Continue to Jardine Personalities Part II (more questions)
Q1 - What type of personalities do J's have?
A - From GinnyR:
Each is unique. Some are bold and bossy, others are more cuddly. Generally Jardine's like to be in the same room with you, but will entertain themselves quite nicely. They are not clinging birds like Cockatoos. Jardine's tend to follow their special people from room to room so be sure doors are shut, and always keep safety in mind.
A - From Jean Pattison:
Js are the Amazons of the Africans, without the screaming and mating aggression. Plain and simple, they just love being alive. They live for life. They play constantly and hard, just for the sheer joy of doing it. They can entertain themselves for endless hours. They love being cuddled and scritched, hopping around, chasing things and swinging. When they know they have been bad they have this little John Wayne walk, kind of sideways, and look at you with a cocked head. One of their big drawbacks is that they play dead - takes years off of me. Most seem to enjoy being on their backs, on the bottom of cage, in food cup, and on their perch while holding onto the cage with one foot. (Ed.: for a picture, see http://www.wingscc.com/aps/pj-jp1.jpg)
They can be fairly good talkers - the voice quality can be almost as good as a Grey, but they usually don't use the good voice, but a more birdlike one. They love you, just for the pleasure of it. Jardine's are just happy-to-be-alive birds - no purpose, just here and enjoying it. They love just hanging out too. I love them for their love of life.
I recommend them for families and young adults.
A - From Sheila:
You will never regret your decision to choose a Jardine's-let me quote from My Parrot My Friend: "The Jardine's Parrot is, we believe, as close to the "perfect parrot" as it is possible to come. There appear to be two races, one somewhat larger than the other. The larger of the two is similar in size to a small Amazon. Its plumage is lovely, being predominantly black with huge scalloping of chartreuse green on each feather. After the bird acquires its adult plumage (at one year of age), it begins to develop the typical poppy-orange areas on the forehead, wing bends and thighs. The Jardine's has one of the loveliest natural calls in parrotdom--very soft and musical, much like the songs of our native songbirds. (The Jardine's can growl when upset, as does the African Grey, but rarely seems to do so-just another indication of its very steady, calm personality). It can learn to talk quite well, does not scream and remains sweet and gentle at sexual maturity. Its personality is invariably affectionate. Additionally, the Jardine's seems to be exceptionally intelligent. Only recently has this parrot become a little more available; those who are able to find hand-reared parrots of this species are fortunate. The owner of a Jardine's Parrot can look forward to many long years experiencing one of the nicest encounters of the feathered kind."
A - From Sheila (later):
I think that the description really fit my Zambi when she was a youngster. As she got older and decided she was her own "person" and the aggressive behavior started, I would have to say My Parrot My Friend gave a very one-sided view of the Jardine's Parrot! However, there is still no bird as cute and personable as a J can be! Remember the story of the little girl who when she was good was VERY VERY good and when she was bad she was VERY VERY bad? That is my Zambi!!!!!!!
A- From Ginny Caputo:
I can comment on my own two Lesser Jardine's: Wingnut & SadieLady. I think that the write-up in My Parrot My Friend which refers to Jardine's as such a perfect parrot has done a disservice to Jardine's. There is no such thing as a perfect parrot nor a perfect human nor a perfect dog nor a perfect etc. etc. etc. Each species has characteristics which fit better with some people's lifestyles than others. My Jardine's are both BEAUTIFUL parrots with feisty personalities & (j)attitudes.
My Wingnut was probably not well socialized prior to my bringing him home at a year old. But he has bundles of personality in his little feathered package. He tends to be a one person bird but can be handled by complete strangers as long as they are not my husband! <g> But that is partly Jim's fault for not being willing to risk getting bitten with equanimity. Wingnut cheerfully meets new people who he will even talk to & whistle to if gushed over sufficiently. He particularly loves women with reddish hair & has one "girl friend" who he has adored from first sight. He is affectionate sometimes but is unpredictable with me. Not much of a cuddler. He is sensitive & will become phobic of me if I am too stern with him by holding him in a towel & glaring at him if he bites. That is more than he can take. He has become more playful as time goes on. At first he did nothing. Now he climbs all over his ParrotTower, plays in a paper bag with his toys, loves to play rowdy (but is apt to bite then), will hang upside-down from my hand (after over a year of working up to that), says words absolutely clearly when he feels like it. SadieLady is sweet & affectionate. She will have a temper tantrum when she doesn't get her way but rarely bites hard. She adores having her head scratched. While she is much less likely to bite than the Nut, she hates being touched under her wings. I don't have her on a good playgym yet so she is not playing as much as I would like her to play. She has the table top version of the ParrotTower which isn't working out well for her. SadieLady will go to new people with enthusiasm but won't let them scratch her on the head. She likes meeting new people & remembers the ones she likes. SadieLady is not yet a talker but she is good at whistles, coughs, & laughs.
My Jardine's are relatively quiet which is nice, especially since Buddy, my Mitred conure, is not quiet! <g> I adore both of them & have no regrets. They are Jardine's, not Greys or cockatoos or macaws. Not a perfect pet for everyone although they are perfect Jardine's. For me they are sufficiently perfect. If you don't like pets with an attitude, you might not like Jardine's. I happen to like an attitude.
A - From Rita Shimniok:
Within a species individual personalities vary greatly. So much depends on the environmental factors of how a baby parrot is raised and the environment of what is hoped to be their permanent home. Parrots are hardly domesticated like cats and dogs - they are their own "person". :- )
Jardine's, like Amazons, are not for the timid, unsure, passive parrot person. Because if you are any of those things, they will dominate you - they are way too smart for their (or our) own good. It would really help if breeders, pet stores, etc. would take the time to get to know their customers as much as possible and try to do the best they can to make sure the match is a good one. I think we, who are in the business of raising parrots for sale, are improving at this. Failures are inevitable, but I think the tide is turning. : -)
For the record - I LOVE my strong-willed, sometimes obnoxious, hilariously funny, clever talking green and black bird that can sometimes be so clingy I can't scrape her off. (G) She is to me what lint is fleece, velcro is to felt, static is to nylon. <G>
A - From Cathy Henderson:
Jardine's for me have been just plain "FUN". Some are more vocal than the other Africans I have. They pick up sounds and tunes quite easily. I have one that has picked up words very easily. Another one seems to talk with his mouth closed. Playing is a second nature for Jardine's. It's not unusual for me to see them playing in their acrylic squares or lying on their backs. Strangers don't seem to bother them. I had one female that if there was someone she didn't like (my DAD) she'd fluff up and make it quite clear to stay clear!
When it comes to "one on one" Jardine's are ready any time! Mine love having their heads and necks rubbed. If I get distracted and stop rubbing mine will snuggle closer to my neck and rub their head against my face, as a reminder..."I'm still here"! (I know you're not supposed to allow any bird on your shoulder, but I do with a lot of mine). Jardine's love to eat! Fruits seem to be their favorite - both dried or fresh fruit. Jardine's seem to understand when things get really busy. One look into those beautiful eyes and I'm mush! I open the cage door, and it's time for kisses!
A - From Helene:
Gizmo, the greater J, is 4 years old. He will let anyone hold him. He has a farly large vocabulary for a J (learned primarily from the Grey), but it's hard to understand him--he has a little computer voice. He is very strong-willed so you really need to know about handling birds before you consider a J. His terrible twos stage was really awful for both him and me. He's passed that now, and is very sweet and cuddly. He's also stubborn, naughty, fearless, very funny and utterly charming.
A - From Cindy:
Well, Snickers my greater is turning 7 months old already. He has recently discovered how good head scratches feel and enjoys cuddling now. He positively enjoys being outside on the deck in his travel cage. All those new birds' sounds kept him busy for days. He loves to shower with me but doesn't always want to get wet, so I just let him soak up the steam. He has been on several car rides and it didn't seem to phase him. His nick name is "bat bird" as you all know; this behaviour is common with our J's, but you have to see it to believe it :). I have noticed lately that he enjoys chewing up wood far more than he used to. I think it must be an increase in beak strength, after all, he is growing up. He adores his hand toys, emptying his toy box as fast as I put everything back (we go through this several times a day).
He has lots of different chirps and whistles and often sounds like a muttering old man.
He says pretty bird, your O.K., Oh Oh, and how are you, fairly clear now. A couple of
weeks ago he went through a testing mommy stage and was very nippy, but it seems to have
passed for now :) I gave him the evil eye a lot and told him NO BITE very firmly and I'm
very proud to say that I never once pulled my hand away in fear. I got pinched pretty good
though a couple of times. Now when he comes after my toes, that's a different story. This
is his latest thing, chasing toes. He waddles right across the kitchen floor as fast as he
can, looking for toes. I don't like to do the dance (it's difficult to chop bird veggies
and dance at the same time if you value your fingers) and I'm not brave enough to let him
go ahead and do a taste test, so I just pick him up and give him a change of
scenery. It would be nice if he would just walk around exploring without the toe thing :)
Having this bird has truly been a life changing experience, so unique. I find myself longing to spend time with him when I've been busier than normal, and it might sound strange to say, but I feel that way more about Snickers than I do my 4 boys, oh yes I miss them too, but Snickers is my buddy and I'm definitely his :) He tolerates my hubby and my 2nd son, but he openly loves me, yes even to to point of regurgitated food running down my shoulder :)
A - From Ginny Caputo:
Jardine's vary a lot in temperament. I think that a bird who is well socialized & comes from a caring breeder is a much better bet than a bird whose socialization might have been left to chance. I now have two Jardine's, one of which was not particularly well socialized. The other comes from a very good breeder but she did not work out for the people who had her for a year. I have only had her for a week so the jury is still out on her personality. However, the two J's appear to have some striking differences. The similarities are that both have a distinct feisty streak. Both have large beaks & are capable of biting hard. Both are beautiful birds & have much charm. Both are headstrong. The one I have had longer is very headstrong & tests me from time to time as to who is in charge. He will sometimes bite. He gets territorial & will *charge* me when he feels that way. He likes to play in a rowdy manner. I use the pronoun HE but Wingnut might be a SHE. I do not know. He likes head scratches as does the newer J. But at his own convenience. He lets me give him wingpit tickles but the newer J does not. I went through several months of working with Wingnut to get him to be less nippy & to go by the rules. He needs to be dealt with consistently. They are very smart little birds with a lot of brain in a small body.
Sadie, my newer J companion, is at this moment insisting on sitting on me. If I put her down on the table next to me, she flies onto me. I think she needs a clip. But she is very proud of her accomplishment! <g> I love Lesser Jardine's & am willing to put up with a hard bite from time to time. They sometimes have an *attitude* but I like their *attitude*.
If you need a very gentle parrot, I would be very careful to choose a Jardine's which is gentle right from the beginning because some J's are not gentle. And many go through a nippy period which can be discouraging if you are not prepared to deal with it.
A - From JD:
Dealing with a new Jardine's...Atilla...sure is trying. My only hope is that someday she might be "sweet" or fun. Today, she has a terrible temper. She will be fine one moment...and the next...she starts complaining. I got bit again last night. Can't say I am a very happy camper when that happens, because she can deliver a good one.
Had to do her nails for the first time. Ended up rolling her in a towel and put her in the birdy binder...she was NOT happy about that. But, later...I was actually able to cuddle her for awhile, talk soft to her, and scratch her head...kiss her beak even! I wonder...was she in shock from the experience...or humbled by my control during the nail trim?
I really need encouragement with this bird, because I definitely did not want another bird that did not like to be touched...my Eclectus fits that bill. He merely tolerates touching...but at least he does not bite me. I find Atilla hard to work with...she wants to be on me...close to my face...on my shoulder IF I would allow it, and I don't. But, she wants that close personal attention on her terms. What is the best way to work with this? I have scolded her...ignored her...put her up. But, she begs to get out...is always willing to...but, we have interaction problems. And she is not that interested in toys yet. She begs to be fed...and that is a chore now...cause she wants that on her own terms too...and that doesn't work either. So, we both end up frustrated.
Sad, that the most touching time I've had with her was after the nail trim. I really
feel that I should be doing more handling to get her used to "touch"...but, it's
just not happening yet. She's 4mos old...how long does this period last...or am I stuck
temperamental bird for good. How do the rest of you with biting Js handle the situation? I see some of your birds don't want to out of their cages...and Atilla is not like that. She just wants to do everything her way once she gets out...and doesn't like it when it's not her way.
A - From Wendy Taylor:
My own opinion is that it is unrealistic to blame Ros's Jardine's Flattop's nippiness and 'one-person' bird behaviour on coming from a bad breeder or on poor training/socialization. Obviously, proper socialization is important for the development of a pet bird, but it is not going to entirely suppress the natural personality of a particular bird. And I personally wouldn't want to do that anyway.
What attracted me to my Jardine's, Sparky, was her tremendous love of life and boundless energy. She played on her own very well, and seemed to have no fear of people. After bringing her home, I learned that her character was such that she likes to be boss, and this meant being nippy. I got several painful bites from her during her first year but I doubt that training during her first 4 months of life (before I purchased her) would have prevented this.
Diligent training on my part resulted in a much better behaved bird. Sparky rarely bites now, but I cannot totally trust her. I've learned to respect her space and read her body language and can normally avoid getting bitten when she occasionally goes into 'overload'. It has been a mutual learning experience and we have trained each other to be respectful.
Sparky is not a cuddly bird. That doesn't mean she's not affectionate. She loves to get a good head scratch, and shows her devotion verbally with certain whistles and physically with certain body language when we spend time together. She tolerates hugs from me but she doesn't really like to cuddle. And that's ok by me.
Sparky is not a one-person bird. She loves my close friends and she loves strangers. She adores being the centre of attention.
I think you'll find, talking to other members of this list, that there really is a big spectrum in the behaviour of Jardines. Some are nippy, some are not, some are one-person birds, some are not, some are cuddly, some are not, some are good talkers, some are not, etc. But I think you'll find a few common traits - Jardine's do seem to love life, play well, eat well, have steady personalities with few phobias and tend to be quiet compared to some other parrot species. Beyond that, each bird has his/her own personality and I think it's these individual traits that make this species so interesting and wonderful.
Q2 - Will my J learn to talk?
A - From Rita:
Jardine's have the potential to become pretty darn good talkers - some seem to pick it up more naturally (like baby Jocelyn) than others. Some talk very clear (like a Gray) and others mumble - then there are those like my Ruckus who do both - which did not seem that uncommon in the surveys I received.
Then there is Marilyn W's Jardy - who talks only very little. Personally - I think he has been quite spoiled and catered to from the start - so what did he need to learn to talk for? Especially with Marilyn returning his Jardine's calls to him. Jardy didn't learn much English, so Marilyn must have figured "can't teach him, join him!" (VBG)
I believe they all have the potential - but like all parrots - you have to be willing to accept them for all the other wonderful traits they have to offer - in case the bird you obtain never learns to talk.
Q3 - Will my J learn other vocalizations, i.e. whistling, singing, noises?
A - From GinnyR:
Yes. My bird imitates the birds outside, barks like a dog, etc. I discourage whistling.
Q4 - How loud are J's?
A - From GinnyR:
Not loud compared to a screaming Cockatoo. They are loud when activity (such as early morning get-up) increases, then they sing & chirp, sometimes squawk.
Editor's comment: one has to keep in mind that all birds are individuals and some birds of the same species may be noisier than others. Although Jardines' seem to be on average quieter than Cockatoos, they still have the capacity to scream. It is important to address a potential screaming problem early rather than ignore it.
Q5 - How well do J's get along with other birds or other pets?
A - From GinnyR:
My J is always in the same room with another bird, but never on the same play stand with another bird. They may become defensive of their territories. You don't want pet birds biting each other. Always be careful.
Q6 - Can I teach my J tricks?
A - From Steve:
In January, our vet, Greg, gave us a present for Berkeley, a basketball hoop and ball. The hoop is about 5" across and on a stand 9" high. The basket is made of plastic chain. The ball is a 3" wiffle ball.
When he gave it to us, Greg joked that he expected to see Berkeley sink a basket by June. I took this as a challenge.
My first concern was that the whole thing seemed too big for Berkeley. It looked like it was designed with a macaw or cockatoo in mind. The first thing I did was replace the ball with something more manageable. I picked up a pack of wiffle golf balls in the sporting goods department of a department store. $1.50 for 6 bird toys - not a bad deal.
We started off easy. I put the ball beside her on the edge of her play area. I tapped it and said "Give daddy the ball". She fussed with it a bit and eventually knocked it off the edge. She was rewarded with a "Good girl!", a scratch on the head and a twirly. "Twirly" is our terminology for a piece of rotini (spiral pasta). Berkeley loves crunching twirlies and, although she's never said the word, she knows what it means.
It took her about an hour to understand that, if she knocked the ball off the play area, she'd get a twirly. I was impressed. This was the first time she'd ever had to perform a task that didn't directly involve getting a treat. Tasks up to this point have been of the get-the-twirly-out-of-the-whatever variety. I was surprised at how easily she adapted to the concept of being rewarded for an unrelated task.
After she became adept at knocking the ball off the play area, I made it more difficult. She was now encouraged to drop the ball into my hand, which I held below the edge of the play area. I changed the cue to "Put the ball in Daddy's hand", and reinforced that with alternately tapping the ball and pointing to my palm.
At first, I moved my hand to catch the ball. When she hit my hand, she was rewarded (twirly, scratch, good girl). The response for a miss was "No... Try again". She caught on fairly quickly and at this point started picking up the ball to get better control over it.
We kept this going for a week, until she developed the coordination to hit my hand consistently. Over the next 4 weeks I tried a number of variations:
During this time I started weaning her away from expecting twirlies every time. She now received a "Good girl" and a scratch each time and a twirly once in a while.
At this point, I introduced the hoop stand. I'd already shown her the hoop a few times so that she'd be comfortable with it. I knew she couldn't drop the ball into the hoop - it's 9" high. I attached the stand to the side of the play area so that the hoop was only 5" above the play area. She caught on quick. I was beginning to suspect that I was severely underestimating her abilities.
After a couple of days, I raised the hoop to its full height. It still looked much too high for her. I tried using a platform to give her a bit more height. She didn't like the idea. Instead, she tried to put the ball in without any help.
After a few false starts, she stretched up as high as she could and tipped the ball over the rim. I was so impressed that I picked her up and fussed over her, saying "Good girl!" over and over. My wife came into the room to find out what all the commotion was about. I set everything up again and cued Berkeley to do her thing. She did it again, with much less effort.
Q7 - What factors affect the temperament of a pet bird?
A - From Jean Pattison:
The temperament isn't in the egg (maybe just a little is) before hatching. It's in the nest with the parents. If the parents are calm and secure, they are relaxed and this is reflected in the babies. Raising all Africans I have a pretty calm environment, and the breeders settle in pretty quick. First-time parents are usually always nervous, and their babies may be high strung, and a little to a lot nippy. After they have had 3,4,5,6, etc clutches they are more and more relaxed. The 1st clutch babies can not even begin to compare to the latter clutches from these pairs.
I used to have a woman hand feeding for me. She would wean the babies out and bring them to me. A few times I would have a baby that I would never be able to sell. They would be horribly phobic. Once I started feeding my own babies things started to fall into place.
I have called this sibling aggression. While the hand-feeder prepared the food, the babies would pick on one. This was a conditioning thing. By the time the feeder entered the room, all the picking had ceased, but there would be one baby cowering in the corner, or not quite so anxious to greet the hand-feeder as the others. I began to see that if there were 2 of one sex they would pick on the single of the opposite sex. This may be a phenomenon of nature to drive the opposite sex from the flock to prevent inbreeding. (Only speculation on my part.) Of course when experiencing this behavior, the feeder should separate the babies for a day or two and then group them again. This is a very, very subtle display and if the feeder doesn't know about it *ahead of time* it will be completely missed.
Another thing I learned was the breeder birds were very nervous with their first clutches and you would have very nervous babies. As the parents became seasoned breeders they would naturally become more calm and consequently, their babies would be calmer and sweeter. The difference between 1st clutch and 5th clutch babies is unbelievable.
Also how the babies are pulled from the parents influences the temperament. If the parents are in the nest and they growl and fight, the babies become terrified (great first meeting). I believe this can affect them for the rest of their lives. If you have good steady parents, the hand-feeder's work is cut in half.
If a Jardine's is from one of these situations, it may be a very hard road for all concerned. I have one of my original sibling aggression babies, and he is an absolute monster - But..... I do love his "bad" attitude.
Q8 - Are Jardine's parrots cuddly birds?
A - From Ros:
My Flattop (have had her almost 4 years) is not and never will be a cuddly bird. She went through her stage of nippiness and though very good now she is not beyond a good nip. I can hand Flattop over for someone to hold but I sternly tell her to be good and supervise very carefully because she sometimes bites people other than myself just because. She is not a all around bird, she is my bird not because others did not want to interact with her but because she chose to be a one person bird. She talks and quite well but no where near as good as a CAG or TAG. I am in contact with several other jardine's and find them much the same. I love Flattop with all my heart and when I purchased her I wanted a bird that could talk a bit and loved me.(I did not care if she liked anyone else) So for me a Jardine's was a good choice. I miss not being able to cuddle her (she is a quick kiss, gotta run bird) and WOW when I listen to the Greys I wish she would say and learn more but......I am very satisfied with her. I feel sometimes our love for Jardine's is misleading to others, yes they are great birds, but if you wanted a great talker or a cuddly bird or a family bird I think you picked the wrong species. Don't get me wrong I am not criticizing Jardine's but trying to face facts as I see them.
Q9 - Do Jardine's parrots have the tendency to bite?
A - From Helene:
As I read the "J" list, I realized that many of you have very young "J's". Gizmo (Greater) was born in '93, Rita was his mom so you know he was super-socialized and loved and I got him as soon as he was weaned. He came into a home with a pair of cockatiels, a mini macaw, a lovebird, a CAG, a pair of green cheeked conures, a dog, three kids and me. I was fully prepared for the terrible two's and wasn't the least bit disappointed. Gizmo is an extremely strong personality. Thanks to my children and the other pets, I was a stronger Mom. Many many times, Giz would bite HARD and look me directly in the eye and say DON'T BITE! On the other hand, he has always been very outgoing, happy to go to complete strangers, loves everyone.
He has settled down considerably since those early days. Every once in a while he ATTEMPTS to nail me, but I know my little boy and know exactly when to watch out for it. He still tests me, still wants to have his own way, still wants cuddling only when HE wants cuddling (and then all over and as long as I have time to do it). Gizmo loves food and eats anything. He loves his toys and regularly spends time trying to beat them up and growling at them. I can't give him hand toys because they all have to go on the floor. He loves toys with knots so he can unknot them. I discourage all the birds from the shoulder and all including Gizmo sit on my lap or the arm of the chair or on my forearm. Gizmo is sitting on my lap right now, leans his beak up against me and waits for scratches.
My advice to new J owners: be patient, be strong, and enjoy
A - From Wendy Taylor:
Now that we're on the topic of biting Jardine's - my 3 year old Jardine's, Sparky, was a biter from the day she was hatched. This behaviour seems rather typical of Jardine's and I think it's correct to assume that it is NOT a PHASE, but rather a domineering behaviour that has to be controlled. There is a lot of good information out there on preventing biting behaviour (Pet Bird Report magazine, Mattie Sue Athan's book "Guide to a Well Behaved Parrot", etc.) and all Jardine's owners should invest in this literature - - it's much cheaper than getting a behavourist. Use your own common sense when evaluating the different techniques and try to use techniques that your particular bird will feel comfortable with. And BE CONSISTENT!
After about 8 months of working with Sparky, I was able to control her biting (and the frequency and severity of episodes were reduced with time over the 8 months).
After gaining control of the problem, you have to keep using the techniques to establish who is the dominant member of the flock or the biting behaviour will return. I recently had to clip Sparky's wings as her biting behaviour returned once she was able to fly. Establishing dominance over her became more difficult once she was able to fly and disciplining her became virtually impossible.
I think all hand-fed Jardine's owners can assume that a biting problem CAN be controlled. It's up to you to provide the guidance your bird needs. But if you put the effort in, you WILL succeed.
BTW, those of you with birds who prefer your family members to yourself - - I would recommend looking at how your family member interacts with the bird. Sparky just loves my friend who lets her get away with murder. My friend doesn't use the UP command or any of the dominance techniques that I ask him to use and Sparky just adores him. Unfortunately, I'm the one who has to deal with the bad behaviour when he's not playing with her. Try to get your friends and family members to use the same techniques that you do. It will probably save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
A - From Scott Petrovich:
Trust me, biting and temperamental behavior will get better as long as you apply "nurturing dominance" and regular training in a neutral area. Shaka is 1 1/2 years old now and he really just started becoming super lovable and willing to interact with other people recently. Yes, he had plenty of lovable moments before, but also a lot of bad ones too. The people who have been on this list for awhile can attest to that - it doesn't seem like to long ago I was writing desperate, discouraged posts. It really just takes a lot of love and even more patience. I also learned quickly to realize when Shaka was going into "overload" and when that happens you kind of throw nurturing dominance out the window and just let the bird calm down. There isn't any reasoning or stepping up when they are in overload! Shaka now is very lovable and cuddly but there are still times I need to respect his space and be careful how I handle him, etc. That seems to be a permanent thing and I accept that because Shaka is an individual and if he doesn't want to do something or be in a certain place, I need to respect him (and that BEAK:). For the most part he does what I want him to now and I believe there is mutual love and respect between us. I am sure I will be nipped every now and then, but that is just a part of owning a parrot and if it happens I will get over it.
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Last update: March 04, 2003