Macaw/Parrot training - Let’s compile a legitimate training resource
Posted: 28 April 2011 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Joined  2009-07-03

Frankly, I’m exhausted trying to find legitimate resources on how to train Thor, my greenwing macaw, how to do tricks and such.  While this forum has been used extensively to remedy undesirable avian behavior, there is a dearth of information on anything other than basic ‘step up’ training.

I am at a point where Thor is very comfortable with me, strangers, and other animals.  He responds to ‘step up’ and will readily request to sample foods, albeit inappropriately, by saying “hello”.  If I ask him to “go home” he will return to his cage, and that’s about it.  He picked these things up naturally through repetition.  When I would want him to say hello for friends, I would show him a piece of food and hold it until he vocalized hello for everybody.  When I would return him to his cage I would say “we’re going home” or “time to go home”.  Eventually I reached a point where I could say, “Thor, go home” and he seems to know exactly what I am requesting.  Furthermore, if he is on a perch and wants off he will continually say, “step up” and hold a foot out until I attend to him. 

I feel like all of these behaviors or perhaps tricks are the result of consequential interactions.  After attending a bird show at the San Diego Zoo and witnessing incredible avian feats I began to grow curious as to how to accomplish this with my bird.  I am not interested in purchasing a video.  Instead, I am interested in seeking personal testimony from experienced trainers/owners—and I imagine many other macaw owners are in my position.  I would like to start this sort of thing but I hesitate because I do not want to approach it in a way that is ultimately psychologically harmful to the bird. 

If anybody is experience in advanced parrot training, please take the time to contribute your knowledge by contributing step-by-step guides of how you approach your training.

Has anybody ever trained a bird to:
dribble a wiffleball and dunk it in a mini basketball hoop?—
or taught a bird how to do a summersault?—
or taught a bird to play dead after you say “bang”?—
or ride a mini scooter?—
or open a soda can/bottle?—@0:48