Parrot Forum Header Left  
Go Back   Parrot Forum - Parrot Owner's Community > Community > General Parrot Information

General Parrot Information Post here for general parrot related topics

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2013, 05:44 PM
jenphilly's Avatar
Supporting Member
Parrots:
BE2 (Ivory), B&G Macaw (Max), Budgie Group, Granbirds- tiels; GCC (Monkey & Monster); Sun Conure (Loki); Bare Eyed Too (Folger); Evil Green Monster YNA (Kelly); B&G (Titan)
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Thanks: 46
Thanked 2,158 Times in 1,117 Posts
jenphilly is on a distinguished road
nature vs nurture.... bird behavior taught???

I mentioned this in the parrot documentary thread, but question for everyone about experience and/or resolution...

Ivory is an almost 4 year old bare eyed cockatoo we recently adopted. We knew she had been on a poor diet and we don't think she had ever seen fresh fruits / veggies in her life (she actually squawks at them like they will attack her). But, we've come to realize she has very little instinct or behavior to shred or forage. She likes to untie leather and will go to town on bird bagel toys, but has no clue how to forage or look thru things. I've been working on this by hiding her beloved pistachios in a brown lunch bag stuffed with some shredded paper or napkins, but very seldom does she make it thru all to get all the hidden treats. So we started with only letting her have pistachios that she 'earns'. And I was absolutely dumbfounded when this bright intelligent little feathered kid looked at me like I had two heads. I started super easy, showed her the pistachio and put in under a napkin. She would stand on the napkin and look at me as if I should get it for her or she would walk back to my hand looking for the nut. She even got mad at me when I kept showing it to her and covering it back up. She finally was made enough that she picked up the napkin and tossed it. She did eat her pistachio and I made a big fuss. We've done this a couple times the last few days.

But this brings me to my question and why I'm posting... I know many people like to work with their parrot to be well behaved, but call me silly, I want Ivory to be bird behaved, including letting her do her calls or squawks about whatever she has to complain about. We have taught her to not scream when she wants our attention, but we accept her natural call as part of her given, even if loud, voice. I believe that keeping her happy and prevent feather destruction its vital we get her into more bird behavior like foraging and such. Anyone with a rescue / rehomed bird that has successfully helped an adult bird act more 'birdlike', want to share suggestions or games you've used? And of course, any thoughts on nature vs nurture?? I guess I would have expected her to have more instinct, but now I watch her and really debate if many bird behaviors are taught to the young by the flock?? Would a lone baby bird not with a flock have as little chance of survival as those that share our homes???

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on helping Ivory find her inner parrot

Jen
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to jenphilly For This Useful Post:
MonicaMc (11-27-2013)
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2013, 06:11 PM
MikeyTN's Avatar
Supporting Member
Parrots:
"Willie"&"Lola"B&G Macaw, "Dixie"LSC2, and "Nico" Scarlet Macaw.
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Antioch, TN
Thanks: 3,156
Thanked 7,285 Times in 4,555 Posts
MikeyTN is on a distinguished road
Re: nature vs nurture.... bird behavior taught???

Baby birds learn to forage and feed by watching their parents or elder doing it. Like monkey see monkey do. Some are just naturally smart that they learn to do things by watching what we're doing. I have several of them that figures out foraging toys in minutes. Some are too smart for their own good. Allowing your bird to keep on squaking isn't the answer as they learn their flock calls and such from other birds so what they're doing is just basically screeching. Of course most of us let our birds have their moments to work on their songs that they sing everyday even though some aren't very pretty, but we don't tell them that....lol....if you keep on working with the same trick enough times your bird will eventually figure it out in time.
__________________

"Lola"
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2013, 07:32 PM
Betrisher's Avatar
Senior Member
Parrots:
Dominic: Galah(RIP: 1981-2018); The Lovies: Four Blue Masked Lovebirds; Barney and Madge (The Beaks): Alexandrines; Miss Rosetta Stone: Little Corella
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Thanks: 10,450
Thanked 8,368 Times in 2,835 Posts
Betrisher is on a distinguished road
Re: nature vs nurture.... bird behavior taught???

Don't give up! Corellas are really, really smart birds and yours will figure all this out in time. I'd guess she's probably been hand-raised and not had the maternal input that would have shown her how to be more birdlike.

My Galah, Dominic, was neglected for many years and, I believe, lost his inner bird. When he arrived at my place, he was silent, disengaged, immobile and had huge fatty tumours hanging off his front. The *only* things he would do were a) bob his head when you whistled and b) trip over himself in his efforts to bite me. Sigh.

Well, now he shrieks his lovely Galah call in the mornings and evenings. He has learned to eat pellets and is no longer convinced his nourishing veggies are poisonous. He can fly a bit but the tumours, although smaller, still upset his balance and lift too much for proper efficient flight. Best of all, though, he has learned to rummage!

I take no credit for this. I provided my Beaks with a large hanging basket filled with shredded paper, sticks, spoons, chewy toys and a few food treats. They happily burrow through the mess and pull out whatever takes their fancy. Dommie has watched all this and eventually learned to do it too. I can't tell you how it felt the first time I saw him try! He reached up from below and tentatively pulled a string of shredded paper out. He tossed that and went for another. Within moments, he was merrily ripping paper and tossing sticks and plastic bottle tops. I think I cried. LOL!

All this took weeks and weeks. Since Dom was a pedestrian at first, he had no choice but to sit where I put him. I'd put him by the rummage basket (or in it) and he'd practice doing what he'd seen the Beaks do. I found early on that Dom didn't mind shredding cardboard, so I gave him a toy made out of cut-up egg carton strung up with string. Now, he prefers it if I just toss the egg carton in his cage: he makes short shrift of it! Another strange thing that happened was that one day Dom fell in the recycling bin. He slipped off his cage and just plummetted through the swing-top lid. I didn't see this, but some time later came to hear a rusting, rummaging sound coming from the bin. There was Dommie, happy as a lark, ripping all the recycled cardboard and paper to shreds! This was progress, so I encouraged it.

You might try something similar with Ivory? You could give her a large basket or carton filled with shred and rummaging materials and actually put her in it. That might be all the stimulus she needs? Does she like bells? You could add in a couple of those whiffle balls with bells in them to give her something to search for. Stick long bits of paper or cardboard through the bars of her cage and see if she'll bite them. I use tightly-rolled junk mail and my lot make doilies out of them in very short order. Pizza box is another favourite. While the Beaks like most to chew wood and plastic, Dominic prefers paper and cardboard. I don't know if that's a cocky thing or just his personal preference. Oh, and one other toy he likes is a long cardboard fabric bolt that I got from my local shop. I drilled holes all the way along it and stuck in drinking staws. At first, Dom would just pluck at the straws, but as he learned to chew and chomp stuff he began worrying at the holes. Now, the big tube is almost gone!

Again, all this took lots of time and exposure. Since Corellas are so closely related to Galahs, I'd bet that Ivory will come to foraging just as Dominic has. Keep trying and do keep us updated with your progress, won't you?

PS. Pasta noodles and peanuts are other favourites for chewy things.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Betrisher For This Useful Post:
Dez (11-19-2013)
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2013, 07:56 PM
Abigal7's Avatar
Senior Member
Parrots:
Captain Jack (Hahn's macaw) Clover (green cheek conure)
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: United States of America/ Kansas
Thanks: 981
Thanked 386 Times in 266 Posts
Abigal7 is on a distinguished road
Re: nature vs nurture.... bird behavior taught???

I would keep trying. In the wild parrots learn from their parents on what is safe to eat (one reason a parrot may try to take food off your plate) and learn how to forage. Now, if she never had toys they will seem foreign to her while a parrot tha had toys as a young baby will have the instinct to shred the toy or chew the wood on the wooden toy. Now some parrots probably take to foraging toys quickly and figure them out even though they were never had a adult bird teach them. Of course no bird is dead silent (and I would be worried if my bird never squawked throughout the day). However, they can learn they can do less loud noises to get your attention and that they do not need to scream their head off to be noticed. For example I walk up to Captain Jack when he mumbles, says come here, or makes weird non loud sounds.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2013, 08:08 PM
jenphilly's Avatar
Supporting Member
Parrots:
BE2 (Ivory), B&G Macaw (Max), Budgie Group, Granbirds- tiels; GCC (Monkey & Monster); Sun Conure (Loki); Bare Eyed Too (Folger); Evil Green Monster YNA (Kelly); B&G (Titan)
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Thanks: 46
Thanked 2,158 Times in 1,117 Posts
jenphilly is on a distinguished road
Re: nature vs nurture.... bird behavior taught???

Thanks for your thoughts and yes Ivory does love cardboard and wood. I have given her a wicker type basket with misc toy parts (I save all the hanging toys from the smaller birds and chop them up and clean them, and tie this and that together for foot toys for Ivory or toss them into the basket for her to sort through). I actually did give her part of a pizza box and she pulled off a couple pieces and that was that. My daughter suggested pulling some of her larger hanging toys and giving her some of the smaller ones that we get for the conures or cockatiels. Thought is something super easily shred might be more interest.

I think I will get her another, smaller basket and fill it with just shredded paper and such. I've gotten her the molly's purse type toys and boxes that have shredded paper, but she just does not show interest in getting thru them.

Tonight I put a bunch of toy parts and some jute I cut off old toys into a flat cereal bowl and kept it on the sofa with us while we are watching the F1 race. She prefers to be with her people when we're all home, so figure we should keep pushing her to chew and shred even when she's sitting with us. I threw in some cashews too and she did pick thru everything in the bowl.

I never thought of cutting up the egg cartons, but they are a great texture, so think I'll need to go put the eggs in a bowl in the fridge and see how she does with that Thanks for that thought!! My daughter just said she read some people give larger birds phone books or such to tear up. Ivory does show interest in trying to get to her college text books, so maybe I'll get her a small unlined notepad and hang it up in her cage (or put it on the sofa so she can 'steal' it!).

Mikey - I wouldn't call what Ivory does as squawking, its not the loud screech of a tantrum. I joke the green cheeks are way louder when they chatter back and forth to each other!! Tho I must admit, when she is home alone and hears the key in the front door, we can hear her 'squawk' her happiness of the flock returning

Thanks again for the thoughts!!

Jen
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to jenphilly For This Useful Post:
Abigal7 (11-17-2013), Dez (11-19-2013)
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2013, 03:22 AM
GaryBV's Avatar
Senior Member
Parrots:
Pacific Parrotlets - green Beanieboy and blue Skya; Fischer Lovebirds - Mariposa and Papillon
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Southwestern Pennsylvania
Thanks: 365
Thanked 365 Times in 263 Posts
GaryBV is on a distinguished road
Re: nature vs nurture.... bird behavior taught???

Hi Jen - I wanted to weigh in on this because when I got my male parrotlet he was a plucker and had pretty well picked himself over, and I want to encourage forage behavior kind of like what you are talking about. First thing I did is I bought one of those millet holders that I could hang from the top of the cage and filled it with nutri-berries, avi-cakes and organic millet. Basically whatever treat I had that I could stuff into that I would. Also I got some forage boxes that came with seed in them that I removed and put in the avi-cakes and nutri-berries, just because I like their ingredients. And one of my biggest successes was to get an ear of corn, and with a sharp sturdy knife, cut a piece off small enough to fit into a treat holder, leaving the corn on the cob, and letting the bird forage at picking the corn - all of my birds loved that (after a couple of days, you probably know some birds are VERY cautious of anything new in their cage). I also folded treats in clean paper which I think you said. Anyways, those are some ideas I had and wanted to share. Good Luck.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2013, 08:56 AM
torrap's Avatar
Senior Member
Parrots:
Marley-YSA (hen) -hatched 07/20/2006; Simba-DYHA (hen)-hatched 06/23/2003
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: CO, USA
Thanks: 1,129
Thanked 619 Times in 261 Posts
torrap is on a distinguished road
Re: nature vs nurture.... bird behavior taught???

Thank you for taking this birdy into you house and trying to work with her.
Try to dance with her!!!
Check this youtube video

Maybe let her watch it too.......
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to torrap For This Useful Post:
christinereed (11-18-2013)
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2013, 09:39 AM
henpecked's Avatar
Senior Member
Parrots:
Jake YNA 1970,Kia Panama amazon1975, both i removed from nest and left siblings, Forever Home to,Stacie (YN hen),Mickie (RLA male),Blinkie (YNA hen),Kong (Panama hen),Rescue Zons;Nitro,Echo,Rocky,Rub
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: NC/FLA
Thanks: 636
Thanked 4,133 Times in 2,132 Posts
henpecked is on a distinguished road
Re: nature vs nurture.... bird behavior taught???

Maybe your birds reaction to foraging is a by-product of "abundance weaning" that is so popular this day and age. To be sure natural weaning process in wild birds is much crueler,and some babies don't survive it, but it is a natural selection process that improves survival of the species. Foraging is a learned process, starving almost to death will make you a better forager. having everything handed(shoved down your throat) doesn't teach you to be a good forager,IMO. I think you are doing the right thing in attempting to teach foraging. Keep up the good work.
__________________
Long time amazon parent/breeder and many rescue zons. We are breeding 2nd generation of our Yellow Nape ,Double Yellow Head, Panama ,Orange Wing Amazons and TAGs, also outdoor aviary with flock of Cockatiels. If you need help or advice please feel free to contact me,if i can't help maybe i can find someone who can.Capt and "Jake" the YN
Avatar is myself and "Juanita" 12/59 Guatemala CA
Rescues looking homes,Mumbles(DYH male)Echo (YNA male) Rockie(BFA male) Nitro (YNA male) Yeah, Echo found a home

Last edited by henpecked; 11-18-2013 at 11:46 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to henpecked For This Useful Post:
Abigal7 (11-18-2013)
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2013, 09:52 AM
jenphilly's Avatar
Supporting Member
Parrots:
BE2 (Ivory), B&G Macaw (Max), Budgie Group, Granbirds- tiels; GCC (Monkey & Monster); Sun Conure (Loki); Bare Eyed Too (Folger); Evil Green Monster YNA (Kelly); B&G (Titan)
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Thanks: 46
Thanked 2,158 Times in 1,117 Posts
jenphilly is on a distinguished road
Re: nature vs nurture.... bird behavior taught???

Torrap - Ivory does enjoy music and dancing... much to my husband's chagrin, her favorite song is Maroon 5 Moves Like Jagger. I am surprised my daughter has not posted our early dance 'sessions' with me in front of her bobbing around and arms flapping, we joked if someone walked by and could see in the window they would think I was having a fit of some sort!!!

Gary - Corn on the cob is one of the very few veggies she will eagerly eat. We are in PA so fresh corn on the cob season is past, but we froze ears in sections cut about 2 inches wide. I put them on the birdie kabob hangers. Try adding different things with the corn, but she will only eat the corn.

Henpecked- I totally agree with you! In the human effort to make pet birds as people friendly as possible, they are hand feed and weaned with a steady food supply... I just was surprised that Ivory did not have the natural inclination to forage, much like domestic cats still have that need and desire to scratch and dogs still like to chew on things. I was more curious if I had a real oddball of a bird or if this behavior was completely taught. But we're working on it!!!

I have joked its karma, I had the perfect kid who would eat anything and everything, so its only fair turnabout that my second 'kid' would be a picky pain in the butt eater!!

Thanks again to everyone for their thoughts, I've gotten some new ideas to try and we will just keep trying til something clicks in her little bird brain. She's such a sweetheart, its not exactly a chore to have to work with her and in the long run, I know she'll be a much happier parrot.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to jenphilly For This Useful Post:
GaryBV (11-18-2013)
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2013, 01:36 PM
GaryBV's Avatar
Senior Member
Parrots:
Pacific Parrotlets - green Beanieboy and blue Skya; Fischer Lovebirds - Mariposa and Papillon
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Southwestern Pennsylvania
Thanks: 365
Thanked 365 Times in 263 Posts
GaryBV is on a distinguished road
Re: nature vs nurture.... bird behavior taught???

I'm in Pennsylvania also, and of course your right about corn season being over, but I was in the Big Bird (Giant Eagle lol) yestereday and I saw white and yellow corn but it was VERY pricy, and I also see that you can buy half ears of yellow corn in the frozen section all year long. Considering that your bird isn't a plucker maybe you dont' have to go to the extremes to get corn I have lol.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Lower Navigation
Go Back   Parrot Forum - Parrot Owner's Community > Community > General Parrot Information


Search tags for this page

birds in nature vs nurture

,

kea parrot nature vs. nurture

,

love birds nature vs nurture

,

nature vs nurture parrot

Click on a term to search for related topics.

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What has having a bird taught you? GinaF Questions and Answers 23 08-27-2013 09:18 PM
What is your favorite thing you've ever taught your bird? Kokihi Training 2 01-31-2013 10:24 PM
Let Nature Deodorize Your Home Spiritbird General Parrot Information 4 07-23-2011 10:46 AM
What has your bird taught you in the past 24hrs? Von1983 Conures 43 12-20-2010 04:18 AM
What has being a bird owner taught me? Edwinsmommy Congo & Timneh Greys 8 09-06-2010 03:15 PM



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.