Is Your Bird Really as Smart as a Toddler? Part 2

Second and final part of an article exploring the popular myth of parrot intelligence as it relates to human intelligence and how it effects their behavioral success in our homes. Continue reading

Is Your Bird Really As Smart As a Toddler? Part 1

Part 1 of a three part series on how treating parrots like we traditionally treat human children can lead to complicated behavior problems. We start with an exploration of the use of the word “NO” Continue reading

Parrot Behavior Myths: Is that a phase?

In this second installment of parrot behavior myths, we take a look at how some constructs such as the Terrible Two’s and the Honeymoon Phase can become self-perpetuating and in fact lead to an increase in behavior problems. Continue reading

Parrot Behavior Myths: Building Trust

There are many people out there eager to give advice when we ask for it from a variety of venues. How can some of the information out there help – and hinder – efforts to build trust with your new bird? Plus, tips to help us gauge the quality of methodological advice we receive. Continue reading

Exciting new ventures

While I have your ear, I’d be remiss in losing the opportunity to introduce the passion project I embarked on in 2013, Avian Behavior International (ABI).  ABI is designed  as a vehicle to bridge the art of training birds with the sensitivity … Continue reading

So you want to train your pet parrot for freeflight….

A brief look at the risks of free flying companion parrots, this article is meant to highlight some of the variables that dangers that amateur trainers may not be aware of but is not an all-inclusive list. Continue reading

Training other animals: Stewie gets a haircut!

Following the same principles of training birds, I was able to teach my dog, Stewie, how to lay calmly unrestrained while I gave him his first summer haircut. Continue reading

Working with Fearful Parrots: A Study in Videos

Building relationships with parrots that show extremely fearful behavior can be a challenging problem. Much of the information out there is based on the one-way transmission of information from human to bird. By allowing a bird to use body language to change our behavior and using positive reinforcement to reward desirable behavior, we can achieve sustainable pathways to closer, more trusting relationships. Continue reading

Success Stories: The taming of a wild amazon parrot

An injured wild amazon parrot succeeds with positive reinforcement through a loving foster home with PEAC. Continue reading

Biting parrots

Joining the World Parrot Trust’s “Ask an Expert” forum and why there is no quick one-size-fits-all solution to a biting bird. Continue reading

Use your words: Conditioning Sam to a new environment

Moluccan cockatoo Sam has a lot to teach about preventing and replacing problem behaviors! Continue reading

Anatomy of a happy afternoon

A warm winter afternoon brings about a rare lazy, goof-around freeflight session. Continue reading

Cockatoo training…. with a little help

In my busy household, I squeeze in training sessions whenever I can. Sometimes, it means working with my birds in less than ideal situations with many distractions. Not something that makes for effective teaching. This is a clip of me … Continue reading

What TO do

When looking at behavior challenges, looking at what we want the bird to do to be successful will help train our brain to look for behaviors we want to see continue and increase, and thus, reinforce. Continue reading

Part II: R+ needs a strong supporting cast

My formal introduction to positive reinforcement was not exactly early on in my bird-owning career, but the concept was so effectively delivered that in one fell swoop, my quest for knowledge took a sharp turn in a new direction, leaving … Continue reading

Back from the IAATE conference!

IAATE 2011 Conference hosted by the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Continue reading

Part I: On positive reinforcement

First in a series about positive reinforcement: Why don’t we use it more? Continue reading

Meet the feathers

Introducing the four feathered individuals who have been my most influential teachers. Continue reading

Welcome bird nerds and behavior addicts!

Learning Parrots first blog post. Continue reading