But, he doesn’t like vegetables!”
“But, he’s afraid of showers!”
“But, he won’t sit on other perches…he afraid of them!”
I hear these, and similar, protestations frequently, in response to recommendations I have just made, recommendations aimed at improving a parrot’s quality of life, which will in turn serve to reduce or eliminate existing behavior problems. These reactions have given me a good understanding of just how frustrated owners can feel when trying to introduce new foods and experiences to their parrots. They know that their bird needs showers, and should eat fresh vegetables. They know about the dangers of a parrot getting too cage-bound. However, they often eventually feel powerless in their efforts to introduce new things or experiences to their parrots, in the face of the resistance their birds routinely and vociferously offer.
Not only can it be difficult to figure out how to introduce new things and experiences to a parrot, especially a mature parrot, but also we find ourselves reluctant to push very far in this endeavor. I observe a widespread need among owners to make their birds happy. This is quite understandable. They certainly bring joy to us in so many ways. We want to give back to them and make them as happy as they make us. Thus, as we live with them we seek to discern what they like and concern ourselves enthusiastically with providing those things.