Tips on playing with your
Start the new year with some healthy habits!
Spending quality time with your feathered loved
one is very important. It has many benefits. Quality playtime is
enriching for you as well as your pet bird. It provides mental
stimulation and bonding. I couldn't think of a better way to spend time
than to interact with my flock.
Here are some tips and ideas for you to play with your flock.
When your bird is in a mischievous mood, they will sometimes drop their
toys on purpose. My first response to this is to associate the drop with
an "UH OH!". You bird will eventually pick up on this word
and start using it. Secondly, this is a part of interacting with
your bird. He/she is trying to tell you to "Come play with
me!" Your bird is thinking "I drop it. Mom/Dad comes and picks
it up." Birds will go on for hours with this game!
Who says a bird cant play catch?? Well maybe not with a real ball but
you CAN with a Terry Cloth Ball or a small Wiffle Ball (ball with holes
in it). Item needs to be able to be gripped by their beaks.
Specifically I have a terry cloth ball that I use to play catch with my
grey Oliver. He gets very excited when I come out with the ball.
He knows "ITS SHOWTIME!".
First you want to ensure your bird is not fearful of the ball. Reserve
the initial playing sessions for 5-10 minute intervals so that your bird
will get accustomed to the game. This builds trust and enthusiasm for
the next play session. Gently and slowly roll the ball to your bird.
Don't be discouraged, if at first, your bird doesn't know what to do.
They will at first watch you and your reactions, so be sure to be
enthusiastic and talk to your bird. Tell him the name of the game and be
consistent so they learn the phrase. They will eventually start to roll
the ball back to you. Then before you know it he/she will pick it up and
fling it at
you! That is when the fun really begins!
Be sure you try to read your bird's body language
if he/she is adapting to the game and wanting more before attempting the
next play session. Please take note of your birds playful moments
so you learn
these types of body language. This will help aid in so many things.
**Dancing & Let's Get Crazy!**
Ok so not everyone is an expert at dancing. I certainly am not! So I
draw the shades (VBG) and turn on a song that has a good beat to it (Our
favorite CD is Banaphone by Raffi). Now, turn up the volume so
your bird gets into the rhythm. Are you keeping an open mind? Ok now is
where the fun begins! In front of your pet bird, start to sway and sing
(don't worry the neighbors wont hear you). Swing your arms to the music
and clap and bounce. Before you know it your bird will be dancing right
My Oliver LOVES Banaphone so much, when I ask him "Do you want to
hear Bananaphone?" he will nod so incessantly that his body bounces
then he skips from side to side! Honest! If you have some song
favorites, bring your bird in the room. He will love to join you in a
song festival! Whatever your choice in songs, I believe he/she will love
to listen and sing right along with you!
**Peek A Boo**
An old but GREAT favorite! Peek A Boo can be played anywhere. In
your bedroom, in the family room, in their cages. This one is a personal
favorite for me! You can take a small plain towel that is light in color
(some birds do not like patterns on some towels). And between you and
your bird, you hold it up and say "Where are you?" in a high
tone. Drop the towel, and say "PEEK A BOOOO, I SEEEEE YOU!"
With my little Grey, he will not wait for the towel to come down. He
flies on top of the hand towel and says "PEEK A BOO". They
certainly are precious aren't they?!
Yes, all good things must come to an end. Well why not read a nice
book with your bird before bedtime. This will relax both you and your
pet bird. Some ideas are children's books, poems, a nice novel,
passages from the bible, the ideas are endless!
It is a good to get into a routine with your bird
at bedtime. This aids in an enjoyed time together. Birds are flock
animals and they thrive on the attention we give them. It helps in
establishing a wonderful bond between humans and birds.
Another favorite! This is especially great when trying to accustom your
bird to your fingers and touching in areas they may not appreciate so
Game can be played anywhere you like (i.e. bed,
table, on top the cage). Take your fingers and run them like a spider
would and say "I'm gonna GETCHA!" and emphasize the GETCHA!
They usually go running away from you but within seconds they are back
for round 2!
Once your bird is used to this surprising game,
you can start exploring new areas. For example, try to touch his/her
belly or beak gently when emphasizing GETCHA. This gets to be a
"hands on" type of game in getting your bird involved in you
touching him in certain areas they may not be accustomed to.
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