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New Bird, Need Help With Taming!

Discuss the methods and techniques of clicker training, target training and bonding. These are usually the first steps in training a young parrot.

New Bird, Need Help With Taming!

Postby KonureCeeper » Wed May 31, 2017 11:36 am

I recently bought a young female Green Cheek Conure from a local breeder as I've had parrots in the past, and I thought I'd try get back into the hobby! I really want to tame her for me and my little brother, who's grown up around animals and is fascinated by them, but she's very nervous and is scared of hands! How can I get her more comfortable around people and how will I go about taming a nervous one like her?
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Re: New Bird, Need Help With Taming!

Postby Pajarita » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:51 am

Welcome to the forum, Konureceeper! Handfed birds don't need to be tamed as they are imprinted to humans already but what you need to do is to show her/him that you can be trusted and gain her/his love. You do this by not forcing your attentions on the bird and spending lots of time keeping it company -sitting next to the cage (which should be at your head's level and never lower), talking, singing, whistling, offering treats, allowing her/him to come out of the cage on his/her own (meaning, don't put your hand in the cage and don't grab the bird), that kind of thing. The most important thing is to allow the bird to establish the relationship at its own pace and to learn how to read its body language as well as its likes and dislikes.

You are feeding soft food as well as raw produce and offering handfeeding formula in a syringe at least once a day, right?
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Re: New Bird, Need Help With Taming!

Postby Trick or 'Tiel » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:15 pm

Well, just because the bird is handfed doesn't necessarily mean it is tame. It depends on how much time humans have spent interacting with the bird, even after it has weaned. Sometimes, pet stores and breeders will handfeed the bird as a baby and then just stop handling the bird after weaning and letting it become "wild" without any human interaction. At a pet store I used to go to (it was a really bad one that didn't take great care of the animals) they were handfeeding this baby budgie and it was very tame at first, but then they just stuck it in a cage and never even let it out or interacted with it at all. The baby stopped cooperating, and became wild and untame. A baby bird will only remain tame if it has had a lot of human interaction and handling.
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Re: New Bird, Need Help With Taming!

Postby Pajarita » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:15 am

Well, you can't use a budgie as an example because they are aviary species so, even when you handfeed it, it simply does not bond the same way as a companion species would and only remain 'friendly' to humans if they have no other bird to bond to so his 'reverting' was not because of lack of human attention but because that is what always happens.

Aviary, parent-raised birds can be tamed with time and patience but they are never really happy with a human. The male lovebird I got as a mate for Peachy is an ex breeder so he was not handfed or tamed and, most likely, he wasn't even treated very well when he was a breeder but he no longer fears me at all. I can put my hand right next to where he is perching and he doesn't even flinch AND he now flies over to perch on my head and shoulders on his own initiative (he even follows me into the canary room when Peachy goes back to her eggs) and I've never done a single thing to tame him.
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Re: New Bird, Need Help With Taming!

Postby Trick or 'Tiel » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:03 pm

That isn't true at all. The budgie at the store was with no other birds, and countless people enjoy their budgies' company and interaction, even when they are living with other birds. Are you saying that "aviary" species can't bond with humans if they are with a flock? Not true at all. What even defines an "aviary" species anyway? Is it their size? Then GCCs would be considered aviary birds too, as they are the same size as tiels. I've never heard of anyone calling small parrots aviary birds, and many small parrot owners agree that these birds are highly capable of being friendly with humans. How can you even tell if a bird is bonded with their human or not? Because both my birds show signs of being bonded to me. If I put my budgie with another bird, are you saying that she will suddenly forget about me and become untame? How do you know that they are never really happy with humans? If these are your views, then people shouldn't really be keeping these species as pets unless they can keep them in a flock cage-free. No matter how much you say, nothing will ever change my opinion on how much personality these little birds can have!
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Re: New Bird, Need Help With Taming!

Postby stevesjk » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:36 am

Like pajarita said, take things at the birds pace and keep calm, birds naturally crave a friend so sooner or later when she's used to her surroundings she will start approaching you. I would also use slow movements while tending to the bird's cage.
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Re: New Bird, Need Help With Taming!

Postby Pajarita » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:15 am

Trick or 'Tiel wrote:That isn't true at all. The budgie at the store was with no other birds, and countless people enjoy their budgies' company and interaction, even when they are living with other birds. Are you saying that "aviary" species can't bond with humans if they are with a flock? Not true at all. What even defines an "aviary" species anyway? Is it their size? Then GCCs would be considered aviary birds too, as they are the same size as tiels. I've never heard of anyone calling small parrots aviary birds, and many small parrot owners agree that these birds are highly capable of being friendly with humans. How can you even tell if a bird is bonded with their human or not? Because both my birds show signs of being bonded to me. If I put my budgie with another bird, are you saying that she will suddenly forget about me and become untame? How do you know that they are never really happy with humans? If these are your views, then people shouldn't really be keeping these species as pets unless they can keep them in a flock cage-free. No matter how much you say, nothing will ever change my opinion on how much personality these little birds can have!


You keep on confusing terminology. I am not talking about personality (the little ones have as much as the medium or the large ones]. And there are all kinds of bonds between birds and between humans and birds - it's not a one size fits all because all parrot species are different and, even within a species, individuals responses to human interaction or to another bird or birds vary.

As I explained before, aviary and companion are not ornithological classifications, they are avicultural and it has to do, basically, with how a bird reacts as an adult to another bird of the same species versus its reaction toward its human. Aviary birds do bond with humans BUT the bond is not strong enough to make it disregard another bird of the same (or similar] species in favor of a human. And I think it has to do with size because the smaller the bird, the faster it matures and, as the deep bond of handfed species is, in reality, both an identity and a sexual bond, the larger ones end up thinking they are weird-looking humans who can have sex with a human whereas the little ones know they are birds and that they supposed to have sex with another bird. To understand how this determines the bird's outlook in what makes him happy, you need to start with the premise that parrots are all highly social (so they are never happy when alone] and that there is NOTHING more important to an animal than to procreate. This is not a matter of opinion, it's a fact of evolution because the survival of the species depends on it. Nature has a mechanism to ensure both these 'identifications': the filial and sexual imprinting (see this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imprinting_(psychology)]. I think that, with the little species, by the time we take them out of the nest, they already had both imprints so they know they are birds, they know what their species looks like and they know they are supposed to have sex with another bird. THIS, in a nutshell, is what makes them an aviary species. Because, once they reach the age when they need to procreate, the company of a human won't be enough, they will need the company of another bird to feel completely happy.

When people talk about their birds being happy with them, it's not that they are lying - the bird does love them. It's only that it's not as happy as it would be if it had a mate of its own.
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Re: New Bird, Need Help With Taming!

Postby Trick or 'Tiel » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:30 am

So basically, the only difference is that aviary birds prefer another bird even if they have human interaction, but still love their humans just as much as larger parrots. It just isn't enough because they feel like they can't have sex with humans.
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Re: New Bird, Need Help With Taming!

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:12 am

Well, no, they don't love their humans as much as a larger, hand-fed companion species. Aviary birds become aloof as they mature but not companion birds whose devotion remains exactly the same no matter how old they become. And, one more thing, although I do believe that size is part of the 'equation', it's not the only factor because, for example, GCCs are companion birds even though they are much smaller than IRN's which are aviary birds.
Pajarita
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Re: New Bird, Need Help With Taming!

Postby Trick or 'Tiel » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:40 pm

Well, I believe aviary birds are just as much of a companion as larger birds. Maybe they prefer their own species, but they still love us no matter what. What about quakers, Poicephalus, caiques, and other mid-size parrots? Where do they fall? What even determines an aviary vs companion parrot? Tiels are the same size as GCCs, so why aren't they considered companion birds too? I've never heard anyone classify parrots into 'aviary' and 'companion' birds, I just thought all of the ones that interacted with you were companion birds.
Ducky- Lutino Cockatiel :pied:
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Kermit- Yellow Sided GCC :gcc:
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