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Parrot Care Advice | by Jamieleigh

Working With Birds

Working With Birds

jamie working with birds

Photo by Dave Location: Moab, Utah Filming: Blue Throated Macaw "Gleam" Without the help of: Calico Macaw "Siren"

How lucky I am! This is what I do for a living, well, among other things I choose to do on the side but this is my primary passion (although it wasn't always this way) and I love it to the fullest extent. Though, you know, that probably isn't true because I haven't even experienced it all and everytime I experience something new, I fall that much more in love with what I do (and a bit more confused, too!). Those who know me know I do not claim to be all knowing... in the least! I have been bitten my fair share of times and I am sure they will continue to come. Bites come from intentions, discomfort and even accidents. I learn constantly and am always going back into my posts every so often and adding things as they come into my head and into my line of vision. My favorite times in bird training have been with flight training and trick training. I have found (so far) that birds that are flying outside have less of an interest in trick training (as well as less of a need) than birds that do not get that freedom.  

jamie and meaka at the computer

Photo by Dave Location: Reno, Nevada My Little Helper: Swainson Toucan "Meaka"

Most people in social jobs say they enjoy meeting new people, well, I can happily say I enjoy meeting new birds! I really enjoy raising birds for other people and training them for other people and although it is hard to hand them back over to their real "parronts", the time comes and you feel proud. You don't ever "get used to it" because your experience with one bird is completely different than the one you will have with the same species of bird the next time.

The best times I have are traveling with my feathered friends to new places and exploring it along with them. I love experiencing something new with my birds; such as a new place, scenery, or even object. I have a great time "desensitizing" and socializing my birds. It is harder at first, but once they get used to change and start seeing new things as exciting and fun instead of intimidating and scary... it becomes so enjoyable and rewarding. 

Two rules I strictly follow with my birds which I believe everyone should try to follow, too;

1. Socialize your bird like crazy. Introduce one new person a day (neighbors, family, friends, kids, spouses, fellow workers, bosses, anyone!) It will do wonders for your bird.

2. Introduce one new thing a day, such as an object. This works well for "desensitizing" your bird to new things so he takes on to new toys in his cage easier and doesn't spook when someone sets down their homework or drops their pen near them. These can be normal, every day things such as draw strings from your sweater, a pen, your car keys, your husband's watch, your wife's lipstick, etc.

PS... this doesn't mean give your bird the new object and let him "have at it", just introduce it and make sure it becomes unthreatening to your bird and the job is done. You just don't want your bird  to fear the new object, once that is accompished, you're done!

 Anyway, I hope those of you that do come across this blog enjoy it as much as I enjoy reliving my experiences while telling about them here!

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.

4 comments


  • We operate http://www.WindyCityParrot.com. We’d be interested in seeing some of your videos?

    windycityparrot on

  • Hey there,

    I would say understudy the person who has the job you want to have. I’m actually helping to bring a girl over from the UK to work with me with birds because she wants to get more into working with birds and learn more. I’d say look at animal training jobs at theme parks and zoos so that you can soak up more info and learn to present birds or just train them so other people can present the behaviors depending on where your passions progress. Normally you start at the scooping poop at parks like Sea World or something, but you can work your way up. You can also donate your time to parrot rescues to offer to train and socialize those birds and gain more experience that way.

    Hope this helps!

    Jamieleigh on

  • Hello, i noticed this post is from 2008 but i am hoping you still follow this. I am 18 years old and ive had a passion for birds for as long as i can remember. At the age of 9 i was a full time bird breeder and trainer at home, with very little help from my father. I had bought books, videos, and learned as much as i could about all different species of birds. As i got older, i still had birds as pets but things got rough and i had to focus on work and school and finding a place to live. Im currently thinking about college and i have no clue what i want to do. Then someone asked me what my passion in life is, what i really love doing. Thays when it dawned on me that i want to work with birds for the rest of my life. My problem is, i have no clue where to start! I dont care how much money i make, heck id probably do it for free. I just dont know what kind of opportunities are out there for people like myself. I was wondering if you had any advice on how to pursue my love of birds and to make it a full time career one day. Thank you :)

    kristinaryan on

  • I don’t sell any training videos, but am flattered by your interest!

    The top photo is from a documentry I was in about Moab and free flying birds there with Chris Biro and Susan Hilliard along with the Womach Bros :)

    You can see the videos on you tube here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=WapCpNigQGs

    Jamieleigh on

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