30 Member Interview: Adopting a bird during the pandemic

30 Member Interview: Adopting a bird during the pandemic

“”A new bird actually benefits from a little disruption to the routine….”.”

In this episode, Hillary speaks with Harry Decimo and his partner Hailey. Harry is a member of Avian Behavior Lab, our online education program catering to the world of animal care professionals and other animal lovers and enthusiasts.

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

Book learning and having an animal in front of  you are two different things
How Harry came to have Paulie in his life
Using the new found time due to the pandemic to work with Paulie
How Harry and his partner evolved into different rolls with Paulie
How Avian Behavior Lab supported Harry
Harry’s goals for the near future and how Paulie and the pandemic may influence those goals
Letting go of the need to always control Paulie
Next training plans to introduce Paulie to the outside world
Hillary on the Lab’s parrot recall course


Hillary, Harry and Hailey talk about the ins-and-outs of working with a Quaker Parrot. They discuss the use of new found time during the pandemic along with Harry’s work and adjustment becoming a new bird parent

When Paulie was adopted, Harry did not get to meet him until they were on their way home.  Due to pandemic conditions only one person was allowed on the premises and Hailey was the one to go in and pick out Paulie.  Harry was somewhat hesitant in his first interactions with Paulie but he didn’t give up.

First he could not get Paulie to step up out of his cage on to his hand. He learned that everything does not run perfectly and to work with Paulie’s natural behavior instead of trying to completely control the situation. Hillary saw Harry’s progress “go off the charts” once he realized this.

The excitement with which Harry speaks about his time so far with his bird, Paulie, is contagious. Listen in as he shares his experience working with Paulie, including how he relied on the  Avian Behavior Lab to guide him through the day-by-day challenges, and his upcoming hopes for his career in the animal world.


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