Join Date: Apr 2019
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What I've learned
Good day everyone!
I'd like to take this opportunity in my avian owner development to take a second and reflect on what I've learned the past three weeks with my first bird, a baby cockatiel. Her name is Sammy!
Before getting the bird I was hesitant because I've always wanted a larger bird. Nothing smaller then an African Grey and a macaw is my dream. I was a little concerned that I'd get bored or disappointed. But I must say that I am so happy I decided to go thru with getting Sammy. One thing that some may not consider and I'd consider this a huge advantage over bigger parrots, beak size and jaw strength. Birds have quit different ques then dogs and cats do so I can almost promise you that you WILL get bit at some point. (Hopefully you just learn what to look for thereafter lol). Sammy bit me for the first time and the way she happened to catch the fat on my finger, she drew blood. If this would have been an African Grey or larger I can guarantee there'd be a hospital trip.
This brings me to my next point. Birds are a whole different ball game when it comes to communication and trust. They aren't dogs, making a relationship with a dog is a relatively simple task. Birds need to learn that the big scary thing sticking it's hands your way isn't something to be afraid of. Birds have hollow bones, they've been wired to fly away and defend themselves against stuff like us.
My next point! When it comes to the time you spend on your bird you want it to be quality. 45 Minutes of good time is better then 2 hours of stressful time. And more then anything, consistency. To see the results from your bird that I know all of you want to see, the key is CONSISTENCY!!! Go and push push yourself onto the bird little by little every single day and make her do something that pushes her comfort ever so slightly. I used to have to cover my entire arm in towels. I started by taking the towel off my arm but leaving a towel over my hand. Then I started folding the towel so more and more of my hand was showing. Then I let her get onto my arm (she bit at my fingers constantly). It took me till yesterday to get her to step on my bare finger. Starting within the next few days I'm going to slowly start petting her.
Bringing me to my next point! I spend maybe in total 1-1.5 hours per day with my bird. Maybe a total of 20 minutes of that is focused on her. Talking to her, picking her up, etc. The rest I just pick her up and keep her close enough to her cage that if she wants she can get off my hand and I just sit there and watch youtube videos! lol The point of this is to say that they don't require an absorbent amount of your ATTENTION. (There's a difference between time and attention)
I hope this helps anyone looking into getting a bird. And remember, consistency.