When we rebranded Windy City Parrot (after the new website was launched) we replaced the tagline “Simply everything for exotic birds” to “We speak bird @ Windy City Parrot”
In order to know the language of “bird” you must be able to understand what is being said (viewed by you) to you.
In order to socialize with your bird you need to “speak bird.”
And I’m not talking about “eyeball pinning” which I see when birds are happy and sad so it tells me nothing.
I’m talking about watching your bird in its cage for hours to understand how it navigates the cage.
I make a point of not necessarily making things easy for bird but I don’t want to make a bird toy inaccessible by putting it in the wrong place in the bird cage.
If a bird eats with it’s feet I will make sure the bird gets large enough pieces of food that it can easily grab with its feet.
If the bird enjoys his or her time on a swing as Peaches does I make sure she has a swings in every cage and on every play stand.
Currently (winter 2016) I have to carry Peaches throughout our apartment as I do my daily domestic tasks – her wings are growing in but she has never flown.
Popcorn our cockatiel had learned to follow me around our apartment and had a place to land in every room that I would be in.
I would talk to her as though she were another person in the room
If you see your African grey for what he or she really is you’ll be on your way to a fabulous relationship. How do you treat an African Grey?
As if you have a three-year-old autistic child covered with feathers. This is what you have to deal with for the next 50 years.
You can make it easy or hard on yourself. Don’t spend a lot of time trying to learn what others have done before you.
Do spend a lot of time trying to understand what your bird is saying and doing.
At the end of the day birds are flock animals and you are their flock.
If you’re playing with the remote while watching TV you best give them something that they can play with similar to a remote.
If you are having dinner with your significant other your bird should be with you on an appropriate standard of some sort sharing the food you eat and engaging in the conversation that you are having at the table. It’s not rocket surgery.
If you can hold your bird, that’s great – if others in your household can hold your bird and interact with it that’s even better.
If your bird is comfortable with you but not so much with others make sure you stick train your bird so that other people can get your bird to step up on a stick/broom handle/dowel perch – and put the bird in the cage should you be preoccupied or unavailable.
Also published on Medium.