This is not a medical question, but I would like to know how to get my baby parakeet to be people-friendly. This is our fifth parakeet. I had the last one for 12 years. He was very friendly, but he didn't talk much. All of my previous birds were yellow males (or so I was told). Number five is a very busy bird: He loves his cage and toys, and, more important, he has a good appetite. His wings were clipped and are now growing in. What can I do to get him to perch on a hand or allow me to touch or pet him? He threatens to bite whenever I approach him.
S.A., Jupiter, FL Jul 03, 2012
Your parakeet is still young and is behaviorally flexible, so establishing friendly social bonds with humans should be easy. My guess is that he came from a breeder. Before you purchased him, he was with other birds, he bonded with them and had minimal human contact. So you must be patient with him and not force contact. Parakeets (budgerigars) are highly social birds. They live in flocks in the wild. Once your bird habituates to your presence, caregiving routines and chatty conversations with him, his need for social affirmation should result in him becoming attached to you, his caregiver and surrogate flockmate. For short periods, put a tough work glove in his cage to get used to, then wear it and offer him his favorite treat from your glove-protected hand. You will be less afraid, and you won't make sudden avoidance movements. This will make him less apprehensive, since fear is a contagious emotion. Once he is bonded with you, I would advise you to consider adopting another parakeet -- birds of a feather belong together. To deprive your bird of contact with his own species in order to imprint onto humans and facilitate his learning to speak is ethically abhorrent, even though it is the norm.
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