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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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  #1  
Old 03-07-2019, 02:46 PM
4Blueberry (Carolyn)
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Default Cage bound, very tame but unbonded bird

I have posted about my little Blueberry before. I got him 4 weeks ago and he became hand tame extremely fast, so fast that he surprised me. He jumped on my hand when it was in the cage on the third day. Since then he has become a lot tamer and I would say that he trusts me completely as he doesn't seem scared of me in the least.

When I got him his wings had been clipped in such a way that he was unable to fly at all. Instead of just clipping his first 4 primary flight feathers the breeder went straight across and clipped everything. After having the bird for a few days I left the door open and he decided to try to fly out and found out that he couldn't fly at all and I think that was a shock to him and I think it severely shook his confidence. He got to point that he would no longer try to fly out of his cage but I felt badly for him as I wanted him to get mental stimulation and also some physical exercise. I worked with him each day, talking to him and having him sit on my finger. Eventually I was able to take him out of the cage without him trying to fly away, even though he couldn't and so I began putting him on top of the cage. Now it has become a normal occurrence for him and he seems to enjoy being up there. I also give him his breakfast up there and he does not fight me when I put him up there. But this bird does not seem like most birds that I have seen videos of. He does not play with his toys at all, either in the cage or on top of it. He used to play with his mirrored toys but I think he has figured out that they are not real and so for the most part he ignores them.

The only thing that seems to perk him up is when I play youtube videos of birds chirping and then he will hear them and launch himself toward the computer which is right next to his cage. He normally lands on the floor and I pick him up and he flies to the computer screen and sits there for a while and then loses interest and makes his way back to the cage.

I also constructed a 4 foot high perch for him to sit on in a screened-in patio room that I have. Normally he will sit on my finger as long as I stay near the cage but if I go away from it he will fly away and land on the floor but if I can move fast enough to get near the patio room he will not fly and gets very excited to go into the patio room where he will valiantly try to fly either to the perch or to the ledge where the screening is. He loves staying in this room and will sit there for a long time without moving but he loves hearing the birds. I have spent many hours sitting with him by the screen with him on my finger or even on my shoulder. Sometimes he flies off and walks on the rug and I let him so he can get exercise. In all the times that he flies off and finds himself in a dilemma he always will come to me for help to get out of it. He definitely trusts me but he is not at all bonded to me as all he wants to do is listen to bird noises on youtube or real birds chirping outside which he hears in the patio room. From all I have learned a bird kept alone with no other birds will bond with his owner but this bird does not seem to want to have anything to do with me except to have me put him on the top of his cage or on top of his patio perch.

Is there any hope that things will change when he is able to fly? Because he is unable to fly he does not want to be away from his cage except for his patio perch. It was always my intention to leave his cage door open so that he could come and go as he pleased as long as I was home but I can't do that now because he can't fly so I have to put him on his cage or on his perch, all of which he likes to do, but as soon as I walk away from his cage in any direction except toward the patio room he tries to fly away and he always lands on the floor. If I manage to walk away fast enough so that he is too far to fly to the cage he will then stay with me but he bascially will not stay with me of his own free will, except in the patio room. I had thought that the countless hours I have spent with him sitting by the screen looking outside would bond us but so far it has not. Is there anything else I can do to help him bond with me. As I said, he definitely trusts me and comes to me for help, but although a bird can be trained to be tame he can't be trained to like a person and I am afraid that for some reason he doesn't like me even though he knows I am always there to help him. Also, I can't bribe him with treats. He hardly eats during the day. I think he eats in the morning while he is still covered. Occasionally if he is in the mood he will eat millet from my hand but food is definitely not something I can use to lure him into doing anything. I would have to withhold food from him to do that and I don't want to do that to him. Is there anything else I can do besides persist in what I have been doing. Is there any hope that things will get better when he is finally able to fly?

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  #2  
Old 03-07-2019, 10:23 PM
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philw (Phil)
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Four weeks isn't really that long and I'd say he still has lots of hidden potential that you'll eventually start seeing. Once he can fly (which may not happen for months) his personality is likely to change to making more close contact with you. Talking to him without the videos might be helpful to have him orient to you as his social group.
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Old 03-08-2019, 01:39 AM
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If you havenít already, Iíd try playing with him with a small toy while heís sitting with you. Donít choose a toy thatís too big as it may overwhelm him. Just something maybe with a bell on it (something that makes noise) and that he can hold in his beak. If you gently shake the toy while heís comfortably sitting with you, it might encourage him to interact with you more and also teach him how to play with toys. Have a variety of different toys to try in case he prefers a certain kind. Of course, this may not work but itís worth a try.


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Old 03-08-2019, 07:14 AM
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What is your bird's name?
Hopefully you have towels down on the floor around the cage so when he tries to fly he has something soft to land on?

I would not recommend that you continue to play videos of birds chirping.
Your poor budgie wants very much to find those of his own species and playing the videos is causing him emotional distress since he is unable to find and be with them.
Instead, spend time talking, singing and reading to him. Play music for him when you aren't around.

Offer him a variety of different toys and show him how to engage with them.
Make excited noises when you play with them to stimulate his curiousity.

Four weeks is a very short time and taming and bonding takes a great deal of time and patience.
As your budgie's flight feathers grow in and he is able to navigate about on his own, he should be much happier and you will see a change in his personality as he is able to assert his independence.
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Old 03-08-2019, 01:57 PM
4Blueberry (Carolyn)
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Thanks for all the help. I will definitely try using as much as I can. I never talk to my bird when I am playing youtube videos of birds chirping. I only play those videos when I am gone from the house as I feel sorry for the bird being alone, but I have since been playing calming music videos a lot more when I am gone and have been playing the bird videos less and less as I also think that he is focused more on trying to find the birdies then on me. When I am with my bird there are no videos playing at all.

I did manage to have some progress with him today as he actually stayed with me as I took him into the kitchen and then even into the bedroom. He was a bit stressed in the bedroom so I did not stay long but at least he did it. But as always as soon as he gets near his cage he tries to get back to it but I am hoping that as he gets more and more used to being away from it that he will not try so hard to get back to it. Possibly when he gets his wings he can then be more confident in himself but for now he is totally dependent on me to go anywhere. I feel sorry for him standing on his cage alone and have thought of getting him another bird but I will have to give him more time before I make a decision on that.
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:53 PM
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Carolyn,

I definitely would not recommend getting another budgie for a minimum of 6 months after his flight feathers come in.
You will not really know your budgie (name?) true personality until he has his flight feathers back and is able to become a "real bird".

If you do decide to get another budgie in the future, please be sure to observe quarantine for the new budgie.

Quarantine means housing the new bird in a different cage in a different room than the current bird (as far away from the room the current bird is in as possible) for a period of 35-45 days.

Budgies mask symptoms when they are ill. Symptoms may not show up for over two weeks.
Often you will not even realize your bird is not well. Many budgie illnesses are airborne which is why you need to quarantine your new bird in a completely different room.

It is also a good idea to always take a new budgie in to see an Avian Vet for a "well-birdie" check-up. This allows you to develop a good relationship with the vet and the vet can establish a baseline for your bird in case of any future illnesses or injuries.
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:28 PM
4Blueberry (Carolyn)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaeryBee View Post
Carolyn,

I definitely would not recommend getting another budgie for a minimum of 6 months after his flight feathers come in.
You will not really know your budgie (name?) true personality until he has his flight feathers back and is able to become a "real bird".

If you do decide to get another budgie in the future, please be sure to observe quarantine for the new budgie.

Quarantine means housing the new bird in a different cage in a different room than the current bird (as far away from the room the current bird is in as possible) for a period of 35-45 days.

Budgies mask symptoms when they are ill. Symptoms may not show up for over two weeks.
Often you will not even realize your bird is not well. Many budgie illnesses are airborne which is why you need to quarantine your new bird in a completely different room.

It is also a good idea to always take a new budgie in to see an Avian Vet for a "well-birdie" check-up. This allows you to develop a good relationship with the vet and the vet can establish a baseline for your bird in case of any future illnesses or injuries.

Thank you so much for your advice as I was really contemplating on getting another bird for my Blueberry and, of course, when that happens I would quarantine it first. He just seems sad to me. He is very boisterous in the morning and I think he is telling me to let him out of his cage but he does not seem to have an interest in anything else. He eats his food, but only seeds and possibly some Harrison's pellets but he will not eat anything else and he shows no interest in his toys so I had thought that maybe he is depressed over being away from all the birds he was with before. I spend a lot of time with him but he still prefers being either in his cage or on top of it or on his perch in the screened in porch. He will stay with me but he will not interact with me. So I am hoping that what you say is true and that maybe he is depressed from not being able to fly and that maybe his true personality will come forth when he has his wing feathers and he can fly.
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:52 PM
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I agree that right now it's too soon to tell if Blueberry is depressed because he doesn't feel like pursuing a connection with humans or if it's another reason. He's still pretty new to the household - a month is not a super long time.

I would definitely wait a little bit, until he's used to being able to fly, and is more comfortable with you, to determine if he would do better with a same species friend
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