shanlung (shanlung) wrote,

Tinkerbell Legacy - Rant 08 How to avoid getting badly bitten by your bird

Tinkerbell Legacy - Rant 08 How to avoid getting badly bitten by your bird

Sorry if I mislead you by calling the last rant to be a final rant. Looks like I have got more to say.

This is a letter made a couple of days ago on 9 May that you may find useful if your parrot or macaw or cockatoo bites you.

I will not mention which cockatoo group that was as it is unlikely you find me there again. The vast majority of people there are nice as usual. The one I addressed to is nice and so is the other mentioned in the letter.

But there is one who knows so little and who think she knew everything.

Saying that I use a chainsaw to cut butter while she uses a knife? Why ? because she THINKS that she knew clicker training and took acception that I never mentioned that in this particular letter.

She then claimed I am angling for praise and her crony jumped in saying I am there to boast.

There are better things for me to do in life.


To Groovy's Mom,

Thank you for writing directly to me that you enjoyed those episodes I wrote of Tinkerbell and her training in her webpage

I was hesitant at the beginning of stepping in. No matter how detailed you wrote of your problems, at best it will be a snapshot and important details may have been left out making it difficult to advise you to avoid further biting especially as you are one of those rare person keeping a flighted Goffin. You definately have a sense of humour as it is unimaginable to me otherwise. No one without a sense of humour can ever keep a flighted parrot or 2 or macaw at home.

Being a mom and FRIEND with Groovy, it is important that unacceptable behaviour be dealt with firmly. I have no difficulties with your use
of of your spray bottle to reinforce your NOs. Heck! I had a water blaster to wave about to let her know her occasional fragrant disregards for my NOs do have consequences. I do believe that make for overall amicable living in somewhat harmony.

I agree with Angie that the fly swatter should not be used, but for reasons very different from hers.

I do believe that Groovy and you love each other. Groovy may be taking her cues how to treat you from how you treat her. I do not think Groovy fear that swatter unlike Angie. But Groovy may think a more robust relationship with you may be ok just as you are more robust with her (even if you never did use it on her).

I do not think you want that trend to continue. A firm NO together with mental outpouring of anger will be enough. Wave that spray bottle for emphasis if you need more. If bad behaviour persist, cage time should be mandatory.

It will be a bad mistake to pussy foot around fearing to upset them bearing your pain in silence. As I have said, they read our emotions. If you remain outwardly nice and inside an emotional turmoil, you will confuse them.

If you read those episodes with Tinkerbell, you will read now and then she gave me manicure. It is interesting why that happened. Even with our relationship, I was very wary at first when she got on my shoulders. I would put my hand up between her and my face to control her beak just in case. I also thought it to be a good idea in case she got bored and want to bite, I rather let her bite my fingers than my cheek. Instead, she got on to giving my fingers a good manicure.

Do take care if Groovy want to snuggle to your face especially when you relate he might bite you. Do read what I wrote about training parrot 'Parrot on shoulder being gentle'.

I never stick or wave my fingers silently under the beak or around the eyes of Tinkerbell or any parrot. I was stupid enough to do that to her at the beginning, but since then, never.

I may look ugly now from my photos. But long long time ago when I was 3 -4 years old, I was incredibly cute. My sisters and her friends loved to hug me and pinch my cute cheeks, to my immense disgust at that time. I did tell them I did not like it, but it seemed what they liked determined what they could do.

So everytime I raised my finger to Tinkerbell's head, I would tell her I am going to give a head rub or beak rub. I watched her. If she bowed her head or hold steady, it would be ok with her. If she withdrew slightly, that meant she did not want my head rubs or beak rubs at that time. So I do my thing and ask again later.

It is a matter of courtesy and respect to tell them what we like to do. And pay attention to their response before we proceed.

There have been this talk about watching eyes pinning as an indication that they may attack. We might as well watch that they open their beaks before they bite you.

I do not know about eye pinning. But they indicate their moods and if you are observant enough, you know their likes and dislikes. If you watch them enough, you will see so many shades of likes and dislikes that you will never bother to look for eyes pinning. I am not even certain if their eyes pinned before they bite. Perhaps that is another fallacy such as height placement and their behaviour.

If they indicate dislike, that should be enough for you to desist and not push them to the point that they bite you.

If it is a bird that I am not familiar with, I talk to them, telling them how nice they are and feeling the words in my heart. When I extend my right index finger for head rub/beak rub, my right thumb is prepared to push on the lower beak near the head if a bite occur and withdrawing my finger. So far, so good. I have not been bitten even by 2s and macaws that I was warned are biters. I gave them time and talked to them and let them warm to me. I also do take precautions thereby not fearing them which may trigger a bite because of the fear itself.

If you read my letters, from now and then, I mention I do martial arts, a lot of martial arts.

In training my friend who looked after Tinkerbell, I had to train him and his family in case of bites. Their thumbs may not be as fast as mine.

I told them to hold their right index finger with their left hand very hard. If they pull their right hand away, it would be difficult just as if a bite occured. And the beaks may grind and grind.

If instead, they push their right index finger towards the wrist of the left holding hand at 30 degree and rotate the right index finger against the thumb of the holding hand such that the right palm is now facing upwards, the grip will be broken. Get your husband or boyfriend to grip you hard on your wrist or your index finger. You will find it difficult to pull away. If you push your wrist or finger downwards and rotate it in a smooth motion, you break free without hurting him.

In the same way, instead of pulling away from the bite, you push towards the chest of the bird and rotate your hand. Yes, Tink after the first 2 weeks of honeymoon, was a biter. But I was glad my years of martial arts did help me. Then, we bonded and played and a different story emerged.

I hope now you respect the beak, but not fear the beak anymore.

As to your enquiry about commercial harness, I must advise you strongly against commercial harness. Do take your time with Tinkerbell webpage and read what I wrote on harness including my philosophy on them, how to make them and how to put them on and when you should do that.

There are so many details without which the use of harness can be very dangerous.

Good ideas are a dime a dozen as you will find out eventually with those commercial harness and flightsuits. You just try threading tiny buckles on moving body with sharp beaks and all I taught earlier about avoiding beaks will be futile.

Or worse, they make use of those spring loaded thingy wingy to hold them together. Tinkerbell can open them in one second flat. Have you walked on a mist shrouded ledge with forests around and a drop of 300 meters and hear the click when the spring loaded thingy wingy was opened and the leash released when your beloved parrot is on your shoulder?

That happened to me as you can read in

Harness is not a cure all. There are specific conditions that apply.

You have a long time ahead with Groovy. Do take the time to read the details that hopefully will make your living with Groovy even more enjoyable than my lving with Tinkerbell.

Warmest regards



This is the letter I wrote when she claimed I use a chainsaw to cut butter while she uses a knife. She never bothered to tell me about that knife chosing to give a tirade from a different direction. Jumping instead to what I wrote that it is ok to wave that spray bottle just as I wave my water blaster.

You have read and known of the context that is done. I am more than willing to be cruxified by you as I know you knw all about me.

But from one who does not know and think she knew?

That is when I decided the lowest denominator wins. I just rather not be there again.



When I see someone in the water struggling to stay afloat, I do not think teaching that person how to swim is appropriate. That person needed a ring thrown over.

When a person is afraid of being bitten and the wings of a bird is at risk, I do want to try my best to save both.

I am fascinated by your proclaimed admiration for the work you said I have done with my birds. I just wonder what do you know about what I have done as it is so obvious that you have not read about it.

If you had, clicker training, or the knife you love to compare with the chainsaw, is so evident as the foundation of all that I have done in almost everything I have written. Since Groovy Mom is reading those earlier letters in Tinkerbell webpage, I know that she is fully aware of how important clicker training is, at least to what I have done with Tinkerbell.

When others, including yourself, mentioned clicker training, I thought I need not add more.

But perhaps I am totally wrong. You have this wonderful knife that I missed while I lug around a chain saw to cut butter.

So do tell me more of that knife of yours.



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