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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 02-14-2019, 03:17 PM
4Blueberry (Carolyn)
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Default Need help with flighty bird

Last week I bought a young budgie, about 2 or 3 months old from a breeder. He was not hand fed or tame. He was living in a cage outside with other budgies. I brought him home and for the first day left him alone but by the second day I started to spend time with him. He never seemed upset with my company and would even eat with me right by the cage. The next day, the third day I had him, he actually got on my finger in the cage. Now, he will step up onto my finger all the time even if I am doing something in his cage and don't want him to step up. He literally knows the command to step up and will do so all the time now.

He was clipped by the breeder and he was clipped in such a way that he has no ability to fly at all. After he was used to being on my finger I inched my way out so that he was outside the cage but as soon as he was he flew away and because he could not fly he fell onto the floor and got himself into some scary places like underneath the bookcase or inside my recliner chair. He wanted to fly so much that if I even had the door open for a minute on his own he would fly out of the cage.

I think now he has finally figured out that he cannot fly and so he will make no attempt to fly out of his cage even if the door is left open as it is right now. He will step up onto my finger and stay there even if I take him out of the cage but after a few minutes with me he turns and looks at the cage and if he can he will hop back inside of it and if he is too far away he will actually try to fly to it but lands on the floor. So, although he will get on my finger he seems disinclined to actually stay with me and that is what I want him to do. In the past I have had birds that stayed with me when they were outside their cage, eating breakfast with me, sleeping with me and in general being my buddy and I was hoping that this little guy would do the same. Is there anything I can do to encourage him to stay with me rather than to continually go back to his cage. It is like his cage has become his safe haven and he is afraid to leave it and I want him to learn that he is safe with me too. Is there a way I can achieve this? By the way, I am a senior woman living alone so there is no one else he has to deal with besides me. Since I only have him 8 days I think that we are very much ahead of schedule according to some sites I have read but we seemed to have arrived at an impasse. Am I expecting too much too soon?

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Old 02-14-2019, 04:54 PM
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Hi and welcome to the forums.
Congratulations on the new budgie. To answer your question, yes you are expecting too much too soon. Right now he does see his cage as a safe haven and probably feels most comfortable there. It is not unusual for a new bird to appear to be tame when in fact they are submissive because they are frightened. You can try offering him a small piece of millet in your hand, and he will begin to associate your hand with getting a reward. Make sure you spend time daily just talking calmly to him while he is in his cage if that is where he chooses to be. If you have him out and you see that he wants to go back to the cage, help him to get there, don't force him to be somewhere where he in not comfortable. At some point you may want to consider getting him a playground, it would give him something to do outside the cage without having to fly. Since he cannot fly please make sure he is supervised at all times when the cage door is open, as you have already found out they can get into dangerous places. It can take months for a bird to really learn to trust you, do you have other pets in the house? When you leave the house you may want to leave a radio on for the bird to make him more comfortable, since they are prey animals silence is naturally more threatening to them than background noise. There are many good articles in the Taming and Bonding section of the forum, please take a look through them and if you have questions please ask. We would love to see pictures of your bird if he is settled enough to have his picture taken. What's his name?
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:47 PM
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Hi! to Talk Budgies

Cody has given you excellent advice.
I will add that you should never sleep with your bird. It is much too dangerous for the budgie as you could injure it in your sleep, turn over on it and smother it, etc.

On this forum, we recommend not trying to touch a new budgie for at least two weeks. It needs time to simply adjust to being in it's new environment.
In that respect, you are definitely ahead of schedule.

I definitely recommend you slow down in your efforts to bond with this little budgie.
What have you named him?
It takes time and patience for a budgie to learn to trust you and bonding means allowing the budgie the choice of being with you. It's important to go at the bird's pace and he needs to be able to be in his cage (his safe place) when he wants to be.
Also, keep in mind that every budgie is a unique individual with his/her own personality. Not all budgies like to be with a human all the time.
Many prefer to be in or on their cage or playground and to interact on their own terms when they wish.

Please take the time to read through the Site Guidelines, all of the How To Guides, the FAQs, the Budgie Articles and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.

Truly, the very BEST advice anyone can offer you is to take the time to read ALL of the stickies throughout the various Talk Budgie forums as well as the Budgie Articles we have posted.

These are great resources for Talk Budgie members and have a wealth of reliable information which will assist you to learn the best practices in caring for your budgies for their optimal health and well-being.

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Old 02-15-2019, 01:17 PM
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Hi,

Excellent advice above . We have lots of helpful information here in our Stickies. They’re located near the top area of each forum section. You’ll find answers there to questions you may have.

Remember; birds are prey animals, and they generally need more time to settle in and become open to interaction from you. Always go at your bird’s pace. Your level of success also depends on “how” tame you expect your budgie to get. Many budgies do not enjoy handling once they pass the baby stage. Some do, but the majority don’t. Most can become at least tame enough to step up, although it depends on the bird whether they will truly “enjoy” close interaction with you.

Looking forward to hearing more about your new budgie. Have you chosen a name yet?
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Old 02-15-2019, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cody View Post
Hi and welcome to the forums.
Congratulations on the new budgie. To answer your question, yes you are expecting too much too soon. Right now he does see his cage as a safe haven and probably feels most comfortable there. It is not unusual for a new bird to appear to be tame when in fact they are submissive because they are frightened. You can try offering him a small piece of millet in your hand, and he will begin to associate your hand with getting a reward. Make sure you spend time daily just talking calmly to him while he is in his cage if that is where he chooses to be. If you have him out and you see that he wants to go back to the cage, help him to get there, don't force him to be somewhere where he in not comfortable. At some point you may want to consider getting him a playground, it would give him something to do outside the cage without having to fly. Since he cannot fly please make sure he is supervised at all times when the cage door is open, as you have already found out they can get into dangerous places. It can take months for a bird to really learn to trust you, do you have other pets in the house? When you leave the house you may want to leave a radio on for the bird to make him more comfortable, since they are prey animals silence is naturally more threatening to them than background noise. There are many good articles in the Taming and Bonding section of the forum, please take a look through them and if you have questions please ask. We would love to see pictures of your bird if he is settled enough to have his picture taken. What's his name?
Thank you so much for your response. I have read so many of the articles and posts on this site but for some reason my bird does not seem to respond the same way as so many other birds might. My bird will not take ANY food from me at all so I have no way for him to associate me with good things. He learned to get on my finger with no food at all. In fact, he did it so fast that I was really surprised at his response. Sometimes he will stay on my finger and listen to me talk for a long time and other times it seems he can't get away from me fast enough. As for the play gym I do have one for him. I put him by it but he does not stay. No matter where he goes, even if he goes there himself he does not stay long and is always trying to fly away. If I put him on top of his cage with food there he will still fly away and will land on the floor. I never leave the door to his cage open if I am not there to watch him. If he flies out he always lands on the floor and I have to go get him and then he wants to fly somewhere else. It is this constant trying to fly to somewhere that is the problem. If he would only stay on his gym or the top of the cage, at least then he could spend time out of his cage. I am finding that his being clipped is more of a detriment than a help as he is basically crippled and can't go anywhere at all.

Yes, I do have other pets, two small dogs, both of which ignore him and he ignores them. This morning on his own he surprised me and flew out of his cage and I went and got him. I spoke to him while he was on my finger but he flew away as usual. I am really starting to think he dislikes me for some reason but I don't know why. I guess I will just have to keep working with him and hope that in time he grows to like me better.
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Old 02-15-2019, 02:30 PM
4Blueberry (Carolyn)
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[QUOTE=FaeryBee;4106104][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][COLOR="RoyalBlue"][SIZE="4"][B]Hi! to Talk Budgies

Cody has given you excellent advice.
I will add that you should never sleep with your bird. It is much too dangerous for the budgie as you could injure it in your sleep, turn over on it and smother it, etc.

On this forum, we recommend not trying to touch a new budgie for at least two weeks. It needs time to simply adjust to being in it's new environment.
In that respect, you are definitely ahead of schedule.

I definitely recommend you slow down in your efforts to bond with this little budgie.
What have you named him?
It takes time and patience for a budgie to learn to trust you and bonding means allowing the budgie the choice of being with you. It's important to go at the bird's pace and he needs to be able to be in his cage (his safe place) when he wants to be.
Also, keep in mind that every budgie is a unique individual with his/her own personality. Not all budgies like to be with a human all the time.
Many prefer to be in or on their cage or playground and to interact on their own terms when they wish.

I named him Blueberry although at times I think I might change that to Flyguy since he always wants to fly.

What also seems to make my bird different is that he stays completely still in his cage and does not play with his toys, not even with the mirror that I have in there. He just stays still unless I put him on my finger. I feel bad for him being so still all the time. Some times he will start to chirp and very infrequently he will hop on the perch in front of his mirror. He is near the TV and he seems to like watching it and that is usually when he chirps.

Since he can't fly I want to figure out how to give him some exercise but so far the only way I can give him exercise is to take him out of his cage and let him hop back to it, which, in essence is encouraging him to fly away from me but it is all I can do for now since he will not stay on top of the cage or on the play gym. He just flies off everything and lands on the floor. I think if the breeder had not clipped him, at least then he could have gotten exercise by flying around and possibly felt less vulnerable then he must feel now.
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Old 02-15-2019, 09:21 PM
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Hi there and to the forums!

You've been given great advice.

You're definitely expecting too much of your little one. Just because he's tame doesn't mean he trusts you or feels comfortable with you yet, and why should he? He's just been taken to a new environment he doesn't recognise with people he doesn't know. It's going to take him a while to feel comfortable enough to start exploring with his toys and interacting with you.

You really have to give him a full two weeks without trying to touch him, etc. so he can settle in. Also, you should remove the mirror - budgies can develop unhealthy attachments to "the other bird" in the mirror, as they can't recognise their own reflection. There are plenty of other types of toys they enjoy, however.

During these two weeks, talk to him often and spend lots of time with him. As long as his cage is large enough (at least 18 x 18 x 18 inches) then it'll be fine for him to spend a few days at least without flying around, though if he's used to doing so you can still let him out, just try not to pick him up, etc. unless you have to.

This is important as he needs to start learning to trust you

Remember, you've only had him a week!

Meanwhile, you've been given great resources above. Be sure to read through the links provided above as they'll be of great help to learning even more about the best practices of budgie care. If you have any questions afterwards, please do ask as we'd love to help.

We hope to see you around
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