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THE 3 LEVELS OF ATTENTION

By Sally Blanchard

(This article and the artwork is copyrighted and may not be reprinted without the written permission of Sally Blanchard. Contact us for permission. If this article is on any other website, it is without my permission) 


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AMBIENT ATTENTION
 
   This is extrememly important as it is the way that many wild parrots stay in touch with each other. Ambient attention is verbal communication given to a parrot while they are in their cage or on a playgym and you are either in the room with them or nearby. This attention basically involves initiating and responding to contact calls. It is interaction without physical contact. Many parrots love this type of interaction because they know you are a part of what they are doing but you don't have to be holding them or having them with you. The most important aspect of ambient attention is conversation back and forth. For example, you could look at them and give them a cue for a behavior you have taught them such as "Gimme four", then when the parrot lifts his foot in response, you can give them a lot of praise for behaving so well. Ambient attention is the best way for parrot caregivers to keep their parrots from learning to scream for attention. 


CASUAL ATTENTION
    One of the levels of attention we give our parrots. Casual attention is the time we spend with our parrots with us while we participate in other activities such as conversation with others, reading, or watching TV.
  They are with us either on the arm of the chair, a close play gym, on our knee or on their shoulder if you trust them there. Our total focus is not on them while we give our attention to something else. However, we do communicate with them by looking up from our reading, conversation with another person or the television by using contact calls in the form of questions or comments that let them know they are a part of what we are doing.

FOCUSED ATTENTION AND INSTRUCTIONAL INTERACTION
    In your face attention totally focused on the parrot. Companion parrots need at least 10 minutes to an hour of consistent focused and interactive attention each and every day to remain secure and trusting Instructional interaction includes play and teaching parrots new behaviors, which can be done in a playful manner. Instructional interaction through play builds and maintains mutual trust. 


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