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#258168 - 03/08/15 04:04 AM Importance of Communication  
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Beeps Offline
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Last week, I saw a movie "Marie's Story" in English "Marie Heurtin" in French. It's a story about a girl in France who was blind and deaf. At the beginning of the movie, she is very wild and scared; unable to communicate. A nun at the abbey where she is sent to live figure out a way to communicate with her, and at the end of the movie, she is relatively happy, behaving, and living in harmony with others. Based on a true story.

As I'm watching this, I kept thinking about how it relates to our relationships with parrots. They have perfected their communication among others in their flock -- in the wild. We kidnap them and then get angry/rehome them when they don't adapt to how we expect them to behave. When they get frustrated that we don't understand them, so they bite/scream/attack/pluck/mutilate/etc. But so many people don't work on figuring out a way to communicate with them to see how they want to live, and what will give them some agency in their lives.

Certainly, I am no master at this, but since I've had both of my parrots for over a decade now, we've been working on our communication skills for quite some time. I work every day to try to figure out what they are communicating to me through their body language, and to be clear in my communications with them so that we can live in harmony. Since seeing this movie and applying it to my relationship with them, I've realized that we still have far to go, but that we are figuring out a way to give them a happy captive life. It also helps me when I get frustrated with them for doing what appears (to me) to be ridiculous behaviors!

#258172 - 03/08/15 09:53 PM Re: Importance of Communication [Re: Beeps]  
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Very well put. I will have to watch that movie. We are doing fairly well but our cockatoo has been with us 16 years. Most people, especially today, cannot be patient enough to properly care for these birds. They do not have any concept of the birds natural life and absolutely refuse to makee any real sacrifices in that direction. Very sad indeed.

#258174 - 03/09/15 12:24 AM Re: Importance of Communication [Re: Beeps]  
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Yes, different forms of communication between these birds and those of us who care for them is very important. I have attempted to stop saying "um" and things like that and say "yes" or "no" and I like to show them things like carrots and say"carrot", trying to keep it simple and i think it works. I know the CAG understands alot. I have even attempted sign language with Angel bird, she is very bright and I really think she understands some of it. Body language among birds can be very suttle but meaningful, if you sit back and watch, over time you can begin to understand what your bird is feeling. They are so much smarter than most people give them credit for, we need to be open to their type of communication too.


#258190 - 03/13/15 12:14 AM Re: Importance of Communication [Re: Beeps]  
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Rescue M2 Mom Offline
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I couldn't agree more.

I work with rescue animals. Usually dogs, but at times I've worked with horses, bulls, goats, cats, and multiple species of birds.
I get asked how I can work so easily with animals that someone has labeled "impossible" or "difficult"; and asked how I get such loyalty from an animal that someone else labeled as "uncontrollable" or "aggressive". My answer is always the same.

I listened.
Not just with my ears, but with animals you have to listen with your eyes and understand not just with your mind, but with your heart.

It's that simple.
You have to listen first, that is how you get the trust that you need to start asking. Some things take a lot of time and effort, but if you "hear" what the issue is it's always easier. Establish a two way conversation.
Sometimes I get frustrated with how long that conversation takes and I wish I could both "hear" and "talk" better, but always there is someone surprised by how quickly I transformed a "problem" just because I knew that I needed to understand their side of things first.


Nothing is so strong as gentleness,
Nothing so gentle as real strength.

Saint Francis de Sales

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