Thursday, November 12, 2009

Biting is Not An Option!

Biting it mostly a communication problem, 99.98% of the time. In general birds will always communicate body language to you before it bites your sorry little hand. And when you do see the "language" they use it's a good warning to back off (tail flairing, eye pinning, pacing etc.).

When I was first fostering Achilles I first had to teach her to step up without falling, then as time progressed I noticed she had 'moods' of when she wanted to step up. If she did not want to step up she would quickly lunge at my finger in protest -because she is legally blind she can't see when something is coming, so I assume that is why she did not choose to run away-. I got a little clever and taught her to train me! I use a "pre-cue", if you will, to see if she wants to step up -I use the word "Ready?"-. If she does not wish to stepup she says "no" by lunging out at thin air, instead of my finger. But if she wants to she lifts up her foot to come with me. Over time she has learned that she doesn't even need to lunge to say no, she just sits on her perch in quiet protest.

Attached is an MP3 about a little trip Achilles and I went on last month. It was a great learning/teaching experence about the topic of behavior and biting!

You may want to check out these resources if you are not sure where to learn about the methods I am talking about. The PDF is from and the article talks about the common myth of dominance in animals and the use of aversives in training.
This next link is an overveiw of behavior. It defines verbage and tells you the consequences of each type of teaching (training) method.

Copyright 2013 Caitlin Bird
The Sequential Psittacine Blog
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