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2016-April Blog

 April 20, 2016 -  Question from a facebook follower

'Hello Sheila,
I have 10 year old quacker named Peanut.  I rescued her 2 years ago.  I am still having trouble
with her stepping up on my hand. When I put my hand down, Peanut bites my hand.
I was wondering if I could pay you to take Peanut for two weeks and train her to step up."

The reason I am posting this question because this is not the first time someone has asked me to 
train his/her bird at my facility.  As much as I would love to train a person's bird at my facility, my goal
is for the person to learn how to work with his/her bird. I do not want to bond with the person's bird. I want
the person to bond with his/her bird.   

In addition, if anything every happen to the person's bird while in my care, I would be devastated.

I leave with this comment "Behavior serves a purpose for the bird". If you are putting your hand down, and the bird is uncomfortable, the bird will flair feathers or pin eyes. If you do not get the hint, the bird will open mouth and bite.  I would recommend doing some fun target training.

 April 2, 2016 -  Working with my Foster bird, Curley (Part 3 - Target Training)

I know I have not posted in a while, but I have been working with Curley (aka Fluffy, because this little lovebird is so fluffy with new feathers).  The youtube attached shows clips of my training session with Fluffy. Training sessions only last about 30 seconds to 1 minute (very short).  Each day I did the training right before breakfast and dinner for the little bird.  In the total day I spent about 15 minutes (to demonstrate how any one can do this with his/her schedule).  

Now, this is not a training video because I am not explaining a few steps that I am doing, but the high-level notes shows how fast Fluffy and I communicate. Note: I do not try to touch Fluffy. The goal is having Fluffy touch the target stick.  I am using shaping and reinforcer (remember I chatted about reinforcers in the March Blog.

I give you !4 days in 11 minutes demo on Bird Target Training.