On October 6/7 I had the pleasure of being the headline speaker at the 2018 Bird Paradise Parrot Palooza. The Parrot Palooza is the huge annual event with the biggest sale of the year at the Bird Paradise store.
Located in Burlington New Jersey, Bird Paradise is one of the largest bird stores in the US. They have an enormous selection of toys, bird food, and supplies to choose from. The annual Parrot Palooza event is one of the biggest parrot events in the country and the world. With over 2,000 attendees coming from far and wide, it's a parrot extravaganza like no other.
In addition to headline speakers, the Parrot Palooza also features: free food, door prizes, penguine races, face painting, chinese auction, parrot shows, make your own bird toy, pumpkin carving, cage building contest, toy making contest, vendors, and huge sale. Fun for bird lovers of all ages.
Now the first time I had gone to Parrot Palooza was back in 2010 when Truman was still a baby. Back then it was a smaller event and didn't have the enormous parking lot tent. I got to meet Dr. Irene Pepperburg from the Alex Studies and attend her talks. So now, 8 years later, it was my honor and pleasure to get to fill that same role as headline speaker at the Parrot Palooza as the Parrot Wizard.
What can I say? The birds were good. Kili did all of her tricks like a champ. Truman was a chatter box as usual. Rachel was big and pretty and drew a lot of praise. All three wore their Aviator Harnesses all day long and were ambassadors for how a pet parrot should safely go outside.
Countless people asked me "how did you get that harness on them!?" or exclaimed, "my parrot would never let me stick one on it." Every time my response was, "we don't get the harness onto the parrot, they put it on themselves." When the parrot is trained how to put on the harness and wants to put it on, it looks something like this:
Truman meets a Golden Conure
Michael presenting at Parrot Palooza
Parrotsrus with Curacao
Lori with Rachel
Lori, the one who adopted Santina from me, came to the event to help us out. Rachel and Lori quickly became friends. Lori really enjoyed the Palooza and said she was "still grinning from ear to ear... Beautiful friends. Beautiful Parrots. Great time!!" She was thrilled to meet people she had been following online and mentioned, "for me, I enjoyed meeting instagram people."
It was a thrill getting to meet so many fans at the event. I signed books and chatted with parrot owners. My presentations were routine but enthusiastically watched by huge audiences. Kili helped me demonstrate how exciting trick training can be and Truman and Rachel helped illustrate how parrots can be taught to play with their toys.
All in all, it was an exciting event, great food, wonderful participants, big sales, and an all around fantastic way for people to be excited about their pet parrots. Here's a video recap of all the Parrot Palooza action:
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone from Parrot Wizard and TrainedParrot.com! It has been a fun filled year of parrot training and I hope you have been enjoying the experience as well.
Despite having just arrived, I had a special Christmas present in store for Santina, the gift of training! I got her a Parrot Training Perch Kit from the Parrot Wizard (oh yeah, that's me) because it is the most powerful training tool you can have for a parrot. Not only does the kit include two training stands, it also comes with a clicker, target stick, and basic instructional DVD to get you started. I think becoming social, learning to fly, and simply developing a mutual form of communication is the best thing for a captive parrot.
I unwrapped Santina's present and had the perches set up in no time. I made for her a set of T-Perches in size Extra-Large because she has some massive feet (about the size of my hands!). I assembled the perches in play sight but not too close so she could see what's going on and not get frightened (after all it's only been a day since she had come from the rescue). In no time I had her up on the Training Perches stepping on and off. She got super excited about her Christmas surprise and did a little dance!
The stands took a big weight off my shoulders.... quite literally! Santina weighs more than two pounds and can be quite a handful. My arm feels like it's going to fall out of its socket after a few minutes of holding her. Part of the problem is that I try to hold her away from my body just to be safe that she can't bite my face. The bigger issue, however, is that she has a killer grip and digs her talons into my arm. Worse yet she starts to slip as she leans back and the claw slides across my skin making a long cut. By having these training perches, I can take her out of the cage room and have a place to set her down to begin training.
But this is only the beginning, I look forward to teaching her tricks and more importantly flight using these stands. There's no better gift for your parrot than the gift of training and Parrot Training Perches help you make that happen! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Evolution of Flight - A comparison of the development of flight in flying organisms and aviation technology
On Tuesday March 20th, Professor Truman and his Teaching Assistant Kili presented a lecture about the Evolution of Flight at NYU. They brought me along to help illustrate the information they were presenting. The class they were presenting to is about the History of Aviation and Aviation Technology so it was a fairly relevant comparison to look at not only how aviation technology evolves with time but also how flight evolves in the natural world. The lecture covers the step from no flight to flight and then draws coincidental parallels between natural avian structures and human designed airplanes.
I'm not going to write out the details of the presentation as I have a video of the actual live event. I think this lecture can be of interest to bird lovers as well as airplane enthusiasts and aviators. Throughout the video are moments of the parrots flying around and performing tricks so check it out:
Here are the power point slides from the lecture in the video above.
"If Truman were intelligently designed, he'd have hands so he could write books on the fly!"