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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > General Budgie Talk > Budgie Behavior


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  #1  
Old 12-18-2018, 12:09 PM
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I inherited 2 "new" birds from my son. The birds, a male and a female, are about 3 years old. I have had them for about 9 months I am frustrated that they still hate me. (OK hate may be too strong). The birds are from a big box store so I suspect that is part of the issue.

I have read everything I can on taming the birds. The farthest I have gotten is that the male will get on my finger if I put my finger under his chest but jumps off as soon as he can. He doesn't bite. The female will get on my finger very reluctantly and usually bites the crap out of my finger afterwards. She jumps off as quickly as she can. The process I use is I will talk to them for about 5 minutes with the door open (and them way in the back) then slowly introduce my hand and finger. Nice and calm "good bird". They just look at me. If they act upset I remove my hand and let them settle down and try again.

I try to go very slowly. I never show frustration with them. Talk to them often (and they talk back as long as I am not near the cage). The male will occasionally come out of the cage (on his own) and fly in a big circle then back in. They only eat regular bird seed and I have tried millet and fruit but they don't seem interested in either so I haven't been able to positively reinforce behavior. Typically I am really good with animals. Never met a dog or cat I could befriend! This is driving me crazy.

Any suggestions? They just look so lonely and I want to be a good dad! Help please.

Ed

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  #2  
Old 12-18-2018, 02:09 PM
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The birds don't yet trust you and that can sometimes take months. I'd suggest you go back to the beginning and work with them very slowly and patiently.

To build your birds’ trust, sit by their cage and read, talk or sing quietly to them for a period of at least 10-15 minutes, 3 or 4 times day.
After about a week, rest your hand on the outside of the cage when you talk to them so they will learn that your hand is safe and will not hurt them.

After a week of resting your hand on the outside of the cage, rest your hand inside the cage when you talk.
Don’t make sudden moves, don’t try to touch them.
Let their get used to the idea that the hand is now in their safe place and not harming them.

After 2 weeks, begin moving your hand slowly toward your bird. If they become agitated, stop moving your hand and just hold very still until they calm down. When they are comfortable with your hand near them, you can offer them a bit of millet or a few seeds.

Always work at your birds’ pace.
Move slowly and talk reassuringly and calmly to their whenever you interact with them.

Rather than trying to get them to step up.
Put a few seeds on the palm of your hand and hold your hand still in the cage.
Allow them to choose to come to you.
When they do get on your hand, don't move it.
Just allow them to eat the seeds and hop on and off your hand at will.
Working at a bird's pace can take a very long time but as the budgies learn you aren't going to force them to be touched or picked up, they will learn to trust you.

Good luck in the journey!
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Old 12-18-2018, 05:28 PM
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Hi there and to the forums!

You're right that it can be difficult to form a meaningful bond with birds. However, with lots of time and patience, it is definitely possible, and it will be so rewarding watching them gain trust in you.

FaeryBee has given you excellent advice above on how to proceed. Always remember to go at their pace!

If you have questions after looking through the forums' many resources, please be sure to ask as we'd love to help.

We hope to meet your budgies soon

Cheers, and best wishes!
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2018, 07:43 PM
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Hi Ed,

I know it can be frustrating, but for most wild budgies, as you’ve found out, it does take time. Consistency is key in getting them used to you. Just follow the steps given above from FaeryBee. Then remember too, some individuals will ultimately become more or less hand tame or interested in human companionship than others.

We have lots of current info on all aspects of budgie keeping, so take a look at our Stickies and Articles section. If you have any questions, just ask .

Looking forward to seeing pics and hearing more about your birds!
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:17 PM
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Hi Ed,

I can't add any advice to what has already been said but don't feel that you are not a good dad just because the birds are not tame with you. What was their life like before you got them, were they at all tame with your son? Their past can have a big influence on them. Where in your house are the birds kept, does your place have a lot of activity or do you have other animals? I see that you are in IL if you are in the Chicago area, I can give you some tips on avian vets and some interesting places to get a lot of bird supplies if you are interested.
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Old 12-20-2018, 09:42 AM
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Thanks everyone. I've gone back to the basics. Trying to talk to them more from a little distance from the cage. They still just sort of stare at me but time is my friend. I did finally get them to eat millet and they really like it. A little progress.

Cody, I am from Chicago burbs. Way west in the Fox River Valley.

Ed
  #7  
Old 12-20-2018, 06:38 PM
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Are the birds at least happy if they don't hang around with me and come out of the cage and fly around? I am OK if they never warm up to me but I would like them to be happy birds!!
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Old 12-20-2018, 07:10 PM
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The birds have one another for company and coming out of the cage to fly around is excellent.
Not all budgies accept humans into their flock easily so please don't take it personally.
You are being a good budgie Dad by giving them a safe and loving forever home and providing them with the best care possible.
That makes for happy and healthy little budgies!
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