I have adopted a male black masked lovebird that was rescued from a dire situation. He was loose in the world and found his was into a back yard in Southern Califorinia. The lady of the house heard her three dogs barking at something and then a weird squeaking noise, so when she went to investigate, one of her dogs had something in his mouth. She told the dog to drop it (good dog, dropped it immediately) and out dropped a little green and yellow bird with a red beak, shivering from fright and stiff as a board in shock.
The nice lady scooped up the poor little bird and rushed it to her vet, afraid her dog had broken it. The vet determined that it wasn't injured, just severely dehydrated, malnourished and in shock. He determined it was male and not quite a year old. He said the lovebird was most likely an escapee from a back yard breeder. He kept the bird overnight and sent him home with the nice lady in a borrowed cage.
She decided after two hours of watching the bird panic that he was not going to be happy on top of her refrigerator with three dogs barking at him, so she posted on Facebook to find him a new home. That is how Houdini found his way to me.
The vet had clipped his wings harshly and Houdini was unable to fly straight when I got him, he was very very frightened, understandable after spending any amount of time in a dog.
I have since gotten a large flight cage for him, and I've been slowly building trust, but he absolutely will not go near my hand, no matter what treats we try. He's nervous but not panicky when I clean his cage or change his food and water, but he is still quite prone to fits of panic. I've spoken to my own avian vet, and she's checked him out, he is healthy and tested negative for the usual diseases. She said due to his uncertain beginnings I may never get him to be hand tamed. I hate the idea that this is the best we will get. It's been almost a year.
Is that true? It makes me very sad to think my little Houdi will be a wild, scared bird in a huge cage without the joy of being handled and loved like my budgie. He spends a lot of time sitting quietly in his favorite corner. He doesn't play much, but when it put his favorite Nutriberries in his treat cup, he will come out and happily eat, but then goes back to his safe corner. He just seems depressed and unhappy and scared.
Should I get him a friend, perhaps another young male so they won't breed but could become roommates and preen mates?