I’m teaching Willow to put a ball in a basketball hoop. It was slow going because he was scared of the ball.
I started giving him treats to touch the ball, then to pick it up, then to drop it in my hand. This morning I was eating my Fri morning donut and coffee. Willow really wanted donut. He crawled into his basket, beaked the ball, and carried the ball to the top of the handle.
So I praised him and gave him a crumb of donut.
I just showed him the basket and he ran screaming so I guess that will come later.
Last Edit: Mar 3, 2023 11:41:24 GMT -5 by heatherg
Neat, it sounds like he is on the way to being a basketball player. Years ago we bought one of those balls and basketball nets for Casey. But I think in the end the kids played with it and we didn’t work hard enough to teach Casey
We played with the ball again last night and Willow has understood that he needs to hold the ball for a moment before “drop”ping it into my hand. I got out the little bird basketball hoop and he raaahk’d at it and ran away. I think I will put it near his cage for a while so he can see that it won’t eat him.
I’m thinking it might be best to get a clicker.
Willow can really put away the sunflower seeds. When he first was given one he didn’t know what to do with it. “What? This isn’t a pellet?” But now he levers off the shell half with his beak and then scoops the nut out.
I don’t think they’re very good but they’re not for ME anyhow.
Maybe Willow will get over his fear of and aversion to the basketball hoop eventually. Putting it where he can see it without having to interact with it could help. In the meantime you can come up with some fun games to play with the ball without using the hoop.
Sunflower seeds can be a good training treat as long as it's not overdone. They're too high in fat to be a good part of a parrot's regular diet, but a few as treats shouldn't be a big problem.
The basketball hoop is bright yellow and mirrored and he’s still scared of it. I think I may make one that will fit the jingle balls better but is not so flashy, and give my neighbor the little parakeet basketball and hoop set.
Willow is now insisting we play with the ball each time he comes out. He gets treat of a sunflower seed each time he picks up, holds, and then drops the ball into my palm. I think I will make a basket or hoop and start holding it in my hand So Willow naturally drops the ball in. Then taking my hand away and seeing if he will drop it in a basket or hoop.
Now he has to do this basketball before he wants a cuddle.
It does sound like the basketball hoop is too flashy for Willow's taste. I'm sure that you can make a more acceptable replacement for it and I think that Willow will learn to put the ball in the hoop. In the meantime it sounds like he's having lots of fun with the ball all by itself.
We’ve been playing with the ball this week and he’s learning to carry it and drop it but I’m having trouble with the idea that he ought to put the ball in a certain place.
I think I might find a basketball hoop on Amazon. My neighbor’s parakeet should be happy with the mirrored hoop that so scares Willow. Does anybody have a suggestion to get him to drop the ball in a certain place? I’m thinking I might just move the basket under his beak and praise when he drops it through the hoop, but if he’s afraid of it he will run away.
Maybe I should buy a pointer with built in clicker? I’d be happy to make my own pointer but the clicker seems very helpful.
Willow is a bit grumpy this week. It’s probably a reflection of my mood. Hopefully he will get a bit of donut tomorrow morning and that will cheer us both up.
I guess that the typical approach would be to demonstrate how to put the ball in the basket, over and over until Willow catches on. Maybe the less flashy basket you ordered won't be so scary to Willow and he'll be more cooperative about learning to put the ball in it. It will be interesting to see how Willow reacts to the xylophone.
Well he’s bringing me the ball-dropping it in my hand—for a sunflower seed. And he seems to want to do this, too. He starts the game. So I figure if I hold the basketball hoop in my hand maybe he will drop the ball in the basket and I can give him a treat? Otherwise I can reach him to follow a pointer and then use that to guide his carrying the ball.
I am going to put seeds on the xylophone and find out how hard he has to touch to make it ring. He does like to tap back and forth with me.
Last Edit: Mar 10, 2023 23:28:46 GMT -5 by heatherg
I had a bad cold this week and Willow is mad enough at me that we’re going to have to redo some of this training. I got bit enough to make me bleed a few times today. Finally he decided he was mostly done being mad but I’m a little worried about our “relationship“ now.
The bird basketball hoop and felt sheets (for making a Quaker Parskeet stuffed animal) should arrive by 8 pm tonight.
Last Edit: Mar 17, 2023 9:17:05 GMT -5 by heatherg
Tried out the bird xylophone available through Amazon and it did not work. It will be returned. I also received the mini basketball hoop and ring stacking toy and assembled them. They will go sit next to We Ollie’s cage so he can see that they’re not dangerous.
What else? Willow was in a much better mood today so we worked on reestablishing good feelings. He was very snuggly today and didn’t much feel like messing with a ball.
Too bad that the xylophone was no good. Maybe a children's toy xylophone would work for a parrot. I've always wanted a full-size professional xylophone but that's a little extreme for a parrot and too expensive for someone of my limited musical talent.
Hope you've recovered from the cold. Good that Willow is over being mad at you and things are more normal again. Maybe he will feel more like playing ball tomorrow. Parrots do like variety and don't always want to do the same things every day. As much as Ralph likes to build with his sticks, he takes a day off now and then.