The following information has been provided by Dr. Jill M. Patt, DVM practicing in Mesa, Arizona. She has been keeping and raising exotic birds for years, providing her a unique knowledge and understanding that goes beyond that of a regular vet who does not have the benefit of daily interaction with birds / parrots.
Redirecting Negative Behavior through Training (info above) and by Providing an Enriched Environment:
- Foraging avoids destructive behaviors
- Teaching your parrot to talkwill redirect their wild calling vocalizations into agreeable human talking.
- Provide fun “Activity Centers” to keep your bird challenged and entertained. “Treat and Popsicle Dispensers” are highly recommended by avian professionals. They enhance your bird’s environment by challenging them and keep them entertained. You can easily make bird toys on your own.
- Rotate toys frequently and introduce new toys regularly
- Leave the radio or the TV on – they love bird / nature videos
- Parrots enjoy audio tapes with bird / nature songs, or recordings of your bird or you talking
- Call and talk to the parrot via answering machine
- Locate your bird’s cage near a window and attach a bird bath near or a window bird feeders to the outside of the window, where your bird will be able to watch the wild birds come and eat during the day. My lovebird loves to be “face-to-face” with the outside birds and this has become his favorite hang-out place.
- Provide lots of willow, fruit tree, or birch branches
Other Helpful Resources:
Training and Behavioral Guidance:
- Pet parrots generally present challenges, such as excessive chewing – especially at certain stages in their life. They do discover their beaks as method of “disciplining us” once they are out of the “baby stage” and they can generally be somewhat naughty, and it really is important to learn to understand them and to guide their behavior before an undesirable behavior has been established. Undisciplined parrots will chew on electric wiring potentially causing house fires. They regard anything in your home as a “toy” that can be explored and chewed on; destroying items that you may hold dear or are simply valuable. Even a young bird that has not been neglected and abused requires proper guidance; this becomes even more challenging when it involves a rescued bird that may require rehabilitation.
- Web Resources: I put together web resources for you to help you understand your pet bird and properly direct him. Please visit the following website to learn more about parrot behavior and training.