Home > Uncategorized > Rocky on my shoulder for the first time ever

Rocky on my shoulder for the first time ever

Rocky on my shoulder for the first time ever

Rocky on my shoulder for the first time ever

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Jennifer
    July 9, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Glorious photo!

  2. Cyndy Hibbert
    July 9, 2012 at 10:34 am

    What wonderful news – I’m sure he is just as happy as you are. It is amazing that even after living as he did he can learn to trust.

  3. July 9, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I love the picture. It is so exciting when something new happens, when you cross some invisible barrier. I have had so many changes with Hiawatha and it is a constant delight.

  4. July 9, 2012 at 11:31 am


  5. Ken and Rebecca
    July 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    What a GREAT moment! We know that you had to be thrilled …. congrats!!!

  6. Corrie
    July 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Yaaaay! And you caught in on camera! Congrats. 🙂

  7. bill taylor
    July 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I have 4 Moluccans, a Sulpher Crest, two Goffins and a Blue Front Amazon that I handle every day. (The pair of ‘retired’, and separated by blindness paranoia, Bare Eyeds don’t get touched day to day.) I love and trust the Mollys greatly. ONE is allow on my shoulder when I Have to use both hands, for as short a time as possible. The Goffins are shouldered for the same reason only. One took two years to stop trying to bite ears, nose and lips enough to trust, sorta. I Never handle her without sunglasses on, one claw scratch on an eyelid was warning enough. The other hasn’t bitten to draw blood deliberately and is allowed to climb on me frequently, often while feeding everyone else. She is also the quietest of vocalizers though one shriek and she is re-caged.
    The Amazon is Never approached with a second body part after happily accepting a hand to stand on, as it Will be bitten, he holds on!
    Reading the Molly’s moods keeps me safe other than the monster size one who has ‘fits of enthusiasm’ where he wants to jump on me from my hand and his beak feels like being grabbed by big pliers Through a sweat shirt. He’s carried leashed shortly to my hand, double fleeceware on the exposed arm. Trust isn’t enough, I have to read their emotions and startle reactions second by second. On a shoulder I can’t see body posture, determine eye attention or read emotion any other way than screams or body movement through foot pressure and toenail pressures. This isn’t enough if I’m to stay healthy enough to care for them and trust them enough to give the Mollys what little body contact I can that they desperately need.

    ALL the parrots here are easily capable of permanent damage to my hearing if they scream while on a shoulder. I’m likely losing sensitivity from Cockatoo calls sitting on my hand at my waist anyway. And none really try to be That loud. Sound intensity drops with the square of the distance. A shouldered parrot may deliver 8 times the sound force to an eardrum that a hand held bird at the waist can.
    We can’t know what will frighten a parrot. We don’t know what inspires a Cockatoo to that inexpressible joy of being a parrot only shrieks can relieve? All better addressed at arm’s length? Yes, I cuddle my Mollys. And am careful to have decent escape angles for body parts and a plan to control them safely. They aren’t allowed good foot holds anywhere near my face. Parrots are small and light. And incredibly strong and quick compared to us. The biggest ‘Too is strangely softer close to me and below shoulder height. He’s a lover, till the mood to be something else strikes? Leather welding gloves are good! If you don’t let him settle a piece in his beak carefully. He’s eaten two pair that were left too close?
    Stories of bird’s horror of gloves are a myth. All my regular handlers are used to the gloves but the Amazon and Sulpher Crest, who will learn as they are slowly introduced now that he’s stepping up more often than fleeing me in panic. Parrots fear the unfamiliar and try to chew up that which is well known? A prey animal Can’t let go of fear easily, trust has to be built carefully over however long it takes?

    The Sulpher Crest will never be close to my face. He was a great companion bird for many years, deeply bonded with his owner and loved by the whole family. Yet he started biting hard and holding on for no reason anyone could figure. We are building a relationship slowly, I haven’t been bitten yet. I expect to be and am working to keep it to areas of reasonable healing Not requiring facial or plastic surgery. Those unfamiliar with what Cockatoo bites can do: mytoos.com, which has more pics of parrot bites than many are comfortable knowing about. My first Molly has bitten me the most and hardest. NO holding on! (Yay!) We are pair bonded (No body told me this stuff!) and he has a number of emotional issues from a background that is unknown but obviously abusive, likely removed from a paired female among other. Late hour petting simply isn’t done any more as he will cuddle and enjoy scratching through the bars while maneuvering for a bite angle if I’m casual with my attention. These bites are finally months or more apart, my learning curve is much slower than his but I do learn? All parrots allowed near my hands are watched and fingers are kept vertical to the beak so no one can get a finger between top and bottom beak. Preferably only large flat parts are directly in front of them, hard to grab flats, with skin kept tight if possible. It’s worked so far.
    All my birds are rescues, any hand fed parrot is already, even if we don’t recognize it. Parental deprivation and environmental poverty, the reality of what the euphemistically termed ‘hand feeding’ really is, damage all birds emotional and physical development (just the same as they do to humans and any other parent raised creature) along with imprinting them sexually and socially on an impossible reproductive choice, humans. So, they get a wee bit frustrated and confused when we make nice with all the sexual signals we learn from their unconscious reinforcement and reactions to our experiments touching and vocalizing to them. Acting out this disconnect between learning, genetically determined behavioral needs and imprinting against the reality of a relationship with us (We Leave them all the time, which a bonded pair simply won’t do.) means No parrot is totally predictable over a generations long life span, often with disruptive changes in family and location a bird isn’t designed by natural evolution or social needs to cope with. The unpredictability can manifest as self-destructive feather picking, self-mutilation, stereotypic repetitive behavior, constant vocalizations and among others, Biting. They can’t explain or understand the frustrations and impossible situations they are in and may be loving and cuddly before and after lashing out. Only We have the time and situation perspective to grasp a bit of what their life is and how we need to protect our self from their likely dysfunction, if for no other reason than severe bites usually destroy the trust if not love a lifetime caretaker has to have for the parrot. And then a known aggressive bird is alone in the world again, no idea what happened, just not living with who they bonded with last.

  8. Kim F.
    July 9, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Looks like my Crazy guy Leo!! He is my sweetheart! They can be sooo loving and sweet.

  9. July 9, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    There is a blog post to follow to show how I’ve been working toward, not necessarily having Rocky on my shoulder, but the steps I took in changing aggressive behavior. Over a period of five years, there were several behaviors we worked on, the shoulder was never one, but I did shape the steps in changing one of Rocky’s aggressive behaviors of being behind me which slowly gravitated toward the shoulder, which is what you see in this photo. The aggressiveness is a behavior that no longer exists and one that needs to have intermittent schedules of reinforcement to maintain. He is now a true gem in this household. Let me re-phrase that. He has always been a gem. With attention to reinforcers, and behavior modification he is now a gem that shines for all he is and has been.

  10. July 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Awww what a sweetie. so glad you got a photo 🙂

  11. February 8, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Thank you, Kathleen. 😉

    • February 8, 2013 at 10:50 am

      It is now about six months after he was first on my shoulder, and this is now a regular and trusted spot for him to perch. It is a joy having this bird.

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