Female Catalina Macaw pinning her eyes.

Communicating with your Parrot

Communicating with your Parrot

Listening is an art form. The kind of listening that allows real understanding and gives real understanding back. There are some people we call "listeners". It's a compliment. You are such a great listener! When you are in the company of a listener, you actually feel better when you finish speaking. You feel, heard. The relationship between the listener and the speaker becomes stronger. Trust is grown in that quiet exercise of sincere listening. It's a gift allowing another to speak while paying sincere attention. To truly listen to another is stating a fact; they are more important than you at that moment. It's a gift. It's not an easy gift to give, and it's an easy gift to take back. To give this you have to set yourself and what you want at that moment, aside. You'll put your own wants away to give this gift.

Allow your Parrot to speak their truth through choices.

The best of companion parrot relationship is built on time investment, empathy, patience, and listening. Communication exercised through unselfish motivations. It's the human in the room that needs the behavior modifications first. Because a human's motivations are rationalized and complex. We want. We bring expectations, some so unreasonable inside context there is no way to explain it.
Parrots do not rationalize. Parrots do not bring unreasonable expectations created by rationalization. Parrots do not covet, lust, or form opinions based on emotions brought on by expectations built from some far away land in an old memory. They are living in the now, they bring results from past experiences and use those past results as measuring sticks to the now. But a parrot is far more likely to reconsider a past bad experience replaying in the now rather than a human. Vitriol, hate, and judgment are not in their DNA. And so, we have an unconditional cognitive creature meeting a rationalizing expectation driven human.

You can see where parrots are misunderstood.

The art of listening requires handing over controls to the speaker. Sharing your life with a companion parrot is not controlling that companion parrot inside your life. It's sharing a lifestyle with your companion. It's sharing. It's listening to your parrot's needs before you bring your expectation to the moment. It is a respectful and unconditional exercise between two minds. It requires time.
The size of your parrot makes no difference. Our companion parrot lifestyle success does not sit at the feet of our parrot. It sits in the very center of our own actions, expectations, and empathy. Success is not their responsibility, it is ours.
Listening requires ears, eyes, and an open emotional view. And time. To listen to a parrot is simply taking in the whole of their body language, voice, actions and attitude. A healthy parrot that suddenly changes demeanor or habits is a parrot reacting to the human in the room sudden change of demeanor or habits. Some parrots are almost clairvoyant (cockatoo), so sensitive they notice your issues before you do. Some parrots are so emotionally connected to their human they feel the change as it is building rather than after the fact. Before the human notices their own emotional snowballing.
The fracture in communication, or the lack of "cooperation" from a companion parrot is the result of the human in the room wanting rather than listening. And yes, there will be days you will not receive the wants you bring to your companion. By the very definition of companion, our parrots have the right to say no within the reason of safety.
Otherwise, this isn't a relationship. It's ownership.
Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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