reading this post is something that I hear from TONS of people, and I want to put it out in the open so there’s no confusion.
This client writes, “I am the one taking care of him all the time, but he loves my wife. My wife doesn’t even do nothing for him…”
Let me say something that might not go over very well, but that needs to be understood:

Parrots are not like us!

They don’t sit around in their cage thinking about how wonderful you are for cleaning his dirty cage, or how thoroughly you scrubbed a slimy food bowl so he could have clean water.

And they most certainly don’t care about how many hours you spend every week cooking or preparing food for them.

Your spouse might appreciate it when you do an especially nice job of cleaning up the house, but your parrot could care less.

So when I hear people writing to me about how their parrot should appreciate them more for all the good things they do for them… I think it’s time for a bit of a reality check.

Don’t get me wrong…

Cleanliness, and healthy foods are important.

We don’t want your bird to die of a bacterial infection or anything.

But it has nothing to do with how much your parrot will like you.

To get your parrot to like you, you need to find his “Love Language” — the things that motivate him the most, and the thing he LOVES.

There’s actually a great book on this topic called, “The 5 Love Languages”.

In the book it talks about how almost all conflicts us humans have in our lives stem from us not realizing that different people want to be loved in different ways.

Some people want you to spend time with them, some appreciate gifts, many like being “Told” how appreciated they are, others like it when you do small favors for them, and theirs another group of people that only feel loved if their held or touched in a loving manner.

And whatever “Love Language” we have personally, we tend to try to give THAT kind of love to other people when we want to show affection.

So for example…

If you’re the kind of person that really loves it when someone you love spends Quality Time with you, and you’re married to someone who tends to show their love in another area like ‘doing favors for you’ but not spending lots of time with you…

You end up with a situation where you are TRYING to love another person in a way they DON’T want to be loved.

So the trick is in ALWAYS trying to find out how the other person wants to be loved, and loving them in THEIR way — NOT YOURS!

Hopefully you’re starting to see how you might be loving your bird in the wrong way too?

Because birds have their own ‘Love Languages’ and they aren’t quite like ours ;-)

So don’t try to love your bird the way YOU want to be loved.

If you’re the kind of person who really likes to snuggle, hug and kiss the people you love, it would serve you well to realize that not all birds like to be snuggled and kissed.

From what I can tell, these are the major categories of a bird’s ‘Love Language’:

1) Quality Time
2) Tasty Treats
3) Active Play
4) Pleasant Touch

And each individual bird responds better to one type of “Love” over another.

For example, when I was baby sitting my brother’s Military Macaw, Cash, I was able to use food to motivate him to do a few things…

But he really needed to be allowed lots of ‘Active Play’.

So I would set up situations where I would make him do a behavior like step up onto my hand, and not reward him with food for doing so, but instead reward him with being allowed to play on a foraging tree with lots of toys he could try to dig food out of — or do a flight training session.

His reward was to be physically active.

If I had tried to give him too much of another type of love, like Treats, or Touch he would nip at me and get upset.
He wanted to PLAY.

And until I realized that PLAY was his number one ‘Love Language’ and motivator, I was fighting an up hill battle.
This is why I think so many people struggle with parrot training…

They try to get the bird to want the kind of love THEY want to give, and don’t focus enough on trying to understand how their bird wants to be treated.

If we all did a better job of trying to look at the world from our parrots point of view on this topic we’d have a world of much better behaved birds.

I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on this concept of “Parrot Love Languages”, and how it can help you change your parrots behavior.

This is the key behind why we were are able to walk into people’s homes and fix their parrots problems in One Day.

If you’d like to learn more about identifying these in your parrot, and techniques for using them in ways that cure your bird’s behavior issues, pick up a copy of our One Day Miracles – Parrot Training DVD series today.

Here’s the link again if you need it: http://www.birdtricks.com/miracles

Please leave a comment for me as well, I’m interested in hearing if you found this helpful.

-Chet

 

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311 Comments on “The 4 “Love Languages” Of Parrots”

sarah  09/01/2009 3:50 pm

hi ive just read what u have put , and i understand now , i have a african grey calld ben , he will go on my husbands shoulder but not mine ,and i couldnt understand y but now i do .


Marni Ward  09/01/2009 4:19 pm

Chet,
I saw the love language guy on tv. I think this is very helpful. I have four birds and two are difficult ones. They are a Cockatoo and a grey. One loves to be cuddled and one treats. Still even though I had that figured out it is still hard to know what to do. I train horses, they are easy. They just want to be left alone. So its quit on the right thing. Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult. Birds are not so easy and they bite. I need to learn the body language of the bird like I know it in the horse…..Good information….

Marni


Alexandra Eglezos  09/01/2009 4:44 pm

I can fully understand the parrot’s point of view and respect it.
I will try to be more conscious of what is written in this article and apply it to my problem: I am the primary caretaker for my bird. The problem I have with my african grey is that he used to accept me unconditionally until a few months ago when we had his wings clipped. He still accepts me but will not step up for me from the top of his cage or from his jungle gym play area. He accepts food, scratches, will climb on to me for a scratch when I lay down on the couch and I can handle him any way, but he will not let me take him off his “property”. We talk back and forth all day and responds happily to me. But when it comes to stepping up, he will not. It seems he has lost trust in me since his wings were clipped. He is better now than when he was first clipped, but still not where we were a few months ago.

It’s very frustrating for me and for him. Any advice you can offer would be very much appreciated.


monica  09/08/2009 1:34 am

my tiney grey, Professor, adores me. my husband cleans his cage and speaks to him all the time but professor bites him when he cleans the cage or when he tries to kiss him and he will not respond to anthing my husband says or does.
I sing to him and he sings right back and we talk and he responds to even the softest sound i make and calls me when he isnt with me. he follows me all over. i can pet him any where anytime and he just want to be with me. we go shopping together and offers kisses to all the LADIES he is very tame loves people but not my husband. He even follows me to the bathroom and waits . So the more love you give him the more he will give but give him the kind of love he gives you. attention , talking, singing, treats and make a fuss of him.


Kissie  09/08/2009 1:35 am

Chet,
I was really impressed with the information you gave about understanding the way the birds want to LOVE… I guess I’m one of the lucky ones, I rescued a nine year old congo grey who was VERY neglected and I thought there was no way she was gonna trust anyone much less LOVE anyone. Boy was I wrong, she loves EVERYONE. Of course I’m mommy and get most of her love but she’s more affectionate with men!!! thanks for the information, I will need to apply that to my scarlett macaw!!!


Dottie Moran  09/08/2009 1:53 am

Makes sence, worth trying. My Cockatoo likes me fine buy seems to hate men Anytime a man is around he will attack him. Any man and they don’t have to do anything at all to him. This bird will fly off his perch to get to them. I love this bird but have no idea how to stop him from doing this.


Liz  09/08/2009 1:59 am

Happily, my cockatiel has adored me for the past 15 years and we hit it off very well. However, you’ve opened my eyes to a way of improving relations with my husband! Thanks! ;)


Holly Weaver  09/08/2009 2:01 am

The information in the article is good, it helps explain the need to be more insightful and attuned to each individual bird’s wants. Understanding what a bird prefers is half the work and finding a way to provide it can take time but is very rewarding. It sounds like the best way to develop a trusting relationship with any bird.
I recently took in an 11 yr old CAG who was cage aggressive and rescued from deplorable conditions by the woman who gave him to me. We are still getting to know each other as he is learning about his new home and the other birds here. He wants companionship and he’s learning if he exits the cage on my hand he will get attention and affection, and a friend in our male Ekkie who is very caring and mellow. I’m hoping he will learn from example that not all people are neglectful.


Robert Rauer  09/08/2009 2:02 am

Chet very good ObservationThanks for sharing Robert


Vicki Keong  09/08/2009 2:17 am

Birds are so intelligent, especially parrots. I used to have a female sulphur crested that I inherited from my old neighbour. I was the only one able to get near her, let alone touch or hold. Sadly she fell victim to coccidiosis and died at 25 years old. She has very expressive eyes and I found that one kept ones fingers to oneself when her eyes went black. Her pupils would enlarge when she had the ‘demon’ in her and beware! The cockatoo I have presently is aapprox 6 years old and came to us nearly dead with neglect and shocking living conditions. The woman who brought him to us said she ‘didn’t know what he wanted to eat so gave him dog dry food..” Get the picture? He was almost bald and so scared that it has been a long process with him. but he is the sweetest fellow now. Still pretty awful to look at what with no long plumage at all etc but we love him to bits and though he is still hesitant about climbing onto our arm or shoulder, he adores cuddles and scratches etc. So his kind of lovin’ is definitely the touchy feely kind. He will completely ignore his fave foods for a cuddle and kiss! So perservere, and find out what appeals to your birds as it is so rewarding when they respond so well. Cheers to bird lovers!


Maryna  09/08/2009 2:26 am

Interesting article – I have a 5 year old African Grey (female) parrot. Her wings are clipped. recently she was startled by a noice and “fell” down a flight of stairs. Ever since she has been reluctant to do her normal excercise which is flapping her wings while sitting on my hand. I know you are not clearvoyant ;-) , but any idea how I can get her back to excercising? She does not enjoy walking around much – she goes for short trips and then find some or other kind of perch to sit on. Thanks for your reply.


Reinier Schonken  09/08/2009 2:29 am

Hi,

This is so true! By “accident” I discovered the love language of our African Grey as he will also allow me much more freedom than he would allow my wife, why? I play actively with him at night before “nighty-night” time, he would run around on top of his cage “chasing” my hand, puttinh his little foot on top of a finger and “holding my hand down”, while “biting” my fingers.

I would also “chase” him, scratch beneath his wings, “cuddle” his breast bone, close my hand over his back and with gentle squeezes move my hand down his back to his tail, YES!! that red tail of which they are so proud, and then very gently “pull” on the tail.

He would also constantly try to “feed” me by placing a pellet inside my cupped hand. This ritual would sometimes carry on for so long that he almost becomes out of breath.

Upon finishing playtime, either me “showing” that I have had enough or he indicating by getting a little more “agressive”, I will place a few pieces of shredded cheese in his bowl, he will then climb into his cage, eat the cheese, say”nighty-night” and I will pull the cover down over the cage.

So yes, I now realise, from your article, that this then is indeed his “love language” and because my wife was too afraid to do the same when he was younger, he would not allow her to do play with him in the same manner at this time.

However, she handles him very regularly, picks him up, talks to him, whistles etc and he responds lovingly.

Cheers

Reinier


Carol Clark  09/08/2009 2:37 am

I have an Alexandrina Parrot and I can understand what Chet is saying. My experience with Rajah is the repetition each day with the same action. I uncover his cage in the morning and he can’t wait to step up and come to me. This is partly food oriented of course but these birds are not known for cuddling and he snuggles my face to get a seed.
However once he is back on his cage he won’t step up or come to me unless I use a small dowel. I think he was traumatised by his breeder who was very rough with his hands on the baby birds. I will try this idea …thanks Chet!!


Belita Turenr  09/08/2009 2:56 am

Hello Chet, that is such a good observation and I never thought of it that way. I think I should actually send this to Marc my partner – then we might also understand each other a little better.

I kind of worked out from the start that Charlie my African Grey was not motivated by treats or toys. He wants cuddles and to be in my face – shoo!! and I’m not the most “in your face” kind of person – so yes our personalities did clash from time to time.

I have worked through most of our differences and I try and concentrate on his other strong points and this beautiful “relationship ” we have.

I also just wanted to mention Charlie’s leg has healed completely he doesn’t even walk with a limp in the leg where the femur bone was broken.

Thanks for the wonderful work you do!!!!!


Carol Cornish  09/08/2009 2:59 am

Hi Chet,
A good article. I have a male cockatiel who loves a scratch etc. But will not step up unless I use a stick as he bites me. He was handreared by my friend and was put out in an aviary to breed his mate died so she loaned him to me to breed with. So far he has not paired up with any of my females even though they are begging him. Is there anything I can do to make him happier and move on to another lady????


Louis  09/08/2009 3:06 am

Your observations are very good and practical. As in human situations, the emotional needs of all God’s creatures have specific points for harmony. It takes time to learn what they are. Anyone serious about getting close to those creatures that yearn for our affection but cannot trust us, must express that binding element called love as you put it so well. Love is patient; people are not. They must first learn to be patient with themselves, then they can communicate it to others – including birds.


saubhagya  09/08/2009 3:41 am

Yup. Makes perfect sense to me.

One of my macaws likes to play too, and the other one prefers treats and pleasant touches.


bente  09/08/2009 4:19 am

Wow this was fun reading! I’ve had 2 lovebirds, the boy (Kaos)was clickertrained and tamed by me when i met him, he was 3 years old, and I became his human girlfriend or something. Since I travelled a lot, and he and my partner was’nt THAT fond of with eachother (although they did love eachother, they just didn’t spend all that time together), we bought him a girlfriend. (Unfortunatley she died a couple of weeks ago..) But when I tried to tame her, I really tried everything, but nothing worked. (she was more calm before they started breeding). We sent Kaos on a vacation at his “grandparents”, so i could train her, and spend lots of time with her. I tried everything, but she did NOT want to take treats from me. I moved her to the bathroom, not in the cage, an wanted her to take treats from me every time i came in to the bathroom. Now, I did’nt leave the bathroom before she took the treat from my hand… And that worked! I gradually trained her to take 2-3-4-5-6 treats before I would leave her alone.. And she got really calm in the next few days :) But what was fun is that she knew she HAD to take the treat, to make me go away.., and that is what she did.., she took the treat, and dropped it on the floor, she would NOT eat anything I gave her during that period. But when Kaos came home again, she was much more calm around us, and trusted us to leave her alone/not touch her, no matter how close to her we were. All we would do, was maybe giving her at “treat”, and after a while she would even eat it :)


Sunaabh Sarkar  09/08/2009 4:31 am

Hi Chet,

I completely agree with you on the 4 major aspects,

1) Quality Time
2) Tasty Treats
3) Active Play
4) Pleasant Touch

which you have mentioned. The parrot I had rescued after I found her coruched under a car one evening, dreaded me like death… apperantly it did not like me catching her so whenever I woud go near her she would back away in her cage or lounge at me ready to bite. I got bitten quite a few time, every body except I was welcome to her. Even my little daughter could stroke her while I couldn’t. but over the las few months we have brocken the ice and now the tables are turned no one except I can go near her or stroke her. BTW she has started calling out BYE when I go away or when she does not want us [I included] near her… When she wants something or wants her to be near her, she calls her name in many ways as if pleading… first simple “Mitthoo” next “Meeeitthooooo” followed by “Mitthoooore” feel good when you start believing you are starting to learn a new language… language of the birds, the nature… :)


Ozlem AKTAS  09/08/2009 4:57 am

Thanks Chet for sharing that insight into the love language of birds. I’ve always believed that since everyone and every complex organism in nature is unique and individual that there would need to be differences between the way individuals like to be loved. From reading everyone elses responses, I’m seeing that my situation isn’t any different. My sulphur crested Baby absolutely loves me and my brother but nips and attacks anyone else who goes near his cage or near us if he happens to be on our shoulder at the time. (Answering the door with Baby on my should is not a good idea.) Baby is also going through his hormonal mating routines at the moment and he has decided that I am his mate and my husband is definitely not welcome. The only time Baby even tolerates him is so that he can bring him to me from the other room if I happen to have ignored him during the day. And of course John reinforces that by bringing him to me every time Baby does happen to be nice and step up for John. Although I must admit that regular visits to the vet are not appreciated by my bird and he’s always nippy with me on those days but I suppose there’s no such thing as the perfect bird. At least I know that at the vet he gets just the right amount trimmed off.


Zoe  09/08/2009 5:55 am

I love how you can put into words and give helpful examples of things I’ve learned by instinct. It’s great when I’m trying to explain my birds behaviour to my new housemate!

Thanks!


Vanessa  09/08/2009 6:08 am

Thank you very much. I have finally understood why my Indian Ring-neck’s are so different from one another.

I will give it a try and keep you updated.

Once again. Thank you for the advise and help.
Vanessa (S.Africa)


Phyllis  09/08/2009 6:15 am

I think this was a brilliant article. This has information that can be applied not only to birds but to everyday life. I love it. It definately changed the way I look at my parrot. Thank you very much for the informatio.


Diana Fischer  09/08/2009 6:52 am

I too have an African grey and in the beginning it took a long time to have her let me do things for her or to her.

Her love language is being out of the cage and hanging with me. Watching TV or having a nap or being in the bathroom when I get ready. Just being with me.

Now she sleeps under the covers with me every night and is very loving a full of kisses before we fall asleep. She takes her shower with me and hangs out when I am free to pay her full attention.

For allowing her to hang out, she is more than willing to cuddle and kiss, as she sees this as a reward for me for taking her out of her cage. She spends about 14 hours a day and night just hanging!!! Diana Fischer


Ted May  09/08/2009 6:52 am

You ar 100% correct that the parrot has his favorite thing to do.
My Grey, Wiley’s favorite thing is actually to flip over backwards and then have me swing him around to right side up again. I used to think he was just wanting to be close, but after he slipped once or twice and we played this way, he then sought every opportunity to flip. He even goes so far as to signal me when he wants to flip. He uses a descending whistle or swings his head.
Make no mistake he likes treats and being nearby, but once I found his secret, we both enjoy playtime, that is until he gets dizzy and uses his beak to steady himself (sometimes painfully). I guess there can be too much of a good thing.


Wendy Wright  09/08/2009 7:26 am

Hi – if only more people realised that when we deal with animals we have to stop thinking like people and think like the animal we are dealing with.

I think its fantastic – sound advice at last. In my conversations with people about the animals that they keep the most common error is to assume that animals think like humans, which is ridiculous.

Most people don’t take the time to understand the nature of the animal from the animal’s point of view, and in my dealings with any animal the first and foremost thought in my mind is always try to place yourself in their position, and see things from how they would behave in their natural environment where they are not subject to people.

Animals function purely on their instinct and their nature, and what has been learnt by them from their environment. They don’t have the same emotional attachments that we do, and their relationships are based on the need to survive and procreate and ensure survival of the species and their actions are based on this basic instinct. Most people don’t realize this. As humans we attach emotion to our actions because on the whole we are pretty ignorant about what is really going on.

Animals don’t have any predetermined agenda other than to survive and if possible, do it well. If we can connect to them on their level then we are doing pretty well.

I have discussions with people about their dogs behaving badly etc. and when I mentioned the fact that they are thinking like people and in order to understand they need to think like dogs, the whole thing changes, and there is a sudden comprehension and realization that in fact they have been pretty stupid.

Where animals are subject to being “kept” by humans their basic instincts and their basic nature doesn’t change. Certain behaviour patterns will be learnt by the creatures due to the “action/reaction” theory, and is usually implemented because of their basis survival instinct, and in almost all instances when an animal (according to our interpretation) “behaves badly”, most often than not its because of the owner’s ignorance, and not because of the animal.

If we could apply this principal to our relationships in life, whether it be human or otherwise, we may actually get somewhere. For some reason we behave contrary to our basic nature.

Animals have no pretences, they don’t make themselves out to be anything other than what they are, and they behave accordingly. We on the other hand ….

I have so much respect for the animal world, they have survived for thousands of years without any form of assistance from ourselves, and each creature plays a part, from the smallest to the largest. Humans on the other hand are the most destructive of all the creatures who ever graced this planet. And we say animals are dumb?

Keep up the good work you guys – the more knowledge you can pass on the better. The more understanding people have the better. Doesn’t it make you worry when you get e-mails like that – my parrot doesn’t love me. It’s like saying my snail doesn’t love me. Well hello…???? I think it’s a huge cause for concern. People will own something for the sake of having it, of possessing it, but give no thought to the consequences of the having of it. Well I think I would like to own an elephant – do you know of anyone who has one for sale? I could keep it in my back yard and take it for walks on Sundays…..

Incidentally, thanks for the CD on the undercover ops.

Thanks for all the work that you do – I know that the reason why you do it is to try to reach out to all the people who own these precious creatures that they (both bird and human) can achieve a special “bond” and quality of co-existance that is possible if you are prepared to try.

Regards


Edie  09/08/2009 7:42 am

I have had my cockatiel for 13 years and have always had to respect that he is not a touchy feely kind of bird. I think it is hard for people to realize that not every bird is the same and some just don’t enjoy being touched. We have a healthy relationship where he likes active play and quality time. He will snuggle when he wants to, but I have never been able to touch him or stroke his head with my hands. And that’s okay!


AZ  09/08/2009 8:01 am

Chet,
Thanks so much! I try to figure out what my little parrotlets like to do when i am around, and it is very hard because i was doing what you mentioned, loving them my way. I will try following your advice. I think you are doing a GREAT JOB; you explain things very clearly, and funny, and always give great advice. Thanks sooooo much.
Cheers,


Pam  09/08/2009 8:06 am

Great analogy, You hit it right on the head. I have a 3 month old Hoffman conure who hates to be touched and petted. He likes to hang, get treats and play, but don’t pet him. I found this difficult because our green cheek is sweet, sweet. I will be more respectful of his love language. Thanks!


Gabriele  09/08/2009 8:18 am

You are right, that every parrot is an individual. They all like different things. We hit the jackpot with our eclectus. We have quality time every day and he likes to learn tricks. He does 5 things before he wants a treat. Than he sits on my shoulder and we walk around the garden and we talk. He likes to learn new words. He tells me, when he wants his head scratched. He is a very cuddly bird. And he seems to like my husband and me equally. He steps up without any problem. The only funny thing, he will only talk to me. He picks up words from my husband, but does not talk to him.
Thanks Chet for all your advice.


Kathy H  09/08/2009 8:26 am

This makes perfect sense, as I have a household full of parrots, from our 3 cockatiels to our Senegal. And mix in conures to the group.
The cockatiels just like to be out and have thier time to fly and enjoy themselves “play”. But I haven’t thought of the others yet, so will now look into it and see what comes up from it.
I would be interested in seeing if this can be expanded on like in the book ” The five love languages” as that is a good book. And this might be a great take on the idea.


Steve  09/08/2009 8:34 am

Hey Chet,
Can’t recommend the book enough. Makes sense to apply it to the animal kingdom as well! Thanks for your insight.
Steve.


valerie wilton  09/08/2009 8:35 am

Can you give us some guidance on “active play”‘?


Catherine Crowley  09/08/2009 8:49 am

Hi Chet,

Haven’t thought of this before but it certainly makes sense. My two Rainbow Laurakeets are very different. One noisy rough and very physical and talks non-stop. the other quiet and gentle but still wants to be talked to and fussed over. Strangely if i put them together the quite one is the dominant bird.


June  09/08/2009 9:05 am

Hi Chet, I have a different problem with my male Too, He attacks me whenever I put something in my hand such as a fly swatter or like yesterday when I was folding up the cage cover for our senegal, he flew at my arm and bit me. I have so many bites on my arms and hands I look like I have been in a car accident.
What has happened to my bird since he was such a good bird about three years ago. He’s nine now.

I hope I put my question in the correct place, if not I apologize.


Peggy  09/08/2009 9:05 am

Speaking of Love Language, my yellow-cheeked Conure (Peanut) is about two years old. Have no idea if Peanut is a male or female. We just assume that Peanut is a male. Lately he has started to really cuddle with me. He will lift his wing and get as close to my neck as possible. Sometime he will back up and put his rear-end against my neck while fluttering his wings and cooing. Is this part of a mating ritual? Does it exhibit either male or female behavior?


Laurie  09/08/2009 9:10 am

Chet,
The Five Love Languages is an amazing book, I can see it saving more than a few relationships if people read it, and I swear by it. I never thought about it when it came to my bird though – and it only makes sense. Thanks for tying the two together.


Valeh Levy  09/08/2009 9:23 am

Chet,

Very interesting and very helpful insights. I will share this with my family so we can all pay better attention to our own Love Languages and our sun conure’s. It really explains why the bird really accepts some strangers immediately and rejects others. It’s not voodoo, just cues that we can learn to pay closer attention to.
Thanks for your clarity and dedication to enlightening us.


Madelein  09/08/2009 9:29 am

Hi,
Thanks for the insight, but what I don’t understand is that I have a timney grey and he just cant get enough of me, I don’t really like him and I work the whole day. My boyfriend, he’s home alot but he can’t even pick franky up or come near him, he can only do that if he assure franky that he is bringing him to me. Why do he like me that much? I am a cleaning freak and whenever franky makes a mess I yell at him!somehow he seems to like to irretate me I think!don’t get me wrong, I will never hurt him or treat him bad, but I feel bad that he loves me so much but I don’t love him that much. Madelein


Mark  09/08/2009 9:31 am

hey Guys lost my parrott Skittles a few weeks back. Please be careful when they are learning to fly. If you leave them even for even a few minutes close the lid on the toilet. Mine drowned while I was at work.


Arlene  09/08/2009 9:40 am

Thanks for the great article Chet. After reading it I thought about Dixie, an African Grey who’s 8 and Tater, an 18 year old Sun Conure. They were my husband’s birds but he passed away in April of ’08. I’ve spent as much time as possible with them so that they won’t get sad, lonely and depressed.

Tater loves treats and wants to poop in the garbage can to keep his house clean! Otherwise won’t allow any touching at all anymore. He’s getting old and really anti-social. I love him the way he wants and we get along fine.

Dixie loves his quality time with me in the evenings. Before bed we do a ‘fly around’ in the kitchen (I hold his feet while he flaps his wings!) and then he spends a little time at the computer with me and love it if there is music and videos to watch. That’s the only time he is loving and sweet. He is an adolescent boy and loves all women as long as they don’t try to touch him or his house!

They have such different personalities so it’s always a challenge for me to give them each what they need and want. Thanks again for the article. It helps me love them both better.

BTW, your training courses have done more to train me than them! I’m always learning new and better ways to interact with my guys.

Arlene


Kirk Weber  09/08/2009 9:50 am

I have an Amazon named Bert. Chet, you’ll be glad to know that one of his love languages is doing tricks! There is a specific spot on his ‘gym’ where I train him. He’s figured that out, and we’re starting to find him sitting on that exact spot, as if saying, “Train me! Train me!”

Incidentally, one of my wife’s language is flowers. It doesn’t matter that they all die within 2 days; she just likes getting them! Just before bringing them in the door, I hold them up and say, “I’m sorry buddy, but you’re going to die soon . . . “


Marilyn  09/08/2009 10:00 am

I bought and unproven pair of parrotlets, my bad… they are darling birds and very loving to each other but are very afraid of me. I give them lots of attention, they live in the den where we spend most of our time so are around activity but they will not let me touch them without a fight. I dont know if it’s better to let them alone, as a clutch of chicks is what Im hoping for, or keep trying to tame them. They will not accept any treats from my hand but do not get upset when I put treats in the cage, they just sit up on a perch and wait. What do U think?
I really enjoyed Ur column. Thanks


Ann  09/08/2009 10:00 am

My cocketiel pogo talks says mummy kiss kiss mummys boy pretty pogo etc because I talk to him a lot he needs attention, if I am outside he dopys the phone ringing to get me to come in


Linda D.  09/08/2009 10:04 am

Chet
I have three grays and one conure. They are all different but yet alike.
They all like treats, peanuts is favorite for all four. My first gray, Angel
which I hand fed is the most independent. She likes to be free of her cage when I am home and stays off the floor – I have two dogs, also.
Buster, a wonderful congo gray is adopted and somewhat shy but has a great personality. Likes to play and set on my shoulder but is sometimes moody and wants to left alone. Susie, my other congo is a nipper. She is very moody and I have to watch the signs and use treats to get her to do what I want her to when she is in a foul mood. Susie and Buster reward me with a somewhat slimmy stored seed from time to time which I much appreciate and know they are showing their love for me. Angel whom I have had the longest has never rewarded me with a seed but she
does give kisses everyday. You are absolutely right, they have their own
way of expressing their feelings and you have to watch for these signs.
Thanks for all you do to help make things better for us bird owners.


Nedra Lacey  09/08/2009 10:05 am

I have a 4 year old African Grey who doesn’t talk at all. All he does is whistle. I want him to talk and become a little more friendly. Please if there anything you can do, please let me know

Nedra


peggy dorigatti  09/08/2009 10:23 am

i hope this helps with my
it makes a lot of scene thanks for the help
peg


Mary  09/08/2009 10:29 am

i have a 2 yrs old caique,oliver and he can be wonderful ,most times ,except when strangers enter the house ,he gets down on the floor and starts to walk around them and analyze them ,but if he doesn’t like them he goes into attack mode and go for their toes or whtas’ nearest ,it’s very diststurbing as when we know certain people are coming over i have to put ollie away in his cage ,(i don’t like him to say shut in for long periods of time .i tell everyone the minute they walk in to not act afraid bend down talk to him ,but some well fear just shows thru and they are minced meat ,he loves it when he gets the better of you and when a person is in my house and he wants at ..at he will chew the wood throught the door to get to them (i’ve noticed and seen the wood ) thereby knowing my sons friend chris was over ,
what should i do ,people have said mary keep that crazy bird away ,if he bites ect…
mary


Jay S.  09/08/2009 10:39 am

Hi Chet,

Good Advise….my Cockatoo does not care about anything…she has her own personality….I have bought your Traingin Videos 2 years ago and heard and practiced your CDs several times….but she has her own personality….Very Loving Bird but needs constant attention….She can not be left alone…otherwise she screams…which becomes difficult to address…She is only hand fed ….any suggestions about how to train her so that she can eat by herself ?? Her Love Language is totally different then what you have described….VERY INDIVIDALLY INCLINED …She loves to be cuddled and loved all the time but it is sending the wrong message….You are right for Love Language…but it becomes difficult when a bird is tricky and has different Love Language for every person in the house….I only wish…she stops Screaming when left alone….Please advise. Thanks.


Lorraine DiGregorio  09/08/2009 10:49 am

Hello,

I need a behaviorist for my Grey. I live in Brooklyn, NY. Can you possibly help me out?

Thanks!


Laurie Vlach  09/08/2009 10:55 am

Dear Chet,

I believe you really need to have someone proofread your articles, postings, emails, etc., before they are sent out. I have a very hard time getting past your grammatical, spelling, and syntax errors. I’m sure you can afford to have someone spend the small amount of time it takes to proofread an email posting like this one I just received from you. You are a professional with birds; I get that part 100%. You will be a more effective communicator with human beings if your printed material is checked before being presented to the public.

This is obviously just my opinion. I know, everyone has an opinion and you certainly don’t have to pay heed to mine, but you will appear much more literate than you do now.


Amy  09/08/2009 11:11 am

Wow–I never thought about it that way. I always wanted my Amazon to enjoy petting and cuddling, but he always ‘growls’ at me when I try. He is so content to just sit with me and watch t.v. After reading this I realize that he really just likes to ‘hang out’. He’s not a cuddly bird and that’s ok, I’m just really glad to finally understand that.


Joseph  09/08/2009 11:21 am

Interesting article. It improved my knowledge of bird psychology. Our Timneh African Grey adopted us a few years ago. It huddled at our back door on a rainy day until we took it in. We knew nothing about parrots then and are still learning. We were unable to find the previous owner, so we bought a book and started learning about Timnehs.

He (she) has a great personality. My wife has always been afraid of birds, but she plays with the bird (without touching) and he loves it! He happily accepts treats from her, but she won’t try to pick him up for fear of being bitten. The one exception is that when he accidentally flutters to the floor (his wings are clipped), he will step up on her hand to be returned to his cage. He is affectionate with me, and likes to be rubbed when he’s in the mood–especially on the back of his neck. We take him with us when we go away for the weekend, and take him to work with us during the week, but only when he is willing to go. Some weekday mornings he obviously doesn’t want to leave his home cage, so we leave him at home.

The bird talks only to me, but he speaks only in my wife’s voice, using her phrases. We gauge his moods through his body language, I guess intuitively adopting your ideas about bird psychology. We try to relate to him on his level, and have learned to leave him alone when he doesn’t want to be bothered. He has never bitten me hard enough to break the skin, except when he’s falling off my hand and uses his beak to catch himself. This bird has been a real experience for us.

Thank you for your many insights into the world of birds.


hm  09/08/2009 12:28 pm

Our baby African Grey, Chikka (Swahili for ‘God’s greatest’) or (Spanish [Chica] for ‘Little Girl’) Translation: God’s greatest little girl’ is just weaned and we’ve had her home for two weeks now.

So far everything is great, she is potty training very successfully, very attentive and free with her affecttions and love and loves to cuddle with my wife and I so you would think life is all roses… Unfortunately it isn’t;

Chikka has a sleepwalking problem… err, — rather a sleep falling problem. Like all birds she seeks the highest point in her cage to rest for the night; however, last night is the third time she has fallen off her perch during sleep. Now before you ask, there are 5 differrent sizes and textures of perches available to her ranging from simple round 1in. dowel to complex shapes of sand and rope perches so she gets excellent exercise and care of her feet. (Nothing but the best for our little girl… eh!).

I am however very concerned that one of these times she will fall and break either a leg or a wing, what with all those wire bars at the bottom of the cage. We have tried using a wadded blanket in the bottom of the cage to cushion her fall but what a maintenance headache and the smell… arrgghh, and we have tried a parrot-tent which she rejects. So any ideas you may have will be welcome as we don’t want our baby to get hurt…

Annecdotally, our other two birds, Dinky, a green-cheek conure and Mickey, a Maximillian Pionus never fall. — ever!… Dinky likes to sleep vertical, hanging his toes off a horizontal cross wire and using his tail to ‘just let it all hang out’ while he snoozes (so funny to see him).

Mickey, always props himself up against a food bowl or in the corner to lean on something stable during the night.

But poor Chikka was so startled she cried out in shock and would not be comforted until we picked her up for a few minutes before returing her to her cage…. and you guessed it, 20 minutes later she is back up on her favorite falling, err… sleeping perch snorring away. :-)

What a Riot in California.


Kim Bayer  09/08/2009 12:45 pm

To Madelein, who doesn’t much like her boyfriend’s African Grey, Please don’t be angry at him, birds can’t help the mess they make.

I have a Jenday conure who is a rescue bird, he was never trained to be held or touched. He’ll step up only from the floor when he jumps down in fear of my hand. When he does step up he’s clearly not comfortable. I’d love to be able to pet him. When I sit near him and he’s on his cage, he seems content and happy when I talk to him, or just hang out there. I may just have to accept that this is his language, and not try to force behavior on him that I want but he doesn’t. Thanks for all your great advice.


Pam H  09/08/2009 12:55 pm

I have an 7 year old Blue and Gold Macaw. He came from a rescue and at first had some big trust and biting issues. We worked through that and then we worked on teaching him to play and forage for goodies and toys. He is not especially treat motivated, but what he loves is to sit on his open cage door and supervise the flock (a conure and a lovebird). He knows that if he’s a good bird, steps up and does his behavior exercises, then he has ‘door time’ and he gets to run the show (at least in his mind). He’s become the sweetest bird who will lift his wing for a scratch and he snuggles like a baby. Each of my birds is totally different but the macaw has been the most difficult to figure out because he’s not obvious in letting me know what he wants. Thanks for the article. I wish I’d seen it sooner. It explains what it has taken me a couple of years to figure out.


Tina  09/08/2009 1:30 pm

Hi Chet

I would like to comment on the message left by Laurie Vlach –
Laurie, keep you opinions to yourself. Just because a person, especially an intellligent person, like Chet does not rise to your high expectations, it does not mean he is not literate . . . I would hate to be your pet or children!! You must be a nightmare to live with – grow up and realise that NO-ONE is perfect. I am a perfectionist myself, but overlook peoples mistakes and shortcomings as I am better at somethings than them, and other things they will beat me hands down! I could never do some things, but would NEVER be as critical and make such horrid comments as you just did. I would be ashamed of myself – who do you think you are?


Donna  09/08/2009 1:52 pm

I have the silliest bird. He likes 3 out of 4. Haven’t been able to get Azul to accept food out of my hand. He comes to me in the cage with my finger, but on top of the cage, I seem to have to open my arms like I am going to hug him and he scampers to my side of the cage and then I can get him on my finger. He also likes “a chase” once in a while. If I am real busy and don’t pay enough attention, he jumps off the cage and plops on the floor where I can hear him and then scampers into the kitchen for me to pick him up. Good thoughts, thanks.


Sandra Owens  09/08/2009 1:56 pm

Chet,
I have alot of your dvd’s and information. The help that you have given me and so many other people is phenomenal.
I think the response to this article about your grammar and spelling is ridiculous. Your article is written to help all of us have a better understanding of how to handle our birds not focusing on typographical errors. Thanks you for all of the information that you send to us. I know it has helped me a great deal with my cockatoo.


jan  09/08/2009 2:12 pm

Great article – my cockatoo is very lovable. In the evening she will screech until I let her just sit on my lap. That’s all she wants. She will sit and preen herself and is totally content as long as she is with me. Toos need a lot of attention. She likes being petted and preened, but just sitting quietly with me while I read or watch tv is all she needs. She talks constantly too.


Michaela  09/08/2009 2:24 pm

Hi Chet,

Just want to say thank you for all the valuable information you send on to me. Keep up the good work.


Audrey Johnston  09/08/2009 2:30 pm

Hi Chet
Really enjoy your vast training experiences. Wish we had them when we got our African Grey 27 years ago. One of Clancy’s things is being scratched behind his neck. We could do this all day.Thanks for the tip abut his pin feathers. He also loves the whistling games we play. Have you ever thought of making a whistling tape with a few short songs? ie This Old Man, Jingle Bells, Amazing Grace etc. He has a fairly good vocabulary but I’m not having very much success with the clicker. (I’ll keep trying)One last thing- What does his bobbing mean? I sometimes think he is laughing at us. Oh yes, He loves the toys we get monthly from Birdtricks.


Nanki  09/08/2009 2:40 pm

Hallo Chet
Thank you for the article about love languages. Can it be possible for a parrot to have more than one love language? For example sometimes quality time and sometimes active play? I believe my parrot prefers both but at different times. Can you give ideas on active play? Our parrot loves playing but I think our idea of play is rather limited.
Thank you
Nanki


teresa  09/08/2009 2:44 pm

hi chet
what you doing is wonderfull
i love what you write
i also have a cockateil that bites and wsont let me near him
he wont play or go in his cage when i want hi to he draws blood all the time tell me what im doing wrong help
terri


Joy  09/08/2009 2:52 pm

Thanks for making the connection my husband and I have been missing with our almost three-year-old green wing, Loli. He’s a lover and a cuddler but playtime brings out the best in him not to mention the trickster in him.


Chris  09/08/2009 3:05 pm

Hi Chet you are trully the bird keepers CHAMPION read all your emails bought some of your dvd’s nice article keep up the good work

Kind regard’s
Chris


Sumatee  09/08/2009 3:13 pm

Hi Chet ,

My birds respond to all four languages. They are contented just to have me spend time with them like when I’m cleaning their room or just sitting near looking and talking to them. Thanks very much for the info on how we human beings should love another person.


Patrecia McCurdy  09/08/2009 3:27 pm

It also could be the bird remembers being raised by hand by a particular person he/she remembers lovingly. If it was a woman, they tend to be partial to a woman; and vice versa.

patrecia


Lois  09/08/2009 3:28 pm

Hello Chet

I enjoy reading your comments on the little and big feathered babies. I have a sun conure. I can easily relate to the different languages of love. He/she is 3 years old. I got it as a requested xmas gift. My fiance (Dave) did not understand why I would want a bird, but purchased it for me anyway. Today he will kill for this little mite. The names have changed from “pig”eon, turkey, . . . and settled on “woogie”. So woogie is put in the bed in the morning with Dave and he plays or sleeps. He loves attacking and runs away laughing – he mimics my laugh. At night he also get in the bed with us and either cuddles up and sleeps or plays – depending on the mood. He loves being tickled in the neck and his favourite is just under his wing where the skin joins the wing. If you tickle his little ears he yawns. I am very gently with him and Dave likes ruffling him and he also loves that. On occassions he will pufff up run up to me and attack “ouch” and run away laughing. We had his wings cut once and have left his wings since as he loves flying around the room. He kisses and tastes all over. He loves hair and crawls under my hair and snuggles in my neck. He only baths when he feels like it. He fights with the shaver and Dave cannot shave. He chews anything he can get hold of. We give him a tissue which he rips to pieces clucking all the time. I have a conversation with him when I get home at night. The little head nods and he has his little conversation.I could go on forever – he is our little baby.

I have question for you though, we have always referred to him as a little male, but do not know how to tell the difference. How would we know? In season he will also try and rub his privates on our hands. Would appreciate your comments.


john Heywood  09/08/2009 4:04 pm

Just had to say thanks for your helpful and practical advice. my cag, Sylvester, is responsive to all your suggestions! Regards, John.


Gloria  09/08/2009 4:14 pm

First, Laurie Vlach: Before you hand out missives about what you perceive as others’ shortcomings, check out your own – BAD grammar! And BAD taste. Chet: I am a senior on a limited income. Someday I hope to join the group and get some advice for my sun and jenday conures who make my ears ring with their screaming (and my neighbors complain). But I love that they are adopted and are here with me. Keep up the good work, grammar/spelling bedamned!
Keep up the good work, grammar/spelling bedamned!


Susan  09/08/2009 4:14 pm

Well, I have an Amazon that likes quality time over anything. She hates active play , and is impartial to cuddles. treats are good as long as she don’t have to work for them, otherwise she ignores it. I let her sit on my knee, and my shoulder. but not my arm, since she has a tendency to claw up arms. But, even if some people say that all birds can be taught to love you, I have found it is not true at all. My moms Cockatoo bites, and screeches no matter what we do. we can wrap him in a towel, but he fights it. We have to wrap a towel over him and put him on a chair for him to not misbehave. He likes my mom, but only to a point, as he will still bite the daylights out of her, even if he is content. We are not giving up on him though. Even with my Moms’ failing health, I have let her know that no matter how much the bird dis-likes me, I will not let him leave our family. Unless he gets depressed when she dies… if he does, the only course I see if we can not get him out of it is to put him down. It would be nice of you could post an article about how to help depressed birds for those who are going to have to help one. ust a thought, even if you aren’t going to read this :)


J Hayes  09/08/2009 4:16 pm

I think Laurie Vlach needs to understand this is a blog to help us the bird lovers understand our babies not have to watch out for a wanna be English Professor to disect our english


sally duncan  09/08/2009 4:40 pm

Hi Chet, This is great advice i have a macaw he used to bite me all the time but found out hes a very loving bird loves to cuddle and massages under his wings once i got him used to stepping up on dowel hes been fine thank you for all your training cds they have been great but i lost the clicker cant find it anywhere how can i get another one Thanks Sally


Deb  09/08/2009 5:24 pm

Chet,

Thanks for all the information and suggestions that you make. You do a great job disseminating this information despite the grammatical, spelling and syntax errors which are easily read through and not as numerous as some may think. What is important is your message as relates to these precious creatures which conveys the fact that they are intelligent and vulnerable being totally dependent on their owners. What we are able to do to provide them with a quality existence that gives both us and them some measure of joy constitutes your message, and, as such, is invaluable.

Keep up the good work! My husband and I were at the Florida conference and enjoyed it immensely. We, along with our Cockatoo and Blue & Gold have benefited from our seminar experience. Thanks again.


Renee  09/08/2009 6:37 pm

First of all, this is to Laurie Vlack. Please forgive me if I misspell something…

Anyway, you are an inspiration to all of us who have birds and want to have the best relationship we can with them. I am more concerned about how to make my Grey, Macaw, and my Cockatoo happy than for them to do the things that make ME happy. On someone’s birthday, I’ve always disliked the people who bought gifts THEY wanted the person to have, other than what the birthday person would like to have.

Thank you for all your advise and keep up the good work for all of us bird lovers!


Trena  09/08/2009 6:50 pm

Chet,

My husband and I had a similar problem with our young B&G. Midland is 2 and would not let my husband put him. He would tolerate my husband carrying him around, feeding him, talking to him, etc…but never allow Alex (my husband) to pet him on the head. I can touch Midland anywhere. He gives me hugs and kisses. Not Alex. Then one day Alex saw me scratching Midland’s butt. Yes, his butt but on top of his rear feathers.. Midland will bend over so far on his perch that he nearly falls off if I am scratching his butt. Alex tried it and IT WORKED!!! Now Alex starts there and can move to other areas.
Embarrassing to say that “Love Language #4″ is Midland’s key. The things we do for love. LOL
Thanks!!!
Trena


Valorie  09/08/2009 7:28 pm

This is for Peggy: Peanut sounds like a girl bird. I was told by a vet once that females will back their butts up against you when they are feeling the urge. It makes sense; I had a male lovebird that liked to straddle my wrist and hump it. I let him do it cause he rarely showed me any other form of appreciation. I figured what the heck, if it made him feel good, he was welcome to my wrist.

Anyhoo…I now have a senegal parrot that is a bit moody. Some days he wants treats, most days he wants a good head rub, but every once in a while he surprises me with a bad mood and all he wants to do is turn me into hamburger. Those days I love him by leaving him alone. A bit of excersise and regular naps in a secure corner of the house really helps him stay friendly. I guess the trick is to stay alert and pay attention to the signals your bird sends you; not easy for those with busy schedules, but it can be done!


Shayla  09/08/2009 7:51 pm

Hi Chet,
This is an interesting theory, My Amazon loves treats, but I think like people, they all have their preferences to what they want, and what they will or will not do. They are like children, she knows by my actions and the tone of my voice what I’m going to do next. She won’t eat her treats in public.


Linda  09/08/2009 9:17 pm

Hi Chet,

I had two Amazon parrots. A little over 2 weeks ago, I lost my Orange wing Amazon due to kidney failure. I had her over 29 years.
She was the most loving, affectionate, parrot. I’m really having
a hard time writing to you at this time without being emotional.
Still grieving!! My Red Lored is sitting on my shoulder now.
I am so glad that I opened this email to read. Because my Orange winged Amazon, Petie, loved to be touched and petted.
On the other hand with my Red Lored, Jake, he likes to be with us but not touched. Quality time! And he is becoming so attached to my husband.
I’ve had Jake for 22 years. He misses Petie so much that my heart just breaks for him. Do you think that I should get another bird soon or just give all of our attention to him??
He has also picked up a habit of screaming for us when we leave the room. I think because he always had Petie there. Can you give us your advice on this matter?


ianwoodburn@netspace.net.au  09/08/2009 9:52 pm

Hi Chet,
Oscar is doing well, but I’d like to find someone local to communicate with, Canberra ACT Australia, who is interested in training.
Your article gives me more ideas. I’ ve also found a Pet Shop selling safe toys as well as we are making our own.
Well done Chet.
Regards Ian


Patricia Wolf  09/08/2009 10:00 pm

My U-too has a “love lanaguage” of attention and being talked to or sung to. I alwys did this with her and she has always responded to me since we received her when she was 14 years old. she used to attack my husband, until he finally started and singing and whistling at her. Now she is his best friend! That coupled with occassionaly trats of banana chips makes her one happy bird!


Debra  09/08/2009 10:07 pm

I own two of the Love Languages books by Gary Chapman, so when I read your article applying that principle to parrots, I thought “Of course!!!” My brothers and I have owned six Quaker Parrots between us over the years–at least two were wild and three were hand-fed. I see now that every single one of them has/had distinct personalities and spoke different “love languages.”

Dido, my 11-month old Quaker, joined our family last year. Dido’s primary love languages are definitely quality time and active play. “Peek-a-boo” is her favorite game, and she LOVES to sing–she has learned one nursery song that I tweaked the words to just for her and she’s starting to learn a pop song. Not only can she enunciate well, she has nearly perfect pitch! When she wants me to join in, she stops singing and says, “Come on!”

Dido loves to perch on my finger, shoulder or my head and just hang out with me, but when she has had enough, she’ll say “up.” I’ve just caught on that this means she wants to go back to her cage, where her food/water and toys are (she says “step up to mama” when she wants to go out).

Dido loves cuddles, getting and giving kisses, getting “raspberries” on her tummy and having her head and back stroked, but she isn’t quite a marathon snuggler yet. About a month ago, I learned that she likes me to flop her on her back and tickle her tummy.

Food treats seem to be the love language Dido’s least fluent in–she’s wary about trying new foods and seems to prefer the regular mix I feed her every day. I give her treats often but randomly, since what Dido responds to most is hearing “YAAAAAY Dido! Good Bird!” with lots of clapping and giggling when she performs a trick on cue or masters a new one.

Dido carries on lively conversations with me (and sometimes with herself). The very first sentence that she put together out of the blue came from two phrases I repeated to her daily for about a month: “Dido’s a good bird! Dido’s a pretty bird!” One day while she was chattering, I burst out laughing in delight when I heard her say, “Dido’s a pretty good bird!” I agree!


jeremy  09/08/2009 10:22 pm

the one “love language” my bird LOVES(!!!) is flying. i know all birds do that but every time i let him fly he’ll “bob and weave” through as many indoor plants as possible and if he doesn’t want to fly to his cage he’ll hang upside-down in a large tree in our living room. after i put him back he goes to the cage door and wants to go again. oh ya, and almonds.


suzanne still  09/08/2009 11:26 pm

hey i like the idea alot and hope it helps w/ my birds too.i have 8 tiels 5 quakers and a greencheek conure.out of all of them i can occasionally hold a few of them the others bite.i am careful so thank goodness i have no marks or scars .all the quakers are cage teritorial and you have to be really careful so you don’t get bit and laughed at by them .they love to nip you and laugh about it .i love their faces and personallities so even though they don’t cuddle i wouldn’t trade them for anything .i even built them a nice flight in my back yard so when weather permits the sets can take turns .tiels by them selves and the other six together a different time.guess when i can afford it i will get the training videos.take care.


Judy-Ann  09/08/2009 11:50 pm

It is amazing how much love my 1 yr. old cockatiel demonstrates–until my heart wants to burst. She lives outside of her cage except to eat and drink or hangout if she is threatened by something.

Her favorite thing to do is for me to sit down and let her sit on my hand under my chin and then scratch her head. Especially when i manage to hit the right spot on her chin, she will close her eyes and she has a “hog in a good mud puddle” look on her face.

She learned to fetch toys out of a dish and drops them in my hand on command. One day I said, “Susie, put it back”. She took the toy from my hand and spun around in confusion and just dropped it. I picked it up repeated the command and dropped it into the dish. Then, I offered Susie the toy again and said, “Susie, put it back” and jiggled the dish to get her attention. Guess what! She knew just what to do and did it. Boy, was I amazed at her intelligence and we had a big feast of millet seeds to celebrate.

It gets better…After a week or so I thougt of another command. I can say “Susie, fetch mommy a toy” and away she scurries. Enroute to me, I can say to her, “Susie, stop; put it back”. And she does it right every time.

She get crabby and beaks me sometimes when I spoil her. So I am more careful not to overfeed her betweem meals until she gets the idea that she needs to let “mom” know (at least feel like) she is boss.

Chet, et.al., I am thinking of trying a harness on Susie so we can take walks out of doors. Thanks for any comments/cautions. Your teaching and comments have been invaluable to my Cockatiel’s wellbeing and my success.


Dianna  09/09/2009 1:36 am

Chet,
I own a Parrot Refuge/Rescue and I have gotten a lot of tips from you. I do all of the taming/training myself before I re-home any of the birds. I recently obtained 2 Cockatiels and a Lovebird. The Cockatiels were abandoned, but it is obvious that they’ve had some time spent with them as the male talks up a storm and if outside of the cage will step up. The female just screeches and is a bit on the wild side in or out of the cage.
I have been working with them, and before I read your article or the book, I was already applying the five languages of love.
The Lovebird, however is a differnt story. Her former owners had killed her cage mate by blowing smoke into it’s face and they were going to feed her to a snake. Thankfully, one of the girls who works at our local animals shelter saved this this bird from being snake food and then called me (I am on record with all of our local vets and humane society. I am the only one in my area that knows anything at all about birds). When I went to pick the bird up from the shelter, her tail feathers had been all torn up and she looked dreadful. She is still not trusting of anybody, but we are working on that.
I just wanted to thank you for re-enforcing that I am doing things the right way with all of my birds.

Your article is a very good one and good points were made in it.

Dianna


Verna  09/09/2009 2:46 am

Aloha again… Working in a high fast paced hospital setting, I was pretty high-strung. (Blame it on the adrenaline) since this Grey Congo came into our lives, I’ve drastically reduced my emotions as he is so aware of what is going on all the time-he feels when something is wrong. I am ever so careful of my terminology, tone of voice, and so on…… good that I’ve retired. This little guy has taught me “peace & optimistic” each day is a treat with his prescence. We were considering taking him to an “Alzheimer’s Clinic” the bird brings such joy & laughter. His “being” has changed my life for the better all around.


Wendy  09/09/2009 7:40 am

I agree 100% with finding that particular bird’s niche or favorite sweet spot in life. Our territoral grey, Kota, just loves my hubby because he talks loud, gruffly and specifically to him – so he’ll cuddle, talk, sing and giggle for him because that’s what he likes. Our loud, often screaming B&G Macaw, Ray, will sing, talk a blue streak, do tricks, cuddle or whatever, without screaming once while in the shower or for several hours after a shower. My sweet little Eckie, Fiona, is on top of the world when she can sit next to someone and just be talked to – she does not want to be touched or do tricks, just sit with you and watch you talk. Find their sweet spot and they shine.


Carole Johnson  09/09/2009 8:44 am

This is in response to Debra: My grey, Mo (as in “no mo’ pets) learned to speak listening to me as I go about my day. His first phrase that he put together himself: “Bad dog, bad dog, good bird!”

He also says “Heeeey Cole” in a real southern drawl when my son comes home. He never says it when Cole is away at college.

He often calls the dogs to go out, but they finally caught on it wasn’t me calling them. He has made friends with the dogs by sharing treats with them. He doesn’t come down far enough into this cage that they can reach him, but he will toss them treats.

My vet suggested that greys often have protein deficiencies and to occasionally offer him a bit of chicken. He goes crazy when the pizza delivery guy comes, hoping he’ll get a chicken wing.

He is a funny, but temperamental guy. I appreciate the insight of love language. Mo is motivated by treats, no doubt.


Lee  09/09/2009 8:51 am

The love languages make sense when I think of prevous birds I’ve had (galahs & a green cheek conure) they were very affectionate and wanted to be with me as soon as I got home until I put them to bed in their cages – usually under protest & several times. My sun conure, sunshine, was feral when I saved him from attack by several minor birds. He was traumatisedwith feathers gone from the back of his head, neck & upper back. The vet thought he had been attacked in an aviary. After 6 months he will only step up when out cage but will let me feed him from my cereal bowl and drink pepsi from my cup while in his cage(he learnt these things from my green cheek who flew away last month). Any time he wants something he screeches & when I respond he settles down. He’s resistant to training and I’m not committed enough to persevere after work, even though I bought all the training cd’s. Lately he seems to want me just to stand in front of his cage, which is always left open, and talk to him. He nods his head and seems to listen, then moves away and is happy. Not sure where this fits in love language, maybe quality time. Good work Chet
Thanks Lee


Mary Abrams  09/09/2009 12:10 pm

I’m not trying to gush or anything…but you are a true GENIUS! You have such a supernatural insight into birds that truly touches my soul! When I receive your emails, I immediately forward them to my friends with parrots. You prob…ably have NO idea just how many peoples’ lives you have touched with the work you do! The parrots bless you and I bless you! I wish you many, many blessing always! Sincerely, Mary Abrams


Donna  09/09/2009 1:11 pm

Ditto on this article Chet! I just recently discovered her love language kinda on my own. My husband doesn’t understand why I didn’t get mad when my female eclectus bit me on the nose the other day and I just acted like no big deal. He was furious but I have tried to tell him that she only likes to spend time with me and she wasn’t through getting all the attention that she wanted at that time. She’s also real reserved and doesn’t give me any face time as far as talking so she waits till I walk away and then starts talking. She’s only 2 and 1/2 years old so I am being patient and if she never talks to me oh well–I love her anyway!
Donna


Crystal West  09/09/2009 1:36 pm

I was impressed w/ this article. I have a Rose Breasted Cockatoo that defines LOVE as me preening his head feathers to calm him. He was a psyco. abused bird when I rescued him, and hates to take food out of my hand. He instead, now, puts his head down, ignores what’s in my hand and mellows out to my preening him. I so enjoyed this Chet. I would so love to have a “Bird Brain” like yours. What a Blessing for us all. Crystal


Isaiah  09/09/2009 6:16 pm

I really think that this was very helpful. I now will try to find out what my parakeets love language is.


M Taber  09/09/2009 7:38 pm

Chet,
This is the first time I have responded to one of your articles, though I always find your experiences and thoughts helpful.
This one was different though because it helped me with a problem with my husband on two counts. First, in our relationship with each other (might just get him a copy of the book). Secondly, with the definite difference in which the “babies” react to us both. We have put it off to the fact that my husband is away and they spend their time with me, but after reading your article I can’t help wondering if it isn’t more because I pay attention to what they each are telling me. Sugar likes pet behind the neck and under her wings and Kiroo wants under the chin first. Although they offer up kisses to hubs before me most of the time.
Maybe putting this into action will help both situations.


Elly  09/09/2009 9:16 pm

Hi Chet,

Thanks for re-enforcing what I thought all along. I keep telling my family that my bird loves me because I love her and do the things she enjoys and I am not afraid of her, nor do I put up with her bad behavior.
She got out twice on me and both times I got her back because she loves me. I know it sounds crazy but it is true. Once she was way up in a tree but when I found her and called to her she answered and came all the way back down to me and snuggled and rubbed on my face and neck like she was happy to be home. I know she loves me as much as I love her because I do the things, I know she likes and she lets me know that I am doing a good job taking care of her.


Mathilde  09/10/2009 3:22 am

Hi,
Very good article. This is true for all living creatures. Parrots only are more ‘thinkers’ than other animals.
Is it not as well so that males tend to be connected more to female owners and the other way around?
Learning to understand a parrot is very important, but every parrot has its own preferences, especially when it can choose. I mean when there are more people in a households, it seems that parrots choose whom they like or dislike.
Continue your good job!


Marléne Esterhuizen  09/10/2009 4:55 am

This is a very interesting website to read about what other birds do and not do. The best of all is the love we have for them and the love we
get from them.

I will surely check on this website daily to read more about what other
people experience with their birds around the word. I myself have 2 African Grays (living in South Africa) and the on is young and very very
loveable and love to be kissed and watching TV. Early morings he asked firstly when I enter the kitche “Where’s the coffee?” although he drinks tea! He even love to sit at the computer while I am typing checking the curser!!!! This is realy an interesting website for all bird lovers!!


Jamieleigh  09/10/2009 7:55 am

We have an article on the blog about the sex of birds here; http://www.birdtricks.com/blog/dna-sexing-your-birds/


Lolly  09/10/2009 2:30 pm

Tina,

WOW! Ease up on Laurie Vlach! She happens to be correct! There is no question about Chet’s intelligence, nor his abilities. But, she is totally right that his material needs to be proofread prior to release if he is ever to be taken seriously and professionally. I have a hard time recommending his material to friends and associates because of the exact problem that Laurie mentioned. I hope that Chet reads these posts and takes them seriously. He would benefit greatly from the help of a writer and a proofreader. I bet he’d find that the sales would increase, and more groups, clubs, and other large organizations would show interest in his materials. The opinions offered by Laurie and others are offered as constructive ways to improve an already fantastic product. They are not negative unless you take them that way. Then, my dear, that is your problem!


Cathy A Robinson  09/10/2009 2:47 pm

Hi Chet!
Your ‘free’ information on the ‘how-to’s', etc. with parrots are very helpful and informative…we have two (2) lovely KIDS…a sun conure named Jesse James and a blue crowned conure named Billy the Kid…Jesse just celebrated his 4th birthday and Billy turned 1 a few months ago…both are considered our children since our own kids are grown…both kids have a ball each and everyday! Acquired Jesse when he was only 3 1/2 wks old and purchased Billy at 3mos…we found that acquiring a baby has certain attributes that surpasses the average parrot in talking, thinking, etc. Keep up your great info…thanks a million too!!!


Lisa Mason  09/10/2009 5:26 pm

Hello. First off, just a comment to condemn Laurie Vlach’s unnecessary input regarding proofreading. It must be an anal issue…
The priority is the subject matter and anyone who ‘has a very hard time’ understanding the grammatical sense of these and other posts is creating problems where none exist to draw attention to themselves and most importantly they are missing the point : interpreting our parrots’ preference of love language requires sensitivity, a quality evidently lacking in the sender of the response in question.

Ok, now to the real stuff : I do try to point out the love language issue and it should be obvious but it doesn’t appear to be. People will get this fixed notion that all parrots should want to be touched every which way by all and sundry or that they have a behavioural problem if they don’t want to be stuffed with treats every time we hold one out to their beaks.
My ChickPea will not tolerate my partner approaching her (extensive) territory or ever be touched by him or take food directly from his fingers but she visibly enjoys sitting calmly, nicely fluffed up and relaxed, watching him read on the sofa when she’s in or on her cage. After several bites and bad fights and frights I finally got through to him to not try and emulate what I do with her, but rather leave her alone and accept what she likes to do around him. Alone with him she would get on her ring and swing whereas I was convinced she never used it because she never did it in front of me so there is a perfect example of two different love language preferences towards two different humans. Parrots know what they’re doing and why – we just have to be observant and…above all,objective.


Pamela  09/11/2009 12:11 am

I loved your article, Chet, as I do all of the instructional tips you’ve given.
I have 2 male cockatiels (18 and 7 yrs young) and have daily applied all four of these ‘Love Languages’ for awhile now. Their favorite words are ‘play’ and ‘treat’ and ‘wanna go outside’ (on the screened in pool deck). Both will sit on my lap (towards the end of my evening meal) and expect the usual petting neck and head massage. Every morning I spend quality time with them letting them be with me as I do my usual morning tasks, including play and treats for them. They love to sit with/on me in the evenings to watch a t.v. program and preen or snuggle. I pay attention to their clues when they want something, and have gotten good at reading them. So, my 18 year old knows when he walks around the kitchen corner toward the room where his favorite drawer to play in is and comes back to see if I am following (several times), that I will catch on and take him to play in that drawer.
Your article capsulized all of these things for me and titled them for me as ‘Love Languages’ and was very helpful in better understanding my birds. I’ve known that love is giving, so to love them in their way was not a problem for me personally, but now I can more effectively help a friend who is having a tough time understanding his/her bird(s). Thanks again for sharing your birdie wisdom.


Sophia from Sweden  09/11/2009 2:37 am

While reading i picked up some toys my Caique birds enjoy and we immediatly where interacting!
I´v been busy with other matters this last few weeks and only been doing maintainence with the birds, and YES over the last few weeks they have both been biting me :-(
Thank you for refreshing my memory – my birds thank you!
Now we are heading to the petstore to find some new safe and exiting toys to continue playing with!!!
TACK! = THANK´S
Sophia


ianwoodburn@netspace.net.au  09/11/2009 6:46 am

Hi Chet,
The love language article is terrific, and has helped me imensly with more ideas, I’ve also found a pet shop in Queanbeyan, ACT Australia that sells organic & safe toys, feel free to Pass this on to other Aussie residents, I’ve started calling him by name, “Oscar” fly over or come here for a treat and he does. Oscar come and let me weigh you, straight away he steps up to a perch to get weighed. He’s asking to be trained by flying down to his training table at least once or twice a day, and if I leave out training toys will start by himself. He knows where every bowl of treats are in the house and I’ve got to keep them locked up. Well Done & Regards Ian.


ianwoodburn@netspace.net.au  09/11/2009 7:17 am

Hi again Chet,
I didn’t have room to say Oscar’s a male Eclectus about 2 years old now and has had his first Free Flight, came home after being out overnight, hates the harness I have for him, I take him out for drives in the car and he talks a treat especially likes country & western radio, talks a lot.
I will be taking him to a retirement village to get used to other people. but I can’t risk him without the harness incase he doesn’t know his way home. He comes with me to the letter box on my shoulder 200yds no harness ok, and he seems to be observing where he goes when we drive but I’m NOT SURE. Regards Ian


Sherry Malone  09/12/2009 12:28 pm

I agree with Chet’s comments regarding the ‘love language’ of birds. I have 2 ringnecks, 2 conures, and a cockatoo and everybody wants ‘love’ in a different way. Just like kids do. Cockatoo loves active play and conures love quality time, but ringnecks want treats for everthing. Even my bunny wants love her way. It’s just a matter of spending time with the bird and observing what he likes and doing that with them.
Good Luck to all!


Noreen Jeremiah DVM  09/12/2009 1:27 pm

I enjoy the “4 languages of love” concept, and will certainly use it working with my patients and clients in my practice as an exotics specialist veterinarian. I also agree that Mr. Womach needs to employ grammar and spell check for his credibility. He has a great degree of knowledge of psittacine behavior, however it is not necessarily an anthropomorphic construct that is evidenced in the disappointment that revolves around the “I feed and clean, but…!” complaint. Other animals in our limited pet thinking paradigm do bond heavily with care providers, even though they “belong” and share another bond with another human! (i.e. horses, dogs, cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, cats, rabbits, rodents…raptors and passerines, reptiles, etc. )I surmise that the psittacine response of favoritism is based on and much more driven by reproductive behavior; and as Mr. Womach knows, we are striving in our pet birds to lean away from older practices that encourage this: allo-grooming, providing nest materials, mirrors, allowing regurgitation, (and others) due to the deleterious behaviors associated with homonal surges.
I have referred many clients to BirdTricks.com and applaud Chet’s commitment and care and dedication. Great stuff! It is so encouraging to read how many thoughtful and intelligent people care for these fantastic birds.


Annette Smith  09/12/2009 11:28 pm

Thank you Chet,
I have a parrot that is a difficult bird. He’s very testy and gets upset easily. After reading your newletter I have made a daily effort to give him the kind of love he wants and needs. In his case he loves to be cuddled and kissed. I notice that if I do that every day for five minuts he doesn’t display his angry screaming. he seems so much happier. It was so easy. I kept trying to give him love by putting him on his play tree or giving him food but many times he’d get angry at me. Now I sit with him a cuddle and then put him on his tree and he is happy. Thank you. Annette


sue lawson  09/13/2009 6:49 am

Please can you tell me the isbn no. of the book you refer to, 5 love languages, or details onb how i can acquire a copy? By your recommendation, I think i need to read it! Sue.


Jamieleigh  09/13/2009 8:48 am

The book Chet is referring to is here; http://www.fivelovelanguages.com/


Parakeet Lover  09/13/2009 2:43 pm

Does all this work for parakeets too?


Walter  09/13/2009 6:47 pm

My 2 year old Senegal Teaky used to love being petted and played with by both my beloved wife and I. He got lost from us for about 3 weeks and by the time i could have him sent to us it was almost 2 months. His behavior changed. He no longer talked. he only let my wife pet him, and when she passed away he became aggressive with me. Any women can pet him and cuddle him and when i take him back he bites me. I feel he misses my wife and thinks I chased her off. i have been trying to find his tactile stimuli if you will, having knowledge of what Chet is talking about in love language.
I’ll keep at it. Maybe I will learn how to love him. Maybe her, but I think it’s a him. :)


kiefer  09/14/2009 1:40 am

I don’t understand our African Grey. She likes people to be in the same room with her. That’s all I know that she likes. Doesn’t not like to be touched. Except by the groomer, she regurgitates for her. Isn’t motivated by treats. She is suspicious of toys. If she doesn’t want you around she clicks and chews on her bars or a toy. This bird needs space. I can only pet her in her cage when she puts her head down. I’m baffled.

I too believe that all the written materials need to be proof read.


Gail  09/14/2009 1:59 am

This is probably the most important tip for anyone who has a bird! Truly.

It’s so simple, yet so rarely thought of.

Thanks Chet. Extremely valuable information and so right on.

Gail


Carolyn  09/14/2009 8:56 am

Good analogy here, Chet. Well explained too.


Jamieleigh  09/14/2009 9:21 am

Sounds like quality time to me :)


Jamieleigh  09/14/2009 9:21 am

It’s meant to apply to ALL types of parrots.


Eve  09/14/2009 1:42 pm

I’m picky about grammar and spelling. However, the only problems I see with this post are partial or half sentences. I found one bad mistake but it was a quote from the email the person the person sent in. Perhaps Chet is writing in a “speaking style”, where he pauses after each phrase to be sure the audience pays attention to it. Written out, these phrases have punctuation where it doesn’t necessarily belong.

The advice in the bog is good, though. Personally, I haven’t been distracted by any grammatical mistakes.

If you find them distracting, I think it is a good idea to let him know that he might be losing readers and customers because of this. He can do what he wants with this information.


Susan D  09/14/2009 2:32 pm

This is meant to be a helpful and friendly blog. I believe that Laurie’s comments to Chet were sincere, helpful and polite. I also think that Tina’s, Gloria’s and Lisa’s comments to Laurie were downright nasty. I’ve been reading Chet’s emails (and have purchased his materials) for 3 1/2 years and have wanted to tell him the same thing. I love Chet’s articles and he’s extremely knowledgeable about birds, but he does need a proof-reader. There is nothing wrong with saying this. It’s not mean-spirited or unfriendly. However, several of you have been just that. Please don’t attack someone for giving constructive criticism in a polite way. Chet can handle it.

Now to Lois…you need to have your bird DNA sexed in order to tell which sex it is. There are very few birds that one can tell their sex without DNA.

To Judy-Ann regarding taking her little cockatiel, Susie outdoors for walks. Please don’t do this unless you have Susie in some kind containment, like a bird backpack, stroller or some kind of cage, not just a little harness. I don’t know where you live, but if it is anywhere where there are hawks, they pose a real danger. Last winter my husband was going outside when our precious little cockatiel jumped on his back. He didn’t feel her on him because he had a heavy robe on, and didn’t see her until she started flying up into the air. As she was spiraling upward, a hawk swooped down with incredible speed, snatched her up and flew off with her. That was the end of our baby. He didn’t even know the hawk was there. I wouldn’t want this to ever happen to anyone else. My husband still can’t talk about it. It left a terrible memory in his mind. This can happen even if you have your bird on a tether on your shoulder. Hawks are not intimidated by you when they’re hungry. One could snatch your bird off your shoulder in a heartbeat. So be very careful.

And last to Debra about your adorable quaker, Dido. She sounds incredibly delightful. I, too, have a little quaker named Lucy. She doesn’t talk much, but knows how to let her wants be known. She, too, is very smart. She is 2 1/2 and is incredibly affectionate toward me, but doesn’t want anything to do with my husband unless I’m not home. When I’m home she’ll bite him everytime. Her favorite game is peeky-boo, also. She loves being petted when she’s in the mood and even “purrs”. We also have a wonderful ekkie named Finnegan. He, however, does not like being petted, but loves for me to sit and hold him, talk to him and give him kisses. He wants to hang out with us all the time. He’s a great talker, but will only talk for me or my granddaughter, not in front of my husband, whom he loves. Go figure. He also LOVES treats. I’ve always read that the way to an ekkie’s heart is through his stomach. Thanks for all the great info, Chet.


mary  09/14/2009 2:56 pm

I need the free video


Sumatee  09/15/2009 12:54 pm

Hi Chet
Thanks for the lesson on parrot love languages. My parrots respond positively to all four of them especially Quality time . They are content to have me near them even if they are locked in their cages and they look for my touch even when they are together. Three of them are together when they are out of their cages. One of my parrots is 27 years old and she is more like a mother to the others. Thanks also for the info on how to love another person. It was quite interesting because I never understood it like that before.

Sumatee


sara ribeiro  09/15/2009 5:00 pm

brilliant!!!


Beams  09/15/2009 5:22 pm

How interesting to hear the various views on how to handle pet birds. I thought it was only my bird that acted “strange”. It is good to know I am not alone.

Chet, it is great to have your knowledge passed on. I will certainly be following your advice, thanks.


Don McEowen  09/15/2009 11:28 pm

Hi Chet, About your article where the man is concerned about his wife being loved more by the parrot than the him.You also have to remember, they said the parrot is 2 yrs. old. If this parrot has been taken care of by a woman for 2years and suddenly switched to a home where a man and woman are caretakers, it is understandable that the parrot would be for the woman and not the man. When away from the cage, he is no longer in his enviroment and will be more willing to allow the man to handle him. If it were me, I’d take him away from the cage daily and play with toys or do what the bird likes to do. Also use a play stand away from the cage. Remember, African Greys don’t like change. It has to be gradual and see what makes him most comfortable. If the bird likes going to the playstand he will mellow out. In time he will find out that when he has the bird step up, he will willingly go because he wants to play on the playstand and have different activities. I also know as you do, that if he is alone and the woman comes into the room, the bird may act differently towards him until the bird is comfortable with both of them. I have an African Grey and for some unknown reason he began to start biting me. One day I put my finger in the cage and he acted like he wanted to step up on it. I would give him a treat through the bars of the cage and he got used to it. While I was doing it is when he start biting. I quit giving the treat through the bars of the cage and he calmed down. I figured if he wanted to sit on my finger when I extended it through the bars of the cage, he may want to step up and come out of the cage for his treat. Now, I take him out of his cage every morning and put him on the play stand. Then I give him his treat and then put some in his food dish in his cage. Then I put him back in the cage and he goes right for the treat. Sometimes he stands with his foot out ready to step up to go back to his cage. Now I have no trouble with him biting me. He will try to play and put his mouth on my finger and I say no. Africans are great birds but are more of a one person bird and if they get adjusted to one person, it is a task to change them over to another.
One day I went to take him,(Brutus) out of the cage. He didn’t want to come out and when I put my hand in and said step up, he nipped at me. I kept trying and finally gave up. I didn’t want to get bit. I wondered what could have changed him. Finally I looked around the living room and spotted a wind sock with the mascot Brutus from Ohio State foot ball team on it and it was lying on the couch. I removed it from the room and our parrot, Brutus, stepped up very willingly. Change makes a big difference. I did enjoy the article and just had to respond. I once read that it’s a good idea to walk your parrot around the house so he gets used to the different surrondings. I hope this helps to see a different view to try. Sometimes, I think parrots are like dogs. They have their area or home and they are comfortable in it. If you do something wrong, they’re going to protect their place.
Don


Mario  09/16/2009 6:44 am

Chet,

As always, your advice makes sense. I do not have your breadth of experience but I would like to add something that I observed with my African Gray, Ruby. She is almost 2 years old and I have had her for 18 months.

The point I would like to make is that the preferred language may change with time, and it really pays to spend time to work out what it is she wants. She used to respond to touch best, then treats. So I used reward her with a tickle behind her head. Now she prefers Active Play more than anything else. Every now and then, she still seems to want touch but less frequently.

If your experience is similar, you may wish to remind your readers that they need to wary that the situation may need to be continuously reassessed.


Sandy  09/16/2009 1:50 pm

I feel so priviledged to have locked on to your experience and knowledge of Birds. Thank you so much. I have actually aplied the “4 love languages” to humans recently. Chet, you ROCK. If we all could understand that concept we could have world peace!
Laurie, you really could benefit from the 4 love language concept. This is not an English clas, it is all about relating to our featherd friends. Sorry, I couldn’t resist!


DIANA WARD  09/17/2009 1:32 pm

I appreciated how you discribed “Love Languages”! So very applicable to us as well! I have a lovebird, Littlebit,. The more quality time i share with him, the more his love languages varies,thus he appears to become more well rounded and happy!


Erik  09/17/2009 3:54 pm

Excellent article! You’ve explained the concepts well.


jan haggerty  09/17/2009 9:15 pm

Icabird, my umbrella cockatoo, is the problem screamer. Beau is the irascible African Grey but he’s a big talker and whistler and we communicate with each other. Joey is the Goffins cockatoo and after 14 years, I’ve FINALLY gotten on her wavelength thanks to your website (she had been abused by her previous owner and we didnt know it; had been resold to a pet store and they didnt say anything to my husband when he bot her). I was ready to rehome her when a friend gave me some information that led to your training videos, which I bot and spending QUALITY TIME with Joey and Beau was the main thing I learned to do with them.

However, Icabird still is a screamer but I’ve enlarged her space in their room, bot her another stand (she has two now) and keep Joey and Beau confined to the 6foot cage for part of the day so she can forage. Even tho I spend QT with her by herself, she still thinks she needs more. I can close the door and sometimes I do; however, I’m trying to get her to stay calm while I’m in the next room. She had been owned (for 5 yrs) by a couple who spent most of their off-time with her but sold her to us when the wife had a baby. I’m the one who spends 99% of the time with her because my husband works BUT she strains and screams to see him anytime he comes near and will sometimes bite me to get to him. I really love this bird and I’ve made a lot of progress with her; however, I’m not sure if the screaming is being just spoiled or anxiety about being in the same room with the other two birds (they hate her). One of the things I’ve learned to do just before closing the door at night before bed to get her to stop screaming is to sing little jingles to all three of them and this has begun to help. I’ve never had children but my whole life has been altered by my relationships with these birds and I cant imagine my life without them.

I LOVE MY BIRDS!!!!!!!!!!!


Linda  09/21/2009 1:21 pm

Truely enjoyed your article. It opened my eyes and I agree in what you say. Thanks


leigh roth  09/29/2009 5:52 pm

Dear Chet,
I wrote you long ago about writing style and professional writing needed but who really cares, it is the content that counts. I am down here with three military macaws one female who at ten years of age is sitting on hen eggs in hope she will have one of her own; and hoping the males will start making amove on her.
I have NOTHING but free time, so my birds when they want it get nothing but quality time and what do they like the most? To walk around town where EVERY woman wants to see them, so they step right up and starting coming on. Beloved birds of mi pueblo, loved by all women! Below the sink is four puertitas little slatted wooden doors and there stays the hembra or hen with the fake eggs. The male shreds newspaper and the wood structure of my bed. At exactly seven 10 AM the three start to announce it is time I take them down from the bathroom shower stall, and putt them out on my beachfront home’s balcony (see zihuatanejo-rentals.com/casaleigh.htm) here in Zihuatanejo. They hustle over to the cover overlooking a garden in the hotel next door and will fly down there if I don’t take them to a perch over there after their breakfast. THen WALKI WALKY to town for errannds. Swimming them in the hacuzzi, etc etc all the day long these birds live in PARADISE!
Love, Leigh


Joyce adams  10/02/2009 2:19 am

Chet, thanks for all of your helpful information. I have raised yellow napes from eggs for over 20 yrs, and each has its’ own personality. What works for one, not for the other. I have been blessed with a beautiful blue front, who is a snuggle bug, he loves the affection, the holding him in my arms, as you would a baby and rock him. He has just turned 2 (I know the hormonal stage) and I pray that it doesn’t change his personality. He does let me know when loving time is over and out with the treats, to his treat cup. So again thanks for your helpful info and keep it coming.


ayesha  10/06/2009 3:03 am

thank chet 4 this wonderfull help ….i also take care of my indion parrot but i always like my mother …and i m kind of person who luv to snuggle.but thanx 4 ur information ill work on it and will tell u the reaction of my bird.thanx 4 being there.


jaime  10/07/2009 12:01 am

how can i tell what ‘love language’ my bird likes? she likes kisses, likes chewing 2 liter bottle tops, but none of these motivate her to be better behaved. she has the attention span of a bird (ha ha) and gets bored w/ any activity i set up for her in under a minute or two.


sy  10/07/2009 2:05 pm

Hi,
I have an African Grey who really hates to bathe.
I’ve tried spraying him in the bathroom but he is totally against it and seems to get stressed.
Any suggestions to get him to like/tolerate a bath?
thanks,


dianna  10/09/2009 1:58 am

Yes and once again most definitely Yes! I ‘ve always had parakeets until 2 years ago when we got a little conure.
They are nothing alike, and what you wrote explains it perfectly. Thank you ever so much. Dianna


Bianca  10/12/2009 10:13 pm

hi. my name is bianca. i have a mccaw named hudini. he is about 14 years old..my situation is sortaa the same. hudini is actually my boyfriends bird and i just met hudini about a year ago. before my boyfriend got hudini from chicago he used to stay at my boyfriends mothers house down in the basement by himself because nobody knew what to do with him. every morning i give hudini fresh food and clean water. i clean his cage out every other day and i take him out of his cage once a day to come into our room and associate with us. when he’s in the room with us he always dances infront of my boyfriend while he’s on the computer. he will do this side to side head movement and say”hello” over and over. but when my boyfriend tries to touch him he will sqweel or try to bite him…he will once in a while do it to me too.
he will sit there and stare at us and move his head back and fourth in a fast manor and his eyes will dialate and he will make a funny sqwaking noise.
he has become better with letting me take him out of his cage. but he will still scream once in a while in the morning. im still trying to figure out his body language and im having difficulty. i want hudini to be like my best friend and always want my attention. so i need help trying to understand him.

thank you.
Bianca McLaughlin
SiouxLynne@yahoo.com


Jeni  10/13/2009 11:11 am

I have a Quaker parrot who is now 5 years old. I’ve had him since he was a baby but is only friendly to me and one other person. He bites anyone else who goes near him. The “love languages” are all good and well but if he doesn’t even allow someone near without biting, how do I get him past that? Also, he is very loud and I have been unable to get him quiet at those times. It can be very nerve wracking. I have tried feeding, covering, and talking soothingly to him but nothing works. HELP!


Sandy  10/17/2009 9:41 pm

With the love as language,both my parrots are so different.I have a umbrella cockatoo Paddy, that wants to be hugged and kissed and held close,while my blue and gold want to play tug of war and for me to chase her.They are both so different .They both want love but in their own ways.They do come together to hold each other in the morning ,to start our day,but Mary is the first out and “let’s Play”.


Eraldo  10/18/2009 2:48 am

Hey Chet you are absolutely right . My bird Smokey likes play time more than food /treat , so i can tell you that when i open his cage he immediately does all the tricks i tought him to do with the help of your valued course . Many thanks Chet ..keep up the good work .


Patricia WolfName (required)  10/18/2009 6:39 pm

My U-too loves being held and then fed a few treats such as banana chips or spaghetti noodles. She is not all that interested in doing tricks or playing with new things. Except…she does like a new toy now and then as she seems to get bored with the old nes. We change them every week or so as she gets bored will feather pluck. She loves being held and cuddled and goes “oooooo,oooooo” and clicks her beak and says “I love you”., when we cuddle her.


Susan from Pennsylvania  10/21/2009 10:59 pm

Chet, thankyou so much for posting this. I have an 19yo amazing yellow nape amazon. We live alone so I try and socialize him as much as I can. He will go to anyone as long as he does not feel your fear. He likes to hang out with new people and chances are you will get a kiss. He is more drawn to females and loves it when you make a fuss over him. I never awarded good behavior with food but with head rubs,cuddles and play . He gets ingnored with bad behavior and has learned the scoop by now. I know hearing of a nape that cuddles may be unusual but he is a sweetheart. But watch those eyes…….


Gretchen Alvarado  10/22/2009 3:27 pm

Yes, I found this helpful. Everything you send is helpful. You have a knack of making analogies that make sense. You 4 categories of “love language for parrots” is right on.
It is hard to understand why a parrot doesn’t react like a dog for example. My African Grey parrot wants quality time. He will leave a cage full of food alone until I give him some attention and petting. He gets very upset and nippy when I don’t stop to hold and talk to him. The three other “love languages” take a back seat to quality time.
Keep doing what you are doing and thinking of new angles on bird training. You are a positive influence in your readers’ lives.
.


Nana  10/23/2009 10:51 pm

Hi Chet,
I am Nana, and I have lived in Las Vegas for the past 34 years.
Anyway, to get to the point, a few months ago I bought 2 parakeets, a male and a female.
Put them in seperate cages.
I waited a few days for them to settle down, and then I started to make human contact.
I am an avid animal lover, so I was sure I wasn’t going to have any problems. They should
understand how I loved them, and I would never hurt them. Right? Wrong!!!!!
Angelo took to me right away, being lovable, excepting kisses and nimbling my cheek in return.
Not so with Joya, the female. I swear, this little girl HATED ME on sight. I could see it in her eyes.
It was amazing…I could not understand it. I tried everything…toys, treats, petting, little kisses on
her back….because that’s all I ever saw, her back. She couldn’t get away from me fast enouph.
Not only that, she would always bite me. And I mean bite. I had to wear gloves.
So, after 3 weeks of trying and not succeding in making her happy, I decided to take her back.
I figured she would never except me.
Because I believe is not a matter of you providing a clean cage and be nice to the bird, or any
animal…it’s a matter of them excepting you as their friend.
So, I put her in the transfer cage, put her in the car, and on the way there I was so upset, I talk to her. I told her about what kind of life she could have with me, how much I liked her, how much she could be loved. I know it sounds silly, but she actually turned around and LOOKED AT ME.
First time ever…she looked at my face. I could not believe how upset I was over this little bird
not being happy with me. I never had ANY trouble with animals before, birds or dogs.
They all knew they would never be hurt, they would be loved.
The lady at the store asked me if I had used the towel method. She showed me how.
She told me that would tame her, bend her to my will.
I took her back home, and the next day I tried it. Once.
I looked at that little bird I had wrapped in the small towel, and the terror in her little eyes and I let
her free right away. Never tried it again. Never took her back either.
It took 4 months of loving her, talking to her every single day , spending time with her, letting her
bite me (with the gloves on), for her to trust me enouph to step up on my hand.
When she finally nimbled a kiss on my lips, it was the best day of my year. I was exstatic.
My point of all this, to my experience, it takes a lot of patience and a whole lot of love.
But it is well worth it.
Thank you for letting me talk about my Joya.

Nana


Jan Cramer  10/25/2009 10:41 pm

Chet My daughter has a parrot not sure what kind but he is green with yellow on the back of his neck and tail feathers have some red when he spreads them. He was given to her by an older couple that said they couldn’t handle him because of his biting. He is very territorial with his cage. Do not put your hand inside unless you have food. Once in a while he will lower his head for a scratch. Only thing he plays with is a bell and if your ring it he will come after you. Outside of bag food and he only wants the kind that is sweet all she has give him to eat is bread, crust from pizza rolls, a couple of times a french fry, apple, bananas, grapes. I have given him some green beans. Former owner said he like chicken but my daughter said vet told her no meat, no dairy like cheese. I see other parrot owners feed these to their bird as treats. Would love to give him treats but don’t want to hurt him. Also saw where people mentioned cooking for their bird. ???? I would really appreciate any help we could get. He will take but only when no one around. He looks lost and lonely and like he wants to be loved but my daughter is afraid of getting bit. He got me pretty good the other night. I also have several cats so the bird is in my daughters room. I try to go in there several times a day and talk to him while she is at work and we leave the TV on so he hopefully doesn’t feel to alone. Again if there is anything that you could send that would help out I and Moby would truely appreciate it.


Jac  10/26/2009 3:39 am

Could any of this attacking or biting thing be attributed to the fact that it is a male bird attacking a male human? i.e. a male terrirorial domination thing happening here?. and visa versa for females..
I have a Crimson winged Parakeet named Montselvat and he will do anything for me but seems to hates my fiance David if he gets too close. If Monty is sitting on my shoulder and David shows me any effection he will try and bite him. The only time Monty will go anywhere near David without trying to attack him is if David hums softly to him before hand, where as I can snuggle him with my nose and kiss his wing and his beak and pretty much smother him physically. (so to speak)


Sheila Hostetler  10/28/2009 10:39 am

Chet, This came in my inbox and I really have to tell you it is excellent from both the human and the bird perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed it. No wonder my tiel snaps when offered too many treats. I have to find some good ‘play’ to keep him learning and entertained. Got any ideas on that one? I have had him for one year and did I ever make alot of mistakes, regretably, but we are getting along. I have to scratch his neck with my nose as I scared him so very badly with a long black thumb immobilizer. I invaded the privacy of his cage and am in the process of trying to regain his trust in me. I love him dearly, he is a l8 month old Lutino and I adore him, though he can be a little too nippy at times. I want to make the purchase to get l/2 hr phone help with him.


Ray  10/28/2009 8:34 pm

Chet,

I found this very informative and quite helpful. I understand what you are saying and how it can effect interactions with the parrots behavior. Thank you very much.


Theresa  10/31/2009 5:43 pm

I thinnk what your saying makes perfect sense and Im glad to have this information. I am about to adopt two african greys who are 15 months old. They are being given to me as their original adoptive parent has to move to America for a new job. The birds don’t know me and I have been worrying about how they will settle in and whether they will be happy with me. I want to give them a good life and now i realise that by finding their love language I can form a positive bond with them both.


Denice  11/02/2009 6:12 pm

I LOVE this article. I owned (or did she own me?) an African Grey for many years and had the same problem in that she didn’t want ANYONE but ME to hold her. She died a year ago; and oh, how I miss her. I recently adopted a Green Checked Conure from the Humane Society. Although she will allow my husband to pick her up, she only snuggles with me. I’m showing him this article because I would like him to have a better relationship with her. It helped me too. Sometimes, I still want it “my way” and this helps me understand my Conure is reticent at times to do everything I want her to do.


Ted Collins  11/03/2009 3:44 pm

Thanks Chet, for the wonderful advice. I have a problem that I don’t believe you have addressed. I have had a Congo African Grey and Double yellow head Amazon for over 20 years and about two years ago I married and my wife got a baby umbrella cockatoo to hand raise. All three of our parrots are very sweet and loving ….except. . Toby, the double yellow head. He is extremely jealous of any one or anything that comes near me. He is my “baby” and I even believe he (or she) thinks of me as his mate. He even bites me if anyone or the other birds come near me when he is on me. I am not sure how your “language of love” fits into this situation except to live with it and keep Toby to myself only. I raised Toby from a tiny hand-raised baby and he is totally loving towards me unless he gets jealous.


John A Ruglass  11/05/2009 1:25 pm

HI Chet,
We have a male (Tiki) and female (Mia) SI Eclectus. The male is a lover, he will sit with me and kiss me to no end, and allow me to stroke his head and neck for long periods of time. He is a real lover. The female is mildly agressive (normal for female SI Eclectus’) and has biten me at times for what seems no reason, I am sure there is one but at times I am clueless
One morning she would not get off my hand, everything I ate and preprared for my breakfast and work Lunch (a salad) she got a taste of and was absolutely fine. I turned and paid a little attention to the male and bang she nailed the hand she was perched on and I bled immensely. I tried not to react but the pain was too intense, SI females don’t just bit and let go they hold on. I truly believe that she is jealous of my relationship with Tiki. This has been our relationship for about a year that we have had the pair, the male is now 6 and the female is 5yrs. Your information about how birds love is quite interesting and may give me route into having a better relationship with her. She loves to play on her cage top play area and will attack you if you aren’t careful but this and other play could be a way to engage her more actively and on her terms. thanks for the information.
John


Shirley Miskowicz  11/08/2009 2:22 pm

Hi Chet. I found this interesting, but have you an example of how to deal with a bird whose favourite thing is to be physically with you all the time? In my case, a Mullucan Cockatoo, Merlin, who likes best to perch on my shoulder (he was already trained that way when I got him 5 years ago – he’s now 12 years old).

One day a couple of months ago, he flew at me repeatedly, becoming more and more aggressive; I made him fly back to his cage each time, but he finally bit me hard in anger. Other things happened as a result of that bloody bite (story too long to tell but it resulted in my having to go for daily antibiotic shots at the hospital because of infected cat bites – like I said, it’s a long story).

It took me a month to get up enough nerve to allow Merlin out of his cage again, and, trust me, I was wearing several layers of protective clothing and spectacles to protect myself from other bites from him. Now, he can only be allowed out when he’s particularly quiet and calm, and so am I.

Fortunately, he enjoys foraging and playing in his cage, and I can clean it, and feed and water Merlin without opening the door. We still have a good relationship, with lots of petting through the bars, and talking to each other, and on occasions I have taken him out of his cage to give him a cuddle but get scared as soon as he shows any sign of aggression (like trying to climb from my forearm to my shoulder). I would love to have him flying freely again, but am sure he will want to land on my shoulder again, and I simply cannot allow that to happen in case he takes a bite out of my face, as he tried to do the day before he bit my arm.

I don’t have another room to put him in (his cage is in my living room where he can watch me working, or playing with the cat, or watching TV).

I think in time I will be able to let him fly freely around the apartment again, but not as long as he insists on landing on me uninvited; it’s too dangerous for him as he will fly at me in the kitchen, for instance, when I am cooking or baking, and for me, because of his aggressive biting if he thinks I’m not paying enough attention to him.

Any advice?


Chet  11/08/2009 6:34 pm

Yes Shirley, we have developed and refined several strategies for curing a bird’s habit of HAVING to be with you. At our recent Live seminar, which we sell the DVD’s of, I gave 3 presentations that dealt with strategies for how to work with a bird like yours.

I addressed how to get your bird to self entertain, how to get him more physical activity (without ripping your house apart) as well as a handful of training tips that would help a bird like yours.

If you haven’t already looked into our Seminar DVD series you can still probably find some sets for sale here: Seminar DVD Series


Sandy  11/09/2009 1:30 pm

Wow, Chet, I’m pretty good with bird psychology, but I never thought of this one. A friend and his Grey live with me… yes, I do all the “housework” and feeding, but NOBODY gets the lovin’ except her daddy… I will give your love languages a try. When my husband was alive, my Senegal would respond to him ONLY if he gave treats. I guess that was HIS love language. With me it was everything else, so I was the Senegals favorite.


Vicki  11/10/2009 8:22 pm

I have a jenday conure. He is happy and healthy and loves me. Yes, he will screech when I leave the room, but he is fine when I leave the house because I always give him a treat before I leave. He doesn’t talk but he does mutter. I vary his toys, I take him out of his cage and let him walk around with me and I sit and preen his feathers which he loves. He sometimes takes a shower with me. I bought all the training materials but frankly I am so happy that he is happy and healthy that I don’t know if I will ever “train” him. He responds beautifully to being loved. That is all that matters right now. Thank you.


Carol Hayden  11/13/2009 9:32 pm

Chet, you helped me understand my Ringneck’s love language. He loves me when I watch him play and spend quality time sitting with him.

Carol Hayden


BOB  11/14/2009 1:05 am

I feel that Quality time being most important of all. Twenty minutes a day isnt going to change your life cycle. Just 8 short days ago I acquired / voluntarily rehomed a bird from a house where
the family dog thought he was KFC ” Kentucky Fried Conure ”
He simply loves to have his neck rubbed and even if he’s in Semi-Postal Mode, he Never
bites really hard. I also own 2 cockatiels, male and female. My cockatiels and even the NEW
Kid on the Block follow my little Bichon Frise around the living room like they are in the Easter Parade, and NO harsh feelings either way.
I am confident that the New Guy and I will be best BUDS for Life ! NEVER EVER grab your new
best friend if he/she wont step up on your hand. Luring with Treats usually works but dont deny him the treat for the first 2 or 3 days if he doesnt step up because if you dont (Parden the Expression) Suck Up to him, you will most likely NOT be one of his favorite persons Either.
With PATIENCE you will gain his TRUST and with Luck his adoration Also….Oh by the way
the New Kid on the Block is 11 months old and has been around nothing but Females his
entire short life….OK…OK….I wont break my arm patting myself on the back. May GOD Bless
all Bird/Animal Lovers…..( Approximately 6 years Bird Experience ….. 14 rescues ) Would be
many more Rescues If I were Swingle (Slight Giggle)


Bill  11/16/2009 7:39 pm

I found this helpful. My severe likes to play rough, nipping occasionally but not as hard as he could.


Kim Tittle  11/22/2009 1:29 am

Hi Chet – you hit it right on the nail head! Parrots are like children and as I have been teaching for 24 years and have observed MANY children and the “love languages” , or what I called “acceptence language” and how it motivates them to learn etc., I used the same method of evaluation that I use on new students when I was given an Umbrella Cockatoo last summer. I learned that Casper is a real “touchy feeling” kind of guy :) and he is not happy unless he spends at least a couple hours with me on the couch snuggling in the evenings!!!! We also eat our oatmeat together in the morning before work and dinner together AFTER work. That meal ritual has really made a difference in his behavior. I leave him a lunch of veggies, beans and rice in his cage when I leave in the am. Like children, parrots are creatures of habit and Casper likes his life ordered a certain way containing all our litte rituals. :) We also have a ritual of “cleaning his house” right before bedtime which is 8 pm EVERY night. Thanks Chet for your email message – Kim Tittle/Oregon


Davita  11/24/2009 5:59 pm

Hi, I have a Military Macaw and he has been bitting since day one. He loves my daughter but he will bite her too. 95% of the time when you go to pet him he bites. I can’t find his love language. I am starting to become discouraged. I have never been able to cuddle with him, but he will climb on my arm and let me pet him. What should I do?


Leslie  11/29/2009 1:44 pm

Hey Chet! Thanks for the article.

I love how your bird advice generally applies to human relationships too :)

Keep up the great work!

Leslie


Zoe Swinimer  11/30/2009 8:07 pm

The “love language” method worked really well for me. I tried all four kinds, quality time, tasty treats, active play, and pleasant touch. Tourns out my parrot (a meyers parrot) likes to be petted and touched, and loves treats, AND quality time! Although she likes to play alone, and not with me. So thyank you for all that good advice, it really healped her like me as much as my mom, who she used to like MUCH more than me, even though I took care of her all the time. THANK YOU!!!


Cathy  12/03/2009 11:01 am

I purchased an 11month old goffin cockatoo, so far nothing makes him happy, except to travel around on my shoulder. A habit I have tried to break him from. He demands my attention constantly, which is very flattering except I hold a full time job, so I can not be home all the time, I am getting desperate, because he is beginning to self mutilate. I have purchased the last information from the seminar, in hopes of gaining a better understanding of these wonderful creatures. I have purchased a blue fronted parrot, but because of this issue have not yet taken her home. Help!

Cathy


VanHooserMama  12/06/2009 12:51 am

I personally did not take that he felt his bird should appreciate him for all he does.
I have had the same situation.
We had one cocatiel. He is my daughters. He wants her or my husband, period. But most of the time Dad only.
We got another cocatiel because I am the one who has wanted birds and he is now my husbands too.
I take them to be groomed (so they will be mad at them and not me) buy the food and keep the cages cleaned and I vacum every day AND they have a room off the house that is like being outside with the yard birds. I also keep the outside feeders filled so they will keep our little friends in the yard happy. They watch them like they are watching TV.
I don’t expect them to care a thing about what I do for them because they don’t. They don’t like to play except with him. I have bought a gang of toys, even cutting them up and hiding seeds in them. They just don’t care. They will watch the birds, then I bring them in and keep the radio on so there is always calm noise, (I work from home so they are not alone) until Dad gets home.
He sits them on his lap with a bowl of mixed food he makes for them and they eat, make a mess all over, run up and down him or sit on his feet and play with laces on his shoes until they want to be petted or play thumb wars.
When it is time to go to bed, I am the one called to come get them and later put the cover on their cadges.
He does what they like. And just like people, they choose to like some people and animals better.
I am a needed nusinance to them I am sure.
So I hunted for another bird. I was going to get a sun conure, until I heard his not so quite call…
Then I looked in to green cheek conures.
I now have my own “Koo Koo” bird. He is a clown, likes all kinds of activity, goes for bike rides every day and stays on my shoulder unless he is wanting to be a daredevil and hang free style.
I have taught him to “potty” on the grass and if I don’t pull over, he jumps down to go! We stay on my quite streets.
He loves loud music so we bump it up in the car and sing together. He is messy, loves to hunt for food I hid. He is in the bitting toddler stage and I am working on it, a long process I am afraid it will be… but I love him and he wants me!
He likes other people but he always wants to come to Mom.
So you just have to take your time with them and see if they are going to be attracted to you and you to them. I would really check out a bird before bringing him home.
I went to see him many times and I took my other birds to see how they did with him and he with them. They don’t like him and he is not crazy about them so they stay away from each other.
They are a lot of work but we enjoy them.


Candice Piaget  12/15/2009 4:26 pm

I think this is wonderful advice, like all the advice from you I have read so far. I think your point about not expecting them to want to be loved the way I want to be loved is right on, and applies to couples as well. I’ll give it a try – I know they love me to sing their songs right before they go to bed, they love it, but beyond that, I dunno….


maria  12/18/2009 9:26 pm

my cockatoo loves my son and he can do anything with him, when i come near him he comes and attacks me, bites my neck or feet. when my son is out of the room the bird will come and sit on my knee, but i cannot touch him, he just wants to sit there and look at me. it is the weirdest thing.


Jeanette  12/19/2009 4:57 pm

Thanks Chet believe it or not I have just discovered the same thing with my blue front amazon, he likes a combination of both treats and play but mostly play. I have to keep in mind that he is still young and requires alot of attention which he is getting.


Stephanie  12/27/2009 3:22 am

I can totally agree with that. My Goffin’s cockatoo Peaches loves me, but I do spend the majority of time with her…she loves to be rubbed and petted and kissed, but she will rarely get on my hand unless she feels afraid, but will sit tamely on my shoulder and almost refuse to get off and even let me walk her outside…back to the point, she HATES my husband and has little tolerance for our 3 year old son. She even understands when I firmly tell her NO MAAM and raises her little Peachy crown up and bats her eyes…


Robin  12/28/2009 12:08 pm

I have a similar situation. I inherited a 13 year old african grey named Ari. We did not know if she was a male or female when she was flown out to us. She was exclusively bonded to my dad. He argued that he believed she was a male. I differed in my opinion but my dad did not believe me. My mom always fed Arie as a baby and I read that the bird will pull away from the ” Mother” as to prevent inbreeding in the flock. Well with my experience when she arrived , she recognized me but since I am female, I was a threat to her and competition for a mate. She bonded very fast to my oldest son. He could hold her and cuddle her but I even touched him when she was with him, she would go after me. We found out she was a female when she laid her first clutch of eggs. My son could hold the eggs and pet her, but I could bring her food , but I wasn’t allowed to touch the eggs. My opinion is that your african grey is a male. Since you bird may not be mature yet the only way to be sure at this point is to have thew bird blood tested, but by the birds reaction to you verses your wife my bet is the bird is a male!!!! Robin in MInnestoa


Gail Lamb  12/28/2009 7:07 pm

Really interesting….applies to husbands and horses too!


Name (required)  12/29/2009 1:30 am

thanxxxxxxxxx


Malcolm Winter  12/29/2009 1:42 pm

Hi Chet,
I agree with all that you said, but one point you didn’t hit on was the fact that female parrots tend to favour male human company and vice versus for male parrots, this I can confirm with my late brothers brown necked cape, who when let out of her cage would fly and attack my sister in law for no reason, but if a man was in the house then she would fly to him and be ready to attack if my sister in law came near, or within striking distance.
I now have Moto (the cape ) who loves to fly around the front room and dominate the cat and dog, both of which go out the room when she is out.


Kerry Hingey  12/31/2009 7:26 am

Hi Chet,
I have a rescued Yellow Nape Amazon,Frankie, she’s about 5 yrs. old. We get along very well but whenever another female is around she prefers to spend time with them, if they let her. I always allow her this time and don’t bother them until she has to go ‘home’. Fortunately she will often snuggle with me, sleep with my arms around her, let me kiss her etc., and she will ‘groom’ my eyebrows and eyelashes. What I have learned from her is a little ‘love sound’ that she makes when she is happy with me. It sounds like a short, high pitch whine. If I want to pet her and she doesn’t want to be touched, I find that if I make her ‘love sound’ she seems to understand and will snuggle. She seems to know that I’m not going to try to get her to do something she doesn’t want to do, but if she still doesn’t want to be pet I tell her in a nice voice that it’s OK and leave her alone.
I recently put a blanket on the floor with several toys and she enjoyed that but now keeps getting off her cage and wanders around the floor to chew on everything and wants to check out my newest dog, who is blind and therefor doesn’t understand to stay away from the beak when Frankie threatens him. My other 2 big dogs understand quite well and have never been bitten, where as the cat tried to stand her ground and learned the painful way. I now have to close Frankie’s door to keep her and the little dog safe when I’m not around. She has always enjoyed her freedom to be out on top of her cage. Do you have any suggestions on keeping her off the floor?
Thank you for all your great info!
Kerry


Kerry  12/31/2009 7:37 am

To Alexandra Eglazos Re: ‘stepping up’ problems.
I used to trim my amazon’s beak and nails and she was always afraid of my hands. I now have a vet do it and she snuggles me for safety when it’s done. She still doesn’t seem to trust my hands when I reach towards her but I just offer my arm or shoulder and she steps right up. If not and I need to get her I put my arm(s) around her and she will step up, even if I had to go back and forth across the cage a couple times to corral her. Chet might have a better idea, but this works for us! Good luck!


Dina  12/31/2009 9:13 pm

That makes sense. I have a female cockatiel and she hates me and won’t let me touch her. If my brother comes, he can pet her and she would not mind. She doesn’t like being picked up by anybody.


natasha  01/02/2010 1:47 pm

chet, what do you do when your bird seems to love you too much! My conure wants to sit and groom me and kiss me as much as he can and bites when I don’t let him.


Angelea Martin  01/02/2010 9:41 pm

It’s exactly true for my flock of two. My blue Pacific Parrotlett is very physically affectionate and also likes treat rewards, but cares nothing for play. Her reward is quality time with me. My Timneh African Grey is motivated by favorite treats, quality time with me, certain play toys/tools, car rides and outside time in his travel devices. Thanks for clarifying this simple info.

A. Martin
Port Townsend, WA


Cathy Irwin  01/03/2010 4:09 am

Hey Chet, this does make sense to me. Suzy is a 5 1/2 year old African Grey that I have had since she was 6 weeks. I am ashamed to say that only in the past year have I really been learning her. She is so interesting and we have a great time together. Her love language has got to be quality time, her & I. Food has never worked to get her to do anything, as a matter of fact she gets made and will give up rather that say a word or do “something” for even a walnut. She seems to be in birdy heaven when we hang out together and play or sing or whistle back and forth. She even sleeps with me sometimes. She just hunkers down next to me (I sleep alone) and she does poop on my comforter but it’s okay, I just wash it. Thanks so much for that insight. And, yes it will help me look at the world from her view just a bit differently from now on!


DENNIE  01/08/2010 5:05 am

THANX CHET
THAT IS WHAT I NEEDED TOM HEAR. i WANT MY PARROT TO DO THE WAY i WANT HIM TO DO THINGS FROM NOW ON HE CAN DO THE THINGS HIS WAY.

DENNIE


Mirza  01/08/2010 3:23 pm

Me gusto mucho el blog, tuve la oportunidad de leer ese libro y se convirtio en uno de mis favoritos, ahora lo aplicaré a mis pajaritos tambien. Gracias


Francine Cormier  01/08/2010 3:46 pm

YES IT DOES MAKE SENCE! WHAT IT DOES TO, IS OPEN OUR EYES. Tanks your the best. I have a baby Senegal bird and every time my husband go to her she will step up and then look at me and fly away to the Flore,look at me and rune to me. I play with her,give her her favorite food,come on my shoulder and when i go for my shower i bring her with me i have a perch for her there. My husband need to understand this is what he need to do to.


corinna  01/13/2010 9:28 am

Hi Chet, Very interesting to read your new piece. Among my flock I have a rescued 3 year old macaw. His previous owner, after losing the ‘control’ battle with the bird(you cant ever control a parrot), locked him in the garage for three months, only seeing him to leave food and water. This bird has a terror of being abandoned. His love language is active play, interaction of any kind. What I got was a dangerous bird, after a year he is highly sociable and adores most visitors. Thanks for your advice over these months, please set up a paypal account so I can buy the rest of the course….


Jacki  01/15/2010 11:24 am

I do find this was helpful. I have 2 conures and one is very cuddly and snuggly –like me– and the other just prefers to sit on your shoulder and not be bugged. I was thinking that in time I could make her snuggly with patience. After reading this, I will appreciate that when she puts her face on my cheek —its enough affection for her.


Diane  01/18/2010 12:23 am

This is great! Thanks for the help!!!


Tenshin  01/19/2010 12:24 am

Thank You very much Chet, that makes lots of sense, cents and dollars probably too.

Possibly also, In the above case or similar cases,another factor perhaps also, if the bird was raised or owned by someone else, maybe the bird had a good experience from the lady of the previous owner and or a not so good experience from a male “caretaker” so to speak.

Just a thought, MGM


Liz  01/22/2010 12:16 am

It’s a great concept

my parrotlet loves the treats and the rubbing of the neck

also thx for so many great lessons

I’ve learned so much


Vicki  01/23/2010 11:52 pm

Hi Chet, You make a very interesting point here. i am having a similar “problem” with my African Grey. I will make more of an effort to find out what exactly my bird prefers to receive – rather than what I prefer to give. From my limited experience, I find that parrots are a lot like children. Some prefer one thing, and others prefer something else entirely.
Vicki


Linda Lavezza  01/24/2010 10:44 am

Chet, you are brilliant! This should be your First traing session. It is the best training tool I have received. I can’t thank you enough! My cockateil thanks you too! We were having some very difficult training sessions until I finally learned!


Pat  01/24/2010 7:48 pm

My parrot (blue and gold macaw) wants to feed and kiss. If I don’t let him do this, he gets persistant. Once I acknowledge that he’s “fed” me, he is fine. He looks for me if I’m in another room. He will let my husband pet him, but sreangers in the house, no way!


Sam  01/25/2010 10:23 pm

Hi, i found this really helpful because i have a ringneck with the same sort of problem as the comment above. Every time i go up to her cage she tries to attack me but if my dad so much as walks into the room she makes a cute little noise and begs for his attention. She hates hands but will eat anything you give her and plays with every toy in her cage so I’m pretty sure her love language is one of those two. Now all i have to do is figure out which one.
Thanks a lot.


Lisa Plante  01/30/2010 10:28 pm

Dear Chet,

This article was extrememly informative and interesting. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us! I recently purchased (and am now learning) your most recent training package and am completely impressed with your knowledge of our feathered friends! Thank you for offering material in “lay person’s terms” so we can all benefit from your experiences.


Danae  01/31/2010 1:37 pm

Hi Chet, and thank you for all tha mails you send me! Does a parrot know the meaning of I LOVE YOU? when he calls you does he mean that he wants you around him?? I have three o f them and the one that shows much that loves me can bite me… thank you,
I am Danae from Athens greece.


Laurie  02/03/2010 10:37 pm

who would have thought that the 5 love languages i read some time ago can be applied to a bird?? but it makes sense what you wrote and i was just going to ask why my green cheeked conur is biting me. we got him about 4 months ago from a family who just didn’t have time for him and he absolute loves me. everything was fine and then he started to bite. and not just bite but bite and hold on! i’ve had to shake him off! i think he gets really upset because i’ve put him back on his cage and don’t let him ride around on my shoulder because of what i am doing. i will certainly try what you suggest. just have to ask though does anyone else have a problem with a bird doing more than just a nip?? not all the time mind you. and he never bites my husband. but we can be sitting in our chairs next to each other and if he is on my husband he will do all he can to get to me. then he’s just fine. anyway thanks for the advice!


Tobbe  02/04/2010 10:11 am

Hello, i’m all with you on this! I have a yello foreheaded Amazon (sorry dont know the right english word) she is 6 month and her love language is treats and quality time just sitting on my shoulder is the greatest for her.


Tim  02/05/2010 1:11 am

I just ordered your parrot training lessons so I could be prepared for my first big pet bird he is a six year old greenwing macaw I’m bringing him home in about three weeks and the cage he is in now in the hope it will help him adjust better he started to pluck his feather and the color of his feathers seem to be kind of dull compared to some of the other macaws I have seen and was wondering if that would be due to a bad diet and what is the best food to give him?thank you


Judy  02/07/2010 7:29 pm

Hi Chet,
Thanks for this new info. I appreciate receiving your emails. My blue-front Amazon responds quite well all the time, but I am caring for a double-yellow head that tends to scream sometimes. I will try some of these ideas on him. And thank you again for everything, Judy


Jim Graham  02/08/2010 3:14 pm

Chet,
Thanks for all the information. I understand what you are saying. I have an Ecliptus female parrott. Sometimes it is nice to me & othertimes it is meaner than a stepmothers kiss. My wife has no problems with the bird. We recieved it through an animal abuse agency. It had hardly any feathers on her when I took it. So maybe she just does not like men. I am not sure. She will bite me to the point where it takes out a good chunk of me & cause some good bleeding. I follow your courses & other info you are kind enough to provide for us. But maybe this bird just doesn’t want to be handled. I am not sure. Still going to keep working with her that is for sure.
Thanks again.
Jim


Shaunna Gunderson  02/08/2010 5:36 pm

My parrots love language seems to be treating me like another parrot. Which would be fine except I don’t have the strong beak and the hair on my head is a little different from the feathers of a birds wing. It gets a little uncomfortable at times, her trying to preen my hair and pick off any skin from my chapped lip, or even preening the mascara off of my eye lashes, which I don’t let her do, but she tries! She is of an extremely determined mindset. And….if she isn’t doing that, she is tearing and chewing on my clothes…even my new sweatshirts look like old sweatshirts. Its a good thing that the worn look is in still but can’t imagine that fad lasting forever. Suggestions?


patricia james  02/14/2010 12:50 pm

hello
yes i find it to be helpful to me and my bird peppy he is doing very will
thinks and please keep sendind me things to help us thinks by patricia


Sharon Molter  02/25/2010 10:38 am

Hi, have two rescued blue and gold McCaws. One is Ethel, and she is bare chested from plucking her feathers, as she was when we got her. Have had both for 3-4 months now. They do not step up onto our hands and are not talkers. Over time however, I believe they are mimicing some sounds and take food as I feed them from my hand. She is slightly more agressive than Fred, her mate. I have them separated in order to avoid babies. Their cages are together. How warm should I keep their area.? She seems to shake a lot, even tho I have been told it is warm. They are eating fine and their excrement is fine.

I want them to be happy. If they don’t talk, then oh well. it would be nice, but I want them to feel safe and loved. Any suggestions overall for the birds sake.


Rudy  02/26/2010 10:18 pm

My Quaker Bill is very territorial about his nests, enter at your peril. When he is in your territory he will show respect and affection even with a stranger. I often put him in another room so he can’t see when I work on his cage. This prevents distress and biting. Nothing personal, just instinct.

Bill goes with me working, shopping and skiing. Then my shoulder and jacket become his nest. He will visit with people but they should not enter his “nest”. If you are always invading a bird’s nest he may come to dislike you.


Gina Schneider  03/01/2010 1:39 pm

Chet-
I am really intrigued with your training method. I’ve had my AG & my B&G for 16 years. We sort of ‘hit a wall’ when they matured, changed favorite people (my B&G went to my husband and his AG wanted only me)….but they are both accepting and loving to us both. Like kids, they have phases.
I do have to express some things that have bothered me in your vids:
Calling birds (some) stupid and purchasing from a Pet Store.
It really made me shudder to think about all the progress that has been made to keep birds OUT of the big box pet stores! No one, imho should EVER go that route and I think it is crucial that people like you spread the word that ‘pet shop’ buying is NOT ok.


Conrad  03/05/2010 6:29 am

I have an black cap conure. He is a very playful little bird, loves his treats and loves to sit on me and play with me. This is my second bird, the other is a blue ringneck which is my girlfriends. the problem is he bites any one. I can play with him and cuddle him and then he would just bite my hand or finger. He doesnt charge or anything he just bites and wont let go. Can someone please give me advise on this issue.

Conrad


brenda  03/05/2010 10:57 am

That is all great… I have a Derbyan parrot and a lorrelkeet parrot(from Australia) and the two of them just dont get on..during the day I play with my lorrelkeet and at night with my derbayan parrot..I find it difficult to bond with him..he always wants to bit me ..does not like to be touched…tried everything but still he bites me. I love them both and give attention to them separetally….My Lorrelkeet arrot is a great bird full of fun and talks to me and playes with me…but for the exception of the Derbyan parrot….he quivers when touched what is the meaning of that?


donna  03/08/2010 7:15 pm

i have a 9 year old parrot he is my baby and he was an abused green amazon bird i got him from my husbands uncle .he is my baby.but for some odd reason he will not take to my husband that good.are for that matter he will not take to any males at all.he will bite any males that get around his cage and for that matter if he can get to them.can someone please help me i need some advise these two men are going round and round and i do not know what to do.


Erin  03/15/2010 1:14 am

That’s a good way to get me to think outside of the little bit that I have learned in the past 3.5 months. I will try my best to see which my bird (frequent plucking, C.A.G., female, between 4 and 6 yrs) might be telling me she wants. I try to figure it out but giving me categories she might fall into helps a ton. It might make it easier because lately I have been getting bitten, hard actually, and I set her down but the thought can’t help but creep in and make me think that I was better off with a starter bird like a parakeet. Sad right? She still tells me to “Come here” so I must be doing something right….


Erin  03/15/2010 1:15 am

Oh, one more thing, thank you for sharing your knowledge and experiences. I am very appreciative of your tips.


Yvette LaRochelle  03/16/2010 3:04 pm

I bought a Sun Conure from a local pet store, and two days later recieved a phone call from a woman I knew, who asked me if I wanted to adopt two Greencheek Conures. I immediately said yes to the offer. It turned out the two conures had been extremely abused. One, Rudy who is five years old was missing two toes on one foot, and one toe on the other. Needless to say, he was very afraid of me or anyone else.

Pete, the other conure had one toe missing, and also afraid of people. Pete is about six months or a year old. The conures were kept in a parakeet cage and freaked out when I put them in a large parrot cage. Their diet consisted of regular wild bird seed, when they had seed!

After leaving them alone for a day, except being in the same room with them, I tried to give them treats which they would not accept. Both Pete and Rudy went wild, flapping wings and screaming when I put my hand in their cage. Three days of being with the birds, talking to them, and just putting my hand in their cage, with no movement, they accepted me invading their space. On the forth day of putting my hand in the cage, I held some millet but they would not eat the millet.

Well, to make a long story short, by day six, Rudy will step up and accept treats. Pete is still afraid, but will not bite me when I pick him up. Watching Rudy accept treats, Pete is taking treats from my fingers and will sit on my shoulder and cuddle to my neck under my hair. Rudy likes to cuddle also.

I have gained a bit of trust from these conures, but we still have a long way to go. Pete can’t get the hang of “step up” yet. The bird I bought from the store, Sundancer is beautiful and learns easily but although she is 4 months old, she will try to attact Rudy and Sundancer. Today I had all three conures out of their cages and let them have the freedom they wanted. Yes, they did fight a bit, ( I did not let anyone get hurt) but Sundancer ended up going into Rudy and Pete’s cage, and vice versa.

When I removed the birds from the cages they were in, I put all three on the play area. Believe it or not, they did not fight. I decided enough for one day and after 20 minutes returned them to their own cages, and said good night to them.


Sam  03/17/2010 6:44 am

Hey Chet!
Thanks for this wonderful article. I am really involved in this too. My brother does the cleaning and the food/waters, but he only talks to my dad in different ways. He knows 4 different sounds with my dad that with me or my brother. Oh, I have 2 lovebirds. They tend to bite a lot. Sometimes, i let them fly in my room and i can tell you that their previous trainer had trained them for sitting on one’s shoulder. I mean, they talk with everyone they see but their biting prevents human contact and/or trainings. Please help.


Elisa  03/17/2010 10:01 pm

I have a 4 month old Sun Conure, and maybe it’s too young to say, but he loves both me and my husband equally, even our children. He loves to be with all of us, lets all of us pet him everywhere. He really is a sweet little thing! We’ve had him for a little over a month now and he has adjusted very well. Do you think this behavior will change and he will be a “one person bird”?


Christina  03/19/2010 8:47 pm

I love my orange wing Amizon parrot. The love I want her to have is the love to be active & vocal .Which she dose on her own.But when I take her out in town people want her to talk I tell then she talks when she wants to,so what I am saying is she only talks to people knows or in her family group & she is telling us or me she loves me . Animals are people too. I hope were on the same page Chat- Love talking about parrots, Lots of parrot love ,Bert Bert & Christina


Reenie  03/20/2010 2:29 pm

I completely understand that birds differ from us greatly and that their way of ‘love’ differs from ours.
But the thing is, My Indian Ringneck – Cookie – Is ‘attracted’ to my dad.
Now, to be honest, my dad doesn’t really like pets, including Cookie. He’s okay with her being around, but he never feeds her, touches her or even gets anywhere close to her.
What surprises me is that even though I am the one that feeds her, talks to her and generally am the one to be around her, she tries to nip me when I get too close.
Could you tell me why this is happening?


Bonnie L.  03/20/2010 8:05 pm

I have a three year old Nanday, Blackjack, he loves to spend time with me in the kitchen. We call him the suppervisor, because he watches, intently, everything I am doing. He loves to hang on the bottom of his open cage door and watch me load the dishwasher, I ask him ” am I doing this right?” He answers with a gutteral sound. His cage is on wheels and can be, easily, moved from place to place. He loves to sit on my shoulder when I am on the computer and we visit. He mumbles one or two syllables, depending on the word I use. On the other hand, he wants nothing to do with my husband except when he is away from his cage or is offering treats. My husband would really like to pet hiim but doesn;t want to be bitten, and he has been many times.
What can I do to help the two of them commuicate more positively?


Sheila  03/31/2010 12:58 pm

It makes perfect sense as each bird is different. My Sun Conure was trained in the first part of his/her life with leather gloves which made it harder to gain trust with my bare hand. We still have hand issues but it is lessening with each passing day. He/she loves to make contact with beak and tongue. Loves to taste and kiss and is learning amazing trust. He/she comes across the cage to receive and give a kiss. He/she does not really care for stoking his/er back but does love scratching the head and neck. We are bonding well and I love working with this little one and watching the trust grow and both our sides. He/she loves to play and I love to make new toys that stimulates the curiosty. Trust has to be earned and it is so rewarding when it all comes together.


Jason&Rosie  04/04/2010 3:34 am

i have been following alot of the threads for questions and answers and
have found this source of information almost Gospel.
i have a 10 month old female eccie that was 2 months when i got her.
alot of the concepts and views and bonding and building our relationship
has been obvious from the start to be benefitial to any that we love.
Rosie came to work in the van with me evry day for our first three months
and gave us a good foundationfor closeness.
After reading the latest thread on love language I imediately could pin
point times where i wanted to snuggle and she just wanted to sit on my
shoulder and groom herself or watch telly with me .
Ifelt compelled to respond to this response and thank you and your bro
for wanting to share your knowledge for the betterment of birds.
I received your course on total transformation yesterday and am very
keen to start learning how better to love my bird the Right Way.

Jason&Rosie
Melb. Australia


Ann Lavin  04/04/2010 3:05 pm

My cockatiel has always loved me and played with me. He didnt like my husband and would always back away when he came near his cage. Things have changed now though, he wont step up onto my hand any more, and doesnt fly over to me. He seems to have fell in love with my husband now and only allows him to handle him. He steps onto his hand and allows him to rub nose and beak etc. Why has this happened. I feel that i must have upset him, but he isnt frightened of me just agressive [he spits at me when i try to get him to step up onto my hand]. Help ???


Eva  04/14/2010 6:08 pm

Thank you.
It is interesting.
I think, you are right.


Sandie Loots  05/03/2010 3:22 am

Hello Chet.
I have taken over a year old female African Grey – who I named Lexi. She was very tame with her previous owner but has not as yet given me the same trust. She allows me to touch her tummy and scratch her head and feet inside her cage but once out of the cage lunges at me in an aggressive manor. Do I just carry on with the soft praises (which she loves) or what do you suggest I try to bridge the gap. She just will not entertain the attempts at stepping onto my hand,. She calls me and reacts very well to me in all other areas. I spend a lot of time talking gently to her and she responds well to this. Please give me your advise.


Nathan  05/05/2010 10:43 am

Hey Chet. My name is nate and I got a sun conure December 15th of last year. I did minimal investigation before purchasing bubo (his name comes from the ORIGINAL clash of the titans movie!) and am probably quite lucky I got a healthy bird at all. I chose a sun conure mostly because of its size and intelligence ratio. I suppose price helped a bit too! Anyway, he’s very young. When I got him he was solid green. He’s become quite yellow in a bleach wash kinda way. Since I bought him I have done ALOT of reading and the things I read kinda bother me. I’ve heard parrots become like teenagers when they become sexually developed which I guess is when they’re about two years old. I guess what I heard was people say they had a nice sweet bird and then the bird just changed. And the way to best avoid all this is training. Which I have been reading all of your emails that come with stories and advice and I’m trying to piece things together so I spend as little money as possable!.. you know how times are… Anyway Bubo will actually sleep with me under the covers for a couple hrs a night. That’s how comfortable he is. However he likes EVERYTHING! He likes to play, he likes treats, he LOVES being on you. So rewarding (him I guess for now) is EASY! I do like how you mentioned that there are different ways to reward him. Treats are what I use primarilly for teaching him the little that I have taught him. So I will let you know how using other methods work out if you like. But I also want to know what the likelihood of my bird turnning into a teenager is!!! Does training prevent it entirely? Or attention? Or is it something that occurs because they’re not happy? What are the best ways to best look at that transition to understand it?
Thanks for all your help
nate


Lucy  05/06/2010 2:37 am

Hi, My name is Lucy…I have a male quaker that was 8 yrs. old today…His name is Paco. I love him very much. My mate and I got separated after 17 yrs….when we were together Paco loved him and talked alot all the time.He had already picked up alot of word’s… It’s been 5yrs. since our separation, and Paco has stopped talking like he use to. I don’t know if it might have anything to do with me having a cockatiel in a different cage, but close to his…and him listening to it whistle all the time… or if he just misses my ex. Could you please tell me what you think could of happend. He’s very good about stepping up on my finger infact he look’s forward to that, because everytime I sit at my desk since I keep his cage open he come’s out in a hurry cause he know’s I put my finger out so he can stand on it. He’s very loveable and make’s a smaking sound when I ask him to kiss me. I am the only one that can handle him….then there’s some day’s he doesn’t want to be messed with…. Will he ever talk again like he use to? Please help.


Miriam Jurado  05/06/2010 7:17 am

Hello, Chet!

A breeder in the south of Spain told me that if I wanted to have any sort of bird as my pet I had to get it very jong (when they are getting their first feathers) and feed them every 3 hours during the day until they can eat by themselves. That way they will think you are their “Mom” and you will never have to go thru the painful process of trying to tame a wild bird.
I took his advice and bought a pair of “Love Birds” or Agaponis (not sure of spelling). They made my life so happy and complete!! They gave me so much love! I couldn’t believe it!!!
Later I bought 4 babies more and the first 2 took care of them inmediately and defended them from anybody but myself!! They were wonderful!!!
Warm greetings,


Lucinda  05/06/2010 9:56 am

Thank you very helpful


David Paris  05/11/2010 6:56 am

Hi Chet , i found it very intresting and it make perfect sence
I have just got a 20 year old pair of Red tailed Black Cockatoos and i have them in a nice big averiy , i am just geting them use to me , and the Male bird will fly to me and land on my shoulder to get a treat , then he likes to get on top of my head and do some kind of Dance . Not sure if this is a good thing or not , he is not agresive though he dose look pretty wiierd , like a domance thing , not sure weather i should incorage this or not , the female is not as freindly , though she will take treats form my hand , I would like to bread form the pair and am not to sure if playing with them will mess that up , would love to here your thoughts

Dave


Rose Brewer  05/16/2010 11:29 pm

hi my name is rose, my nephew and his wife ,gave me a small parrrot his name is merlin.I absolutely love him w ith all my heart.thank you so much for putting out the four love language. as i can see i’m doing alright with merlin. He used to bite me but i was patient with him.i knew he was nervous of a new inviroment and a new mommy.I do hold him quiet a bit.he is such a begger.loves coffee in the mornings.i realized i do all the love languages. he doesn’t bite any more.also says he’s mamas baby ,oh he’s a quaker .thanks again.


Cyndi  05/24/2010 10:50 am

I think it may even go one step further than that. I have a young sun conure that actually seems to want a DIFFERENT type of love from each member of our family.


derek  05/25/2010 2:28 am

Cracking Chet you hit the nail on the head there…


Teri  05/26/2010 3:57 pm

Thanks for the categories and further explanation of one of them, Active Play. This gives me a variety of approaches to try out. All the training tips I’ve had from you have been terrifically effective.

Also, I hope you don’t mind, but a message as good as yours deserves correct spelling! I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve corrected the “theirs” below:

“…and theirs another group of people that only feel loved if their held or touched in a loving manner.” should read “…and there’s another group of people that only feel loved if they’re held or touched in a loving manner.” Thanks again for all you share with all of us who love parrots!


Georgia Anderson  06/01/2010 3:51 pm

Hi Chet: Rec’d two of your videos on Taming and Training and Tricks. Haven’t been able to view them as they don’t come up on the monitor automatically like the Parrot Training Pro’s DVD’s do. Are they corrupt? Georgia


janet blenkinsop  06/07/2010 4:26 am

Thank you for the valuble info, my parrot seems to love every one, he likes cuddles when he ask for them or when he comes to you and says bye bye when he as had enough, he jumps off his perch when he wants to run a muck and says play ball when he wants to play with you. Understanding a parrots point of view is a valuble tool, being a mind reader also helps. Because my kids were slow talkers i had to figure out what they needed most of the time, understanding body langage helps.


william Odell  06/11/2010 5:35 am

Chet, what you said makes perfect sense. An example would be when we go to petsmart to get supplies we always stop at their parrot cages to visit the sun conures. I am always able to get this one bird to step up on my finger through the bars, just because he likes to get his(hers) head scratched. The other sun right next door won’t let me do this at all. He wants to just let me rub his chest but not step up. I can see what you said makes sense when i try to get these birds to do the same thing.


Kim Moniz  06/16/2010 6:21 pm

Chet,
Thank you for the continued letters, videos, advice, etc. I have a baby African Grey. She is only barely 12 weeks old. She of course sees me as her mommy, as she was hand fed from hatch date. So I
keep reading your information, watching your videos in hopes that I do the right thing by her. I do
very much respect my birds…and treat them like I would want to be treated. :) Thanks for everything.
Your comments and advice support my thoughts. I hope I do the right things!


Starr A. Wilson  06/23/2010 9:15 pm

My roommates parrots were two different personalities and I had to learn to work with each one differently. Rubie was a showoff. You had to sit there and watch her do “beakups” and applaud her while she was doing them. She was an active bird who had to be doing something physical while Buster, on the other hand wanted to be held and scratched anywhere, just do it NOW! I watched and worked with both birds for four years and I learned their personalities. They really do come around to you when you do learn their “love” language.


Mary Ann Perchalla  06/27/2010 5:58 pm

Yes, it makes perfect sense. I have understood that concept with people but rarely realized it with my birds. I quickly learned to only pet my African Grey when he was in the mood and only briefly or he would nip me. Unfortunately he wanted to explore the floor and surrounding furniture but after destroying the arm of a couch, biting a dog that grew to dislike him intensly, I couldn’t allow that which caused him to bite even more. I re-homed him with an individual that had a female AG and no dogs who said he would be allowed to do these things. I hope he is happier now.
I am getting a Bluefront Amazon baby and will continue to read your emails and utilize the information you send me in hopes I will get it right this time..


Michele M  07/03/2010 2:50 pm

Well put Chet! Thanks for the reminder that birds and humans all have different ways of operating perceiving the world and wanting to be loved. It’s pretty simple when you think about. It’s just a matter of getting out of our heads and into the world of the other person or bird in this case! :)
keep up the great work. Your insights and ad ice have been extremely eye opening for me and have helped me to have a better relationship with. Alice my coffin cockatoo.
Cheers
michele m


Bob  07/06/2010 11:04 am

Hi,
I have been read all your write-ups for the last month and a half while trying to decide on what Parrot I’d like. All of your information has been very helpful. Last Friday a beautiful 4-5 year old Timneh African Gray adopted me. We are still as expected getting to know each other. She (BayBay) is so smart I almost can’t believe the things she does and says. She talks very clear and knows about 20 works and fraises.
It took me about three hours to teach her to Wolf whistle, say Baybay pretty girl and I love you.

Well its play time, so I have to go.

Thanks for all your great information.

Baybay’s boy
Bob


Janet Blenkinsop  07/06/2010 11:32 am

I enjoy reading all the comments and learn a lot off them. The only comment i did not learn off was the person who ask Chet to have his out going messages edited or proofread. Some times we have to look more at the possitives, not the negatives in humans and animals. Chet is imaginative, creative, and passionate. He is properly great at maths and a succesful business man who still gives you that personal touch. You will always know when Chet as answered your question personaly by the style of his grammer.


Sonia  07/12/2010 1:38 am

Chet,

This is absolutely wonderful! It’s an eye-opener. Now I can understand her better. I have an Indian Parakeet. Thanks,

Sonia


Katherine  07/16/2010 1:04 pm

I have found this to be true, I have a 2 month old Pyhurrah and he loves to just sit on my shoulder; he likes quality time with mommy preferrably. With daddy, he likes to play. So we have both found a way to be with our baby and still not get bitten!


DeeLC  07/31/2010 3:45 am

Thanks Chet-
I have something new to watch for tomorrow. I realize as you’ve introduced a new behavior to identify that my Yellow collar Macaw likes to ‘pet’ me. I have named it “Love the Mama”. He fluffs his feathers and lays his head in my hand nuzzling and nibbling my fingers. He has also found that I am captive when in the car (with the engine off) talking with a neighbor. He makes his way down to chew my toes! I giggle, he laughs…nothing is funnier to me than being laughed at with my own laugh!


Karen Williams  08/04/2010 9:05 am

Hi Chet
I learn something new from you every day!! Thank you so much. I have two African Greys, George and Roger. Georgie is 16 years old and I bought him when he was 7 months old from a Pet Shop here in South Africa. Roger was a neglected bird who had 2 previous owners. The last people who had him, had him for 25 years. Roger is estimated to be over 50 years old. I have had Roger for 8 years now, and I have battled for many years with his aggressiveness and biting. Roger has not said a single word in all the years I have him. George talks non-stop, 24/7 ha ha!! What I have discovered in all the years that I have had the greys, is that George likes to be cuddled and petted, but Roger likes treats and toys. I must admit that Roger has calmed down considerably; he is not as aggressive as what he was in the beginning. What he still does that annoys me terribly; he grabs his cover when I put it over his cage at night when it’s time for them to sleep and bites it full of holes. He also has an annoying habit of biting down hard on the bars of his cage when you go close to him and speak to him, or when I give attention to the other grey. Sometimes, very seldom though, Roger will let me pet him. I tend to pull my hand away quickly though, because after 8 years, I still do not trust him!!


BALA  08/07/2010 10:33 pm

Dear Chet, Thank you very much for sending my orders, unfortunately i received your goods in very bad
packaging,it was torn & wet inside. I really don’t know how this happen? anyway i expect a reply from you.

For your info, I have bought a RAINBOW LORIKEET (female), are these birds easy to train them to talk and be friendly. Please specify what are best foods for these kind of birds, may be you could send me some
sample dietary foods for a start. Thanks . Please reply me personally, to my email address below.


Toni Swedler  08/09/2010 7:21 pm

That was a GREAT explanation regarding how parrots respond to us humans and what motivates them. I think sometimes it gets confused especially when you acquire a rehomed or older bird with lots of hang-ups. If we remember the information from your email and have lots of patience, our parrots will be far better off with much happier human caretakers!!!


Judy  08/10/2010 12:40 am

Chet, I found this to be quite interesting as well as informative. I’ve just begun to ‘get a clue’ that my Peachfaced Lovebird, Rosie wants my attention more than anything else. Oh, she’ll do most anything for her millet spray that I use for training purposes & she loves to earn her treats, sometimes anticipating the command in her eagerness. When she’s tired she loves to snuggle next to my neck with her head tucked under my hair, or against my cupped hand while I ruffle her neck feathers with my thumb & she turns her head to get me to rub just the right spot. Then she dozes off for a little nap, but for the most part it’s being paid attention to, talked to, interacted with that she craves & if I fail to comply she has a large selection of annoying behaviors specifically designed to get my attention. Quality time is her language of love!
Re: the great grammar dispute…other than errors in quotes from other people, I only noticed one thing: in “and theirs another group of people” the word ‘theirs’ is posessive, meaning ‘something that belongs to them’ eg. The house with the red door is theirs. What you want here is the contraction of the two words ‘there is’: there’s (the apostrophe always goes where the missing letters were). On the whole, I find you to be unusually literate & the errors you make are fairly minor (and common) ones. After reading some of these comments I fail to understand why anyone would want to criticize your writing…..
To Peanut’s Mom, Peggy: If I were a betting woman I’d put a few bucks on your Peanut being a female. From your description it sounds ike she’s inviting you to mate with her. My Rosie backs up to my hand with her tail cocked up, sort of crouches down, spreads her wings & makes soft, ‘sneezy’ sounds when her hormones are telling her it’s time to mate. Within a few weeks she has usually laid 4 or 5 tiny eggs.


Cheryl Risden  08/11/2010 1:35 pm

hi chet,
the love language thing makes perfect sense to me,i used to use clicker training with treats for my beagle dog but my lab/spaniel loved to swim and play fetch. one wouldnt train for treats and one wouldnt train for active games.I dont see why it is anything different for my 2 cockatiels who are 3 months old. Now i need to find what makes Sugar and Spice tick,i guess its just trial and error.
i just didnt think about it like that.
Thanks
Cheryl


Jan Shaw  08/20/2010 1:18 am

I have 2 handreared Cockatiels that are brother and sister, and Nomad, the male, seems to like his beak and chest being kissed lightly but dislikes being stroked by anyone..although he is gentle and doesnt nip or bite. Gypsy, his sister on the other hand, is all my bird and obviously thinks of me as her `mate’ as she has begun to go thru a little ritual which has definite sexual connotations, (flattening her body and lifting her tail, moving around and making little begging noises), usually when I have been stroking her. Otherwise she loves having her head scratched and sits on me generally all the time. If my husband tries to stroke her she will bite. I am trying to decide whether to find a nice male for her or if this behaviour is all part of her adult sexuality. (they aren’t 12mths old yet). She also gets very agro towards her brother. They are both kept inside in a large cage, and allowed out twice a day for a good period of time to fly and play. Nomad will attempt to pull Gypsy’s feathers out at times when they are both on me, even tho he doesn’t like being stroked..I am assuming its jealousy??? He is more for my husband tho when he at home, but is still quite happy to be with me otherwise.


Mary  08/21/2010 9:53 am

Great article! I have read that book and totally forgot about it until you mentioned it. It helped me realize that the “love” my caique wants from me is not the same type of love it wants from my boys. They want our bird to treat them the same way he treats me. Now they can see that not only is it ok to have a different type of bonding, but that it is special in it’s own way.


Patricia  08/23/2010 2:02 pm

Yes, I agree. My cockatiel lets me know when he wants to be petted lovingly, if he’s hungry, or if he wants attention/play-time. Mostly, I have learned to watch his behaviour and body language. An example would be bowing his head (scratch me around my head), perky and spreading wings or quick gestures like jumping around or getting into things he shouldn’t (I need some exercise – I want to play), squawking near dinner time (I’m hungry for my seed), or in the evening when he’s tired he will show me by getting cranky and even nippy (never very hard) with me when I’m scratching him around the head.


Markianne Williams  08/23/2010 7:48 pm

As a first-time Parrot owner, I am learning, learning, and learning from your course, plus from your emails. I enjoyed reading this thread: hearing other parrot owners discuss their problems and experiences makes me feel my problems are pretty standard. Whew ~

I have had B-Bird, my 8-year-old African Grey, for three months. He is a totally new trip. I’ve done rehab/release with squirrels for many many years, and thought taking on a parrot would be reasonably simple. This bird was unsocialized, and had attacked his former owner’s husband. Your ‘Power Pause’ has minimized his bites, but he has drawn blood on me 5 times now. This parrot has acquired the nickname ” Vlad The Impaler ” in my family. However, I must admit his attacks are minimizing in frequency and velocity as the weeks pass. He can be very loving when HE is in the mood. I am learning from you when NOT to press him for affection. I think we’re going to concentrate on active play, as he frequently refuses to leave my hand for his play station, and chuffs and slightly extends his wings forward. Affection? I hope so! I have so much to learn.

I am hoping to hear more owners discuss their problems, and offer each other solutions in future threads, Chet. They are a total DELIGHT to read: I love hearing about other birds and the experiences their owners are having with them.

Keep up the good work, and CHANGE NOTHING! It was a lucky day when I found your website. B-Bird is physically thriving on your organic pellets, and he is becoming more social with my entire family. The oddest thing about this guy: he has NEVER bitten or attacked one of my grandchildren! He has saved his Vlad-The-Impaler-Mode for adults only.

Best Always,
Markie


Intisar  08/31/2010 5:34 pm

“ALWAYS trying to find out how the other person wants to be loved, and loving them in THEIR way — NOT YOURS” . these words are the key for our relationship with every body and every things in our world, Thank you for sharing this great Ideas Chet.


donna  08/31/2010 7:10 pm

I think this is really a good way of thinking. we have four birds that we inherited from a friend that died. never had birds before and they are not use to being handled. the vet says they never will be. but I am not giving up. I think this helps knowing what now to look for. I also think this can apply to other animals. I have a german shepherd that I am going to work on trying to read his love language. thanks for this our family will be a lot closer and happier when we figure it all out.


Ray  09/02/2010 2:59 am

Chet,

What’s the best way to determine what a bird’s specific ‘love language is? I ask because my fiance’s Double Yellow Headed amazon doesn’t like to be petted by her, but over the last 6 months, I’ve been able to cozy up to her (it’s a female bird) and now, without using any positive reinforcement, I’m able to reach into her cage and pet her. I can also put her on her hanging rope, which immediately puts her above me and what I’m told is the “I have power over you because now I’m higher then you”…and she just loves it…(being petted that is!)…I’m only able to spend about 20 minutes w/her per day because of my current work schedule but would love to further bond w/her…the bird that is, not my fiance! LOL!


Argel Lobo  09/03/2010 4:55 pm

Dear Chet,

Thanks for the good advice. I just read “The 4 Love Languages of Parrots” and I found it quite interesting and helped me understand my birds better. I agree that birds see things very differently from humans. To what you wrote, I would also like to add that birds are not always in the mood to play or interact with their owners no matter how much they might love them. I’ve noticed that my pet conure is not always in the mood to leave its cage and ride on my shoulder (something it really loves), so I respect that and don’t force him.

Argel


Patricia Jessup  09/13/2010 5:09 am

Hi Chet,
i’ve read all your newsletters with great interest,and tried to follow your advice.Well, here’s my
response. I love my green cheeked conure,Dino, bit frankly he can be a litlle FIEND at times!
He hates being in his cage, andhis favourite time of the day is the evening,when we give him his special ‘treat – usually mixed nuts(unsalted) and raisins.A little later,we sit and relax in front of the television,and he loves crawling in and out of the cushions on the sofa,and will briefly tolerate being ascratched on the head.The main problem is that he screams and bites really hard!He’s pretty bright,and seems pretty happy otherwise,whistling and chatterng away.
quite happy and healthy otherwise, whistling and chattering away,erby Rd., Kenilworth,Cape


Thelma  09/19/2010 10:06 pm

Yes chet , I found this piece of info was very important thanks for letting me know I will start working with my parrots and watch thier love lanauges . I have a concure who has this speical way of letting me know if she wants to come out of her cage or not for example when i got home this afternoon I spoke to her and open the door and she hopped up on my hand and was ready to get out. Then I put her back and waited a little bit and I went to go get her out again and she refused and wanted to bite me so I left her alone so i do see what you mean in your writings again thanks .


ashley  09/21/2010 6:28 pm

i totally think if you wrote a free section that someone could read about this topic would be very helpful. My severe macaw is a bit older (hes 23 years old) and he has really big mood swings. Sometimes he wants attention and is really nice to my boyfriend, and other times he wants my attention and is really nice to me (doesn’t bite or try to attack me/him) and other times he is really mean to the both of us to the point he wont even let us touch him. are there things i can do to get him to bond to both of us together and not try to attack us as much so he can learn to play better with us. also its so hard to get him to want to be away from his cage, every time hes away he just bobs his wings and stares at his cage, or if you hold him he just leans in the direction of his cage and squawks incessantly. any help on either subject would be great.


Packmw  09/24/2010 3:29 pm

Aha! As a new bird person…and adopting a 6 year old cockatoo named Buddy I wish I had this information 5 month ago!
Buddy did not come from a good environment but he was friendly to everyone except me. I was feeling very dejected but I stayed in there and just gave him time and observed him with others. He liked to be touched, scratched, hugged by visitors and would run back into his cage when I came near. I had that same feeling of ‘why doesn’t he like me… I do everything for him ….and gave him a great, new, loving home”.
Trust was a major accomplishment and he still has his fears… but he now wants my love and attention, climbs up on my arms and shoulder and allows me to pet, scratch him on his head and back (including under the wings).
Bottom line, he likes affection first and foremost, likes attention/play time second and thirdly but not least he likes treats plus I’m retired so he always gets quality time. Understanding the different languges of love sure helps. I am loving this and hope to continue to forge a closer bond with my boy!
THANKS!
Packmw


veterinarian  10/13/2010 10:13 am

That is a sweet parrot dude. I want one to do some tricks with. I used to have a s. American cardinal. That was a cool bird.


Sandi Bresee  10/14/2010 8:37 am

My Sun Conure “Sunny” and I spend quality time in the morning over a “warm” cup of coffee with Hazelnut Creamer. No matter if the cup is full or down to a couple of drops he will look like he is dumpster diving to get to it.

He loves to snuggle in the crook of my arm. And snuggles in while looking up at me with adoring eyes. He is comfortable in “my” tree branch.

Also, when he has his coffee I bring the cup up to him on my shoulder. He reaches his beak in the cup and scoops the coffee up and turns to me and acts like he wants to feed me the coffee next to my lips.

He loves to be held, coddled, and I can even roll his feathers between my fingers and loosen up the quills underneath.

I clip his wings faithfully and he goes outside with me and if he sees a “Red Tail Hawk” he sounds the alarm leaving my ear ringing for awhile. He never offers to leave my shoulders.

We even go for car rides to my favorite pet store “Feathers and Friends” and gets to see bigger birds out free of their cages and squacks to them. They come up and want to meet him. The store manager “Roger” hand feeds each and every baby chick and it is a perfect companion to anyone who purchases them.

My Sun Conure and I have developed a good relationship and he is protective of me. He won’t let anyone else handle him and even though my spouse feeds him and talks to him, he won’t let Ron ask him to come up on his finger without blood being drawn. I guess some birds prefer to be monogomus with their owners.


Diane Gates  10/19/2010 10:31 am

This was really helpful to me as I have a Sun Conure who seems to hate my hand and so, we do not have much physical contact and I am OK with that, but I want him to get everything he needs and he climbs around a lot on his cage, in and out and walking around on it and the other cage I have my finches in. May be he needs a play tree of something.


Tom Whelan  10/21/2010 8:26 am

Hi Chet
I have just purchased an African approx 5 years old Henry, I beleive he came from a good home
The problem was the lady had 2 parrots for breeding it did not work so hence I bought Henry.
Henry will not step up and he is very timid, He has had his wing clipped and seemes very unsure on his feet I can talk to him he does not talk back but as soon as I walk from the room he starts whistling and shouting his name. how do I get him to step up I have purchased 2 CD and a DVD from yourselves and as yet no good.
Thanks
Tom


Celine  10/24/2010 3:05 pm

My four month old sun conure LOVES it when I allow him to perch on my shoulder. He also like to have his neck scratched. Im teaching him to use the key word step up and I’ll lure him onto my shoulder with millet. He’ll take a bite but really wants to be on my shoulder instead. Since his wings are clipped I never ask him to do more than a slight hope to my hand. After training I let him eat an apple on my shoulder and he’s content for the time being :)


Cassandra  10/25/2010 6:22 am

is most helpful ! goes for both parrot and spouse :)


Amanda  11/03/2010 6:35 pm

I believe that this is helpful, however my Yellow Naped Amazon is in love with my dad. My dad does not do any of these things with or for him. I take time out everyday to pet my parrot’s head, give him treats and play with him. Although I do this, he will not let me hold him when he is near his cage and he always tries biting me!


Claudette Sabin  11/08/2010 3:49 pm

I never thought about how my parrot likes to be loved. I do know she likes kisses and light petting. I also know, if she doesn’t get her way she will bite. She always wants to nip at moles on my neck. I keep saying no, don’t bite that and pretty soon she will just bite hard.


veterinarian dude  11/08/2010 6:54 pm

You should always make sure you visit a qualified veterinarian. Research them out, know what they specialize in and what animals they are equipped to care for. If your parrot needs help, not every vet can help it.


Angela  11/13/2010 7:42 pm

“QUALITY TIME”!! And only THROUGH quality time can you discover what your bird loves to do. I had my conure for months before I discovered she loves to “wrestle”. She gets on my hand and flips upside down, I place her back down on the floor and she “attacks” my hand with gentle nibbles…she also likes it when I grab her beak and “shake” it back and forth. All done very gently, of course. 10 minutes of “wrestling” a day makes Sunny a very happy (and much quieter!!) bird!!


DEIRDRE WILLIAMS  11/15/2010 5:46 pm

i WAS BOUGHT A 2YR OLD A.G. FOR MY BIRTHDAY WE PICKED HIM UP AT THE BEGINING OF JULY HE DID NOTHING BUT BITE ANYONE WHO TRIED TOUCHING HIM WE WERE ON THE VERGE OF SELLING HIM BUT FROM THE DIFFERENT SOUNDS AND ACCENTS HE USED i JUST HAD A GUT FEELING HE HAD HAD SEVERAL HOMES DUE TO HIS BITING SO DECIDED TO STICK WITH IT SIT BY HIS OPEN CAGE TALKING TO HIM AND TRYING TO GET HIM USED TO SEEING MY HAND IN HIS CAGE AND THAT IT WAS NO THREAT 3 WEEKS AGO IT WAS AS IF THE FAIRY’S HAD CHANGED BIRDS OVER NIGHT HE GOES MAD FOR HIS TICKLES HE IS NOW A REAL SOFTY WITH ME BUT BITES MY HUSBAND AS MY HUBBY SHOWS HE IS AFRAID OF HARLEY (WHO IS AT THIS MOMENT SAT ON MY SHOULDER CUDDLING INTO ME AS MAKING KISSING SOUNDS FOR ME TO TURN AROUND SO HE CAN KISS MY LIPS), SO MY ADVISE IS GIVE YOURS TIME LOTS OF CONVERSATIONS I’M SURE HE WILL SOON BE A BIG SOFTY LIKE HARLEY.
WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST.
LOVE AND LIGHT TOPAZ XXXXX


Mary Zerr  11/21/2010 1:06 am

Excellent advise. I’ll have to be more observant with my two love birds. Thanks!


Megan  11/22/2010 12:04 pm

This is really interesting. Maybe this is why my cockatoo plucks? Not getting the “right” love?


Kathy  11/26/2010 9:00 pm

Yes, all parrots are different, even within the same species. An example is my peach front conure. I am the petting kind of person, but this little guy is not fond of petting. I have to respect that. Some birds view being touched as a breach of their personal space, they don’t like it. Others love to cuddle. If you have a cuddler, and you are a cuddler, great. If not, love them in other ways, treats, play time, new things to do. And remember that there is such a thing as too much physical touch. Some birds will see you as their mate and it could bring on some unwanted behavior.


Bill Christian  11/28/2010 5:46 am

Thanks for the info on the love languages of the birds. I will have to work at that to see if one of my birds will change his behavior with that idea in mind…Bill P.S. That Camelot that David is holding has got to be one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen in that group, the yellow is huge! I’d like to see a shot of that bird with the wings out stretched…Thanks again


Mary  11/28/2010 11:00 am

Thanks for your insight. We resecued a parrot from a situation where he lived in a dark basement with no windows for years. He is an Amazon Blue Front, and he hadn’t had a bath in years. At one point, he pulled his feathers out and they thought he was going to die. He has been stepped on and treated badly.

He has been with us for 4 months and has made great strides. My 13 year old daughter is the one who gave him his first bath, and he adores her. She can do anything with him. He is good with all of us, but he flies at me occationally. I am the only one he treats like this. He could do a lot of damage, but he doesn’t. He is on the top of his cage when it happens. Last time, he landed on my head, grabbed my ear with his beak, didn’t cut me, climbed onto my shoulders as I flailed about, and flew onto the table. It has only happened 3 or 4 times, but I would love to figure out what he wants to accomplish. He is unpredictable. It is not a pleasant experience for either of us. He always wants to touch me through his cage. He holds on with his beak and puts his two feet through the bars to perch on my arm. He only does this with me.

I am his primary caregiver, but my daughter always gives him a shower. He loves it and seemed to bond with her after hus first shower. Thanks so much for any advice you can give!

MARY


Cieaunna  12/06/2010 1:40 am

I love how you related this to our feathered friends, and I must agree you are very right. Birds have the same individual personalities as people, and need to be loved in different ways. I really appreciated that post, and I am going to read that book, thanks!


Teri Bennett  12/06/2010 6:10 pm

I read what you wrote and do understand it but not sure how to fix my 8 month old Maroon Green Check Conure. I have been trying your trick traing method and have taught him a couple of tricks and a ten word vocabulary in just four months. But he is now training us. He has figured out the corner of your finger, your neck, check, ear, or lips hurt when he bits. He will go to my husband with a treat and sit on his shoulder but as soon as the treat is gone he bits one of these areas. If he wants my glass of water, or anything I’m doing he will try to bit me in these areas also to get my attention he wants something. He does not bit me hard but everybody else he does. He will sometimes take the treat very agressively from the person handing him the treat or bit the persons finger hard first before taking the treat. Can you help? I have the Taming Training, Tricks video but can really find anything in it to help.


Bernice Mason  12/19/2010 8:38 pm

Thanks for that. What you say is logical and makes good sense. My Galah likes plenty of attention and likes to play in short bursts. He responds well to my chatting with him which I do constantly. His cage is situated near the kitchen so we have conversations which is a lot of fun. He is not looking for treats either and tells me when he wants food.


K. Elleson  12/21/2010 1:46 am

ok this makes sense but why do they respond better to some people than to others? I have a 7 yr old quaker that seems to want to spend all of “her” time as close to me as possible, not that i mind or that she’s ba but it can be a battle to get her to stay behind if i need to do stuff in the kitchen that might be dangerous for her. Somehow I don’t think getting the blast of hot air from an oven would be good for her. She will sit on my shoulder and chirp and squeak and whistle up a storm sometimes for an hour or more but she only rarely talks and then only a couple of phrases, but let anyone else come near my chair etc and she goes ballistic screaming and even trying to bite the person, at the same time she loves to be played with, mostly peek a boo or catch the finger. If the other person touches me or brushes my hair, she will try to attack them scream even bite me, not hard enough to draw blood but hard enough to bruise. What’s her issue? Is she just jealous of anyone else getting my attention or does she feel threatened? I’m at a loss on how to interpret her behavior. Any advice would be welcome.


Rita Slover  12/23/2010 4:08 pm

This comment is so true. Parrots are not people. They react to different things in there own way. I bought a cockatoo from a lady which the bird would bite all the time. By giving him things to do, a good diet and lots of play time and talking to and being around us everyday. I have a very independent but loveable bird. He kisses and likes to dance when hes happy. Before he was kept on a covered porch.
The only behavior I dont understand is when I put my hand up to him sometimes he hops on then pounds me with his beak. Not certain if its scratch in an area or feed me something or just glad to see me. He usually will rub his beak on my hand like kisses? Not sure on this one yet. Give your parot time to tell you what he wants. Dont try to push it on him


patricia  01/08/2011 12:12 pm

That is a very good thing to know. Thanks
Can you give us some guidance on “active play”‘?


Bev  01/14/2011 12:12 am

To the English Major, ( who surely must have a Master’s degree to have such a superiority complex), upon reading your posting in which you criticized Chet’s grammar, spelling, etc., I have identified three syntax errors on your part. Perhaps, you should move out of that glass house you live in prior to throwing stones. Yes Kitten, you guessed it, I do have a Masters.

I have but one question for you. Are you successful doing something that you love? Chet isn’t all that stupid, is he?


Pam Alvarado  01/18/2011 3:42 am

That is interesting!
I have been working with my Mimltary Macaw Macy asnd she is a master with the touch stick method now. She used to be deathly afraid of them, anything that looked stick-like was the ememy!
Now she gets a peanut treat when she touches it and I have to say it took all of about 2 min useing your methods to get the idea through to her!
She also now allows me to have her step up, as long as it is on my arm and not my hand. she wants to nip fingers for some reason.
She has even allowed me to pet her!
So I am seeing progress. some thing I notice is that even though she is getting friendlier, she is definatly warry and standoffish. But if I leave the room, she gets very upset.
So she must really like the attention, even though I hadn;t picked up on that so much.
You made me realize that this “being together” is more special to her than I thought.
thanks!
Pam


Nabeel  01/19/2011 6:06 pm

Hi, thanx for the post, that’s exactly what happens with my and my 7 month old ringneck, i couldn’t stress it more. But thanx to this blog, my bird has started to warm up to me!


brenda  01/21/2011 4:32 pm

hello chet.

i have a african grey calld Coco.
he likes 3 people my mother, my boyfriend and me but
Coco and me are best friend 4-ever.
i know exactly what he want’s from me en he likes everything what i am asking him to do.
play, kiss, hugh,
he really likes te kiss me. even when i am not at home and my boyfriend is at home with coco on the sofa and my boyfriend calls me and coco hears my voice. he’ll walk to the phone and kiss the phone and lay his head on the phone. really sweet!
a few monds ago i leave him for 1 day by my mother. he wants nothing to eat that day. the next day i came to my mother to take him home. he bites me. he was made at me because i leave him with my mother.
there is only one thing he don’t like that’s water. i try everything. plant spray, take him with me on the shower, hang a bath in his cage. watercrane in the kitchen. but it is necessary. so i sprinkle him with water 3 days a week with a plant spray. he really don’t like it. what can i do so he’s gonna like it?

brenda


Carol Rush  01/22/2011 7:42 pm

My Meyers parrot ducks his head when I offer him a grape and squeezes my finger gently with his beak telling me he wants me to scratch his head. As soon as I stop, he ducks his head and nibbles my finger again. He also nibbles my fingers while I scratch his head and neck. When I stop he sometimes ruffles up his feathers and makes little chirping sounds like a baby bird. It is really cute, I guess that means he is happy. This bird is normally afraid of my hand and won’t let me touch him or step up.


Laura Hardy  02/19/2011 12:28 pm

One of the most special things we receive from you Chet is the bits of FREE information to help us with our parrots. Thanks so much for all your help.


captn Morgen  02/25/2011 12:21 pm

My parrot Captn Morgan, seems to have a love language of being introuble. He loves to look around his area of domain. Just yesterday I left my cell phone out and well found MOST of in on his play top. He seems to enjoy stuff like that. So play phones here we come!!! just leave mine alone


caleb  03/05/2011 11:52 am

As usual your information is interesting. I think this will help me train my 3 parakeets. I’m not in a position to buy your training corse so, I am trying it this way. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAU3-K0nfeg&feature=feedwll&list=WL It seams like your a marketer. I am only staying signed up for your news letter because you have good tips. Keep up the good work. caleb


Border Terrier  04/14/2011 9:44 am

Epic post, <3 animals :)


fiona  06/21/2011 8:56 am

Hi Chet,

I have a 3 year old blue and gold Macaw, I have had him from about 6 months, he was not tame, he was bred locally by a friend here in Jersey ,uk. He was not hand reared. At the time i puchassed your DVD’s and have followed the instructions. I very soon had hom clicker trained .

However whulst he will let me cuddle and tickle him , it is very much on his own terms. he is very territorial with his cage, he will go on the attack and lunge ,. At first this was only to my nieces if changing food and water, if he was in. Normally I will take him out on to a play stand for the day, which he loved.
Now he will lunge at me, try to bite…and it is a very big beak,! He will also quite deliberately scream at me , when changing food and water. Then he tells him self off!!!

I was carrying him out to his day aviary, but since April he has stayed outside as he just will not get on my arm. He will climb up the aviary and lunge tryung to pull my hair or grab at me, and he means business, he will also sream repeatedly….even tries to bite at me when putting the fresh water and food in place.
At times he will let me tickle him, and then i can touch him anywhere even under the wings, but it is like switching a light on, one second all soft the next on the attack.

i am desperate to helphim, I am now convinced he hates me, He is safe and will never be harmed, but I feel he is not happy, i reall y could do with so help. Any ideas ?

thank you
kind regards

fiona


Marie Madden  06/22/2011 2:55 pm

I totally agree. I find my Umbrella Cockatoo wants different things on different days. If I watch her closely I know exactly what she wants. She is adorable and I learn something from her every day. Your training is wonderful and I love all the suggestions I get from you. It has helped so much. I have had Peanut for about five years (she is 7 now). Before her I had an Amazon Yellow Nape which died of a heart attack at 18 yrs He was completely different from Peanut, of course, but I could tell his mood and what he wanted by observing him. I feel so blessed to have had two wonderful loving birds.


Hoisktink  06/26/2011 11:52 am

je F?©licite, c’est l’id?©e simplement excellente


Gillian 11.00pm  06/26/2011 6:10 pm

l agree with all you say, yes my african grey (Boris) also nips me and snatches food from me from time to time l talk to him softly, he is now repeating words, he talks for hours some days, another day he is aggresive towards me, and bites me, so l now play with him hide his food and we seem to be making a little progress, he is a beautiful happy bird just 10 months old hand reared, ive had him 3 months, so its early days, we greet each other every day with hello good morning, but no further progress has been made with and end to him giving me a nip, so l will try now and plan play time.
your views are interesting thank you


Tina Bailey  06/27/2011 12:26 pm

Yes it was helpful. I have an african grey and she’s around 7 months old. From the first day I brought her home I’ve held her at least 2 hours a day. Her language must be touch because she loves to be petted like a dog. I socialize her a lot with my family and all the kids so she is becoming a better bird. I don’t make her go to people, but I stand there and encourage her to go by touching the other person and that usually works for her. She is definately a “mommies” bird but she likes others as well. Oh and she loves to give kisses, which i love also LOL.
Tina


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Carla Kelly  07/21/2011 12:35 am

Hi Chet, I know what you mean and I have learned to “listen” to my two African Gray’s”. I have a female named Gaby and she loves time out of her cage. We play ball! She loves to have me roll it over the top of the cage and will hit it right back at me. She gets a kick out of it, especially when I miss catching it and it hits the floor. It’s a golf ball and makes quite some noise. I tell her “you win!” Clap my hands and she nods like crazy. After that, she’ll nibble on my hand and makes this sweet little sounds which I copy in return. If I don’t have time to do this with her every evening, she has an attitude with me next day. Wont even take her special treat but throws it out of my hand. Yoda is a male and much younger. He comes from an abusive home and we adopted him. He is very scared when I make sudden moves or do something like introducing a different thing to get him interested in a play. He loves watching when I play with Gaby and even cheers us on by saying: “Good. good girl” or “Gaby, Gaby”. Yet he is afraid of the ball. We play with news paper instead. He loves to tear it up. He even tries to catch it when I wad it into a ball and throw it into the air. He loves to be hand fed every night and it was the only way I was able to finally get him to want to come out of his cage. He sits on the bottom of his door and eats at hearts content whatever I offer him in a bowl. I sit there for at least 20 minutes, holding his bowl and when he gets tired of it, he grabs the bowl and tries to throw it. I am making progress with him just to be able to touch him on his beak which in the beginning he did not allow me to do. He also comes real close to me when I simply talk to him. It’s as if he wants to snuggle up with me. He goes nuts when he calls me and talks and I have to talk or whistle back . He is s sad when I don’t answer him. That birds needs a lot of working with to build his trust. But I am making progress with lots of patience. Your video helped me greatly to understand more of how to handle those birds. Indeed they are so different from each other, including what they like to eat. I have some experience with feeding birds that had fallen out of their nests and my kids bought them home and I learned to read some of their body language too. Yoda will act like a fledgling when I am busy in the kitchen and sits over his bowl and flatters with his wings. I have seen that behavior in those fledglings I raised. It makes me laugh how much he “begs”. Anyhow, just want to let you know how much your videos and your emails with tips have helped me in getting to understand my African Grays a little better. Thanks, Carla


Elaine Sultana  07/25/2011 11:52 am

My husband and I don’t share equal time with our African Grey Parrot, Pickle. I work from home, so it’s no wonder that I spend time cleaning his cage, feeding him and just being around for him. At first, this meant that he was nervous around my husband and would even bite him. But we took advice from Kim Bear which improved things a lot.

Kim suggested that Alec should feed Pickle. So I would prepare food and Alec would feed him. Pickle stopped attacking him. Then, we moved Pickle from the living room to the conservatory. In there he spends more out of the cage time.

Now, I take him to my husband and say: “kiss Daddy.” And he does this. Spend more play time with your bird, pretend to juggle for him or play hide-and-seek! Hope this helps!


Mary  08/03/2011 8:09 am

What do you do with a macaw that loves to get on your arm but will then bite – at times requiring stitches when you attempt to get him off and back to the cage or a perch – he can’t stay on my arm all day – food bribes don’t work


Cherry Nichols  08/19/2011 6:47 am

My cockatiel “lucky” just loves his crest to be groomed by me – that little spot he can’t reach! then he rubs his head on my chin to give me pleasure too! the only thing is when is when he tries to groom me with his beak, ouch!!
Thank you so much for all your tips.


Alice  08/22/2011 5:45 am

This is very true! Sammy my IRN LOVES to play, he gets so bored just ‘sitting round with us humans’ he wants to do step ups, fly around, forage, find new fun toys and explore. He can not sit still and its amazing to watch and super fun when we play together
-His favourite games are hide and seek and tug of war.

Charlie and Ollie my other IRNs love peek-a-boo and to race and ‘bounce’ across the floors/tables/anything. Ollie spends a lot of time playing with Sam flying around the house.

Charlie is my only non flighted bird, he came to me like that 4 months ago. So, for his ‘flying fun’ he grips into our hand and we run around with him (mainly near soft furniture as sometimes he lets go and lands on the couch or the bed and grins with parrot glee making his happy noises that he ‘OMG I FLEW MUMMY LOOKIE!) He flaps like crazy as we go around together all 3 of us running around the house.

Then we share a bowl of veggies and sprouts, thats probably one of their favourite activities everyday next to bath time and foraging.

Sometimes birds ‘bond’ to one person as if they are a bird alone they take a ‘human’ for a ‘mate’. Their cage is their territory – not yours. Its their ‘home’. So if you come near it – yes they might bite and lunge at you. Which is perfectly NORMAL!! They are a parrot not a human! They dont like invaders into their personal space weather they know them or not.
– Charlie my IRN is like this, he will rip my hand off if I enter his territory, his ‘favourite section’ of the cage. But, if I say ‘step up’ (when he hears that even if he is in the cage he kindly steps up) and put him outside the cage even on my shoulder and clean/fix things in ‘his area’ he doesn’t mind. He just prefers to have ‘his private place’. Ollie and Sammy though dont mind and they like me to hang out in their cage with them lol!

In the wild birds protect their territory and their mate with fierceness. But, if they are outside of their territory they will interact with other birds in a kind manner, even the bird that just flew by their territory and they lunged at.

Its like us protecting our bedroom say, we dont like guests tromping in it perhaps seeing our underwear right!?


richard  10/19/2011 9:35 am

can anyone train my quaker.please i need help


Tajj IndianRingneck  06/10/2012 10:55 pm

My Indian Ringneck stopped bitting my finger at the moment I started to feed him with my finger covered with delicious veggie-purées (few times a day). I guess ‘you don’t bite what feed you ‘.


deb m  07/19/2012 2:56 pm

hi, my girl parrot loves my husband but will rarley let me stroke her, she will step on my arm when she feels like it. if she dosnt want to she will head butt my arm instead of biting which is brill, i dont know how she learned this but it is a good option,


Rosemarie  02/15/2013 4:09 pm

Hi my name is rosemarie I have a blue and gold macaw named blue for about 3 months now and I am just starting to learn more about them everyday, but the one thing I don’t understand is why my macaw likes to get on my hand and he starts kinda like digging then he regurgitates…. I know it’s a sign of love but why does he like to dig on me???? Thank you


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Leah  10/09/2013 7:16 pm

This makes total sense and articulates what I have known innately. Thank you! My Severe Macaw, Zazu, just LOVES quality time with me, most of the time. It would have to be her number one motivator with physical touch a close second. However, I do find these are still things that have to be on her terms. Sometimes, rarely but still sometimes, she would rather be alone than with anyone. And sometimes she would rather not be touched or held but not touched. She is quite clear with her body language and, of course, if I miss it, with her beak. So her body language and preferences are still important, even within her motivators. Is this an accurate observation or am I missing her love language or confusing it with something else?


Jessi  10/25/2013 8:31 pm

This article just helped me soooooo much….I’m working on taming my first cockatiel and having a really hard time with it. I used millet as a treat but it would only work sometimes, other times she wouldnt even look at it. Then I read that play can be effective as well and I remembered how much she likes to play with my ring. So I used laid my hand down to see what would happen. She eventually ventured onto my hand to get the ring so I moved it farther away so she’d have to be on my hand even longer (I kept my hand still). Then I took the ring away, holding it where she could just see it and SHE CLIMBED ON MY HAND!!! I gave her the ring as a treat and continued like that and she was stepping onto my hand and looking at me, just waiting for my to give her the ring. She still bit and nipped at me but she had the motivation to work for it. I’m so surprised! I’ve been trying so long to get her to trust my hands but unless I have her away from the cage, she bites. But just by changing the “treat” she’s actually motivated and facing her fears. WOW!


Ingrid Ulrike Maria Plathner  04/03/2014 11:01 am

Hi, I’m a horse whisperer & I love LOVE birds, too. Nothing gets “under your skin” like a bird ! One principle I learned from my birds was : There is something more powerful than freedom to a bird – LOVE ! I taught mine to fly. Around the house at first, then outside, in all kinds of weather. They love on a whole different plane. Never, ever punish a bird. They need to feel unconditionally secure. Mine would fly around the neighborhood, land in a tree just out of my reach & dare me to try to catch them. I actually thought they found it hillarious that I couldn’t fly !!!


Snead hearn  04/19/2014 4:44 pm

Stop, Christine!