Assigning Responsibility

Allowing your parrot to gain comfort, confidence and trust through choice. That is an important responsibility for every one in the flock.

Assigning Responsibility

Sounds funny, right? By responsibility I mean allowing your parrot a location, material, item or place in time that they are in total control of, without interference. Parrots need choice AND responsibility, for a healthy mental state.

Winston is our 2 1/2 year old male cockatiel. He's such a little man. If you've ever watched the Horde Meeting Videos you know he is large and in charge of flock plans and planning. Winston needs final say to feel good about life. He needs to be able to stand his ground at times and claim that ownership. When the flock of cockatiels are out and about, I leave them to their own devices (within reason), and allow Winston to steer them. I consult Winston when they get themselves perched in the wrong place (on the television). I ask Winston to step up and we go to where he wants. I think we've all experienced the "parrot lean" when holding our birds. They lean toward the direction they want to go. Winston drives me like that, the rest of the flock literally follows.

All parrots need to feel in control, to feel relaxed and allow trust. Control of a moment in time, control of a location or toy, the knowledge that where they left something will not change because they chose to leave it there for later. Choice is responsibility.

During the day we may find ourselves directing all the activities for our birds. It's easy to do, especially if you work all week, and only get those precious few days on the weekend (or how ever your work week is carved up). Consider having a parrot choice day, open the day up to their ideas. Don't drive, ride. We have those here on Sundays. Everybody gets out and does their own thing, we get invited to participate, and sometimes told to go away. But they are allowed that choice and responsibility.

This is fine nuance in the parrot lifestyle. It is almost an emotional dance if you will. We humans are all about control! We love manhandling our days, wrestling life, defeating things in our opposition. It's our nature. But that is not in the nature of parrots. They are like water really, seeking options and available moments, materials and food. Opportunistic only because the first one into a tree, on the ground or into a bush is the one that is taking the most chances. Survival instinct feeds their nature.

I have found the more choices and responsibility I give our flock, the more they just choose me in the end. They just wanted to do it their way.

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