|Let's Celebrate Pet Birds!|
T.J. Lafeber D.V.M.
Communicating-An Important Part of Friendship
Just as birds constantly have you under visual surveillance, they also listen to every sound you make. Therefore, you continually have an acoustic (hearing) relationship with your bird-so important in taming.
Birds' Need: Birds don't vocalize just to hear themselves; they talk and sing their way through life because it is an important function in the wild. Communications are involved in reproduction, defense, identification, food gathering, training their young, social functions and their own enjoyment. When vocalizations consume such a large share of birds' time and energy, and is part of nearly all their daily activities, it can be presumed to be a vital function. Birds, then, need to vocalize and receive feed back.
Qualifications: Pet birds may have egos as big as humans! They crave attention! The main method to attract attention is through vocal vocalizing-singing , talking and other utterances. They want to be the center of activity! They like to be heard and want a response. (Maybe they feel like rock stars and think they should be on center stage).
Procedure: Helping pet birds to become good friends partially depends upon an owner talking, humming, whispering, singing, whistling or in any way communicating with his birds.
This gives birds a happier, more complete, more natural life. As in relationships between human beings, communication between owner and birds helps build understanding.
Vocalizing to birds may seem one-sided, but the tone of your voice, the enthusiasm, the excitement and the rate are all being heard and interpreted. Even a lack of conversation sends a message.
Birds learn to know the significance of the sounds people vocalize - ''good morning'', ''food'', ''treats'', ''pretty bird'', etc. They certainly can't understand our language, but maybe, have a feeling for what we say and know who said it.
Birds hear every sound you make and every word you speak.
In fact, any sort of communication, directly or indirectly, has a stimulating effect on them.
Like a person who claims he sings best in the shower, most birds are definitely influenced in their vocalization by environmental conditions. Most noticeable, though, is a bird's response to sounds. Canaries sing more when in an area of activity, and parrots talk more in your presence or when you have company.
(When I tap on my desk with a pencil, my cockatiel perks up, starts to walk around excitedly, and he responds by tapping his beak against his perch.)
More information on pages 15, 16 and 17.