PECKING ORDER: A seminar is being held by the Sunshine Coast Companion Parrot Group about solutions for pet owners with aggressive parrots. Claire Gardener with her Indian ringneck parrots, (left) Saphire and (right) Nila.
PECKING ORDER: A seminar is being held by the Sunshine Coast Companion Parrot Group about solutions for pet owners with aggressive parrots. Claire Gardener with her Indian ringneck parrots, (left) Saphire and (right) Nila. Patrick Woods

Expert to help polly pet from going crackers

THEY'RE cute, colourful and chatty, but don't cross them.

Parrot owners know the heartbreak that results when their "best friend" turns on them.

The feathered friends can go from Paulie the charmer to Blackbeard's menacing mate with their serious mood swings.

Just ask Sunshine Coast Companion Parrot Group co-founder and parrot owner Claire Gardener.

"It causes emotional pain when your best friend turns on you," Claire said.

"I've only heard of people receiving minor scratches and a pinch, but it can be scary when something triggers your cute little pet and they act out."

That's why the group is keen to hear from international animal trainer Barbara Heidenreich, who will be giving an abstract seminar on solutions for biting and aggressive behaviour in companion parrots at the University of the Sunshine Coast tomorrow at 10am.

Ms Heidenreich will give the presentation through a live feed from Texas, where she is an adjunct animal trainer at A&M University.

With a degree in zoology and an uncanny enthusiasm for rehabilitating rogue pets, Ms Heidenreich is familiar with the weird and wacky world of parrots.

Her most recent escapade took her to New Zealand where she successfully curbed the amorous ways of a rare head-humping parrot.

The 90-minute seminar will provide Coast parrot owners with answers and solutions for their birds' hormonal aggression.

Fellow SCCPG co-founder Colleen Stieler-Hunt says alternatives to relinquishing your pet are always available when dealing with a rogue parrot.

"People who have an aggressive bird often think that they have a naturally nasty bird and there is nothing they can do about it.

"However, there are always ways to improve any situation," she said.

Tickets for the presentation are $20 for singles and $30 for two.

Phone 0402 077 108 or visit Suncoast Parrots on Facebook


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