Friday, June 5, 2009

Finland. Land of Orange Winged Amazons ….and Rambo.

Orange winged Amazon parrots seem to be very popular in Finland. At my recent two day workshop in this fine and friendly country I had the pleasure of working with a number of orange winged Amazon parrots. In Finland wing clipping is not the norm, so all these Amazon parrots were flighted and quite a joy to work with.

One in particular was a cutie named Rambo. (Yes, Sly Stallone’s impact is worldwide.) Rambo was confident as can be. She also had a very healthy appetite. You have food, she is your buddy. Guess who was one of my favorite training subjects? In fact she turned out to be many people’s favorite training subject. She learned a nice recall and return to perch cue, as well as some preliminary harness training. This is often a tough behavior to train with birds who are mature and not into all over touching. Milla, who organized the event, spent some time working on this behavior and made some progress. As is often the case this can be a difficult behavior to train that requires very small approximations. Being flighted, Rambo was good at letting people know when too much was being asked of her. It will take some time, but this group demonstrated some great natural talent for training and I am sure they will get the behavior trained soon.

Some other stars of the seminar included a Jardine's parrot who had some issues with hands. This meant no stepping up on the hand, only on the shoulder. This proved to be a challenge when the seminar was over and the bird did not want to go back in her cage. We did some creative maneuvering of her cage and were able to get her to enter. However I was super pleased to received a video clip less than a week later of the Jardines parrot stepping up voluntarily on the hand. Way to go Eve!

Also impressive was a whip smart, confident, flighted cockatiel. This bird learned super quick and made the rounds of the room visiting whomever she pleased. She spent a good chunk of her time supervising my computer : )

Really we had so many impressive training candidates that weekend. A green winged macaw, two umbrella cockatoos, some greys and more Amazon parrots. A big treat was that the national news came to visit. They filmed portions of the seminar as well as an interview with me and pet supply store owner and club member Jarko. I hear the news story really got the message across about positive reinforcement. Even more exciting is that it aired n 5 countries. When I made it to Helsinki, I got to watch the newscast on a big screen TV in the lobby bar of the hotel. Sigh, for a moment I felt bigger than Sly Stallone.

All Photos Courtesy of Jarmo Tutti

Barbara Heidenreich
Copyright 2009 Good Bird Inc


Sandy S. said...

what a wonderful ambassador to are! 3 cheers for your good work! Sandy S.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful ambassador you are. 3 cheers for your good work. Sandy S.

Anonymous said...

Lovely to see so many orange wing amazons! Obviously, Finlanders have excellent taste.
Rebecca W.

Andrea said...

Way to go, Barbara!

dot schwarz said...

Milla helped me with my Amazon booklet 5 years ago. How great to read about Rambo.
I fell OWA aree terribly underrated in UK