Ken Globus is a bird whisperer. He has the ability to
transform the most aggressive bird into a docile, social,
Recently, Globus led a weekend of workshops at Featherlust
Farm Birdstore in Old Saybrook, CT. Globus divided the day
into an introductory session followed by a hands-on workshop
where he worked with individual birds and their owners to
solve specific behavior problems, teaching them how to have
a better understanding for their bird.
Ultimately, Globus says that he wants bird owners to feel
empowered to improve their relationship with their birds.
And he showed how. For instance, during the informational
session, Ken coaxed a white Lesser Sulpher Cockatoo from its
cage. The apprehensive owner muttered, "Careful, he might
Globus approached the bird, which was aggressive and cage
territorial. He asked it to step up onto his extended
forefinger, and the bird obliged. Ken held the birds' paw
gently between his fingers in a "scissor" hold, all the
while explaining to the audience of nearly 100 what he was
doing and why. All of Globus's movements were purposeful,
slow, measured and calming. He then enveloped his hand over
the cockatoo's head and applied gentle pressure. This tact
desensitized the bird to his touch. Globus followed by
placing the regal snow-white bird atop its perch. The
audience watched in hushed amazement as the bird slowly
closed and then opened his eyes in slow, rhythmic blinks. He
now was at peace with his environment.
During the afternoon's four-hour workshops, those who had
brought in their troubled birds had a chance to work
one-on-one with Globus. Participants sought answers to
vexing bird behavioral problems spanning the gamut of issues
such as biting, cage territorial behavior, aggression, and
dislike for particular family members.
Globus teaches owners how to understand bird behavior. He
himself learned over the course of 25 years of observing and
handling birds. He possesses a deep sensitivity and an
instinctive appreciation for birds' needs. He produces no
miracles, but, rather, connects with animals on the level
that they best understand. Because birds are animals of
prey, like horses, their number one goal in life is to
survive; Globus works to remove that fear or that phobia.
Globus's method of bird whispering is simple. He uses
progressive desensitization, sets limits for the bird, and
applies low-energy techniques. In short, he pushes a scared
bird toward its fear to help it overcome its fear.
He is however considered controversial because he goes
against all conventional bird wisdom. To the audience, he
dispelled several "myths": Never wear gloves (they are
necessary, sometimes, to protect oneself. Stories abound of
bird owners with bite wounds); don't make a bird come out of
its cage if it doesn't want to; and, never make a bird do
anything it doesn't want to do.
An African Grey Parrott was by far his toughest case. Globus
recognized the unhappiness in this bird, and he was very
vocal about it. The owner had been unable, then unwilling,
to bring the parrot from its cage for fear of being bitten.
After the bird was brought out, true to its reputation, it
bit Globus on the finger, which began to bleed profusely.
Undaunted, Globus continued to work with the parrot, which
was now flailing his wings and snapping wildly in an attempt
Suddenly, a transformation occurred. The bird became docile,
sat on its owner's lap, and allowed its feathers to be
stroked. Globus encouraged the owner to gently scratch the
bird around his ears, his eyes, and his mouth. Birds, Globus
said, do not like being petted like a cat or dog.
"Birds," he explained, "are social creatures that want and
need to feel safe and secure. They are most happy not having
to be in control; but by giving in to your fears and theirs,
they are unwittingly put into the position of control."
Birds, when they are in control, become territorial,
aggressive, and fears are allowed to develop. Globus
stressed that following through on these "whispering"
methods are essential to the bird's welfare. Otherwise, the
undesirable behavior will creep back in. Globus said he has
witnessed cathartic moments for bird owners, where a
breakthrough in behavior has been achieved, and they cry
because they (the owners) want so badly to connect with
Tragically, though, bird sanctuaries are full of
misunderstood birds considered "hard cases." These birds are
sometimes euthanized because of a basic misunderstanding of
behavior. To that end, Globus is making a documentary film
that he hopes will have a great impact on the bird-loving
community. He hopes to impart his techniques to others on a
Globus is based out of Los Angeles. You can learn more about
the Bird Whisperer on his Web site thebirdwhisperer.com.
His next workshop will be held on March 18 & 19 in Kansas