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budgielyfe 10-11-2019 05:32 PM

How to get Ben to be a little less nervous about my hand?
Ben was my first bird, I got him at Petco so not tame. After a year or so, he had really grown to like me a lot. He loved it when I would pay attention and talk to him. He'd stretch, chirp back and just generally be happy. He remained afraid of my hands though no matter what.

Later, I felt bad about him not having another bird to spend time with because sometimes he still looked a little lonely/sad. So I bought Kiwi who is a hand-raised bird and loves humans. For the first week, I couldn't even get her off of me! Ben was so excited to have a friend, he's now the happiest bird you'll ever meet.

Anyway, to my surprise her behavior with humans mostly rubbed off on Ben. He became much more outgoing and friendly. He started to go on my head and shoulders, and if she came to my hand he would follow her! He's not scared of me at all now unless I make really sudden movements.

But still, for whatever reason he very rarely will come to my hand on his own. Only when Kiwi comes first. After he comes, he's perfectly happy and will hang out there forever. He's even gone to sleep there a few times! He'll fly on my head on his own all day long, but not the hand. If I hold my hand out next to him, he looks away and steps back a bit like he's either scared or shy.

If I sit on the couch a few feet away and hold out my hand and tell him to come, he runs to the edge of the cage, looks right at my hand, crouches down to jump and fly to me but never follows through. After a few times doing that, he starts squaking and pacing around like he's mad at himself that he didn't come. It's actually kinda cute lol.

But anyway, this got wordier than I wanted. Anything I can do to encourage him to come more often on his own, or is this just how it's going to be? It's so weird, if Kiwi comes first he's right behind her with zero hesitation. I guess this isn't the biggest deal in the world, but I do wish he could get over this little hang-up.

He's not scared of anything else about me. I can even put my head just a few inches from him and talk, and he'll just close his eyes and purr/coo/chirp back to me.

He's 3.5 years old, if that means anything.

Cody 10-11-2019 08:27 PM

Have you tried to bribe him with a small piece of millet? What does he do if you put your hand in front of him, will he step up or does he back away?

budgielyfe 10-11-2019 09:37 PM

Hi Cody. I feed him millet a couple times a week. He has no problem coming then. When I put my hand in front of him without millet he either just sits there as he was, or he might back up a step or two and look a little unsure. I think he knows my hand isn't dangerous since he comes right away for the millet or when he follows Kiwi on. Like I said, he's even fallen asleep on my hand a few times so he doesn't seem to feel threatened.

Maybe I just have a shy bird.

FaeryBee 10-12-2019 10:38 AM

Some budgies do seem to have a "hand" hang-up.
From what you've written, it's obvious Ben isn't afraid of you hand since he'll follow Kiwi onto it and accept treats.

My budgies prefer to perch on my head, shoulders and arms but will step up well on the back of my hand - which they prefer to stepping onto a finger.

Maybe try offering your arm or the back of your hand?

budgielyfe 10-13-2019 10:26 PM

Both of mine also prefer my head and shoulders. I'll try the arm with Ben. Kiwi sometimes likes to go "mountain climbing" up my arm while I'm sitting on the couch. Then she'll sit on my shoulder and nibble on my ear or adjust my collar.

budgielyfe 10-24-2019 07:45 PM

So far not much luck with the arm, either.

And here's a video of how he acts when I try to get him to step up.

Trying to get Ben to step up on my hand - YouTube

Cody 10-24-2019 07:52 PM

Have you tried to have them step up onto the back of your hand instead of your palm, that can sometimes make a difference.

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