How to make my parakeet trust me?
A few weeks ago, I rescued a parakeet; as in, he flew into my yard, I managed to capture him with a bin and a lot of bird seed and, after lots of posting online, talking with the local vet, and asking the local shelter, no owner has come forward and I’ve decided to keep him. And I love him to bits – my friend, an avid bird lover and owner, has helped me in getting the basics down (a big enough cage, a varied healthy diet, and safe toys) but there’s one thing we have yet to make progress on: Dill (my lovely bird) does not trust me.
I expected this to an extent, considering the whole situation, but I just feel horrible that he might be scared or uncomfortable. He does not like when my hand is in or near the cage; he becomes very agitated when I change his water, food, or need to clean the cage. He will not take treats from me (the two times that he has, it had to be through the bars of the cage) and he certainly won’t let me touch him (the week I acquired him I was able to make him step up – though certainly doesn’t actually know the command – but since then, if I even touch the door of the cage, he freaks out)
I’ve accepted the chance that he might never be a very ‘social’ bird towards me – wherever he was before, I don’t think they ever really interacted with him.
My main focus is just making sure that, whenever I do have to interact with him (feeding, cleaning the cage, or if I need to take him to the vet) it’s as stress free as possible for him.
(I should say: he does like to be talked to – I often sit with him while reading or having a snack and talk to him, during which he’s usually very calm and content. He’s even preened with me there!)