I get a lot of the same questions when Harley and I are in public. The one that I get the most is:
“Is this your bird?”
I often wonder how many people are running around with a bird on their arm that doesn’t belong to them. I can see if you are a dog walker and you have a few dogs with you but a bird? I get this one all the time.
The next question I get most fequently is:
“Does he or will he bite?” This is right after they have tried to pet him. I ususally have to quickly but gently move him away and tell them the rules.
I give the speech that he can bite. He does bite. He rarely bites me anymore but the color of your shirt, the look in your eye, the speed at which you approach can all be factors in whether you or I get bit. Usually the person that has drawn the response has moved far enough away but since I am right there I get the brunt of his aggression.
So I explain for this bird he only likes to have the top of his head petted. Most don’t dare to go there since it is too close to the beak. Others will be brave. He ususally is ok as long as the person is not to aggressive or too shy.
Still others will try to pet a wing or the tail. The tail is a big no no. Not only is it seemingly uncomfortable to get touched there most animals don’t like being approached from behind. When you do it triggers all sorts of fear responses including biting.
The other questions I get are:
How old is he?
How long have you had him?
How did he get so tame?
Harley is 6 and half yours old. I have had him for 3.5 years. How did he get so tame? Well that takes a lengthy answer….
At first we didn’t like each other. Over the course of at least a year we grew closer. I had to throw everything I knew about companion animals out the window. I only knew of cats and dogs who frequently seek you out. Harley was more than happy to live without me.
I tell everyone to read all they can about the specific bird they want. Talk to everyone they can about the specific bird they want. Do these two things BEFORE you bring the bird home. That will save a lot of heartache in the initial months of bringing birdy home.
Also I never shied away from taking this bird anywhere I could. We go outside everyday. We have a car ride every week and we frequently got to parks and the like. This works two fold. It socializes Harley and he is less and less afraid of new things.
Please don’t go taking your bird outside only to have him fly away and never be found again. It can be dangerous to do so. Harley has been attacked by the local hawks but make it out alive and unscathed.
If you plan on going outside do so safely. Use and aviary, a cage, or a tether.
If you have any questions about Harley or bird ownership in general please don’t hesitate to ask.
Thank you all for taking the time to read and comment.