Sponsor a TGF Bird Today!

Your financial support is critical to help us provide the absolute best in care for the 1000+ parrots that reside at our Aviary & Adoption Center, in accordance with the mission and purpose and best practices Standards of Care of The Gabriel Foundation.

When you sponsor a bird, you help TGF provide for the short and long-term needs of our flock, including:

  • Daily hands-on care & interaction, bird-to-bird social interaction, frequent bathing and attention to special-needs birds, highly skilled aviary technicians and 24/7 on-site personnel
  • Nutritious, well balanced diets that include fresh greens, vegetables, fruit, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, Lafeber’s Nutriberries, and Harrison’s Bird Diets
  • Indoor & Outdoor habitats with enriched environments, foraging opportunities and frequent bath days
  • Medical services and quality supportive care provided by veterinarians with a special interest in avian medicine and TGF’s staff CVT’s & AHT

Whether you underwrite a day, week, month or year’s support for any bird under our wing, your support truly makes a difference in their lives. All sponsorships are fully tax deductible.

TGF’s approximate cost of care by species types:

  • 1 Finch, Canary, Dove, Pigeon, or Poultry: $20/month or $240/year
  • 1 Small Bird – Budgie, Lovebird, Cockatiel, Forpus, Dove: $30/month or $360/year
  • 1 small Conure, small Lorikeet or Quaker, Rosella, Brotegeris, Forpus, or Neophema: $50/month or $600/year
  • 1 Dwarf Macaw, small Amazon, Pionus, Asiatic parrot, large Conure, Poicephalus, or Lorikeet: $60/month or $720/year
  • 1 Amazon, small (RB2, G2, BE2, Citron, Lesser) Cockatoo, Eclectus, Grey parrot, or small Macaw: $80/month or $960/year
  • 1 Macaw, large Amazon, large (GSC2, Triton, U2) Cockatoo: $100/month or $1200/year
  • 1 Hyacinth Macaw, Greenwing Macaw, or Moluccan Cockatoo – $120/month or $1440/year

If you would like to sponsor a bird we don’t have listed below, you can do so with the following link. Please indicate in the comment section which bird you would like to sponsor. Thank you!!

Provide monthly support for a TGF bird not listed below


Ashley: Umbrella Cockatoo

Ashley – Umbrella Cockatoo

Ashley came to TGF on February 3, 2010 with an all too familiar story. Right on the heels of our intake of the Pueblo Rescue Flock from the Pueblo Community Animal Shelter, we received an email from them asking if we could make room for just one more bird. Ashley’s owner said she’d had the bird for over 30 years, and it had become far too aggressive for her to handle any more. When she relinquished it to intake staff at HSPPR, it was for euthanasia. She was done with this bird.

Once staff at the shelter learned that this cockatoo was scheduled to be put to sleep, they immediately contacted the owner to ask if it could be transferred to us instead, and she agreed. So, Ashley has entered a new phase of life – one designed to help him feel, look, and behave better! No information about Ashley’s history or care was provided when he was surrendered except that the owner fed him baby food. He came to us with his feathers very ratty, unkempt, and dirty. He most likely hadn’t had a bath in years. But, this trooper has ALL of his feathers intact, shows no signs of self mutilation and has responded with eagerness to his home at TGF.

Sponsor Ashley Today!


Ricky Roo - Moluccan Cockatoo

Ricky Roo – Moluccan Cockatoo

“Ricky, Ricky Roo!” That’s what you’ll hear when you meet Ricky Roo, a Moluccan Cockatoo. Ricky Roo is approximately 16 years of age, self-mutilates, and as such, is a parrot with special needs. He wears a vest device which keeps him safe.

His previous owner said that Ricky Roo enjoyed spending time outside in a tree in the yard. Here at TGF, Ricky Roo spends nice days outside with other cockatoos in the flight cages. He loves to work construction and is a great helper; he will bring you a screwdriver and many other tools.

Sponsor Ricky Roo Today!


Toltec - Greenwing Macaw

Toltec – Greenwing Macaw

Toltec is a magnificent male Greenwing Macaw, approximately 30 years old with loads of personality. Toltec has been at TGF for four years, and was in a home with multiple parrots prior to relinquishment. He is very independent, an excellent communicator, and lets you know that he has strong likes and dislikes. When he wants a treat he just tells you, “Walnut.” Toltec also has an affinity for Rod Stewart’s, “Maggie Mae” and will dance when the music comes on. He is a special needs parrot, and would be best with an experienced bird owner who would commit to keeping just one bird.

Sponsor Toltec Today!


Chloe - Moluccan CockatooChloeSponsor_homepage

Chloe – Moluccan Cockatoo

Chloe’s been with TGF for many years, relinquished due to her owner’s hardship. Chloe’s a special bird with a special condition – she has a long time history of self-mutilation and feather destructive behavior that started prior to her arrival at TGF. Chloe is an official greeter to visitors that come to the Aviary and Adoption Center. She catches everyone’s eye due her her adapted cage and her unique attire that is designed to cover her breastbone and chest which is where she mutilates.

Chloe’s a sweetheart of a cockatoo with her liquid dark brown eyes, soft kisses and sweet little voice. Instead of petting Chloe, we keep her day’s activities busy with foraging for her favorite treats, playing with her fleece, rope or sisal toys, or tearing cardboard pieces into bits, she’s at her best.

Chloe does appear to have some damage/abnormal curvature to her caudal spinal column. With Chloe’s history of self trauma to the area, she does have some discomfort but radiographs show no evidence of any obvious arthritic changes. Chloe receives some dietary supplements to support joint health, and she occasionally needs to be put on medication for discomfort. We don’t know if this spinal defect is due to an old injury or if it’s a malformation. It contributes to difficulty gripping a perch, so she now has wide lumber perches and special corner perches so that she can rest her hocks and remain secure.

Chloe gets to have her daily walkabouts and weather permitting, she spends time outside in the sun with some of her bird and people friends. Chloe has a good quality of life, and we can measure that by her activity, her interaction with people and other birds, her appetite, her weight, overall feathering and what her behavior looks like when she is in pain.

We’re committed to giving Chloe the care and attention she deserves. Chloe inspires and amazes us every day. She’s in need of a sponsor to love her just the way she is.

Sponsor Chloe Today!


Joe - White Bellied Caique

Joe – White Bellied Caique

Joe is currently in treatment for an upper respiratory infection, most likely in the sinus area. He’s currently on medication to help him recover from this chronic condition. Joe also has stress-related seizures and we exercise extreme care and caution any time that Joe requires handling. Joe was hatched in Mississippi, by a renown and highly respected bird breeder and aviculturist. He had a great start in life, but he ended up in a situation that resulted in chronic health problems for him. His purchaser had acquired many birds, and was a local CO bird breeder.

When Joe came to TGF, it was with 110 other parrots of many species due to legal intervention and a court ruling that removed all but 35 parrots from their former owner. All of the others were formerly transferred to TGF. Joe enjoys his time outside, being around his familiar avian friends, and has the care and attention of our staff. We aren’t sure that Joe will able to be adopted due to his special needs and seizure disorder. You can watch a video of Joe here.

Sponsor Joe Today!


Goffin's Cockatoo

Phalen – Goffin’s Cockatoo

Phalen was one of a group of 17 baby birds (8 Goffin’s, 3 Black headed Caiques, 4 Jenday Conures and 2 Quaker parakeets) from a MI breeder sold to Petco in 2005. He ended up at a Colorado Springs Petco in August, 2005, and sold for $1000 at 3 months old. By the end of 2006, he was brought to the vet due to feather picking. Diagnosed with candida (yeast) infection, he was put on medication. Through 2009, Phalen’s FDB had worsened. The owner contacted TGF in June 2010 to relinquish Phalen, who went back to the vet in September 2010 for additional diagnostics, including testing (all negative) for Avian Borna Virus and PBFD (the 3rd time). By now, Phalen was more feather-plucked.

Phalen, Goffin's CockatooPhalen is shy, somewhat fearful, and due to feather loss, his balance is poor. TGF asked a foster care provider to care for him along with her 3 Goffin’s cockatoos; she agreed. A year later, she moved to Hawaii. Her adopted budgies and 4 Goffin’s cockatoos, including Phalen, returned to TGF. Phalen is nearly naked at the close of 2013. His physical and nutritional needs are provided for, he has human and bird companions around him, spends time in the sun, outdoors and inside and has social time to spend with other disabled cockatoos – his choice. No special friend yet.

Phalen’s story summarizes the ugly side of some production and sales-oriented aviculturists that fail miserably to provide basic skills to their product: socialization, foraging and enrichment; failure to teach the bird to explore its environment, develop confidence, build curiosity and build basic independence. Except for a successful hatch, Phalen’s life has been series of failures, from the big box retailer and its failure to invest in the animal’s developmental skills, and the unprepared, kind hearted owner overwhelmed by the downward spiral of the bird with expectations dashed.

Birds like Phalen pay the price. If you can pay it forward for Phalen, he’s in need of a patient teacher, realistic expectations and even a small mixed flock to share his life.

Sponsor Phalen Today!


Eden - Umbrella Cockatoo Esther - Umbrella Cockatoo Esther- Umbrella Cockatoo

Ester and Eden – Umbrella Cockatoos

Both birds came to TGF in March 2012 from a rescue group in NM. Both are wild caught which means that they were imported into the US prior to 1992. Their bands (visible in the photos) are called open bands are used to identify birds that entered the US through USDA quarantine stations. Umbrella cockatoos are native to Indonesia and live in heavy jungle habitat. Eden came into the rescue in 2009 from a private transfer of 11 handicapped birds that were supposedly removed from a hoarder outside of CO Springs. No cruelty/neglect/abuse charges were filed against that owner. How Eden came into his care is unknown. His injuries are old; most likely incurred during importation, possibly during quarantine and when he was set up in a breeding aviary. Failure of former owners to provide appropriate and emergency veterinary care is the definitive reason why he is so disabled. As a result, he has significant joint arthritis and has limited mobility to move around.

Esther came into the NM rescue about a year ago from an equally deplorable hoarding case in TN that involved cruelty charges and eventual seizure by law enforcement and a group called Animal Rescue Corps. Her feet, leg and wing wounds are healed old injuries. Her broken bones fused causing her leg to stick out at a right angle, and her severed toes affect her balance. Most likely she was used as a breeding hen, and some of the injuries were mate inflicted. This is extremely common with cockatoos, and often results in the females death. This can happen even with pairs that have been housed together for years. The problem is really human created. Its a result of overcrowding, no safety escape for the females, and cages or other housing far too small for the birds safety and health.

The NM rescue decided to house Eden and Esther together because the birds appeared to like each other, and began courting behaviors. But with limited mobility and difficulty moving around a cage not tailored for their handicaps, the environment was ripe for a disaster. That happened in January 2012 when Esther’s beak and face were severely injured by Eden. She was immune-compromised from years of neglect in TN, and the wound inflicted by Eden overwhelmed her ability to heal. The growth plate of the upper mandible was severely damaged, and the injury worsened and the wound eroded into her sinus.

The birds required more care than the rescue could or would provide and they were determined to be unadoptable to their extreme disabilities. When asked to accept them, it was critical for us to assess Eden and Esther’s quality of life. Would a sanctuary life be humane? What could we do to insure their safety? How would we evaluate their pain levels, arrange their cages for mobility, and provide for their physical and mental stimulation? Our decision to accept them into care was because we believed that we could improve their quality of life.

Sponsor Esther today!

Sponsor Eden today!


Roxie

Roxie – Blue & Gold Macaw

Roxie is one of many ex-breeder macaws that came into our care from an animal cruelty case in Orange County, VA that made a big ruckus in the bird sheltering and avicultural communities when it occurred. Many of the other VA macaws reside offsite in one of our aviaries in FL with other rescued macaws; Roxie has been a special needs bird since Day 1 of her arrival into our care. For the first year, Roxie lived at Dr. Vanessa Rolfe’s avian and exotics practice in Lake Worth, FL. Once her health stabilized, Roxie flew to CO as a passenger.

Since we’ve known her, Roxie has never been fully feathered; the transition for Roxie has been greatly improved plumage, skin, respiratory and GI function and her delightful interaction with humans and birds. Roxie would make a great companion for another female macaw and she could use her own BFF. She has several macaw pals at TGF’s Denver location. Since she’s been in our care, Roxie’s never had a bird sponsor to call her own. Sponsoring Roxie would be a kind and compassionate gift of love.

Sponsor Roxie today!


Deanie - Umbrella Cockatoo

Deanie – Umbrella Cockatoo

Deanie is a 20-something male. His original owner was sentenced to prison and he was then passed on to a heavy smoker. He came to us with severe Vitamin A deficiency, feather destructive behavior and was quite the unrelenting screamer. Over the last 2 years he has improved greatly overall. He has learned to play with his toys and eat good food and has other cockatoo friends. He was very poorly socialized and can have rapid changes in behavior which can make his behavior unpredictable for most.

Sponsor Deanie Today!


Sassy

Sassy – Blue and Gold Macaw

This is Sassy, a male B&G macaw who is one of a group of macaws that came into TGF’s offsite care over 18 months ago. He is one of a large group of macaws that had been rescued over the years by a person dedicated to improving the lives of these former unwanted, breeder birds macaws.

Just recently, Sassy and his buddy Izzy were both attacked by Greenwing Macaws in their flight. Though his beak was permanently damaged, Sassy survived. Unfortunately, his friend Izzy didn’t make it.

Read more about Sassy’s story.

Sponsor Sassy Today!


Aileron - Yellow Naped Amazon

Aileron – Yellow Naped Amazon

Aileron is a 42 year old Yellow-naped Amazon that has been with us a number of years. He was named after a part of an airplane – how appropriate as he can still fly with the best of the flock! While Aileron is adoptable, because of his age and more challenging personality it has been difficult to find him the right home. In the meantime, this handsome guy could use a sponsor to help support his care at the aviary.

Sponsor Aileron Today!


Dos Patas - Orange Wing Amazon

Dos Patas – Orange Wing Amazon

Dos Patas lost his best friend, Bandito, in April 2013. They came out of a bad situation together, and have been at TGF since 2006. He is surely missing his best friend, but has been slowly learning to be more independent and active on his own.

Sponsor Dos Patas Today!


Woody aka Willa - Congo African Grey

Woody (aka Willa) – Congo African Grey

Willa has been with us since 2004 and is very shy until you offer her food! She will need a home with someone who has lots of patience to gain her trust. Until then, she is looking for someone to sponsor her care at TGF.

Sponsor Woody (aka Willa) Today!


Chipper - Blue and Gold Macaw

Chipper – Blue and Gold Macaw

Chipper is a 33 year old blue and gold macaw and his name says it all – he LOVES to chip wood! He came to TGF in 2008 when he was relinquished. He now resides in our reception lobby, greets all the visitors and is happy to be a part of the active days at TGF.

Sponsor Chipper Today!


Joey - Umbrella Cockatoo

Joey – Umbrella Cockatoo

Joey is a male umbrella cockatoo who hatched in 1985. He was brought to The Gabriel Foundation in 2002 where we have been working on his trust in his immediate environment and reducing his aggression when dealing with people. Joey’s behavior is dominated by insecurities which lead to feather plucking.

Sponsor Joey Today!


Tweety

Tweety – Cockatiel

Tweety is a senior normal grey Cockatiel with chronic health issues that requires regular veterinary visits and extra attention. Regardless of his health challenges, he is one of the happiest and friendliest cockatiels at TGF and LOVES his head scritches, giving kisses and just hanging out on your shoulder and keeping you company while squeaking occasionally in your ear.

Sponsor Tweety Today!


Wilbur - Blue Fronted Amazon

Wilbur – Blue Fronted Amazon

Wilbur is an extremely vocal Blue-fronted Amazon. Despite being wild caught, Wilbur has learned a selection of speech, including his name and barking like a dog. He joined The Gabriel Foundation in 1998 along with 37 other birds rescued from Colorado’s wild climate. Sharing the same history as Cocoa, one of the 37 other birds rescued, Wilbur and Cocoa are best of friends. Wilbur is not hand tamed but is very curious of people and displays great learning potential.

Sponsor Wilbur Today!


Juanita - Double Yellow Headed Amazon

Juanita – Double Yellow Headed Amazon

Juanita is a gorgeous large female Double Yellow-headed Amazon. She is 32 years old and came to us when her owners moved. She enjoys human company and being a part of what is going on. She has a tendency to gain weight easily, so she is on a special diet and we try to keep her active in her outdoor aviary during the day. Juanita has been with us over 10 years and after all this time, would love to have her very own sponsor. Is that you?

Sponsor Juanita Today!


Birdie - Lutino Cockatiel

Birdie – Lutino Cockatiel

Hi! I’m Birdie, and I’m a “rare bird” indeed, an albino cockatiel. I like being with people, but my people had to give me up because they became allergic. I’ve been at TGF since 2012 and I’m ready for a new home and I never again want to hear “Bye Bye Birdie”!

Sponsor Birdie Today!


Boy Boy aka Bernardo - Yellow Naped Amazon

Boy Boy (aka Bernardo) – Yellow-naped Amazon

Boy Boy (aka Bernardo) is a Yellow-naped Amazon. He came to us in 2005 after his owner died and then went into long term foster care in 2009. Unfortunately, he came back in 2011. Boy Boy does good with other amazons but would need to go into a home with an experienced amazon person.

Sponsor Bernardo Today!


Dozer - Umbrella CockatooDozer - Umbrella Cockatoo

Dozer – Umbrella Cockatoo

Dozer is lucky to be an “out of jail bird”. This handsome guy came to TGF along with two other cockatoos, transferred from another CO shelter when the owner went to jail. He’s in beautiful feather, his big dark eyes grab your attention, and his personality and antics bring smiles to many. Dozer is generally comfortable with people and likes to keep himself busy foraging and being an amateur carpenter with plenty of wood to churn into toothpicks.

Sponsor Dozer Today!


Biff - Blue Fronted Amazon

Biff – Blue Fronted Amazon

Biff is an absolutely beautiful Blue-fronted Amazon with distinctive large bands of yellow on his shoulders. He came to The Gabriel Foundation from a breeding situation and has been under our care since 1999. Despite Biff’s wild caught history, he does like to interact with humans at a distance and very much enjoys living in a flock situation. Cool fact: he was a cover bird for the Amazona Society!

Sponsor Biff Today!


Caption this picture of the lovely Sophie. ... See MoreSee Less

Caption this picture of the lovely Sophie.

Comment on Facebook

I'm Sophie, your walking, talking chipper shredder, I shred anything, paper, wood, cloth ... try me, you'll like me!

"Oh sweet toothpick, how I love you. Gaze into my eyes...."

I can finish this tree yofay!

I keep my stash back here. Bet you can't see it.

I think I remember Sophie. What a beautiful little girl!

Hi. My name is Sophie & I'm applying for the job opening at the toothpick factory.

"I'ma show dat little green cheek how to really make toothpicks!"

She is beautiful, I hope she gets a home filled with love.

"They say the mightiest oak was once just a little nut that held it's ground' but imma gonna rip this sucker up, one splinter at a time!"

"Let's see, I only have to work on this lock pick a little bit longer and then I'm heading for the big city and taking some friends with me."

She's got legs, she knows how to use them!

Tastes like chicken!

Opps I broken it. I fix

Just doing peachie.

Sophie the Vampire Slayer

"Let me tell you a secret."

+ View previous comments

2 days ago

The Gabriel Foundation

Lulu Labamba and George are a stunning pair of macaws that are looking for a committed sponsor who is willing to help support the high quality of care they are now accustomed to receiving here at The Gabriel Foundation. Lulu and George have been at TGF since 2009 when then they were relinquished due to their owner's failing health. Their owner was a lifelong heavy smoker and the cigarettes took his life as well as a toll on the health of the birds in his care.

Nearly nine years at The Gabriel Foundation with a healthy diet, exercise, sunshine and fresh air have improved life for these two. Each of these birds would benefit from the kindness of a sponsor. Both birds are extremely nice and outgoing and ask for no more for more than a safe and loving environment. Lulu and George especially like to dance, sing, and keep each other beautiful! They also enjoy these long summer days in the sun in our outdoor flights. This pair would also be available for adoption to the right home.

Please visit our website to learn more about our sponsorship program.
thegabrielfoundation.org/donate/sponsor/
... See MoreSee Less

Lulu Labamba and George are a stunning pair of macaws that are looking for a committed sponsor who is willing to help support the high quality of care they are now accustomed to receiving here at The Gabriel Foundation. Lulu and George have been at TGF since 2009 when then they were relinquished due to their owners failing health. Their owner was a lifelong heavy smoker and the cigarettes took his life as well as a toll on the health of the birds in his care. 

Nearly nine years at The Gabriel Foundation with a healthy diet, exercise, sunshine and fresh air have improved life for these two. Each of these birds would benefit from the kindness of a sponsor. Both birds are extremely nice and outgoing and ask for no more for more than a safe and loving environment.  Lulu and George especially like to dance, sing, and keep each other beautiful! They also enjoy these long summer days in the sun in our outdoor flights. This pair would also be available for adoption to the right home.

Please visit our website to learn more about our sponsorship program.
http://thegabrielfoundation.org/donate/sponsor/

Comment on Facebook

I want to sponsor them all!!!!!

Have you learned the ABC's?

Of course, you have or you would not be reading this right? We all learned to read and write our ABC's a very long time ago. But what about another type of ABC? The ones that you started to learn right after your birth but most likely have taken for granted your entire life, not actually realizing that you use them in your day to day life. ABC's are nothing new and as a science, they have been in the toolbox of researchers and some psychologists and special educators for over 60 years.

So exactly what is ABC you ask? Well, A stands for antecedent or the environmental events that occur before a behavior, B stands for behavior which is anything that a creature does that can be observed and C is for consequence which are the environmental events that occur after a behavior and influence whether the creature does the behavior again.

So, ABC is a description (short version) of a response unit. It might help if you think of snapping a picture in time, like a freeze frame in order to see what happened just before a behavior, the behavior itself and the immediate consequence that followed that behavior. Also it's important to keep in mind that the consequence of any behavior will help to increase or decrease each behavior...In the words of Susan Friedman Ph.D there is never just "behavior".

For an example, let's use a personal favorite of mine, chocolate *smile*. I was walking into the kitchen when I....A. (antecedent)saw some chocolate on the counter B. (behavior) I put it in my mouth C.(consequence) it tastes good... so the probable future behavior when I see chocolate again is that I will eat chocolate and perhaps I could even be motivated to do other behaviors if I am offered chocolate as an incentive. The behavior of eating chocolate has been reinforcing to me, however, if you had bitten into the chocolate and the consequence was that it had an unpleasant taste to you, chances would be that you would not want more chocolate and you would avoid it. So a consequence predicts whether or not you will be encouraged to increase or decrease a behavior in the future.

So how about an ABC with a parrot. What about your parrot? What is a behavior that he or she does? Remember it needs to be a behavior, something that can be observed. Often I hear people using what has been termed as labels as though they are behaviors. So you need to ask if you can actually observe it. Some confusing pitfalls, if you think of them as being behavior, may be jealous, spoiled, intelligent, happy, sad, angry, aggressive, calm, hormonal, loving and the list goes on and on. What is the problem with these names/labels? The problem is that they don't really tell us anything. A happy bird to you may be one that is sitting (behavior) on a perch with feathers over its beak. A happy bird to me would be one that is screaming (behavior) and flapping (behavior) its wings, where as you might think of that as being aggressive. If we describe the behaviors themselves however, instead of using the labels, we know exactly what we are talking about, painting an accurate picture for one another and once we agree on what a label means....such as happy means an energetic busy bird then we can use happy in our talks and have a clear meaning what each other is talking about. When using labels we tend to assume one person's meaning is the same as our meaning, when in many cases the meanings are quite different.

So whenever you want to understand your birds' behavior, remember don't look inside the bird, putting a label on its actions; rather identify the antecedents that set the behavior in motion and the consequences that reinforce it. Behavior has a function! It serves a purpose for the bird.

Back to an ABC with your parrot. Have you thought of a behavior? can you observe it? What happens just before the behavior?...just seconds before not minutes or hours before and not multiple things before. And then what happens immediately after the behavior? Got it? You just did an ABC! Now let me try.

Background: Mackie is playing in his cage and sees me walk into the room. Mackie says to me step up! I go over and open his cage door, asking him to step up but he remains standing on his perch. I chat with him, scritch his head and ask him again to step up...he continues to perch so I close the door and walk away.

A. I ask Mackie to step up B. Mackie stands on his perch C I give Mackie scritches and chatting The probable future behavior will likely be that Mackie will continue to stand on his perch when asked to step up to receive head scritches and a chat.

What can I to do? There are always many ways to work at solving a problem or changing a behavior. That is one of the interesting and great things about using applied behavior analysis and the ABC's. One shoe never fits all, so these tools give you a chance to do what works best for you and your bird. What if I ask Mackie to step up and I don't talk or give him scritches? BUT as soon as he lifts a foot and leans towards my arm he receives praise from me and once he does step up I give him more praise and scritches. Let's do that ABC

A. I ask Mackie to step up B. Mackie steps up C. Receives praise, scritches and fun time with me PFB (probable future behavior) Mackie is going to continue to step up to receive scritches and focused attention from me.

Does it look easy? ABA really isn't all that easy and has had me scratching my head multiple times but it is a valuable tool to help us all figure out better ways of approaching and working with behavior. A way to help us find positive solutions and not use force, punishment or other less desirable methods that often tend to backfire on us later on. A common example is the use of a squirt bottle for a screaming bird. Squirting the bird may work very well at first but it's also not uncommon for that same bird at a later date to not only be screaming again but also be attacking the squirt bottle, or for some birds to become fearful down the road or other problems...so by using a quick fix solution you run the risk of seeing side effects later on.

Wouldn't it be fun to learn more about Applied Behavior Analysis? To learn how to become a better observer of behaviors? How about learning about avoiding or being able to work out behavioral problems with your parrot, dog, cat, spouse or children? Working towards lifelong solutions by building a positive relationship base. It is possible and learning about ABC's gives you the tools to do that.
... See MoreSee Less

Have you learned the ABCs? 

Of course, you have or you would not be reading this right? We all learned to read and write our ABCs a very long time ago. But what about another type of ABC? The ones that you started to learn right after your birth but most likely have taken for granted your entire life, not actually realizing that you use them in your day to day life. ABCs are nothing new and as a science, they have been in the toolbox of researchers and some psychologists and special educators for over 60 years. 

So exactly what is ABC you ask? Well, A stands for antecedent or the environmental events that occur before a behavior, B stands for behavior which is anything that a creature does that can be observed and C is for consequence which are the environmental events that occur after a behavior and influence whether the creature does the behavior again. 

So, ABC is a description (short version) of a response unit. It might help if you think of snapping a picture in time, like a freeze frame in order to see what happened just before a behavior, the behavior itself and the immediate consequence that followed that behavior. Also its important to keep in mind that the consequence of any behavior will help to increase or decrease each behavior...In the words of Susan Friedman Ph.D there is never just behavior. 

For an example, lets use a personal favorite of mine, chocolate *smile*. I was walking into the kitchen when I....A. (antecedent)saw some chocolate on the counter B. (behavior) I put it in my mouth C.(consequence) it tastes good... so the probable future behavior when I see chocolate again is that I will eat chocolate and perhaps I could even be motivated to do other behaviors if I am offered chocolate as an incentive. The behavior of eating chocolate has been reinforcing to me, however, if you had bitten into the chocolate and the consequence was that it had an unpleasant taste to you, chances would be that you would not want more chocolate and you would avoid it. So a consequence predicts whether or not you will be encouraged to increase or decrease a behavior in the future. 

So how about an ABC with a parrot. What about your parrot? What is a behavior that he or she does? Remember it needs to be a behavior, something that can be observed. Often I hear people using what has been termed as labels as though they are behaviors. So you need to ask if you can actually observe it. Some confusing pitfalls, if you think of them as being behavior, may be jealous, spoiled, intelligent, happy, sad, angry, aggressive, calm, hormonal, loving and the list goes on and on. What is the problem with these names/labels? The problem is that they dont really tell us anything. A happy bird to you may be one that is sitting (behavior) on a perch with feathers over its beak. A happy bird to me would be one that is screaming (behavior) and flapping (behavior) its wings, where as you might think of that as being aggressive. If we describe the behaviors themselves however, instead of using the labels, we know exactly what we are talking about, painting an accurate picture for one another and once we agree on what a label means....such as happy means an energetic busy bird then we can use happy in our talks and have a clear meaning what each other is talking about. When using labels we tend to assume one persons meaning is the same as our meaning, when in many cases the meanings are quite different. 

So whenever you want to understand your birds behavior, remember dont look inside the bird, putting a label on its actions; rather identify the antecedents that set the behavior in motion and the consequences that reinforce it. Behavior has a function! It serves a purpose for the bird. 

Back to an ABC with your parrot. Have you thought of a behavior? can you observe it? What happens just before the behavior?...just seconds before not minutes or hours before and not multiple things before. And then what happens immediately after the behavior? Got it? You just did an ABC! Now let me try. 

Background: Mackie is playing in his cage and sees me walk into the room. Mackie says to me step up! I go over and open his cage door, asking him to step up but he remains standing on his perch. I chat with him, scritch his head and ask him again to step up...he continues to perch so I close the door and walk away. 

A. I ask Mackie to step up B. Mackie stands on his perch C I give Mackie scritches and chatting The probable future behavior will likely be that Mackie will continue to stand on his perch when asked to step up to receive head scritches and a chat. 

What can I to do? There are always many ways to work at solving a problem or changing a behavior. That is one of the interesting and great things about using applied behavior analysis and the ABCs. One shoe never fits all, so these tools give you a chance to do what works best for you and your bird. What if I ask Mackie to step up and I dont talk or give him scritches? BUT as soon as he lifts a foot and leans towards my arm he receives praise from me and once he does step up I give him more praise and scritches. Lets do that ABC 

A. I ask Mackie to step up B. Mackie steps up C. Receives praise, scritches and fun time with me PFB (probable future behavior) Mackie is going to continue to step up to receive scritches and focused attention from me. 

Does it look easy? ABA really isnt all that easy and has had me scratching my head multiple times but it is a valuable tool to help us all figure out better ways of approaching and working with behavior. A way to help us find positive solutions and not use force, punishment or other less desirable methods that often tend to backfire on us later on. A common example is the use of a squirt bottle for a screaming bird. Squirting the bird may work very well at first but its also not uncommon for that same bird at a later date to not only be screaming again but also be attacking the squirt bottle, or for some birds to become fearful down the road or other problems...so by using a quick fix solution you run the risk of seeing side effects later on. 

Wouldnt it be fun to learn more about Applied Behavior Analysis? To learn how to become a better observer of behaviors? How about learning about avoiding or being able to work out behavioral problems with your parrot, dog, cat, spouse or children? Working towards lifelong solutions by building a positive relationship base. It is possible and learning about ABCs gives you the tools to do that.

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I have been working on getting a behavior changed that my scarlet macaw, Rascal, had picked up before becoming our fid. When he doesn't want to interact, or fears something (perhaps thinking back to his short time at a zoo), he lunges, squawks, and sometimes tries to do a warning bite. Then he expects scritches. Instead I say "hey!" and walk away. He usually apologizes (head down, "helloooOOOohohohOH", kiss sounds), I give him a few minutes, then I go back and try again to interact how I started to in the beginning. He is slowly learning to be nice, or to communicate his need to be left alone, in other ways, such as just using body language of stepping away.

Great but too long for FB quick reading. Suggest breaking it done to a #of posts.

Excellent!