How to Bond With Your Pet Birds





Introduction: How to Bond With Your Pet Birds

Many current bird owners are faced with the dilemma of whether they should purchase or adopt another bird. There are several aspects that should be taken into account before you make the final decision.Even though parrots have their own unique personalities and individual preferences, they are still flock creatures. In their natural habitats they interact with other flock members forming social bonds. When you purchase a pet parrot, you become a part of his/her flock.

The addition of a new member to the flock means change, and mostly likely, an adjustment period. Some pet birds may readily accept a new member into the flock, while others may become a little stressed or jealous. During the adjustment period the new bird will find his/her nitch within the established pecking order.

Step 1: Clip Your Birds Flight Wings

Providing you have no other pets, such as cats or dogs, make sure that the bird's wings are properly clipped. They need to stay clipped for about 3 to 4 years. This will help you bond with your bird because you become its chief source of transportation. This also helps to atrophy its wing muscles, so if and when you do let its wings grow out, they will not be as strong and it will not be able to fly very far without getting tired.Clipping the wings is quite easy to do, but if you are uncomfortable with doing this, a vet can do it for you.When the bird gets used to his surroundings and you two have bonded successfully, when your bird hears the front door being unlocked, it will more than likely climb down the front of its cage and greet you at the door, here is a link for how to clip wings at home believe me its painless

Step 2: Its Important for Your Bird to Feel Homy

Consider not locking your bird in the cage. That way, you can have toys both inside the cage and out. Let your bird eat off your plate. Here is a link!

Step 3: Try Giving Time to Your Bird

Carry your bird around on your shoulder as often as possible. This adds and maintains the bonding process. After a while, the bird will get to the point where it is rubbing on your neck or your cheek like a cat. It will act like it is trying to pick something off your face, but ever-so- gently. You have become a member of its "flock".Yes, you probably will get pooped on, but it's a small price to pay for the closeness you two will experience. Besides, it's a relatively small blob that dries in about 10-15 minutes, then you "ping" or pick it off.Not all bird experts advise allowing a bird to be a shoulder height. This height prevents you from seeing what the bird is about to do next and such easy access to your eyes can be a potential danger if it decides to peck hard. Also, it can give the bird the impression it is "at your level" rather than lower down the pecking order. Decide what works for you but it is not advised to encourage this behavior when you have children who cannot defend themselves or accept the responsibility for bird misbehavior.



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21 Discussions

There are two serious problem with this article that I like to address. I have had parrots for 40 years and they are my biggest interest so reading this article made me sad. First of all, avoid clipping the parrots wings if possible for at least the first year, but preferable if possible let it stay flighted even after that first year. It is important for the bird to develop muscle and coordination. And your parrot will stay a whole lot healtier if it can exercise. Parrots do become coach potatos without being able to fly and with that comes a lot of health issues, just like with us human. I took care of an older grey for about a year, and now around 31 year I will soon have to put her to sleep. Why? She has developed atherosclerosis due to being unable to fly (she was born without the ability to fly and sadly if she had been able to fly she would probaly be in much better shape and have years left) . Second of all, never ever let a parrot sit on your shoulder if you don’t know if very well. Having an unknown parrot on your shoulder could result in horrible bites in your face...not funny if the parrot goes for the nose, or worse the eyes....and yes, it has happen, make sure it doesn’t happen to you.


2 years ago

I have one problem, my perents don't allow my birds to stay indoors except when it gets too hot outside but they remain in their cage anyways I would like to build a bond with them without having them leave their cage is there anyway I can do that? so far I have gotten 1 out of my 4 birds to eat from my hand and she stands on my hand but she still bites I have tried to remove my hand from the cage when she was still standing on it so I can try to bond with her out side her cage but she leaves my hand and stands on her perch every time. am I doing something wrong?

While I partly agree with Step 2 and letting your parrot/bird eat off your plate, please be aware that birds cannot eat all of the same food us humans can :) (particularly caffeine and dairy products; but some green teas are good for them). As for the wing clipping I disagree with - there is a whole debate on wing clipping and I'm not saying "don't do it" or to "do it". I personally think coercing them into becoming dependent on you for transportation and taking away their ability to 'escape' when frightened or scared can lead to biting. I'm sure this method of wing clipping can work to make it bond closer to you, but the main reason I have found to clip a birds wings is to make sure it cannot fly as high so it does not crash land and possibly injure itself when startled by something (that is the main reason why I clipped my birds wings, but now I don't). As for the 3rd step, try to make time for your bird. No, you MUST make time for your bird. Birds are social, flock animals and require AT LEAST 1 hour per day outside their cage (unless they live outside of a cage) getting interactions with you and/or others. If you cannot provide time for a bird DO NOT GET ONE.
I'm not trying to be mean here, just giving my opinion and experience I have from owning birds as well. Keep up the good work, looking forward to more.

My tiels love flying through the house, I don't clip their wings, I want them to feel safe and natural.

1 reply

Awsome but after sometime they will start to feel suffocated in your house and want to fly away............!

As a parrot owner, I would caution anyone thinking about a bird to do really thorough research of the type you're interested in. I thought I had done my homework before getting my Parrotlet, but he has been full of surprises, including a very aggressive bird puberty! These are good basic training guidelines to start with, but the smarter the bird, the more complex their emotions and behaviors will be. So, this may have worked like magic on a cockatiel because they're smart enough to learn tricks, but not smart enough to be diabolical. Yes..I would truly describe my bird as diabolical! Conures, rosellas, parrotlets, macaws, etc. are very intelligent and will require serious dedication to train and socialize. Also, consider the long life spans and incredible attachments these birds form. This is a pet for life.

I'm just throwing these thoughts out there for any readers who might be thinking about pet birds. I'm not saying don't get one...I'm just saying you HAVE to make time, not "try" to make time. Learn from my experience and my bite scars :)

Ashley firstly you are in a wrong thinking process I have a few more parrots I have a Indian ring neck parrot too it works for all the birds but the only difference is time it may take a month for your bird to bond but it will absolutely work try it once and i do know everyone in the world is busy so you need to take out your precious hours for your bird/parrot anyways ....................thanks for viewing my instructable

My input was based on real life experience, which has been shared by other people I've talked to in bird forums and in person at parrot rescues. I am not alone in this experience and it is certainly not "wrong thinking" just because it hasn't happened to you. If your 3 step method has worked for your birds, great. There's no reason to get defensive and condescending with someone who thinks there's more to it. My caution to readers to do research can only result in a good thing: people matched with the right type of bird for them and understanding how to keep them happy. That should be at the core of any bonding experience.

Tweet tweet, chipy iiiiiiiiip! Translated using a handy tool called google translate, that is, "I love this instructable, I'm a bird"!

1 reply

That's so sweet of u Nancy here is one for you chirp chirp that's also translated by google translate and means thank you soooo much ..............::::)

I'm no parrot expert, but clipping your birds' feathers "to atrophy its wing muscles," seems pretty cruel, especially for an animal that intelligent. That sounds somewhere along the lines of keeping your dog in a cage for the first few years of its life so that it won't be strong enough to run away if you decide to let it out in the yard. I think that doing anything to deliberately make your animals unhealthy is probably unethical. But again, I'm not a parrot owner.

Please don't get me wrong, I do understand the practicality of clipping a bird's feathers, in terms of it not getting itself lost or hurt. I just think it's better to wait until the bird is fully developed, and even then, only clip two or three primaries a bit. It would take much to make sustained flight prohibitively difficult for a bird. My concern is for the health of the animal. I just can't see how allowing a bird's largest muscle group to atrophy from birth could be remotely healthy.

3 replies

Thanks for pointing out this concern. That struck me as a little off too. Your second paragraph describes the way I was taught to clip as well.

I have 2 Cockatiels that love me by tapping their beaks on my nose. They sit on my lap and groom their feathers. One likes to sit on my shoulder and groom one of my head hairs at a time. Tickles + I love it. They come when I say Time To Go Home Now. I clip their wings a Little, so they can fly Down not straight out or up. Just so they do not fall down and get hurt. Lucky fell off my shoulder once and sprained his leg. Vet said only a vein broke, no bone damage. They like to have their own cages but will sleep together in one cage. I've had them 12 years and I plan to keep them for ever. Bird love is priceless. Lily e-mail me, anybody welcome.

1 reply

I bird-sit for a cockatoo owner down the street. I love animals but cannot recommend birds as pets. This owner cannot easily travel. The bird can be aggressive. The bird will likely outlive his owner. This bird gets no flight time either - what kind of life is that?