A Sun Conure is a type of parrot that has a life expectancy of 25-30 years. I'd like to introduce you to Inca, Dave's Sun Conure parrot. He is a truly stunning bird with a big personality.
Inca, the Sun Conure Parrot
He's about eight (8) years old now and loves Dave to bits. He screeches as soon as the sun comes up of a morning to make sure that Dave (and the neighbourhood) is awake. With a Sun Conure, who needs an alarm clock!
Every morning, Dave gets up and has time with Inca, sometimes Inca will come out of his cage and ride around on Dave's shirt muttering little bird noises while Dave refreshes the water and makes him breakfast.
Dave and Inca together
It is quite sweet to see them wandering around the house together. I do love Inca, however, Inca is not too keen on me. Sometimes Inca will lunge at me and hiss.
I asked Dave why Inca didn't seem to like me and he said it was because Inca is not used to me yet. Plus Inca doesn't like to share 'his Dave' with anyone, so I am considered to be a threat at the moment.
Dave has trained birds for over 10 years and he is helping me to learn to read bird body language so that I can build a bond with these magnificent creatures.
Dave's preferred method of training is positive reinforcement and encouragement. So, we are slowly encouraging Inca to get used to me through using positive reinforcement with sunflower seeds.
Inca enjoys Dave scratching his head
Dave has told me that sunflower seeds are like chocolate for birds. They love it (or most of them do) and they will associate positively with the sunflower bearer over time. He says, "it takes a lot of patience and you have to take it at the bird's pace, not yours."
The plan is to offer Inca one sunflower seed through the cage and allow him to make the choice to come closer and receive what I have for him.
Inca keeping an eye on me as I took the photo of him
This will take time because I am not there everyday and this kind of positive behaviour training requires a consistent approach. But, I am sure that over the coming months we will make progress.