Awesome news, live parrot events are starting to make a comeback! Parrot Stars will be hosting a Summer Festival the weekend of July 9, 2022 and I'll be the headlining speaker!
Come see Parrot Wizard presentations about parrot behavior, training, and how to enhance your relationship with your parrot while enhancing its life!
In all likelihood, I will be bringing Kili & Truman, the Trained Parrot duo for performances! Kili will put on a tricks show and Truman will do some talking and be his goofy self! Come meet me and the birds for book signing, presentations, and great fun!
The main event is Saturday July 9 from 10AM till 5PM. There will be food, activities, sales, giveaways, and presentations throughout the day. Every presentation will be a different topic, so come stay for the whole day!
Friday July 8 will be a little different. This will be a closed door adult only Meet & Greet from 5:30-7:30PM at the store. Tickets are $40 and available in limited quantity for this exclusive event. It's a chance to beat the crowd, meet me and my birds, get a copy of my book signed, and chat. I'm particularly looking forward to this chance to make personal connections and meet people without the crowd.
The event ends Sunday July 10 with a shortened day 10AM-3PM. Come for free coffee and donuts, Sunday only raffle, and one more of my presentations.
It's going to be a terrific event and a great opportunity to present and talk to fans in the Chicago area. So, come on out to Parrot Stars at 115 N Arlington Heights Rd, Arlington Heights, IL 60004 on the weekend of Saturday July 9, 2022 for an awesome time with parrots!
Parrots have the potential to live for a very long time. While smaller parrots have a lifespan of 20-30 years, some of the larger parrots can live 50-100. Is it ok for someone over the age of 60 to get a parrot? How old is too old to get a parrot?
It's not uncommon to hear that anyone over 50 years old should not get a parrot because the parrot will outlive them. While it is likely true that the parrot will outlive the owner, is this a necessarily a bad thing or a problem?
First of all, a parrot is sooner likely to outlive its owner's interest in keeping it than the owner's life. It is difficult to foresee or commit to how our lives will be 10, 20, or 50 years from now. Circumstances change, people get busy, people move, life happens. Sometimes those circumstances make it impossible to continue to keep the parrot and sometimes the person just no longer wants the bird. This is reality.
So, instead of focusing on trying to get people to keep the parrot for the bird's entirely life (which in some or many cases may exceed the human's), I would much rather focus on education and training. Ensure that the parrot's life is good with you in your home and beyond.
It starts with my own parrots. Although, I have every intention of keeping them, I made sure to train and socialize all of my birds to be good with other people. Whether I have guests over, I'm having someone take care of my birds while I'm on a trip, or if something were to happen to me, it is my responsibility to ensure their well-being.
What is bad about a bird outliving it's owner or being rehomed? Why does it get such a bad rap? The reason is because the parrot was selfishly or thoughtlessly kept in isolation with that single owner its whole life and then when the owner passes away or rehomes the bird, it becomes extremely distraught. A large part is because the parrot is unfamiliar with different people and fearful of the changes. Another reason can be from developing an inappropriate sexual "mate" bond with the human which makes the parrot anguish similar to having a mate pass away (whether the owner really died or gave the bird away).
This is preventable. No doubt the parrot may be disappointed about the changes, but there is no reason it has to be debilitating to the parrot's future. The bird should be able to live on without its owner. This is where training is so useful. Training helps create a bond that is more based on friendship rather than mating. This is a relationship that is more replaceable. Other people can fill this type of role either temporarily or permanently. Furthermore, the parrot has room for more than one person for friendship rather than mating relationships.
Training teaches the parrot methods and tools that can be replicated by other people. This makes it easier for the parrot to accept other members of the family in your home. But, it also prepares the parrot for life in a future home if it ends up outliving its time with you.
My advice is to at minimum clicker train, target train, and step up train any parrot. Even if the parrot has a good relationship with you, performing this training will help the bird do these important behaviors for other people. You can learn about basic training from my book, The Parrot Wizard's Guide to Well-Behaved Parrots. My recommendation is to make sure that anyone who gets or inherits your bird receives the clicker, target stick, and book along with the bird. If the bird transfer is done with your guidance, you should teach the new owner and help the bird accept them. However, if it happens suddenly for unforeseen reasons, set it up so the new owner receives the same tools and information that you used. This ensures that they can learn how to re-establish communication with your parrot, even without your help, that will be familiar to the parrot. Although the new faces and environment may be unfamiliar, at least the parrot will understand the communication and interaction. This will help the parrot adjust to the new home quickly. But, it will also help the new owner get to like the parrot and wish to take better care.
You see, when someone inherits or accepts an untrained parrot, it is often quite bitey and difficult. This does not inspire trust or interest for the new owner and the parrot often gets mistreated or passed around. You can ensure that your bird is adored in your and future homes by teaching good behavior now. It's on you. And age has nothing to do with it.
That said, don't get a parrot if you don't expect yourself to be able to work with the bird for the foreseeable future. This could just as well be due to health, responsibilities, life changes, as well as age. A high school student about to leave for college, may have less years of commitment than a 70 year old in good health with plenty of time! Be smart about whether or not you have time to commit to your bird's education and preparation for life with or without you.
And if you feel that your day are numbered or that you won't be able to care for a parrot for years to come, there are other ways to be involved without getting a parrot of your own. You can volunteer at a parrot rescue in person or virtually. You can foster a parrot in your home temporarily. You can visit parrots at a bird store or you can live vicariously through parrot youtube videos.
So, as you see age and lifespan matter much less in the case of parrot ownership compared to quality of experience, socialization, training, and preparation. To provide the best quality of life to a parrot now and in its future, training and socialization are a must. Take responsibility and see to it that your parrot can be happy in your home and in the next.
Learn how to train and socialize any parrot with the help of my Parrot Academy.
What is better for taking a parrot outside, a harness or a travel cage? This article will go over some of the pros and cons of using a travel cage or harness for taking a pet parrot outdoors.
As you well know, it is very important to have some physical method of restraint whenever you take a pet parrot outside. Although having a great relationship with your parrot should be the primary reason your bird does not fly away, a back up physical means is best to keep things safe when things outside your control happen. Even well trained parrots and parrots with clipped wings manage to fly away and be lost outside.
You have 3 choices of protection when taking your parrot outside, a travel carrier, travel cage, and a harness. Which is best or which should you get? In my opinion, each of these has its own purpose and you would benefit most from getting all 3. I have each of these 3 for each of my 3 parrots.
A travel carrier is the best thing to use to transport your parrot to go somewhere. Most often this will be to go to a vet, but it can just as well be helpful to drive a couple hours to a summerhouse where you have a full size cage waiting. Unlike a travel cage, carriers usually have solid walls and limited visibility. Some are hardshell plastic carriers (normally used for a cat or a dog, but converted for use for a bird) while others are special purpose bags for transport. A carrier offers better protection for the parrot and less climbing opportunity than a cage. Strictly for getting from point A to point B, this is better than a travel cage.
A travel cage is a smaller cage that the bird can be taken outside in. Ideally, it should be lightweight, have a carry handle, and a perch inside for the bird. Try to avoid using a wire cage meant for parakeets for any larger bird. Those cages come apart easily and a larger bird is more likely to speed up that process. Most things are just held together by friction, squeeze, or bent wire and any parrot from a Green Cheek Conure and up can undo that. The Aluminum Travel Cage from Parrot Wizard is light weight, safe, and convenient for all small to medium parrots. If you insist on using a wire cage outdoors, be sure to zip tie everything secure that isn't immediately necessary including all food doors, where the cage connects to the base, and where cage sections connect to each other.
Unlike a carrier, a travel cage is meant to provide your parrot a more active outdoor experience. The parrot can readily see out of the cage in all directions, climb around the bars, and soak in the sunlight. You can more easily see and talk with your parrot and have a mutual time outdoors. A travel cage is good for sitting with your parrot in the backyard, walking around the block, driving and spending time at a park, or when taking a trip where the parrot will be living out of that cage for a few days at a time. If your parrot is spending less than a few hours in the travel cage, forget about putting food and water inside as the parrot will only make a mess and not even consume any of it. For longer trips, put food and water in when you are not in motion.
Although a travel cage can be used in place of a carrier (especially by covering the cage with a towel in cases where the bird is nervous from being too exposed), it may be bulky to go in and out of the vet's office with. A more compact travel carrier that limits your parrot's activity is still better for those types of outings. However, when it comes to enjoying the outdoors and being visible to you, a travel cage is more suitable. Some parrots may be scared of the travel cage or carrier, but luckily it is fairly easy to train them to accept it.
A bird harness provides the ultimate outdoor experience to both you and your parrot. You can enjoy your parrot's direct company and the bird can freely move about on you. Add a leash extension in a safe environment (nowhere to get tangled or harmed) and your parrot can even fly. The harness provides the maximum freedom, however, it also requires the highest level of training and the highest level of supervision. If you go outside with your parrot on a harness, you need to keep your attention on the bird the entire time. So, if your purpose is to go for a walk with your bird, a harness is great. On the other hand, if you are having a backyard BBQ with guests and want your parrot to be outside, it may be better to use a travel cage since you are too busy (and near a hot grill) to be able to give the bird enough attention. Although a harness can keep your parrot from flying off, you cannot simple tie the bird to something and divert your attention. A bored bird can chew through the harness or get into mischief if left unsupervised even for a short time. So, as you can see, a carrier, travel cage, and harness all have their place.
Travel Carrier Pros/Cons: · Pro: Secure · Pro: Low visibility (good for new or nervous bird or busy environment) · Pro: Lightweight for mobility · Pro: Inexpensive or mid-priced · Con: Not good for getting sunlight · Con: Not good for interaction
Travel Cage Pros/Cons: · Pro: Good visibility · Pro: Good for getting sunlight · Pro: Some interaction with bird through bars · Pro: Bird can live in travel cage for a few days at a time · Con: Midweight, less convenient to walk with · Con: Expensive (or poor quality/security on wire cages) · Con: Heavy or impossible for large parrots
Harness Pros/Cons: · Pro: Maximum freedom · Pro: Flight possible · Pro: Personal hands on interaction · Pro: Inexpensive · Pro: Lightest travel method for large parrots · Con: Requires extensive training · Con: Requires constant attention/supervision · Con: Difficult or unavailable for very small parakeets
Using a travel carrier, travel cage, and harness all have their pros and cons. Each has its place depending on what you are trying to do with that bird at that time. Use a carrier for efficient transport of your bird. Use a travel cage to spend time outdoors with your parrot in a more interactive way and as an alternative to the harness if your parrot is not yet ready to use one. Train your parrot to wear a harness and use a harness for hands on, yet safe, outdoor time with your bird.
The most unbelievable thing happened today. I come in and find that my Senegal Parrot laid some eggs. The amazing thing is that the mother is a Blue and Gold Macaw. This is the very first hybrid of its kind. Very rare! They haven't even hatched yet but I can just imagine what they will look like! And of course they're available for sale! Good price. Beautiful colors. Very rare. Any gender you want. Very cheap. Payment in bitcoin or moneygram. Send to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. See the parrot eggs in the video below. Do you want these rare fertile parrot eggs for sale?
Too often I hear that biting is a regular part of parrot ownership or that biting is part and parcel of having a parrot. This claim that parrot biting is normal and must be accepted isn't valid. It is like slamming your hand in the car door every time you shut it. Instead, learn how to close the door properly so that you would not keep getting hurt.
Although many owners experience getting bit by a parrot and parrots biting is a common problem, it is not normal. Biting should not be considered normal or natural for these generally peaceful creatures. Parrots aren't meat seeking carnivores! Parrots are typically camouflaged, shy, confrontation avoiding prey animals. Biting is generally a last resort for them and it is important to avoid driving them to this last resort both for the parrot's comfort and because getting bit sucks!
There are many different reasons that parrots bite people, but the most common is simply self defense. The parrot does not want to do what the person wants and it resists by biting. This is often driven by fear but occasionally by boldness. But, in either case it comes down to the fact that the parrot is not on board with whatever the person wants to do, be it pick the bird up or put it in the cage.
Most parrot biting stems from a lack of training and the fact that parrots are undomesticated wild animals. They may be sold at a pet store, but they rarely are "ready to go" pets. Parrots are highly intelligent and very capable at training. With the right approach and training, they can learn how to behave in the household environment and come to enjoy it.
Now the claim that biting is an inevitable part of parrot ownership is downright harmful. It's an excuse for giving up trying to learn and communicate with the animal. It is a cover-up for not being more understanding or from being misinformed. Since most parrot biting comes from mishandling or the parrot misunderstanding what you are trying to do, these problems won't be resolved by accepting the biting. Recurrences will continue to frustrate the parrot, causing it to bite, and this will make the human get fed up. Instead, solving the biting problems is the way to genuinely make everybody happy.
Being "unafraid" of bites and being ready for frequent parrot biting is not sound advice for parrot owners. While I agree that you have to be ready for the possibility of a bite, it is not something that should be happening regularly. Any advice or handling that includes biting on a daily or weekly basis isn't helpful.
It is so rare that my parrots bite that it is hard to remember how many years it has been since a bite accidentally occurred. Every time I do articles or videos about biting, I have to invent fake bites to have a picture to show at all. For instance, the photo above of Kili "biting" Marianna's hand is really just a screenshot from a momentary grab Kili made while trying to catch her balance. The thumbnail for the video below of Rachel biting my hand is really just me sticking my hand inside her gentle beak and making an agonizing expression to make it look as though she bit me. My life with parrots is so bite-free that I really don't have bite pictures or stories to share because they just don't happen (except that one time at the rescue when Santina was unexpectedly pushed onto me and bit really hard).
Train the parrot to come out of the cage, step up onto your hand, step off your hand, step onto your hand from your shoulder, go back into the cage, flight recall, and a few tricks and you will have a cooperative bird that will have no reason to bite you. Extend this methodology to get the parrot to be friendly with other members of the family and visitors through socialization.
So although parrots biting is a common problem, it is not a normal problem if they are handled in the way that parrots should be handled. I hope you can browse my articles, videos, book, and supplies and resolve all of your biting problems so that you too can have a wonderful, loving, long-lasting, magical relationship with your parrot as well!