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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Taming and Bonding


Taming and Bonding Taming and Bonding is all about helping your budgie learn to TRUST you. This requires time and patience and does not happen overnight.

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Old 03-23-2018, 11:34 AM
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Hi there, I have a question about a shy bird:

I got my budgie at a pet store here. He's a really nice boy, but he's super shy to play and explore. He is finger tame and I can rub his head and all...he's really a nice bird, but he's really shy to the world. Shy to eat new foods...to run around and play.

Even when I'm with him and he's eating millet form my hand, it still requires so much patience.


Is it just a matter of time? Here, it's been 3 months. And he still doesn't yet have the confidence to run around and explore on his own. When on the floor and free, he wants to hide. I want to build him up, but know that my methods, although well intended, aren't cutting it.

This is what I'm thinking about my guy..please confirm or debunk my ideas. :-)

1. Maybe I should lower my expectations. He was raised in a box in a pet store for maybe 5 months of his life before I got him. 5 months++. He might even have been a year old. I took him to an actual bird store later and got him clipped. The guy there (who knows his stuff) said he was nowhere near being a young bird. Anyways, maybe there is just an issue of "he is who he is" and if he is shy and wont really ever want to explore and such, I have to accept that. (I hope it's not this one)

2. I should start clicker training him. I don't think he's a dumb bird. Maybe he is shy because he doesn't have any confidence to do anything.

3. I should get him foraging. But since he doesn't explore much, I think he'll just poop on the foraging things if i put them on the floor of his cage.

4. As an animal lover (and an educator) I need to scrutinize my routines and look at how I deal with him. I'm guessing there is some inconsistency in how I deal with him, like time of day or whatever and thats putting him on the defensive. I basically want to play with him all the time. I just don't know if there is some kind of routine I should do in terms of interacting with him.

Any and all advice is much appreciated! Also, I put pictures of his cage here- so you bird experts here can see his surroundings. The room is well lit (the camera might not reflect that). I kept the window blinds shut for the last month, when I moved the cage in there. I think he was more settled when the windows blinds were drawn. But the room is nice- the dining room- and its a great place to not just eat but read the paper and look out the window, which has a good view. But that good view- might be over stimulating the bird. But- he doesn't go away from the window. He will go to the perch closest to it and look out, so I know he's engaged with the window. I just wonder if that stimulation is making him jittery to interact with me.

Thanks!!!
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Shy budgie-img_1963.jpg   Shy budgie-img_1964.jpg   Shy budgie-img_1965.jpg   Shy budgie-img_1966.jpg  


Last edited by Porgy; 03-23-2018 at 09:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2018, 12:28 PM
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3 months isn't a long time at all! In fact, I think it's incredible that a shier bird is letting you pet him and steps up with no issue. I think it's just a matter of time. In terms of foraging things, I highly recommend them. He might not know what they're for immediately, but he'll figure it out. Consistency is key with getting them to try new foods and toys
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Old 03-23-2018, 02:04 PM
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I have had my two budgies for six and seven months.

Mick is 4 1/2 years old and lived in the wild before getting caught and given to me which was seven months ago.

Garvey is 6+ months old and I got her from a pet shop when she was supposedly 13 weeks.

I have been tending to them all this time and just letting them be. A month ago I started leaving their cage door open. I put their mirror and favorite treat on the coffee table next to me. One day, Mick flew out; enjoyed the treat and flew back in. He did this a couple times. Then I thought, move the mirror & treat closer to you. I did that over the next few days until they were right next to me. Then as I was holding the treat; I called their names and said, “treat”. They flew onto my lap and ate their treat. They did this several times that day. I am leaving this acclamation up to them and so far it’s been successful.
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Old 03-23-2018, 04:18 PM
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thanks for the great ideas!!!!
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Old 03-23-2018, 06:18 PM
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Just let him relax and get as comfortable at your home is possible. He needed more time to settle in. Like you, I hope the birds are friendly to me soon as I barely have them. Truth is , some will come around in time and they do become fun. If the bird has a mate, might never get friendly, even if their mate dies and they have no company. Had one budgie, seemed to spend 2 months on his ladder looking at the mirror there and just never got friendly. Sort of same with people, some friendly, some just not.
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Old 03-23-2018, 07:17 PM
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My budgie Smol took a whole year to fully become happy and curious about his surroundings. He was always afraid of anything new, including foods and toys.

Now, though, he's a curious little monster! I have to put him away if I'm eating, (otherwise he swoops at my food) and I can't take my eyes off him for a second if he's out of his cage, he'll get into everything! He's honestly like a toddler.

So yes, just give him time. Every budgie is different, and is scared of different things. Make sure you don't push him and just give him time to get there on his own.
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Old 03-23-2018, 07:49 PM
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Taming and Bonding is all about helping your budgie learn to TRUST you.
Bonding is when your budgie chooses to be with you because that is what he wants to do.

I'd recommend you get Porgy a bigger cage.
What is the size of the one you have him in?
Length, Width, Height?

The very minimum size cage for one budgie is 18" x 18" x 18" with 1/2" spacing between the bars.
However, the bigger the cage you can provide, the better - even if the budgie has several hours of out-of-cage time per day.

You should not give your budgie mirrors nor toys that look like other birds.
This encourages aggression and territorial behavior.
Additionally, may budgies become obsessed with the mirror (or toy bird) and begin regurgitating food to it obsessively.
This is not healthy and can lead to malnutrition and a lowered immune system.

With regard to taming and bonding, have a set routine and being regular and consistent on a daily basis is best. Budgies love routine.

It's best not to clip budgies wings and you should discourage your bird from running around on the floor. He should have full flight so he can fly about as birds are meant to do. If your bird is running about on the floor, the chances of an unexpected mishap are greatly increased and my budgies have died because they were stepped on.

I think clicker training would be an excellent option for you to use with Porgy.
Your comment that you want to "play with him all the time" makes me wonder if you are giving him the alone time he needs.
There should be time for you to interact with him and time for him to explore, play, be in his cage and/or do his own thing without your interference.
Spending time next to Porgy's cage talking, singing or reading to him without touching him will help him learn to trust you more. When he knows you aren't going to grab him or force him to be held, he'll be more likely to begin wanting to spend time with you.

Introducing new toys, foods, etc. takes time.
Sometimes it's best to put a new toy or perch outside of the cage within eyesight of the budgie for several days. Then, hang it on the outside of the cage for a few days,
After that, you can introduce it into the cage and the budgie won't be as anxious about it.

Take a look at the stickies in the Taming and Bonding section of the forum and the information I provided in my post on your Introductory thread.

https://www.talkbudgies.com/articles-...-training.html

https://www.talkbudgies.com/articles-...-training.html
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Old 03-23-2018, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmolBirb View Post
My budgie Smol took a whole year to fully become happy and curious about his surroundings. He was always afraid of anything new, including foods and toys.

wow...my WHOLE frame of time is off.


thanks for the perspective!!
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Old 03-23-2018, 09:46 PM
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Faerybee, "I think clicker training would be an excellent option for you to use with Porgy.
Your comment that you want to "play with him all the time" makes me wonder if you are giving him the alone time he needs. "


yes. this.

you're correct again. thanks so much for the advice. i have a ton of love in my heart (and my child does too) for a pet, but i think we're going to have to not just handle him gently, but get on his page.

thank you. Porg (named after the new star wars movie's bird) will be better for the help.
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:05 PM
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Porgy,
Clicker training can be fun for all. That is how I use to train cats. I am thinking about getting another clicker; until then, I imitate the clicking sound.
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