Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Squirt Gun Method

Last night...

'Twas right before bedtime, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, except for the birds;

The dishes were done and put away with care,

In hopes that no more chores soon would be there;

The children were all nestled in front of the TV,

While visions of Glee danced on the screen;

And Mamma on her computer, and Dad in his chair,

Had just settled down for a relaxing night,

When out in the kitchen, there arose such a clatter,

Dad sprang from his chair to yell,




Come one! It's a traditional story that everyone knows, so I had to use the format! And who said poems had to rhyme?

Anyways, I figured everyone knows my family now. Time to meet the other half. Yes, we have birds. Six fully feathered birds. Well, make that five and a half... one of them bites her feathers at times. But this blog post is about one particular bird. It's my Mom's bird. His name is Nikki. My Mom loves him. My Dad loves peace and quiet.

Nikki playing with S
Nikki's room (yes, a male bird with a female name) is right next to the kitchen. The two noisy things we do in the kitchen are make lattes and boil water... You know when you go to a coffee shop and the barista steams the milk? Have you ever listened to the noise the espresso machine makes? Well, that's the noise I'm talking about. And I'm assuming everybody knows the sound a tea kettle makes. Our tea kettle is extremely high pitched.
So this scene is not an exaggeration. It happened last night. We all settled down for the night and what does Nikki decide to do. He makes the espresso machine's noise or the tea kettle's whistle in order to get somebody to come back into his room and give him attention. The only problem is, Cockatoos don't specialize in their talking ability; The sound isn't pretty at all! Normal cockatoo squawks are fine, just not imitations.

Yelling at a bird is not an option. Positive reinforcement is. When it comes to the noise, we, however, use the squirt gun method. It's kept in the kitchen. It's in the sink. It's easy to grab. And it shuts the bird up... Maybe. Sometimes. 

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