A Trick I Use to Socialize My Parrots

Photo by Amanda Stevens Location: Waynesboro, VA Shown: Blue throated macaw "Jinx", Camelot macaws "Comet" & "Tusa" and Galah "Bandit"

I was thinking about this trick I use the other day, and how it could apply to you guys since you don't exactly live the life I lead. What I mean by that is, you're not in the circus... but I figured it out and it can apply and I'm sure you're all creative enough to find a way to make it apply to your life, too! So here it goes...

One of the things I do with my birds to keep them social is I give them to people to hang out with for a while. By a "while" this means probably a few hours... 3 hours, sometimes more. It depends how tolerant the people are, usually.

Here at the circus though, they're pretty tolerant and our birds are very much loved, especially the little guys. So during shows, all show birds are backstage in their stage cages but the non show birds are just hanging out in their aviary either outside if the weather is good, or in the arenas if the weather is not. 

Photo by Amanda Stevens Location: Waynesboro, VA With Jordana: Galah "Bandit"

So I will normally take a small travel cage and put one of my bird's in it and take it to the Production Office. The production office holds quite a few people; our production manager, our general manager, our accountant, our PR person, and normally a couple promoters or a publicist. Plus the many people that go in there on a daily basis for their needs. 

Photo by Amanda Stevens Location: Waynesboro, VA Birds: Blue throated macaw "Jinx" and Camelot macaw "Comet" 

Whether people are in the office at the time of the drop off or not, doesn't matter. I'll also leave a feather on the computer of the person I'm putting in charge of "bird sitting" at the time, even though that can change once I leave the room depending on who the bird chooses!

This last time I did it, I left one of Cressi's tail feathers on a lap top (don't worry, she was molting) and Ace in a travel cage by our accountant's desk.

Then I drop in periodically to make sure everyone is still content with the situation. When I did so with Ace, he flew excitedly to me and showed off, then called me a cutie when I left. By me not being there, it somewhat forces person and bird into a situation of having to bond somehow, because I'm not there for the bird to seek cover behind. It just kind of throws everyone into this social game that they have to figure out and it has been fun for our birds to do so, and fun for the people too. They always look forward to their random birdie visits. And they are random, this is not an every day thing.

Photo by Amanda Stevens Location: Waynesboro, VA Shown: Blue throated macaw "Bonnie"

So how can you get this to apply to you? When you leave to go somewhere, perhaps to run errands, designate someone else to hang with your bird but try to change up the location so your bird has nothing to be territorial about.

I even think a "bring your bird to work day" would be fantastic. Imagine how much work would get destroyed, or not get done at all... okay, maybe not such a productive idea. But sure would be entertaining! Depending on your occupation, I guess. For me, I do it all the time!

Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.

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