Ask Lafeber


November 16, 2022

Befriending a Bourke

I have two DNA males 3 months old. I disagree with hold it till it stops struggling taming method. What is “the best” to tame a Bourke. They were hand fed and will eat millet from my hand, but not having much luck other-wise.


Hi Michelle,

Holding a bird as you described is the worst advice anyone can give – I’m not sure who gave that advice or where you read it. Parakeets, like all parrots, are prey animals, so when you grab them, they feel like a predator has caught them. They struggle because of fear of being eaten, so when they stop, it’s because they are completely exhausted and have given up on surviving.

Bourke’s are sweet tempered birds. But as with any bird, they are more easily tamed and kept sweet if caged alone. You might try separating them for now and working with them one at a time. When birds share a cage, they tend to bond and lose interest in people, even if they are both the same sex. I’m going to refer you to our taming page and our behavior page so you can have a better understanding of how to work with them. You already have good instincts to know not to forcefully restrain them. Just take your time, talk to them a lot and be patient. Nothing happens overnight, but by being consistent and understanding, you should be able to handle these guys eventually.

Teaching Your Bird

Pet Bird and Parrot Behavior

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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