Learning “come” and “fetch”

Yesterday I was reaching up to get Pixel down from her favourite picture frame perch when she eagerly flew about 12 inches to my arm. So I put her on the table and held out my arm, saying “come”. Each time I rewarded her with millet, put her back on the table or washing airer and moved a little further away. Within a few minutes she was flying half way across the room to me, even when I wasn’t expecting it! Today she has even flown to me from her favourite perch.

I also started teaching her to “fetch“. I placed her on the perch above her cage, put a plant pot saucer underneath and held out a small plastic object in my hand. When she nibbled it with her beak, I dropped it into the saucer, clicked and rewarded her with millet. Eventually I held onto the object until she actually held it in her beak. She found this tricky at first and I realised that it was too slippery for her to get a proper grip, so I swapped it for a flat piece of Lego instead and she manages to hold it briefly before dropping it. However, she has bitten me hard (not hard enough to hurt, but previously she has been very gentle with her beak) a couple of times since we started learning fetch. I think she’s just trying to figure out what she can and can’t bite!

Until now we’ve only been doing “turn around” on her cage-top perch, but today we practised on the washing airer as well so that she learns to do it in different situations. Colin was very impressed when he arrived home from work in the middle of a training session! Pixel seems to really enjoy learning new tricks, she is such a clever little bird and she likes the attention and stimulation, not to mention the treats!

A new trick

We love watching Pixel when she is in a playful mood. Her latest antic is to hang upside down from her mirror.

P1200061v2

We have spoiled her with a couple of new toys and perches now that she is moving around the cage so much more.

P1200065v2

At dinner time she nibbled on some wet celery, although I’m not sure if she actually ate any or was just licking the water off.

P1200086v2

Today I taught her to turn around on command. Using the target stick wasn’t really working, so I held some millet behind her to get her to turn half way round. After a while she would do it on command without seeing the millet, and then I started telling her to turn around twice to get her to do a complete turn. Here is a video of her turning around but please excuse the shakiness and poor focusing, it is rather tricky to hold millet, a target stick and a camera all at the same time!