Ken Globus

The Bird Whisperer




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The Fist of Iron


No, it's not a chop-socky movie... it's a simple, effective way to get close to a bird that's hand-shy and aggressive   



If you make a fist and bend your wrist as far as it will go, you'll notice that the skin on the back of the fist becomes very tight.  In fact, on most people, it's too tight a surface for a bird's beak to get a hold on.  And it creates a safe place (a "sweet spot") for you to use to get your hand near a nippy bird.  In this way, it's similar to the "heading" technique.  Bring your fist up to the bird very slowly, finding out where its striking range is.  Making gentle contact with the birdís beak helps get it used to your hands, to being touched and helps it gain trust.  It can also be used to fend off an attacking bird. 

***Keep in mind that you must use care and judgment with this technique.  It is still possible to get bitten if you're not alert and agile.  You don't just thrust your fist at the bird's beak, you must keep the center of the back of your fist, the "sweet spot", where the skin is stretched tight, lined up with the bird's beak.   If the bird moves its beak to bite you, you must move your fist accordingly.  Otherwise it will simply bite you on the edge of your hand where the flesh is soft.  Also, approach the bird with your hand at a distance and let the bird demonstrate how far its striking range is.  Then slowly move into the range so the bird is only able to barely touch the back of your hand when he is reaching out to bite you. ****


This workshop participant uses the "fist of iron" to approach an aggressive macaw



After a few failed bite attempts Fred, this Sulpher Crested,  begins to calm down and nibbles harmlessly at Ken's "sweet spot."  Fred is already becoming comfortable with hands.


Moments later, Ken is freely cupping Fred's head and kissing him.  Fred's enjoying the contact.




The fist is also great to protect yourself from an aggressive bird.  Let's say your bird gets territorial and starts attacking you when you go to feed it.   Or it goes after your feet when it's on the floor.  The Fist, brought slowly toward the bird's beak, can be used to control the bird, move it away from you, hold it off and let it know that you are not about to be driven out of the territory.


















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