Unknown to many, Jodi Sta. Maria loves pets — owning cats and dogs, among others. But did you know that also has pet birds she trained herself?
In her newest vlog, the Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin star introduced her Sun Conure birds that are known for being lively, vocal, and expressive and are native to South America.
“As you all know, marami akong cats. Meron din kaming dogs dito sa bahay. Pero, of course, meron kaming newest addition sa aming family,” she shared.
Jodi, who trained the birds with her son Thirdy, named her first Sun Conure after one of the members of the legendary band The Beatles — Georgie — and the second one she called Lemon.
“Ang unang-unang bird namin si Georgie. And nu’ng time na ‘yun, si Georgie, hindi pa lumilipad. Para siyang si Lemon na kapag tini-train namin siya nasa floor tapos tatawagin lang namin siya for feeding,” she said.
“Nu’ng umpisa, si Lemon, nu’ng baby pa siya, mas maliit pa siya, hindi talaga siya — even ‘yung mag-flap ng wings. Ibubuka lang niya tapos aandar siya,” she added.
She went on: “Pero now, nakikita mo unti-unti nakaka-step up na siya, lumalakas na ‘yung legs niya … the next time na kakain siya, he knows na needs to step up para mabigyan siya ng food. Little by little, step up, mag-poproject tapos magfa-fly ‘yan unti-unti. So ang nangyayari, operant conditioning. ‘Pag lumapit sila sa ’yo, you give them something.”
In the video, Jodi shared some of the forms of training she does for her pet birds, such as the Blind Recall Training to “teach the bird to find their owner” and Descending Recall Training that allows her birds to “come down without hesitation.”
“Si Georgie flyer na talaga siya. What we’re going to do now is try to do a blind recall training kay Georgie. It means hindi ako nakikita ni Georgie kung nasaan ako. Tatawagin ko siya tapos kumbaga, hahanapin niya ako,” she said, referring to Blind Recall Training.
On why it’s important to teach Selective Training, she said: “Normally, ang nangyayari, ‘pag busog na sila, ang tendency, hindi na sila lumilipad. So ‘yun na nga, kailangan na du’n pumasok ‘yung Selective Training na parang kahit ‘di na nila nakikita ‘yung syringe, they would still fly by just listening to the whistle or du’n sa name nila.”
Sharing advice to those who wish to have pet birds like hers, Jodi said that it’s important to have patience and commitment, among others.
“Kailangan talagang matiyaga kayo tsaka mapasensya kayo kasi it’s like they’re learning everything for the first time. And it’s really a commitment kasi these birds can live up to 15 years given na hindi sila magkakasakit or hindi sila mawawala.
“It’s nice kasi iba din ‘yung bond na meron kapag ka mga birds ang kasama kasi ibang-iba rin ‘yung kanilang ugali sa mga cats and sa mga dogs.”