Got a bird that hits the floor and goes for feet? Teach him to station.
An easy thing to train your bird which can keep him out of all kinds of mischief is “stationing.” Training animals to station is a common husbandry technique in zoos. If you need to work with an animal that is dangerous or uncomfortable being touched, teaching him to go to a particular place for a reward can help you get close enough to examine him or move him to a secure place away from the zookeeper. You can use this same technique to send your lory someplace safe if there is trouble, or if you just want to keep him out of mischief.
Stationing can be very helpful to keep parrots off the floor and stop them from attacking feet. First you have to choose a spot for your bird to station and stay for a reward. The top of a play stand or cage can be great for this. Mark the spot with a nontoxic marker or a piece of nontoxic tape. Choose a word for the cue to this behavior like “station” or something else short and easy. Then begin training.
Place your parrot next to the spot, first making sure he is not nervous of the modifications you’ve made. If he is comfortable say, “station” and hold a treat just far enough away from the spot that he has to step on it in order to get the treat. As soon as he steps on it say, “good” and let him have the reward. He will likely move away from it again to finish he treat. Once he’s finished try to get him to station again. After you’ve done this a few times, you’ll see him “get” it.
When he starts deliberately stepping on the station, you can ask him to step up, move him a little further away from it and then ask him to “station” again. Make sure you train in small increments to ensure that he understands and does not get frustrated. Once you have him trained to station though, you should be able to get him to climb up the cage and walk over to his spot when you give him the cue. You will also find that he spontaneously stations, hoping for treat. As long as you often reward him with attention or treats when you see him on his station spot, he will continue to offer this behavior. Training your parrot to find his way to safe spot to get what he wants can save you a lot of headaches and maybe even your parrot’s life.