Hello all! I'm a constant lurker here, I've had budgies for most of my young adult life. But I haven't had one quite like Pike, my current budge. I've had him for almost 3 years now, we just celebrated his 3rd hatch day about a month ago. I can tell he wants to bond, but he's so timid at the same time. He's fully flighted, but loves his cage too much. His doors are open for about 8 hours each day, but I have to force him out, 80% of the time he'll just fly back to the cage.
He just started mimicking some of my catchphrases (2.5 years after adoption, took him long enough haha) so I take that as a good sign. He gets lots of fresh fruits and veggies and shower-time every day. When he's sleepy he'll let me scritch his head, but you can forget about that when he's wide awake haha. I've tried cultivating his love for me with food, but it's been 3 years and progress is so slow! ? How can I get him to enjoy time with me and flight time?
(Also included a photo because he's just too cute)
Have you tried just sitting on the floor near his cage and playing with some of his toys?
I have a box of acrylic beads (I went through them to ensure none of them are too small for the budgies) that my birds love to get in and throw on the floor. Initially, I'd put the box on the floor and stir the beads around with my hand. The budgies loved the noise and would come down to see what I was doing.
If Pike likes bells or has favorite toys, you can set up a little playground area outside his cage for him and try to entice him over to it.
You might also find the information in this thread will be helpful in your situation: