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I'm hoping to get some advice & perspective about Skye. He is about one year old and was pet store-bought last January. At that time, I had and older female bird who bond mate had previously escaped. Skye and the female (Daisy) bonded nicely, and they we both pretty active & would get on my hand to feed; and compete with each other. Then Daisy, sadly developed a tumor and had to be put to sleep (August).

Honestly, Skye was so much calmer and more adventurous when he had a friend! While I've succeeded in getting him not to be afraid of me, he is skittish of pretty much everything else in his environment. He leaves his cage because I don't feed him in the cage (put food on top) and will come to may hand to accept food; but he doesn't play with toys, doesn't seem at all curious in general - except he will look out the window and chirp at the birds outside. If I try to offer him a new kind of food, like a vegetable, or a fun toy - he kid of freaks out.

I know people say it's easier to tame & train a single bird; but I feel in his case it might be easier to tame him if he has a friend to make him more secure. Am I expecting too much too soon? Any advice on how to help him feel less frightened of his environment?

Thanks in advance - and input would be helpful!
 

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I honestly believe you are unfortunately forcing him to come out of where he feels safe by only providing him food outside his comfort zone.

That will not provide a sense of security with his environment and yourself. It will only cause him to have to be wary while filling his belly.

I think it seems like you are teaching him to be watchful when the first and foremost thought in an owners mind should be conditioning the creature to eat and drink healthily as an initial hurdle.

I know for me my journey with my lady budgies has been long and arduous but after many months, they eat their seed, pellets and veggies with abandon and much chirping.

That is just how I approach the situation. Now they are venturing out of their cage and going for a fly. Not because I am somehow coercing them to but because I allow them that space to relax and grow.

Now I am an inch from their cage and they turn their back on me to dive head first into the food and water. That makes me feel good because I know they feel safe and unworried.

Now they aren't necessarily even inside their cage they lean out of it with the gates open, I stop by for a chat. Or I offer them some millet. Or I merely turn on some van morrison. They respond favourably without fear whatever course of action I choose because I am not asking anything from them except that they chill when I chill and give me a chance. And they do.

Sometimes trust takes awhile, but that is why those who love birds make that choice. It is rewarding at every new little step.

My advice would be to provide him with water, seed, pellets and veggies where he feels safe. Then wait for him to choose to push through his comfort zone without coercion.

Sorry for the long response and all the best :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I honestly believe you are unfortunately forcing him to come out of where he feels safe by only providing him food outside his comfort zone.

That will not provide a sense of security with his environment and yourself. It will only cause him to have to be wary while filling his belly.

I think it seems like you are teaching him to be watchful when the first and foremost thought in an owners mind should be conditioning the creature to eat and drink healthily as an initial hurdle.

I know for me my journey with my lady budgies has been long and arduous but after many months, they eat their seed, pellets and veggies with abandon and much chirping.

That is just how I approach the situation. Now they are venturing out of their cage and going for a fly. Not because I am somehow coercing them to but because I allow them that space to relax and grow.

Now I am an inch from their cage and they turn their back on me to dive head first into the food and water. That makes me feel good because I know they feel safe and unworried.

Now they aren't necessarily even inside their cage they lean out of it with the gates open, I stop by for a chat. Or I offer them some millet. Or I merely turn on some van morrison. They respond favourably without fear whatever course of action I choose because I am not asking anything from them except that they chill when I chill and give me a chance. And they do.

Sometimes trust takes awhile, but that is why those who love birds make that choice. It is rewarding at every new little step.

My advice would be to provide him with water, seed, pellets and veggies where he feels safe. Then wait for him to choose to push through his comfort zone without coercion.

Sorry for the long response and all the best :)
Thank you for your thoughts. I will take this into consideration as I move forward. I think at this point he feels pretty happy and safe as long as he is over on his side of the room; whether on top or in the cage. But I'll be wary of rushing the process or forcing the issue as I proceed!
 

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I agree with the above, it does seem like you're rushing him. It's going to take time for him to adjust to his new reality because it seems like he may have originally been a more uncertain bird but having a friend brought him out of his shell a little bit. He's back to being uncertain and flighty but that doesn't mean he'll be like that forever; my girl was like that for a long time until she learned she could trust me (in the same way your bird could trust your other bird) to not put her in any danger and show her that things were safe.

I also agree you shouldn't feed him outside of the cage just to get him to come out. Some birds don't come out of the cage until they're comfortable, which is fine. The important thing is you provide him the option to do so and don't force him to come out just because he's hungry.

As for the toys, those take a little bit. My girl is nine years old and she's not very skittish anymore after being with our family and bonding time with me. However, I still "introduce" her to new toys like I did when she was little. I'd recommend playing with the toy yourself at a distance for a little bit, then leave it where he can see it (outside his cage) for a day or two (or as long as it takes for him to get used to it), and gradually move it closer over several days until you can hang it on his cage OUTSIDE of the cage where he can see it from the safety of inside. During this whole period, interacting with the toy yourself in a positive way is a great way to get him used to it.

Additionally, as he gets more confident over time, he'll start playing more with his toys. Make sure he doesn't feel alone by sitting in the same room with him and talking to him out loud often (I'm sure you're already doing this but I thought I'd mention it for good measure)

Hope everything goes well!
 
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