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Birds and Other Pets

Birds are very sensitive creatures that bond with their owners.  They need daily attention and care.  They suffer without daily communication, and some birds that are left alone too often will develop neurotic conditions such as screaming for attention or plucking out their feathers.  In other cases, birds will pluck because of a medical condition such as Giardia.

It’s cruel to buy a bird just because it’s pretty, then leave it alone in a cage.  Companion birds need to be hand trained at the very least.  Birds are not interchangeable or replaceable.  They are individual animals that deserve our respect.

Whether you pay $2,000 for a African raven or $20 for a parakeet, they will need medical attention like any other pet.  The price of the animal should not dictate what the owner is willing to spend for its medical care.  

Acquiring a bird should not be a casual decision.  Give careful consideration to your situation and lifestyle before you get a bird.  They make a lot of noise in the morning, and they can be messy.  Birds can bite, so if that frightens you, don't get one.  It is also very common for a bird to outlive its owner. 

If you think a bird is right for you, please give us a call if you have any questions or if you would like help with its training.   

Thanks to the work of Dr. Irene Pepperburg, the term “bird brain” is no longer synonymous with stupidity.  Dr. Pepperburg proved birds to be highly intelligent, and some have cognitive and language skills similar to those of young children. 

People who have not lived with a bird will not understand how loving a bird can be.  Birds will fly to you on command and follow you around the house like a dog.  They like to be petted on the face and will lower their heads to ask for a scratch.  Some birds, such as crows and ravens, have dogs as their best friends, and they will play together like dogs.

With patience, birds can be easily trained using food as a reward.  They don’t have pack issues, so food is an excellent training tool.  We never use negativity with avian training, but when working with corvids you can use a tone of displeasure if the raven is not flying when called.

We train birds using English, just as you would with a child. Gray parrots not only can learn tricks, they can learn to use language correctly. Ravens will understand what you are saying, but when they speak they sound like a zombie coming back from the dead.  People have recognized the intelligence of these birds for centuries, so be careful—locking the door to your crow’s cage does not guarantee he won’t pick the lock! 

Cats and birds can get along.  Just be careful when bringing either animal into your home.  If your cat develops behavior problems after a bird becomes part of the household—waking you up 4 a.m. to be fed, or not using the litter box—please don't be angry at the kitty.  Bad or annoying behaviors can be corrected using passive deterrents and classical conditioning.  

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