March 22, 2015 by kittynh
I have very few cool skills, what others might call “party tricks”. Some people can juggle. Some can stand on their heads. Some sing. I can do none of those.
However I can hypnotize birds.
I learned to hypnotize birds at Woodland Dunes Nature Center in Two Rivers Wisconsin. Part of my volunteer work involved introducing young students to wild birds, caught earlier in the day to be banded. The birds were kept in a special bird box, with a rubber flap that made it easy for me to pick up the bird but hard for the bird to escape.
The trick to hypnotizing a bird is simply to gently place the bird flat on your hand. The bird, feet in the air, quickly calms down. Often the bird will go to sleep. I easily could pass the bird around to all the children, as long as they kept their hand palm up and very still.
I later learned this works with almost any bird. Chickens became a great favorite with my children, as living in a rural area many friends raised chickens. There always seemed to be a chicken, or chickens, up for this game.
My younger daughter, Aynsley, became an expert.
Magicians take advantage of this bird relaxation technique. Sadly, rip off artists also specialize in bringing a “dead bird” back to life. All you have to do to revive the bird is to put their heads upright. While crowds are awed by this, and the religious con artist has their collection plate filled, I wonder if any in the crowd ever go home to try this with their pet parakeet. It’s so simple, and unlike snake handling safe, that surely someone went home and tried it with Tweetie. The problem is that the followers of most of these con artists don’t question. They want to believe in the miracle so much, they would probably hate to have it spoiled for them.
I highly recommend “The Faith Healers” by James Randi. It will break your heart to know how truly evil people can be to raise false hopes while raising cash for their lavish lifestyles.
So, to hypnotize a chicken, first get permission of the chicken farmer. Then be calm. Wait until the chickens are calm and willing to be picked up. Then simply place the chickens on their backs and amaze everyone!