Editors note: In the featured image above, Barney was obsessing with the other bird in the mirror as Catherine observed.
We have since blocked access to that part of the mirror and Barney has become far more social (less hormonal). Endnote
One of the reasons we are able to stay in business going up against the likes of Amazon and Chewy is that we answer the phone and can provide useful advice.
And although PetSmart and Petco will answer the phone on a national or store level, good luck with getting information about proper care for your white-capped Pionus.
There is been a definite uptick of calls and emails seeking advice for birds exhibiting bad hormonal behavior.
By this, we mean biting, screaming, plucking, all seeming to have increased during the lockdown.
Catherine, noticed the aforementioned trend first while I have been watching an uptick in the lighting category sales.
Thank you for listening to our advice about birds and lighting.
We understand that correlation does not imply causation but knowing what we do about pet birds and their owners we have developed a working theory.
Many of these cases are with humans that were working away from home 8 to 12 hours a day and thus spending a smaller amount of face-time usually during breakfast and just before Birdie bedtime.
With the lockdown, these birds are now with their humans ~ every waking hour.
Humans are talking to the birds more and handling their birds more and petting their birds more.
If you speak bird you would understand that most all of your actions are perceived as mating rituals by your FIDs (feathered kids).
In researching ways to reduce negative hormonal behavior, tens of thousands of people have found our website simply because of the information we provide regarding simple solutions like light therapy.
We also have close to 1300 articles on pet bird care based upon what we have learned from our customers, inquisitors, social media followers, and those humans who morph into digits and pixels that flowing through our website 24/7.
So here’s where we take the time to caution you on how best to use this extended time between you and your bird.
For starters, we don’t let the birds sit on us, a lot.
Shoulder riding is treated as a privilege and we only have them on our shoulder for just a few minutes at a time to allow that one-on-one physical contact.
I spend all day in a very large room with an African ringneck, a blue Quaker, and a gray cockatiel (grays are the heartiest).
Everyone has a place to go when not in or on the cage and furniture is not acceptable ~ also see video below
They can be close to dad and I may try to offer a couple scritches behind the neck.
Other than that, we encourage them to fly back and forth to the landing zones which expends energy that reduces hormonal urges.
Like going to the gym and exercising until you are calm again ~ as humans do.
We take our lighting seriously ~ video.
I have been remiss in clicker training although we now offer really cool new Windy City Parrot clickers.
I need to test what Keto the ringneck and Chili the Quaker will need for reinforcement treats.
Millet is a no-brainer for the Barney the ‘tiel.
Five minutes a day of clicker training will change the relationship with your bird in a short period of time because they are so smart.
Here’s a short video (below) by an avian veterinarian illustrating the proper method for clicker training a pet bird.
Starting with these simple tips will transform the avian relationship that might have gotten out of hand, over the past couple of months.
Written by Mitch Rezman
Approved by Catherine Tobsing
Your zygodactyl footnote
Quick summertime hack.
Air conditioners can break down when you’re away and the bird is still home.
One of the best solutions to treat a dehydrated bird is (unflavored) Pedialyte
– which should be part of your pet bird keepers toolkit along with pipettes to administer the fluid.