Ken Globus

The Bird Whisperer

 

 

 

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Seeing is Believing

 

By David Howell

 

former President, Tri-State Avian Society

reprinted with permission

 

Ken’s philosophy is pretty simple:  take the bites, endure the pain, show the bird that you’re not going to give up, back off or throw in the (bloodstained) towel. 

Ken can take charge of a room quite easily. He’s got that kind of personality. When he talks, people lean forward to listen and you can see the respect build in people’s eyes as his sessions go on. When he approaches a bird, however, he is all calmness, peace, and as he puts it, “all about lowering energy.” 

Now...Ken’s not normally a “low energy” person. Quick to smile, easily banters, good humor and devilishly sly wit are ways I’d describe his personality.  But, when he approaches a bird that has not been touched...literally NOT TOUCHED...in years, he’s all business. 

First thing that happened at our demonstration was a massive bite from a large macaw!  Right on the forearm and the upper and lower mandibles met in the middle!  That’s GOTTA hurt.  It didn’t bleed much, but it sure did bruise and swell immediately. This happened while we were still setting up and it wasn’t even while he was actually trying to work with the bird. It was just a “Hey, how are you” kind of gesture, but quick like snake, the macaw nailed him.  Ken took the bite, did NOT pull back.  Good thing, that.  I think he’d have lost a substantial chunk of flesh had he jerked his arm back, as I almost certainly would have done. I do NOT know how the man endures bites from macaws, cockatoos, amazons, greys and all the other HARD biters.

In fact, on Friday night, at our little dinner reception for him, I made a point of examining his hands.  At first, I did it surreptitiously, looking for signs of damage to his digits...or if he was missing one or two.  They were all there, but you CAN see some of the lingering marks of encounters past.  I finally asked him how his hands were bearing up after so many sessions, so many bites.  He showed me some scars and he can tell you  the different styles of biting that are associated with a bird. 

Oh...this is a good time to dispel some myths about Ken. He gets a lot of bad press from some highly respected, but sadly misguided professionals, in the bird world. I’ve seen the man up close and personal twice now and I can tell you from first hand observation what’s what with how he handles birds.

There is NO cruelty.  NO big gloves.  NO “flooding,” as some psychologists call it.  That’s overloading on something that causes problems until the fear goes away. Imagine being in a room full of spiders if you have arachnophobia.  You stay there till you’re on a first name basis with the little eight-legged critters. That’s flooding.  Ken does NOT flood. 

His gloves have been called by some, “welder’s gloves.” NOT so.  They’re doe skin, soft and thin.  I’ve seen thicker gardening gloves. Hardly a deterrent at all from a bite and he ONLY wears them with the most difficult birds.  Ninety percent of the time, he’s bare-handed.  If I were up there, the percentages would be exactly reversed, I’m sure.

So, to those critics of Ken Globus...I say this...come and talk to ME!  Talk to ANYONE who’s actually seen the miracles he performs. Stop making prejudicial and ridiculous judgments based on hearsay, second hand and inaccurate information and suppositions.  Talk to the people who are able to handle their birds for the first time in years after a few minutes with Ken.  Talk to attendees of his seminars who cry, because they are able to actually touch their previously untouchable bird.  Talk to someone who has SEEN Ken in action.  Then form your opinion of his methods and means.  I’ll stand by this opinion:  “Ken Globus is the premier bird behavior modification specialist in the country today.” That’s MY story and I’m stickin’ to it!

The simple and effective methods Ken uses make intuitive sense to me, but they run counter to just about everything I read, found, studied and believed from the so-called “experts” in bird behavior. 

I was told it could take months or even years to gain a high degree of trust with my bird.  Now, I know that was not only poorly considered advice, but that it was just plain WRONG! 

Ken demonstrates that gaining the confidence of a bird can take only minutes.  Yes...MINUTES!   Here are some photos I took during a ten minute session with a very big and very angry macaw.  I turned them into a collage that shows the very obvious anger of the bird first, then Ken’s efforts to come into the bird’s “bubble of fear.” 

 

 

Then, using that “low energy” I mentioned earlier, Ken proceeds to gently touch the bird, backs off when it gets irate, lowers the energy level and comes back to the bird again.  At the end of ten minutes, he’s holding the bird close to his body and he freely touches the bird’s head and back.  No screaming, no biting, no flying away...no struggling of any kind.  The bird accepts Ken’s closeness and touching as though he’d known Ken for years.

Now...the best part.  When he teaches the owners how to do this, they touch a much-loved bird for the first time in a loooong time!  Tears were shed.  Tears of happiness and relief, not pain or anguish.  Touching a bird that has been untouchable can do that to someone who truly cares about birds.  I’ve seen it and I can tell you that Ken CARES about every bird he encounters. 

Finally, I’d like to encourage you to visit Ken’s web site if you have a bird with behavior problems.  There are some tips and techniques that he freely shares with everyone that you could apply to your own situation with a difficult bird.  I feel that with Caribe and Augustus, our magnificent African Grey...we don’t necessarily NEED professional help. But, I found tricks there to help me with Caribe and Susan found info she’s using with Augustus.  Both our birds are better for it and it has improved the degree and depth of our relationships with our birds.  And, in the final analysis...that’s what it’s all about. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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