The efficacy and suitability of ABA lies in its use of positive reinforcement (rewards) for desired behaviors while eschewing any aversive interactions with birds such as punishment or negative reinforcement. The rewards used are determined essentially, by the particular bird. Some respond very well to food treats, other will ‘work’ for a head-scratch or a favorite toy. Where unwanted behaviors occur, a non-antagonistic approach is maintained. Birds are not reprimanded or ‘challenged’ for any unwanted behavior. The concept of ‘dominating’ a bird and forcing it to do certain actions and be 100% compliant is rejected, largely on welfare grounds. As highly social animals, a parrot’s need for companionship and company can be used to ask it to refrain from unwanted behaviors. So, instead of returning a ‘bad’ bird to its cage in response to some unwanted behavior, the caregiver calmly removes themselves from the company of the bird for a few minutes by walking out of the room. Once a bird understands the connection between an unwanted behavior and its favored person leaving it, it has an incentive to cease the behavior.
This section will be dedicated to articles on Applied Behavior Analysis and Positive Reinforcement.