Ask Lafeber


April 26, 2021

Should i wait for my bird to come to me or make him?

Hello guys. I got a cockatiel a while back. Ive had him for about 2 weeks or so. He was hand tamed when we got him but still scared when put ij his new home. I read online that you should not touch your new birds for about two weeks so they can settle and get to know you. My bird is not that scared of me anymore but will not come to me on his own nor hop on my hand when i place it there. Should i wait for him to eventually come to me on his own or should i place my finger under his belly forcing him to perch up and learn, or should i only do this when he comes to me on his own.Thanks 🙂


Hi Ricardo,

The most important thing when working with a bird is to never grab the bird from behind. Cockatiels are prey animals and this is how a predator would catch him. Unless he is running away from you in a panic, then it is OK to gently press against his front to encourage him to step up. Mutual trust is very important, but if he feels that you are tentative, he will think you do not trust him, so he will not trust you. I’ll give you the links to our training and behavior pages and That should help you learn how and when to handle him.

Teaching Your Bird

Pet Bird and Parrot Behavior

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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