AG update for Linda

by Lisa

This isn't so much a question as an update... Linda responded to my problem regarding my African Grey attacking my dogs, and the chirpy/grunty noises she was making to me, and asked to know how it went. First of all, THANK YOU, Linda, for the helpful advice! This is an incredible site, and you helped me tremendously. Tinker has quit, for the most part, attacking the dogs through the timely use of a squirt bottle. All I have to do now, when I see her start to 'stalk' the dogs, is say, "Be nice to my puppies!" and she turns around and walks away, nonchalant, whistling a little ditty, like she had no intention of doing THAT!!! She gets lots of praise when she ignores them, and when she walks away. I am SO fortunate with the relationship I have with Tink... she trusts me so much, and at least once a day I get 'crooned' to, usually when I get home from work. She cuddles into my chest, desperately making eye contact and doing her best to make me understand how important it is that I 'hear' her. I croon back to her; this lasts several minutes, then she's ready to get on with the day and play in her paper bag (on the counter) for quite some time. She is SO funny in there, she throws her toys in and throws them out, chews on her plum tree sticks, and shreds the bag. One day I walked in the kitchen, she was playing in her bag, and I said, "Oh! There's my birdie! Is she a good birdie or a naughty birdie?" The little snot stuck her head out of the bag, looked at me, and gave me a big raspberry!!! I swear her cognitive level is amazing! She wants to be in whatever room I'm in, and happily plays while I'm going about my business-- she especially loves to sit on the shower rail and practice her vocabulary at the top of her lungs (I think she likes the echo!) Later in the evening, she snuggles with me on the couch, and literally falls asleep on my lap or on my chest while I lovingly maul her little body. I pull out her wings, play with her little drumstick legs, examine her beautiful red tail... Unbelievably, to me anyway, is that she often ends up on her side, eyes shut, sprawled out like a dog in front of a fire, oblivious to me touching and scritching her EVERYWHERE. I keep waiting for her to start snoring, she's so out of it!!! I do understand now why the ads say, "must have big bird experience." I consider myself an expert with dogs and horses, but this bird thing is a whole different world!!
One question: how important is a bath for her? She HATES water, and wants nothing to do with a bath. I've tried several different ways with no luck. Can we just forgoe a bath?

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Jan 01, 2010
AG update for Linda
by: Linda

Lisa, thank you for your kind words, and your story is one I'll file away as a keeper. Little Tink sounds like a very well adjusted little bird, and it thrills my heart to hear such love being passed back in forth from human to bird and bird to human!

Birds have roughly the emotional/mental capacity of 4-5 year old human children, so you are in the presence of a very intelligent being with your bird. Birds understand much more than most people give them credit for. They also hurt when they are ignored or when they think they are not such an important part of a person's life. Always keep in mind that a 4-5 year old human child needs direction like you are doing with Tink. They respect their people when they set limits and work on changing negative behaviors to more positive ones. You have won her trust and her respect. The love is being freely given because all parrots, regardless of how large or small are little love machines. The discipline and direction are priceless and have to be there because they will literally run a household if allowed to do so. They'll tell their people, dogs and cats when they can do what, so they need to be shown a better way to be by their "smarter" human family.

As for baths, we use the plastic sprayer bottle for our bird's baths, and we usually don't get them soaking wet. Just enough to keep their nostrils clear or help then sneeze out some dust and kind of wash the dust off them. A little spraying also adds some humidity to their room and cage to counteract the dry heat we have to use in the winter. Put the sprayer on a fine mist until she gets used to it more, and then it can be adjusted for a little heavier spray. Always warm the water up some as cold water is too much of a shock, kind of like playing in the sprinkler in the summer.

This is the first day of the New Year, and you have started it off with a smile, some laughs and just a warm fuzzy feeling all over. Keep up the good work with your sweet bird, and keep us posted on anymore news.

Linda and Family

Dec 31, 2009
forgot to mention.....
by: Lisa (author)

I forgot to mention, regarding the question of Tink's bath needs, that her feathers are gorgeous, she smells sweet and clean, and is in general the picture of health.

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