The Turn Around Trick

Nani was only 4 months old in this video (she hatched 5/4/08). Teaching her the turn around was very easy! (see below)

The Turn Around:

1. Place bird on t-stand.

2. Show him the treat (a small piece of nut, sunflower seed, or favorite treat) to get his attention.

3. Slowly circle the treat above his head so that he follows it, while giving the command "turn around".

4. As soon as he makes any attempt to turn, or does so even if only half way praise him and immediately reward by giving him the treat. Do not give him the treat for nothing! He has to work for it. He may get frustrated, in which case you can reward (don't forget to praise) for any turn of the head or attempt to follow your hand.

5. Do several repetitions, each time making him go a bit farther around before he gets the treat.

After one to two training sessions of 15 mins or less he should get the hang of it. You can start giving the verbal command only and drop the hand movement as soon as he seems to get the idea. (I still have to remind Nani from time to time using my hand).

Parrot Tricks Tip: After the bird has mastered the first trick, move on to something else, but don’t follow a lesson with playtime. Make the lesson itself be his special time with you.


Catherine said...

Woof and Meow are learning the turn around trick now. So far, so good. They're not turning around for just praise yet, but they sure will do it for nuts.

Patricia Buzo said...

That's great! I'd love to see some video of that. Nani usually is more stubborn if I don't offer treats, but she usually gives in. :-)

Catherine said...

Woof and Meow are getting mad if I don't give them a treat after they turn around. What do I do?

Patricia Buzo said...

Well, you don't have to stop using the treats. Food is usually the biggest motivator for birds to perform. Nani will only do the "shake" on command without treats or having to repeat myself 20 times. Otherwise she just looks at me like "I don't work for free you know".
But if you really want them to perform without having to give a treat then is there a favorite chew toy or something else they really like? You could also try making a bigger deal when they do what you want. Go crazy. Squeal. Flail your arms. See what they do. hehehe

Catherine said...

I think I'll keep giving them nuts for awhile and then try super praise -- which they adore. If I can find them a good guest to watch, they might do it for an audience, especially Meow. I'm sorry I can't post to You Tuble. I don't have the equipment.

Patricia Buzo said...

awww, too bad. Are they Black Headed or White Bellied Caiques? I bet they're adorable.

Catherine said...

Woof is a white belly and he's two months older than Meow, who is a black headed. They're both 10 years old, but they're still learning new tricks. Yes, they're both adorable, but Woof seems to prefer to think of himself as dignified and handsome. We don't dare laugh at him. We can laugh at Meow, though. He loves any kind of audience.

Patricia Buzo said...

Aw, so you have the best of both worlds! It just goes to show how very smart Caiques are...that they can learn so well even as adults.

Catherine said...

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we've had to ask them to make various changes over the years. Sometimes small ones, sometimes big. Life just does that, and fortunately, they've remained flexible. Now I've gotten used to changing their schedule, etc. from time to time to help keep them -- and us too -- used to the idea that things change and you just gotta go with the flow.

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Doodle's Videos


Nani's Vocabulary To Date:

Pretty Birdie
Pretty Girl
What Are You Doing?
(variation) Whatcha Doin'?
I Love You
Thank You
Look At You!
Come Here!
Go Poo Poo
Uh Oh
I Don't Want You.