Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Time for a parrot

Because it's been a few days without a parrot picture, and because this little cutie keeps visiting the tree outside my office window, I bring you my new friend, the eastern rosella:

And I enter day four of Operation Hello Birdies, my cunning attempt to persuade the crimson rosellas that feed on my balcony to eat out of my hand. So far I've had moderate success, in that they will let me stand a metre or so away while they feed and don't seem at all bothered. Unless I am holding something in my hands, in which case they totally freak out and won't come near me. So I can't eat or read while waiting for them, or stalk them with a camera. (I wonder if they have had bad experiences with people stuffing their friends into a sack?)


Jeremy said...

I've heard of using a scarecrow wearing your clothes (with gloves and a hat, perhaps a camera and a book) and lots of appropiate bird food to desensitize the little beasties. A week or two of that with some changes in positioning and you might be able to feed them out of your hand, wearing those clothes at first, of course.

I alas have no first hand knowledge of how well this technique works but since you don't have to sit out there for the bulk of the training, you are losing little...

StyleyGeek said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Jeremy. I imagine that would desensitise them to the presence of people nearby, but I think in this case that step has already been passed. It might save me a bit of time, so if I had the stuff to make a scarecrow I'd give it a go, but as it is, I think I'll keep on as I am.

I only started even trying to go near them on Saturday, and they are already quite happy to have me within touching distance, and even if I move or speak it doesn't seem to bother them. I imagine that even without the scarecrow method it won't take too long before they are happy to feed out of my hand. It's not too arduous anyway, since I love watching them, so don't strictly need a book or something to occupy myself.