Perches are very important for free flighted parrots, especially for beginners, but have you ever stopped to ask why? We will refer to a ‘training perch’ quite often x throughout this course but you may be wondering if a designated training perch is really necessary; we would always say yes!

Why A Training Perch Is Useful

We will go into this in more detail throughout session 2 but the main reasons using a designated training perch is helpful include:

  • Your bird will build a positive association with the perch - using the same perch for training will build a positive association with that perch, as it’s where good things happen. Only allowing your parrot access to this perch during training means that the perch coming out becomes a visual cue that it’s time to train, increasing your parrot's motivation to train. Using the same perch for indoor training and then free flight can be helpful as your parrot will recognise the perch means it’s time to train and can help them to focus.

  • Less distraction - our parrots are naturally curious about new things, including new perches. Having a designated training perch that your parrot recognises will lessen the distraction and make it easier for them to focus.

  • Can be used as an anchor - by rewarding your parrot for returning to their training perch we can enforce that the perch is a good place, effectively making it an anchor/magnet for your parrot. This creates another ‘safe place’ for them to land when free flying. If your parrot misses a landing on you the perch offers an additional landing spot, decreasing the likelihood of them spooking.

How To Use A Training Perch

We would recommend using your training perch exclusively for training, simple right! This means all recall training or trick training should be done with this perch and after a training session the perch is put away so your parrot no longer has access to it.

Which Perch To Use

It’s important your training perch is easily portable as you will need to bring it along when you go free flying, we tend to make our own perches using tripods and a bird safe branch. We also find that vet wrapping the perch in a bright colour is useful for a few reasons:

  • Vet wrap adds padding when landing.

  • It’s easier to grip onto so if a bird is struggling to land it can offer support, this reduces the chances of a beginner free flyer slipping when landing and getting overwhelmed.

  • The bright colour stands out so the perch can be easily spotted by the bird when they’re in the sky.

Although the downside to vet wrap is some birds don’t like the feel of them or may be overwhelmed by patterns.

Here are some videos on how to make your own training perch:

For small birds:

For big birds:

If you aren’t able to DIY a perch you can search online or purchase a lighting stand, they are already a T shape but would require more vet wrap for padding and are often heavier than tripods.

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