Where most people call them "Step Ups
I use the term "transfers". I have
found that the term "step up" can be misleading. (see
the article, "Ups & Downs") Transfers are from hand to hand,
hand to perch, perch to hand, cage-top, floor, shoulder or
any combination of them. In other words, any time
you're moving a bird from one perching place to another it's a transfer. Here are
two of the optimum hand positions for teaching your
bird to transfer, the vertical hand transfer and the
flat hand transfer.
vertical hand transfer, or
step up, winds up in "First
Position," the fundamental
position from which all
taming starts. Getting
the bird to be comfortable
in first position is the
first goal after I get a
bird out of the cage.
Keeping the hand at around a
thirty degree angle helps
keep the bird from moving
toward the shoulder
The above photo is a great
example of the vertical hand
transfer. This is
called "First Position"
the foundation for all training.
Notice the position of her
thumb; it's not sticking up
where the bird can bite it,
nor is it against her hand,
where the bird's toes will
wrap around it and keep her
from holding the bird's
feet, if necessary.
First position - perfectly
this workshop participant
A variation on the vertical for a smaller bird, using a single finger, angled up
Another example of the vertical hand transfer position
The flat hand transfer can be easier and less threatening for a
nervous bird, like this Sulpher Crested, that's just learning to transfer for the
This photo shows how to use the flat hand transfer to get a bird on your
hand when it has moved up your arm to avoid your hands.
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