What is the biggest influence in your parrot's health and well being? This influence can affect every corner of your parrot's happiness and health. It's the biggest influence on them, and it is the one influence we have the most control over.
It's you. It's me. It's us as companion parrot parents. There is not enough room, food, flight, or toys (employment opportunities) to overcome stress. And stress starts with us. We affect the tenor, vibes, energy and environment more than any other element.
Every parrot visit I attend, every parrot problem I consult and most all parrot misunderstandings start with the human in the room. It's a change required by the person, not the parrot. Most fixes are so simple that when I reveal the issue, it's just a big "OH!" in the room and changes are made immediately. And results show just as fast.
I'm not finger pointing with this statement, but rather celebrating a simple concept. A Successful Companion Parrot Lifestyle starts and ends with a relaxed, patient and confident human in the room. There's a difference between simple and easy. These two words are mutually exclusive in context. Sharing your world with a Companion Parrot is simple. It is not easy.
The foundation begins with reasonable expectation and honest evaluation of ourselves. You can not want a Macaw and a perfectly kept and well decorated home at the same time. The macaw will loose in that situation. You can not be a workaholic, gone 10-12 hours a day, and have a Cockatoo. Being honest about who you are and what you are capable of accepting inside your own truth allows reasonable expectation, and that allows success.
The simple truth of a companion parrot is that daily care, food and routines required are not complicated. Knowing the absolute truth on needs coupled with reasonable expectations allows success. Oh sure, you can get all caught up with conversations about nutritional needs, sun lamps vs sun light, feather care and baths and what products you need. You can get caught up in vitamins and symptoms of lack of vitamins etc. and so on. You can get fired up on what to clean with, how to clean and hygiene theory. Searching the internet for answers can get you running down rabbit trails of worry and concern. Which leads to stress, which bleeds to your parrot. Which isn't necessary.
Please notice I have said simple. I did not say easy. Reasonable expectation toward a companion parrot can not include the idea of easy. Because the conversation must include a parrot's expectations. And parrot expectations inside a human world generally seem unreasonable. Chewing on your favorite chair seems reasonable to a parrot. Wandering on the floor to find where you went off to, and chewing on random things while searching for you, is reasonable to a parrot. Companion parrots are not easy because of their expectations to their world. That's the nugget at the center of the truth.
It is the Parrot's expectations that get overlooked when we find ourselves in a moment or situation that seems troublesome. Bad bird, bad behavior, unwanted behavior, misbehaving, mean bird, unfriendly bird, all this phrases drive me up a tree. I'm up a tree because when a few minutes of conversation takes place it is always revealed that the parent brought unreasonable expectations to a parrot's natural expectations and the two do not connect.
The "screaming parrot" issue is a prime example. With a Vet visit and a parrot being confirmed healthy and not in pain a screaming parrot is acting most appropriately inside their reasonable expectations. They are seeking their prime directive. Flock activity. Every parrot is different and requires a different level of "togetherness". Understanding your parrot's definition of this expectation allows you to fulfill it properly and thus ends the screaming. This is not easy. This is simple.
As I write this article I have 8 uncaged parrots within 8 feet of me, including one on me, roosted, perched, shredding, gruxing, eating and preening. It is so quiet in this house I can hear the wind against the window pane. Why? Every parrot's flock acitivity level requirement has been met. This was not easy. It took months of repetition, modification, and changes to my routine in the morning process. But going through the modifications was simple. I removed unreasonable expectations, allowed their's to show themselves, and modified my actions and requirements to meet those. I can work 4 hours straight in complete quiet with no interuptions from 2 macaws, Felix, Kirby the IRN and 4 cockatiels free to roam and do their thing. I don't say this to brag, it's simply a case of allowing a parrot's expectations to show the way. Some negotiations came into play. (No you can't have my Wacom Pen, no you can not sit on the monitor.) That is the part that is not easy. How not easy? The negotiations for not sitting on my monitor required my husband to build a complete open faced cabinet to house that monitor. Butters and I have come to terms with her needing to be on top of the cabinet when it's time to urge me to take a break. She'll fly over, land, look down on me and say "HI!"
I write this to remind myself as well as put out a conversational idea. Life gets us busy and pressured. We create unreasonable expectations on ourselves as well. I firmly believe parrots make us better humans. I am a better person because of our flock's influence on me. Relax, keep it simple, keep your own life and expectations simple, and remember they too have expectations. It's simple, it's just not always easy.