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Went to Bird Store

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Went to Bird Store

Postby Michael » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:56 pm

Yesterday I went to the bird store I got Kili and Duke from to get their nails trimmed. This was the first time I had gone to the store since Kili knew how to fly. Last Time I was there she has some primaries but really never tried using them at home so I wasn't so afraid of her trying to fly there.

Well a few nasty things happened. First off when I reached in to grab her out of her carrier (no step ups here, couldn't chance her flying around) she started running/fluttering around like crazy and might have bit me. The issue wasn't me though. She usually looks forward to me pulling her out of the carrier but in this case she couldn't tell whose hand it is and usually the woman who does the nails is the one to pull the bird out. So clearly the negative association has not been forgotten. As I was taking her out she was pretty panicked and luckily I held onto her cause she was trying to get away. She got her beak and nails trimmed without much suffering and I held her a while to calm her down and reassure her.

Before I get to the second part of the story let me go back a bit. When I go to that store I like to walk around and handle all different birds because it helps me learn to read them better and build more confidence. The first time I went there I wouldn't dare touch anything. Now I'm handling Amazons, Greys, and even Macaws. Between having my own parrot and having handled more birds at the store during visits I think I am getting a better read on the birds and more confidence in handling them. The store owners love and encourage this because it's free socialization of their birds toward human interaction.

For the first time and twice that day people asked me if I worked there because they saw me handling the various birds confidently. I told them no but tried to help them where I could like getting a bird out of a tank to hold and stuff. I know when I was there at first I was just as clueless and needed someone to take the bird out and hand it to me too so I see where they are coming from.

There was this gorgeous blue crowned conure on an open stand out at the front of the store and had to have been the friendliest parrot I've ever met. He stepped up on my finger without fail every time and no problems! My parrot is good with me but she could bite others in a similar circumstance but I saw that this guy was really friendly toward strangers. Thank goodness I didn't have that kinda money or I could have almost walked out with that bird. So people were coming in with kids interested in getting birds and asking to handle a bird and whatnot so I always suggested for them to go for the conure cause he was friendly and knows step up unlike some of the younger birds. I was amazed to see just how fricken awful people were with birds and how they wouldn't follow my instructions one bit. This friendliest conure I'd ever seen would nip them because they were eradic and unstable. I would show them again how I would bring my hand in to step up and they couldn't get a handle on it.

It's starting to seem to me that parrots can sense out "parrot people" vs. everyone else. Or maybe it's just the confidence. Maybe they respect someone who's confident and step up, I'm not sure. I am becoming more and more convinced that people should not buy birds for young children though and some of the episodes I watched at the store confirm that for me.

So there was this father with son that came to buy a lovebird and I was showing them some parrots just for the hell of it. I forgot to mention I was at the store for a while because I was out to pick up people from the airport, the store is near it, flight was delayed, so I spent all my time there waiting rather than at airport. I tried to talk them out of getting a lovebird (no offense Natacha) because I think they're too aggressive as a beginner bird and suggested that a Senegal Parrot is more mellow and not just because I have a Senegal but rather I have a Senegal for those reasons.

They couldn't get it out of the tank but those little sennies are so cute and so tame. They are so gentle and easy going you'd have to really have to be clueless not to be able to handle them. So I showed them the Senegals and a Meyers as well. They seemed to like it but were surprised they are $600. I said that they live about 30 years so on a year by year basis the cost isn't all that much. But the father turned back and said something like, "but that's $1200 which is kind of much." I couldn't understand how he got that figure so he said, "well we have to get two don't we?" This just about made me turn red.

I don't understand why people are so obsessed with getting parrots in pairs. Really, where does this come from? Is it a rumor someone started or is it just an assumption people make? Anyway, I explained to him that unless you really know what you're doing, you can forget about keeping a pair and handling them because they will defend each other from the humans and not want to be with them. That if you are buying the bird to interact with, you better get one and be its friend. If you don't plan to interact with it and want to get a second bird because you think it will be lonely, don't get it at all. I seriously do not understand people who buy parrots not to interact with them. Why would someone even want them then?

Continuing the story. His son of about 10 years old was really wild and crazy. I was kind of surprised he was needing a pet because he seemed pretty out of control himself. I could tell the birds were totally uncomfortable around him. Certainly he was scared and didn't know what to do but he wouldn't follow my example either.

The father explained to me that really they wanted to get a dog but that the mother was really afraid of getting bit. I started to regret helping them out at all. I told him that parrots bite too and often moreso than dogs. I also explained that they should visit the bird store a few more times prior to biting so they could learn to handle birds before thinking of bringing one home and I also told them to go up front where they sell books and buy a book for $10 prior to spending hundreds on a bird and learn more about it. Somehow I was quickly losing hope for these folks. At first I thought that the father was getting a bird for himself or the family but it seemed more like it was a puppy for the buy kind of thing and with a terrified mother and uninvolved father the bird would be left with a wild child.

Before they left they wanted to see my parrot which I had in a carrier. I never let Kili out in front of other people since she was flighted but at home she pretty much just sits on me and I have to shew her off rather than her flying off on her own. I took her out and she seemed ready to fly so I held her feet and held her back. I walked into a deserted aisle in the store and was trying to get Kili to show some tricks but this guy was just freaking her out. She finally calmed a little and sat on my hand when the guy suddenly flicked his hand for absolutely no reason and Kili flew off!

I completely lost sight of her as she flew down the aisle, up, and around a turn. My heart sank and I was just panicked! For several minutes I walked the aisles of the bird store searching for my parrot with the fervor of a parent that had lost their child. I tried to call her too but I doubted I would hear her over the noise of hundreds of birds.

Just as I was searching down an aisle I saw her head pop out from behind a cage up high on a shelf 12 feet or so up. The worst was over and I was so relieved that I finally spotted her. She looked really shaken and she was clinging onto the cage on that shelf. She was on the side of it and not the front facing the aisle so only her head popped out at first. She was certainly as relieved to see me as I was to see her. I made a couple of attempts to cue her down but I knew it would be pointless. This wasn't the familiar home surrounding she is accustomed to recalling in. On one hand I wanted to ask staff for assistance but on the other hand I did not want to lose sight of Kili. Luckily there was a tall ladder on the aisle wall just opposite where Kili was.Without moving the ladder I started climbing up the rickety ladder juggling my balance and keeping eye on the bird. I hadn't the slightest problem getting her to step onto my hand once I was able to reach her.

I took her to the side and found an undisturbed aisle and sat down on some sacks of seed to calm my bird. At first I only held her in a grab and close to me but as she calmed down I let her go and let her sit on my finger and shoulder. She held on with a killer grip so I knew that unless someone scared her again, she would certainly not take off. Previously she was not flying away from me but from the dad guy.

So all and all I've been reevaluating my openness toward people meeting my bird and my opinion on who should own a bird. I always believed that educating people could make them more responsible bird owners but I am beginning to doubt if that is enough in some cases. However, I still stand by my perception that young children should not own birds (with some few and rare exceptions).

Later last night I took Kili to my parent's house for dinner with the guests I picked up at the airport. I opened Kili's carrier and let her sit on top and watch us have our dinner all together and she was fantastic. She did not fly off until my mother slammed the dishwasher and scared her but she didn't fly off too far and I got her back. At least she wasn't flying around and being a pest. The bird is good, it's the people that are iffy :roll:
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Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6054
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Went to Bird Store

Postby Michael » Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:39 am

I posted a video of Kathleen playing with a baby Meyers Parrot at the store I mentioned and where Kili and Duke are from:

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Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6054
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Went to Bird Store

Postby Natacha » Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:10 pm

Cute little Meyer's.
Makes me want a baby bird. I miss the baby days. Haven't had those with Joey, Petey and Zuri.
My blog http://poiworld.blogspot.com/
Videos of my birds http://www.youtube.com/user/poicephaluslady
Piper ~ Lovebird
Shade ~ Senegal
Joey & Pixel ~ Red-bellied parrots
Petey & Zuri ~ Meyer's parrots
Léa ~ Cape parrot
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Natacha
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Number of Birds Owned: 7
Types of Birds Owned: PF Lovebird, Senegal Parrot, Red-bellied Parrots, Meyer's Parrot, Cape Parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Went to Bird Store

Postby dawood55 » Thu Oct 15, 2009 6:11 pm

Hey Michael, I'm glad you got Kili back safely :). As I'm new to parrot ownership, I have a question. When you take Kili to the store, doesn't it have to use the bathroom? And where does it go?
dawood55
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 10
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
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Re: Went to Bird Store

Postby Michael » Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:18 pm

The bird just poops. I line the carrier with a paper towel and throw it out later. I put her back in the carrier every 10 minutes so she can go. Sometimes she'll drop one on the floor so I keep extra paper towels around with me. It's not a big deal really, just get used to your birds poop schedule, have paper towels around, and deal with it.
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Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6054
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Went to Bird Store

Postby dawood55 » Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:29 pm

Ahhh OK, thanks.
dawood55
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 10
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Re: Went to Bird Store

Postby MissLady9902 » Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:00 pm

Your bird store is HUGE!
I have bird store envy!
Cathy

Busy beaks are quiet beaks!

:senegal: - Noodle
:gray: - Marvin
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MissLady9902
Poicephalus
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Location: Columbia, Mo USA
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Re: Went to Bird Store

Postby Michael » Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:38 pm

And that's only the bird room. They have a large supplies section for the rest of the store and a dozen or so birds up front out on perches greeting everyone that walks in (really helps sell them cause they are just so cute!) :galah:
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Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6054
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Went to Bird Store

Postby MandyG » Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:49 am

MissLady9902 wrote:Your bird store is HUGE!
I have bird store envy!


I agree! I'm very jealous! The closest 'bird stores' near me are a Pet Land and a Petsmart 3-4 hours away. It's probably a good thing though, I'd probably have a lot more birds if I had a place like that near me ;) .
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MandyG
Amazon
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Re: Went to Bird Store

Postby Michael » Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:05 am

Nah, the beauty of it is that you can go and visit the birds and play with them without having to own them. You get to learn about other species and try handling them without the obligation to buy. And the store owners are thrilled cause I'm helping socialize their birds so they don't mind at all.
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Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6054
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

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