Restless Bird Syndrome

This has been a bad month for me health-wise. The weather outside has been freezing, and as a result I've gotten a cold twice this month. In fact I'm convinced this latest one is actually the flu. Being I've felt like poo, I wasn't spending as much quality time with Nani. Sure I would hold her, but she would act like she wanted to go back right away only to beg to step up again when I'd put her back. Although I routinely let her out to play all day, she started being a crabby pants. Biting harder while play wrestling (one of her favorite pass times), squawking and screaming much louder, and when she wasn't being loud she was doing her beeping noise CONSTANTLY. It may sound offenseless, but this low pitched beep can drive a person crazy after only a few minutes let alone all day. beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep. See? It's even annoying in print. I managed to order some new foraging toys which kept her entertained for a little while, but not completely.

Well I knew full well that she was acting out because she wasn't getting the attention she requires of me. Since we hadn't done a session of trick training in a little over a month I decided to give it a try. I could sit up in bed during the session and not expend a lot of energy. Although I knew she enjoyed doing trick training, I was surprised at how excited she got over it. She picked up a new trick, the flip, in about 5 minutes! And that 5 minutes was all it took because as soon as I returned her to her cage she spent the rest of the evening playing quietly...even when I would leave the room. Now she was completely content to entertain herself. It was then that I realised just how important it is to stimulate their little minds in order for them to be truly happy.

I suppose there are some species of parrot who are more inclined to just wait it out, perching quietly in their cage (at least for a longer period of time than a Caique). But how many of us have wondered why our birds start to scream and bite "out of the blue". Of course there could be other causes, but why not try teaching a simple trick the bird can learn and be rewarded for? I look at it this way: You can buy a child a video game that will keep his attention for a while, but he soon becomes restless and starts to whine that he is hungry, bored, etc. Take that same child to the park to play ball for an hour and he's as happy as can be. Parrots are no different. Toys are important, especially educational and foraging toys, but take just a few minutes out of your day to teach and interact with your bird and they are as content as could be.

So I'm still sick as a dog, but Nani is in the other room quietly playing right now. Why? I believe it's because we've had our daily training session and she's now happy to entertain herself for a while (although I suppose I should be sleeping).

4 comments:

SassySashadoxie said...

Sorry to hear you have been sick. But, my dogs are going crazy over your birdy in the background. heehee. They keep searching for it here in the room.

DoodleBird said...

That's so cute, lol. I can picture them running around like little crazies banging into things. :-)

Mary said...

Great post! Beeps also beeps constantly (that's how he got his name) and that has pretty much faded into the background -- we really only notice it when he increases the volume to get our attention. It's still better than our severe macaw's call!

Glad you found a way to tire her out mentally :)

DoodleBird said...

lol, I bet you can hardly hear his beeping with a macaw around. :-)

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