Every animal, from fish to primates, has needs and wants – and that is precisely what facilitates training. I am a firm believer that virtually any animal can be trained, at least to some degree, with the right approach. That’s where positive reinforcement comes in. Positive reinforcement is the use of those wants or needs as rewards for behaviours that you want to encourage, and the simple lack of reward for undesirable behaviours. When using the positive reinforcement method, you never introduce any element of punishment.
Typically speaking, I tend to avoid the phrase ‘starter pet’ as this indicates that there is any pet in this world that requires anything less than complete commitment, dedicated research, and specialist care. However, I will concede there are some pets that are definitely NOT starter pets. Though a budgie is much more high maintenance than you might initially believe, they’re undeniably easier for a new bird owner to look after than, say, a macaw.
Predator and prey animals are in what is known as an ‘evolutionary arms race’. This means that while prey animals are constantly evolving new traits to avoid being eaten, predators are actively evolving traits that help them overcome the tactics of their quarries. That said, prey must always stay one step ahead of predators to maintain the natural balance.
As I covered in my previous article, there are many things around your home that present a physical threat to free-flying birds. But some of the dangers lurking in our four walls actually come in the form of silent or invisible threats that can be toxic to parrots, causing long-term health implications or even sudden death. Parrots are extremely good at hiding illness or injury, a trait they share with most other prey animals.