Thank you all for the compliments. This little guy's turning out to be a handful. He's almost the opposite of Harper. She was cuddly and calm. She liked baroque music and generally just wanted scritches or treats.
Spot, on the other hand, wants to climb, hop, and flutter all over my body until he gets to a spot where I feed him some millet. He basically harasses me until I give in. It's birdie extortion! He doesn't mind baroque music, but he prefers Panic at the Disco and Fallout Boy. He's a fun one.
So here's my journal:
Friday, July 22, 2016:
I brought Spot home from the pet store. I knew he'd be scared for the first day, so I left him alone and just spoke softly whenever I walked by his cage. I played some budgie sounds for him to get him to feel more comfortable. It seems to work, since he started eating after a few minutes of it. Harper was the same when I first got her. I think I'll generally just follow the same routine to see if it works with Spot. By the end of the night, Spot was only moving away from me half of the times I walked by his cage. Progress!
Saturday, July 23, 2016:
I started to introduce my hand inside the cage. Spot wasn't too fond of my hand for a really long time. I gave him at least 15 minutes or so each time I tried introducing my hand again. After 5 or 6 times, he wasn't shying away from my hand as much. More progress! By the end of the day, he was eating millet from my hand. I made sure to use a long piece so he didn't have to get too close to me.
Sunday, July 24, 2016:
This was the day I decided to get the last two pieces of what I consider the "taming" part. I got him to hop onto my finger and eat single millet seeds from between my fingers. I got him to hop to my finger by holding millet far away from him to get him to perch on my finger to eat his treat. Pretty standard stuff there. It was really easy since he was already comfortable with my hand. It took three attempts, but it was because he was smart enough to get to his millet without having to perch.
To get him to eat the single seeds, I think I used a Pavolovian response without really planning it. I would use the same two phrases whenever I offered him millet: "You got this" and "Let's do it!" He knew that it meant I was holding millet. He was initially confused because he couldn't see the millet, but his curiosity would take over. It took a few times of him exploring my fingers before he figured out where to get his treat. He just wedges his beak between my thumb and finger to get to his seed. At this point, I pretty much consider Spot to be completely tame. Now, I need to bond.
General update since:
Spot's very comfortable walking around on my body. He wants to hop onto me all the time. He's associated hopping onto me with getting millet. I've just gotten to the point where I can touch his head, but he doesn't seem to love it. I need to figure out a way to get him comfy with scritches. Harper was easy because she always wanted to come out to get millet. When I would stick my hand in the cage, she would walk under it rubbing her head against me as she paced from side to side. Spot's cage is larger, and he's better at ducking under my fingers as he paces. He prefers to perch rather than be touched. Maybe that's just his personality. It's too soon to know, so I'll just keep playing with him until I get a better sense for his boundaries.
Finally, I know that we're all here to see pictures of budgies. I'll post some up when I get more done on the bonding and training side of things. For now, I don't want to introduce the phone too often while he's still not completely trusting of me. That's it for now. I promise I'll post more pictures if I can get one that isn't useless. He has a habit of going right up to the phone and turning around just as I think I'm about to get a great closeup of his face. I just end up with a bunch of blurry photos of his butt. What a jerk. Lol.