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Kili Senegal Parrot - Harness Socialization in the Park

Published on March 22, 2010

Now that Kili is used to wearing a flight harness, I started taking her outside to the park/playground near my house. I clip the harness to my belt to ensure that I can't lose hold of the harness. The first time I took her out, I held the harness strap tightly in the hand that she was perched on to ensure that she couldn't go anywhere if she tried to fly off.

The playground was a phenomenal place to socialize her to the outdoors because it was away from cars/dangers but with plenty of people to watch. I sat down on a bench for nearly 30 minutes and just let her watch all the kids running around and things going on. She was a bit on edge at first but seeing as nothing was actually affecting her, she started to become more at ease. Most of the children playing did not notice her in the heat of play and ran right by without throwing a glance. This is very good, this gives the bird a strong sense of camouflage/security. I've noticed the same apply at home. The parrot is not scared of people that walk by the cage ignoring her, she only gets nervous when people look at her or walk right toward her.

I had been taking Kili to the playground for a few days by the time I got to make this video. You can see her sitting on me in a bustling park at east and then also doing some short range flight recalls.

Let me mention that the playground was not Kili's first time outside ever. It was just the first practical application of the harness. I have had her outside on the harness several times in my backyard prior and I had taken her outside a bunch of times while she was clipped before. So she was no stranger to being outside and I was not afraid of immersing her right into the hustle of the park situation. I wouldn't recommend taking a long term house bird right to a busy park like this all at once.

The harness provides a great opportunity to bring a parrot outside for sun and fresh air while retaining the peace of mind that the parrot cannot fly off far if startled. I vigorously work on recall training both inside and outside with the harness in the case that she lands out of reach or the harness breaks.

If you missed my step by step training guide for teaching a parrot to wear a harness, you can see it here:

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