This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Emma with her Umbrella Cockatoo


vet confirmed that it was a behavioural problem. Every winter George snips all the feathers on his chest, shoulders and sometimes his wings and tail, the bottom of his cage looks like it’s been hit by a snowstorm. It’s particularly upsetting to see him frantically picking at himself but thankfully he only snips the feathers and is so far leaving his skin alone. Spring and summer see him almost fully feathered again and unrecognisable from the bald scrawny fella he is in the winter. In the mornings George would come out to share some porridge with me and investigate the kitchen, he wouldn’t sit on a parrot stand, preferring to perch on the back of a chair or a door handle, this was fun as it meant he could take discreet little chunks from the woodwork when my husband wasn’t looking, of course it was me who got the blame for not watching him. I had the brainwave of putting up a window perch and after weeks of trying to entice George onto the unfamiliar perch, he finally decided


16 BIRD SCENE


he quite liked it but only when he realised he could chomp his way through all the rubber seals around the window! Getting George to go back into his cage was still a problem at this stage and involved a lot of chasing and muttering rude words under the breath, that was George of course, not me. I realised that George was partial to almonds and decided to use them to train him. He stepped up easily but flew away as soon as he saw that we were approaching his cage. I placed the almonds at strategic points on the door of his cage, making sure he saw me do it, he was then eager to sit on his cage and munch the treats, I then placed an almond in his pot while he was watching me, as soon as my back was turned he hopped in to get his almond and I, quick as a flash, shut the door, locking it securely and rubbing my hands, pleased that I’d outsmarted him. After a time I only had to show him the almond and he’d go into his cage and wait for his treat.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48