Friday, November 21, 2008

Wet greys

I have written before about Max's love of being showered. She gets so excited whenever I have the plant mister in my hand and will follow me around, saying "want some!" until she gets showered.

She loves getting misted so much that she will willingly go in her cage for our bird sitter now because she gets rewarded with a bath when she does. In fact, I've been doing a fair amount of training with her (just reviewing tricks she already knows) with the reward being a few sprays. And that gets better results than when I use food as a reward!

When Stella came to us in May, she was terrified of being misted. We slowly worked with her on this. She'd watch us spray the other parrots. We'd spray the air above her head so that the water would gently fall on her. We'd talk in happy, excited voices about how fun it was and tell her how pretty she was as we sprayed her. She'd get a special treat afterwards.

Our work is paying off, and while she still does not yet enjoy showers to the extent that Max does, we're heading in that direction.

Last night, I had sprayed her first. I always place her on the sink when I spray her so that she knows what to expect. Parrots like routine, and I think it made Stella happy knowing that she didn't have to worry about being sprayed unless she was on the sink.

Then I moved on to Max, who was on her usual place on the stand. After a few sprays, Stella flew over to the lower level of the stand and started making begging postures. She was begging to be sprayed. Success!

Of course, then I had to worry about making sure neither felt slighted with the mist! In the background, especially in the beginning, you can see Beeps hanging out on the stand in the background.

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