Ask Lafeber

Question:

April 6, 2021

Bird doesn’t like me


Hi, I got my parakeet almost two years ago, and I played with him a lot, but stopped playing with him after that. He still doesn’t really like me. He will get on my finger, but he always tenses up whenever I get near to him. When I open his cage he always flies around my room and starts breathing heavily until he lands on top of his cage. How do I get him to like me and trust me after having him for so long, and how do I get him to be comfortable in my room?


Answer:

Hi Mary,

It takes time to gain a bird’s trust, and you need to be consistent. Your bird has some trust issues because you played with him at first, and then you didn’t. It isn’t that he doesn’t like you, but he doesn’t know what to expect from you. Parakeets live in large colonies in the wild, and they are very social birds. You need to commit to working with him to gain his trust, and stick with it. A bird doesn’t understand if his owner’s interests change and he is no longer getting the attention he got before. And now suddenly you want to handle him again. Parakeets are prey animals, so they are naturally cautious. You will need to spend time talking to him and showing interest in him. Never try to grab him, as this is what a predator would do. His cage should not be too close to a door or entry. It makes a bird nervous when someone enters a room and is suddenly next to his cage. He needs to be able to see someone approaching. I’ll give you some links to our training and behavior pages. You should go back to basics and work with him as if he were new in your home. This is not a quick process – each bird has his own pace and some can take months or longer to show much progress.

Teaching Your Bird

Pet Bird and Parrot Behavior

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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