Take a good look at the magazine rack in your local bookstore or market, and one theme you’re likely to see on magazine after magazine is “the latest trend.” Yoga was so yesterday; Pilates is the new “now”; we opt for salads over burgers (even at fast-food restaurants), and you better start bringing your canvas tote bag with you to the grocer because taking home your goods in plastic bags is so not politically correct. In a nutshell, we are constantly looking for ways to enhance and update our lifestyles. Some of these trends are influenced by necessity; such as the “go green” effort; others help keep us from becoming bored with sameness.
Imagine the trends your bird would be interested in if it had a say. Perhaps it would sign up for a seminar devoted to enrichment activities or would gladly pay for a “Build-A-Toy” workshop. Some birds would go through cage catalogs and dog-ear mark their dream-cage models. Since many parrots are food connoisseurs, many would tear out recipes and post them on the fridge so as not to forget them. They would want their favorite toy in all five colors, just for the variety, and they would read any article about deciphering human body language, as well as any guide to taming and training its human flock.
Our birds, like us, want the very best in life. The main difference is that our companion birds aren’t able to make the changes or additions to their lives like we can to ours. We have to do it for them. Don’t think for a moment that once you bring a bird into your home that all you have to do is house and feed it. If you want your bird to thrive, you must become its earnest student as much as its dedicated trainer. You have a pretty big learning curve ahead of you, as you get to know your bird’s likes and dislikes. You’ll have to come up with a system for expressing to your bird what types of behavior are acceptable and not acceptable while fostering its trust in you.
Sounds like a big job, doesn’t it? You’ve already shown great promise by the fact that you are reading a magazine devoted to birds. You’ll soon find tips for deciphering your bird’s language and how to foster positive interactions instead of negative ones. You’ll learn how to offer your bird a balanced diet and an environment full of enrichment. Most of all, you’ll discover how fun and rewarding life with a bird can be.