ara hyacinthe  
Luna (anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)
Smudge (cacatua alba)
Ruby (ara chloroptera)
Pompon (cacatua moluccensis)
Luna (anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) + Jolie (ara catalina)
Billy (cacatua sulphurea)

Cracotte (amazona aestiva) + Smudge (Cacatua alba)

Saphir, 24/04/2014 (ara ararauna) + Smudge (cacatua alba)
Mark Steiger

Mark Steiger


and his parrots

Mark Steiger
More than thirty years separate these two photos above which witness from long love for parrots. But this passion began already much earlier!


Mark Steiger, whose real name is Markus Lichtensteiger, was born on May 18, 1953 in Basel, Switzerland.

Mark Steiger 1959  

At the age of about six years Mark Steiger tamed his first birds: wild pigeons and a canary named “Pibs”. Mark Steiger’s father bred canaries.

Pibs could successfully unpack a hidden grain from a small silk paper ball. It could also remain sitting on a small electric train, which rolled on an oval. Each time when the train drove under a tunnel made of a shoe box, Pibs jumped and passed over. It hopped on the tunnel’s other side on the driving train.
Because of this bird Mark Steiger carried the surname “Pibs” during many years.

About eight years old a budgerigar flew into Mark Steiger’s room. Since nobody required it, he had kept this little bird “In the beginning it was an extremely shy bird, but by chance I discovered a method, which permitted it to me, to win very fast its confidence and to get him tame.

Since that time I can deal well with birds, but all days I understand more about them.”

Mark Steiger acquired the diploma of the Business School in Basel (KHS) and the Federal Matura Certificate with the goal to become a veterinary. After beeing booked as an amateur juggler at the City Theatre of Basel in the opera "The young Lord" (H.W. Henze), he decided to grant a sabbatical until the beginning of the study in order to perform as a variety artist.

Mark Steiger remained for  twenty years touring the world as a juggler and the veterinary studies have definitely been buried. He stopped this international career at the age of about forty-six and settled down in Cannes (France).


During twenty years Mark Steiger toured all over the world as a professional juggler. What has this juggler career to do with parrot training?

“You need a lot of patience to become a good juggler. Large patience is indispensable to train birds, too.

My long juggler career helps me also to perform with my parrots in front of  public:
The parrots know no hierarchy and hardly obey for this reason; they only do what they like. Their behaviour and reactions on stage are often unforeseeable!

Juggling is also an art with surprising errors. One must be able to bear the pressure to juggle before public without losing the nerves. Both, a juggler and a parrot trainer need a lot of self-control.”
References (since 1980):

Theatres, night-clubs, cabarets, casinos, circusses, cruise-ships:Casino LOEWS, Monte Carlo; HANSA-THEATER, Hamburg; GOOD OLD DAYS VARIETY, Leeds; FRIEDRICHSTADTPALAST, Berlin; Casino du CAP VERT, Dakkar; FOLIES BERGERES, Paris; NOVEMBER CLUB, Tel Aviv; AMADIL, Agadir; WILLIAMS CLUB, Milan; MAXIM'S, Geneva; COPACABANA, Athens; GOP, Hannover; Casino RUHL, Nice; URANIA, Berlin; Casino de POVOA DE VARZIM, Portugal; SOUTH SIDNEY JUNIORS CLUB, Sidney; PALM BEACH, Cannes, OESTERREICHISCHER NATIONALZIRKUS (Saison 1987), SUN LINE CRUISES, COSTA MARINA, ACHILLE LAURO.............and hundreds more!

TV-shows, films, documentaries:
ARD (Germany), ORF (Austria), TVE (Spain), RAIUNO (Italy), RTL (Germany), TF1 (France), SAT1 (Germany), Paris Première (France), WDR (Germany), ARTE (France, Germany), M6 (France), RAITRE (Italy), FRANCE2 (France), TF1 (France), FRANCE3 (France), TMC (Monaco), W9 (France), NRJ12 (France), TELECINCO (Spain), SIC (Portugal), MDR (Germany), D8 (France), .NDR (Allemagne), TV Val d'Isère, RADIOBREMEN (Allemagne), GULLI (France),..........................


Mark Steiger

Villa "Le Tour du Monde"

9, rue de Cannes

06150 Cannes (FRANCE)


Phone: 0033-(0)4 93 47 59 07

Mobile: 0033-(0)6 09 84 05 07
Valérie FAIVRE
LA PROVENCE (Sept. 6, 2008)

Saint Zacharie / An educational show to learn more about birds

Mark Steiger’s parrots challenge the public

Who speaks about intelligent animals, usually quotes monkeys, dolphins or dogs. However, there are other species which must not prove their cognitive abilities any more: the parrots! And particularly not those of Mark Steiger who presents an instructive program on the Festivalis stage. With parrots which he loves and which he has taught a number of tricks and tests to prove their intelligence.


An sensitive animal difficult to keep

Extensive chapters about patience, work and loving affection could be written about Mark and his 6 magnificent parrot species. " Approximately 35 years ago I have seen a circus act with an African gray parrot. This live demonstration had convinced me more than all legends about speech talented and intelligent parrots. "explains Mark Steiger. " Today I try to persuade the spectators about the true capacities of my birds with my performances. "
Macaws and cockatoos have shown a choice of their skill during their performance. For example, we note the ability of the macaws to arrange correctly 8 forms of a puzzle, to correct the wrong positioning of 12 colored game stones or even, and this is still more astonishing to recognize numbers up to six. Mark is convinced of the fact that a parrot neither can count nor calculate, but recognizes the amount with an estimate. " I do not pretend that those birds could not learn to count”, he acknowledges, " but before the communication problem would have to be solved between parrot and human ". In contrast to the gentle character that parrots obviously show, they can also be very aggressive. At each show the parrot trainer fights with clear arguments against parrot keeping: " a parrot can bite off a man's finger " he warns, " one must pay attention ". Parrots, often noisy and psychologically fragile, require a large space, an almost constant presence and a daily maintenance. Mark Steiger’s educational parrot show makes understand to the audience that a parrot does not correspond to the usual picture of a small funny clown, but is a highly sensitive animal.  
After their show Mark’s parrots again spend quiet days in Cannes surrounded by palm trees in the garden …. 


(translation: M. Lichtensteiger)


English translation

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