Ken Globus

The Bird Whisperer




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The Magic Touch


By Ken Globus


One of my  objectives in a taming session is to get a bird to accept touch.  Since most of the birds I work with are from moderately to extremely hand-shy this is a worthy goal that, once achieved, is a clear sign that a degree of trust has been attained.  In some cases this is accomplished in just a few minutes. 

Those who observe  this are quite shocked that touching  can be accomplished so quickly.  Especially, in cases where it's their own bird - one they haven't been able to get close to for a long time, even several years.  Although it may seem like something magical is taking place, it is all based on real, clear techniques of progressive desensitization using a unique way of touching that birds respond to.  

Good Vibrations

After a brief initial handling period during which I get the bird through its first level of fear, I work to get a hand to the bird's head or back.  First, I try to just touch it there, then I try to get more of the hand in contact with it.  The object is to at first touch in a way that the bird almost doesn't notice.  The pressures are unthreatening. As I progress,  I touch, pat and gently  vibrate until the bird lets me rest my hand gently on its back.


People who have watched me say that I look like a magician, conjuring up a magic spell.  I assume that’s because I concentrate so hard while looking away from the bird.  I don't look at the bird because so much of the  technique depends on touch, that looking merely distracts me from concentrating on the touch.  Apparently it makes a pretty unusual picture.  I need to concentrate because I am always dancing on the edge between building more trust and getting bitten.  Once the touch begins, we're on the way.  Then we move quickly from touching  to vibrating, patting, tt scratching, to  nuzzling, to kissing.  

What AM I Saying?

I’m not even sure exactly these touching techniques evolved, but more and more it becomes a fundamental part of my taming process.  That, along with  the "bubble of fear" visualization I use, influences all of my techniques.  I never really thought to analyze it, but ever since someone who was watching a demonstration of mine asked "What are you saying to the bird?" (I clearly wasn't speaking at the time), I had to ask myself that same question.   

Without delving into the metaphysical, you may, if you like) what my touch, and some powerfully focused intentions, are communicating, is simply this: "I'm not going to hurt you.  I love you."  Along with this intense and sensitive touching process, this is the message my intentions are pouring into the birds.  And you know what?  They get it. 






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