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How Do I get My Bird

To Like Me

Honow do I get my parrot to like me? This

is a great question, and a perfect way to start your life together. Start by

building trust! Before you teach ‘step up’ or any other skill, start with building

trust. But how do you do that?

A conure having its head scratched while lying in a hand

The Bird We want

Going to sleep during head scratches

A conure standing on a sofa

The Bird We Have

Plotting everything else

Making Friends Isnt Easy For Humans

If you are an introvert, you know that it's even more challenging

It can be hard for someone to make new friends as a Human.

You might enter a room of people but be unsure how to approach a stranger.

You wouldn’t want a stranger coming straight up to you and touching your face!

Making friends is a delicate art.

Remember, friendship is built over time.

You don’t FORCE or RUSH a friendship!

A friendship with a parrot is also like this.


A man sits with a perch leaning on his shoulder, and a lovebird approaching him
A man sits with a green parrot on his shoulder and a red parrot on his knee

We build trust with patience, choice,

and positive experiences.

Robin Horemans

Parrot SOS

A cinnamon cockatiel eats a green leaf

Body Language

Learn to watch your birds body language. If you can read your birds movements, you

can see their choices. Watch their foot stance, and their body posture, and their feather position, and their gaze (eye focus). Know what comfortable looks like for your bird, and what they look like when they are on high alert! This is how you can let them “tell you” they are comfortable.

Choice

Then, let them come to you! Allowing your bird the option of coming closer, or moving

further away, is essential. This means you cannot go and grab your bird from inside their cage, or chase them ontop of their cage. Letting the bird come to you takes patience! Let your bird know that if they come to you, good things happen. And if not, they can walk away without harm. Using CHOICE is a big partof letting your bird learn in a safe way.

Positive Reinforcement

Friends tend to make friends with similar interests, your bird will as well. Find something your bird likes, like a nut, seed, or treat. Then we can use that to build a trusting friendship.

Start by pairing yourself with their treat of choice. You approach, you give a treat

(or drop it into the dish) then you back off. You are becoming a Treat Dispenser.

This is great! Giving reinforcers means you are depositing into the birds’ Trust

Bank Account. (Look for our training tidbit on this topic!)

The more you interact in a way your bird finds pleasant/agreeable, the better.

A white parrot with wings and feathers extended
A green and yellow parrot sit on a hand with some millet

There is

NO HURRY

We must invest in the foundation for the relationship so it can

endure for years to come. Like building a house, a strong foundation is

essential to a long lasting home!

A budgie sits on a womans hand while she leans in to kiss him

Go At your birds pace

You don't need to rush friendship. Watch your birds body language to get to know them. What your bird does with their feet, posture, stance, feathers and gaze will tell you a lot!

Use Choice

Let the bird come to you, when they are ready. Let them walk away - that's fine!

The more choice and control you give to your bird, and listen to their choice, the better!

Use Treats

Create a positive experience for your bird using a food they love. This will pair you with something valuable to them, every time! Like the ice-cream truck!

BONUS:


Once the bird is looking for you, and eagerly awaiting their treat, you can progress to bigger games!

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If you need any more advice, or help breaking this down into smaller steps, please email us. We are happy to help!

Be on the lookout for our LIVE sessions on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for more on Choice!

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helpme@parrotsos.com

In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge Moh’kinsstis, and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Blackfoot confederacy: Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, as well as the Îyâxe Nakoda and Tsuut’ina nations. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3 within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. Finally, we acknowledge all Nations – Indigenous and non – who live, work and play on this land, and who honour and celebrate this territory.

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