Parrot Plays Golf and Basketball


This is one brilliant bird. He can not only play dead, but also plays sports. I'd love to see his training techniques.

Link Via Metro.CO.UK


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Newest 5 Comments

@ seefish3:

First off, lose the patronising attitude, people responded civilly to you, don't be a jerk back.

Your first point was 'i'm not sure that animals enjoy spending the hours necessary to train for tricks like this', and people responded that they generally enjoy it.

So now you change your argument to 'I'm not sure that animals kept as pets are as happy as wild animals'.

Well, we can't discuss anything if you keep moving the goal posts. But I agree that a captive animal is unlikely to be happier than a wild one if everything else is equal.

However, if the animal has never even seen a wild habitat, then there isn't much point in worrying about it. Comparing levels of happiness in animals is putting human concepts into them and at this stage nobody really knows what 'happiness' feels like to a bird or a dog. So it's really impossible to judge.

But it's worth remembering that 90% of pets have hundreds of generations of domestication behind them - they don't have a wild habitat and they would be scared and most likely starve to death very quickly if released into the wild alone.

Anyway, a pet being trained using modern, non-violent methods (such as click training) is vastly happier than a pet that is left to just sit around all day. There's just no argument about this.

I've trained all my pets over the years and it's plain as day that they genuinely enjoy three aspects: the mental challenge of understanding what you want, the accomplishment of getting it right, and the feeling that they are helping you.
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Wow, I actually started a discussion!

Sorry, folks, but you can't convince me that animals living unnatural lives as pets are somehow happier or better off than their wild counterparts. How do you quantify this? By reading their secret diaries?

It's nice that they make you happy, though...
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I am sure the bird was trained by using clicker training. It's positive reinforcement, usually a food treat following the trick. Parrots are essentially wild animals and are really not all that domesticated, despite our best efforts. Clicker training is one way to encourage bonding and to stimulate the bird. If anyone has a bird out there, I highly encourage it. Birds are so intelligent and are quite easy to train to do tricks. I have a parrot who has learned several tricks through clicker training. Here's a link to my bird's video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YmpcYZy6qY
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"seefish3
March 18th, 2009 at 4:04 am

Stuff like this always makes me uncomfortable. How much of this bird’s existence was devoted to training for this, to it, meaningless exercise? Well, I’m sure it eats well…"

All animals crave stimulation. Whether it's conscious and responsive or instinctual... This bird is living a far better life... even if you probably think it's being treated like a slave for *gasp* learning actions based on commands for a treat... It's getting attention and affection from an owner as opposed to being just left in a cage and being called a pretty bird all the time.

This bird is living the high life. Birds are VERY social creatures and do not handle merely being locked in a cage by itself well at all. Believe me when I say this, I've seen birds mope and get depressed. A properly trained bird is always eager to please and willing to do tricks just for the social activity of it.
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