Sweet Mabel

Saturday, 21 January 2012

That Defining Moment between ME and Severe Macaw Mabel

If you've been following my blog, you would know that previous to Mabel I had a big disinterest and a huge fear in all types of macaws. Even after I brought Mabel home, I kept her at arm's length and remained partially disconnected from her. This stemmed from being suspicious of her and not having the confidence to believe I could deal with what ever came our way. A part of me even felt that Mabel was secretly plotting to take over and rule me. I know that sounds a bit irrational but that's how I felt and I definitely did not want that happening.

What changed? Well, I decided to purchase one of Barbara Heidenriech's E-downloads. The specific one would be Train Your Parrot to Step up.

Prior to this I also wasn't the type of person to spend any amount of money on parrot training information. I figured that there was enough FREE info on the internet and what ever I couldn't figure out, I'd ask other parrot owners on some of the parrot forums I participated in. One of my early and very stressful challenges with Mabel was getting her to STEP up. When she was in the mood to oblige, things were GREAT. When she didn't feel like it, it was BAD. Her bites were the worst that I had ever experienced. Her beak would just slice into my skin like a Chef's knife. Each time she nailed me I would feel such resent and exasperation towards her. I found myself running regularly to the washroom to tend to my cuts and dealing with new ones before the old ones had a chance to heal. This irritated me very much because it was physically painful and none of it was very pretty to look at. 

Occasionally I felt that it was my fault for not having pre-planned my move towards her but for the majority of the time I felt that I had no choice but to bite the bullet and accept her powerful bites. My knowledge when it came to macaws was all intellectual. NO hands on experience. I didn't want to continue living this way. I had to admit to myself that I needed help. If Mabel and I were going to make it together I needed Expert Help!! So I turned to Barbara Heidenreich's site and came across that E-download which I mentioned above. After I paid for my purchase I still felt skeptical but didn't think I had anything to lose. A few days later I finally took the time to view and read the download and this is where I was introduced to the miracles of Positive Reinforcement. I still wasn't convinced that this *stuff* was going to work but as mentioned, was skeptical enough to give it a try. Going to give it my best shot and see what materialized. It took about 4 consecutive days and 3 five minute sessions each day for Mabel and I to start understanding each other. I'm sure it happened alot quicker than that but I also kept telling myself those previous successes must have been dumb luck flukes. Yes, I was still determined to remain suspicious of Mabel but alas, I was finally convinced.

I cannot tell you how incredible this was for me. I found myself feeling less contracted around her and starting to feel my distrust and coldness melting away. After using Barbara H's ebook, I somehow saw Mabel in a very different way. I saw a parrot who was extremely intelligent and one who couldn't wait to finally have a closer relationship with me. More importantly, I finally felt empowered. I knew how to communicate requests to her and receive what I wanted in return. My days of frustration with Mabel were over and today we have a very close and loving relationship. Spending that $24.95 was the best money I've ever spent since having my severe macaw. I am so grateful and cannot believe how much I would have missed out on if not for Barbara Heidenreich. Thank you so much!!

For the rest of you, I strongly recommend the E-book mentioned above. It doesn't matter whether you are new to parrots or very experienced. What you will get out of this training material is so useful and more valuable than you could ever imagine. Basically, this E-book helped give me the tools to learn how to TRUST Mabel, HOW to communicate my requests to her, BUILD trust with her, and in return FORGE the wonderful and gratifying relationship that I have with her today. Here's a letter I wrote to my sweet Mabel back in December so you can really understand why this means so much to me. The second link explains why I named my blog` Mabel Serendipity. :)


  1. Yes Barbara is one of the best parrot trainers in the world and I was lucky enough to attend her training course in person when she was in New Zealand last year!

    1. Wow!! That sounds like it was awesome time! :) I'm jealous :)

  2. I have a Blue and Gold named Napoleon and have had him since he was 3 months old, the first night I had him, he cried like a baby when I turned off the light. I never believed his previous owner when she told me he would do this. He did this for almost two weeks. I had to hold him and walk the floors with him just like a baby. He really doesn't care for the dark to this day, but if I let him have a nightlight, he will settle down at night. macaws are a wonderful heartfelt bird and can be every bit as cuddly as a dog or cat. Napoleon is now 6 years old and still as loving as ever. He never forgets to say bye bye as I hurry out the door to go to work.

  3. Aww, Napoleon sounds like quite the lovebug1

  4. This E-book sounds interesting... maybe I'll have my hubby look into that for us. Our Ringneck reminds me a bit of how you describe your Mabel (how she was once, anyway), his bites in some respects are far more painful to me than those of our Marcus--who is twice his size! We are definitely making progress with him, but the stepping up can still be an issue sometimes, so thank you for the heads-up!

    ~Karen :)

  5. It's very good. It will help you with Marcus too. Includes, literature, a video and audio too. Very good for all types of learning styles.