This was Kili's second year going to the street carnival (they skipped a year and the one prior to that Truman was injured and couldn't go). Even though she hadn't seen this sort of activity in two years, it was like she was there just yesterday. For Truman it was the first time going to such an event but it was not a big deal to him either. After all the socialization at the park, shows, and other opportunities, there is little that can phase Truman (even bells ringing, balloons popping, hands touching, and all the other mayhem you can expect at a street fair).
So for the extent of the week the carnival lasted, I tried to bring my two parrots there every evening to get them as many interactions with other people as possible. In the span of this week they had been petted, held, and put smiles on the faces of hundreds of people. Kili greeted people with "hellos" and Truman got fluffy for head scratches. While I would not recommend just taking your parrot straight out to something like this on the first try, once socialized, it's an excellent challenge for them. It is a lot of fun for everyone! Onlookers enjoy seeing parrots, the parrots enjoy seeing onlookers, and it's a way for you to get out with your parrots and spend one on one time with them. It's a wonderful bonding experience because the parrots cling to you for safety and entrust their lives to you. Sit back and enjoy Kili and Truman's experiences at the street carnival this year:
Kili & Truman visited the street fair nearly every evening
They love eating carnival foods and do tricks for a bite of corn
Everyone enjoys handling the birds because they are so friendly and cute
Truman absolutely goes bonkers for funnel cake and will do any trick or flight perfectly for a piece
On Saturday I took Kili and Truman into their aviary together for the first time. I finally added toys and perches to the aviary, some old and some new. Many of them you might recognize from Truman's toy shopping I did after getting him. Unfortunately cause of his injury much of that had gone unused for a while but came in quite handy for decorating the aviary. I reused many of Kili's old swings though to make comfortable hanging perches for her.
Truman just hung out wherever I'd put him. Kili got comfortable quite quickly and was moving from perch to perch. Sometimes she would fly but mostly she found it more convenient to climb up the toy to the ceiling bars, hang upside down, make her way across the ceiling, and then down the chain for the next toy. The boing spiral rope perch quickly became Kili's favorite. This is a bit of a problem because when I put Truman on that and Kili elsewhere, Kili flew over and started attacking Truman until he fell off and landed on the aviary bars. This is why for the time being I am keeping Truman in the aviary daily (when weather and time permits) but only putting Kili in on occasion when I can be inside to supervise. I want Truman to become more familiar with the aviary so he could have at least a little advantage over Kili. Until I can feel confident that Truman is healed and that Kili cannot hurt him, I have to stay inside whenever they are together.
For the next few weeks there is a street fair going on nearby so I've been taking Kili there quite frequently. I am using this as a way of desensitizing her to people and noise because some day I might have to take her to a TV studio. So to teach her not to be scared of novel environments, I think these outings are very effective. The first time I walked through the fair I had her perch on my hand and held her leash pretty tightly. She can only fly to the end of the leash but in such tight crowds I could not risk her going even that far.
As we continued, Kili was becoming much more relaxed and used to the situation so I let her sit on my shoulder the entire way back. I have brought her several more times since. With every successive time I bring her, the less time it takes before I can stop holding her and just put her on my shoulder. She may flinch a little when a balloon pops but she does not try to fly away. There was not a single time she tried to fly off and in fact the more scared she is, the tighter she clings to me instead. So even without a harness I could have made all of these outings much the same way. It's just that in that very unlikely even that she does try to fly off, the harness is my backup plan.
Kili would get really vocal during these walks with many "hellos" and noises that she does. A girl wanted to hold Kili so I let her. She began asking if it's ok to pet Kili and just as I was uttering the word no she stuck her finger in and got a good bite. Didn't have the patience to hear the answer. Really it is ok to pet Kili but only in a certain way. She didn't give me the chance to show her. But hey, a good lesson for the girl no less. She was surprised that parrots can bite but really I would not even classify it a parrot bite as there wasn't any blood. Some other parrot owning people took notice and wanted to talk. I was surprised that otherwise these parrot outings went quite unnoticed. Typically Kili brings out a much bigger gathering at the park.