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Dancing Senegal Parrot

Kili

Type: Senegal Parrot
Genus: Poicephalus
Species: Senegalus
Subspecies: Mesotypus
Sex: Female
Weight: 120 grams
Height: 9 inches
Age: 13 years, 5 months
Caped Cape Parrot

Truman

Type: Cape Parrot
Genus: Poicephalus
Species:Robustus
Subspecies: Fuscicollis
Sex: Male
Weight: 330 grams
Height: 13 inches
Age: 11 years and 9 months old
Blue and Gold Macaw

Rachel

Type: Blue & Gold Macaw
Genus: Ara
Species:ararauna
Sex: Female
Weight: 850 grams
Height: 26 inches
Age: 9 years, 5 months
Trick Training Guides
Taming & Training Guide
Flight Recall
Target
Wave
Fetch
Shake
Bat
Wings
Go through Tube
Turn Around
Flighted Fetch
Slide
Basketball
Play Dead
Piggy Bank
Nod
Bowling
Darts
Climb Rope
Ring Toss
Flip
Puzzle
Additional Top Articles
Stop Parrot Biting
Getting Your First Parrot
Treat Selection
Evolution of Flight
Clipping Wings
How to Put Parrot In Cage
Kili's Stroller Trick
Camping Parrots
Socialization
Truman's Tree
Parrot Wizard Seminar
Kili on David Letterman
Cape Parrot Review
Roudybush Pellets

List of Common Parrots:

Parakeets:
Budgerigar (Budgie)
Alexandrine Parakeet
African Ringneck
Indian Ringneck
Monk Parakeet (Quaker Parrot)

Parrotlets:
Mexican Parrotlet
Green Rumped Parrotlet
Blue Winged Parrotlet
Spectacled Parrotlet
Dusky Billed Parrotlet
Pacific Parrotlet
Yellow Faced Parrotlet

Lovebirds:
Peach Faced Lovebird
Masked Lovebird
Fischer's Lovebird
Lilian's (Nyasa) Lovebird
Black Cheeked Lovebird
Madagascar Lovebird
Abyssinian Lovebird
Red Faced Lovebird
Swindern's Lovebird

Lories and Lorikeets:
Rainbow Lorikeet

Conures:
Sun Conure
Jenday Conure
Cherry Headed Conure
Blue Crowned Conure
Mitred Conure
Patagonian Conure
Green Cheeked Conure
Nanday Conure

Caiques:
Black Headed Caique
White Bellied Caique

Poicephalus Parrots:
Senegal Parrot
Meyer's Parrot
Red Bellied Parrot
Brown Headed Parrot
Jardine's Parrot
Cape Parrot
Ruppell's Parrot

Eclectus:
Eclectus Parrot

African Greys:
Congo African Grey (CAG)
Timneh African Grey (TAG)

Amazons:
Blue Fronted Amazon
Yellow Naped Amazon
Yellow Headed Amazon
Orange Winged Amazon
Yellow Crowned Amazon

Cockatoos:
Cockatiel
Galah (Rose Breasted) Cockatoo
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
Umbrella Cockatoo
Moluccan Cockatoo
Bare Eyed Cockatoo
Goffin's Cockatoo

Macaws:
Red Shouldered (Hahn's) Macaw
Severe Macaw
Blue And Gold Macaw
Blue Throated Macaw
Military Macaw
Red Fronted Macaw
Scarlet Macaw
Green Winged Macaw
Hyacinth Macaw

Glossary of Common Parrot Terms

Parrot Football

Comments (3)

By Michael Sazhin

Thursday February 2nd, 2012

Truman is really looking forward to the Superbowl now that he thinks he's a star quarterback. Not only is he good at passing the ball around by flinging it with his beak, he can also hold the ball for kicking a field goal. Check out these photos, cartoon, and video of my Cape Parrot playing with his football!

Then Truman becomes the football himself! He's just about the right size come to think of it. I can play the role of both quaterback and receiver! We started playing a game with Truman where I hold him like a football and throw him and he turns around and comes back to me. Originally this started out as me just trying to get rid of him when he was being annoying not letting me get things done but he'd just turn around and come back to keep bugging me. But then we realized the trick potential and I began encouraging these boomerang flights with treats.

Parrot and FootballTruman the Cape Parrot lining up to play some football. Set...

Cape Parrot Holding Football...Hut! Truman snaps the football

Cape Parrot Playing With FootballIt's a fumble! Quick, recover the ball!

Cartoon of Parrot Kicking Field GoalOk, let's play it safe and go for the field goal! Cartoon of parrots kicking a field goal.




Parrot Brushing His Beak

Comments (4)

By Michael Sazhin

Wednesday February 1st, 2012

I heard that February is National Pet Dental Health Month so I bought a toothbrush for Kili and Truman to brush their beaks with. I knew that Kili wouldn't care but that Truman would go bonkers for it. I took Truman to the pharmacy with me and picked out the cheapest/simplest toothbrush they had. Truman was already wide eyed over the selection so you can only imagine how he felt when he could get his beak on one!

I didn't even have to open the package, Truman lost no time figuring out this toy within a toy! With exquisite dexterity, Truman eagerly chewed the package open and got his prized toothbrush out. I showed Truman how to brush his beak but he grabbed the toothbrush away from me to do it his own way. He felt the bristles with his tongue and chewed the toothbrush from all sides. This must be the greatest one dollar parrot toy he has ever played with!

Parrot and Toothbrush

Cape Parrot Opening Toothbrush Package

Parrot brushing his teeth

Cape Parrot Chewing Toothbrush toy

Senegal Parrot Brushing Her Beak

Parrot Foraging Tower

Comments (13)

By Michael Sazhin

Friday January 27th, 2012

I came across a Parrot Foraging Tower at the bird store while shopping for some supplies. It was very expensive but the store owner seemed fairly eager to get rid of it by lowering the price to just expensive. Thus I brought the tower home for Kili and Truman to play with.

Kili being the trained parrot that she is was ready to learn the trick but only with my guidance. She would not just play with the tabs and figure it out on her own despite the treat being in plain sight. She waited for me to show/tell her what to do but then mastered the basic task very quickly through clicker training. She already knew the pull command from the magic drawer trick so it was mainly a matter of clicker training her to apply it to the tower. But the tower is much bigger than she is, so she couldn't go beyond two tabs to pull on.

Senegal Parrot Pulling Tab

Senegal Parrot Eating Pistachio Nut

Truman on the other hand became master of the parrot foraging tower. Not only is he tall enough to reach the top tab if he stands on his tippy toes, but his hooked beak is perfect for pulling the tabs open. Truman had a slight advantage in that he watched me train the trick to Kili. However, I never worked with him and the only rewards he got for attempting the trick were from the tower itself. After just a handful of almonds and sessions, Truman learned that pulling all the tabs out was key to getting the nut to fall out. Still, he does not follow any logical sequence for pulling the tabs. However, from a reinforcement standpoint, the sequence is irrelevant and the nut will only come out when all tabs are pulled out.

Foraging Tower Cape Parrot

All advantages are on the side of Truman with this one. Not only on size and strength but also perseverance. Kili is more focused on following commands and doing tricks to earn treats from me. If the toy isn't rewarding her quickly enough, she'll turn to me and say hello or show her wings for a treat rather than keep working at it. On the other hand Truman is slower and more thoughtful. He'll approach the tower from different sides and keep working for 10 minutes if he has to until the nut is his. Then he'll spend a few more minutes still, working the nut out of its shell. Quite the entertainment package for a brainy Cape Parrot. In the video you can see Truman step away and think before approaching the tower again. He takes many breaks but he doesn't give up. His persistence pays off with a large tasty nut.

The Importance of Good Foraging Toys

Comments (2)

By Michael Sazhin

Tuesday November 22nd, 2011

While I still believe that trick training is both the best mental exercise and relationship building for parrot and owner, good foraging toys are a must for when the owner is away. Just an hour or two of trick training and interaction per day simply isn't enough to meet a parrot's intellectual needs. I would argue that a good training session (especially involving flight and complex behaviors) can make up for hours of down time, but still not a complete substitute. This is why stimulating toys are a must.

Parrot toys come in three categories: chewing, playing, and foraging. Ideally a parrot should have at least one of each category in its cage at all times. Chewing toys are usually comprised of a lot of wooden parts that are appropriate for the parrot's size and beak strength. These are the toys that you come home to see bare not long after hanging them. These are important to keep your parrot busy and beak trimmed. Better that they be chewing on that then your furniture when they are out. The play toys are often made of tougher materials and involve the parrot interacting with them in non-destructive ways such as pushing, pulling, swinging, ringing, etc.

Finally, foraging toys are the third category of parrot toys. In a way these are the ultimate toy because they involve both play and destruction. Foraging toys can best be described as toys with goodies inside. In the simplest sense they are toys with food treats inside but I'd like to talk about going beyond just treats. Since I do a lot of formal parrot training, I don't approve of food oriented toys because then the parrot won't be hungry when I get home and want to do training. So instead, I try to focus on non food based foraging toys.

Cape Parrot Foraging ToyTruman can spend hours trying to get a hold of the toys inside this coconut foraging toy


For a parrot that doesn't know how to play with toys but is treat oriented, hiding food in toys is a great way to get them started. However, for a naturally inquisitive/playful bird like Truman, just having more toys inside is enough. When toy shopping for my parrots, I especially look out for sophisticated toys like this.

Another thing I like to do is to hang toys near swinging perches rather than solid ones. If the parrot is perched on a solid perch, it is all too easy to shred a toy to smithereens in no time. However, if the parrot is standing on an already swinging perch and the toy moves, it really provides a challenge. Not only is it mentally challenging to move the swing and toy to reach, it is also great exercise. The parrot has to use all of its muscles to balance, hold, and play. In the video below you can see how Truman is holding onto his swinging atom with one foot and the coconut foraging toy with the other. It's both an exercise and a challenge to keep him busy while I am away.

Baby Toys for Parrots

Comments (5)

By Michael Sazhin

Monday July 25th, 2011

Sometimes I buy baby (human) toys and supplies for my parrots to play with. Often these can be cheaper than the ones made for parrots as they are mass produced. If you look for baby toys on clearance or at bargain stores, you may be surprised how much stuff you can get for your parrots to play with for the same money you spend on parrot specific toys. Human grade baby toys go through higher standards and will generally be safe for parrots. However, it is the owner's responsibility to make sure that the toy is safe. Our parrots can find ways to destroy these toys in ways never conceived by the original designers.

For about $5, I got a whole bag full of baby toys for Kili and Truman at a dollar store. Truman really took to the plastic fork and proceeded to chew it up. Kili took up a greater fascination with the rubber duckies which came in a pack of three for a dollar. I wouldn't leave these toys in the birds' cages but they make for some great foot toys to keep them busy when they are out. This way they can have something different to play with than the usual wood and plastic bird toys and it doesn't cost me too much.

Baby toy for parrot

Parrot with rubber ducky

Cape Parrot playing with baby toys

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Trained Parrot is a blog about how to train tricks to all parrots and parakeets. Read about how I teach tricks to Truman the Brown Necked Cape Parrot including flight recall, shake, wave, nod, turn around, fetch, wings, and play dead. Learn how you can train tricks to your Parrot, Parrotlet, Parakeet, Lovebird, Cockatiel, Conure, African Grey, Amazon, Cockatoo or Macaw. This blog is better than books or DVDs because the information is real, live, and completely free of charge. If you want to know how to teach your parrot tricks then you will enjoy this free parrot training tutorial.
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