Large Birds

Large birds need more everything;
more space, more attention, more toys, more patience, more fresh food, and more boundaries



I do not believe Toucans should be available as pets in places as dry as Las Vegas. Since there is noting I can do about that, here are some things you need to know if you recently got one or are determined to get one. Unlike parrots, Toucans do not talk. They need 4x more space and attention than any parrot. Whether kept in a large aviary in an open room of your house or an outdoor air conditioned aviary, misters or humidifiers and specific plants are essential to the health of your Toucan. Their intense curiosity and hyperactivity make them exceptionally hard to train without a professional. Toucans require a strict schedule that does not allow for spontaneous outings without a trusted and knowledgeable Toucan sitter. Toucan sitters need to be introduced properly and spend plenty of time (days, possibly weeks) simply being around and gaining trust before the bird will allow transfer of care for any outings that interfere with their schedule or weekend trips away from your Toucan.


Large Parrots

Large Conures, Electus, Hawk Headed, Amazons, African Greys, Cockatoos, Mini-Macaws, and Macaws

These large, loud, intelligent birds need a structured schedule and diet with NO LESS than two to four hours every day dedicated to out-of-cage play time with strict boundaries. Due to their body language and behavioral tendencies being very different from mammals, it is difficult for humans to gauge emotions and predict the actions of birds without guidance and persistent observation. Training these intelligent creatures properly can not be done without having an underlying knowledge of their social structure and establishing trust based on their unique perceptions.


The hourly rate for large and extra large bird training is $60 and includes a free behavioral analysis on top of your existing questions and concerns.



Teaching our birds how to be calm while being handled requires a lot of patience and trust building. Each interaction will determine how they will act during the next handling and will add to their understanding of responding to human actions so it is very important that it be done correctly and with as little negativity as possible. These learning experiences become ingrained and can result in constant daily fear, aggression, and stress disorders.



Grooming & Vet Conditioning

Birds need regular grooming so they need to go through a process of positive conditioning in order to bathe regularly and be held in a way that is conducive to veterinary check-ups, nail trimming, beak filing, and feather trimming (when deemed necessary). Some birds can be trained to file their beaks naturally using toys and scratching tools.

I do not encourage wing clipping except in special cases where the safety of the bird is a concern. Flight feathers should never be clipped before a bird learns to use them.


Harness Training

Large birds need outdoor time and not everyone has the area and budget for an outdoor aviary. Harnesses are very intimidating to birds, but with time and proper introduction they can attribute a harness with positive feelings and limited outdoor walks can greatly improve your bird’s overall behavior and happiness.


Impulse Control

This training incorporates controlling negative behaviors like cage chewing, furniture chewing, flapping, feather plucking, and squawking. Birds can not learn impulse control the way dogs and cats do, negative reinforcement WILL worsen the behavior and create more stress related habits. These behaviors can be the result of many different things and need to be assessed by a professional.


Child Conditioning

Conditioning a bird to act appropriately around children can be done when it comes to bite control (teaching the appropriate pressure for positive interaction), but for the safety of  both parties the child needs to be taught about bird structure and handling. Birds do not follow the same social cues as mammals so they do not have the same intuition that dogs and cats do when it comes to the abnormal behavior of a young human. This disassociation means a child must be responsible enough to handle the bird how it is used to being handled by humans or the bird will sense something is wrong and feel threatened enough to react aggressively. 



The ability to mimic human speech is the main reason some people purchase parrots. It is also the main reason so many parrots are returned, released into the wild, or in need of rescue. While verbal communication contributes greatly to the bird-human relationship, it should never be the main reason for getting a pet bird. Several conditions need to be met before speech can be effectively communicated, and teaching a bird to speak is more complex than simply repeating a word until the bird picks it up. Some parrots do not have an     aptitude for speech while others have a natural talent for it. Aptitude for       speech can be assessed to select the proper training techniques for a         clear verbal understanding between you and your bird.


I am not licensed to give advice related to veterinary medicine. However, as a certified veterinary assistant I am permitted to determine if your bird needs to see a veterinarian, give advice on exercise or dietary needs, and I can provide beak filing, nail filing, or flight feather trimming services for a $10 fee.

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