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Topic: Parrots...
Message: Posted by: w3irDO (May 21, 2002 02:23AM)
I would just like to ask, are there any books or videos about magic using parrots....
By the way, I'm new here and hope to learn more from all of you.
Message: Posted by: Magiroy (Jun 14, 2002 01:14PM)
Alpha is a magician that performs with great macaws and cockatoos.

Mephisto Magic Warehouse (Belgium) wrote a book upon his magic which involves small parakeets. Often these techniques can be modified to suit parrots.

The books name is "Magie des Perruches" The ISBN nr is 90-5232-055-1 and is published in 1991 by Mephisto.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: w3irDO (Jun 18, 2002 06:37AM)
thanks for the info.
Message: Posted by: AndiGladwin (Jun 18, 2002 07:10AM)
Here's a very small idea that I sometimes perform with my parrot...

I have a guest at my house select a card and return it to the deck (keeping a break above the card). I then turn to Lulu, my parrot and Classic Force the card onto her - surprisingly she takes the force every time.

It took a few attempts to train her into taking the card that I'm forcing her, but now she just accepts that she should only take the first one I give her!

Message: Posted by: w3irDO (Jun 19, 2002 04:40AM)
But the worst time is when I [load] the parrot macaws, they might shout so load and ever since that happened I dare not use it in my show already
Message: Posted by: amagician (Jul 18, 2002 01:30PM)
I don't have the exact name but I think there was a book(let?) put out in England some years ago called "Parakeet Magic".
I sympathise with the "noisy macaws" problem - it's why I didn't get around to actually using my peach-faces with the chick pan as card Mondor had recommended.
Message: Posted by: paulapaul (Jul 19, 2002 01:46AM)
On the one hand, I like to encourage the use of big birds, because people like them a lot. On the other hand, it is a big responsibility. The bird is not the one who wants to do an act. He should be respected; treated gently and with a lot of care.

As for noise, I have three very vocal exotics, and they are quiet once they are in the dark (inside prop). But I do have to keep them in a darkly draped carrier before and after they have been on stage, or they'll scream. Another thing I have done with them is develop tricks that USE their misbehavior. One of mine likes to grab and throw things. So now his trick is to "select ONE card, the same card" (as the one selected by spectator). You can see where this is going ... every card in the deck is grabbed and thrown until the only one left is the selected card.

This may sound funny, but watching the birds carefully for their individual behaviors is also the first step in potty training them. Doves cannot be potty trained, but many exotics can.

If a bird screams while being loaded, they might need more familiarity with the prop and more soothing encouragement. My (box) birds don't especially like being loaded, but they cooperate, knowing that the prop is associated with a lot of bird-petting, before and after. Once they are working, the attention and applause affect them very positively as well.

My bag bird thinks I am hugging him and can hardly wait to be loaded. But I started bag training him when he was 3 weeks old by putting him on my lap, tucked into a dark cloth, every time I watched tv or read a book. Of course, sometimes we don't have the luxury of raising the animals from birth. In those cases, some adult birds will simply be untrainable. But patience, praise and kindness (and peanuts) can often do the trick.

Message: Posted by: Dave V (Jul 29, 2002 12:38PM)
PaulaPaul brings up some great points about large birds.

First and foremost, you must remember that birds are people too (well, sorta) They are not just props or decoration, they are living creatures with some amazing mental capacity. I am the owner of a Blue and Gold Macaw, three cockatiels and a Conure, and they each have distinct personalities.

You need to live with your birds, rather than keep them just as "livestock" if you want to use them to their greatest potential.

For example, my Conure despises the color green, but he loves snuggling down under blankets. If I wanted to use him in a "box trick" I'd just have to line the inside with a blanket or towel, as long as it's not green.

He enjoys pulling cards out of a deck, and is especially adept at choosing "force" cards. If he's at a table with me, he will walk clear across the table to pull a card out and flip it face up. :idea:

Understanding each bird's personality will go a long way toward developing the proper routine.

Message: Posted by: Dr. TORA (Sep 20, 2002 07:38AM)
Guys, I have also one grey parrot (Jako). He does not like to be touched. He has been passed onto me from a late old magician. He likes to talk when he is alone and he likes to eat everything you can eat. According to these information, do you think that is it possible to train him for the tricks? Let me know please.
Message: Posted by: The Village Idiots (Sep 20, 2002 11:16AM)
Although it is not about magic it is about how to train Parrots. It has about every trick you can think to teach a bird.

Don Bice has a course out and it is incredible. I don't know if this address it good anymore?

Don Bice
P.O. Box 1671
Glendale, Cal 91209

You might want to search around to see if you can order it online. It isn't cheap but it is good.

Message: Posted by: Dr. TORA (Sep 21, 2002 02:11AM)
Thanks a lot... But I wonder, how do I train him if he does not like to be touched?
Message: Posted by: paulapaul (Sep 30, 2002 03:51PM)
Tora, The answer is - lot's of patience!!! And then, more patience. You can't train him to do anything until you tame him. I just watched Joe Gilliam (the man who hatched all of my birds) work with a bird much like the one that you are describing. Joe insists that any bird can be tamed, and the birds feel Joe's confidence when he handles them.

Anyway, in the case of Poldy - this particular African Grey - Joe took the bird out of his cage using a towel. The bird was furious, and was loud about his displeasure.

Joe just put the bird (in towel) onto his lap, and kept holding him, very still. Joe talked in a very nice voice the entire time he was holding Poldy. Once Poldy quit struggling, Joe opened part of the towel - just enough to reveal a bit of the bird. He would pet Poldy, and keep telling the bird that everything is ok. ("Doesn't this feel good, Poldy? It's ok. I won't hurt you. Good bird.") He would do as much of this as possible.

By the way, the doors of the room they were in were closed and the room was bare. That way, if the bird escaped and panicked, Joe and the towel could get things back in hand quickly. Eventually, Joe would put a very mad bird back in the cage.

If the bird is old enough, and has not been handled, it will probably scream and resist becoming friendly for several days, but Poldy struggled less each day. It's frightening for the bird, so firm, kind handling is essential. The real trick next is to watch the bird for subtle changes.

After a few days, does the bird duck his head, or come close to you in his cage, or some other behavior that's new? It takes really watching, as the changes can be subtle. The last tip from Joe Gilliam - plan on getting bitten. It's not a matter of if, but when - you will most likely get bitten hard! Watch out for those magical fingers!

By the way, foods are friendly gestures. You said that he likes eating different foods. Offer him a piece of cooked fish or chicken or beef before and after your sessions.

You may want to just leave the bird as he is, if it looks like way too much work. I would not want to do it. Give me a baby bird any time! If they are handled as babies, they will grow up very attached to you and very friendly. But I have to keep in mind - one of my best birds was wild when we got him. A friendship with a bird is very rewarding.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Kendrix (Oct 16, 2002 01:26PM)
The African Grey is a tough nut to crack especially once they are mature. It will take hours and he will never have the disposition of a hand raised baby. Be prepared to donate pieces of your hands and fingers. I think Grey's are much tougher to train than any macaw.
Message: Posted by: Dr. TORA (Oct 23, 2002 02:58PM)
I was a little bit encouraged by Paula and tried to be closer to my parrot. He even sometimes perches on my shoulder but I have no control on him. He enters to the cage back when he wants. Kendrix seem to be right. He bites a lot. But I will keep on working on him.
Message: Posted by: mr. bart (Nov 1, 2002 04:00AM)
I want to ask something about parrots. Tora's parrot can talk but he talks mostly when he is alone, why??? He prefers to whistle when we are around. And amazingly he likes to watch magic. But, why he does not talk when we are near him?

:cuteangel: :angel: :cuteangel:
Message: Posted by: Kendrix (Nov 1, 2002 01:57PM)
It is probably a result of him being uncomfortable with the situation he is in. Parrots instinctively stay quiet when they are unsure of the situation. It is a matter of self preservation.
Message: Posted by: martinjmac (Jan 24, 2003 10:34PM)
I recommend getting Joe Krathwohl's Video set. You get 3 videos for $39.99.

Joe Krathwohl is known as the bird man of Las Vegas.

He is the Official trainer to Lance Burton and Siegfried and Roy.

His videos teach basic training of parrots behavioral problems and also trick training.

The trick training is great. He teaches you how to get your bird to play basketball, ride a scooter, ride roller skates, and many other tricks and stunts. Once you watch these tapes you can use these training techniques to help you and your bird with your magic.

Here is Joe's website:
Just click on home to get to the video tape set.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Message: Posted by: Turk (Feb 8, 2003 10:36PM)

I have an Umbrella Cockatoo parrot. I have raised him since he was 4 months old and I am now imprinted in his mind as his mother. African Greys are (can) be very hard to deal with. As a breed, they tend to be a "one person" bird. You can't believe the number of times I have been told by a person that his/her AG attacks the person's spouse. This is a form of jealousy and also somewhat insecurity. The bird feels threatened when someone else vies for your attention. Then again, I hear stories of an AG being a great family bird.

An AG that has been mistreated (hit, left alone for extended periods of time in his cage, very little handling, love or affection, lots of corporal or psychological punishment, etc.) is a tough nut to crack. It'll take LOTS of love, affection and attention and positive reenforcement.

martinjmac gave you a good recommendation for the video tapes and paulapaul's advice was "dead on".

If you are married or have a significant other, be aware of the jealosy/insecurity issues.

BTW, you didn't mention whether your AG has plucked his feathers off of his chest or another significant area. This is a sure sign of anxiety and you will now have a double problem of both curing the anxiety and stopping the bad stressful plucking habit.

Finally, AG's, as a species, are known to be the best talking bird around. They pick up sounds, voices, telephone rings, mixers running, answering machines recordings, etc.--often the first time they hear it. One of the "bad" things about a "second-hand" bird (other than his "mistreatment" history) is his learned vocabulary. A LOT of people get rid of birds after the bird picks up the swear words and crude vulgarities of its owner. These unwelcome phrases can be slowly unlearned if you do not respond to these
"bad" words and instead respond to the
"good" words. Birds like attention and to be rewarded and loved. Hence, they will slowly drop the bad words from their active vocabulary (But don't be surprised of a Freudian slip now and then-especially if the bird is surprised or startled).

Hope this helps.


P.S. Parrots as a group have the intelligence of a 3-year old child and the temperment of a 3-year old child (PERMANENTLY!!!) Be prepared for tests of will. ALWAYS show and treat your bird RESPECT. You can't have a finer companion in the non-human category (IMHO).
Message: Posted by: Tim Taylor (Feb 9, 2003 10:18PM)
I've several birds, a Congo African Grey, Umbrella Cockatoo, double yellow head Amazon, blue Indian Ringneck, cockatiel and a African Senegal. The Senegal being about the size of a dove is the one I'm interested in doing magic with. What would be a good production trick with him? I'm not familiar with dove(?) magic at all. Any other ideals with a bird of this size please let me know. Are there any limintations I should know?