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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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  #11  
Old 09-02-2020, 06:52 AM
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Budgies can have night frights, budgies do not have good night vision this is why they go to bed early in the wild basically with the sun.Perhaps you accidently moved his cage, hit it before uncovering it, these sort of moves can and will frighten them also loud sudden noises can cause this also.
When a budgie is excited he will look at you and his eyes will dilate and contract, they can also do this if they are frightened or angry and ready to bite.You will learn to judge what mood he is in by his actions.

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  #12  
Old 09-02-2020, 04:49 PM
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"Pinning" is when the pupil of the eye contracts and gets very tiny.

If you put your hand on the cage and he responds nervously, you can leave it there for a couple of minutes to see if he relaxes.
If not, then remove it.
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  #13  
Old 09-02-2020, 10:22 PM
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Budgie_Newbie, This is going to be a book... I get where you are at. I adopted a lost budgie found in my neighborhood 3 months ago and he's my first bird. I've trained dogs and horses. Both are much easier because you can use your body and touch to train them. I find bird body language is hard to read. But learning how to work with a bird is a new challenge!

I had the same progression from a small cage, (the quickest I could find in my area) to a flight cage (thank you Amazon). Once he was in the flight cage he started chirping and flying. At first I thought the flying was panicky but then I realized he was doing it to get my attention. Flying from his upper perch to a lower one and stopping for just a second to look at me. If I didn't get up and go to his cage, he would repeat. After I read online that flapping his wings in place and corner to corner flying perch to perch meant that he felt comfortable in his surroundings, I realized he is training ME. If I can't get to him right away I do this sing songy "hey what's all that flapping?" and he stops and sqwaks louder at me and waits for me to get there. It's almost a game now. Usually he's picked thru his food cup and wants more. Been trying to get him to eat Roudybush crumbles and my little seed junkie would rather pitch a fit when he's picked out his favorite seeds. He did start eating some of the seeds he used to ignore so there is some progress. Won't touch veggies. So different from a dog who will scarf down practically anything! So maybe your bird's flying is sometimes attention getting and happy to see you instead of getting away from you.

My little guy was spooky with the cage cover too. I make sure I always go slowly, use the same good morning words, and uncover it exactly the same speed and direction every time. He settled down alot with that.

He has had some panicky flying from something big falling near his cage and some shadows over his head that looked like a prey bird flying over. Poor little guy, he flew around and clung to the cage sides with such a shriek and got such a scared look in his eye.

My little guy didn't get millet or his toys either. I feed from my hand alot in cage for short periods of time. He finally decided he liked millet and I would take a sprig and hold it thru the bars on his lowest perch by his food cup. I used the same phrase to get his attention. He soon got the idea and responds to my call. Took weeks and lots of tries.

He got pretty solid with stepping up inside the cage but I couldn't bring him out of the cage door. He would hop off. I finally put a perch outside the cage right under the open door and just sat by him. Eventually he would pop out and scurry back in on his own. Once he took off flying around the room. On his first big flight he flew across the room and clung to the curtain and froze. He was low enough that he did step up and let me carry him back to his cage. He didn't leave his cage for a week after that. I wondered if the free flight reminded him of running with the wild birds again.

I got him another boing perch. His loves playing with the bell at the end of it. I wound it down to the cart shelf below his cage (about 3' off the floor) and he worked his way to the top of the big tote that stores his stuff. He's enjoying poking around there and his boing bell is eye level. I saw an online video on making paper toys. He likes picking up and tossing the paper balls. He dropped one to the floor. I made a big deal "uh oh it fell" and put it back on the tote top. Within a minute he dropped it again and was looking at me. This a game now. I am amazed how clever he can be.

I feel I've made progress but he will still ignore me or hop to a corner to hide at times. I just tell him "ok be a bratty little bird" and leave him alone. Who knows what's in his little bird brain?

Compared to dogs and horses he does take enormous patience. I don't think my little guy is going to be a cuddly, sit on my shoulder bird. But trying to communicate with him and influence him is a fun challenge. In his own way he's very interactive with me. I'm considering adopting a buddy for him. I'm sure he would enjoy his own kind but I would hate to lose his attention to me. I'll see how the next few months ago. I never knew parakeets were such chatterboxes. Such happy sounds!

The Phoenix Landing Foundation has had some very good webinars on behavior, cage layout. I've learned a bunch from those.

Don't give up and just rethink everything you know from dogs. Wish you all the best!
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  #14  
Old 09-03-2020, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaeryBee View Post
"Pinning" is when the pupil of the eye contracts and gets very tiny.

If you put your hand on the cage and he responds nervously, you can leave it there for a couple of minutes to see if he relaxes.
If not, then remove it.
What would be considered him "relaxing"?

Just so that he doesn't constantly look at the hand, or relaxed so much that he starts slowly closing his eyes?

It's sometimes hard to read his body language, as I'm not used to budgies that much yet.
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Old 09-03-2020, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obxdiva View Post
Budgie_Newbie, This is going to be a book... I get where you are at. I adopted a lost budgie found in my neighborhood 3 months ago and he's my first bird. I've trained dogs and horses. Both are much easier because you can use your body and touch to train them. I find bird body language is hard to read. But learning how to work with a bird is a new challenge!

I had the same progression from a small cage, (the quickest I could find in my area) to a flight cage (thank you Amazon). Once he was in the flight cage he started chirping and flying. At first I thought the flying was panicky but then I realized he was doing it to get my attention. Flying from his upper perch to a lower one and stopping for just a second to look at me. If I didn't get up and go to his cage, he would repeat. After I read online that flapping his wings in place and corner to corner flying perch to perch meant that he felt comfortable in his surroundings, I realized he is training ME. If I can't get to him right away I do this sing songy "hey what's all that flapping?" and he stops and sqwaks louder at me and waits for me to get there. It's almost a game now. Usually he's picked thru his food cup and wants more. Been trying to get him to eat Roudybush crumbles and my little seed junkie would rather pitch a fit when he's picked out his favorite seeds. He did start eating some of the seeds he used to ignore so there is some progress. Won't touch veggies. So different from a dog who will scarf down practically anything! So maybe your bird's flying is sometimes attention getting and happy to see you instead of getting away from you.

My little guy was spooky with the cage cover too. I make sure I always go slowly, use the same good morning words, and uncover it exactly the same speed and direction every time. He settled down alot with that.

He has had some panicky flying from something big falling near his cage and some shadows over his head that looked like a prey bird flying over. Poor little guy, he flew around and clung to the cage sides with such a shriek and got such a scared look in his eye.

My little guy didn't get millet or his toys either. I feed from my hand alot in cage for short periods of time. He finally decided he liked millet and I would take a sprig and hold it thru the bars on his lowest perch by his food cup. I used the same phrase to get his attention. He soon got the idea and responds to my call. Took weeks and lots of tries.

He got pretty solid with stepping up inside the cage but I couldn't bring him out of the cage door. He would hop off. I finally put a perch outside the cage right under the open door and just sat by him. Eventually he would pop out and scurry back in on his own. Once he took off flying around the room. On his first big flight he flew across the room and clung to the curtain and froze. He was low enough that he did step up and let me carry him back to his cage. He didn't leave his cage for a week after that. I wondered if the free flight reminded him of running with the wild birds again.

I got him another boing perch. His loves playing with the bell at the end of it. I wound it down to the cart shelf below his cage (about 3' off the floor) and he worked his way to the top of the big tote that stores his stuff. He's enjoying poking around there and his boing bell is eye level. I saw an online video on making paper toys. He likes picking up and tossing the paper balls. He dropped one to the floor. I made a big deal "uh oh it fell" and put it back on the tote top. Within a minute he dropped it again and was looking at me. This a game now. I am amazed how clever he can be.

I feel I've made progress but he will still ignore me or hop to a corner to hide at times. I just tell him "ok be a bratty little bird" and leave him alone. Who knows what's in his little bird brain?

Compared to dogs and horses he does take enormous patience. I don't think my little guy is going to be a cuddly, sit on my shoulder bird. But trying to communicate with him and influence him is a fun challenge. In his own way he's very interactive with me. I'm considering adopting a buddy for him. I'm sure he would enjoy his own kind but I would hate to lose his attention to me. I'll see how the next few months ago. I never knew parakeets were such chatterboxes. Such happy sounds!

The Phoenix Landing Foundation has had some very good webinars on behavior, cage layout. I've learned a bunch from those.

Don't give up and just rethink everything you know from dogs. Wish you all the best!
Sounds like you two are coming along very well!

Good luck with him in the future!
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  #16  
Old 09-03-2020, 09:38 AM
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Default Bonding

Budgies relax or show relaxation by holding their wings relaxed not looking like they want to fly away,standing on one leg with feathers slightly fluffed and eyes shut.A relaxed bird is a happy bird, play him some music, they love noise.
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  #17  
Old 09-07-2020, 05:54 AM
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I'm just losing my patience with this bird.

In the morning today, I approached the cage while slowly calling his name, making a noise with my mouth he usually responds to with a chirp and saying good morning, like every morning, I slowly started uncovering his cage. The moment I touched the sheet, he was flying around on the inside. As I lifted it up, he was so nervous that he was flying into the cage edges, at two points he actually fell to the floor, just going nuts in the cage. The only thing I did differently to up until now, is that over the weekend I wasn't interacting with him as much, as I had chores and wasn't really home much that day (I still was a bit).

Me and my girlfriend are seriously subconsciously starting to reduce the interactions with him, because just most of the interactions with him are constantly bad most of the time time. Feeding him and uncovering the cage always is so she actually refuses to do that, because she feels like she's doing something horrible when it happens. Other interactions are mostly positive, but it's basically me keeping him next to where I work and talking to him.

I'm at a loss. This is just not improving. I was trying so hard all week last week, trying to have him next to me next to all day every day, talking to him, being super gentle and slow and everything. We are just going backwards constantly. This morning was the breaking point for me, I lost my patience. After him going absolutely NUTS in the cage FOR NO REASON WHAT SO EVER, I just turned around quickly and said **** this, which probably scared him further.

I'm starting to feel like I'm just done with even trying... There is just no point..

I dunno.. Maybe it's because he's molting, and MAYBE it's because his cage COULD be on a wall that's eye-level or even a bit higher than that. Currently it's resting on kind of a closet that's kind of eye level if I hunch down a bit (which I try to do when I get closer).

These two things/reasons are my last hope. I just can't give up. Hopefully things turn around.

Also, I have a couple of questions.

My bird never uses the cuttlefish bone or the mineral block. Never. I do feed him fresh broccoli and carrots most days, and sometimes a little bit of fruit. Is this bad? Is he supposed to be getting more minerals and vitamins? Even before I was feeding him veggies and fruit (I didn't know he needs those at the time), he never used the bone or mineral block. Is that normal?

Last edited by Budgie_newbie; 09-07-2020 at 09:11 AM.
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  #18  
Old 09-07-2020, 11:27 AM
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Your actions probably did make things worse, in reading through the posts I can feel your anger and frustration and no doubt so can your bird. Molting can be a very stressful time for budgies especially if it's a bad molt and this is a time they need to conserve their energy. When you cover the cage are you covering it on top and all sides completely? If so try leaving the front of the cage covered only about 1/3 of the way down from the top and before uncovering the cage begin talking slowly and quietly and very slowly pull back the cover so only the front of the cage is uncovered. If the cage is left covered on 3 sides it may help the bird to feel more comfortable. Is the cage currently in a spot where the back of the cage is against a wall, that will also make for a more secure surrounding for him. Can you post a picture of the bird and the setup? He probably does not realize what the cuttlebone or mineral block are for, which is why he is not using them. Veggies are preferable to fruit because the fruit has a lot of sugar, once in a while is ok but I would not feed fruit on a daily basis.
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Old 09-07-2020, 11:46 AM
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If you are frustrated and angry with your bird it is never going to learn to trust you.
It is imperative you understand that a bird is a prey animal and NOT like a dog or a cat.
You have been given excellent advice in the previous post(s).

Please take the time to read the information in the following link.
Frustrated with your bird's behavior?

Take a couple of steps back, a few deep breaths and realize this is a tiny creature that is completely at your mercy.
It has only a cage that it considers to be its "safe" place right now and, to it, you are a large and scary human.
When things get frustrating, try putting yourself in the bird's place and think about how you might react if you were a bird to the actions you are taking as a human.
Things take time and patience when you are dealing with a particularly nervous budgie.
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Old 09-08-2020, 03:53 AM
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First I want to mention, I haven't shown any frustration or anger towards him in more than a month, never lost my temper or got fed up in regards to him. I really tried hard, hoping for better results. That's why it was even worse when it seemed like I wasn't getting any further. But anyway:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cody View Post
Your actions probably did make things worse, in reading through the posts I can feel your anger and frustration and no doubt so can your bird. Molting can be a very stressful time for budgies especially if it's a bad molt and this is a time they need to conserve their energy. When you cover the cage are you covering it on top and all sides completely? If so try leaving the front of the cage covered only about 1/3 of the way down from the top and before uncovering the cage begin talking slowly and quietly and very slowly pull back the cover so only the front of the cage is uncovered. If the cage is left covered on 3 sides it may help the bird to feel more comfortable. Is the cage currently in a spot where the back of the cage is against a wall, that will also make for a more secure surrounding for him. Can you post a picture of the bird and the setup? He probably does not realize what the cuttlebone or mineral block are for, which is why he is not using them. Veggies are preferable to fruit because the fruit has a lot of sugar, once in a while is ok but I would not feed fruit on a daily basis.

I think this really helped. Lately I have been covering the cage COMPLETELY, thinking it might be better for him due to us using the AC overnight when it's hot, so he doesn't get too cold, plus so that he gets good quality sleep and isn't bothered by any small lights when me and my GF brush our teeth etc (he goes to sleep 1-2 hours before we do). Back when the situation was better the cage was covered less.

I think due to the cage being covered more, it was completely dark inside of it, so when I uncovered it, he was much more shocked due to the light change as well.

Anyway, I covered the cage only 1/3 yesterday, and upon uncovering it extremely slowly today he only flew from the perch towards the cage side once, and he seems way less nervous in the morning in general.

Thank you for the advice!

I also focused very hard on making all my movements painfully slow when changing his water and food, and it seems like he was much much more relaxed than usual. The cage has its back against the wall, yes. I might be able to take some pictures in a couple of days.

Also, thanks FaeryBee, I read the link and all the previous posts.

Oh and yes, I feed him fruit only maybe once a month or so, and veggies 5/7 days, approximately.


There's also another problem I noticed just yesterday. When he was moving around on the perch, I noticed his feet were sometimes getting stuck on the perches. At first I was confused, but then I noticed it was probably due to his nails, as they are actually pretty long. The nails have been more or less like this when we got him, and since this is my first budgie, I didn't think anything of it at first, I thought it was normal.

However, paying attention to it now, I'm noticing that the nails of budgies I see on videos or pictures online have probably half the nail length that he has. I also noticed that he can't even really stand normally on most of the perches, since they are pretty thick (they were the only natural perches any store around had, and they have different thickness "levels" - they are not all the same). One of his toes has to be bent when standing. In other words, he definitely needs a nail cutting.

Now, I'm going to do this myself, as we sadly can't afford vets at the moment. Not to worry though, I have researched this extensively already, I know the angle they need to be cut at, I know about the veins in the nails, and have already looked at his feet through the cage and you can clearly see where they end. There is no worry of me not doing this right.

However, my question is this: Since he's already pretty scared, and also molting, when should I do this? I'm thinking I should do it as soon as possible, so that: 1. He's experiencing any potential discomfort that the nails might be causing for as little time as possible, and 2: So that he gets "stressed" as soon as possible, so that I can begin gaining his trust ASAP as well.

Is my thinking correct here? Should I wait until he gets a bit less stressed instead? Should I wait until he stops molting, as I always read that this period is stressful for him?

Again, thank you for all the advice!

Last edited by Budgie_newbie; 09-08-2020 at 08:03 AM.
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