Our feathered friends, birdbrains, and wingnuts

Self-Determined

MyPTSD Pro
Joining the bird group! I like reading your stories and seeing your pictures. I have been talking about getting a bird for a while now and it happened!

I went to the bird expo with a budget. I told myself I didn’t have to buy anything. I was mostly curious about English budgies but wanted something that was tame and small and quiet and might talk. I got something I didn’t know much about but I’m so happy with him!

I named him B.B. King. He is tame and sweet and quiet. He is a Pacific Parrotlet. New small friend!
 

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Changing4Best

MyPTSD Pro
Joining the bird group! I like reading your stories and seeing your pictures. I have been talking about getting a bird for a while now and it happened!

I went to the bird expo with a budget. I told myself I didn’t have to buy anything. I was mostly curious about English budgies but wanted something that was tame and small and quiet and might talk. I got something I didn’t know much about but I’m so happy with him!

I named him B.B. King. He is tame and sweet and quiet. He is a Pacific Parrotlet. New small friend!

What a beautiful bird! Congrats on having a new friend.
 

bellbird

Sponsor
Just had Tweeter out for a fly. At the end, I stood one one side of my room, his cage was on the other.

He then managed 10 rounds (in a row!!!), of flying to my hand when I called him, and then I would gently lower and then lift my hand which would prompt him to fly back to the top of his cage ( = one round).

Just had to post that here because I'm rather proud of my little guy ?
 

bellbird

Sponsor
Congratulations!
Thank you! We tried again last night... with 0 percent success :hilarious:
Have you been working on recall with treats or did this behavior develop spontaneously from daily interactions?
It's mostly through daily interactions.

(Slightly long back story)
I've had Tweeter since he was just a couple months old. He definitely imprinted on me. But about 5 months into having him (May 2018), I had to go inpatient at a psych ward for 3 weeks.

My flatmates looked after him, which I'm grateful for because they kept him alive, but one of them was a pet owner who was very big on the idea that pets should be accustomed to vet-style check ups on a regular basis, so that when they one day need to go to the vet it's not such a shock.

Long story short: before then, he was a step up bird (would step up onto your finger when you pressed it against his tummy). After then, he was no longer a step up bird, and would try to get away from you as quickly as possible if you put a hand anywhere near him.

I think he developed a lot of anxiety from that in combination with being separated from me for 3 weeks having imprinted on me.

We have been veeeeeery slowly relearning step up. As in, it has been 20 months since I was discharged from inpatient and reunited with him, and we're only just at the stage where I can put a finger near him and he'll think about it and possibly jump on or possibly just stand there, rather than getting freaked.

But yeah, I always try to let him come to me. Which is where the flying to me when I call comes in in everyday life, since it's something that happens a lot -- especially when he's out and I want to go to sleep or am running late for uni :laugh:

The results, yeah, they're very variable. But we work with it :tup:
 

Self-Determined

MyPTSD Pro
who was very big on the idea that pets should be accustomed to vet-style check ups on a regular basis, so that when they one day need to go to the

Oh no!! I’m so sorry! I’m starting to suspect that almost all pet parrots suffer from at least a little PTSD at some point from attachment wounds due to the nature of pet-keeping. If they properly bond with their bird parents and a flock they make horrible pets, so we purposefully cause an attachment wound and force them to bond with us. This is inherently difficult and not all birds or humans succeed. And even when they do succeed outside forces, like in your case, can cause significant changes to the bonding and healing. The process of bonding with the parrot is healing for the human and the bird.

I think he developed a lot of anxiety from that in combination with being separated from me

He is so lucky that you didn’t give up on him. When I think of how my T works with me, she seems like the most patient person ever, and that helps me be more patient as well. To see you being so patient with Tweeter makes me think you are probably being patient with yourself in your own healing.

My little B.B. only just started hopping and flying to my hand in the last few days and it’s so wonderful to feel that connection. He would step up when pressed but not willingly come to me. Now he has come to me inside the cage for a couple of days. I can tell when he doesn’t want to come to me and I respect that. That is a very important part of the process for both of us.

I realized that since parrots live such a long time, their “childhood” is a lot longer than puppies and kittens. B.B. and I grow closer each day, but in very tiny increments compared to the bonding process I experienced with dogs. He’s starting to look at me more. A good piece of advice I got for training is to ask if they want to be touched. I say, “Touch?” And if he wants it he turns his head and fluffs his head feathers. If not he keeps them flat and head straight. Of course animals deserve to give consent to be touched, I just never considered verbally asking them before. I read body language with small animals and livestock to know if they want touch.

Anyway, I’m happy about your positive developments in your bird relationship. And mine too, which seemed to coincide with yours. My B.B. is a parrotlet. He’s so cute and sweet and polite and curious all at the same time. I was seriously considering a budgie because of their amazing talking ability, but ended up choosing parrotlet because I liked how they are considered “tiny Amazons”. Maybe more like tiny Conures or Caiques, but I digress! It’s fun talking about birbs!
 

bellbird

Sponsor
Sorry, I thought I had replied to you, @Self-Determined ! I love parrotlets, and your B.B. is just gorgeous.
A good piece of advice I got for training is to ask if they want to be touched. I say, “Touch?” And if he wants it he turns his head and fluffs his head feathers. If not he keeps them flat and head straight.
This is so lovely!
To see you being so patient with Tweeter makes me think you are probably being patient with yourself in your own healing.
Thank you :hug:
Whenever things are difficult, my T always asks me to take as good care of/be as kind toward myself as I am to Tweeter. It's a good reminder.
 

Self-Determined

MyPTSD Pro
@bellbird, I can’t find where you wrote it but something you said was going around in my head. You said something about treating our wounded parts as gently as we treat our tiny birds.

I have been noticing how incredibly fragile his little body is. His skin is tissue thin, his bones are hollow toothpicks, he weighs about as much as a handful of change. When I scratch his head I’m barely touching him. He is so delicate!

It was a reminder of how gentle I *can* be. He, and everyone who needs me, would all encourage me to be *even* gentler with myself than I am with B.B. Because they need me and they value me. My value is not immeasurable or some vague notion. It’s real, in the hearts of all the animals and children and parents who I either take care of or teach or assist. Friends are a special branch of people. They need me to inspire them and make them laugh and lift them up.

Anyway, your thoughts about how fragile they are had me thinking about how I can transfer that gentleness to myself.
 

Changing4Best

MyPTSD Pro
Really, I have wanted to buy a living bird, but there's so many obstacles, so I bought a stuffed toy swan. He is my new bed buddy. He has a partner too, but I did not yet buy her. She's pink. Mostly, I walked to the store to get some fresh air and exercise. Then I saw them and fell in love. I will probably buy her tomorrow.

I once had an encounter with a swan when I was in my one person dinghy. I was wearing a white shirt and the male got as tall as he could and flapped his wings at me menacingly. He saw me as some kind of competition for his woman! I got out of there quickly.
 

Changing4Best

MyPTSD Pro
There is a tree with white flowers on it across the street. I saw two cardinals fly into it and then fly around in it. What a wonderful sight!
Then I saw and heard some geese coming home from down south. What a welcome sight.
Then all the birds sang, sounding kind of like an orchestra!
Spring is blooming in all her full glory, YAY!!!
 
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